MAM
Report on Hindi News Viewership

Guest column: Brandsville beckons 'genuine' empathy

The sanctity of a brand’s empathy is in creating a shared journey with the target audience.

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2020/12/24/udit_joshi.jpg?itok=eeBRrEEz

GURUGRAM: The article is inspired by the great recent occurrences in Brandsville and published in the interest of all creative thinktanks in our fraternity.

WhiteHatJr lost its battle too soon. But it has jolted us marketers to think and analyse. The takeaway of the entire episode is that consumers are as well informed as the brand and can’t be considered naïve no more. An implication of information technology, it is one of the first times when we saw an uprise in India’s burgeoning knowledge society. Empathy is an aptitude that enables us to feel and express what someone else is feeling. It is something that is offered and brands have an advantage there.

Consumers simply don’t want to purchase products. They want to make connections and relationships. There are many factors that add meaning and purpose to a brand, and they can all be derived from one source – empathy.

Today’s consumers are not only interested in consuming content. Rather, they are actively seeking out content that prompts change, in both themselves and the world around them, allowing brands to build an emotional connection with their audience.

The ability to think about the world from someone else’s point of view is an absolutely critical quality that content marketers must possess. The sanctity of a brand’s empathy is in creating a shared journey with the target audience. When we start interacting with our customers in a more personalized way, it will make them feel special. That catalyses brand value.

Brands’ Dos and Don’ts for 2021

The brand should act on the value to treat consumers as people (Well, this should be followed at all times nonetheless). Brands should demonstrate the values through supportive actions for all stakeholders.

The brand should not get involved only in virtue signalling, which is only backing an idea to look good in public. It implies the brand entering a hibernation without communicating with the consumers, signalling an overly opportunistic behaviour in times of uncertainty.

eBay prides itself on its rich history of launching small businesses and had an idea to make it a bit easier for these smaller organisations to make it through this tough time. To help out during the Covid2019 outbreak, eBay in California, started its ‘Up & Running’ program, an accelerator program pledging $100 million in support for small businesses and making eBay Store free for three months. With this support offered by the brand the small businesses will have a better chance of surviving the pandemic. The program will help them connect at a personal level with the aspiring entrepreneurs and it is equally impactful than an ad campaign.

Some famous brands have also used this key ingredient in their branding recipe to add a purpose. Ogilvy’s Cadbury advertisement released during Diwali starts with a most intriguing line: “Not just a Cadbury ad.” The brand has tried to reach out to 1,800+ local retailers, across 260+ pin codes, whose businesses are promoted locally through this ad. The brand has been effective in evoking empathy among small businesses, who have received the worst blow of the pandemic’s economic fallout.

The campaign is a great step to show that the problems faced by the people are understood by the brand. An assurance that it will do whatever is within its reach to help them out.

Empathy branding isn't just a ‘feel-good’ technique

Empathy allows marketers to step into the shoes of their target audience so they can better understand and respond to their wants and needs. Many times it is not just the core product offering at all. Emotion is like the lighthouse that guides the boats of consumer’s brand loyalty and their buying decisions. We have to create and algorithm that the consumers relate with and then create the marketing content which will put across the brand’s message in the most impactful way.

One way to connect with consumers is to present an image of ‘realness’ This creates compassion and connection, presenting a brand as ‘just like you.’ Brands are using this very secret ingredient of empathy as a cherry on top of the cake.

Empathy is about ringing the right chord with the individual’s emotions. Nike has a legacy of identifying and narrating inspiring stories of the indomitable human spirit. The sports brand's 2020 viral campaign received great praise online for its message of inclusiveness and perseverance as organised sports were immensely affected by the pandemic.

The Covid crisis has created a very different situation for consumers of the travel industry. In August this year, Makemytrip came up with a digital campaign ‘Azaadi Wali Feeling' coaxing travellers to plan those much-delayed trips. Yet, it didn’t ripen enough for the traction desired. OYO Rooms took up the task around the same time to bring back consumer confidence with safety and hygiene towards travel. It launched the campaign ‘Road Tripping’ – Dekho Apna Desh. The articulately planned campaign hit the TG well and was rather engaging.

At the end of the day, the simplest version of understanding what a brand is, is what your customers feel about you, what makes the company unique and understanding what the biggest needs and values of the customers are. Empathetic marketing follows the golden rule: "Do (treat) unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Let us remember that social distancing is for humans, not for brands.

(The author is integrated marketing specialist at Topline Consulting Group. Indiantelevision.com may not subscribe to his views.) 

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2022/11/28/mix2.jpg?itok=FvInakQd
dentsu appoints Unmesh Pawar as chief people officer for India & South Asia

Speeding up its growth journey, dentsu has strengthened its leadership team with the appointment of Unmesh Pawar as chief people officer (CPO) for India & South Asia. In his new role, Pawar will report to dentsu APAC chief people officer Luke Speers, and dentsu India interim CEO Peter Huijboom.

MAM Marketing MAM
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2022/11/28/13.jpg?itok=HSfb_zKG
S. Subramanyeswar is the new Group CEO at MullenLowe Lintas

As part of its new era, MullenLowe Group has announced the appointment of S. Subramanyeswar, aka Subbu, as the group CEO, effective immediately. Amer Jaleel, who held the designation of chairman and chief creative officer, and Virat Tandon, who was group CEO at the agency, have bid adieu to the...

MAM Marketing MAM
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2022/11/28/prasanth.jpg?itok=N8wnccGn
Prasanth Kumar of GroupM is president of AAAI

Mumbai: GroupM Media India's South Asia CEO Prasanth Kumar has been elected as the president of the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) for the year 2022-23 at its annual general body meeting, which was held on 28 November. Havas Group India CEO Rana Barua has been unanimously elected...

MAM Marketing MAM
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2022/11/28/hyundai.jpg?itok=K1uUrVLi
Hyundai Motor India announces its brand campaign Beyond Mobility 2.0

Mumbai: Smart mobility solutions provider and exporter, Hyundai Motor India Ltd. (HMIL), on Monday released its new brand campaign, "Beyond Mobility 2.0." Under Hyundai’s global vision ‘progress for humanity,’ the campaign focuses on leading the future of mobility with cars that are shared,...

MAM Marketing MAM
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2022/11/28/dabur.jpg?itok=dR1Z-zxk
Dabur Chyawanprash launches new campaign ‘Ghar Ghar Bann Gaya Dawai Ki Dukaan’ with Akshay Kumar

Mumbai: Ayurvedic health supplement brand Dabur Chyawanprash from Dabur India Ltd. announced a new campaign, "Ghar Ghar Bann Gya Dawai Ki Dukaan" with superstar Akshay Kumar. Conceptualised by McCann, the campaign highlights how self-medication has become a trend in every household. Through this...

MAM Media and Advertising Ad Campaigns
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2022/11/28/siddharth_dabhade.jpg?itok=EZMBT56_
In the last decade, we’ve seen the digital advertising space evolve at a rapid pace, says MiQ’s Siddharth Dabhade

Mumbai: MiQ is a programmatic media partner for marketers and agencies. It connects data from multiple sources to do interesting, business-problem-solving things for 1,100+ clients. It says that it is an expert in data science, analytics, and programmatic trading, and it is always ready to solve...

MAM Marketing MAM
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2022/11/26/10.jpg?itok=bNnO7zWU
Crosshairs Communication wins PR and LinkedIn mandate for Entero Healthcare  

Mumbai: Delhi-based public relations (PR) and social media agency Crosshair Communications has bagged the PR mandate for Entero Healthcare and will be responsible for increasing brand awareness and media visibility for Entero Healthcare on digital platforms.  The agency will also be in charge of...

MAM Marketing MAM
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2022/11/26/9.jpg?itok=txrAWmmw
Natural Diamond Council and Vogue India join hands to bring ‘Forces of Fashion’ to India 

Mumbai: Natural Diamond Council joined hands with Vogue India to bring the "Forces of Fashion" event to India for the very first time. "Forces of Fashion" saw Vogue editor-in-chief Dame Anna Wintour and Vogue global editorial director, Condé Nast chief content officer, and Vogue India’s head of...

MAM Marketing MAM
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2022/11/26/5.jpg?itok=9fPhTRSW
Tanishq partners with Talented for the launch of 'Wedding Conversations 2.0'

Mumbai: On Friday, Tanishq launched the second edition of its ongoing campaign, "Marriage Conversations." The latest edition was created by the indie agency Talented. Staying committed to its message, Tanishq’s "Marriage Conversations 2.0" urged couples to go beyond conversations about just the...

MAM Marketing MAM