What’s the difference in “Brand for Consumer or Product for Shopper?” I guess in a second thought you all will find the difference. Today I am playing the devil’s advocate role and challenging the current advertising practices and will talk only one side of it, ignoring the goodness of advertising. Consumers and market place has completely changed in the last few years but the advertising agency’s and brand manager’s passion for building a brand continues and product yet remains on the back seat. Advertising agency’s love for Brands is not hidden but best is that many of the marketers to fall in love with brands losing sight of the product. Whom to blame for? The answer is, none. “Brand for Consumers” status allows advertising agencies to operate in the world of creativity, win awards, charge the client a bomb in the name of creativity and yet not being accountable for sales of the advertised products. Advertising agencies measure their work using measuring tools through research based on recall, persuasion, and awareness. But question is that building a brand is really ultimate objective? If you measure the effectiveness of advertising on during and post adverting sales performance and consistent increase in market share, a brand anyway gets built. There are plenty of Brands which were not managed by top agencies or never tried building a brand but the fact is today those are larger brand than many of existing global brands in the country and hold larger market dominance. To name few Ghadi Detergent, Micromax, Nirma and Pan Parag, etc. Advertising Measuring metrics creates a perfect illusion to justify created artwork of advertising and remain distant from Product Sales metrics as that puts advertising on a tight spot. On the other hand, when a Brand Manager starts his career he finds himself in the world of creativity and taught to breathe in and out “Brand for Consumers.” And hence it becomes his utmost priority to make his/ her brand survive even if one is needed to tell consumers complex product story explaining them functioning of the product and how it delivers benefits to its consumers. No wonder many marketers struggle to justify the advertising copies made by them, failed brand extensions, declining sales/ market shares, and undelivered Campaign ROI. Is in such case, has brand managers been wrong till date? The answer is again, No. He/ she is doing everything right in given circumstances, resources and time available with him/ her and brand building too are important. But the internet is now forcing current advertising practices to go back to basics and pushing brand managers to think “Product for Shoppers.” Social Media, YouTube Videos and Google has changed the world of a marketer completely. Now marketers are forced to move away from interruption-based product placement techniques like TV advertising to more engaging content around the brands. Now on marketers has to give up their fear of negative word of mouth around the brand and create new platforms/ channels to interact and engage with consumers. The free consumer discussions around the product will work as testimonials for brands and build confidence in consumers through word of mouth who might shop your product soon. In changed time marketer are needed to build credibility around the products/ brands so that today’s informed consumers who have multiple choices eventually buy your product.
Sanjeev is an entrepreneur, a TV ad maker and global salesman of the year award winner with over three decades of experience. He is the creator of more than 200 TV ads for the top of MNC FMCG and Pharma brands and founding team member of HomeTesterClub.com.