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The e-commerce category which experienced a lull in terms of their sales and marketing post demonetisation, seem to be back in action. Players in the category are once again back to advertising aggressively to promote the numerous ‘year-end’ or ‘beginning-of-the-year’ sales offers running on their respective online platforms. This time around, activities from the e-wallet players who were aggressively advertising post the note-ban have slowed down a bit and we see the e-commerce majors taking front page ads or frequent spots on television once again.

According to a research done by RedSeer Consulting, the reduced impact of demonetisation, made the customers more comfortable with online shopping. In fact, last year during the sale week (December 18-24), there was strong growth in traffic and sales of more than 15 per cent were registered versus previous weeks. The overall traffic on different channels was around 10 per cent higher in December as compared to November. Further, the sales were also higher in December by nearly 20 per cent. According to Mrigank Gutgutia, Engagement Manager from Red Seer Consulting, the industry is dusting off its demonetisation related challenges, as customers are coming back gradually to shop again, even though it will take more time to recover 100 per cent from the shock.

Sale offers:

Online furniture portal Pepperfry is celebrating its 5th anniversary sale through campaigns that consist of two creative films, currently playing on TV. Fabfurnish is also running their year-end-clearance sale with a 70 per cent off. Online fashion portal Myntra has celebrities like Hrithik Roshan, Deepika Padukone and others promoting their fifth edition of the ‘End of Reason Sale’from January 3 to 5. Other than the year-end sale offers, which Flipkart was promoting towards the end of 2016, this time it is using kids to talk about ‘Flipkart Fashion- What’s in trend and what’s not’ through two ad campaigns. Amazon Fashion is running their‘End of Season sale’, where the site is offering 40-80 per cent off and is promoting it on TV. Snapdeal is currently running ‘Welcome 2017 sale’ from January 8 to 9.

Advertising spends & mediums used:

The year has started with a bang in terms of e-commerce brands spending on advertising, in comparison with last year, when only during the festive season there was an increased marketing activity from them. 2016 was a slow year for the category in general because majority of the players had to deal with heavy losses and valuation struggle, as a result, there were no astronomical spends.

Commenting on the reason behind heavier spending on advertising by e-commerce firms recently, Saurabh Uboweja, Brand Guru and CEO, Brands of Desire said, “E-commerce big wigs face a unique set of challenges. All of them have seen their sales nosedive post Diwali. In the short term, they need to overcome the liquidity issues their customers faced due to demonetisation and the fact that COD, one of the most preferred payment methods till demonetisation has discouraged customers from spending. The COD pull back, however, is actually a blessing in disguise as it adds to the cost of servicing customers. E-wallets and card payments at the doorstep are likely to replace the traditional COD as liquidity improves. This should help them reduce operational losses to some extent.”

He further added, “The other major issue facing large e-commerce marketplaces is profitable sales, especially on a per unit basis, something that becomes a key driver behind high pitch sales campaigns. On one hand they need to improve their overall performance month-on-month while on the other hand, they need to overcome dull seasons such as post Diwali, post demonetisation and post-Christmas so that they don’t put additional stress on their fixed costs. The pressure to show growth in terms of sales, adding new customers, increasing app downloads and ramping up customer engagement is pushing e-commerce marketplaces to spend more on promotions and advertising which for many big players already tops 40 per cent+ of their net revenue.”

These players are currently using a lot of television and print to promote the sale offers or their respective brand campaigns. Pepperfry birthday campaign is being aired across a bouquet of entertainment, movies, English infotainment, and lifestyle channels and select Hindi GEC HD channels/properties and regional channels. The total outlay for the campaign is Rs. 5 crore, In addition to TV; the sale message is also being promoted across digital and social platforms like Google, YouTube, and Facebook.

Myntra recorded a 160 per cent growth in revenues during their fifth edition of the ‘End of Reason Sale’ with 2.1 million app installs. The brand also used TV and print to promote their campaigns, featuring well-known Bollywood celebrities and cricketers. Both Amazon and Snapdeal are also using a lot of TV as well as print to talk about their respective sale offers.

Saurabh Uboweja, founder of a leading brand consultancy called Brands of desire, cited, “The heartening fact is that initial reports from these massive sales campaigns demonstrate that Indian consumers are somewhat unfazed by the effects of demonetisation and post a short hiatus are back to spending on deals, which is the cornerstone of Indian e-commerce sector. All e-commerce companies realise that they need to be in the top 2 in their sector or overall and they need to be profitable in the mid to long-term if they have to sustain and survive the battles and win the war. A multitude of these factors will continue to trigger large scale spending on TV and other mainstream media by these players.”

- See more at: http://www.exchange4media.com/marketing/as-traffic–sales-pick-up-snapdeal-amazon-flipkart-and-others-ramp-up-ad-spends_67314.html#sthash.DT2SBnsr.dpuf

#demonetisation #ecommerce #brandsofdesire #brand #branding #saurabhuboweja #advertising #ads #adspends #Amazon #Snapdeal

Step 1

Recognize that one thing in your organization or you (if you are a personal brand) that is your real strength. It should be something that you can stand by under most if not all conditions. Something you are very comfortable doing, almost effortlessly. That one thing which if taken away, would take away your edge. It will be that one thing that you can continue repeating over and over again and yet people find it valuable. It should be something you are passionate and emotional about. Call it your product.

Step 2

Once you have recognized that special thing which you just identified as your product, build a brand around it. Give it a name, an identity. An identity that you know only you can own it. Make it memorable if possible but more importantly make it simple. So simple that people absorb and digest it with sheer ease. No, this is not the best time to be creative, this is the core. The core must be understood and remembered with ease not with punctuations and questions. Just keep it very simple.

Step 3

Once you have given an identity to your product, now is the time to work on its presentation. Just because you got the first two steps right doesn’t mean you will become a brand. Yes you have certainly made some achievement in getting the definition right which most people don’t, but only you know about it. When others look at it, they don’t have the same emotions as you do about your product. You need to package and present it in a way that your customers are able to visualize the same emotions and passion that you have about your product.

Step 4

Now, get ready to talk! Presentation is passive. You still need to bring attention to your brand before it starts to run its magic. Now is also the time to wear the creative hat that you had so far kept aside for the logical one. The secret to good communication is not to communicate everything in one go. Create curiosity. Build an interesting story. Don’t let the cat out yet even though it’s quite tempting to do so. Communicate just enough to build interest, excitement and attention to your brand.

Step 5

It’s now time to sell! The Hurrah moment! It’s time to monetize the equity you have been building till now. The buyer is interested. You can let him know the price. The secret to pricing lies in understanding the concept of customer profit. The buyer must value your branded product above the price you are charging him. Selling is also the time a real exchange happens for the first time. This is also the time misunderstandings can happen. Make sure you fulfill your sale completely and to the satisfaction of the buyer. No part jobs please. But hey, selling or fulfilling the sales transaction is not delivery. Your work has just begun.

Step 6

Now comes the most incredible part of branding. That one thing you discovered early on. Yes, step number 1. That part of you that you thought is your real thing. It’s finally time to deliver it. It’s time to deliver your brand. It might feel like the most boring part. Deliveries are never fun, especially when selling is complete and money is in the bank. How do you keep yourself excited? Instead of looking at it as the last step, if you consider it as the first step to your next branding-to-sales cycle, it may seem a little more interesting to you. Remember, that this is the only step that actually decides whether/if you become a brand or not. You can do away with all steps but not this one. Take it very seriously.

(The article is written by Saurabh Uboweja, Founder, CEO & Chief Brand Strategist at Brands of Desire)

#brand #branding #SaurabhUboweja #brandbuilding #personalbrand #identity #presentation #brandpromise #leadingbrandconsultancy 


The hospital chain recently released a film titled ‘Eager to get you home’. No points for guessing the insight it’s based on.

Like every other phenomenon, the corporatisation of healthcare, came with its own pros and cons. While it ensures that people benefit with quality services and the latest in medical technology, all under one roof; one of the biggest disadvantages of commercialisation in this sector was the loss of trust, not only in healthcare brands, but in medical profession/professionals in general.

This fact was also highlighted in a consumer research undertaken by hospital chain, Max Healthcare. Based on this insight, the brand decided to launch a digital campaign, the first leg of which includes a long-format video titled ‘Eager to get you home’.

Conceptualised by Dentsu Impact, the 4-minute-long video, depicts an unfortunate medical emergency that an elderly couple is confronted with when their children are away. It goes on to show how the old man gets his wife admitted, treated and finally discharged – all in a hassle-free manner – at Max Healthcare. The ad also highlights how the hospital’s amicable and cooperative staff, including the doctors and management, help the old man through his ordeal. And, as a plus, they also know how to joke with and prank their patients/customers to lighten up the mood!

Mohan Menon, general manager and head – marketing, Max Healthcare, informs that this campaign is part of a larger positioning exercise as part of which the brand will be adopting a patient-first approach.

“The campaign brings to life the intent and purpose that drives our conduct at Max Healthcare. Whenever someone is admitted to the hospital in a crisis, life turns upside down for the whole family. They want our support to overcome this emotional turmoil and help take their loved ones back home. All they want is to get better fast and leave the hospital as soon as they can,” he says, commenting further on the insight and execution.

Soumitra Karnik, national creative director – Dentsu Impact, shares that the brief given to the agency was to address the “huge trust deficit” that exists in this category.

“Patients are always anxious to go back home because they believe that they will be best taken care of by their family. Usually, there is a perception that hospitals keep patients longer than required. Since Max is getting into a patient-first approach, we came up with the idea of ‘eager to get you home’,” adds Karnik. The context of a festival was used to accentuate the eagerness and importance of being home.


Somenath Chakraborty

Somenath Chakraborty, group creative director, Cheil India finds the idea of ‘showing service and not saying it’, a fresh and intelligent approach. “The ad reaches out to the right target audience, the elderly who need efficient healthcare and warm service. The emotional execution stands out as clutter breaking and lingers on in one’s mind. The humour, though slightly filmy, does not take away from the impact of the overall film in any way,” says Chakraborty, as he appreciates the choice of song and cast.

Commenting on the insight, he adds, “Every emergency case has a ‘window’ within which the life can be saved. By showing quick admission, Max Healthcare positions itself as understanding and efficient, at the same time. Similarly discharge process is shown as easy, so families can be rest assured of taking their loved ones home without any delay. Little touches in the execution imply care and trust adding up to a good feeling about the brand.”

According to Shobhit Mathur, zonal creative director, Hakuhodo India, the ad not speaking about ‘latest technologies and state-of-the-art facilities’, is in itself a refreshing detour.

Shobhit Mathur
Saurabh Uboweja
Nimesh Shah

“Aiming the communication at the perennial pain point of complicated admission and discharge procedures at hospitals is nice. So the insight or rather the observation works. But had the execution been more crisp, it would’ve evoked stronger emotions. But if Max can live up to this promise, which I hope it does, this will be a winner,” he says.

Saurabh Uboweja, CEO and chief brand strategist at Brands of Desire feels that there was an opportunity to be “more authentic” with the execution. “It all seems too good to be true. There is also a hint of promotional intent in the film, which takes away from the legitimacy of the concept,” he points out.

Uboweja believes that there are two main aspects of building a hospital brand – clinical and non-clinical. The Indian healthcare industry has traditionally been branded by clinical factors alone. Within that too, the doctor is usually the deciding factor. Facilities come a distant second, but this has changed with modernisation of hospitals and best practices becoming commonplace in the country.

“However, there are no standard quality of care ratings in the country today, as a result of which many hospitals flout basic care protocols. Max has recognised this gap and wants to position itself as a patient-centric brand rather than treatment-centric. It is both a risk and an opportunity. The opportunity part is somewhat obvious, given the glaring gaps in the Indian healthcare delivery. The risk is paramount too, given that it would require immense level of training and internal branding to deliver high quality non-clinical care. If the brand fails at that the film would be heavily mocked,” he adds.

For Nimesh Shah, head maven, Windchimes Communications, a lot of things work in this communication. “The ad rightly addressed two top-of-mind concerns for people admitting their loved ones to the hospital – registration formalities and quick discharge post adequate recovery. Secondly, the right TG has been shown with a subtle implication that even if senior people were involved, the hospital will provide them a hassle-free experience,” he notes.


#trust #brandtrust #healthcare #brandinghealthcare #max #patient #video #brandsofdesire #saurabhuboweja


FICCI's Massmerize 2015

New Delhi, Aug. 25, 2015: The 5th edition of India’s Biggest Retail & FMCG conference – Massmerize 2015, FICCI’s one-of-a-kind initiative to return on 31st August 2015 at the Lalit, Mumbai.
India’s premier annual Retail and FMCG conference, Massmerize is taking the lead in bringing the industry stalwarts under one roof. Themed ‘Selling SMART’, the conference is proposed to be inaugurated by Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, Hon’ble Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Hon’ble Minister of State for Commerce & Industry along with other Ministers and will witness participation of other respected diginitaries. Massmerize 2015 is specifically focused on Selling SMART for a sustained growth and competitiveness, Government’s Make in India initiative to emphasize on authentic products, to understand the future of responsible business and the role of technology & innovation to develop a smarter consumer market.
The conference is the one stop venue presenting a unique opportunity for a deeper understanding of the latest issues, Government policies and to discuss the challenges along with greater opportunities within the Retail & FMCG sector. The sessions cover a diverse range of key topics concerning both the sectors such as ‘Go Desi: Why look out, When you can ‘Make in India’, ‘Sell Smart-Moving towards a Smarter consumer market’, Decoding the mantra for deriving Sustained Growth and Competitiveness, ‘Ecommerce in India – Overcoming the Regulatory Challenges to achieve the true potential and it will also announce the release of the FICCI – KPMG report titled ‘SELL SMART – Moving towards a SMARTer Consumer Market’ at the event.
Our CEO, Saurabh Uboweja and Chief Brand Strategist, Brands of Desire will be also sharing insights on one of the sessions entitled “Importance of Education and Research in the field of Branding and Design in India.” Other speakers scheduled to deliver at the event include Mr. Samir Singh, Executive Director – Personal Care, Marketing, HUL Mr. H.G. Raghunath, Advisor, Titan Company Ltd., Mr. Asif Merchant, Managing Director, Catwalk Worldwide Private Limited, Mr. Sanjeev Agarwal, CEO, Gitanjali, Mr. Sahil Malik, MD, Da Milano, Mr. Krish Iyer, Chairman FICCI Retail & Internal Trade Committee & President & CEO – Walmart India Private Limited, Mr. Bijou Kurien, Mentor-FICCI Retail Committee & Board Member – L Capital Asia to list a few.
Massmerize is deemed to be the most influential conference today for the Retail & FMCG industry. It assembles individuals and organizations to discuss and draw up agenda for research and help them propose actionabe steps for the future.
And if you too wish for participation, then do register yourself @ http://www.massmerize.com/downloads/
About FICCI- Established in 1927, FICCI is the largest and oldest apex business organisation in India. Its history is closely interwoven with India’s struggle for independence, its industrialization, and its emergence as one of the most rapidly growing global economies. A non-government, not-for-profit organisation, FICCI is the voice of India’s business and industry. From influencing policy to encouraging debate, engaging with policy makers and civil society, FICCI articulates the views and concerns of industry. It serves its members from the Indian private and public corporate sectors and multinational companies, drawing its strength from diverse regional chambers of commerce and industry across states, reaching out to over 2,50,000 companies.
FICCI provides a platform for networking and consensus building within and across sectors and is the first port of call for Indian industry, policy makers and the international business community.

#FMCG #FICCI #brand #branding #retail #brandsofdesire


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