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arkmantra is the brain-child of IIFT, encompassing various dimensions of marketing and exploring horizons of this integral business function. To bring out the best in the marketing domain from the trivial to the

bizarre things that really matter which is aimed at enlightening the marketers is the onus of the team. Trend analysis and innovation in the market are two prime focus areas of the magazine. These, we think, will make you ponder upon how a company proactively or reactively markets its offerings. Customer value is of paramount importance to every marketer and we as IIFTians strive to provide maximum value proposition to our customers, that is, you. Marketing’s significance lies in value exploration, value creation, value communication and value distribution. No matter where your interest lies, be it Finance, HR, IT or Operations, understanding marketing is always important. As they say, Balance Sheet is also a marketing tool and employer branding is also fast gaining importance. So Markmantra will not only help the marketers but also people interested in other streams by understanding the implications of marketing on their decisions and vice versa.


: Gaurav N. Gudhka

MANAGING EDITOR : Siddharth Girdhar ASSOCIATE EDITOR : Radhika Ravichandran

Change is inevitable. However clichéd it may sound, ultimate success lies in managing this change. Given the whimsical nature of the external environment, there are two ways to manage change- Embrace or Fight. Avoidance is inane. To cope up with the fast changing consumer preferences and a short Product Life Cycle owing to fierce competition, a marketer has to either be Proactive or Reactive, in order to create value for the customers sustainably. Technological advancements, increasing disposable income, robust media influence and orthodox societal influences have been critical in increasing the bargaining power of customers. Customers are becoming more informed while seeking value for money be it a low or a high involvement product. Amidst the bedlam caused by the marketers by virtue of their extensive offerings to lure the customers, it is imperative to know the customers‘ psyche to deliver exactly what they want. Gone are the days when customers‘ were satisfied with just the product and its utility. There is only one boss- Customer, says Wal-Mart. And the boss, in today‘s scenario, seeks a right blend of Relationship and Utility. This calls for a synergy between products and their related services. The better the mix that one delivers, the more customers one fetches. Product differentiation still remains a predominant factor while selecting any product and by differentiation we mean meaningful value addition to match the expectations of the customers. To cater to the varying needs of the customers, companies are coming up with different SKUs (Stock keeping units) and bundled products and offers. This is not only restricted to the major FMCG companies but also to the modern trade juggernauts with respect to the Private Labels. Organised retail is fast capturing the

hearts of the consumers with increasing quantity of private labels capturing the shelf space and consumers reacting to the substitutes of their preferred brands without much hesitation. Also, Kishore Biyani of Future Group, the famous retail transformer of India, is making the best of Sensory branding which triggered his vision of satisfying consumer‘s wish to touch, smell and feel products be it fruits and vegetables or grains. But with the plethora of information available to the consumers, their bargaining power has led to the dawn of Crossover shoppers who buy pulses and grains from the local kirana stores and visit modern trade retailers to satisfy their need for packaged and branded products. Brand loyalty is becoming a near myth with people‘s preference towards private labels over national brands. With increasing disposable income, the purchasing power of the customers is increasing and more and more premium products are being sought after which were once upon a time not matching with the disposable income. On the other hand, SKUs are becoming smaller and smaller taking into consideration consumers needs for quick carry and consumption, impulsive buying and one time usage. With technological advancements, marketers have to be watchful and acknowledge digital leapfrogging. We see that people who never used the internet or had a personal computer are using mobile internet and smart phones. They are not going through a standard evolution process. Hence marketers are apprehensive about the changing demands of the consumers, both rural and urban. Industry boundaries are blurring as people‘s aspirations have augmented to seek integrated products. Steve Jobs‘ brainchild iPod, later iPhone and now iPad are the best examples of blurring industry boundaries as it incorporates

entertainment industry, telecom service providers, handset makers, software developers and others to deliver world-class products that command a following of their own. insights and create or modify the products and their communication by banking upon the elements of consumer behaviour such as affect, cognition and environment. As the competition has intensified, cues associated with the brand play a vital role in forming customer perceptions. For example, travellers prefer Kingfisher but not Jet Airways despite providing almost same services by both the airlines. Dr. Vijay Mallya plays a global cue which wins over Jet because of his jubilant personality. Thus the significance of cues remains paramount. Consumers‘ preferences are dependent on various factors. As these aspects change, consumer behaviour changes simultaneously. Profound analysis of the consumer behaviour over the last decade reveals noteworthy changes. There is co-existence of modernity and traditionalism in India. As modernity is changing the role of media and information technology, prospective customers are looking out for different influencers depending on the channel of communication. But family and friends still retain the majority of the say. While the middle class is emerging and the nation is becoming young, marketers are targeting growing individualism adopted from the western countries. People want to pamper themselves like never before. Kids‘ influence has increased and women‘s roles have emerged from the past traditions to a new era of freedom and rights. Women, these days, are taking decisions for themselves and their families. Hence we see many promotional acts targeted at them. Traditional value seekers have become stronger and more active, one of the examples is Crossover shoppers. As we have entered into a new decade, we might want to acknowledge some of the covert yet implicit .

aspects of consumer behaviour. Sensory branding in conjunction with sonic branding is one such aspect which marketers should work upon. This will help to gain customer confidence and enhance brand recall and association. Marketers need to be tech-savvy to cater to the elation of the digitalized world and social media framework. Marketers must try to convert satisfied customers into highly satisfied garnering loyalty, rather than turning dissatisfied customers to satisfied ones. Green consumerism is gaining impetus in the market place. With increasing knowledge of and concern for environment, customers are going the green way, specially as the global economies are fast recovering from the downturn. Economics suggest rational customers tend to maximise utility out of the product they buy to satisfy their need. Other aspects such as emotions are something that the marketer needs to handle with élan. Needless to say, as the product life cycle is becoming shorter, marketers have to constantly strive to create and deliver value to the customers. The fundamental 4 Ps are critical to decide the fate of a product in the ever-changing global scenario.

Gaurav Gudhka MBA (IB) 2010-2012 Indian Institute of Foreign Trade

There‘s a secret dream that every international marketer‘s heart harbours, whether it remains a distant dream for long or not is the question. The underlying thread that weaves through all the hype surrounding catchphrases like ‗glocalisation’ is but the convergence of consumer preferences globally. The ‗Global Village‘ is no more a myth thanks to the rise of global capitalism, falling of barriers to international trade, increasing interconnectedness and a cross-fertilisation of ideas, which has been further fuelled by the convergence of media and technology and increase in income. Today, we see a certain degree of homogenisation in the global consumption patterns as national borders and traditional cultural boundaries blur rapidly, leading to the identification of global segments. Yet, the idea itself isn‘t novel; Theodore Levitt in his landmark 1983 article had argued that this homogenisation of needs and wants was inevitable as the rational consumer would invariably prefer standardised products of high quality and low price. So when we see McDonalds prospering around the globe, western fashion becoming common in many eastern countries and cross border music channels like MTV becoming a rage everywhere, it‘s of little surprise to the international marketer. The evidence is for everyone to see essentially in the form of various marketing messages of omnipresent brand identities predominantly in

the FMCG and technology sector. People around the globe are developing preferences for the same products, wearing the same type of clothes, watching the same TV programs, and playing the same digital games on their computers! And these consumer behaviour trends are being reinforced all the more by the print media, radio, TV and to a great extent, the Internet. Nevertheless, the convergence isn‘t perfect and its foundations are regularly questioned in view of the substantial variance in consumer behaviour across nations. But with differences of per capita GNP progressively disappearing, culture has become a powerful variable to explain this trend, and which the Hofstede studies also corroborate. National culture, which is broadly the values, beliefs, norms and behavioural patterns of a national group, is subject to global culture‘s continual influence, which in turn is instrumental in reshaping an individual‘s personal culture. Even as these global cultural values get transmitted to the individual, he retains a set of core values, which helps explain this partial heterogeneity in consumer behaviour. Still, the consumer tastes appear to be driven less and less by long standing local and regional traditions, and more by perceived desirability of global brands. Simultaneously, there seems to be a shift in values as well towards standardisation. Products of culture-association, like alcoholic beverages, etc. are harbingers of the degree of cultural convergence. Research shows an increasing health consciousness among consumers as they switch to beverages containing less alcohol, also a switch from the local traditional drinks to beverages that are seen as more fashionable and healthy has been observed. Apart from such products, digital convergence

too is being largely guided by consumer preference. Consumers globally have shown a preference for mobile telecommunication handset size similar to that of the current PDA or mobile while adopting a considerably larger display, thereby directing R&D to increasing the pixels per inch, while still maintaining the portability. But obviously, given some degree of heterogeneity in this trend, partial, rather than perfect, convergence is expected. But the good news is that research also shows that concerted strategic marketing efforts can affect consumer perceptions and actually alter consumer choices. This means, to be effective, the various marketing activities like standardising the product, identical brand names, uniform packaging, synchronised product introductions, similar advertising messages across markets in various countries, have to be integrated and coordinated well. Advertising should seek to portray products in idealised and desirable context, because globally consumers buy the products that they believe express their identities. The global marketer should take heart from the fact that cultural traditions aren‘t impenetrable, and that consumer choices can be affected by intelligent strategic marketing, which is an interactive and evolutionary process. Tempting, though it may be to read the consumer psyche

every day and regularly adjust your marketing model to it in consonance with local traditions, it is not sustainable in the long run from an international marketing perspective. The key is to identify homogenous global segments so that if at all any customisation is required, it is minimal. Standardised marketing strategies and products are actually the future drivers of cultural change and consumer convergence.

Jayant Rana MBA (IB) 2010-2012 Indian Institute of Foreign Trade

Sitting with a friend in the hostel, I saw an advertisement on the net promoting a Hybrid car. My friend wondered aloud on how many consumers would be willing to spend those extra bucks for the environment. This triggered a series of questions. Are all the efforts that corporates put in for promoting green consumerism worth it? In the post recession era, are there enough green consumers to target them as a separate segment all together? Is it important to target the niche green consumer or focus on green behaviour that people feel like following inherently? Consumers belonging to either school, the green or otherwise, would follow trends and buy products that are green, if given the fact that it would solve their problems in a similar or better way as the non green product, the catch being, without any extra inconvenience in terms of cost and operational difficulty. Why would not people want to make their planet a better place to live in? The only answer I could think of was that, it was due to the personal inconvenience that would result from the use of the product or due to the lack of awareness about the product or its long term positive effects. Consider an individual, newly promoted at work, who is looking to buy a bigger car than his previous one, within a certain budget. (S)he is told by his/her environment friendly colleagues that a bigger car would cause more pollution. Further they suggest that if he wants to go forward with a bigger car he should choose an environment friendly one (like a Honda Civic hybrid), but which might cost way above his budget (about 8 lakhs above non hybrid version). In all probability he would go for a non environment friendly car. Now here lies the opportunity for the product manufacturers. The product should not be thought of as simply an offering for green consumers but for every consumer. If the environment friendly car would have been priced keeping in mind the green outcome rather than the green consumer, then it would have been priced a bit more competitively and would have been preferred by our consumer.

Lately, there has been an increase in the awareness levels of the people about the advantages of green behaviour. But there is a downside to this both during growth and recession. The high cost of some of these products restricts their usage and hence purchase during the declining stage of the economy because during that period disposable income of people fall. Certain green behaviours like buying small cars and car pooling is not preferred by people during the growth stage of the economy when people have high disposable income, due to social status and perception Looking at the winning side Pay-as-you-go (PAYG) is emerging as a winning consumption model for the environment. For example, if we look at the power sector smart grid initiatives provide consumers with innovative pricing models that incentivize them to reduce or shift energy use during peak periods. Another innovative model which is being developed in the car insurance field in U.S.A wherein a person takes insurance from State Farm and pay on the basis of how much and how responsibly they drive. So is there a solution? Maybe! Professors John Thogersen and Folke テ僕ander of the Aarhus School of Business (Denmark) examined the relationship between values and green behaviour. Thogersen and テ僕ander examined the impact of recycling on the values and behaviours of Danish consumers over the course of one year. The findings of the study said that marketers face an uphill task if they try and address environment friendly behaviour before addressing values because it is the values which drive behaviour and not the other way round. Another important finding also suggested that it is easier to influence the buying behaviour of consumers who already hold environment friendly values. So the feeling is that there is no consensus on whether green consumerism is growing or declining but one thing is for sure that it is bound to grow in the future for the sake of mother earth. This is the cue for marketers to tap this consciousness in consumers. Siddharth Girdhar MBA (IB) 2010-2012 Indian Institute of Foreign Trade

Creating strong brands has always been one of the highest priorities of most of the brand managers and advertisers since long. That‘s because a strong brand helps in creating a strong positioning for the product, increases top of the mind recall, enhances brand loyalty, offers the scope for product extensions, and leads to financial advantages through the idea of ‗brand equity‘. So in an age of thousands of brands competing for a limited amount of the consumer‘s mindshare, creating a distinctive communication strategy becomes of utmost importance. Celebrity endorsements are one of the most popular ways marketers try to pique the interest of consumers in their product offerings, since people quickly recognise them and are naturally attracted towards celebrities. It also leads to more trust in the brand as it gets endorsed by a credible source. But even after that stamp of credibility on a brand, taking decision on which brand to finally choose from all other close alternatives can actually be an anxiety-inducing activity for a customer. And this anxious decision making, leads to a critical postpurchase evaluation of the product or service on whether its performance meets the expectations, or not. In this age of aggressive advertising and brand promotions, we see many a celebrity endorsing a number of brands, and also a single brand being endorsed by multiple celebs. This can potentially create confusion in the minds of the consumer, which coupled with a performanceexpectation mismatch can lead

a psychological tension in his mind, also known as cognitive dissonance. The term ‗cognitive dissonance‘ was coined way back in 1957 by Leon Festinger, who described it as a psychologically uncomfortable state or imbalance that is produced when various cognitions about a thing are not consistent. The theory of cognitive dissonance suggests that an individual has cognitive elements (or "knowledges") about himself, his past behaviour, his beliefs and attitudes, and his environments. If one cognitive element follows from another, they are said to be consonant. If one does not follow from another, they are said to be dissonant and arouse the psychological tension called cognitive dissonance. And since it is psychologically uncomfortable, the individual changes the dissonant cognitive element to reduce the dissonance. Also, stronger the cognitive dissonance, the more strongly motivated he is to reduce dissonance by changing the cognitive element. For many years now, marketers have been making use of the public fascination with celebrities by employing them as endorsers or spokespersons for their product and service offerings. McCracken defined a celebrity endorser as "any individual who enjoys public recognition and who uses this recognition on behalf of a consumer good by appearing with it in an advertisement". Even though celebrities are given special attention because they are perceived to be

different from the rest of the population, yet they are also considered to be like everyone else, persons with whom the public can identify and with whom they can form parasocial relationships. The following benefits of using celebrities in advertising have been identified:   

 

capturing the audience's attention adding credibility to the product or brand making the advertisement or product easier to remember making the brand easier to recognise, and assisting in achieving positive attitudes towards the brand

There has also been a steady rise in expert endorsements in advertisements in recent times, which enhances the believability of an advertisement primarily due to increased source credibility. Celebrity Endorsements and Cognitive Dissonance It has been sufficiently established that the selection of the ‗right‘ celebrity, who matches with the attributes assigned to the product, is crucial for the effectiveness of the advertising campaigns. Even though the relation between the product and the endorser's profession mightn’t always be evident, but his lifestyle and mannerisms must

match the product, lest the value will be lost. The ultimate test is that the combination of celebrity and the product should create trust and confidence in the consumer and induce him or her to accept the product as genuine, useful and correctly priced. In this way, the celebrity can act as a trigger for the initial introduction to the product and then the product itself becomes the focus because of its utility value to the customer. But still, unless there‘s a long term perspective, the promotion would lack depth as it may appear to be an isolated activity, which is why there emerges the need for creating Brand Ambassadors. So even though the life of a single promotion might be small but in reality its impact would carry over to the next event or period, where it can be renewed with some differentiation but with same vitality. Brand Ambassadors, therefore, do more than just endorse products; they actually give it recognition and portray its continuity in marked contrast to a one-off campaign. This is what creates a bond between the celebrity and the consumer and develops and affinity that marketers hope will last for a long time. Additionally, research has pointed to the possible negative consequences of using celebrities who are mired in controversy, and an endorsement can succeed only when an association is fashioned between the cultural meanings of the celebrity world, on the one hand, and the endorsed products, on the other. The best endorsements, consequently, derive their efficacy from the successful transfer of meaning. To further strengthen the theory, respondents to select researches

have expressed doubts that celebrities used or even like, the products they endorse, and that they do endorsements only because they are paid for them. Also it has been established that consumers place more weight on negative information, as against positive information, when they have to form judgments about brands, people, companies, and so on. All of these contrasting ideas that the marketer tries to superimpose on consumers‘ already set ideas, spark off cognitive dissonance. Case Studies: Cognitive Dissonance at Work A brand is identified and distinguished by various factors and one of them is brand associations. Celebrity endorsements significantly add value to brand equity. This value is termed as ‗Borrowed Equity‘ to describe the value of the celebrity. Some practical cases from different sectors are elucidated here, to understand the relationship between Celebrity Endorsements and Cognitive Dissonance.

the points of differentiation, celebrities bring great sense of rationality and consistency into marketing. The market leader Hindustan Unilever Ltd. spent a whopping Rs. 2,449.02 crore on advertising in the year ended March 31, 2010. Name any prominent brand in any sector and there will be a celebrity endorsing it. But what are the chances of these celebrities generating sales or causing dissonance? 

Bitterness over sweetness, Big B at the rescue

In 2003, Cadbury faced an unforeseen challenge, when a few instances of worms in Dairy Milk bars were reported in Maharashtra. To restore consumer confidence in its chocolate brands and reduce cognitive dissonance, Cadbury signed up Amitabh Bachchan

FMCG SECTOR India has a vast FMCG sector with around 180 FMCG companies catering to a population more than 1.2 billion. Naturally, there is a plethora of brands on offer in the extremely competitive marketplace. To break this clutter of brands and win the consumers‘ mindshare and heart-share, marketers try to create high recall value with the help of celebrities, which increases the advertising budget manifold. Although these might be low involvement products and the points of parity remain more or less the same, in order to emphasise on

as brand ambassador to do some heavy duty endorsement, putting his equity at stake. Cadbury in conjunction with O&M created a campaign which banked upon both rational and emotional appeal along with a revamped polyflow packaging. One of the ads showed Bachchan visiting a Cadbury plant, inspecting the systems and processes and finally consuming a bar of chocolate to be convinced that there's nothing wrong with the brand. The other ad featured Bachchan and his

granddaughter to emphasise that the product was absolutely safe for children. The company bounced back soon after the campaign hit the screens. The recovery began in May 2004 when Cadbury's value share went up from 69.4 per cent to 71 per cent after significant advertising spend of Rs.40 crore, up by 15% for the Jan-March quarter. 

Best celebrities during the worst times

In 2003, the controversial pesticide issues shook up CocaCola and PepsiCo and resulted in much negative publicity and cognitive dissonance among consumers. Both soft drinks majors came up with highprofile damage control ad films featuring their best and most expensive celebrities. While Aamir Khan led the coke fight back, similarly PepsiCo brought in SRK and Sachin Tendulkar together. Indian consumers wanted someone credible to assure them Coca-Cola wasn't loaded with dangerous pesticides and no one seemed better than Aamir Khan. In a television testimonial, a serious

but humble Khan, arms crossed behind his back, told everyday Indians that he cared for their

safety. The dreamy actor donned a hairnet and looked studiously at a test tube held by a man in a white lab coat inside a Coke bottling plant. He stared into the camera and told Indians to come see the plant for themselves. And in the final act of the 60-second ad, Khan pulled a bottle of Coke Classic from the manufacturing line, popped the top and gulped fearlessly. The fact that it opened its plant to the public sent a message that it didn't have anything to hide. 

The flux following King Khan’s Lux advertisement

In 2005, HUL‘s Lux brand of soap

celebrated its 75 years of existence and glory. To break away from the tradition of getting beautiful actresses to endorse the brand, HUL tried something new by choosing Shahrukh Khan to endorse Lux, target market remaining the same as he appeals to women across various strata. The metrosexual appeal of SRK was pertinently used as a soft touch. On receiving mixed reviews, SRK said, ―I don't know why it should be such a big deal‖. Consumers were taken aback to see SRK bathing in a tub with petals which looked like a gimmick causing some sort of dissonance. "The execution of the ad could have been slightly

subdued‖, added Prasoon Joshi, Regional Creative Director, McCann Erickson. K. V. Sridhar, National Creative Director of Leo Burnett reacted, ―The ad is not tastefully done and it seems Shah Rukh with his clean-shaven chest is sharing a private joke with the actresses.‖ Case of a Celebrity Endorsing Many Brands Tiger Woods, one of the most esteemed sports personalities till November 2009, had a host of brands under his belt. And consumers did believe that Tiger actually preferred most of the products he endorsed which included Nike apparels, Titleist golf balls, Gatorade energy sports drink, Gillette products, American Express card, Tag Heuer watches, Accenture and GM’s luxurious Buick. All the brands he endorsed perfectly suited his stature in the society and sports fraternity. These products gained a lot owing to the borrowed equity acquired from Woods‘ glorious appeal. After signing Woods in 1996, Nike golf balls saw a growth of $50 million while the turnover of golf line amounted to $250 million. But, after all it was borrowed. Ultimately, after Tiger‘s string of disgraceful confrontations and infidelities, the brands discontinued their relationship with him. According to a US study titled ―Celebrity Advertisements: Exposing a Myth of Advertising Effectiveness‖, Woods was rated as the worst celebrity of 2010 with his endorsement of Nike. A study done by Ace Metrix revealed that TV ads featuring Woods lifted the value of the campaign by minus 30 per cent.

Cognitive dissonance in this case is due to the antipathy caused by Tiger’s acts which led to a loss of $7.5 million to the various brands together. Consumers of the products endorsed by Woods showed resentment towards Woods by abandoning those products. This is because consumers despised Woods and naturally their faith in the brand endorsed by Woods was baffled. In recent times, there has been such a deluge of celebrity endorsements that it has led to the very clutter that it aimed to break. Here‘s a small piece of statistic.

Fig 1. AdEx India analyzes the Celebrity Endorsement in TV during H1 ‗2010. MS Dhoni has endorsed a number of brands including PepsiCo, Reebok, Exide, TVS Motors, Videocon, Reliance Communications, Dabur Honey, Aircel Communications and many more. Clearly, an overload of brands and categories associated with one star. Bollywood baadshah Shah Rukh Khan endorses Omega, Tag Heuer, Pepsi, Hyundai,

Clinic All Clear and Airtel among other brands since 1992. Amitabh Bachchan endorses Pepsi, ICICI, Parker Pens, Nerolac, Dabur, Reid & Taylor, Maruti Versa, Cadbury and a few social messages too. This over-exposure can be bad for the brand. Each celebrity is called upon to push maybe a dozen brands or so which is great for the celebrity, but it is quite daft for the brand because the impact of the celebrity reduces as the number of brand endorsed increases. As many brands are endorsed by one celebrity, all the brands may not get equal borrowed equity from the celebrity. This is because people will remember only those advertisements in which that celebrity's value is derived more and the celebrity is in good fit with the brand. Rest of the brands won‘t get much attention as the recall value will be low. This leads to dissonance in consumer’s minds. People have to make a choice between two brands competing against each other or against those being equally attractive. If a celebrity endorses different categories of brands and changes brands frequently, a consumer is bound to have dissonance, as to what exactly is being endorsed by him. Also, when a particular brand has many celebrities endorsing it, dissonance takes place as to which attribute of the celebrity is exactly reflected in the brand or the product.

Developing a Model for the Marketer from Theory Through this analysis we have found out that celebrity endorsements certainly do spark cognitive dissonance, but can also be used to harmonise this dissonance, when need be. In the Pre-purchase stage, a customer is flooded by a plethora of brands. In order to select one out of them, a rational consumer would evaluate the most likely brands on the basis of several parameters. When the points of parity are more or less the same among the available choices, a celebrity endorsement influences the buying behaviour by developing an association with the customer. In the Postpurchase stage, celebrities reassure that the choice the consumer has made is correct by enhancing the perception of the brand. Consumers normally try to overcome cognitive dissonance by any of three ways- Justify, Blame or Deny. For instance, Smoking is injurious to health. But quite often than not, people behave ostentatiously to associate themselves with their symbolic groups. Also, celebrities like Shah Rukh Khan, who is considered as the King of Bollywood, further spur the drive to smoke by smoking in public. This justifies consumer‘s cognition. Consumers may also blame tobacco companies, and sometimes even outright deny that all the information regarding smoking being injurious to health, is even credible, only to reduce their cognitive dissonance. Sometimes celebrities overpower the brand while seldom their performance might

also demean the brand. Hence, marketers have to take a cautious call on celebrity endorsements. Customers are very vulnerable to even slightest of movements in the surroundings and are quick to react. Celebrities not just cause cognitive dissonance but also help to cure it. Amidst the bedlam caused by the marketers, celebrities can make or break the brand. Recognising the points elaborated above, Marketers have to be cautious that there brands don‘t suffer from a cognitive dissonance, and can adopt the following few measures to reduce this dissonance.

 

Choose celebrities very carefully, while keeping his/her image in sync with that of the product. Discontinue with celebrities that are mired in controversies continuously Psychologically increase the attractiveness of your product and decrease the attractiveness of the rejected alternative Change the existing opinion about the forced action to make it more consonant Compliment the consumer's wisdom (reflected in their purchase decision) Offer strong guarantees or warranties Increase the number and effectiveness of services

and provide detailed brochures on how to use the products correctly Conclusion It‘s now quite evident that celebrity endorsements do spark cognitive dissonance, which may lead to the customer switching brands to reduce it. Also, celebrities do help in improving the image of a brand, but that‘s not sustainable for either the brand or the celebrity if the product is not good. Marketers must be aware of the impact this dissonance can have for their brands, and must operate carefully, if they want to make their brands the market leaders.

Gaurav Gudhka

Jayant Rana

MBA (IB) 2010-2012

MBA (IB) 2010-2012

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade

Today a Brand is not just an identity of a product or a service or anything that differentiates itself from the competitor and reaps in profit. A Brand has transformed itself to become the identity of the consumer. Gone are the days when a Brand used to highlight a company‘s offering. Today a Brand focuses on consumers, their emotions, their status and their self-esteem.

In this extremely competitive world, for a Brand to survive and evolve as the consumers‘ most preferred choice, it has to fight the cut-throat competition by creating points of differentiation. A Brand must focus on something that will provide its users an identity which is easily differentiable if not superior to that of others. IKEA, one of the most innovative companies of the world, is delivering

Customer equity, along with Brand equity is fast gaining importance. Valuing customers is as important as valuing brands as both are said to be mutual beneficiaries. None can work in isolation. Although, the focus has moved from the product to the customer, customer is no more the king, with brands growing bigger and better than ever. Producers are working towards converting a want into a need. Products like a photo copy or a chocolate is known as Xerox and Cadbury in India. That‘s the power of a brand. TATA is one of the most respected and trusted Brands of our nation and when someone uses a TATA product or service, the person feels dignified; (s)he feels valued. This is the power of Brand ‗TATA‘. TATAs have worked very hard to lay a strong foundation to the customers‘ dreams. It symbolises self-esteem when the ―one-lakh Nano‖ is driven by an average middle class who could not afford a car. TATAs have also been a part of Indian culture. Whenever a marriage takes place in India, one of the most common things gifted to the groom is Titan watch. No other brand has been able to take its place. This goes on to say that a brand like TATA has found its place in the hearts of the Indians and has become a part of the culture which in turn gives a sense of complacency and identity to its users. This is Cult Branding.

excellence in terms of its functional and well designed furniture line which is absolutely affordable in order to reach as many customers as possible rendering a sense of dignity in them. It symbolises technological superiority with simplicity so that the users feel more valuable. Today‘s consumers use brands to build their own identities. Some even like to be known by the brands that they use. If your brand can give them that, it will survive, and if the identity takes into account the cultural aspects of the consumers, they will love your brand and make it immortal. Not that it‘s always a brand that has to strive. These days customers eye the most coveted brands like Apple and Volkswagen to be attached to in order to enjoy a superior status. Market Researchers not only gather demographic information but cultural influences and preferences are also taken into consideration, so that a Brand does not remain just a Brand but become a way of life. Brands need to value the culture, using the uniqueness of target groups to market themselves

accordingly. Those who have done that have been very successful like McDonalds.

lives (of its users) which in turn will help a Brand live longer. It‘s for time to decide who will rule whom. For the moment Brand and Customers stand at par.

It has proved to be a truly global brand by adopting the cultural differences of different regions to merge it into one. Branding is a dynamic process and everybody is trying to build an eternal Brand. For one to be successful it has to learn to be empathetic and make use of the cultural and emotional aspects and the values attached with the consumers. Branding, today, means branding

Niyati Trivedi MMC (AV) 2010-2012 Symbiosis Institute of Media & Communication, Pune

After World War I, Adolf (Adi) Dassler, a German, started making high quality handmade sports shoes in his mother‘s laundry in Herzogenaurach, Bavaria. In 1924, his brother Rudolf joined hands with him. Together, they established Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory). Little did they know that some day their brand of shoes will be a lovemark in the global market. The sales picked up fast and with Afro-American US sprinter Jesse Owens winning 4 golds wearing Dassler shoes in 1936 Olympics, the sales was further boosted. But as they prospered, rift grew between the two. From business to politics (both of them had joined the Nazis), they disagreed on a great deal of things which eventually led to the split of the establishment in 1948 and thus the formation of two spectacular companies called Adidas (Adi Dassler) and Ruda (Rudolf Dassler). Later Ruda was renamed as Puma. Both the brands are widely embraced today. While Adidas is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe and the second largest in the world after US‘s sensational Nike, Puma is one of the major rivals and has lately been inclined towards US markets. They are quite akin in the way they market their offerings: sports utilities and lifestyle products i.e. footwear, apparels, and accessories. They have always been ecstatic sponsors of various football and Olympic events and teams. Having done humongous promotions and sponsorships in the past, in recent times, Adidas introduced a new ball for the FIFA WC 2010 called ‗Jabulani‘ which met with criticism with respect to control of the ball and the whereas Puma has signed two year deals to make the kits of Newcastle United, Motherwell, Hibernian & Burnley from the 2010–11 season and has renewed the contract with Jamaican sprint superhero, Usain Bolt until 2013. Adidas was not only the official sponsor of the 2010 Football World Cup but it also sponsored teams such as Spain, Argentina, Germany, France, Mexico and South Africa. Puma sponsored the teams of Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Ghana, and Angola besides Italy, Switzerland, Paraguay and Poland. On one hand, Adidas conquered Reebok in 2006; on the other, Puma was taken over by Pinault-Printemps Redoute (PPR), a French luxury group which has Gucci under its belt, in 2007.These blood brands have a strong foothold in the global market but it may seem that Adidas is more proactive globally as compared to Puma which happened to be more so after Horst, Adolf‘s son, took over and supplemented the growth. He sold sports utilities by using sports events as an advertising platform thereby promoting sports invariably. For quite some time Puma tasted bitter losses and soon learnt that the product is what matters in the end. Puma is a doing a great job in lifestyle products whereas Adidas has an edge in sports shoes. Both the companies bank upon innovation and quality. Puma‘s largest market is US followed by Japan. Being the sponsor of Usain Bolt of the Olympics fame, Puma has gained huge success in China after 2008 Beijing Olympics. ‗Impossible is nothing‘ holds true and has changed the outlook of not only Adidas but also Puma. Better and innovative products have helped these blood companies to survive through the thick and thin and emerge as global leaders. Adidas wins over Puma having six times the financial resources and is more focussed on core sports like football and tennis in addition to a stronger distribution network. Although Puma has missed the bus, it has the calibre to lead the league in the years to come. Way to go bro! Sukesh Chande MBA (IB) 2010-2012 Indian Institute of Foreign Trade

Mr. SUMIT ROY, Founder Director at UNIVBRANDS

I learnt how to grow brands at Ogilvy & Mather. (1973-87) I learnt how to grow people who grow brands at Lintas. (1987-91) In 1992, I invented a way for people to learn-while-earning. That was the birth of Univads, which evolved into Univbrands. Because there are more ways to grow brands than just ads. And the best way to learn to build brands is the same way that you learn to ride a motorbike. Someone shows you the gears and rides along with you to make sure you don't fall off. And once you learn, you never forget. That's what I now do for a living. I help people master the various common sense ways there are to build brands. And the beauty is that the coaching can be done online. And on-the-job. So you get to earn while learning. You don't even have to take time off to get trained. This way training is no longer a cost. It becomes an immediate source of profit. Earning is believing. Specialties Word-of-Mouth Marketing; Self-Financing Promotions; 21st Century Brand Building; Relationship Marketing; Idea Management; Presentation & Communication Skills; Helping people grow in their careers Q1. Having worked in the advertisement industry, how do you think the media communications have evolved over the last decade? That's going to take a book to answer well. But here it is in a tweet. 21st century "advertising" is now a conversation. You can choose to listen and respond. Or be prepared to fall like Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. Q2. Marketing communication channels have had an evolution from Print to Television to Internet. Further, do you see word of mouth marketing complementing these existing channels or is it the next stage of evolution? Word of Mouth is much older than any of the media mentioned here. I don't quite agree with the "evolution" analogy at all. While each medium that you have mentioned may have become popular at different periods of time, they have not become extinct and given way to a next generation like Neanderthal to Cro-Magnon to modern day Homo Sapiens. All these media will survive and grow. In fact, each will help the other grow. Word-of-mouse is not going to kill Television or Print or Radio or Out-of-Home. They will integrate. (Most have already. Notice the number of other media that mention website addresses and Facebook pages.) It's not WOM vs Print or WOM vs Television. It's WOM x Print x Television x .....

This spreads the reach of a brand in Geometric Progression instead of just the Arithmetic Progression that we were used to in the last century. Q3. Mobiles (e.g. blackberry) and Music Players (e.g. Apple Ipod) are two such accessories which have been branded to create a high degree of involvement with the consumers. Can this concept be successfully extended further to other such products? Branding through product design and consumer involvement has been around for a long time. From Dhakai Sarees to K C Das Rosogolla the Indian Entrepreneur has been more savvy than Business School Bred marketing professionals. It's the marketing professionals who are now rediscovering common sense. Q4. Do you think that the branding exercise is losing its relevance in the FMCG and apparel sector with the increasing sales of private labels which are sold just at the point of sale with very low branding efforts? The question is based on a mistaken belief that you first produce a product and then you create a brand around that product. Another B-School generated myth. By "private labels" you probably mean "store brands". It is perfect common sense to first create a brand by winning the trust of a set of consumers. (You first create "good will", a common sense term that all shop keepers know but I guess B-Schools don't find fashionable.) Then you provide them the products that they want. And since they trust your "brand" they will also trust the products you certify with your "private label". A brand has an intangible emotional relationship that a set of consumers values. It isn't produced in a factory, Any quality product or service that is consistent with that relationship will be acceptable under that "brand". You don't necessarily need money to build a brand. You need an idea that has an emotional connect. And you need effort. Yes, money can buy you that emotional connect and effort. But just money won't get you there. You still need the emotional connect that wins over the hearts of consumers. Q5. How is the success of a Brand Building Campaign measured quantitatively and qualitatively over the time? By the amount that you can sell the brand at. For its "good will". Another way to measure the effectiveness of a brand building campaign is to measure the change in the number of customers who are willing to strongly recommend the brand to their friends and relatives. Q6. A House of brands (e.g. TATA) vs. A Branded house (e.g. Hewlett Packard), Which of these is better in terms of risks involved and advantages accrued from branding and communication? Both can be equally good. What matters is the nature of the emotional relationship that the consumer is looking for with the brand. As an integral part of the relationship, you decide whether you want to marry a particular person or marry into their family. Most people in India prefer to have a relationship with both. If you are looking for a short term fling, (use each other, for mutual benefit, without a long term relationship), you probably wouldn't care much about the "house". Notice how Fastrack, actually from the house of Tata, chooses not to highlight that it is from that "house". So it all depends on the emotional truth that the brand chooses to be based on. Q7. There is always some inertia among consumers to change their existing personal care products (facewash/creams/toothpaste). As a branding consultant, suggest some ideas to overcome this? Discover an emotional truth that overcomes that inertia. Then build your brand around that truth.

Interviewed by: Rajesh Noudury & Siddharth Girdhar

Hierarchy-of-effects theory | The series of steps a consumer takes in order to receive and use information in order to reach decisions about actions they will take. Horizontal marketing

| Joint marketing efforts that allow two companies to produce different products

yet market them together. Sometimes horizontal marketing is referred to as symbiotic marketing. Sonic Branding | It is the use of sound to reinforce brand identity. Sound branding is increasingly becoming a vehicle for conveying a memorable message to targeted consumers, taking advantage of the powerful memory sense of sound. Brand Chain | The brand chain begins where the classic supply chain ends. While the supply chain is made up of value-adding inputs leading to the product, the brand chain begins with product development and focused on the customer. Through brand platforms and programs it delivers multiple forms of downstream value. The brand chain consists of creative brand interactions between customer and company, customer and product. Affiliate marketing | It refers to using a network of partners to market a company—usually internetbased in which a company rewards or compensates an affiliate for each customer directed to it. Affiliates can include blogs, shopping sites, and comparison sites. Co-branding

| An agreement between two brands to work together in marketing a new product, such

as Dreyer's Ice Cream flavoured with Baby Ruth candy pieces (promoting both brands on the label). Differentiated marketing | Sales growth strategy in which several market niches or population segments are targeted with different products for each niche or segment. Prestige pricing | Setting a high price based on the quality and the demand for which consumers are willing to spend. For example: Starbucks gives a feeling of a high end product by its packaging, delivery and product promise, based on years or consistent promotion in its iconic coffee houses as "creating a product of excellence Price bundling | Selling 2 or more goods or services as a single package, as in Taco Bell offers 2 hard tacos, a burrito, and a drink in a package for 1 price (usually a saving if you add up the prices of each individual item). Selective distribution | Contracting with several, but not all available channel members to move the product through the commercialization schedule. Attention is given to those channel members willing to give special attention to the product or service, such as employing a sales force to help sell/move the product to the next channel.

Siddharth Girdhar MBA (IB) 2010-2012 Indian Institute of Foreign Trade

Company: APPLE Inc Sector: Computer Hardware, Computer Software, Consumer Electronics, Digital Distribution

New Products: APPLE iPhone5 and Apple TV


Technology major Apple is all set to launch an entire re-programmed dual GSM-CDMA iPhone and iPad comprising an increasedresolution screen and an SD card slot, and a fresh and new Apple TV along with an A5 processor competent of giving out 1080p video. Apple's forth coming product line for

the year 2011, comprising the iPhone 5, iPad 2 and the 2nd generation of the re-developed Apple TV are already gathering a lot of responses. iPad shall continue at 10 inches but the surprise factor is both the front and the back cameras and if that is not a huge surprise then there's also a SD slot. Price might rise a little but will remain under$850 in US.

Company: Yamaha Corporation Sector: Conglomerate dealing in musical instruments, automobiles, audio/ video, vehicle engines

New Products: New upgraded YZF-R15 and scooter BW125 Yamaha has a few interesting launches planned for mid 2011. The Japanese major has been launching new products and upgrades consistently for the past three years since it regained ground following the launch of the YZFR15 and the FZ series and the recently launched SZ series. For 2011, Yamaha launched the new upgraded YZF-R15 in the month of January and the new bike has significant exterior changes as well as minor tweaks to the engine and a fatter rear tyre along with a split-seat setup. Also on cards are the Yamaha scooter models, the Fino and the BW125. The ex-showroom price of the new YZF-R15 ranges from Rs.1-1.5 lakhs. ‗Why should boys have all the fun?‘ Because Yamaha is giving them enough reasons to.

Organisation: Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Sector: Telecom

New Service: Mobile Number portability Mobile number portability, or MNP, lets cell phone users change their service provider while retaining their number. The service was introduced in the northern Indian state of Haryana on Nov 25 and was extended across the country from Jan 20. India is the largest and second-fastest-growing telecom market in the world, with about 730 million wireless users. The launch of MNP in the country is likely to prompt operators to further reduce call tariffs--already among the lowest in the world--to gain users from rivals or retain existing ones.

Karishma Talwar MBA 2010-2012 FORE School of Management

“Marketing takes a day to learn. Unfortunately it takes a lifetime to master.� - Philip Kotler

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Markmantra feb 2011  

markmantra iift mba

Markmantra feb 2011  

markmantra iift mba