Brands have played various roles in our lives, as an advisor, enabler, facilitator, fulfiller etc. They have shown us the path to a better life and much of it is attributed to the post liberalization era, where we saw the beginning of a consumer revolution in India.
In the last 20 years as a society and nation, we have moved from need based living to a life that is driven by aspiration and desire to lead a better life. In the last 20 years, brands have come full circle from enablers to fulfillers. With no genuine need gaps in the current consumer experience, brands are forced to innovate and create a need gap or fulfil a desire gap to remain nested in a consumer’s consideration.
Not too long ago, the situation in the early 90’s was nowhere near to what we are witnessing today, there were genuine need gaps in basic necessities, infrastructure, communication and entertainment. Manufacturers plugged the need gaps through products and services, and brands guided us through the process of consumption, so we had a Lalitaji telling us that “Surf ki kharidari mein hi samajhdari hai”, the devil drove the pride of ownership through an envious neighbour, “Tandurushti ki rakhsa” was best done by Lifebuoy, and so on and so forth. But a lot has changed between then and now.
Back then, there were limited choices available and brands that advertised on the Single Channel Platform, “Doordarshan” almost attained an iconic status.
But today the scenario is completely different, nothing like what it was earlier. There are visibly no unmet needs in the life of a consumer that can be plugged by brands and derive success from.
Today, the consumer is more than spoilt for choice, as there are more than enough brands, products and commodities in every category to choose from. Additionally, there are more than enough mediums and touch points to gather information from, and more importantly the consumer is in the driver’s seat passing verdict and judgement on brands. The choices are many and attention span is limited, brands have to compete on many fronts to make a point with the consumer.
Consumers today are empowered and informed; they are looking at brands which can support the fulfilment of their desires and aspirations. Moreover, they respond well to brands that are participating and finding a fit into their idea of life. Whether it was Asian Paints, which capitalized on the insight that a home is a mirror of one’s life, Airtel’s “Har ek friend zaroori hota hai”, or the recent advertising of Paper Boat that has caught the fancy of the people’s eye, all of them have driven an aspect of consumer life and aspirations in their advertising and won the hearts of people.
A brand story that entertains, awakens or initiates the need for action and more importantly, how a brand makes its consumers feel, has been the key aspect of a brands success in India. So for instance, SYSKA LED lights, a rank new brand in the lighting category dominated by the likes of Phillips, Havel’s, Bajaj and many more was able to stand out and be recognized as a top brand in the LED category. SYSKA was able to do so purely because it used simple narratives for making larger points, a straight talking brand with a differentiated communication approach.
A lot is dependent on what consumer insights drive a brand, how differentiated is the brand strategy and communication, and how effectively it is delivered to the consumers through a 360 degree approach. Deep understanding of a consumer’s motives, desires and aspirations are driving brands to create advertising which is insightful and relevant.
IBD is one such agency which believes in creating a differentiated brand strategy and advertising, which can help deliver successful brands.