Monday, September 26, 2011

Sameness in IMC

Life and Brands are not mutually exclusive.
In fact, Life has a  storehouse of experiences and stories that brands can wean and glean from.

Am doing some research on Integrated Marketing Communication ( IMC) . The bog question that often arises in IMC is one message and how we can leverage that across channels for synergies. yes there can be some "tweakings" but the master communication idea ( read Television commercial in India) remains the big oak tree with all the other channels like digital, OOH branching out roots from this tree.

Looked at myself as a brand.
I am same yet not same all the time.
When I am at work, my get up, the way I walk and talk is different from my  weekends out with friends which is different from the annual visits home to my grandmother's, which si different when I am in my daughter's school and so on.
When I say different, it's not just the clothes- though nowadays we do have the ubiquitous kurtis that is the great leveller.
It's the way I interface and interact that is different for  different relationships.
I do that because I know that the best conversations happen when I have the other side in mind as well.
When I see, listen, observe rather than have a monologue.

Does this make me a different person for different interactions?
No. It actually enhances the "sameness".
The threads that make me who I am.

 That's the power of IMC.
Where we can make the sameness come alive in DIFFERENT ways.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Max Those Smiles

At the risk of sounding like a yoga guru or a lady in sabbatical mode, I firmly believe that a smile as the ultimate goal on a vision board is probably the best way to create leaps.

When we max that smile, we max out on  product offerings, brand positioning,  integrated communication and happiness for both the consumers and the brand custodians. Most importantly, for the sloggers on the shop floor.

Of course we can’t clown our way into work everyday.
Nor does this mean raining discounts and bonuses for consumers to win those smiles.
It does not in anyway imply a relaxed - I- don’t- care attitude towards work and life.

It starts off with ourselves. ( And I always try and draw parallels between work and life)
As workers, we postpone our smiles.
Till that smoke break.
Or the sandwich table.
Or worse still, for weekends.

As marketers, we strip the consumer down to bare basics.
Scrutinise empty shampoo sachets and sauce bottles in the bin.
Read and write about the changing woman and the metro man.
Talk about change.
More disposable income.
Children as influencers.
Youth as gamechangers.

What about a study on what makes them smile?
What is it about brands and life that creates a real life smiley?
What is the Smile Index of a nation? ( Yes there is a Happiness Index but maybe not used often enough)
What is the smile quotient of a brand?

We cluster Happiness Brands as a segment.
Stereotype them with images of families laughing together in parks and cars and holding hands.
Happiness is not a segment.
It is the end of the journey.

Maybe Maxing the Smile should be the yardstick of success for both team members as well as consumers.
It will definitely lead to maxing quite a few critical business parameters.