Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Idea vs Ideal

Media fragmentation, emergence of new media, clichéd communication message, consumers paying less attention, sea of sameness at retail and finally, the need to stand out; Indian marketers have too many things to fight when it comes to building their brands.

Increasingly, consumer engagement is becoming more relevant and effective in a changing environment. Engagement here doesn’t necessarily mean an activation program or a retail promotion or social networking or fan community etc. It is much beyond that. People willingly come forward to participate when there is something meaningful to do. It is an ‘act of doing’ something good, a larger goal that really connects people with a brand. And if you really look closely, we in India hardly do anything meaningful to keep people truly engaged with a brand.

Am sure you know all those brilliant examples better than I do, but unfortunately there aren’t many examples coming out from India. Where is the Indian equivalent of Real Beauty, Run London, Legoland and Innocent Village Fete

This is where, I think, agencies have a bigger role to play. It is about Brand Ideal versus an Idea. I mentioned here previously about 'the ideal not the idea' stuff. Ideal is ‘an ultimate object of endeavor, a goal’ while an Idea is 'a concept developed by the mind, a thought or an opinion.'

Honestly, Brand Ideal is something which is truly missing in most brands in India. It is according to me translating a true life insight into a bigger brand goal that eventually brings people together. To give you an over used example - Dove’s championed a cause – Real Beauty. People took notice of these simple life insight and instantly connected and actively participated. In case of Pond’s, “Miracle Happens” is just a communication idea. Pond’s used high media exposure/ carpet bombing to ensure that people get the message and start buying their products. So after sometime they realized the need to move on, hence communicate, "Miracle Happened." Absolutely no connection with people and no reasons as to why they should be a part of Pond’s Age revolution. And you cannot qualify the 7 Days Challenge as a bigger brand ideal. Now they might be extending the idea by setting up Miracle Boutiques which is nothing new. Lakme has it, L’Oreal has it… right? So where is the “ultimate object of endeavor”?

Similarly, when Big Adda says ‘Friends Stay’ is it really doing something to build stronger friendship bonds? Here’s another good example of finding a Brand Ideal that helps in delivering better connection and results.

Brand engagement has the same meaning as an engagement ring - A vow to stay together ever after. Isn’t it something worth spending more time thinking about?


Cynical Rob said...

You sweetie ...

Great post and the answer to your question [about where is the big idea from India] is in your head - so go make it happen!

pooR_Planner said...

Hello Rob. In the process of making it happen. The Greenpeace work is truly inspirational. Thanks for dropping by.