Cosmetic re branding will not be of much help

In some cases, re branding has worked wonders. Two years ago, Shoppers Stop underwent a re branding exercise to reposition the retail chain from premium to bridge to luxury (BTL) and increase penetration among the youth. The BTL share of our business has moved from 2% of sales pre re-branding to almost 2% post re branding . And customers in the age group of below 30 years, who constituted 39% of our base pre branding now account or 44%.

But re-branding can also became a shallow exercise when the change is merely cosmetic. The recent makeover of a host of public sector banks is a case in point. The logos became smarter the colors were brighter and the TV commercials tugged at your heartstrings but back at the bank, little had changed for the customer.

The most unsuccessful re-branding was that that of the Indian Airlines to Indian. The aeroplanes had differently painted tails, but whether it was the check in (comfort) the in flight services or the overall experience of the airline, nothing had changed.

However that wasn’t the case with other companies which have taken a more holistic approach to re-branding. At Taj Vedanta right from the look and feel of the hotel the guest touch points, from the welcome drink to the menu, from the service to the ambience many small yet important things have been changed.

Director of marketing at Mantri Developers launched a new in house corporate newsletter called Signature. We will also be launching revised loyalty programs for our customers shortly. We have also invested in development and training programs for our staff to help them develop their personality and work attitudes in keeping with the corporate evolution.

Companies often miss the biggest link in the whole re-branding exercise – the employees. Companies forget that their employees — be it the salesperson at their store or the clerk in their bank – are the touch points for the consumer. If that link does not reflect the change then all the investment on re-branding goes down the drain.

But Keshavan of Ray + Keshavan feel that the mindset of Indian companies stills needs to evolve. Companies today are wiling to spend on TVCs but are yet to appreciate that a complete change in branding and strategy involves serious investment and when done well, it will se marked improvements in business over the long term. Besides some companies and expect to see miracles in their balance sheets overnight.

Hand in hand with global products and services are global brands. A global brand is defined as the worldwide use of a name, term, sign, symbol (visual and /or auditory), design or combination thereof intended to identify goods or services of one seller and to differentiate them from those of competitors. Much like the experience with global products, the question of whether or not to establish global brands has no single answer. However, the importance of a brand name, even in the non profit sector, is unquestionable. Indeed exhibit lists the estimated worth (equity) of the 20 top global brands. And, as indicated in protecting brand names is also a big business.

A successful brand is the most valuable resource a company has. The brand name encompasses the years of advertising; good will, quality evaluation, product experience and other beneficial attributes the market associates with the product. Brand image is at the very core of business identity and strategy. Customers everywhere respond to images myths, and metaphors that help them define their personal and national identities within context of world culture and product benefits. Global brands play an important role in that process. The value of Kodak, Sony, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Toyota and Marlboro is indisputable. One estimate of the value of Coca-cola the world’s most valuable brand, places it at over $ 67 billion and growing. In fact one authority speculates that brands are so valuable that companies will soon include a statement of value addendum to their balance sheets to include intangible such as the value of their brands.