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October 24, 2010

Brand Update : Peter England is the Beginning of Good Things

It has been almost four years since I updated about this brand. Peter England has always been my favorite brand and it remains so even after all these years. But somehow I missed to update about this wonderful brand for such a long time.

In these four years, Peter England has become a Rs 500 crore brand growing more than 30% annually. In the last IPL season, Peter England hit the branding circuit with a bang by sponsoring Chennai Super Kings. The brand also dabbed into suits as well as casual wear in this time. At one point in time, the brand had a campaign featuring Kareeena Kapoor.

2010 is witnessing another beginning for the brand. The brand has roped in the South Indian Actor Siddharth as brand ambassador and is currently running a campaign featuring the celebrity. Along with the brand ambassador, Peter England is also repositioning itself on a new platform. The brand has changed its tagline to " Beginning of Good Things ".
Watch the new campaign here : Peter England

In their press releases, the brand talks about the new positioning. Peter England wants to epitomize confidence that arises out of self belief. The brand wants to remind the users about their inner strength that will arise of self-confidence and Peter England will be the source of that self confidence.

Although the brand's new proposition sounds good and is a sort of laddering up, I surely miss the first campaign of Peter England - The Honest Shirt . That was a campaign that expressed the brand completely. The promise of a Honest Shirt was embraced by consumers because the message was so simple , direct and relevant.

But how ever, the brand got bored with the positioning and moved over to an aspirational " Honestly Impressive " theme. Although the concept was good, it was no where near the original one interms of relevance and simplicity.

To be frank, I did not like the new tagline -Beginning of Good Things ( personal opinion !) . The positioning almost is similar to Cadbury Dairy Milk's Shubh Aarambh theme ( for an auspicious beginning). And theme of self confidence arising out of dress is neither new nor clutter breaking. Its just another campaign and the brand will see its sales going northward because of the smart selection of the celebrity.

Siddharth will make the brand more appealing to youngsters. The flooding of the market by various regional brands/private labels and the trend among youngsters to go for street fashion rather than branded ones is making the lives of brands like Peter England difficult . The popularity of Siddharth among youngsters will bring back lot of them to the brand.
Peter England as a brand will make sense because of the inherent value proposition. As long as the value proposition remains the same, there is no stopping for this brand.

Marketing Strategy : Celebrating the WoW Moments

Seldom does brands hit upon wonderful ideas that capture the attention of the consumers. During the last IPL season, Vodafone hit upon such a wonderful advertising idea – The ZooZoo. Those white cute characters quickly captured the imagination of India. ZooZoos were all around the media with rave reviews, blogs and viral videos. The entire marketing community was watching how the brand will handle the unprecedented success of the ZooZoos.

Vodafone themselves was surprised at the success of ZooZoo and it took a while for the company to wake up to the idea of capitalizing the success of ZooZoo by launching merchandises, games, contests and social media engagement. To take the popularity to ZooZoo to the next level, the brand also launched a campaign asking the public to contribute to the advertising campaigns by suggesting ideas.

It is important for the brands to capitalize every such wow factors to the maximum. The big ideas can come in the form of a tagline, a celebrity, a brand mascot, a product feature or an advertising idea. Once that big idea becomes highly accepted by the consumers, it is important for the brand to take it to the next level of engagement.

Take the example of the MRF‘s association with Sachin Tendulkar and cricket. The association started off as a brand endorsement. MRF’s logo on Sachin’s bat got the brand so much visibility that cricket fans began to ask for MRF bats at sports shops. MRF later launched its cricket kits to cash on the popularity. To celebrate the brand’s association with cricket, MRF also ventured into launching MRF pace foundation which has become a vital talent school for pace bowlers. All these engagements involved investments that could not be recovered on a short-term. MRF also involved seriously into racing sports which had a direct connection with the brand’s offering. MRF began to celebrate its involvement in rallies thereby reinforcing the brand’s credibility as a modern, tough tire brand. In all these activities, the brand involved 100% and the investments was not blinded by a quest for short-term sales spurts.

It was a wow- moment for Nike when it chose the tagline “Just Do It”. Customers loved the tagline and Nike did not waste a moment in celebrating the tagline. The tagline became an integral factor in the success of Nike brand. In the Indian context, Idea Cellular Ltd hit upon a hit tagline “ An Idea can Change Your Life ”. The brand also signed up Abhishek Bachchan as the brand ambassador. The brand celebrated these two big ideas together with huge success.
Marketers should look for signs of success of their big and small ideas. There is a huge potential for celebration when consumers start talking about those WoW moments. When consumer starts talking about the brand, marketers should take the cue and take the engagement to the next level.

Have a plan to celebrate.

In this highly competitive world, time is a precious resource. The brand should celebrate its ideas before the euphoria dies down. More time the marketer spent contemplating on the planning phase, the less effective the engagement. There has to be a plan to systematically enhance the engagement with the consumers in the event of such a wow-moment.
Celebrating the brand’s wow moments can have lot of positive rub-offs. It can create an engagement with the consumers. Take the case of ZooZoo. These characters created lot of engagement with the brand and the public (consumers and non-consumers of Vodafone). The ZooZoo fan page in Facebook has more than 3.30 lakh fans. Through these, the brand is able to connect with a larger base of existing and potential consumers who hold a positive frame of mind towards the brand or its campaigns.

Use all the marketing opportunities.

We are living in a highly networked world that offers many opportunities to engage with the consumers. Indian marketers are slow in adapting to newer ways of connecting to the consumers. Once Vodafone figured out the celebrating ZooZoo, it went on an overdrive using all the media opportunities. Vodafone is now using social media like Facebook, Orkut etc to create more engagement with the consumers. It also sells ZooZoo merchandise through select outlets. There are also contests and games which consumers can play in the social media that created lot of consumer engagement.

Celebration is an investment.

In an era of spreadsheets,ROIs and quarterly reports it is difficult for marketers to quickly quantify the returns for such a celebration. Hence it would be prudent for marketers should consider such marketing activities as a long-term investment. Although there may not be an immediate spike in the sales, one should be able to see the long-term equity that such a celebration can deliver to the brand.

Link the celebration to the brand.

While there are a lot of advantages in celebrating the wow- moments, marketers should have clarity in linking the celebration to the brand’s big picture. Brand needs to benefit from the celebration either in terms of better visibility, market share, loyalty or engagement with the consumers. Periodic reviews and assessment will help marketers to justify further investments in celebrating brand’s small and big successes.

Originally Published here in

Brand Update : Idea Wants To Break Language Barrier

Idea Cellular has hit upon another smart idea this season with the latest " language barrier " ad. Sirji now wants to break the language barrier using mobile phones.

Taking the concept of " An idea can change your life " , Idea cellular has been relentlessly pursuing new ideas in their campaigns. Whether those ideas have any relevance to the brand or not, campaigns were run with passion. This persistence has paid off for the brand interms of brand recognition and also interms of market share.

This time the brand talks about how the mobile telephony can the solve the issue of language barrier in a diverse country like India. A country with 28 recognized languages and 22000 dialects, language has been a big problem for those people who needs constant relocation.

As a follow-up to the campaign , Idea launched a language helpline across the circles it operates for the general public. Through the helpline, the caller can get the help of a translator . The user should give the message to be translated in English and the helpline agent will translate the message in the language required by the caller. The helpline is open to non- Idea subscribers also.

One of the key lessons from the brand is the power of passion. The brand owners are passionate about the brand's positioning and it invests heavily in the campaigns bombarding the consumers with passionate messages. This passion has made " What an Idea Sirji " line a part of the common lingo of youngsters.

The ad campaign has been well received by the viewers and it needs to be seen whether the actual service will be used by the consumers. Whether it is used or not, Idea should be congratulated on the consistency and the passion in which it approach the core brand positioning.