Thursday, October 4, 2012

Gap in the Market or a Market in the Gap!!

Made sense of this statement?? This “enigma wrapped in a mystery within a riddle”, was thrown at us,
students at DoMS, by a man whose name would turn heads in the world of marketing. He is an alumnus
of IITM and IIMC, who after having worked with companies like Rediffusion DY&R, Boots Company and
UDI Yellow Pages, joined DraftFCB Ulka in 1989 and became one of the elite few responsible for its
transformation to India’s 3rd largest marketing communications group. If you still haven’t figured out
whom, let me do the honours.We, at DoMS, had the privilege of being addressed by Mr. Ambi M. G.
Parameswaran, Executive Director and CEO of DraftFCB Ulka group, who was kind enough to offer a special
insight into the realm of “Strategic Brand Management”.

If you still wondering what the title means, go on, let those rusty brain cells work a bit… I’ll be touching
upon that soon…. so till then keep thinking!!!

Mr. Ambi has a magnetic personality because of which, from the moment he took over the stage, the entire
audience was hanging on to every word he spoke. He showed an amazing ability to express his views in
a style that appealed to everyone alike, be they MBA grads or research scholars or the Profs. He gave a
stimulating talk on basics of strategic Brand management, from the etymology of the word “Brand” to the
various stages of Brand building, from the life cycle of a brand to excerpts from his marketing experiences,
and so on. He made sure the lecture was a dialogue and not a monologue. He took in our view points and
generously answered all our queries.

He started off with the enigma – A gap in the market or a market in the gap?? Here goes the answer -
the first thing while selling a brand, is not only to see if it caters to the gap in the market, but also ensure
that there is a market for that brand in that gap. So simple, isn’t it!!! But it is the biggest of challenges in
selling!!! He unravelled the intricacies of the brand building process with apt examples. He took us though
the various stages of brand building - Brand appraisal, definition, articulation, measurement and expansion
and made it all seem so interesting, that there were quite few in the audience resolute to become brand
managers, after the lecture.

He also shared some of the success stories of DraftFCB Ulka, such as Tata Indica, Whirlpool, Santoor,
Hero Honda Pleasure, Tata Docomo,, etc. In each of these stories, what we could get was the
uniqueness in the line of thought and the creative ideas implemented to market each product. They were
able to create success out of risky, but smart decisions, by modifying strategies and going that extra mile
to be different. Overall, Mr. Ambi explained that creating brands and maintaining them is a long lasting
relationship and said “There are never tired brands, only tired brand managers” to reinforce that thought.

After having attended such an informative session, I can only say that the topic “Strategic Brand
management” no longer remains just another chapter in our Marketing 101 textbooks, but it has got
imprinted into our minds along with a desire to know and understand more on the same.

Roshni Anna John
Class of 2014

Photo Courtesy:
Vinod Ellamaraju
Class of 2014

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