Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Jul 13, 2004
`Succesful brand-building comes with market bonding'
Kolkata , July 12
BRAND-building is all about getting out of the world of price competition (since price is always there), and creating a kind of uniqueness, an intangible that cannot be copied.
Such uniqueness went much beyond product/service innovation, and involved trust, which was the real asset, according to Prof Jean Noel Kapferer, professor of marketing at H.E.C. Graduate School of Management, Paris, and author of Strategic Brand Management and Reinventing the Brand. He was speaking at the inaugural session of a two-day national `Brand Conclave,' organised by CII (Eastern Region).
Pointing out that brands are tools to grow a business, he said that it emerges from a market bonding, a relationship, which emanates from market share.
Describing a powerful brand as a source of competitive advantage, Prof Kapferer said a newly emerging concept in global brand management was brand financial equity, which was the key benchmark behind the compilation of the 100 most valuable brands of the world.
Pointing out that building a brand was a major challenge for corporates everywhere, even in low-price competition scenarios, he said that the proposition, quite simply, was that "branding is all about differentiation," where the truth has to come from many areas.Progress in brand-building comes from effective exchange of information and through adoption of a multi-disciplinary approach, he added.
Commenting on countries emerging as brands in a globally competitive environment, he said India, as a brand, will have to learn to manage its image in the changed global economic scenario.
Suggesting that India and China, in a sense, were similar in their cultural heritage and long history, besides being the two most populous countries of the world, Prof Kapferer said that the two were still different when seen from a brand perspective.
"India has to go beyond its comparative advantages like low costs or as a factory of the world to develop a brand image for itself."
Mr B. Muthuraman, Chairman, CII (Eastern Region), and Managing Director of Tata Steel, said brands were important, but more important was what is behind the brand - the element of trust that aids in creating wealth for shareholders continuously.
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