Ashutosh Rampal, Senior General Manager, Shree Cement
Retail consumer buys because of the trust factor and institutions buys on price from the choice of trusted brands. The trust is inherent in the both the transaction - first one being emotive and the second one being rational. The creative teams develop the brief accordingly, says Ashutosh Rampal, Senior General Manager, Shree Cement. Excerpts from interview...
How do you rate your brand positioning in creating value?
Shree Cement has the distinct positioning of rust resistant cement. Steel in all modern construction is open to threat of rust which renders buildings unsafe after corrosion of its reinforcement. Shree bans the entry of rust and thereby not only imparts strength of cement but also fortifies the steel for longer life. The retail consumer and the institutional buyers have realized this and have accepted the superiority of the brand.
How do you differentiate the campaigning for rural and urban markets?
Rural market is the ideal ground for brand building and creation of premium. The rural campaigns are emotive and appeal to the basic goodness and trust creation. Urban buying formats are different so the focus is on which brand has a deeper outreach in terms of services and comfort of timely delivery. Trust plays at the back of the mind and convenience is more important. Urban consumer normally buys complete service basket along with the brand. Hence concrete testing has made prominent impact in brand creation across urban markets.
Have you adopted any un-conventional method to promote your brand?
The rules of brand creation are common and widely known, the success lies in meticulous execution at the grassroots level through a team that is convinced and proudly connected with the brand.
You keep raising the standards of service and carefully develop the consumer confidence.
Which feature/characteristic of the product are you trying to highlight and why?
Bringing out the distinct experience in the real is lasting brand value, not the USP/ feature. This distinct experience of the brand later also rubs on the company to leverage the corporate image. The brands that focus on USPs alone are into a short lasting impact and the brands that extend awe-experience become undisputable leader. Experience creation is a holistic process where production, sales accounts, marketing, branding, technical services all have to come together coherently.
How do you rate the celebrity endorsements?
It´s a very powerful and expensive methods of putting brands in high recall category. They are very effective in spite of the money spent. The choice of celebrity and relevance of his/her personality to the brand is important. Worldwide celebrity/ characters of epic movies endorse and create brand power. It works well in cement industry too.
To what extent does CSR impact branding?
CSR creates silent power for the brand, go to TATAs and you can feel it there. In times to come CSR will be an integral part of the corporate image creation which will later rub off on the brand.