Swati Rathi

Go­drej Ap­pli­ances

The Brand Reporter - - CONTENTS -

Man­ag­ing con­flicts is in­trin­sic to a se­nior man­age­ment role and find­ing a win-win so­lu­tion is the best an­swer.

PER­SONAL

Who is your big­gest pro­fes­sional men­tor?

I try to learn from ev­ery­one I work with – my se­niors, my team and my peers.

If not a brand mar­keter, what would you be?

A lyri­cist/a so­cial vol­un­teer.

Name a brand (other than your own) you ad­mire. And tell us why.

Ama­zon – for the way it has dis­rupted re­tail, its strong cus­tomer fo­cus and not the least for help­ing so many peo­ple read more books! Amul and Ti­tan – for their hold over In­dia over the decades and not the least for the Amul girl and the Ti­tan jin­gle! Tan­ishq – for what it is try­ing to do in the age-old In­dian jew­ellery sec­tor. Star­bucks – for the con­sis­tent way it stands for cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence. And if I am per­mit­ted, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan for the way he has be­come a brand in his own space!

CAT­E­GORY What are the big chal­lenges you see com­ing your way in the next 12 months?

Get­ting tan­gi­ble re­turns for ev­ery mar­ket­ing in­vest­ment, in­clud­ing dig­i­tal in a largely off­line busi­ness model. Ex­tract­ing more from peo­ple and en­sur­ing align­ment at the grass­root level as man­power scales up man­i­fold.

What’s the big­gest change in the way con­sumers ap­proach your seg­ment to­day, ver­sus a year back?

ver the years, aes­thet­ics has def­i­nitely taken the front seat across ap­pli­ances. Fur­ther, grow­ing en­vi­ron­ment con­scious­ness, global warm­ing and re­sul­tant tem­per­a­ture rises, and en­ergy reg­u­la­tions are in­flu­enc­ing ap­pli­ances, par­tic­u­larly in the cool­ing cat­e­gories like ACs, in a big way. Other fac­tors that play a part in­clude: con­sumers get­ting in­creas­ingly de­mand­ing, chang­ing lifestyles and the ease of us­ing so­cial me­dia to talk about a brand.

Which prod­uct seg­ment out there im­pacts trends in your cat­e­gory most? Why?

Cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ences with mo­bile phones and au­to­mo­biles im­pact the ex­pec­ta­tion in ap­pli­ance in­ter­faces. The de­vel­op­ments in IOT (in­ter­net of things) are mak­ing their way into ap­pli­ances as well. In­creas­ing con­sump­tion of frozen foods has a bear­ing on re­frig­er­a­tors. New seg­ments like air pu­ri­fiers, fry­ers, in­duc­tion cook­tops, mod­u­lar kitchens in­flu­ence con­sumer ex­pec­ta­tions.

In what way/s does your mar­ket­ing strat­egy change from Tier I to Tier II and III mar­kets?

The lines are blur­ring. With af­flu­ence and me­dia in­clud­ing dig­i­tal pen­e­tra­tion) get­ting more wide­spread, mar­ket­ing strate­gies are also rapidly evolv­ing to ad­dress this.

MAR­KET­ING What’s the tough­est part of a be­ing a brand mar­keter?

Stay­ing abreast of tech changes and the im­pli­ca­tions.

Name the big­gest pro­fes­sional hur­dle you faced re­cently. How did you tide over it?

Man­ag­ing peo­ple and con­flicts re­mains in­trin­sic to any se­nior man­age­ment role and an hon­est at­tempt to find a win-win so­lu­tion is the best an­swer.

As a mar­keter in the dig­i­tal age, what is your big­gest night­mare?

Any un­war­ranted neg­a­tive word of mouth go­ing vi­ral!

AD­VER­TIS­ING What is your lead medium of com­mu­ni­ca­tion to­day? Which medium do you use least?

Dig­i­tal me­dia is al­most a con­stant now – go­ing be­yond just cam­paigns. Ra­dio usage is rel­a­tively lower.

Are the best cre­ative minds still in ad­ver­tis­ing?

Cre­ativ­ity can be found ev­ery­where! No sin­gle do­main like ad­ver­tis­ing can stake claim to cre­ativ­ity.

In what way has your re­la­tion­ship with your agency part­ners changed of late? What’s the one must-have qual­ity for an agency to­day?

Agen­cies must be able to think be­yond their do­main and ap­ply them­selves across ver­ti­cals. An idea has to work much harder to­day, across mul­ti­ple plat­forms. The other must-have qual­ity re­mains un­changed – a good agency must have a thor­ough un­der­stand­ing of the client’s busi­ness and the ground level chal­lenges.

Are you open to pay­ing agen­cies a pitch fee?

It de­pends on things like the scale of the pitch, the busi­ness scope ahead...

Do you wish you could work with just one full-ser­vice cre­ative agency in­stead of mul­ti­ple cre­ative minds?

A fresh set of eyes and minds some­times proves use­ful!

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