Chloro­phyll 3.0

As Chloro­phyll en­ters its 20th year, MD and co-founder, Khalap, speaks to afaqs! Re­porter about the way ahead for the agency.

The Brand Reporter - - FRONT PAGE - By Su­raj Ram­nath su­raj.ram­nath@afaqs.com

Chloro­phyll Brand Con­sul­tancy, co-founded by Ki­ran Khalap in 1999 is en­ter­ing its 20th year. Khalap has been in the ad­ver­tis­ing and brand­ing space since 1983 and prior to start­ing Chloro­phyll, he was chief cre­ative of­fi­cer at Bates Clar­ion Ad­ver­tis­ing.

Khalap, who is also the manag­ing di­rec­tor, tells afaqs! Re­porter about the new as­pect/divi­sion of the agency - Chloro­phyll 3.0 - and the dif­fer­ence be­tween the two. Defin­ing Chloro­phyll, Khalap says, “Chloro­phyll, in one sen­tence, is a bal­anced com­bi­na­tion of sci­ence and the art of brand­ing.” As for Chloro­phyll 3.0, he adds, “Chloro­phyll 3.0 will be a bal­anced com­bi­na­tion of sci­ence and the art of brand­ing in its to­tal­ity. Be­cause the part that wasn’t there in Chloro­phyll was ex­e­cu­tion, which is what 3.0 will now do.”

Talk­ing about the rea­son be­hind Chloro­phyll 3.0, Khalap explains, “We started in the year 1999. 2003 was where we had an in­flec­tion point be­cause we cre­ated a tool for cor­po­rate brands rather than prod­ucts and ser­vice brands and the first client we got be­cause of that was In­fosys, which was big jump. This is the sec­ond big jump. So, what hap­pened over the past two or three years, is that the way we would de­fine Chloro­phyll’s man­date was any brand who has an un­chang­ing part, now has chang­ing parts.”

Khalap gives a good example, “Take James Bond; the role has been played by six dif­fer­ent guys, but as an idea, Bond was an ex-com­man­der in the Navy and has to be 37 years old and can’t be young. That’s the un­chang­ing part. The chang­ing part is that he used to smoke and now, he doesn’t be­cause as so­ci­ety changes, things change. We used to fo­cus on the un­chang­ing part.”

Talk­ing about the part­ner­ship with Mer­aki, he says, “We used to do brand def­i­ni­tions, a new brand name, and brand iden­tity; then briefs went out to ad agen­cies or event and dig­i­tal agen­cies and what feed­back we kept get­ting from the client was that af­ter the brief is given there is a gap. So, we are hook­ing ev­ery­thing to this phrase - Mind the gap. Clients were ask­ing why we didn’t just help with the en­tire ex­e­cu­tion as well.”

For clients like Indigo Paints, who have been with Chloro­phyll for a long time (since 2011), the agency has al­ways been do­ing ad­ver­tis­ing, but they weren’t do­ing dig­i­tal. “We weren’t do­ing earned me­dia and things like that. So, we de­cided, once and for all, to keep brands at the cen­tre and find a way of ap­ply­ing the same dis­ci­plines, as we are cur­rently ap­ply­ing to all these ar­eas. We were look­ing for part­ners. I hap­pened to meet Mer­aki and their fo­cus is also on con­sult­ing and com­bin­ing the process of logic and magic, art and sci­ence. To­gether we cre­ated a model for sports - how to man­age sports, teams, fran­chises, and sports peo­ple. So, that is one new di­men­sion of Chloro­phyll 3.0,” Khalap adds.

With re­gard to other part­ner­ships, Khalap states, “We met Ashok Lalla (brand con­sul­tant), whom we had known for some time. With him we have cre­ated a model to use dig­i­tal to ex­pand busi­ness. Lalla says - It is not about do­ing dig­i­tal but be­ing dig­i­tal; us­ing it to its great­est ca­pac­ity. Then there is a so­cial me­dia di­men­sion to it; Ad Fac­tors PR, who we are a part of, have good so­cial lis­ten­ing tools and those tools lis­ten to some of the In­dian lan­guages. We use that, then so­cial an­a­lyt­ics and then so­cial me­dia. There’s also the Chloro­phyll In­no­va­tion Labs, han­dled by Chitresh Sinha who is CEO and has been with us for eight years.”

Speak­ing about his ex­pec­ta­tions from clients, Khalap says, “We have this no­tion that In­dia is a pseu­do­ma­tured mar­ket which means mul­ti­ple lev­els of evo­lu­tion of a cat­e­gory co-ex­ists. And if you are a mar­ket leader or want to be one, you need to deal with mul­ti­ple lev­els. If a Col­gate looks at tooth­paste and says there are 25 tooth­paste brands, they should take a share from that; the fact is, 45 per cent of In­dia doesn’t use tooth­paste. There­fore, there is a 45 per cent mar­ket wait­ing. But you can’t go to them with tooth­paste be­cause they are us­ing ei­ther a neem stick or char­coal pow­der. So, you ap­proach them with a tooth pow­der; then, the one us­ing it, grad­u­ate him to a white tooth­paste and from there take him to coloured tooth­paste, then to mouth wash, so on and so forth. This is ap­pli­ca­ble to clients as well.”

He adds, “At a very ba­sic level, there is a client who hears the word ‘brand’ and equates it to a logo. There is some­body above who equates it to ad­ver­tis­ing. There is a third per­son, who equates it to get­ting the logo cor­rect on col­lat­eral and mak­ing sure the colours etc. are just right. But they all need to un­der­stand that brand­ing is about align­ing ev­ery as­pect of the busi­ness. So, my best or most ef­fi­cient clients would be those who have un­der­stood this true mean­ing of what a brand is. My ideal client would be some­body who shares this view; but we are not wor­ried about clients who have other view­points too.”

When queried about Chloro­phyll’s largest clients, he says, “We tend to have mainly six, eight or one-year as­sign­ments. There is no long-term re­tainer. We just started work with Tri­dent, the world’s big­gest towel man­u­fac­turer and sec­ond big­gest sheet man­u­fac­turer. Indigo Paints is very big. We do a lot of work with Mahin­dra. We are do­ing Mahin­dra Swaraj and Jawa launches. We have done Mahin­dra Lifes­paces as well. We have also started work on Mahin­dra farm equip­ment. We are cur­rently in talks with Mahin­dra for a new dig­i­tal ini­tia­tive where they are launch­ing So­cial Me­dia 3.0. So Mahin­dra is a big client. We have done big work with Tata, Tata Te­le­ser­vices, Tata Indi­com, Gin­ger, and Tata Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cles. So, these are houses with whom we have long-term re­la­tion­ships and we get re­peat work from them.”n

If you are a mar­ket leader or want to be one, you need to deal with mul­ti­ple lev­els.

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