Looking outward

Looking outward

Priya Jayaraman, co-founder of Propaganda India believes that companies need to start looking outward, and build brands from a customer’s point of view

MADHUMITA PRABHAKAR

PRIYA JAYARAMAN, CO-FOUNDER, PROPAGANDA INDIA

“Until a few years ago, we all looked at branding from a business point of view. But, with digital gaining more traction and the gap between brands and consumers closing in, we’ve come to realise that platforms become agnostic when we start building brands from a customer’s point of view,” says Priya Jayaraman, co-founder of Propaganda India, a Bangalore-based full service advertising agency.

In this story, she shares the key elements that factor into the art and science of building brands in the digital world.

An idea should create a holistic impact

The beauty of an idea is when the marketer or client starts thinking about how the idea can be integrated, not just in the online space, but into their business too. This means, taking the idea across various platforms internally and to other stakeholders.

For example, in February 2014, Amazon India wanted to design an ad campaign around Valentine’s Day. However, they didn’t want to adopt the clichéd approach of discount sale. Jayaraman and team developed a campaign which encouraged customers to celebrate love in every form and buy everything they love. It also created a Twitter hashtag called #CelebrateEveryLove. In the online space, it secured over seven lakh views in two days, and the campaign continued to trend post Valentine’s Day. In the offline space, the company saw its employees leaving notes or sharing small gifts with their colleagues as a celebration of love.

Open the platform for communication

The power of digital comes alive when you open up your platform for customers to have conversations in.

There are several brands which close comments to public on social media platforms, for the fear of criticism. When a company does this, it limits its interactions with its customers. For example, when HDFC Life entered the digital space, Jayaraman and her team suggested that they open their platform to conversations. While the company page did receive complaints about delay in transactions and processes, it received more positive comments than negative ones.

HDFC Life took this as an opportunity to listen to its customers more intently and created emailers and dedicated lines as far as business processes are concerned, and drove conversations to engage more closely with its customers. This (the art of branding), combined with the science of what analytics told them, helped build a successful brand.

Know which door to open

Identifying which platforms to showcase the brand in is no cookie cutter formula. As a first step, brands need to identify a media mix relevant to their business, then open doors to only those platforms which are relevant.

The art of sustaining brand value

Online brand building is not just about developing a one-time campaign. It’s about continuous engagement. That’s where creativity by product and platform comes into place. This means, the content should be designed in such a way that it caters to the tastes of customers in each platform such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

Brands should educate and entertain a customer

It’s important to educate customers to look at a company’s product in different ways, and find interesting ways to communicate that. For example, Giftingnation.com developed a campaign where it seeded an idea into a customer’s mind that you don’t need a special occasion to gift someone. Small gifts can be given at all times, when you appreciate what someone did or want to thank them.


Key Takeaway 

Brand building efforts need to balance between looking inward and looking outward. It is with what lens you look outward that can be difficult to accomplish. At a broader level, for consumer brands, brand building goes beyond the logo and the tagline. We live in a world of everyday content and it is crucial to live up to your audience every single day.

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