Brand building in a B2B context is not just about making noise but also about delivering beyond promises, providing solution to a customer problem, and establishing one’s identity as a reliable player
Rane Group, the Rs. 3000 crore auto components manufacturing player, is a renowned brand in the manufacturing sector and needs no introduction. And yet, each of the companies under the Rane brand works just as hard to establish its name to its various stakeholders, and the brand building exercise is just as demanding as it was on day one for the founding fathers. S Parthasarathy, CEO-Rane Madras, has been with the group for over 20 years, having grown with the company and today is responsible for leading two businesses – Steering Products and Die-Casting Products – contributing to Rs 800 crores of the overall revenue.
Here, he shares his views on why branding is not just about making a name, but deriving value from it.
Brand = Premium
The brand positioning need not be something exotic, but it needs to be consistent. Its value should be measured by the premium it can realise, and not merely how familiar it is. Rane Madras chose its positioning as a reliable, long-term supplier in a consistent manner. Though it appears simple at the surface level, to be able to leverage on this positioning needed interpreting each word to understand what it means and translate that into action and deliver on the promise to its OEM customers.
Starting from Scratch
Rane brand was well known in the country. But when the company wanted to establish an international presence, it did not pass muster. The initial efforts to make the brand known involved talking about the achievements in different forums. But that was not sufficient to translate the interest to business. Then the group realised that their work and existing infrastructure was a better tool for branding than all the presentations it could give. Parthasarthy says, “Today, for our international customers, the key is to do enough so we invite our prospective customers to a factory visit and make sure they know about capabilities while they are here.”
Influence the Influencer
The second learning in its branding efforts internationally showed that the prospective clients needed to be engaged at the organisation level rather than only at the purchase level. Engineering capability and quality credentials had to be established with influencers and decision makers to convert RFQs to business.
The third learning was that being a problem solver helped create brand awareness. This needed employee involvement across the organisation to improve customer satisfaction.
“Often, building a brand is also about setting aspirational goals and translating them into manageable actions,” concludes Parthasarathy.
The brand positioning need not be something exotic, but it needs to be consistent. Its value should be measured by the premium it can realise (financially), and not merely how familiar it is.Advertising Branding Marketing Rane Group Startup Marketing