You turn businesses into brands with smaller intangible actions: Madhavan Sankara, Founder & CEO, Madarth

Brands have to understand the new battleground where the societal psyche is changing fast writes Madhavan Sankara.


Before we jump into global and how to make Indian brands Global, lets first define the term "global". Global to me is not just about crossing geographies. It is about creating products or services that cater to a wide range of audience irrespective of culture or creed. By saying that, what I mean is, when a south Indian restaurant opens up their shop in California, they aim only to target the Indians in California. Similarly, when an IT services company, which works as a back office to serve to the audience of developed nations, will be a Multinational Company, but not a "Global" brand.

When an American or French brand can become global and woo Indians, why can't Indian brands become global and make a similar impact across the world? When we take top 100 Global brands, there are 46 American Brands, 54 Brands from other countries like Japan, North Korea, Italy and other European countries, which are much lesser in size than India. Are we conditioned to work as a back office for the world? Are we convinced to position ourselves in between the cheaper "non-branded" products and high-quality, world-class products?

Did you know that in the year 1700 India's share to the world economy was 25%? Our architectures, handicrafts and weaving businesses have been world-class and exported to the royals of Rome and England. Now, we just forgot the charm to market them to the world.

Role of Advertising

Is it time for us to learn the art of packaging it right from the Americans? Just how an Italian staple food was Americanised and sold to the entire world. When Indian entrepreneurs realize this and start to produce a world-class product or service and package it with the experience around the purchase, and also takes care of the post-purchase. It creates a holistic experience in the mind of their customer. If this experience speaks a single-story, we have a BRAND. If it does it consistently, we have a WORLD-CLASS-BRAND.

Role#1: In this journey, any agency should tell the truth about the product with sincerity and simplicity. No matter how brilliant your communications are, if the audience couldn't follow along with them, it wouldn't work.

Role#2: Agency's role in making Indian companies become world-class brands lies in guiding and empowering their client to understand the Indian context and meet our audiences where they are.

Indian audience might be in wonder with European or American inspiration. But subconsciously, Indian audience cannot connect to an adaptation of a western idea.

Role#3: Don't lose the plot:

Be consistent with a story. Like how Nike encourages everyone to be an athlete or Volvo equates itself with safety. Tell your client's story to the world, stick to a single tale. Every brand has a story, discover it and do not miss that plot.

Role#4: Being with them in crisis times:

Wearing a mask in public once peculiar, now a sign of responsible citizenship. Brands have to understand this new battleground where the societal psyche is changing fast. Think outside corona-virus emails and re-establish your brand's commitment to consumers. Remember, there's a good chance many habits will not survive the current climate, but "rituals" will. It is every agency's responsibility to stay with their client(s) at any cost during these challenging times and do help them endure with practical solutions.

In the end, to become world-class brands, there's an element of transformation. You turn these businesses into 'brands' with millions of smaller intangible actions. You develop them into something that people recognize and value. And not just in India, but on the world's stage.

Tags assigned to this article:
marketing global brands advertising Madarth

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