Brands need to alleviate themselves from being a mere partner to truly making the event as an experience: Sanjay Behl, Raymond

Sanjay Behl, CEO, Raymond Ltd spoke to us about association with India Music Summit, his three top suggestions for event planners and the future of experiential marketing.

Sanjay Behl,CEO,Raymond

At the recently held Raymond MTV, India Music Summit, in Jaipur, Sanjay Behl, CEO, Raymond Ltd spoke to us about the association with the festival, his three top suggestions for event planners and the future of experiential marketing.

Here are some excerpts from the interview:

Tell us about your association with India Music Summit, what was the driving motive behind this?

The most important factor for us in selection of any strategic partnership is looking at the long-term.

We strive to build our brand on values and attributes. If you have noticed the evolution of Raymond as a brand over the last 9-decades, it has always stood for authenticity.

We have always stood for anything which is at the core Indian, authentic and is reviving the texture and richness of Indian heritage. Music is only one facet of many associations that we are doing. We are also associated with Khadi, which is reviving a very rich heritage of India, of hand-spinning and weaving. We are also associated with properties like Indian sports. 

We have been wardrobe partners for Common-Wealth, we are now partnering with Olympics next year. So music platform was one of the many opportunities we had. We partnered with India Music Summit because it was totally committed to promote the authentic , original Indian music, whether it is folk, classical, Karnatak style or Sufi.

How important is event marketing as compared to traditional marketing?

It is becoming more important as the traditional media is getting more fragmented. Being associated with properties and platforms is important as they have way more impact than the traditional platforms. They link the brand at a purpose level and not purely at an advertising proposition level. 

So here is an opportunity where you actually alleviate your brand to relate at a brand purpose level. There are more reasons than one that we have associated with this property but largely it is really to do with a commonality of a purpose of India Music Summit and Raymond Brand.

In your view, how can brand marketers and event planners come together to create compelling brand experience?

This is one of the most important aspects that any brand needs to look at when they have any partnership with events and platforms. Brands need to alleviate themselves from being a mere partner to truly making the event as an experience for all the people that come and attend the event. So in this specific case my brand and event team get involved six months prior to the event and worked very closely with the event management team to make sure that both the event and brand purpose is taken care of. I recall having 4 or 5 meetings myself with the event-planners as to how we are going to bring this alive.

What will be your three top suggestions for event planners?

The first one is for them to understand the brief of the brand, the core equity of the brand and really immerse themselves into the brand.  The second is to invest in quality activations and experiences and not really cut any corners on that because that gives a lot of confidence back to the brand to continue to stay invested in events like that. 

And the third would be that the event platform is not restricted to being just an event but also has the huge advantage of technology, social and digital media. This really multiplies the impact of the event manifold by taking the content of the event into multiple platforms.

What according to you is the future of experiential marketing?

The last century was largely about products and solutioning, which means offering products and meeting the need gaps of the people. We marketers have now alleviated to creating wants beyond the needs. But as we go in the future even product solutions will go in the experiential marketing now, which is a logical evolution from solution marketing and that’s where brands will have to go way beyond. As you know that today shared economy is becoming bigger that the ownership economy. The entire premise of that is people want to experience that world and may not necessarily own it.

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