In your own words, how do you describe a `hot’ brand?
Contemporary brands which continue to stay relevant to the consumer life, and continuously delight him or her, are what I would consider ‘hot’ brands.
What can be few steps taken by brand owners to keep their brand stay top in their customers’ mind?
We live in the age of information, hence just traditional advertising itself does not ensure high recall for brands. Connecting to consumers through new age media in the form of mobile and social is extremely important. Today brands must also connect with their consumers through innovation based on meaningful consumer insights, this ensures brands to stay relevant to the consumer’s lives.
How do you suggest that one can maintain a balance between planning for the future of your brand and investing for today?
It is the hardest part of a marketing head’s job to ensure a balance between a short term and long term objectives of the brand. I don’t think you can ever just choose one aspect; it is always a balance and the ratio of spends and effort keeps changing depending on the operating environment with regards to consumer behavior and competitive threat. High inflation and pressure on the consumer’s disposal income like we are facing today, can hinder growth in the short term and can become a challenge hence focus must shift to ensuring short term objective take a little more priority.
Coming to your own brand, can you tell us how you cultivate customer loyalty or talk about creating enhanced customer experience?
MTR has a strong legacy and a large number of loyal consumers especially in Karnataka. The brand has been built on high quality and innovative products. We continue with the brand’s strategy to leading with product innovation in the authentic Indian vegetarian food space to ensure that we are relevant to the changing Indian consumer. A great example of this is the launch of the multigrain and oats based Indian breakfast, we were the first ones to blend traditional Idlis and Dosas with multigrains and oats.
Personally, what are your favorite brands and why?
My most favourite brand is Apple as I love technology and gadgets. In foods I greatly admire brands like Maggi and Horlicks which have managed to stay leaders in their categories across generations of consumers.
Any brand experience that wowed you?
From a brand experience point of view, for me Apple is the absolute best. Simple easy to set up and use, all devises work extremely well as an eco system.
Profile – Vikran Sabherwal has been the Marketing Vice President at MTR Foods for the last four years. He joined MTR Foods in April 2010 and is currently based in Bangalore. At MTR Foods, Vikran is a part of the leadership team and is responsible for the marketing of one of India’s most loved brands. In 2004, Vikran joined Dabur India Ltd. as Senior Product Manager handling Chyawanprash. Before joining MTR Foods, Vikran worked for five years with IFFCO in the UAE where he was the head of the marketing function of one of the SBUs which marketed a range of culinary products, such as mayonnaise and sauces and beverages such as juices, dairy drinks.