What according to you makes a brand `Hot’?
A brand stays ‘Hot’ when it is able to predict trends, anticipate the ever-changing needs of the consumer and be prepared to cater to them; Even better if brands are able to innovate and create a ‘need’ or a ‘marketplace’ that did not exist. With the ‘uberisation’ of businesses, the changing consumption habits and the rising expectations of customers, being relevant and evolving with the market conditions has become a basic necessity for a brand. Brands which are able to go beyond this and successfully engage their customers and convert them into advocates are the brands that will stay hot and always in demand.
Ways in which you connect with the new age customers?
The new age customer values brands that make him look and feel good, that engage him and create personalized experiences for him.
Real Estate is a very high involvement category and the customer needs to be reassured at every point of engagement that he has made or is making the right purchase decision.
At Oberoi Realty, we try and do that at different stages of the customer lifecycle. While mass media, activations and digital are used strategically for awareness and customer acquisition, a substantial portion of our marketing efforts is focused on customer retention and driving advocacy.
An important milestone in real estate is the ‘Possession of your home’. It is the ultimate moment of truth in a real estate lifecycle and at Oberoi Realty, we have created a memorable experience around ‘Possession’ wherein each and every customer is made to feel like a celebrity from the time he decides to take possession of his home.
Another initiative is our loyalty program, ‘The Elite Club’ which is an exclusive club of Oberoi Realty customers who refer like-minded people into the program by purchasing our homes. The program constantly reinvents itself by leveraging cross-brand partnerships with the likes of BMW, Mini Cooper, D’Decor and others that complement the luxury and lifestyle quotient of the customer and create meaningful engagements with him.
I am a strong believer that if you treat your existing customers well and listen to their feedback, you understand your customers deeper, collect better insights for future product innovations and improvise on existing experiences.
Has the Indian consumer changed the way they consume?
The Indian consumer today has the power of choice where he decides what he wants to consume, when, where and how. With the increase in disposable incomes, the advent of the internet and social platforms, their awareness about brands, products, services and experiences has increased manifold. We live in a world where information is a click away and consumers’ purchase decisions are influenced heavily by recommendations from friends, family, experts and online reviews. Brands need to be cognizant of this and invest in creating relevant content, engaging experiences and feedback, as these then become the pillars to repeat-consumption, brand loyalty and advocacy.
What makes Mumbai a unique brand?
The Late Mr. Yash Chopra once said, “Mumbai is infectious. Once you start living in Mumbai, working in Mumbai. I don’t think you can live anywhere else.” The vibrance of Mumbai and its “live and let live” attitude make it infectious and unique. Mumbai is also a great leveler; the city gives equal opportunities to realize dreams for everyone who comes here irrespective of their socioeconomic status, background or origin. There is a reason why Mumbai is branded the ‘Maximum City’; it has remained relevant through the years by changing with the modern times and has always had this aura which attracts people from not only India but around the world.
Reema Kundnani is Vice President, Head Marketing & Corporate Communications and Luxury Residential Sales, Oberoi Realty
She was also a speaker at Mumbai Brand Summit & Hot 50 Brands 2015.