What according to you makes a brand `hot’?
The ability of a brand to stay relevant across age groups, across cultures and across gender types is what makes a brand hot. Some of the instances that come to my mind at a religious level, the concept of Krishna ( given Janmasthami just went by). The “Brand Krishna” is hot with mothers of toddlers, with familes in India, with the elderly in India, with corporate strategists, with youth chasing Dahi Handis and also has an international following. The fact is that the Brand needs to sell me my story and I buy stories that resonate with me. The more they resonate the more I buy the brand.

Ways in which you connect with the new age customers?
If I were to create an artificial barrier of time and call it “age” then in a literal sense it’s not a number. Its ones adaptability or use of a new age medium. So those who used typewriters, over calligraphists were new age, those who used computers over typer writers were new age, those who started using mobiles when there were only land lines were new age at that time.

Thus, what we see as a constant thread in the above instances is that the device or the medium moved from third party ( calligrapher / typist ) to self used ( computers ) anchored, to self used mobile, to now self-used created and distributed real time. The real time is the BIG difference Hence, brands need content that is delivered on the go, expect customers to respond and get serviced. The game is shifting to a serve-volley rather than firing aces and expecting that the Customer is busy elsewhere. In summary, device agnostic content, real time delivery and response are the ways to connect.

Has the Indian consumer changed the way they consume?

  • The Indian Consumer is outsourcing production and consuming real time. For e.g when we were kids and we had stomach ache moms would make something at home and give us a home remedy. Today the lifestyle changes get us to search outside our kitchens, get a recipe, ask someone to make it and then we consume. The expansion of the Ready to Eat market for dosas, upma and now masal oats bear testimony for it.
  • There is no prime time. My time is Prime Time. We don’t huddle at a specific time in front of content in a specific room. We consume content from wherever we are and whatever device is closest – it can even be an iPad borrowed at a party
  • Consumers are consuming brand experiences and not just the brand.

Look at airlines in India – any airline that is on time is a preferred choice for a set of Customer and the customers relate to the extensions of the on time experience. Air BNB is about experiences when one uses it to check in, homestays in India are an experience. Bank A over Bank B is a function of my last service resolution
Product parity and technology porusness is driving marketers to create better experience. Threshold level of product standards is a given and has only become stiffer for winning brands.

What makes Mumbai a unique brand?

  • What makes Mumbai a unique brand is the 7:43 culture: Every minute counts hence you measure time in singular minutes and not round figures. Everything is connected to the next minute. Leave your homes 10 minutes later than normal and you will have a 5X multiplier impact on time.
  • We are a Unisex Work Force: The gender divide I feel is collapsing, as a culture we look at “ kaam hua kya” and it does not matter who delivers it, look at the number of women security officers working till late in the night at malls.
  • Mumbai is a very patient: We spend hours in traffic jams across the city, but we still keep sitting through 2 hours + of an average ride to work. Potholes have smiled at us every monsoon and we have grinned and borne it. Our infrastructure across all transit has become malleable to accommodate more, and we don’t know anything as break point.


MVS Murthy is VP Marketing at TATA AIG General Insurance.

He is also a speaker at Mumbai Brand Summit & Hot 50 Brands 2015.


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