In your own words, how do you describe a `hot’ brand?

A hot brand is one which people can’t stop talking about. You know your brand is hot when people start discussing it along with sports, politics and cinema in their day today discussions.

What can be few steps taken by brand owners to keep their brand stay-top-of-mind?

Today, anyone can buy media space, etc. but true impact is delivered by the magic of the message. Does your brand communication have the power to capture the imagination of your target audiences?
Staying ‘Top-of-mind’, requires a deep understanding of consumers, balanced by an instinct for what will work in the market and ultimately a drive to act at the right time.

What is one key element that agencies need to adapt to meet marketers demand in these changing times?

The consumer mind-set is constantly evolving. What was extremely viable yesterday may not even be relevant today. In these changing times, agencies can’t afford to rely on a fixed delivery formula.Agencies need to approach each campaign differently as per the current marketing scenario. Which means going out into the field and understanding consumers and their environment every single time.Also agencies need to be prepared for new formats/ mediums/ methods as an innovation can come in any form. So customization is becoming increasingly important today as each brand is operating in a different environment and needs to be treated differently.

New Rules of Engagement: Changing Expectations of Brand+Customer Interactions, your view?

The expectations are rising every day. Each brand is coming up with new ways of impressing consumers. The recent surge in online retail is a great example. The occasional phenomenon of SALE and Offers have become a daily affair. Now, it’s about finding the best offer amongst offers.There are new ways of consumer engagement like the Xiaomi smartphone euphoria. It’s incredible how a brand is engaging with consumers merely through word of mouth and PR today.Ultimately the rules of engagement have remained unchanged. If your brand can come up with something which excites the consumers time and again, the job is done.

Marketing hasn’t changed in a 100 years, but the tools have. What do marketers need to do to survive the next 10 years?

The tools are merely enablers. A great idea is and will always be at the core of all successful marketing endeavours. At the same time, the biggest rule in marketing is that there are no rules. Success in marketing is all about thoughtful planning and great execution which is then reciprocated by the consumers. For instance, one can’t guarantee that a video will become viral. You can only prepare for it and hope that people like it and send it forward many times over.As an Advertiser, simply talking about one’s brand is just not enough. Today, the consumers are busy having conversations among their groups, and perhaps not attentively listening to you. So the brand will have to be a part of the consumers’ conversations. You talk when you advertise; but you create a buzz when others start talking about your brand. Since the future itself is evolving, it is difficult to be future ready. At best, marketers can keep a check on the pulse of the constantly evolving market scenarios and keep surprising consumers with exciting ideas and innovations. And hope that consumers make the brand a part of their lives.

Profile: Dhunji is President at Everest Brand Solutions, which is part of Y&R in India.Founded in 1946, Everest is India’s second most experienced agency with an impressive roster of India’s finest brands. With over 25 years of experience in the business Dhunji has been associatedwith major national and international brands (Nike, Levi Strauss, Jockey, Unilever, Diamond Trading Co, Kellogg, Aditya Birla Group, SONY Entertainment Television – MAX and SAB, Standard Chartered, Parle, Kotak to name just a few).

He has been the Managing Partner at JWT, the agency where he spent 18 years of his career.