Simi Sabhaney, Dentsu
Simi Sabhaney, Dentsu International India

1. What makes a brand hot?

Simi Sabhaney, Chief Growth Officer, Dentsu International, India has the perfect list of ingredients for hot brands: 

  1. Brands which converse, engage, stand for a sense of purpose, care for issues that I care for, tell their story keeping current themes in mind, are hot.
  2. Brands that are authentic and real, transparent and honest and above all relatable, are hot.
  3. Brands that talk in a language that is relevant to my current state of mind, are hot.
  4. Brands that inspire because their words stem from a space of knowledge are seen as figures of authority in their field. This makes them hot.
  5. Brands that stay ahead of culture and even create their own sub-culture and reflect their passion through their actions are hot.
  6. Brands that are here to address my pain point or are here to make my life better, are hot.

Basically, build a deep relationship with me and you get to stay in my heart and in my mind.

2. A `hot’ brand within few hours can become `not so hot’. What are your tips for brand owners to help them keep their brand hot?

It’s a snakes & ladders game out there. One wrong move and you are back to square one. I am dismissive, hard pressed for time and constantly in a mood for next change.

Worse still, if I don’t like you, I have the power and ammunition to influence many more minds. In such a scenario, brands need to conduct themselves with great deal of responsibility. They need to constantly innovate, go beyond offering a product; they need to play a role in my life that will make me seek them from time to time.  It could be about creating a platform to open a dialogue or starting a new conversation around a relevant service or creating content that will be received in its entirety.

It’s not just about offering great deals. It’s about making my life better.

Simi Sabhaney sets out the charter for keeping your brand safe. 

3. Technological boom is the talk of the town. More and more brands are investing in automation tools, AI and content marketing to name a few. How do you think technology can keep a brand hot?

Technology needs to help brands talk to me when I am most receptive. Having got my attention, talk to me in a manner that makes maximum sense to me. Offer me a solution that matters/could matter the most to me.  If I am the right person then catch me at the right time and right place with the right message. Keep it simple, silly!

Liked this interview with Simi Sabhaney? 

Then you will enjoy this interview with Simi from our Beyond Pink series too!

About Simi Sabhaney

Simi Sabhaney is the Chief Growth Officer of Dentsu International India. Previously she was the CEO of Dentsu India.  She has been in advertising for 28 years and prior to Dentsu India, she worked for Ogilvy India for 24 years. In the course of her engagement with Ogilvy she has worked for clients like Titan, Cadbury, ITC Foods among others. Her skills include brand nurturing, problem-solving, experience derived insights and creative ideas for challenge resolution. She binges on movies, food and conversations, she devours human stories and is often heard saying “This is good, let’s try one more.”

Originally published in January 2018. 

Updated September 2021.


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