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The verdict is out: Pitch Brands 50 awaits June 12

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logo-Brand-50-AwardsThe jury for Pitch Brands 50 – Awards in Marketing Excellence, presented by ABP News, in partnership with Percept gave their verdict on the top fifty brands in 10 categories, which included Bottom of Pyramid, Globe trotters, Resurgent Brands, Rechargers, Marketing Innovators, Impactful Launches, Ageless Brands, Buzzy Brands, Social Marketers and Value for Money. On popular demand the ‘Value for Money category was rechristened as ‘Bang for Buck’.

Ramesh Jude Thomas, President, EQUiTOR Consulting

Ramesh Jude Thomas, President, EQUiTOR Consulting

Ramesh Jude Thomas, President, Equitor Consulting chaired the jury panel consisting of Rahul Sen, International Brand Advisor; Subroto Chattopadhyay, Chairman, Peninsula Foundation; Sunil Gupta, Marketing Partner, South Asia, Results International Group; Ramanajuam Sridhar, Founder and CEO, Brand Comm; and Ashok Pratap Arora, Marketing Professor, MDI.

Rahul Sen, International Brand Advisor

Rahul Sen, International Brand Advisor

The jury conjured upon dilemmas such as the focus on private or public when it came to BOP. Gupta said that the impact should be taken into consideration, while Sridhar put forth the visibility aspect of the brand. Chattopadhyay said, “We are all victims of high powered advertising and both the public and private sectors have done a lot of work.” The BOP category took into consideration the population that lives on two dollars a day and the huge population that comes into this category in the country, proves to be like an untapped gold mine to marketers. Arora added that BOP does not have that much of advertising but the product still somehow reaches the bottom. “The product should be brought to focus rather than the advertising, where will the low cost materials fit in,” suggested Sen. Opposing to this, Gupta claimed that the easiest way is to bring down the cost of the product, but to establish a brand with its core proposition is what should be considered.

Subroto Chattopadhyay, Chairman, The Peninsula Foundation

Subroto Chattopadhyay, Chairman, The Peninsula Foundation

Taking the launches, advertising and visibility for the last 12-18 months, Sridhar said that the whole criteria should revolve around the brands who have been reaching out to the consumers who have not been exposed to that brand before. Gupta made a pertinent point saying that social marketing initiatives should be also taken into view, considering the difference between a brand and a non-branded product. Adding to that, Arora said that a lot of brands, commercially placed and advertised should not come in to play, as well as the profits that have been made. This in turn, diminishes the point of a social cause. Thomas appended saying that commercial versus social and changing the standard with reach will always weigh more.

Sunil Gupta, Managing Partner, South Asia, Results International Group

Sunil Gupta, Managing Partner, South Asia, Results International Group

The jury also decided to change the category name of Value for Money to Bang for Buck, the reason that they gave was that, everyone finds value in whatever they buy. Even if it is a normal pencil to a million dollar car, the fact being, “everything is value for money,” said Thomas. He added that it is always been about the numerator upon the denominator which is value upon price. Sen said that the basic thing is to give more value at a cheaper price point, since discounting is the easiest way. “In the time of cartelisation, one cannot compare one price with another but instead the services should be looked at,” he later added.

Ramanujam Sridhar, Founder CEO, brand-comm

Ramanujam Sridhar, Founder & CEO, brand-comm

Among such discussions and suggestions, the jury members looked into marketing innovation point of view rather than an advertising innovation point of view. The jury chair said that the crux of an innovation and a major part at that too is to fail.

The categories represented the marketing universe better than industry vertical driven segmentation. Without taking ROI in terms of finances into consideration and a rigorous process of online as well as on ground judgement, Pitch Brands 50 has finally sorted out the winners.

Ashok Pratap Arora, Marketing Professor, MDI

Ashok Pratap Arora, Marketing Professor, MDI

Meanwhile, the jury struggled to find the five winners in the ‘Marketing Innovators’ category. While there were about 15 shortlists presented to the jury, the panel didn’t find most of them worthy of an award. “It’s sad that amidst a shortlist worthy of Rs 30,000 crore, the innovations could be deemed as petty. The awards have to be aspirational hence if need be awards should be held held back instead of just filling in the blanks. The jury thought that the year 2012 was bad from an innovation point of view. So expect only a handful (rather than all five) awards in this category.

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