Marketing Innovators: When innovating makes business sense

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logo-Brand-50-AwardsThe term innovation simply connotes something “new” or “different” making the consumer say, “hey, how about that”. How often is innovation carried out in the marketplace and an even more difficult question to answer is – “when was your last innovation?” While Pitch is on a look out to find the top five brands for its category – ‘Marketing Innovators’, it has shortlisted twelve most powerful candidates for the grand awards’ night of Pitch Brands 50 Awards- For Excellence in Marketing, presented by ABP News, in partnership with Percept to be held on June 12 at Leela Kempinski.

While more than 20 brands made it to the shortlist after going through a comprehensive shortlisting process of Pitch’s editorial team, 11 were selected to go to the next level. As the award night will decide the top five winners, let’s take a quick-peek look at the 11 names that went to the jury.

Ramesh Jude Thomas, President, EQUiTOR Consulting

Ramesh Jude Thomas, President, EQUiTOR Consulting

While the jury was chaired by Ramesh Jude Thomas, President, Equitor Consulting, other jury members included marketing professionals and professors such as Rahul Sen, International Brand Advisor; Ramanajuam Sridhar, Founder and CEO, Integrated Brand Comm; Subroto Chattopadhyay, Chairman, Peninsula Foundation; Sunil Gupta, Marketing Partner, South Asia, Results International Group; Ashok Pratap Arora, Marketing Professor, MDI

Rahul Sen, International Brand Advisor

Rahul Sen, International Brand Advisor

AP Arora, senior marketing professor, MDI Gurgaon says, “India is known for its low pace of real product innovations. One can keep on debating whether it is due to lack of R&D budget or the wisdom of marketers to not to invest in reinventing the wheel. But, Indian marketers’ innovations need not be confined to product innovations alone. The current EMI syndrome, creating new media vehicles for extending product reach may not be global breakthroughs. But, they have surely leveraged Indian marketing mind to move mammoth Indian market.”

Making an entry in the list is BMW, which initiated a mobile showroom that started from Karnal. A 360-degree campaign led by digital engagement, while encompassing all channels was also conceptualised for the new BMW 3 Series called the ‘THE ULTIMAT3’ that made use of QR codes to directly connect people to the central campaign. The car was camouflaged with QR codes and generated buzz all over India. The sneak glimpses of the car were seen in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and other cities using this platform.

Ramanujam Sridhar, Founder CEO, brand-comm

Ramanujam Sridhar, Founder & CEO, brand-comm

Next in the line is Raymond which had launched “Made to Measure” mobile tailoring service in a mobile Van. The company extended the concept of MTM out of the retail stores and launched a mobile version of the same. The made to measure mobile vans moved door to door offering services in markets in around Mumbai in the first phase.

Marking its presence in the list is Philips India, which had launched its range of body groomers targeting youths falling in the age bracket of 16-24 years. The company had launched a body groomer at Rs 2,495, allowing a user to either trim body hair or completely shave. In the facial styling category, the company has also launched new items like the ‘Aqua Touch’, priced at Rs 3,295 and Rs 4,195, which provides the option of shaving with or without water.
Ramanujam Sridhar, Founder and CEO, Integrated Brand Comm, “Companies are innovative and have innovation promptly displayed in their mission statement.”

Subroto Chattopadhyay, Chairman, The Peninsula Foundation

Subroto Chattopadhyay, Chairman, The Peninsula Foundation

Highlighting its presence in the list is Axis Bank Ladies First Card. This ‘Ladies First Card’ is a debit card that allows homemakers to manage their household expenses better. It also comes with a ‘Spends Tracker’, that allows users to track their monthly expenses. The money can also be easily loaded on the card for use through the month. Balance on the Ladies First Card earns four per cent interest a year.

Next in the row is NourishCo, the JV between Tata Global Beverages and PepsiCo for having launched Tata Water Plus in 2012. Priced at Rs 16 for a 750ml PET bottle, Tata Water Plus is nutritionally rich and goes beyond quenching thirst to promoting everyday good health with nutrients like zinc and chromium to strengthen immunity and improve overall health respectively.
Another brand shining in the list of ‘Marketing Innovators’ is Samsung Galaxy S which has features of a tablet and a mobile phone. It has a very powerful 1.4 GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 CPU with Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread as the OS along with 1GB of RAM.

Sharad Sarin, senior marketing professor, XLRI

Sharad Sarin, senior marketing professor, XLRI

Sharad Sarin, senior marketing professor, XLRI Jamshedpur said, “These have identified the vacant and unused slots of opportunities such as shampoo in sachet, milk in low cast plastic packs or tetrapack packaging to keep liquid like milk and juices fresh without refrigeration. Technology is the biggest driver for marketing innovations, which is finally helping in improving the life for all.”

Another brand that has made it big in this category is HUL Wheel Active. The Hindustan Unilever’s Active Wheel campaign was aimed at reaching consumers in towns and villages with a population of less than 10 thousand. The mobile medium helped reach these consumers by using a tool as simple as missed calls. On giving a missed call to the advertised toll-free number, consumers received a voice call-back with humorous and engaging content from a repository. This campaign has become HUL’s most successful marketing campaign for mobile in the entire Asia Pacific region. Recent results from 3rd party research have shown that close to 84% people touched by the campaign, even months after the campaign, associated the Wheel brand with the campaign, and there was a 95% increase in spontaneous awareness of Wheel after the campaign.

Next in line is Ish Watch brand, in which the hours are shifted off their axis and the numbers suffixed with the all-important “ish”. Made by the chaps who run Kala Ghoda design store Filter (that would be Alok Nanda & Company), the “ish” watch (as it has been branded by its creators Prasanna Sankhe and Alok Nanda), is available from Filter or online at at Rs 2,500.

Marketing Innovators is once again highlighted with Philips Body Groom for Men. Philips had launched its exclusive range of body shavers in August 2012. Priced at Rs 2,495, Philips BodyGroom is 100% waterproof, so it can be safely used in the shower or bath. It is rechargeable requiring a 12 hours charge for an hour’s use; with convenient storage – charging stand and hanging cord.

Ashok Pratap Arora, Marketing Professor, MDI

Ashok Pratap Arora, Marketing Professor, MDI

Marking its presence in the list is TKK Prestige. Having over 400 plus products to its credit, Prestige has India’s largest range of Pressure cookers and currently is the leader in the industry. Besides this, the company is also the first to introduce pressure cookers in the form of a Handi, Kadai and the latest is the Apple shaped pressure cooker which was awarded with the Elle’ Decor International Design Award for best product design. MicroChef – is yet another revolutionary product that is patented as the World’s first microwave pressure cooker.
Last but not the least is Discovery Channel. The communication goal was to establish Discovery Channel as a mainstream entertainment television brand amongst the entire population in the Hindi speaking markets, ranging from metros to the LC 1 towns, across all age groups, SECs and genders in the most cost effective way; thereby increasing Discovery Channel’s brand recall and viewership and leverage the imminent digitisation in the country.

Discovery and Yash Raj Films entered into a brand association for the biggest release of 2012 Jab Tak Hai Jaan, starring Shah Rukh Khan. Under the agreement, Discovery Channel was integrated into the script of the film ensuring consistent visibility through the film’s narrative while keeping the brand values intact.

The company has been adding newer products and categories every quarter to its growing product portfolio and aims at becoming a ’Total Kitchens Solution Provider’.
While Pitch has already unveiled nine of its ten categories for Pitch Brands 50 Awards, which includes Rechargers, Ageless Brands, Bottom of Pyramid, Social Marketers, Globetrotters, Impactful launches, Buzzy Brands, Bang for the buck and Marketing Innovators, one is still left to make its way ahead. Do visit this page for unfolding the remaining category which even though is the last, but definitely is not the least and the shortlisted brands that might just become the top 50 brands of the year 2012.

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Neeta Nair

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