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In conversation with: Mr. Ali Harris Shere, VP-Marketing, Britannia Industries Ltd.

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FMCG major Britannia Industries Ltd. recently celebrated its 100th year of business. The company also unveiled its new and redesigned logo to reflect future plans and portfolio expansion while still maintaining the familiarity of the original logo.

Mr. Ali Harris Shere, VP-Marketing, Britannia Industries Ltd. spoke to the Pitch team about how Britannia has been the leader over the years and how rebranding reflects the company’s policies in the coming years.

Here are the excerpts:

What was the idea behind the redesigned Britannia logo? What are the challenges associated with redesigning a logo (especially in terms of brand recall)?

Companies have a strong attachment with their logo as do their consumers – it represents you, tells the right story, conveys your personality and is immediately recognizable. However, as times change, so do design sensibilities and norms. Britannia is a 100-year old company that has seen the country grow and has grown along with it. The Britannia of today has a substantial change in outlook towards its business and therefore, we deemed the time to be right to undergo a design change. More than anything, we are evolving. We are not just a biscuit-major but a Total Foods Company with an endeavour to be a globally present one. With such a target, we believed the iconic logo should go through a change to reflect this vision. We tasked Interbrand, the world’s leading consultancy, with this not-so mean feat and it has taken two long and arduous years to arrive at the new logo and proposition.

Being one of the oldest brands in the country, how has Britannia managed to stay relevant over the years?

  • By talking to our consumers – Constant engagement with our consumers is one of the key reasons for staying relevant throughout the changing landscape of consumer preferences. We are not only selling biscuits that carry flavours, they carry emotions. Whether you’re celebrating friendship, a new crush, a deep romance or finding a moment of silence, there is a biscuit that calls to mind these feelings. Our relationship with the Indian consumer is strong because we have grown with them, through all their life moments. Similar to how an old song can flood your heart with emotion, so can a single bite of a Britannia biscuit. Britannia biscuits are a faithful friend, a familiar face that will continue to stand the test of time.

 

  • By providing a fantastic brand experience – Each of our power brands can stand on their own. Why? Because each of them have their own propositions that are extremely relatable. And every piece of communication and engagement from our product brands have a unique message that resonates with the customers. Good Day’s POV is that ‘the world will be a better place if people smile more’, NutriChoice – ‘it all starts with a good choice’, Marie Gold – ‘every homemaker is nothing less than a champion athlete’, Milk Bikis – ‘forget the future, get everyday right for your child’, 50-50 – ‘sweet is just half the story’, Bourbon – ‘real friendships are the most fulfilling as they as the only relationships without pretence and judgement’, Treat – ‘fun in the middle is the best escape from everyday pressures’ and Little Hearts – ‘heartbreaks can be fun, so go on – break some hearts’. Each of these brands reach a certain target audience and speak a language that is uniquely theirs. By using this approach, each brand plays an important role in keeping Britannia in the hearts and minds of our customers and also builds the symphony of Britannia.

 

  • By experimenting and taking risks – Because without risk, there will be no scope for innovation. Our newest product innovation, Pure Magic Deuce, which came out last year, was a result of considerable market research and consumer analysis. It was a new avenue featuring a chocolate bar slab over a biscuit. No other company had ventured into chocolate-bridge products yet, we felt the time was right and there was ample opportunity for it.

How has the market for packaged snacks evolved over the years? What does the future look like?

The market has evolved rapidly over the past few years. Reasons for a crowded packaged snacks market can be attributed to lifestyle changes, rising urbanization, growing middle class, local availability, small package size, low price and products that cater to regional tastes.  So much so, this industry is expected to grow with double digit CAGR between 2018 to 2024. We, as Britannia, have tried to bring in differentiated offerings in such a crowded scenario by not just selling products or brands, but emotions. We look forward to doing a lot more innovations on this front and bringing out more exciting and delectable products to our consumers within the coming months.

How does the brand plan to innovate, considering growing awareness about healthier snacking options? 

We are seeing a steady conversation about healthier options among consumers however, it is in the beginning stages and adoption is still low. However, making healthier snacks and fortification of our portfolio is a major agenda. Fortunately, our world-class R&D efforts have stepped up to address this subject adequately and the current scenario looks very promising.  Our track record for voluntary fortification is proven with a significant portionof our portfolio already fortified with essential micro- nutrients. With that, we also take care to include fibre and whole grain to give more wholesomeness to our consumers. For example, the NutriChoice brand has whole grains (a mix of whole wheat, oats, ragi, maize, millets, etc. in varied proportions) and is high in fibre. The same can also be said for our current breads portfolio.


In second half of 2016, Britannia’s board of directors, after a rigorous process of evaluating multiple global and local branding firms, tasked Interbrand, with the responsibility to contemporize the brand. The brief was to rejuvenate the centenarian to lead the new consumers and market opportunities to reflect the company’s future plans and portfolio expansion.

“The brand’s new positioning of ‘Exciting Goodness’ espouses the increasingly relevant idea of balance. The new logo celebrates this beautiful balance between the two fundamental choice drivers – Wellbeing and Excitement as also between accessibility and premium. Remarkably Britannia is uniquely placed to champion this growing philosophy for consumption as well as lifestyle.” – Ashish Mishra, Managing Director, Interbrand India

 

 

 

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Smriti Mishra

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