The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Popular brands run the risk of fatigue

New Delhi, Aug. 20: Brands in India tend to last longer — but it is becoming awfully hard to sustain them on a meagre diet of ‘age-old ethical values’.

“Brand fatigue hits most companies when they become complacent, arrogant and start milking their brands for all they are worth. Do not do it beyond a certain limit,” cautioned Adi Godrej, chairman of the 107-year old Godrej group at the fourth marketing summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

People like Godrej believed that “all greatest and best recognised brands in India tend to be long-lived”. However, he observed the best brands would fall off their perches if they weren’t nurtured.

Discussing the theme ‘Brands-anti-wrinkle formula’, Godrej said that the formula suggests the understanding of the changing consumer mind and reformulating brand strategies from time to time while retaining the age-old ethical values.

Voicing the challenge of brand retention at a time when there is an invasion in market dynamics, Kamini Banga, managing director of Dimensions Consultancy, said “Brands are real celebrities. The biggest challenge to a brand is to help it remain as relevant to its customers as it was yesterday.”

The participants of this summit were, however, convinced that brands live and breathe only on our minds. “What makes a brand is only our perception of it; with time it can become completely obsolete,” said Banga.

Stating the five most classic traps that brands conscious companies should avoid, Banga said, “A brand can’t be much too late, has to liberate itself enough not to miss an opportunity, learn how to deal with consumer disconnect, ensure that brand consistency is across all multiple touch points and move ahead from the fear of big bets.”

While trying to question the concept of timelessness, Santosh Desai, president, McCann Erickson (India) Limited said, “There are no silver bullets for the strong brands. Why should we expect a brand to be ageless'”

He explained that while the oldest and most trusted of brands need to continually evolve themselves as a mechanism of process-building, they need to pull up their socks to the changing lifestyles and definitions of consumer mindset.

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