In conversation with Neha Savardekar, Director, Brand Communications, DDB
Can you tell us about your professional & academic background? Please brief us about your role at DDB Mudra?
I am a Chemistry graduate from Mumbai University. I also learned German and did my PGDBA from Indo German Chamber of Commerce. Post gaining relevant work experience in the field of Marketing and Advertising, I went to UK to pursue my Masters in Marketing from Manchester Business School.
I am currently working as a Director, Brand Communications with DDB Mudra Pvt. Ltd. My key responsibilities involve intimate understanding of client’s core business and thereby providing integrated strategic and creative communication solutions.
What is your favourite branding campaign right now?
I like the Tanishq – “A wedding to remember” campaign. The story is woven around remarriage. This boldly showcases the changing mindset of people in India and also the contemporary woman. Remarriage is not looked down upon anymore.
By taking a traditional and emotional space and making it contemporary and progressive is quite an achievement. This campaign truly differentiate Tanishq in the consumer’s mind as a “New Age” brand for the progressive consumer.
How and by what channels do you create an emotional attachment with customers to build brand loyalty?
With immense competition across different sectors/ industries, it is crucial for brands to create an emotional attachment with its customers. Building value through differentiation and meaningful connections is the key. This will further lead to brand loyalty. Also increasingly it is important to have an integrated approach to marketing. One can no longer look at one medium/ channel of communication in isolation. It has to be looked at in a holistic way, especially in the digital age where content is readily available and accessible.
Do you think having a “Brand Character” is an important component of a successful branding strategy? Who is your favourite brand character?
I think it important for a brand to have character and to be interesting. This in itself creates a differentiation in the consumers mind or you can say a unique brand identity. At the top of mind I can think of L’Oreal. It has been consistent with its communication and created a strong brand character of being ambitious, innovative, scientific and confident. This has been anchored in their brand identity – “Because you are worth it”, where the word “worth” stands for excellence of character.
What measures do you take to ensure a better brand positioning for your client’s vis-à-vis their competitors? Please cite one such example.
We need to go through the basis of understanding our product, category, competition, and consumers. At times also look at other parallel industries and draw learning’s from there. But at the end of the day – create a differentiation for your brand that could be either through a life insight or a product benefit that resonates well with the consumers.
Take Apple for example – their brand positioning of “Think Different” reflects in their innovative product offerings. Or Coco Cola – “Open Happiness.” Coco Cola is all about the little day to day joys and spreading smiles.
What has been the most exciting moment of your professional life so far?
Well that would be when I was working for Sorento Health Care – a healthcare advertising firm. I was given an opportunity to work on something which is beyond the foray of communications. I was working on developing a portal for Patient Assistance Program (Renassist) for Genzyme. Renassist is a support program for chronic kidney disease patients on dialysis who take Renvela. My role was to design the program and create a portal for generating a patient / Dr data-base, tracking the progress of the program and thereby generating customized reports.