Alok Kejriwal On the Importance Of Branding
July 31, 2012 4 Comments
“Sam (Sam Balsara of Madison Media) was invited by a Mega Marwari Corporation (MMC) for a chat to help create a Salt Brand. Sam was asked by the grey haired senior executive, ‘how much money would it cost to build India’s greatest salt brand?’ Sam thought for a moment and said ‘Say 20-30 crores (4-6 million US$) in media spends. Assuming your product is great, that should take you to the top’. Mr. Grey Hair heard this and almost fell off his chair…
He said ‘Sam – with that money, I can build 5 more Salt factories!’. Sam pointed in the direction across the street and said ‘Mr. Grey Hair – the folks just opposite your office created Tata Salt. Today, every salt factory in the country goes to them to supply them unbranded salt. The one solo Tata Salt brand is more valuable that 100 plain factories put together. Adding 5 more factories to your collection will not do anything for you’. Mr. Grey Hair looked perplexed.
From the first day of attending my father’s business, I was told ‘advertising is a waste of money’. It gets you mixed up with wrong people. Just invest all the moneys in factories and machines.
How short term is that! Once in a while, I look at a toothpaste tube of Colgate in my bathroom & flip the side and read ‘Made by xyz in abc fatory’. Mr. Grey Hair and his 5 factories come to mind. Just consider the economics – If he were in toothpaste supplies, he would be paid 4 months after supplying his goods to Colgate, while Colgate would have collected money from me in advance even before I opened my toothpaste box.
Its ironical that I left my father’s business to start a digital advertising business. And I have learnt that no matter how great your service or product is, if you can’t brand it and communicate it, it will not create long term value.”