From Pay-off to Point of View

Jul 22 2014, 01:49 IST
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SummaryIncreasingly, brands are developing a certain world view and are espousing a certain point of view.

Increasingly, brands are developing a certain world view and are espousing a certain point of view. This makes for breakthrough communication that is usually richer, more thought provoking and definitely more engaging

EVER since Lalitaji took centre stage on national television to exhort the unsuspecting Indian housewife to not be taken for a ride through her popular catch-phrase— “Surf khariddari mein hi samajhdari hai” (Buying Surf is the smart thing to do)—India’s obsession with offering strong pay-offs in communication began! A nation whose way of thinking and behaving has for long been dictated by the notion of Brahminical restraint, cuddling up close to any value based proposition came quite naturally to us. “What’s in it for me?”— is a question that most Indian consumers instinctively asked every Indian marketer. And every Indian marketer worth its salt gladly obliged by inevitably responding in the following manner—‘I am better’ or ‘cheaper’ or ‘faster’ or ‘softer’ or ‘lighter’ or ‘easier’—depending on the category and depending on the brand! Proposition or pay-off based advertising has been the name of the game so far in India, as immortalised by Maruti’s ‘“Kitna deti hai?” (How much mileage does the car give?) brand conversation.

But things are changing. Increasing competition leading to more of product/service parity, greater consumer affluence and exposure, a higher propensity to spend, indulge and pleasure up—all these factors have combined to give birth to a very different kind of communication construct. The consumer necessarily is not at the heart of it, or at least she is definitely not the starting point in this process. This model of communication does not necessarily ask the consumer what he or she wants, and subsequently does not go on to provide the same to her. Rather it starts from the brand out, and not from the consumer in. This kind of communication is not about the consumer pay-off, but about the brand point of view (PoV) or philosophy. The brand decides what it wants to believe in, it develops a certain world view and espouses a certain PoV. And, if you as a consumer believe in that philosophy or over-arching sentiment, feel free to join the brand-wagon. If not, you are free to gravitate towards its competitor brand or any other brand for that matter! No unnecessary consumer pampering here—but rather creating a higher order belief system where people who believe in what the brand believes in, flock

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