Finding its place in the sun

Skymet wants to showcase its expertise beyond forecasting

With a new logo and tagline — “beyond weather” — the company is rebuilding its image
With a new logo and tagline — “beyond weather” — the company is rebuilding its image

Private weather and agri-risk monitoring company Skymet feels it suffers from a perception issue. Starting out as a weather forecasting company a decade ago, it has, over the years, become a virtual treasure trove of information on its field. Today it not only collects information on conditions that affect a farmer’s work or his crops, the agency also provides data to insurers so farmers can strengthen their claims. The client list of Skymet also includes oil and gas firms, ports, power transmission and distribution companies as well as banks. It has cutting edge mobile technology at its disposal to assist its clients to plan and prepare for the vagaries of the weather.

Still, the label of the “weather man” has stuck.

So now with a new logo and tagline — “beyond weather” — the company is rebuilding its image. Says Yogesh Patil, CEO of Skymet, “With the new corporate identity, we are aiming to elevate our brand. Our mission is to advance our understanding of weather and climate and their impact on the world, while also developing sustainable solutions for a better future.”

The time to take that leap is just right. Says Kuldeep Tyagi, marketing manager, Skymet, “We started as a weather company, doing forecasts and advisory. However, over the years, we learnt how weather information can be useful for different industries in different ways and so we tailored it according to their needs. We now serve a vast portfolio of sectors and industries and this is what we’re trying to relay to the public.”

Time for change

The potential in the space is huge. The global weather forecasting services market size was estimated at $2.4 billion in 2021, and is expected to surpass around $4.6 billion by 2030 at a CAGR of 10%, according to Precedence Research. Of this, the Indian market size is at least $100 million, according to industry experts.
Private weather forecasters use data generated by national meteorological agencies and then present the information according to sector-specific needs. “This is because generating such information requires huge investments, which private entities lack,” states D Sivananda Pai, director at the Kottayam-based Institute for Climate Change Studies.

The information supplied to different industries is different as it serves varying purposes, adds Pai. Skymet’s Tyagi explains in detail:

Take sectors such as agriculture. The weather of a certain location is the most important factor as it decides which crop the farmers would sow, when they must irrigate their farms, when they can harvest, etc. Meanwhile, offshore companies like to know about potential tides and cyclones as those can affect business. Logistics, manufacturing, and power transmission industries also need weather information to plan their operations. In case of a severe weather event, they can safeguard their physical infrastructure and ensure business continuity. Banks and insurance companies also need such data for risk mitigation.

There is significant, increasing competition in the space as well. Global player and IBM subsidiary, The Weather Company, also operates in India and provides similar services. Maryland-based Earth Networks also services India, along with WRMS (Weather Risk Management Services).

The rebranding exercise will help Skymet reinforce its decade-old experience and expertise in the domain, say experts. “It takes time and money to establish a brand. A valid reason to tinker with an existing brand identity is when the brand wishes to signal change and set up new expectations from its consumers and other interest groups. Skymet’s reason is valid, making this an opportune time to signal some discontinuity with the past,” says Samit Sinha, founder and managing partner, Alchemist Brand Consulting.

Neeraj Bassi, chief growth officer, Cheil India, added, “The new identity takes Skymet forward from ‘weather-wise’ to ‘beyond weather’. Symbolically, the shift from grey clouds to blue (in the logo design) gives a sense of upliftment and the introduction of a smile makes the brand warm and friendly. Given that a weather service would end up serving bad news on occasions, a positive brand identity helps build a warm connection with the audience, reassuring them that things will get better. Also, the tagline gives them the opportunity to focus on the impact of the forecast, rather than the forecast itself.”

For a brand that is not exactly consumer focussed, an energetic rebranding exercise is a good first step to draw attention to the new plan it has chalked out of itself. The real test will be how well it executes that plan.

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First published on: 05-05-2023 at 09:01 IST