“The Perfect Brand Image”- what do you perceive from it and what all goes behind its creation?
Brand image or perception is a social activity. It is how different communities perceive you. Brand Image like any truth is subjective. For example there is difference in the manner Sachin Tendulkar will be perceived in India vis-a-vis in West Indies or in Australia. Or if tomorrow Deepika wants to conduct a dialogue with the global audience the process will be completely different.
Any brand cannot have a generic image. It is dependent on those who perceive it.
It is the outcome of the dialogue that you conduct with the target audience. So, when you are building a brand, you are conducting a dialogue with various stake holders. In that it is vital to see it from the point of view of a community rather than just a brand.
How did Spice happen?
Spice happened rather randomly. We were just looking to explore an opportunity in the entertainment market. We were not sure whether or not we will get it, but we did!
We thought of starting from the top, the biggest guys in the business. Thankfully I don’t know if it was luck or sheer kindness on Mr. Aditya Chopra’s part, we got an opportunity. Since then, it has been an impeccable journey.
How has the journey been?
The journey has been remarkable. In last 12 years, the industry has changed massively and whatever changes have happened, whether in film marketing, growth of business or artists being conscious of their image and actively choosing to conduct a dialogue with their fans, we have been there. We have been the part of evolution. There has been a significant change and we have been one of the agents of it.
Also, we must realize that at the end of the day PR Marketing is a social process. It is somewhere connecting with the popular culture. If one seeks to be popular today, one has to connect or contribute to the popular culture.
If a sizeable society is changing so fast, then you have no other option but to keep up with the change. The journey has been of change, basically not to match up the speed, but, to be ahead of the curve.
In an industry so dynamic, how do you comply with respect to changing trends, behavioral pattern and expectations of society?
As an organisation or even an individual you can’t afford to be in a bubble. First requirement is to be connected, not in terms of gadgets or any other means but through a connection which is slightly more meaningful. A connection where you are able to get the essence of the popular culture, and you are somewhere connected to the ground in a manner to be able to anticipate what will happen next.
5. One thing you wish to change and one thing you wish to retain about your industry.
We are an inward looking industry, and we tend to see things from our own point of view which to an extent is unchangeable, because it is a creative business .In creativity the creator chooses to think more often than not, but the marketing of the business cannot afford to be inward looking. While the creators can afford to be in a bubble, perhaps to protect their creativity, that too is debatable but what is not debatable is, that the marketers in the business have to be connected and see things from the point of view of a larger picture.
We need to realize that “We are not the larger picture, but, a part of it”. We need to evolve our business, start thinking about the society and things happening outside our immediate boundaries.
What we need to retain is our “appeal”. As an industry we appeal, we cause a difference. We should not overdo things in a manner where that appeal is diminished. The thirst and the appetite that our society has for entertain consumption that appetite should remain.
What role is Social Media Platform playing on today’s marketing standards?
It is just another tool!
It does not change the fundamentals; it changes the ways and means. Social Media is not altering the basic fundamentals of marketing; it is enhancing the armoury with another weapon which has its own uniqueness. We are learning the uniqueness of this platform which has become crucial and vital.
It has personalized things more than ever before and somewhere this has created a chaos. The situation has become more chaotic because everyone has a voice and every one of them is an influence, so how to deal with that situation? We haven’t mastered the art but we are learning this new space in marketing.
How difficult is celebrity management in comparison to marketing and communicating film?
It is not difficult, it is different. There is a lot of difference in the craft of handling unanimated and animated brands.
You slowly start on building a brand. You study, do research, identify strengths and weaknesses, opportunities, worst or best case scenarios and accordingly structure and tailor a communication schedule. It also depends on your acts. As they say “action speaks louder than words”, communication and action has to be a combined activity working in tandem so that your choices are correct. You also are dealing with temperament so you need to identify the personality and weave a communication that suits. The idea is not to change the personality.
So it’s a complex process and very different from what you do in a film or corporate PR.
Whom do you owe your success to?
There is a degree of success that spice has achieved and we completely owe it to the people we have worked with. Very perceptive personalities like Aditya Chopra, Aamir Khan, Anil Kapoor, who have taught us a lot. There outlook has made us learn a lot of things and here I credit Spice as we have been able to pick up those learning’s. We owe great amount success in whatever we have been able to do to our clients.