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ShabnamExecutive Vice President & Head Marketing,
Edelweiss Group

The Perfect Brand Image”- what do you perceive from it and what all goes behind its creation?
I don’t think there’s something like a Perfect Brand Image – in itself these words seem to imply status quo – coz after achieving perfection – there’s nowhere else to go. Brands and therefore their images will constantly evolve – and in today’s world evolution is almost daily. While we had an image of being ‘professional, sophisticated, expert, innovative, premium’ – we have consciously added on dimensions that make the brand more ‘approachable, friendly, understanding and empathetic’ – I would imagine a perfect brand image is reached when the image transcends different consumer segments and to all it means ‘this brand is for me’.

Edelweiss Financial Service enjoys a significant share of Financial Service market. What are the challenges that the brand faces in the market?
Two Challenges – Focus on building quality businesses first. Leveraging brand halo of a multiline financial services company Edelweiss has entered the retail space only about 5 odd years ago. So while it is well known in the corporate and industry segments as being one of the largest players in Credit , stressed assets, institutional broking – it has lagged in building awareness with the retail segment. Secondly, we are a multiline financial services company that is not a bank – and that conceptually is difficult to grasp – a bank is easy to understand, a loan or gold loan company, or housing company or insurance company is again simple….we are all of this and NOT a bank – so how do you grasp what we can do for you? Track after track has shown that Edelweiss is differentiated from its peers and enjoys a brand halo. Now smart product marketing is what is required to leverage the halo and take advantage of high consideration numbers.

PERSONAL GRID

What things fascinate you the most when you travel?
Discovering things that are totally offbeat, speaking to local people, local food, local streets, artefacts, getting to the heart of the place – history.
What are your hobbies?
Music, theatre, discovering and learning everything digital
Best and the worst thing about your job.
Best – There is so much to do and we’ve only scratched the surface.
Worst thing – Marketing is an expense
What is a Sunday to you?
My day with me and mine.

What is your prime focus for retaining customers?
Suno Samjho Suljhao – our internal customer centricity motto. Over a few years ago, we had an extensive immersion exercise to ensure we ‘inhaled and exhaled’ customer centric behavior.

“Money coming in says I’ve made the right marketing decision”- till what regard regard do you observe this quote?
Partly yes and partly no – 50/50, and sales & marketing will forever clash on this subject. ‘Money coming in’ seems to imply short term, transactional, transient and promotional relationships. Marketing’s endeavor has always been to ensure long term sustainable relationships, built on perceived value, ingrained in mind and heart resulting in brand advocacy. However when ‘money comes in’ because a brand is valued, either perceptually or experientially, it directly translates into higher life time value of the customer.

One thing you wish to change.
A common regulatory body and a simple mechanism for client identification (ala Aadhar) will be a great change – and will build trust for both the user and the seller. Fintech and how quickly the industry is at the forefront of transforming India – wow!

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