Landor, a global brand strategy firm, has just released its list of top 10 global agile brands, which has Samsung on top, followed by Android, Wikipedia and Google. Nick Foley, its president, South East Asia Pacific & Japan,Landor discusses agility, millenials and Indian brands withPurva Chitnis
Why are most brands in the list technology driven brands?
They are the most relevant to their target audience and (one) can reach a lot more target audience on a mobile platform. Leading (a key brand trait) comes down to how relevant the brand is. Being true (another brand trait), is about being principled, responsible and open whereas leading is about being multi-channel and adaptive.
What about other categories – like FMCG brands?
They are great brands but they need to be ‘leading’ in how they chart their future. The objective for FMCG brands is to have products that allow them to be leading. And to do that, they need to be differentiated and relevant to their target audience. They need to develop product ranges and need to be multi-channel and able to adapt to different channels of communication. They need to be innovative and adaptive to millennials. But in India although it is different, it will evolve.
In the Indian context, will the (agility)model work?
India is doing a pretty good job when it comes to multi-channel because it has skipped a generation. Earlier, houses didn’t have PCs sitting on the family table or laptops. Suddenly there is a proliferation of smart phones. And it (India) is a younger generation than a France or a Canada. So here there is greater freedom to engage with consumers, which of course is what the smart phone is doing.
It is the younger consumers who don’t have loyalty issues and are more risk taking. Another thing with millennials is that they want to be a part of co-creation. It is (all about) how they can be involved in influencing the brand and they want brands to hear them.
Out of the six agile traits, what should an Indian brand focus on?
Probably, they need to be more global in thinking. And with their base in India, they need to start appealing to people residing outside India. And if you create a brand that is nationalist, they need to be true to local and also need to be leading and engaging with actual global consumers. Tata Motors and Mahindra are incredibly leading in their approach.
What are the challenges that traditional brands face?
Traditional brands face the challenge of a legacy. With legacy, comes lack of progress. Hence they often are true (brands) but not leading (brands) in their approach. They need to think how they can be disruptive. JetBlue (for example) is quite disruptive.