S. Subramanyeswar is the Group CEO at MullenLowe Lintas Group and Chief Strategy Officer of Asia Pacific & Head of the Global Planning Council of MullenLowe group. He has been awarded the 'South Asia Planner of the Year' twice by Campaign magazine and has won over 142 awards. With over 28 years of industry experience in marketing and corporate communications, Arjit Sengupta is the Chief Marketing & Communication Officer (CMCO) at the National Stock Exchange of India. Prof. Arvind Sahay is a Professor of Marketing & International Business and the Chairperson of the NSE Centre for Behavioral Science at IIMA. Prof. Sahay is also the author of, ‘Brands & the Brain’ published by Penguin Random House in 2022.
The panellists on this webinar talk about different behavioral biases and how the brain behaves while performing these biases, particularly in the context of brand evaluation. Previous literature suggests that the human brain tends to conserve energy and shuts off when there is something deep and more informative to process. In such cases, the brain uses heuristics, also known as mental shortcuts, to make a given choice or decision. The three most common behavioral biases are representativeness, availability, and anchoring biases. For instance, a quick look at an electric sport bike will trigger a set of biases that run parallelly in the mind. An attempt is made to correlate the present images with an existing image of the bike in the mind. Similarly, how easily it is available or can be recalled will also ease the process of choosing one brand or product over another.
Panellists also drew the audience’s attention towards the other side of the story which focuses on how brands are changing themselves to make a place in the consumer's brain. How can a brand connect with its consumers more effectively? In the last decade or so, more emphasis has been placed on the beliefs for which a brand stands than on its catchy proposition. Brands have evolved as consumers’ perspectives toward the market have changed. Brands represent the human faces of the company and to further strengthen this stance, brands are now more about culture than the market. Many strategies have been adopted to promote unique selling propositions, like emotional selling, brand selling, and finally the holistic selling proposition. Panellists also talked about the idea of consumer behavior in the context of a stock exchange. i.e., the journey of encouraging all age groups and professions to invest.
After the pandemic subsided in 2021, there was a drastic shift in the method of trading. Most trading occurred online, either through the screen or various applications, which in turn increased the reach of investors. The marketing strategy that is followed by the Exchange is called, “Moment Marketing”, which broadly targets breaking stereotypes. The role of household women as investors is also considerably significant. The campaign was run to encourage people to invest consciously and with valid information.
The webinar concluded with the panellists coming to a mutual consensus where in one case the brand is engaging with the consumer, and in other cases, the customer is inclined toward the brand itself. In both cases, the key focus is on ‘customer experience’. The webinar ended with some key insights for young entrepreneurs to escalate in the ongoing market. It is important to sell the belief, not the brand.