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Social Cause Marketing - The Regis Group Inc

Social Cause Marketing - The Regis Group Inc

EXE MBA SEPTEMBER 2009

EXE MBA SEPTEMBER 2009 30 EFFECTIVE EXECUTIVE

and more. Society morphs and grows again. Functional attributes and functional positioning stances give way to emotional ones. The tea that gets you to fall in love? The tea that helps you work more (the work-mate tea) and more. Society grows up. Society is tired of everything else now. Consumers are matured and are selfactualising. This is the time for the ësocial causeí USP to come in. Tata Teaís Jaago-re campaign fits in here. Tata Tea is not the only company that has experimented with this to success. Lifebuoy has, with its ìLifebuoy Swasthya Chetanaî and the Lifebuoy clean up the locality campaign ads. So has Surf, with its Do bucket paani bachana hai campaign with Shabana Azmi in the lead. It sure is cause-related marketing as well. Can you give us a few examples of highly successful global Social- Cause Marketing initiatives. What can be the insightful perspectives for marketers and brand managers from these initiatives? Very simply, when you involve society in your marketing mix, it can be profitable. Society that is self-actualising emotes with your brand that much more, when you support society and its many causes. This is a terrific way to make consumer connect happen through brands. Are there any Indian brands that have succeeded in coming up with social campaigns? HUL and Tata Tea are leaders in this space (social campaigns) of socialcause marketing. Do you consider social marketing to be an effective tool in influencing the buying behavior of the customer? If it succeeds, what is the longevity of this marketing approach? Social marketing can be a single idea or it can be a cascade of many ideas that are campaignable. Tata Tea Jaago Re is a single idea. An idea that attains relevance during election time in a big way. This single idea can be used in different ways altogether. The joy of this idea lies in the fact that tea is a wake-up stimulant. The product story can be woven intrinsically into the campaign with no disconnect at all. Longevity of such ideas lies in the creative excellence that can be achieved through differing and different campaigns. Take for instance, the Jaago Re! campaign, the ad focused on election-related issues. Would people still remember the Jaago Re! campaign even after the elections? Will this make some kind of impact on the customers? If the customerís memory is short-lived, to what extent can they relate the ads with Tata Tea? Will this drive the sales of the brand even after? Most Cause-Related Marketing (CRM) campaigns are poor on sale generation. They do much more than create sale. They seldom create sales. They help build a positive brand image. Tata Tea will need to create separate and disparate campaigns to create sales. Jaago Re essentially creates brand salience, and brand positivity. For sales, you need INTERVIEW Most Cause-Related Marketing (CRM) campaigns are poor on sale generation. They do much more than create sale. They seldom create sales. They help build a positive brand image campaigns that operate at a crass level of consumption oriented dynamics. If social branding becomes the long-term initiative of Tata Tea, what can be the other socially relevant themes for the brand? Would Tata Tea continue coming up with the same kind of advertising in the future? I do believe Tata Tea must lapse into its standard format of advertising once again and must not get carried away by it all too much. It has done an excellent job with Jaago Re. But the company must move on. Remember, the number of customers who sit at the self-actualisation level in India are a nano-percentage of the total market. Time to move on. Move on with campaigns that will sell more and more tea once again. The memory of Jaago Re will be there as a good and positive stroke for a brand right through. It is important for the brand management team of Tata Tea not to get bogged down by all the accolades all around. Brand managers need to be realistic and in sync with ground level needs of the sales teams. How do you look at this initiative? Is this Tata Teaís Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or just any other marketing/branding initiative? I do believe this is Tata Teaís social responsibility activity that has a brand piggybacking on it. I do believe it is an excellent campaign and has created for the brand and the company a very positive appeal in the minds of consumers ñ not only consumers of tea, but consumers of the democracy that we live within. Tata Tea is also a global brand with significant market shares in countries like the UK and the US. In the light of growing cause-re- lated marketing programs, do you see any need for the company to take up such initiatives even at the global level? I do think the opportunity lies open in this realm. There can be campaigns that talk the green language for instance. Tea is green and the green cover it adds to, is a story in itself. The global opportunity is big, but highly cluttered as of now. Tata Tea took up Jaago Re! campaign after it attained first position in India in terms of volume. As such, do you establish any relationship between brand life cycle and social-cause marketing? At what stage of brand life cycle does it make sense for any company to come out of its traditional advertising model (highlighting as usual the emotional and physical characteristics of product/brand) SEPTEMBER 2009 31 EFFECTIVE EXECUTIVE

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