Is consumer engagement enough?

Its quite ironical.

We have marketers using interactive methods to get consumers engaged with a brand. The idea is to get the consumer to participate in the building of a brand. And the assumption here is, the engaged consumer would at the time of purchase, consider the brand with which he is engaged, as the one high on his purchase list.

Take Titan, for instance. The company tied up with Radio One for a week, renaming the station Fast Track 94.3 FM, for their brand's 'Move on' campaign. Listeners were asked to come up with different ways to use the tagline, generating over 5,000 SMSes and 3,000 calls.

Or Frito Lay. Its 'Fight For Your Flavour' campaign for its snack brand, allowed consumers to choose which flavour stays in the market. As a result Frito-Lay saw double-digit growth and an increase in brand relevance on the back of the market-energising innovations this year.

The irony?

I acutely remember the time I walked into the Titan store at the Forum Mall. On quizzing the store personnel about watches on display I got a reply in Hindi. My continued conversation in English had no effect on the store person who continued in Hindi. Exasperated I asked if it was okay to converse in English. I got an unintelligible mutter as a reply. Sure enough, I walked out. Experiences of this kind are common place across India, where service levels border on being rude.

Sure, Interactive campaigns engage customers, get them to recall brands and even place them on the top of the heap in terms of recall. But the real essence of brand comes across when it communicates one on one with me, the consumer, inside a store; more so for the one that falls into a high involvement category. This is the engagement that can make or break a sale for a brand. For Titan, it was a break, inside the store; never mind what it does with an FM channel.

So it is for others.


Moments of truth...

Can never be overlooked. No matter how good an advertisement is, how good the pre-sales campaign is, for any product, be it a consumer good or an IT product like a server, the moment of truth is something that can make or break the deal for the whole brand. Brand Equity would depend on this factor as well.

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