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Stephen Hawking once said that “Intelligence is the ability to change”. The speaker Jermina Menon, strongly recommends the brands to think that way.

Hello guys, thanks for being here.
This is about the insights I picked up in a webinar on “GETTING BACK TO THE BASICS – RE-ENGINEERING YOUR BRAND FOR COVID WORLD”. The speaker of the webinar was Ms.Jermina Menon. This webinar was conducted on 16.06.2020 through BRATS platform. The speaker  is a Business Marketing Consultant and an alumnus of IIM – Bangalore. She is also a mentor in BRATS platform.

Ms.Jermina started her talks with -“Unless companies invest in the difficult task of creating new things, they will fail in the future; no matter how big their profits remain today” – written by Peter Thiel in his book “Zero to One”, 2014.
The mentor answers “why should the brands change?” as because their customers are changing. she also put some of her thoughts on change in customer behaviour like:
(i) The safety is now the biggest factor in changing the shopping format and brands. This led to more online consumption. Even in offline consumption, brands which will promise health and win trust will bag good sales.
(ii) The customers have been noticed watching screens for longer time than ever before. They are also looking for home deliveries, e-Entertainers, etc.
(iii) The customers are switching to the brands, which are helping the people in need during covid.
(iv) The lack of the required brands they normally buy, may lead to the purchase of new brands. Good experiences can bring good customers.
(v) Care for your customers and spread awareness messages. Don’t scare the customers using fear as an emotion of communication.
(vi) Consumers will require more value at the same price. This can create a positive impact in your customers.

Now Let’s get deep into the topic.

The brands should look for a change. This change is expected to happen by Re-Inventing, Re-Engineering, Re-Building the brand basics. The mentor picks some great examples for explaining the companies, which have implemented the above 3-Re’s properly.

The Re-Invention of starbucks company in china (example given by mentor):
Starbucks has been third place for employees till covid-19. The situational changes led the industry leader to change its business model, introducing takeaway only counters. The focus was shifted back on to their core product – coffee and coffee breakfast. This change is expected to bring 75% of its customers back for takeaways.

The experiential marketing models are at pause. The phenomenon of experience seemed to impossible for example- beauty products. Beauty products are generally first experienced and then purchased. Now the experiential marketing of beauty products is difficult. But the mentor, being a retail expert, brings in her innovative idea here. She suggests the brands to have 1-gram sachets, 2-5 ml perfume bottles, one time usable nail polish stickers etc. This makes the customer experience the products in their buying journey. 

If you are a restaurant then you should look to be more just than a restaurant, she adds. Wow momos in bangalore did exactly same and started delivering the essentials to meet the customers’ needs.

Lets look at another example by the mentor:

Due to the lock-down, the Premium bakery would not have been able to offer its customers the cafe dining  facility. Hence it decided to tap into its loyal database of customers and marketed through what’s app and reached customers through their delivery staff. To increase frequency of orders, new items like teacakes and muffins were added to the menu.Later they also looked at developing new product line and observed  #lockdowncooking  and #WFHmeals trending on social media.The premium bakery chain pushed its value added bakery products like sourdough  breads, pizza bases, burger buns etc. Further, it introduced dips and sauces as accompaniments for such breads and cooking resulting in increasing customer bill size growth. The result – the chain managed thru such quick action achieving about  60-70% of their normal sales. 

According to the mentor, new product development opportunities are always there. Brands need to be attentive and listen to the customers and look at their behavioural trends. Then try getting some different product that adds value to your customers.

The Mentor also suggested the brands not to give up the core. The customer trusts the brand core. If there is a chance to keep up with same core, then take it forward. The customers will definitely look at you.

Why are we doing all this?
Because the mentor believes in the new normal. The brands need to keep themselves close to the customers and understand their behavioural changes, then adapt to the new normal.

What it takes to get these done?
(i) The urge to survive and revive.
(ii) Re-looking into your product to fulfil the current customer needs.
(iii) Willingness to adapt.
(iv) Keep re-inventing.
(v) Reward your customer for their loyalty. So Guys, hope you find this useful and brands be ready for new normal!!!!!

More about the speaker

Jermina Menon is an alumnus of IIM-Bangalore. She is also a retail industry expert. She has a wide exposure to the industry working at different levels. She worked as senior vice president marketing for pathfinder Global FZCO and as vice president marketing for virtuous retail. She also worked as a marketing head for reliance retail and head-mall marketing for mantri developers.