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Chlorophyll launches new agency on 15th anniversary

The new agency, 1+99, will be devoted to correcting brand behaviour and aligning it to the unchanging idea that drives a brand

Sohini Sen | Mumbai | August 19, 2014

chlorophylIChlorophyll, the brand and communications consultant, has completed 15 years. On the occasion, Chlorophyll formally launched a new agency, 1+99, which will be devoted to correcting brand behaviour and aligning it to the unchanging idea that drives a brand. This is India’s first experience and design consultancy and execution agency started by Chlorophyll along with Anaggh Desai and Yashesh Shethia. It has already won a handful of clients.

Anand Halve Anand Halve

To celebrate the completion of 15years in the business, the founders of Chlorophyll got together brand experts to discuss important issues in branding. The panel discussion, chaired by Chlorophyll’s co-founder Anand Halve, on the topic ‘Corporate brands are the new product brands’, saw eminent names from the industry such as Rajiv Batra, Ramesh Jude Thomas and Ravi Dhariwal as panellists.

The discussion started with Halve pointing out that when a consumer buys a product, he does not just purchase the particular item but also buys into the brand. In such a scenario, how important does corporate branding become?

According to Rajeev Batra, Sebatian S Kresge Professor of Marketing and Director of Yaffe Center for Persuasive Communication, Ross School of Management, University of Michigan, there are several situations where corporate branding becomes crucial. These include situations when there is a clear upside being noticed and predicted, when the product category is perceived as having high risk, when we need to separate myth or claim from reality or when the product category might be fine, but the brand is in danger.

He observed that earlier when Indian markets were homogenous, it made sense to invest in building a corporate brand image. But in the present scenario, the brand’s image sometimes has no real impact. The meaning one gives to the brand can be a very powerful tool. Batra was of the opinion that a blanket proposition cannot be made when it comes to corporate branding, since in some situations it is helpful and in some others, it is not required.

Ravi Dhariwal Ravi Dhariwal

Ravi Dhariwal, Executive Director and CEO, Bennett, Coleman and Company (BCCL), shared his perspective based on his experience at The Times of India (TOI) about how recognising a master brand can help take the parent brand ahead. BCCL was well known for TOI and decided to expand the TOI name by launching the Times Group. But at the same time, the values of TOI – neutrality, credibility and freedom – had to be imbibed by the parent brand as well.

President and Chief Knowledge Officer at Equitor Value Advisory, Ramesh Jude Thomas, felt that the problem lies in the fact that we too often micro-focus on categories instead of the bigger picture or the brand. He used the example of Murugappa Group. The group has a separate board which decides on upholding the values of the brand because of which it has always paid the sugar farmers within 15 days, leading to constant sugar supply, no labour unrest and better relations with its clients like EID Parry. Though the brand name might be small, to clients and prospective clients, it is reliable and creditable which makes it a good business.

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