Brands built on transactional relationships are destined to become mere commodities: Sukhleen Aneja

“Metrics and fads fade, but genuine connections endure” – The CEO of The Good Glamm Group iterates that brands must prioritise building authentic relationships with consumers and focus on delivering a differentiated value proposition

Khushi Keswani
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Sukhleen Aneja

Sukhleen Aneja

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Mumbai: In a recent interview, the CEO of The Good Glamm Group, Sukhleen Aneja, got candid with to share insights on cutting through the noise of today's frenetic marketing landscape. "Adaptability is a survival skill. If you don't adapt, you're redundant,” she asserted.

Aneja dove headfirst into the buzz at Goafest 2024, a forum buzzing with discussions on navigating the ever-shifting sands of consumer behaviour. Speaking on the festival’s central theme, "age of adaptability," she reflected on how this is a concept resonating with brands grappling with both the challenges and opportunities presented by an audience in constant flux. While some see these changes as a backward slide, others see them as a progressive leap forward. But for Aneja, the question isn't whether to adapt; it's how to morph effectively while retaining your essence.

"Consumers are evolving," she declared, her voice leaving no room for debate. "And all of us are fundamentally in the service of serving our consumers. We have no choice but to adapt and serve consumer needs." 

However, her vision extends far beyond the fleeting allure of the newest trend. Aneja emphasised the crucial, and often overlooked, aspect of building genuine relationships with consumers. She warned against confusing short-term performance metrics with long-term brand loyalty. "The real test for brands is to see if brands are going to be able to outlast and outlive their founders." 

Brands built solely on transactional relationships, she argued, are destined to become mere commodities, eventually fading into the background hum of forgotten marketing campaigns. 

This laser focus on fostering long-term connections extended to Aneja's perspective on performance marketing, a siren song for online businesses seeking rapid customer acquisition. 

While acknowledging its role in propelling a brand towards critical mass, she cautioned against getting lost in the echo chamber of performance metrics and superficial incentives. 

"There's no harm in it," she conceded. "But to build a longer-standing relationship, you have to create advertising or create a connection with consumers, which is a lot more long-term, which simply implies that you have to allow consumers to understand what your differentiated mode is."

Whether it's in your product or it's in your experience, Aneja emphasised the importance of clear communication. Brands, she argued, must effectively articulate their core values, target audience, and the unique benefits they offer. This clarity allows consumers to understand a brand's differentiated value proposition, fostering a deeper understanding and a stronger connection. "Often, it's about the emotional connection more than the figures," she revealed, underscoring the power of forging a bond that transcends mere numbers.

When pressed for specific campaigns that exemplify successful adaptation, Aneja turned to titans like Nike and Amul. These brands, she argued, have mastered the art of adapting distribution strategies while staying true to their core identity. 

"The Amul girl has been the same for 100 years," she pointed out, a hint of admiration in her voice. "It has also adapted its distribution. But it has still built a real connection.” In fact, it's important to understand what you choose to maintain and what you choose to change. But if you change your very core, you will not stand for anything. You lose the connection."

Success hinges on embracing change, but not at the expense of one's core identity – was the key takeaway from how Aneja is navigating the industry right now. Ultimately, this signifies that brands that prioritise authentic relationships with consumers and focus on delivering a differentiated value proposition will be the ones that not only survive but thrive in the ever-evolving marketing maelstrom.