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Brands should move from buying attention to earning people’s attention, says Ashwath Swaminathan of Lakme

At the XIV IAMAI Marketing Conclave, Swaminathan said brands should reach a heterogeneous group like millennials through the right length of relevant content at the right time

Digital is a medium that has helped brands reach the audience at the right time, efficiently. But the traditional form of advertising on digital is going to dramatically shrink at some point. Because of this, brands are now forced to do a model of content that is more relevant and compelling. Brands have to move from buying attention to earning people’s attention. For storytelling to add value to a brand, the right length of content should reach to the right kind of audience.

Speaking at the XIV IAMAI Marketing Conclave, on ‘Marketing to millenials’, Ashwath Swaminathan, Head, Lakme, HUL, defined millennials as the young people who are digital-savvy and are not easily convinced by the conventional thought process while making a conscious decision. The group is heterogeneous because of the multiple options it has on multiple platforms and they can be reached through right content at the right time.

E-commerce has allowed brands to sell more premium products while experimenting with the smallest of products. Quoting the example of Lakme’s lip crayon, which initially was sold heavily at Rs 650 and then re-launched at the price of Rs 185 with different formulation that made premium product accessible to all, he said experimentation with beauty products has gone up dramatically, which is a revolution.

Speaking on Kareena Kapoor Khan’s personalised product line with Lakme that was built only online, he said, “It is 100% possible today to build brands over any particular platform. Brands have been built over television, radio, print medium advertising and outdoor. It depends on the fundamentals of building a brand.” He said personalisation should be relevant; the moment it becomes creepy chasing customers, brands should stop it.

Talking about the role of influencers associated with brands, Swaminathan said celebrities’ face cannot be replaced with influencers. Role of influencers or bloggers start when a brand needs authenticity and conviction to engage with customers. He said, “Last year, we launched a product where we worked with the bloggers. We got 10 times the reach and value. Work with influencers to look authentic. The line between celebrity and influencer is the authenticity.”

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