It might seem counterintuitive to launch a new brand when the economy is in the dumps, but a slowdown can actually be the ideal time for unveiling a brand, a company or simply pumping in money behind your already existing portfolio. In fact, many successful brands were born during an economic slump.
Why do these brands succeed? Usually it’s because the manufacturer recognised a market need and filled it. Identifying that need —whether it’s related to entertainment, travel or even streamlining how businesses operate — is the key to any thriving enterprise, regardless of the economic climate in which it begins. This point comes out strongly in the results of Brand Derby, an annual survey of the most successful brand launches from the previous year, conducted by Business Standard’s weekly supplement, The Strategist. The Dirty Picture, Samsung Galaxy Note, Apple iPhone 4S, Singham and Mahindra & Mahindra XUV 500 top the list of successful brands launches from 2011.
The other thing that comes out strongly this year is the growing reliance of marketers on the social media, especially when it comes to announcing a new launch. Going viral has its own set of problems but new buyers tend to put a lot of faith in what other consumers say. It won’t be an exaggeration to say a good review here and a positive blog there can go a long way into making or breaking the fortune of a brand. American blogger and author Robert Scoble rightly says, “The best launch is if you have a product that other people like using so much that they tell other people about it.”
What is interesting also is the growing clout of Bollywood, the popular name for Mumbai’s film industry. There are five Hindi movies among the Top 10 in the overall ranking this year, against one last year — that also explains why many brands are aggressively scouting for placement opportunities in movies. There are three automobile brands among the Top 10, against last year’s six and two technology brands against two in 2010.(THE MOST SUCCESSFUL LAUNCHES OF 2011)
The research was conducted by market research agency Ipsos in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Ahemdabad, Pune, and Hyderabad among senior marketing professionals. The fieldwork was done between April and May this year. Our respondents thought this year’s topper, The Dirty Picture offered a complete package to its audiences. The responses ranged from “Dirty Picture has a very bold subject” to “The movie was promoted well” and “intelligent marketing”. For No 2 Samsung Galaxy Note, the clincher seemed to be its “user friendly interface” and its “attractive marketing and promotions.” Respondents who gave a thumbs-up to Singham praised lead actor Ajay Devgan for his performance and hailed the promotional plan of the movie. In short, the Top 3 also go to show a successful launch is also as much about the product as it is about the promotion.
We leave you now with Professor Nirmalya Kumar, professor of marketing and co-director of Aditya Birla India Centre at London Business School, and Jan-Benedict E M Steenkamp, professor of marketing at Kenan-Flagler Business School, UNC-Chapel Hill, to speak about why most new brands fail and what really works for the few that go on to secure their position in the marketplace.