Guest Column | It’s showtime for Brands, folks!

If there’s ever been a time to show what your brand is made of, it’s now. If there’s ever been a time to show what we as marketers can do in the toughest of times, it’s now. So, in these times of binge WFH (Work From Home), I’ve written out some OTT (Over-the-Top) thoughts in the order they passed my mind. > Stranger Things – This whole scenario that is playing out in front of us seems like a script straight out of an extremely creative writer, high on sci-fiction movies’ imagination, run amok! It seems like an out of the reality experience and yet it’s actually happening. For real. > Inception – It’s happening around us in every dimension – from ‘Janta Curfew’ to ‘lockdown’ to working from home to working at home to zoom calls to kitchen duties to laundry chores cut to work presentations to baby duties interspersed in a quick montage of agency meetings, network discussions, creative approvals cut to a quick round of broom duty. We are truly truly being super human currently. Not by choice, but by necessity. This is the new world, its new people, you, me, our consumers each one is evolving daily. We are right in the middle of it as humans and as marketers. Wow! So, we do a quick reset and re-imagine, re-engineer, rejig, reinvent and recreate to survive. Brands need a deep relook. They need a redo – a quick makeover while staying true to its essence. Brands will need to rebrand and reposition themselves. Godspeed. Literally. > F.R.I.E.N.D.S – Make digital your best friend. With social distancing being the new normal, even offline consumers are being forced to unlearn old habits of walking to a store or a restaurant or the mall and instead learn to replicate the same behaviour online. These are a whole new bunch of consumers for many brands that have typically only been in brick and mortar formats. Adaptability with agility is key and digital is a great mentor and companion – embrace it in all its avatars – tech, e-comm, social media marketing, influencer marketing, market places, aggregators. > Modern Family – This time that we never imagined we would see in our lifetimes is here. Your consumer is worried about her wellbeing, her near and dear one’s safety. It’s time to get your brand to be really empathetic to her cause, listen carefully, and be there for her. Your brand must play a father figure role in reassuring her that all is well and that we will get through this together. Your brand must don the role of a mother who maintains the highest quality and safety standards at home. Your brand must be that high on quality and safety, for that’s what the consumer cares about now. First, not as a third or fourth criterion in her decision making. Your brand must be that sibling who will pull the consumer’s leg and infuse a spirit of light hearted fun in these testing times. > Money Heist –  Do what is fundamentally correct. Develop an entrepreneurial spirit to conserve cash. Your brand must research into this new consumer psyche, this new change in consuming lots and lots of content online and on television as is evident from this little piece as well. Understand these new touch points, these new habits – sleeping, eating, working, resting, interacting and then carefully plan your marketing mix. Don’t rush in – first observe and learn and then slay like a seasoned professor. Your brand is sure to hit gold! As each day unravels a new beginning in the learning curve, let’s lean in and do what’s right, decisively and incisively. We are getting better at it, aren’t we now?  They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit. We are over 63 days into the new reality now and that’s given us 21*3 = 63, that’s 3 learning cycles already! We are pretty much masters in the art of this new marketing mantra. Hope you enjoy reading this piece as much as I did writing it with a steaming mug of OTT! (This article has been contributed by Baskin Robbins Marketing head Samyukta Ganesh Iyer, and AnimationXpress does not necessarily subscribe to these views)