Of brand awareness and Yatra

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Brand awareness as a metric has limited value. New brands in a category or brands overshadowed by dominant brands can be satisfied with ‘increased awareness’ as an objective. But awareness alone means diddly- squat. The marketing stimulus has to effect a behaviour change (purchase) or a mindset change (brand for people like me) as a measurable metric. If a marketing stimulus motivates someone to take an action – click a link, call a number, cut a coupon, like an update, fill a form or download an app it is considered a success.

There is another kind of marketing stimulus which aims to create an affinity towards the brand and may result in brand preference when the usage occasion presents itself. We see that often in FMCG brands – soft drinks, personal care and such like. The affinity could form for a variety of reasons: an entertaining ad, a marketing stimulus which evokes empathy (‘yes, they understand me’, ‘this is how I feel too’) or simply an appealing, relevant product feature. The ‘affinity leading to possible brand preference’ is a slow burn approach.

In this context, the latest Yatra ad has met the objective of creating awareness. It’s got people talking about the brand. But is that enough to deem it a success? I guess if the objective was only to get people talking about the brand, yes. But when it comes to a travel service of this nature the only metric which really matters is to do with transactions. The app download numbers (could increase but doesn’t matter if the app is not used), time spent on the app, app ratings – they all have their value but only to a limited extent. Someone pointed out that the Nirma ad of the 90s was popular with consumers and helped create awareness. Yes, ultimately it was the product promise & delivery of ‘great value’ which resulted in sales.

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