Prof Jagdish Seth talks on new frontiers in brand building

Prof Seth addressed a select gathering on the new frontiers of marketing, growth strategies and their impact on brand building, and providing tactical options of organic growth as well as acquisitions. He also spoke on the implications of brand building including brand integration, brand creation and umbrella branding.

At the session on ''New Paradigms of Marketing,'' Prof Seth spoke on the 4 ''a''s of marketing — acceptability, affordability, accessibility and awareness.

According to Prof Seth marketing today has more to do with what customers actually require rather than the product-centric world that companies think they require. "The consumers'' is gaining power. There is excess supply and it has become the buyer''s market."

This change is due to three things — the end of the license-raj, which gave people choices among goods; the entry of outside competition and; the emergence of retailer as a powerful entity unlike when companies could dictate terms to them.

According to Prof Seth, in this context, the last ''a'' - awareness becomes very important as companies need to make the consumers aware. "For that, mere reliance on advertising is not sufficient. There is a need for an integrated approach using alternative media."

In the present scenario, he said, Indian companies needed to ascend the value scale. Citing the example of the IT sector in India, he pointed out that the combined strength of the top Indian IT companies was minuscule compared to that of giants like IBM and Microsoft. He said that though the Indian IT sector had scored well in the first step of sending competent people abroad at lower costs, the next step would be difficult, because Indian software companies had neither scaled up their competencies in the value chain nor had the investing ability.