Unveiling the Essence of Successful Branding with Rajat Kalra

What are the most common mistakes that marketing professionals make, and how can they avoid them? What is the significance of incorporating storytelling into marketing campaigns, and how can it resonate with the target audience? How can brands create meaningful, one-on-one connections with consumers through their communications? Explore the fundamental principles behind successful branding in an insightful exclusive interview with Rajat Kalra . The International Business Advisor and well known Brand Strategist in an exclusive conversation with Mahima Sharma. Take a read, only at The Think Pot…

What, in your opinion, is the fundamental essence of a successful brand? Can you share an example of a company that underwent a successful brand transformation? What key strategies contributed to this success?

The true essence of any successful brand is the set of its core values and organizational principles they define for themselves, and how they live up to them in their day-to-day work life. To draw inspiration, I always advise new marketers to read about the transformation of Nike, one of the greatest brands today. Their original 10 company principles by Robert Strasser opened the floodgates of growth and success for the brand. The first and last being, “Our business is Changing” and “If we do the right things, we’ll make money damn near automatic” respectively. 

In today’s digital age, how can a brand effectively build trust with its audience, especially with so much competition and information overload? 

Digital age or old times, building trust with the audience has very little to do with competition and information overload. The secret to building trust has always been honest storytelling, and this is going to hold true until the end of the world. What competition and information overload do is that they necessitate aggressive campaigning for any brand, which means spending more money to make your stories more frequently available to your prospects and ensure they stay there for a considerable amount of time.

How do you define the art of storytelling in the context of marketing and communications? Can you explain the significance of incorporating storytelling into marketing campaigns, and how can it resonate with the target audience?

For me, the concept that can best define storytelling is ‘What’s coming?’. The art of storytelling is about intriguing your audience about what’s next in your story. Some of the essential aspects of great storytelling are having a hero, villain, problem statement (thrill), solution (drama), and conclusion (glorifying the hero). How you weave these together in a fabric of ‘What’s coming?’ is a real skill. This could be best learned from the cinema, whether in India or abroad. Storytelling for marketing is no different. Your product is the hero. Start from there, and your marketing campaigns are bound to be a super-duper-bumper-hit. 

How can small businesses with limited budgets compete effectively in the marketing space dominated by larger corporations? In your experience, under budget constraints, what are the most common mistakes that marketers make, and how can they avoid them?

Unfortunately, small budgets could be a real deterrent to marketing success. I wouldn’t be saying that 10 years ago, however, even cost-free social media platforms today have algorithms that don’t give you visibility without boosting your posts for a certain fee. The bitter truth is, there is nothing free today.  But the great thing is, at least social media platforms are free for posting your content. So focus on 3 three things. Building relevant content, keeping high-end visual appeal, and publishing consistently. That’s what organizations with limited budgets can do best. Leave the rest at the mercy of the algorithm. Marketers usually falter on one of these fronts.

In the absence of a Cyber Law in India, and the Cyber Agencies not having great teeth, how should marketers adapt their strategies to address ethical concerns, such as data privacy?

Cyber laws do exist in India. So what is ideal is to generate more and more awareness about safe internet practices. Unfortunately, it’s hard to protect marketing stories and ideas from being stolen, because marketing is a public game. The best is to just keep a cautious eye on the content of your competitors and your social media environment.

For a simpler understanding of our rears please share what “humanized communication” means, and why it is essential in today’s marketing and branding efforts.

Humanized marketing is exactly what it sounds like – storytelling that’s meant for human emotions. The problem with storytelling today is that it is negatively impacted by the ultra-modern technological jargon that surrounds us today. The emotion that a marketing story must convey on a human level is gradually fading away. That emotion comes from the use of human-centric vocab and metaphors in your content that people truly relate to. But alas, marketing stories tend to become more complex today, wherein all the focus is on blowing your own trumpet with a complex narrative. One of the best examples of humanized marketing is the recent Zomato’s Mother’s Day campaign. 

In a world saturated with digital content, how can brands create meaningful, one-on-one connections with consumers through their communications?

Here’s where the role of marketing research comes into play, topped with high-end quality, consumer centric, relevant content, and fine consistency of publishing your stories to the right people, at the right time. Focus on a well-researched marketing plan, wherein you can nail your audience before going full throttle with your content outreach. This takes care of your lead-gen and Top-of-Funnel (TOFU) tactics to underpin the most promising prospects and start building steadfast relationships with them through meaningful and highly informative content. 

About Rajat Kalra: He is a marketing evangelist and the Founder of Comm Whale Consulting, a one-of-a-kind marketing communications services company that’s spearheading humanized storytelling for some of the great brands. In addition, Rajat is an independent journalist and a business communications and leadership development coach who has trained hundreds of corporate leaders to inspire purpose and professional success. In his free time, he loves to compose music, write poetry, and play guitar.

Images Courtesy: Rajat Kalra

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the above interview are the personal opinions of the protagonist/protagonists for which The Think Pot is not liable in any manner. To share your views on an apolitical and an intense subject like this you can reach out to us at mahimaasharma@thethinkpot.in