20 November 2013

Creating and cherishing Brand Ocassions

By Shaziya Khan, VP & Executive Planning Director (JWT, Mumbai) 


I love people and brands with a sense of occasion. Don't you?

Do our brands celebrate occasions? And does that matter? This poser dawned after a festive lunch with friends and family.

In the inevitably delightful post event banter, we were discussing, with some humour, and a lot of affection, someone who almost always changes clothes for dinner. Even nowadays. I happened to spontaneously remark in this person’s defence, and appreciation. “Well, she has a sense of occasion”. “Oh, that is a nice way to put it in perspective,” someone else said. And the conversation moved on. I forgot about it.

Till today. Was reading about how festive celebrations are hooks for writers and artists. And this idea first popped into thought: Do our brands have a sense of occasion? After all, there’s always something so lovely and lively about people who do. Maybe there is pointer in there for brands too?

People’s sense of occasion finds expression in myriad ways. Crisp white shirt, holiday update, New Year family photo, housewarming gifts, promotion dinner, lazy lunch, surprise train or plane tickets, coffee and cheesecake break, signed farewell gift, quiet charity, handmade card, a timely text, mithai, a chocolate cake...

Each of these gestures is thoughtful, charming, refreshing. Appropriate. Yet, individualised. Almost always welcomed!

People whose gestures or words express a genuine sense of occasion spread a sure, spontaneous good feeling all around. Even among the stoic, or the busy.

As with people, so with brands.

So then, it is worth asking every now and then – is our brand expressing a lovely, lively sense of occasion?

Does our brand’s marketing imbue it with thoughtfulness, charm, freshness via an appropriate sense of occasion in it’s category, or consumer space? Again, myriad ways. No formulas. Festive greetings, pleasant surprises, timely topical messages, relevant celebrations, special dressy look/ pack...

Let’s create power brands. But let’s not forget the power of power brands that have a sense of occasion. That know-how to celebrate occasions. Brand occasions – create them, cherish them, re-invent them, refresh them, change them.

Now, you have a sense of a sense of occasion, right? Or, if you have always had it, got a renewed appreciation of it, right?

Great! What do we do about Mondays?

The article was first published on exchange4media (Nov 8, 2013).

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