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By Ramnik Chhabra 08-Dec-2009 | 12:53

The Brand Challenge –the financial advertising ghetto Due to the large number of players across asset classes in the investing space; the consumer is bombarded with umpteen messages from umpteen brands. Due to the similarities of the offerings; the lines between what one brand had to offer versus the other were extremely blurred. As a result all the financial brands were seen as offering similar offerings ; all bunched up close to one another – almost like a ghetto of brands. What’s more; Motilal Oswal being a late entrant did not have the legacy that some of the other brands (especially the multinational wealth management companies and Indian/foreign banks).The need of the hour was for a differentiated brand proposition in what was hitherto an undifferentiated space.

Understanding the Consumer The investor today can be divided into 3 archetypes 1. Self-directed – hard core traders who understand money and the stock markets. They do their own research and take investment decisions on their own. All they need is a speedy and reliable trading platform. 2. Validators – The bulk of today’s investors; they rely on an investment expert to provide them with research and insight into the markets. They use the advise given by the investment experts to decide on where to invest and where not to. 3. Delegators – People who do not have the time or the expertise to handle their investments. They delegate the same to experts who manage their money at their discretion. These would typically be people who invest in mutual funds, portfolio management schemes etc.

The Motilal Oswal Brand Differentiator Ever since the company was started in 1987; there has always been a strong focus on research based advice. Today; with 28 member equity analyst team tracking 200 companies across 26 sectors, research based advice is the Motilal Oswal brand differentiator. The proof of this can be seen in the numerous awards it has won at the AsiaMoney Brokers polls since 2003 as well as in the Starcom Mediavest Investment survey 2007, ET Starmine awards and Institutional Investor Awards for Research.

The Communication Strategy From the three consumer segments; the brand focus was on the validator archetype. Reason being that this was one segment that would be willing to pay a premium for the services that the brand would have to offer. Moreover; it also fit in very well with the brand proposition of research based advice.

Advertising Idea In the financial services space there are a plethora of brands trying to position themselves on providing the end benefit/payoff to the customer. As a result different brands of mutual funds, life insurance and wealth management were bombarding the customer with messages on better returns, fulfilling dreams, better service etc. Rather than focusing on these undifferentiated propositions; the brand positioned itself on an attitude. One that believed in putting research before everything else we do in the advice we give to our customers. Hence the advertising idea ‘Knowledge First’ To give the idea a larger than life feel, the creative idea was to link the fact that all great inventions, discoveries etc were based on knowledge. Hence be it science or creating wealth; it pays to know more.



Results The campaign broke in November 2007. We conducted a brand track in October 2007 and also in March 2008. In just 6 months of the campaign, brand recall has gone up from 64% to 89%. Brand Consideration from 24% to 58%. Brand Recommendation from 17% to 41%. On the key image parameter of ‘Has strong research’; brand scores have gone up from 12% to 52 %. (Source – Hansa Research Brand Track Study. See annexure for details) What’s more; in the Cirrus PR Tracking study for the year 2007-08; the company achieved a ‘visibility’ score of 6087, an ‘image’ score of 11020 and a ‘quality of exposure’ score of 181 – the second highest in the category