We are living in the world where almost half a million startups spawns every month. And, everyone is looking to scale fast.If we look around leading brands such as AirBnB, Instagram, Watsapp among others, they are hardly between five and ten years old, and carry million dollar valuations on an average. Early success of these startups has disrupted the notion that in order to become a dominant brand, it requires at least a decade’s time in establishing and scaling up.
The world of consumer brands is changing quite fast and fueling undisrupted capital is no longer a criterion to attain success.
How to build brand fast? was one widely covered topic at Indian Retail and Eretail Congress 2019 ( IReC), which recently concluded in the capital city, New Delhi. In fact, there was one investor session held at IReCthat particularly focused on what VCs are looking at to fund new age consumer brand.Following are the key highlights of the session:
Focus on Community Building
The success of business is no longer in doing the transactions. Speaking further on same, Rajesh Sharma, Director, Brand Capital, said, “Businesses which are not able to create communities, they do suffer because beyond the transaction there is no relation with the customer.”
Echoing with Sharma, AnkitAgarwal, Director, InnoVen Capital India Pvt. Ltd. Said, “Iconic brands such as Harley Davidson, Nike amongst others are great example of community building. These brands put more focus on making customer a part of community rather than bluntly pitching the products.”
Going forward Agarwal illustrated advertisement philosophy of Nike he said, “They don’t talk about variety of shoes, most of their hoardings talks about some running event and creating that sort of community.”
Look Beyond Capital
The world of consumer brands has been changing quite frequently over the last many years. Therefore, there are many factors which decide the success of the product in long run. Speaking further on same, VS KannanSitaram, Venture Partner, Fireside Ventures, said, “When you are talking about consumer businesses it is not about throwing money at once. There are many quite essential parameters including product and market fitment, brand strategy, organization’s objective amongst others which are way more important than money.”
People Buy ‘Philosophy’ not ‘Products’
During the discussion experts opinionated that consumer products is the area where a lot of disruption is happening, mainly driven by millennials who are making companies come up with new brands. This emerging trend is driving a lot of interest from various investors.
Highlighting the yet another trend experts highlighted that fact that these days customers buy philosophy over products. For example, ‘ayurveda’ is one of the hottest trends these days and big corporates such as HUL and homegrown brands such as Patanjali are engaged in retailing of the ayurvedic range. But, consumers might prefer Patanjali over HUL as people prefer Baba Ram Dev’s philosophy.