A selection of case studies:
Creating a consumer brand out of an invisible ingredient technology
Audistry is an ingredient technology developed by the Australian subsidiary of an international giant. Embedded in video, audio and mobile consumer electronics devices, it has the ability to produce a surround sound effect with normal stereo speakers apart from allowing a high degree of customisation of the audio experience. In an industry where price competition is intense and host brands (i.e. the likes of SONY, Samsung, LG and Panasonic) dominate the retail environment, the challenge was to create an iconic consumer brand out of an invisible technology and sell the Audistry value add to manufacturers, marketers and the channels around the world.
After days of product demonstrations and extensive analysis of consumer research undertaken both in the US and Japan, SAI Marketing inspired a compelling brand proposition for Audistry built around the concept of a shell which has the unique ability to both create and reproduce sound. SAI also worked seamlessly with graphic design consultancy, Jenssen Design to develop an iconic logo based on the nautilus shell. Apart from researching extremely well among target consumers, the logo was readily accepted by device manufacturers and featured prominently on their products/remotes. SAI developed the entire brand communication framework for the Audistry brand and in collaboration with the design team produced a comprehensive compendium of brand management principles.
Re-positioning a South Pacific island as a non island
Norfolk island, a tiny speck in the Pacific Ocean was limited in its ability to compete effectively with larger, more exotic resort destinations in the region because of its small size and finite resources. For years, the destination had been pursuing the silent generation (those who were born prior to World War II). If tourism were to remain a viable industry, the island urgently required to attract younger, more affluent Baby boomers from neighbouring Australia and New Zealand. Consumer and trade research indicated that low brand salience and motivation to sell stemmed largely from a lack of a distinct identity and the failure to present the destination’s many attributes and benefits in a compelling package.
Extensive analysis of qualitative and quantitative research, in-depth discussions with key stakeholders and focussed workshops with a range of industry operators and community representatives followed by first hand experience of the destination revealed that the island transported a visitor to a totally different world that was unique and diverse and totally belied its size (5 kilometres by 8 kilometres). Its rebranding as The World of Norfolk and the Brand Promise Small world. No small wonder established that despite its small size, Norfolk Island was an amazing place to visit. It also conveyed the many surprise encounters, the strong emotional connection with the place, its past and people and the closeness with themselves and their loved ones that visitors experienced when on the island.
Making a living brand out of a 23 million year old dormant volcano
The 50000 sq. kilometre hinterland around Mt. Warning in Australia’s northeast (sprawled between Mt. Tamborine in the North and Lismore in the south and Mt. Barney in the West and Byron Bay in the east) was chosen as one of 10 destinations for iconic brand development by Tourism Australia as part of the National Landscapes program, a unique collaboration with National Parks & Wildlife. SAI Marketing worked alongside Calais Consultants and Associates, experts in nature tourism, tourism product development and indigenous tourism to take up the challenge of creating a new brand targeted at the discerning International Experience Seeker in an increasingly competitive global market. The challenge was further enhanced by the involvement in the process of two State tourism organisations, six Local Government Areas and a range of local and regional stakeholders.
SAI Marketing developed the concept of “Australia’s Green Cauldron” to brand this ancient volcanic hotspot that is now a living Gondwanan rainforest. Strategic interpretation of existing research, extensive consultation with stakeholders, first hand experience of the destination and a high level of lateral thinking led to this iconic brand which has since been recgnised as a trail blazing model for Tourism Australia’s National Landscapes program. The positioning was supported by the tag line “Immerse yourself in a mysterious melting pot” that highlighted the region’s rich and varied natural and cultural diversity showcased in a myriad lifeforms and a kaleidoscope of lifestyles including surviving Aboriginal civilisations. SAI Marketing also developed a comprehensive communication framework that would enable stakeholders to implement visual and verbal expression of the brand in alignment with the overall brand thinking.
Smarter thinking for sharper results in a transport utility
Even as this corporation was under continual media scrutiny, the challenge for its Market Development & Research Division was to develop a long term Strategic Marketing Plan that would deliver improved business results on its metropolitan routes.
Based on rigorous analysis of available data, an intimate understanding of the business’ drivers and using a lateral thinking approach, SAI Marketing developed a 10 year strategic blue print that helped identify key opportunity segments and recommended a range of creative strategies designed to enhance capacity utilisation, improve customer satisfaction, restructure pricing models, re-engineer distribution and increase bottom line contributions.
The Plan titled “Smarter thinking for sharper results” is yet to be formally released but many of its recommendations have already been adopted by different business units. A key element of the Strategic Marketing Plan was the development of a core brand proposition which is being reviewed against brand tracking research put into place recently,
SAI Marketing has also led the re-branding/re-positioning of a global medical research organisation, examined the alignment between the desired global and delivered local positioning of an Australian consumer electronics marketer, revitalised an iconic tourist attraction, generated new demand for a boutique wine variety and developed an effective value proposition for an off shore IT solutions provider.
Since 2014, Mahesh has been associated with Bubblefish, a Creative Brand building agency as an Advisor. Apart from acting as a mentor to Bublefish’s Principal, Delia Suteja, Mahesh provides strategic input to Bubblefish’s select clients in developing and building brands.
A number of other projects (although not as visible) have contributed significantly to improved marketing effectiveness and efficiencies for both clients and agencies. Examples include:
– Developing a suite of briefing templates (as part of a marketing toolkit) for a global beverages company. The briefing documents based on world’s best practice covered advertising, promotion, PR, Direct Marketing and Market Research and contributed to significantly enhancing the quality of strategic, creative, media and tactical briefs provided to agencies.
– Constructing a comprehensive ROI model to evaluate the economic return on marketing spend for a sponsorship initiative of a global player in the financial services sector (undertaken as an outsourced consultant).