Mind your Marketing

Stay true and authentic

| Updated on August 01, 2019

Amit Doshi, Chief Marketing Officer, Lenovo India

In conversation with Amit Doshi, Chief Marketing Officer, Lenovo India, who speaks about the importance of brands focusing more on themselves, staying true to their core, and how this would reflect in the way consumers engage with the brands.

What can marketers do to keep up with the expectations of their consumers?

Marketing teams need to see their roles differently within their companies today. They need to be playing the role of customer custodians and bring the voice of their customers to other teams. These teams must then be persistent with the data that they collect. Most businesses talk about CX, but very few are willing to invest any time in it. Building this awareness among customers is time-consuming but is hardly a choice for brands anymore.

How have brands evolved in the way they handle customer experiences?

American Express and Lenovo’s ThinkPad are apt examples of brands that have been loved by customers for the experience they have delivered over the decades. ThinkPad has been around for more than 25 years and you can count the number of technology brands that have stayed relevant for so long on your fingers. Customer experience has always been at the heart of a ThinkPad’s design. The key difference is that, today, thanks to the power of digital media, customer experience can be instantly measured by brands and is easily shared with other customers.

The way in which the youth are evolving – how does this influence brands?

Young people today want to be themselves. They do not aspire to achieve the pre-existing definitions and norms of perfection. Brands too should realise this and they need to feel comfortable in their own skins and stay authentic. They should not try to be something that they are not!

This generation is well connected and has easy access to information and the speed at which the information is delivered, is mind boggling. Just providing information about the product is not enough anymore. Marketing teams need to define the role they want to play within the business and how they plan to interact and engage with the customers.


a) One strategic change we plan to execute by 2020

Lenovo, right now, is at a very exciting place in its journey. We want to be a company that drives Intelligent Transformation for our customers by leveraging our unique presence in the devices, infrastructure and solutions space. Today, we are perceived as just a devices company in the industry and communicating this change is a strategic priority for us

b) Three words I believe define a hot brand

Relevant, evolving and authentic

c) A powerful ad campaign I liked from 2018

P&G’s ‘Every ad is a Tide ad’ is superb. In India, I’ve loved watching Swiggy’s work over the last 12 months or so

What is driving the dynamic behaviourial change in audiences today?

The digital space and social media have been the key factors to this change, without a doubt. Connected smartphones and devices that can access information from anywhere, at any given time, have facilitated this change. Affordable devices, cheaper and more easily available data have also accelerated the changes.

How can brands tackle competition effectively?

At the risk of sounding counter-intuitive, brands need to focus more on themselves and less on the competition. The identity of the brand, the customers’ perception and customer experience are some of the areas that brands need to work more on. Competition does not pay for your brand, your customers do.

Does every brand need to invest in resources to think local?

It completely depends on the business problem and resources at hand. If the marketing solution leverages a fundamental human insight, it can work even at a global scale. Look at movies and music, some creations break all boundaries.

Brands should think local if their business challenge is local. Also, localisation may be considered if there is an insight pertaining to the customers or trade that is unique to that specific region.

For instance, we use a differentiated media approach for the Southern market. This market offers the opportunity for brands to test ideas as the markets are isolatable due to regional television, print and digital content.

In the consumer technology business, Southern markets have a high contribution in the premium segments due to the three large metros – Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad – in the region. This opens up new growth options for us.

The winning element in any equation – technology or idea?

A better idea, any day. Having said that, I believe that better technology, for example, VR or creative use of data can help create distinctive experiences for the customers and new possibilities for the brands, which would otherwise have not been possible.

If there were three secrets to getting branding right, they would be…

● Being aware of who you are

● Staying true to who you are

● Staying true to that over a long time

This article is part of a brand initiative by The Hindu BusinessLine to profile marketing professionals from across India.

Published on August 01, 2019

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