building through Thought- Leadership

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What is the first thing a consumer looks for in a brand?
While on the surface there may be a lot of logical reasons – price, quality, aesthetics, etc., I believe that the subconscious decision is based on how well the brand’s personality and philosophy matches with the customer’s personal beliefs and ethos.

In managing a brand where does leadership come into play?
I believe one of the most important things is building thought leadership – coming up with creative and innovative ways to make the brand more relevant and more lovable for the target consumer. Moreover, leadership also comes into play when one envisions something ambitious for the brand, and wishes to take an unusual path to make that vision a reality. The task then is to lead a group of motivated people along that unusual path, and make them truly believe in that vision.

Who do you see as your major competitor? Is there anything that inspires you in them and you would want to adopt?
As of today, there is no other multi-fi tness brand that exists in the market, although there are quite a few sports fi tness brands. We defi nitely hold a unique place in the market, as well as in the minds of our consumers. Be it running, yoga, dance, aerobics, CrossFit, gymming, swimming or cycling – we are a one-stop shop for our customers’ fi tness needs.
Having said that, when it comes to share of wallet, we do face competition from other sports brands, as well as a host of apparel and footwear companies in the casual wear segment. However, we are very confi dent about our product offerings, and aim to be the leading premium fi tness brand in the country.

What is the toughest challenge you have faced in building up your brand?
The toughest challenge for me was repositioning the brand ‘Reebok’ to a complete fi tness brand. What made it more challenging was that my predecessors had done an amazing job of establishing Reebok as a sports brand, and getting consumers to accept and appreciate the new positioning was defi nitely a challenging task. What/Who is your inspiration and what keeps you going? I derive my inspiration from a lot of people on an everyday basis. It could be anyone – my seniors, my peers, my juniors, my family and at times strangers as well.
What keeps me going is the ‘Never Give Up’ attitude that was inculcated in me by my parents at a very young age. I always keep trying – whether it be moving from plan A to B to C, somewhere or the other things will defi nitely fall into place. It’s all about staying determined and focused.

What are your favorite pastime activities to keep away the work pressure and deadlines?
One of my favorite pastimes is reading. I usually go through phases of reading a particular genre that I am interested in. Some time back, psychology and behavior was one. Currently, I’m reading a mix of religion and history. Fiction runs parallel to non-fi ction. I love traveling and trying out different cuisines,and blogging about my food experiences when I have some time to spare.
Moreover, I also enjoy listening to music, with Sufi , Folk and Instrumental being my favorites. The simplicity in some of these things really help in relaxing the mind.
One of the biggest stress busters for me is Yoga and Functional Training, which is a part of my everyday regime. It not only keeps me stress free, but also keeps me fi t, energetic and happy.

For your brand, how important is digital advertising in present day scenario?
I think Digital advertising has become absolutely imperative for any brand in our industry to survive as well as excel in the present day scenario. Not only does it offer mass reach and content dispersion through several mediums such as mobile, tablet, laptop, etc., but is also more interactive and relevant. A healthy mix of traditional and digital advertising is defi nitely vital for any brand today, owing to growing Internet and mobile penetration in the country.

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