OPINION: Collectives the key for 'Big Ideas' to take off

Jaimes Leggett
By Jaimes Leggett | 14 February 2014

In 2005 W+K Delhi started working with budget airline start-up IndiGo for a full 12 months before a single plane had left the tarmac.

The agency helped imbue a mantra “customers shouldn’t feel cheap just because they bought cheap” into every fibre of the business.

They translated it into a trinity of brand tenets: ‘low-cost, on-time, courteous’ that the airline lived and breathed by.

And added a fourth, uber cool. From chic and sexy styling of its crew to funky touches at check-ins and departure lounges (“India’s coolest airline has the hottest crew.”). They went on to launch their international service with sweeping TVCs that evoked Broadway showstoppers. Everything looked and felt the antithesis of budget.

In September 2012, just six years after take off, IndiGo became the largest airline in India by market share.

This is a stellar example of a marketing strategy in total alignment with a brand’s business strategy.

Of an agency not so much collaborating with its client, but the two parties working as a collective.

A seamless environment to incubate the big ideas and build the big brand platform on which to execute them.

A big brand platform that for consumers is experienced, intuitive, consistent, channel agnostic and memorable for all the right reasons.

Crucial in this day and age where customer engagement with brands is more fragmented than ever, diluted by the ever-expanding myriad of channels and technologies.

Brands have never been less in control of their messaging, which comes a very distant second to consumer experience. The saying merely the amplification of the doing.

So it’s crucial to have a singularity of brand purpose, in total agreement with where the business is at and where it wants to go. Only then can the experience match the message.

When you have deep alignment big brand platforms are part of a business’s DNA, driving the likes of staff comms and customer service. To create the sort of CRM that ensures the brand experience tallys totally with the brand promise and messaging. That it is doing what it is saying.

Without collective environments and the big ideas and the big brand platforms that tumble out of them, all you have is messaging, detached from consumer experience. Messaging that quickly becomes ‘ghost-like’ in today’s fragmented world. Lost, hard to feel and see through. Or not seen at all.

Jaimes Leggett is CEO M&C Saatchi Australasia. He is moderating a panel discussion at the IAA 75th Anniversary half-day leadership forum What's Coming Next? on 18 February at Hilton Sydney.
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