Authored by S. Subramanyeswar (Subbu), Chief Strategy Officer – Asia Pacific and Head of Global Planning Council, MullenLowe Group, the compendium chronicles over 25+ successful brand stories shaped by the group as a testimony to its belief and impactful strategic thinking.
MullenLowe Lintas Group has introduced Brands to Stands – its brand-building philosophy aimed at providing a distinctive niche and advantage for its clients’ brands in the marketplace. To mark the launch of this unique brand philosophy, its heady success and impact have been distilled into a book bearing the same title – Brands to Stands. The book was unveiled through multi-city launch events held in Mumbai, Bengaluru, New Delhi and was attended by some distinctive luminaries of the brand and marketing world.
The guests of honour at the Mumbai event – celebrated Bollywood film director and former Chairman & CCO of MullenLowe Lintas Group – R. Balki, and Harish Bhat, Brand Custodian, Tata Sons shed light on the importance of purpose for brands today to distinguish themselves from the clutter. With examples of work done for Idea, Lifebuoy, and Tata Tea, Balki claimed that a brand’s purpose should be simple yet relatable as brands could end up becoming purposeless if they try too hard to find a purpose. Harish Bhat also shared his experience as the marketing head of Tanishq highlighting how Lintas and Tanishq learned from each other in their journey together. He also stated how they established brand purpose long before it became a fad.
CK Venkatraman, Managing Director, Titan – the guest of honour at the event in Bengaluru highlighted the two brands that stood out, according to him in the chronicler – Tata Tea and Surf Excel – the brands that truly were epitomes of ‘brands with a stand’ amongst the others showcased.
The guest of honour at the event in New Delhi, MD and CEO, Futurebrands India, Santosh Desai praised Subbu’s child-like innocence and honesty with which he has created the Brands to Stands book. As a strategist from a rival agency, Santosh admired MullenLowe Lintas Group’s ability to focus on creating iconic work of mass appeal without the temptation of recognition or awards.
Commenting on the occasion, Amer Jaleel, Group CCO and Chairman, MullenLowe Lintas Group said, “Our work has been spoken of at various forums and awards separately because it’s always been brand-linked, client-linked. It deserved to be celebrated together because when you see just a fraction of what Lintas has produced over the years you can see the patterns of our thinking, the volume of our contribution to the world of marketing and the scale of our impact on the work being churned out today.”
Speaking about MullenLowe Lintas Group’s journey with purpose-led brand building Virat Tandon, Group CEO, MullenLowe Lintas Group said, “Our journey on Brand Stand started much before the term brand purpose became popular. It is an approach that has helped provide a long-term distinctiveness to the brands and create respect and love for it. The book covers 25+ cases that have set a benchmark in the world of branding and marketing. These ideas have won the effectiveness awards at every level – India, Asia and the world. We have a robust strategy process to arrive at the brand purpose and point of view and the creative mastery to craft that into a narrative that is fresh and yet consistent over time.”
Authored by S. Subramanyeswar (Subbu), Chief Strategy Officer – Asia Pacific and Head of Global Planning Council, MullenLowe Group, the book has learnings from brands such as Tata Tea, Surf Excel, Havells, Axis Bank, Swiggy, Lifebuoy, Bajaj Avenger etc. It also features a prologue by the celebrated Bollywood film director and former Chairman & CCO of MullenLowe Lintas Group – R. Balki, and an epilogue by Harish Bhat, Brand Custodian, Tata Sons.
Talking about Brands to Stands, Subbu said, “Marketing will significantly benefit as brands take stands in a world that will no longer stand for a glut of commoditized products and services without any meaning. Our book ‘Brands to Stands’ floats an idea that inspires brands and businesses to embrace this fresh new wave of thinking by showcasing how some of India’s top brands have positively impacted the way society at large thinks and behaves. Each of the brand stories chronicled in the book captures a wealth of marketing wisdom, powerful insights and memorable anecdotes from their respective brand custodians as well as prominent industry experts. The book appeals equally to corporates, entrepreneurs, students and about anyone who wants to elevate the role of brands to ensure that they are in the vanguard of transforming society. This is not a book with an end, but one that prompts a new beginning.”
In a world awash with brands, most of them are either unable to chart a clear course in today’s uncertain marketplace or are drowning in a sea of sameness. The Group posits that the solution to this problem is in ‘Distinctive Advantage’, and not ‘Competitive Advantage’. Something that is exclusively derived from point of view, not point of difference.
Over the last few decades, MullenLowe Lintas Group has been creating effective work for its clients, guided by its ‘Brands to Stands’ philosophy. Brands to Stands is a brand’s definitive declaration of what it believes in and fights for; a brand taking a stand to fulfil a higher-order purpose, and in the process, transforming itself into a catalyst for social change. Testimony of the philosophy’s success is the Kantar BrandZ Report which unveiled 2021’s Most Purposeful Brands in India; coincidentally, seven out of fifteen brands featured were steered by MullenLowe Lintas Group
Currently, the book is available for exclusive distribution and will be available for retail in leading marketplaces soon.