Shombit Sengupta: The art brand - Livemint
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Why we felt like changemakers on some days, and just a decent professional on other days. We were a brand strategy firm for a while, an organizational brand consulting firm at another time, and a customer-centered consulting firm at a third point in time.
The third one seemed to do its job well as it captured a large part of our domain fairly accurately and it was easy to understand and communicate. We stopped using unnecessary models and techniques.
We progressively stopped using marketing and corporate strategy language. We settled down to just a couple of commonly known terms, and stayed away from the rest. And we found that we loved this, as that eailer way wasn't our voice, our note and our scale. We found that clients by and large were more comfortable with it as well, and most importantly it worked.
In our view it helped address business issues far better. We had stopped conducting interviews, but started having conversations. We had just become sensitive to people and their needs rather, than harassing them with research agendas.
We learned to listen better. We found that most people had all the time in the world to chat with us. And tell us the most private and beautiful details of their life. We found that the richness of these conversations that helped us arrive the right direction, was many times better than the traditional methods of arriving at insight. We found that asking preplanned questions, and not allowing the conversations to take an organic flow, was disrespectful and far less effective. We felt that knowing someone deeply, be it a customer, a company or its partners involved spending time, knowing their past, their current, their hopes and dreams, their desires and anxieties, their identities and what constitutes it, their beliefs determined the way they behaved.
Merely understanding the products- services, or the category alone was missing the woods for the trees. We learnt to run workshops to arrive at solutions, rather than driving it in a certain direction with premeditated solutions. We changed things on every project. We evolved creative as part of the strategy process, and strategy as part of a creative process. Every project turned in to a new journey. It took more time, maybe more effort, but it was worth it.
Not just for the client, but for us as well. This means being alive to the idea of being human — which is the need to be dealt with sensitively, need for respect, need to be listened to, need to be creative, need to be simple, need to be successful but not at the cost of others, the need to make a difference to the world, the need to be authentic, the need to be trusted, the need to be happy and the need to be similar, yet be different and unique.
The world of humanizing institutions including our own is therefore the journey we are on. Clientspeak what clients say about Centre of Gravity At ACC we were very impressed with the conceptual inputs provided by Rajesh, both at the research stage and thereafter.
His skill in taking a large group of people with him in all discussions was critical.
Exit Design: Creative Branding Agency | Brand Consulting Bangalore
His ability to draw on his experiences from earlier assignments built up the confidence and paved the way for a very good understanding of the category as a whole.
The marketing strategy as recommended by Rajesh and team and implemented by the company has shown early success. We are happy to recommend Rajesh and team for all strategy and branding related projects. The insights shared were excellent and can only come from a team who has passion for their work. The approach was strategic in nature and had findings which cut across the geographies.
We are now looking forward to more strategic work with COG. I am sure the approach of bringing alive the underlying issue, can only come by defying the conventional ways of working which in past has been almost predictable. They have a fairly unique approach to this and did make us think hard about where we really want to be as a company and what are the values we should espouse to make our vision a reality.
They bring a cerebral approach to the table, give you insights to the company that you may not be aware of, challenge you to think deeper on every occasion, are not afraid of pushing you back and can get as creative as you want them to be. We had a great time working with them and would unhesitatingly recommend them to anyone who is embarking on a similar exercise. Their passion, integrity and emphasis on research output to define business strategy clearly sets them apart. It is always a pleasure to work with their brilliant team of highly driven individuals.
COG are "application experts" in brand marketing i. In summary, outstanding commitment and ability to immerse in our goals, to understand our stakeholders and to help us create a vision and strategic plan that is motivating us and helping us build sustainable success. Their work goes beyond classic brand strategy work, and they bring not only high competence, but a remarkable sense of commitment and passion to what they do.
COG has displayed a good ability to completely open up and analyze issues across the entire spectrum of variables and has helped bring great clarity in every single project that we have worked together on. The passion of the team for research and discovery has led to the expansion of the scope and scale of most projects and the delivery has always exceeded expectations.
The integration and the coordination with our teams has also been great and these projects have been significant learning and training in put for everyone who has worked along with you Kudos to the entire team for doing a wonderful job. I personally think that Asian Paints would definitely like to pursue more projects with your organization. Mumbai We have been working with COG for consumer insighting and developing a long-term strategic perspective for our different product segments Passenger cars, small utility vehicles, farm.
Their inputs tend to have a long term business perspective to it. It has given us fresh insights which were key to our strategy formulation. No doubt that this has contributed in developing successful products, as the insights give clear directions to the product development team. At the same time, articulating stated and unstated needs of consumers has helped us in designing appropriate, relevant and credible communication planks.
Vinod Kumar, Head, Marketing Ceat We had engaged Centre of Gravity to chart out the future course of direction for cotton world as a brand and as an organisation. We were extremely impressed with their quick and deep understanding of our category and brand which they were handling for the first time ; and the overall handling of the entire exercise from start till the implementation phase, importantly their readiness to roll up their sleeves and get their hand dirty.
Their passion for what they do, the sincerity with which they do the work is very rarely seen in people.
How does branding help a company go from 500Crs to 2500Crs in 6 years?
They take a very personal interest in the brand and truly work from the heart. Even after finishing the project, they have very regularly stayed in touch for the past one year overseeing the implementationwith the best interest of cotton world at heart.
The strategic recommendations made by Centre of Gravity are being currently implemented and have already shown some early success. I would recommend Centre of Gravity percent to anyone. Lavin lekhraj, Partner Cottonworld Brand strategy is a part of longer initiative undertaken by GRRPL to catapult it from an old generation recycling brand to new generation dynamic brand and at the same time revitalization of brand personality with appropriate positioning to stakeholders. Ashutosh and Vijay have been critical partners in these initiative rather than consultants.
They were able to connect effectively with our stakeholders, especially key customers and suppliers and from the subsequent feedback we received, customers spoke highly of their structured questioning and engagement.
They were also instrumental in stirring the internal term and were able to engage all key members of management during their workshops. Few things that make COG remarkable are their experience across categories, their professional approach, and their open-mindedness towards feedback from the client and various stakeholders and their passion for work.
COG has been the right partner of choice for our brand strategy. We are delighted by the hard work they put in and the continued and strong attention to every detail, whether it is content, history, logistics management or concept.
Seventh Incorporated - Brand & Design Consultancy
Their approach has been professional in the true sense and their strategy development process is very logical; especially for a tough task like launching a new concept like fair trade which seems more heartfelt than logical, where theoretical models are almost non-existent.
They collated impressive range of data to provide authenticity to the concept. Most importantly, the responsive attitude and action of the young COG team have given a sense of assurance that our needs are well understood and suitable action will be taken by COG.
They have a desire to excel and the ability to put that desire into practice even for a social cause. We certainly recommend them in any strategy development and promotion related assignments. Arun Raste, Director IRFT Centre of Gravity's deep understanding of farmer segments, agriculture and the rural landscape, resulted in their producing what we believe has been the highest quality of work for Excel.
The project outputs included evolving a renewed core purpose for the organization, understanding the mega-trends in agriculture and orienting the business towards that, evolving the positioning of the company and the design of future policies that help build our businesses and help the farmers across India prosper as well.
As he does when his wife Renee Jhala, managing director of Shining Consulting—they met while he was consulting with Wipro, where she was head of public relations—wafts by: I read a lot. Art has always informed my work. But I never delivered something that only looked good; my work made businesses look good. But early on, Sengupta developed an appreciation of his surroundings. Perpetually short of funds and compelled to send money home, Sengupta took up any work he could find, from sweeping floors to assisting lithographers.
Apprenticeship is very important. I was always drawn to writers, advocates, psychologists, performing artistes—that was the way I nurtured myself, how I learnt to converge different elements when it came to branding and design as well. So I studied graphic design, applied art, photography, typography. But once in the field, I found I was completely different from everybody. Because of my multiple interests, areas of expertise and a humanist outlook, I made for a grand solutions provider.
I can diagnose an ailing business the way a good doctor diagnoses a patient. Business magazines lavished pages on him, a colourful, plain-speaking break from the pinstriped politically correct. Of late, Sengupta has consciously cut down consulting engagements to a few select clients, mostly in Europe.
But, out of the corner of his eye, he continues to pick up on trends and behaviours in the market. Pet among his peeves are Indian businesses that aim to be conglomerates rather than single-domain enterprises. When businesses believe in one thing, they can nurture people, build expertise. I hope the new generation will follow that path.
Brand & Design Consultancy
Sunil Bharti Mittal tried a couple of other things but his focus was one. Infosys, too, has focused on one domain. All businesses have always been start-ups.