Lina proposed a branding idea to the leadership team of RayStar Service Centre, a captive unit of a leading travel company and listened as the group debated the pros and cons of event branding.
Lina is the head of HR and she has been tasked with improving employee morale which has seen a dip in recent times. The organization isn’t faring too well either with the travel business slowing down a bit. Lina is very passionate about sports and been a state level basketball player for many years before making her mark in the corporate world.
Manish (CEO): “Lina, thanks for bringing this proposal to the table. When we met as a group, we had reviewed our current state of our business, looked at how our employees were feeling disconnected and what we needed to do more to re-engage. I appreciate your interest in sports and can see the drive you have to make this happen. We are evaluating other proposals as well. Before, we get there I would like my leadership team to share their views.”
Imam: (Business Head – IT): “Lina, it might help for us to get a gist of what this proposal is about. We can give our views thereafter.”
Lina: “Our employees are well connected and know what is going on in the corporate world. I have heard many of them share how TripMate and HippHop are branding large scale events in the city and country and that they are getting influenced by how those organizations are having more brand awareness in the talent market. You are aware that some of our employees recently moved to these entities. That apart, we haven’t as a brand been present in terms of an event we can own and call it ours. I am sure if we invest in one big ticket event – either as a sponsor or creating one theme we will be in the news”.
Imam: “Ok, so we feel that there is a need to be more aggressive in our brand building effort. I am surprised however that we aren’t known as much as TripMate and Hipphop despite us being around longer than them in the industry. Also, our profile as a captive doesn’t warrant us to be out there actively pitching for events. We don’t have customers in the country per se – we do all our work for our parent company. Yet, I do understand that doing something which relates to our audiences may help us improve our standing. Were you considering an external event or was it internal?”
Jane: (Business Head – Emerging Countries): “Lina, I agree with Imam. Is there really a need for doing something like sponsoring or owning an event? Can’t we just participate and get some basic brand visibility? Also, if our employees are feeling low, we should do an event for them, first – right?”
Lina: (looking flustered): “I meant we can also do something for employees first and see how it shapes up. But, if we do it externally, there will be more takers and we will get all the media attention we can ask for. I am very excited and know this sports meet will be a big hit. You can see how well some of the recent sports events such as professional league kabaddi was received. Our athletes are doing well in global events as well. We have stars in the making right in our country.”
Dipak: (Business Head – Marketing): “Folks, I have been listening in to this discussion and have a point of view. From a marketing perspective this makes a lot of sense. It is important to be visible and be known in an area that we can promote and project. However, I am unclear on why we need to be doing a sports meet? Why not do something which impacts travelers? Why not a travelogue on TV? Why not an arts exhibition? Or support travel journalists? Or our employees like Jane mentioned. Incidentally, we can also check if there is an opportunity under the CSR themes that the government has defined”
Imam: “These are good suggestions. Do we know if our employees want an event or our travelers see it as a need which will change how they perceive us as a brand? Dipak, do we have any research that explains what they currently think? Or why can’t we sponsor some athletes whom we can nurture. Or better still, can’t we create an academy to train these athletes. ”
Dipak: (realizing he spoke too soon and wasn’t prepared with insights): “Hmm. Well. We have been considering a survey for a while but getting new business was a priority for the last few years. We can do a quick study if budgets permit.”
Manish: (stepping in): “Team, we need to revisit our branding approach. It doesn’t seem clear to me as to what we want to do – for our employees, first. To me, that was a priority we were initially focused on, right? What is the connection of sports with our business? Can you consider what is most appropriate and come back with a strategy and a plan?”
Lina and the team troop out murmuring why they weren’t able to arrive at a concrete solution in this meeting.
Reflect on this case study and share your views.
How can you help the group arrive at a suitable approach and a decision to get to their branding initiative? Keen to hear your thoughts. Do share them here.