“This is how you can keep a great brand alive, without changing much. The (marketing) remains fresh yet consistent,” says Prashant Peres, director-marketing (Chocolates), Mondelez India. It is not just a new sound effect that the brand refresh is aiming for, the company says it has also tweaked the tactile experience, making the product “curvier, smoother and silky” without changing the taste.
Across the world, sonic branding and experience management is becoming a critical part of branding strategies. In a blog, Bradley Vines, director-neuroscience Europe with Nielsen says that music has become a powerful tool as it acts as an influencer for brands, much like what celebrities do. It helps create familiar associations with the brand for consumers.
Rajeev Raja, founder of Brand Musiq, believes that sounds and jingles help define the brand’s identity and are similar to crafting visual representations. “The Cadbury Dairy Milk Silk is a nice track and it clearly captures the mood that the brand needs to communicate. But the opportunities are more,” he says.
For Mondelez, it is important to tune in to new ways of connecting with the consumer to prise open the premium category. The Silk range was launched in India in 2009, a time when the country’s premium chocolate consumption was in negligible numbers and the market was just about opening up. While Mondelez had a global portfolio of premium chocolates, it decided to position and brand the ‘Silk’ products differently.
The base product was pitched as a softer, smoother and creamier offering from the Dairy Milk stable. And the brand was extended to different variants, all leveraging the strong recall and association for Cadbury Dairy Milk. Ten years later, ‘Silk’ is in for another makeover. But given the rising concerns over sugar among the young, does the brand need more than a sonic rethink?
Peres says that while the snacking segment is going through an overhaul, chocolates are a different story. “People consume chocolates as an indulgence, it is not a part of the daily diet. Even from a health angle, a chocolate has much to boast about, with cocoa, which is a good antioxidant, milk and milk proteins,” he adds. The communication will thus continue to focus on joy and happiness when it comes to advertising, while on one-on-one interactions with the consumer, the company will talk about ingredients.
The Indian market presents a unique proposition say industry analysts. Average per capita consumption of chocolate is just 250 gram as compared to about 10 kg in the United Kingdom, thereby offering up tremendous potential. But at the same time there is a thin but growing segment of consumers who are in step with their global counterparts on health and diet concerns. A large chunk of this segment overlaps with premium chocolate consumers making it particularly challenging for companies
to frame an appropriate and appealing brand identity for such a product.
The chocolate category is around Rs 85 billion (Nielsen), growing at double digits for the last three to five years, in value terms. It is expected to keep up the pace for the next few years and Mondelez India, with over 65 per cent of the total chocolate market, says it wants to develop all segments. “Silk will continue to live in the premium segment,” Peres added.