Founder - Shining Emotional Surpul
mega brand pulley strategy has the advantage of being
able to drive a category and to own a market territory.
Creating a mega brand pulley needs strong organisational
coherency, an attitude of discipline backed by high quality
processes. Such a pulley has to be built with a strong
latent concept which surprises the consumer, goes beyond
its traditional character and has a strong rational and
A mega brand pulley must have long-term vision, at least
ten years, with the brand anticipating the latent perspective
of the market. Its tactic must be to achieve short-term
and mid-term goals. The mega brand pulley can be established
only if it has a measurable content of rational, functional
and emotional substance. This substance has to be created
in every deliverable, whether its a product or a
service. Each deliverable can be split into its Rational,
Functional and Emotional content that go beyond its basic
0. Hygiene factor: The basic rational and functional elements
characterise the price sensitive commodity market.
1. First mover advantage (short-term): When a deliverable
has rational and functional content upgraded from being
hygiene factors, a small layer of emotional content can
2. Strategic advantage (mid term): When the deliverable
has the justification of upgraded rational and functional
content, adding a significant plus point can increase
its emotional content layer which is emotional plus.
3. Strategic leap advantage (long term): In a deliverable
justified with significant rational and functional content,
adding a comprehensive plus point can create an unlimited
and sustainable layer of emotional content which then
becomes emotional surplus, a value beyond expectation.
What is Rational, Functional and Emotional Content?
Rational, Rational Plus and Rational Surplus: Rationality
is the non-visible part of any product, such as it being
defect-free, which gives the brand its good reputation.
In a car, for example, engine performance is not visible;
in a food product, the quality of the ingredient is not
visible; which is why it is rational. The customer would
realise a brands rational, rational plus or rational
surplus content only on experiencing it after consequent
Functional, Functional Plus and Functional Surplus: The
value-added visible part of the product is its functional
usage advantage that the customer can evaluate prior to
purchase. Its a specific benefit that needs to have
a tangible and visible character. In the car example,
external functions like easy driving, quick pick-up and
comfortable seating can be tested during purchase and
are visible. A food product can be tasted to discover
its functional, functional plus or functional surplus.
Emotional, Emotional Plus, and Emotional Surplus: Emotional
Surplus can be built on a deliverable with a surplus value
only with the addition of its rational and functional
content. Without having rational surplus and functional
surplus it is not possible to reach the platform of Emotional
After adding rational and functional surplus content in
a product, bring in latent aesthetics that can leap to
form the emotional surplus value so as to connect the
proposition to the end user. This creates long term sustainability
of the brand with the customer. For example, a cars
creative latent styling and out-of-the-box concept can
increase its emotional surplus content when rational and
functional surplus has been added; in a food product its
packaging design, the products visual character
and its out-of-the-box concept can create emotional surplus
content when the rational and functional surplus has been
A business strategy can be uplifted when these 3 steps
of value engineering have been mastered.
A Few Examples of Mega Brand Pulley
A mega brand pulley can be created under 3 different contexts:
AN EXISTING OLD BRAND
B. A CORPORATE BRAND
C. CREATING A NEW BRAND
AN EXISTING OLD BRAND
When a brand has traversed many decades of existence and
proved its substance, its awareness becomes like a public
domain property. Such a brand is very often subjected
to a huge attack from low priced competition.
Alternatively, a competitor¹s innovation can totally
shift the market. For example Tinopal, the clothes whitening
powder, has been made redundant by detergents like Surf,
Ariel, Tide, Nirma, Rin which have whitening ingredients
included in their products. What can be done in this context?
Kill the brand? Get going with fresh new brands? Or reposition
In this situation, repositioning the brand with a rupture
strategy is the ideal way to go because the brand
name already has awareness in the consumer mind. It may
have lost its contemporary feature with both commodity
and innovation products flooding the market. But its awareness
is still there in its particular segment of laundry products.
As Tinopal is semantically not a meaningful name, it could
have taken a strong high ground concept of cleaning as
the pulley, backed it with products with rational and
functional surplus benefits, and then catered to different
segments of the laundry market.
Saffola was initially a heart problem-solution
brand. The brand concept of The Heart of a Healthy
Family was made its pulley so that its benefit radiates
holistically to the whole family rather than solving a
heart disease problem. The Heart of a Healthy Family
is an elevated brand positioning because every human being
will always need this benefit for all time to come. It
can never get lost in the long term. Supporting this with
rational and functional value, the brand has been extended
with a range of products. So Saffola has now become a
very good mega brand in its category.
fact the concept is so strong that it can be stretched
to other categories. The brand has overcome its association
with oil for heart disease.
Brooke Bonds pioneering tea expertise since 1869
makes it an invaluable, legendary brand of India. The
dormant strength of this treasure has now been powerfully
brought alive to make Brooke Bond a mega brand that will
cheer the senses of all consumers yet again.
The repositioning of Brooke Bond gives shape to a strategic
and creative leap that translates the brands dormant
value into a mega brand that goes beyond the consumers
expectation. A strong concept, Brooke Bond Cheers
your Senses, has been used as the mega brand pulley
that will carry the load of the three Brooke Bond brands
in the market - Taj Mahal, Red Label and Taaza. The semantic
concept of cheering your senses has been transposed to
a visual icon that comprises the deeper meaning of the
alchemy of tea, combining its positive value with the
unique value of Brooke Bond.
Vitalinea is a brand from Danone, the European food corporation.
Initially it was a local French brand called Taillefine
which has existed since the sixties. A new trend of light
food product for slim bodies started in the seventies.
It was a problem-solution market that targeted women and
sacrificed taste. But the eighties saw psychological rejection
of diet products as consumers demanded products with taste.
Yet diet food had a market so Taillefine was repositioned
as a weight management brand in 1989 with the value of
0% fat and highly tasty products. The 0% positioning was
so powerfully relevant that the brand could detach itself
from only yoghurt and ladder to other dairy products,
as well as integrate Danones two other verticals
of water and biscuit with the same concept. The mental
benefit of 0% which translated to consumers as no
sacrifice of taste has been used by Danone in the
Vitalinea name for the international market. The 0% weight
management pulley was so strong and latent that today
it has proved Vitalinea to be Danones highly profitable
and successful megabrand with a strong differentiating
A CORPORATE BRAND
Sony is a strong mega corporate brand with a dream delivery
concept since the eighties that says to customers: You
dreamt it, Sony made it. The concept was powerful
enough to carry the heavy load of all Sony products in
a single communication. This load is the pulley, which
reduces the manufacturers cost for communication
and sharpens brand focus in the customer mind. Sony has
created a powerful brand pulley worldwide with rational
surplus, functional surplus, and emotional surplus, which
gave the brand its strategic advantage in different entertainment
verticals. The corporate brand stable of Sony has products
in many categories and sub brands, all of which leap to
a high ground level in the customers mind because
of its corporate mega brand pulley endorsement. But stretching
a corporate brand beyond a limit may lead to loss of brand
substance. So Sony bought Aiwa to cater to different markets
with different pricing.
Cartier is another example of a corporate brand pulley.
Such an old Brand with a high connoisseur image still
leads contemporary trends while having watches from $700
to $150,000 or more. Cartiers intriguing aspiration
value and mega brand pulley backs all sub brands like
Tank, Pasha, Must and others.
From the basic functional benefit of a biscuit company
to a positioning of Eat Healthy, Think Better, Britannia
has, since 1997, created the aspiration territory of healthy
eating leads to a better mind. This positioning was so
relevant that it stretched to a totally new business in
the dairy market where Britannia could, very quickly,
take a good share of the dairy category. From the organisation,
to the trade, shareholders and consumers, the mega brand
pulley has created a ripple of the value of well-being
in life. Wipros Applying Thought provided a high
ground positioning from the domestic vanaspati oil market
to the global IT market. This Applying Thought pulley
connects to the latent perspective of the market with
high innovation and was created in a way that different
verticals can endorse this positioning to grow their businesses.
If a name has a basic generic connotation that can overshadow
the concept of a corporate brand strategy, as was the
case of Vam Organic Chemicals, the name may need to be
changed. But this does not mean the companys equity
will be lost. The old name of Vam was not fitting its
new mega brand strategy of changing to speciality chemicals
and acquiring the latent perspective of the market. The
change to Jubilant Organosys was in itself associated
with loftiness, and its pulley support of Science Active
invigorated the total organisation.
CREATING A NEW BRAND
Theres always an opportunity for creating a new
brand to dynamise the market with exceptional product
quality or a new consumption pattern. From inception,
beginning with the name and positioning, a new brand strategy
should soar on a high ground platform from where the brand
can be stretched to different categories to become a mega
brand in future.
Nirvana, a high quality speciality ice cream brand, was
created for Delta Dairy in Greece to compete with the
international Hagen Daaz entering Greece. To differentiate
and compete, Nirvanas positioning of Melt
in the Mouth Pleasure took the brand to a new dimension
of increased market share since 1994. The pulley is so
strong that the product leapfrogged from ice cream to
the ecstasy of ice cream in the consumers mind.
There was a big potential in glucose biscuits, but the
market was getting commoditised. Britannias Tiger
as a concept took the biscuit market to a new platform
where the banality of glucose was transformed to an aspiration
level which relates totally to the end benefit of strength
in glucose biscuits. Britannias mega brand pulley
stretched to health force through Tiger.
Vam Organics had a me-too adhesive brand called Vamicol.
By changing its name to Jivanjor, supported with high
quality products associated with long lasting value, the
new brand is translating the extreme bonding benefit of
its products in adhesive or wood finish for home or industrial
When all adhesive brands have col in their names, Jivanjor
does not take this functional route, but concentrates
on its usage benefit to create a mega brand pulley.
A mega brand pulley can save high communication expenses,
and at the same time grow the consumer portfolio through
rationalising brands. It avoids consumer clutter by not
having too many brands in the market. A mega brand pulley
can help a brand become international, be a category driver
and territory owner, and creating its sustainable awareness
in the market is definitely easier.