16 Nov 2019 17:34 IST

ICFAI hosts conference on marketing and business strategy

It was a platform for dialogue, discussion, and debate on contemporary issues related to branding

ICFAI Business School (IBS) Hyderabad organised ICOMBS, its eighth conference on marketing and business strategy.

The theme was “Branding and strategic brand management: Then, now, and hereafter…”. The conference acted as a platform for dialogue, discussion, and debate on contemporary issues related to branding and brand management; and the future of brand strategy. Luminaries from the industry, brand consultants, academic leaders, brand researchers were part of this conference. Around 100 participants congregated to share their perspectives on the contemporary branding scenario and charted new frontiers for brand strategies. A total of 70 research papers were presented.

Age of personalisation

The conference started with two pre-conference workshops on qualitative research and brand analytics, conducted by Dr Ram Manohar Vikas, an independent field researcher, and Adipta Datta, Product Manager of a leading private sector bank in India, respectively.

The chief guest was Ameya Kapnadak, Senior Client Director, Interbrand, India. Prof Mithileshwar Jha, academician and marketing thought leader; and Prajnajit Mohanty, Chief Data Scientist, Ray Business Technologies Pvt Ltd, were key note speakers.

Kapnadak said: “This is the age of personalisation, the age of you, where you are the one building your own brand space and the brand is just there to help you do it.”

Prof Jha, deliberated on the path that branding and brand management has covered over the years with consumers’ mistrusts and how brands can rectify them. He believes that the concepts take a much slower pace while the contexts chose a much dynamic pace in the course of change. He simplified the complexity of brand management and based it on three mindsets: gardeners’ mindset (on a weekly or daily basis), the sugarcane farmer mindset (on a quarterly basis) and the forester mindset (on a basis of 15- 25 years).

Mohanty brought a new dimension to the discussion by focusing on the impact of data, information technology and artificial intelligence in brand strategies. He captivated the audience by his view on how AI can help charm the consumers in the era of hyper-customisation. He also said that business should drive AI, and not the other way round.

Balancing quality and quantity

There were two panel discussions conducted on the inaugural day. The first panel discussion was on the theme, “The future of traditional branding: Challenges and opportunities” moderated by Sudhakar Rao, Director — Branding, ICFAI Group. The second discussion on, “Branding of higher education: Balancing quality and quantity” was hosted by Prof Nitin Gupta of IMT, Hyderabad. The third on “Publishing in top tier high impact journals: Experiences of India based authors”, which was moderated by Dr Sunny Bose, IBS Hyderabad.

The conference was organised in association with Ray Business Technologies Pvt Ltd and AIBridge ML Pvt Ltd.