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Multiple billion dollar industries have been built and sustained on a very common human trait — “impatience”. Think Uber. Think the concept of “fast fashion”. Think Deliveroo, DoorDash and GoJek. Think any form of on-demand service. All of these companies and the industries they created are driven by the impatience towards traditional industry structures.

As “on-demand” becomes the industry lingo for anything that is made available when a consumer wants it, the nature of our impatience is evolving. In a 2019 study conducted in the US by US Foods, the average acceptable waiting time for a meal to be delivered…


When Lehman Brothers went under it was a watershed moment. With the #iconic #debenhams now going under, it is one of those moments. With it comes the painful loss of 12,000 jobs.

The future of #retail needs to move beyond the online vs offline debate. It needs to be about creating #brands that have a differentiated offer and has the ability to create and rollout an #omnichannel offer.

In plain English, anything mass is easily replicable and is prone for a wipeout. …


What would be keeping a #CMO up at night now? Let’s take some intelligent guesses:

Spending on #advertising is not up for debate, but where and how much should I be spending? Television remains important but should I invest more on #digital advertising and reduce the size of my #media mix?

Does the pandemic genuinely provide transformative opportunities around #diversification and #portfolio optimisation?

How do I invest in training my #sales force to have impact through online sales tools? How can my people remain persuasive on virtual platforms?

Should we invest in developing our supply chains to be more automated…


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Adversities fuel innovation. The biggest leaps in our advancement as a species have been driven by adversities. The world of brand building is no different.

If this ongoing pandemic is considered to be an adversity as big as the Spanish Flu, the two World Wars, the Great Depression of the 1930s and the Great Recession between 2007–2009, then it is important to measure the nature of innovation it is driving. But alas, we are not witnessing the significant leaps in advancement as we have seen in the past. …


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Everyone wants to be someone else. This 6 word sentence props up billion-dollar industries, creates unrelenting waves of consumer demand, provides employment to millions and always keeps us wanting for the next best thing. Consider the scenario of you getting a radically different haircut — going from long to ultra-short, shaving your head off or getting a style you never had before.

There are two possible outcomes playing out of this scenario:

  1. You get both praise and brickbats but your self decides to stick with the new style
  2. You get both praise and brickbats but your self can’t handle the…

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Let’s start with textbook basics first. A strong brand aids in generating equity in the consumers’ mind, which is a valuable metric to measure and monitor. But having a strong brand is not a means to an end, and in many instances it is just the beginning. The product underneath the brand should perform at the highest standards (both in terms of emotional and functional delivery).

Why should startups invest in building brands? Because it is important and it is foolish not to leverage the differentiating platforms their products already occupy. Every founder should have clarity about one important market…


A pandemic tests our resolve and determination. It tests our will to live, mourn the losses of loved ones, shattered livelihoods and our determination to keep our heads above the water.

Consumer behaviour during pandemics throw out all rules that we have learnt. It is driven by extreme needs, most of which is completely irrational and anxiety driven. Many products and industries thrive, while others are decimated.

We learn new skills, unshackle our dependencies, question what is “normal” and discover new opportunities. At the same time, we find it painful to let go of entrenched habits.

As income and livelihoods…


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3 days away from starting a new decade but the consciousness of change keeps on declining. If there is one thing that the current decade has bestowed upon us, it is our resilience or numbness to change. Who or what has been the driver of this resilience or numbness?

Without doubt it has been the evolution and applications of technology (not grading the positives and negatives). Our approach to how we lead our lives have changed, and equally how we make choices. …


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There are multiple perspectives on ‘growth’. We are at a point wherein the number of perspectives have outgrown their practicability and their ability to truly have a meaningful impact on a brand.

The intention of this piece is not to add to these growing list but to make sense of growth as an ever evolving dynamic for brand success. To understand growth, we need to accept a universal truth — growth stands for different things at different stages of brand evolution. …


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The news is horrendous and there is a crisis blooming. “Marketing” is suffering from a serious problem at the board level and CMOs are dropping like hats. The crisis is impacting senior, mid-level and junior marketers (read Uber’s global marketing positions cull). But there is something seriously wrong here, and which has a potential to corrode marketing’s image and importance.

In July 2019, McDonald’s CMO Silvia Lagnado announced her decision to leave after successfully turning around the brand’s fortunes and creating a strong visual identity, global positioning and partnerships with Disney. …

Sandeep Das

Strategy Consultant

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