“Building a brand is like raising a child. It takes a lot of patience, care and effort to make it grow over the years,” says Amar Sinha, Director of Operations, Radico Khaitan, one of India’s leading liquor companies. Radico Khaitan is among the 500 Indian companies honored at the inaugural Pride of India Brand Awards, by exchange4media group. The Pride of India Brand Awards celebrate the best of India’s world-class spices and manufacturers.
Radhiku Khaitan started his life as a Rampur Distillery, which dates back to pre-independence India. It was purchased in 1972 for Rs 16 lakh by Dr. Lalit Khaitan and has produced spirits and alcohol for some of the world’s leading liquor brands. Abhishek Khaitan, son of Dr. Khaitan, joined the family business in 1997 and then invited both father and son Amar Sinha, former Vice President of Sales at Shaw Wallace, to join the leadership team. Since then, the company has not looked back.
The name “Radico Khaitan” was coined in 1999 from Rampur (Ra) Distillery (Di) (Co) as the owners wished to transform from a commodity company to a branded company. Another motivation for the name change was to give the company a more contemporary international appeal. Today, the company is listed among the Fortune 500 by Fortune India.
Sinha recalls Radico’s first campaign for the company’s first in-house brand, 8 p.m., in 1998. “We launched it with TVC, which was a huge success. Not only was the product an instant hit, but the commercial, which depicted how Even enemies became friends when the clock struck eight, he made a huge impact in the advertising industry. He won several major advertising awards and was nominated for a Cannes Lion Award that year.”
The campaign appears to have worked, given that 8pm sold a record 1 million cases in the first year of its creation – a record not broken by any other brand in India. 8PM TVC itself was ranked among the 100 best commercials of the century by industry publications at the time.
Continuing with this market-focused approach, Radico has been able to organically create more than 15 profitable brands, including sector leaders such as Magic Moments and Morpheus brandy, over the past decade in their respective categories, and has had a presence in nearly from 90 countries.
Says Sinha, who admits that digital content has become the dominant way to make a fuss about brands.
Radico has been very proactive in marketing its products over the years, through both traditional and electronic media. Also, the company is increasingly harnessing the power of the internet. “We have reached out to people through all means. Apart from our advertisements and campaigns, we have also sponsored music festivals such as Sunburn Music Festival and other events to engage with young people, especially targeting the millennial market. We also work with influencers on social media platforms to reach clients in Different geographic regions and languages.
“We’ve always been aware of the need for strong marketing, no matter what product you’re selling. A decade ago, we primarily advertised through traditional media, which would make up about 50% of our marketing budget, although of course we were aware of the development of Social media and digital marketplaces,” Sinha notes. He added, “Today, digital advertising and campaigns make up 50% of our spending, while traditional media ads are around 20%, and certainly the share of digital spending will only increase.”
However, Sinha believes that traditional media will always have a place in advertising. “When someone sees your brand has big ads and it shows up in the papers and sponsors big events, they know you’re a big company and they mention the brand. Digital is great for making the larger market aware of your product and a way to keep consumers engaged and informed through social media. , but traditional media still has an impact.”
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