By Invitation: N Chandramouli: The Trust Bond between a Brand and its Ambassador

26 Nov,2015

By N Chandramouli

 

The relationship between a brand and its ambassador is highly interconnected, and that which will impact one will also invariably impact the other also very closely. The reaction of the consumers on the other hand is a case of the ‘congruence of values’ of the consumers with the brand. So when a brand or its ambassador consider its actions in the current day social era,  each must have a responsibility of building the trust of the other. Else, with its unfettered and unfiltered information exchange of the age, often even small things have a high potential of exploding out of proportion.

 

After the recent Aamir Khan controversy, the brand he endorses, Snapdeal, came out with a statement distancing themselves from the ‘personal’ comments of Aamir. This was probably after a huge public resentment of the ambassador’s statement, demonstrated by one star ratings of its app by angry consumers, nearly 67,000 of them.  Similar incidents have happened in the past, but why do some actions get the response they do, while others simply slip by?

 

The answer depends on how close a relationship the brand and its ambassador share. A similar reference that can be taken as an example that (luckily for the brand ambassador!) did not have the a different result – that of Shah Rukh Khan in his ‘intolerance’ quote to a TV channel a few weeks ago. However, that statement did not impact Bigbasket.com in the same manner as Aamir’s statement hit Snapdeal goes to show two things.  Firstly, it shows the success of the Snapdeal campaign in totality.

 

If the first thing that comes to the public’s mind on saying Aamir Khan was Snapdeal, in no certain terms, the connection between the two was quite well-established. Secondly, it goes to show the relative importance of the brand to the consumer and its importance that the consumers place in its values. The consumers of Snapdeal relate to more than in the case Bigbasket, and this is evident in the sharp consumer action against Snapdeal. In all this mess, Snapdeal should rest happy in one deep insight, that whatever they were doing with Aamir Khan in their campaign was working well, and they should use this as an opportunity to knowing and understanding the trust of their consumers better.

 

N Chandramouli is CEO, TRA Private Limited (publishers of ‘The Brand Trust Report’)

 

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