Samachar Live

Interview With N. Chandramouli – CEO Of TRA Research

1. How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

Ans- So this happened a long time ago we were discussing many things in, you know, I have not trained as a communication person. So I have not trained in brands. I’m a chemical engineer. And, and they came to this field and started trying to understand what this brand was about. And when you try to look at the world of communication and brands, you essentially find that the science is missing, you know, everybody has a creative look at it but the sciences missing because when one message is given by one brand to an audience is this understood differently, the same brand is the same as just another person, it’s understood personally.

And I was a little perturbed by that because in, in chemical engineering, or in any other science, whatever you put in, and if the conditions of the environment are the same, you’ll get a similar output. That’s what science is usually about. So, trying to understand what-what this is an out of sheer interest, we spoke to several hundreds of psychologists and sociologists and communication experts to understand what this is, why is this going right or wrong. So then we find naturally it will go you know, different in communication, because the person who’s on the opposite side also interprets the message another whatever the brand is saying.

So, when it be interpreted, it becomes different. And then we started understanding why. So, we found out that basically this because of trust that the person holds, and the desire that the person holds, that is different from person to person. So they also have a different cultural, social understanding is all different. So to map that the solution that came in from all these people, this experts that we spoke was that if you start measuring the trust and measuring the desired portion, you will find that there is a very good way that you can actually see the balance in the outcome of the response. So then we again, the same kind of study, we try to understand what is trust and what is attractiveness. Surprisingly, there is no single study, which covers branches across all we’ve read all the books that are written on it, we’ve got all the papers, research papers on this, but it’s always from a singular lens meaning either from psychology or from sociology or from communication, there is no overall basis for trust yet studied.

So then we started the asking these experts as to what it meant to them and did a lot of, you know, understanding based studies, and finally came out with what is known as today, the brand trust matrix and the brand attractiveness or desire matrix, we understood it will have 61 different components and 36 different competence or desire, that means it’s like a scientific tool, just like you have parts in a car. Similarly, we have we understand that has to have similar parts, you know, we know where it goes, where, what happens if it’s moving, moving in. And this happened in 2007, after three, four years of research, this came to, you know, our big, big scheme to being and then we started to use it in our career, you know, consulting programs, and we found that it was working very well. So then we partnered with Indian Statistical Institute, ISI. And we said that why don’t we formalize this? And can we create a number for trust, just like you have a number for anything else like the score in mathematics? So can we have a number for trust, and the new statistical Institute is the Government of India body Additionally, so not very many, it does not partner with private parties. But we convince them that it is one of the most important studies to be done in the world. Because if your branch grows, then the business grows as the business grows, and there are jobs and there are jobs and the GDP grows.

And so then they partnered with us, and they gave us a formula for the theory that we had. And they told us that this is perhaps the best way to create a number of trusts. Since 2010, we have been coming out with the brand trust report and the brand attractiveness report, which measures desire within 16 cities. And we talked to about 6000 consumer influences every year face to face. And we expect now close to about 40 to 50 lakhs of data points every year. to just understand these two items. And it is done with no other intent. It’s only done with the intent of putting brands on a scale of trust and attractiveness to consumers. The idea is to turn the tables from a brand-centric model to make it into a complete consumer-centric model. Today’s brand does not understand the consumer and that is the reason some most of the communication that goes based. You know David Ogilvy once said that 60% of my advertising works, I just don’t know which of which 50% will we will have was of the Ogilvy and Mather fame.

And also it actually implied that it can work or cannot work, I don’t know. And this is exactly how Hello knows their customers and whether the communication will work. So advertising gets me did and the opportunities get wasted, and therefore the jobs that could have been created get wasted. So this model becomes consumer-centric. And when you’re aligning yourself to consumer needs, consumer trust, and consumer desire. Invariably, the brand will do well, because you are now oriented towards the one buying source of your products or service. That’s where it began in 2011. We came out to the first report called the brand trust report 2011 and since then, we’ve got 10 reports in trust and five reports in attractiveness and seven levels.

2. What are the factors you take into consideration while building strategies?

Ans- Essentially, our entire strategies around one model called the buying propensity model, the keenness to buy finding the consumers in this to buy and all all the brands that alignment was there about hundred and 50 brands like LG, Samsung, Dell, HP, Amazon and everybody else was aligned to us, which means that they use the buying propensity model as a singular model to measure their brand. And our model says that everything in the world that is transacted happens because of two reasons. One is brand trust and brand desire. And if you have this, then you’re aligning this entire thing to a propensity of the consumer goodness of the consumer to buy.

So, this is the model that we recommend to all and once you align to this, then your entire organizational flavors changes your brand flavor changes your communication changes, it’s almost like saying that you know, should I look at myself before the others or others before myself in a personal context, if you look at the others before yourself and you’re the same person, your approach to life will change. Similarly, over here the approaches that you look at the consumers before you look at anything else, and look at the impact in the consumers, if we look at anything and so, we counsel many brands, we consult many brands on the fact that how do you align yourself to buying propensity very large brands, very small brands, we found some them and tell them how to become more and more you know, the consumers keenness to buy.

3. What are your suggestions to make an empowered society in India?

Ans- In my opinion while society keeps all the negative elements but an individual must have the freedom to do want it wants society to exercise freedom in terms of ideation for betterment, ideation for business, ideation for family and ideation for society it mostly covers everything but an empowered society covers two things one is freedom and second is knowledge. And knowledge does not mean reading books but the ability to think in the right way and in the right manner. Power does not mean the number of hands we have but the number of minds India have and ability to gain knowledge.

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