Avinash Pant (Marketing Head, Nike India) reveals a marketer’s dream

DSC_0278mPower–Marketing Interest Group at IIMK, organized a guest lecture by Mr. Avinash Pant -Head, Marketing at Nike India. He is an IIM Ahmedabad graduate and has worked as Executive Director with Walt Disney and also as Director at Coca-Cola before joining Nike India.

He started the lecture by sharing his journey in the marketing domain so far with Coca-Cola, Disney and now Nike. He talked about Nike and its philosophies when it comes to marketing their products. He said that at Nike, they have always believed in innovation and thinking out of the box. Sports have been their main area of focus right from the beginning and that is why almost all the top athletes in the world are their endorsers. He mentioned in brief about Nike’s branding activities in India like Nike Run Club in Bombay and Bangalore, TCS World 10K marathon that it sponsors every year, its recently unveiled Indian national football team’s jersey among many others.

He then talked at length about various innovations that Nike has come up with like Nike+ FuelBand, a device that tracks daily physical activities along with the calories burned, or how Nike came up with the eccentric idea of colored studs for playing football while black was the only color people associated football studs with or FlyKnits, the ultra-light weight shoes for runners.

He also mentioned some of the key lessons every marketer should keep in mind while designing the strategies. ‘Know your consumer’, he said is the most important thing. He gave an example of how Coke came up with “Thanda matlab Coca Cola” campaign because it wanted to connect with the customers and change their perception of Coke being a sophisticated and elite brand. He also said that in marketing, ‘Less is more’, implying that you should not try to do all the things at once in which case you won’t be able to achieve anything. Your target group should be well defined and the entire positioning should revolve around that. Also, it is very important to realize that things are constantly evolving and therefore the brand must change its image accordingly.

He mentioned how marketing is both a science and as well as an art and how a bit of sense of humor is always appreciated giving example of an earlier Sprite ad making a mockery of the typical soft drinks ads aired during that time. He concluded by saying that whenever you come up with any campaign idea it is very important to ‘keep it real’ so that consumers relate to it in a better manner. In the end, mPower expressed gratitude to Mr. Avinash by presenting him a memento and thanked him for taking out time from of his busy schedule and conducting this guest lecture.

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