Monday, March 24, 2008

Raghu Viswanath

"Branding is dead. Long live branding. Conventional branding, where the emphasis is on name, logo, signage, packaging and visual merchandising, is dead, because these are no longer sustainable differentiators. What is here to stay is strategic branding, with focus on brand experience, which is a function of emotional and self-expressive value proposition. Most businesses in the services sector today are not laying sufficient emphasis on unearthing this brand essence, which will differentiate them from competition. Internationally, there are methodologies and techniques to scientifically unearth brand essence, using customer insights and competitive strength mapping. Therefore, if our businesses can put their time and money into the exercise, they can enhance their brand values significantly."

Raghu Viswanath, Managing Director, Vertebrand Management Consulting Pvt Ltd.

March 24, over lunch.

1 comment:

Murali said...

About Raghu...

Raghu Viswanath did his Bachelor’s in Technology from I.I.T. Chennai. He followed this up with a PGDM from I. I. M. Kolkota.

He has had over 10 years of experience in the corporate world, specializing in Managing Brands, at both Smith Kline Beecham Consumer Healthcare & TITAN Industries.

He founded Vertebrand Management Consulting Pvt. Ltd., in end – 1999. Vertebrand is arguably, India’s foremost Brand Consulting firm advising a host of large Indian corporates and MNCs in building brand equity in India.

Raghu is also a guest faculty at a member of premier management institutes as well as a corporate trainer.

He can be reached at

Management Committee

Anustup Datta, Partner & Member, Managing Committee

Anustup is a Graduate engineer from IIT, Chennai with a Management Diploma from IIM, Calcutta. He has over 10 years experience in Brand Management, Marketing Strategy Business Strategy, Corporate Planning, Business Development and Market Research.

In the past, he has worked with Prior work experience with companies like SmithKline Beecham Consumer Healthcare and Titan. Anustup is also a guest faculty at a number of premier Management Institutes.

G. Pandrang Row, Partner & Member, Managing Committee

Pandrang or Pandi as he is popularly known holds a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Bombay University. Pandi has over 20 years experience in advertising, direct marketing and brand communication. His prior work experience is with advertising behemoths like Ogilvy & Mather, Hindustan Thompson, and McCann Erickson. He left as McCann Erickson as Vice-President and Executive Creative Director. Pandi also teaches at various Management and Communication Institutes

Udayan Paranjpye, Partner & Member Managing Committee

Udayan holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM – Ahmedabad, where he was a Merit Scholar and a PG. Diploma in International Trade from I.I.F.T – Delhi where he was a Gold Medalist. Udayan has been a member of TATA Administrative Service (TAS). He has over 30 years work experience across TOMCO, Tetra Pak India, Mudra and Lintas across Brand Management, Sales and advertising.
What does Vertebrand do?

This is perhaps the most commonly asked question we hear at any presentation, at most cocktail parties and even family dinners.

Our answer is simple.

We help you grow your business.

And how do we do this?

Simple. By helping our customers grow their brands.

At Vertebrand, our most fundamental belief is that your brand is your business. So it follows that by helping our customers to maintain and grow their brands, we also help them to grow their businesses.

How do we do this?

At Vertebrand, we believe in using a carefully thought-out, scientific process to achieve whatever targets we’ve set ourselves.

This is summarized in the acronym R.A.I.S.E. which translates to Research, Analysis, Insight, Strategy, Execution.


Vertebrand has a highly qualified research team headed by one of its principals. Although the fieldwork is often outsourced, the development of the research design and instruments, the supervision of the work done in the field and the collation of the results is done by our team.


The analysis of the research results is always handled at a meeting where all the senior-most people in the organization sit down and look at the results thrown up by the research.


One of the key results of the meetings is that instead of interminable lists of numbers and statistics, Vertebrand is able to offer incisive, interesting and unusual business-related insights.


The insights we can generate lead to a business and brand-building strategy that is innovative, creative, but eminently workable.

The strategy is expressed in the form of two proprietary tools: Vintellity™, and the Vertebrand Arrow™ or the Vertebrand Star™.

Unlike most other branding models across the world, Vintellity™ is a unique way of looking at brands because it gives a brand two dimensions: intelligence and personality. Developed internally, this model gives a brand far more flexibility since it considers all the aspects of a brand: external factors, internal factors, its own capabilities and the consumer.

The behavior of the brand is then graphically depicted in the Vertebrand Arrow™ or the Vertebrand Star™, two other proprietary tools that become a one-page summary of a brand’s identity.


Vertebrand then goes on to prove the workability of the strategies we develop by actually helping our clients to implement the strategy .

This begins with the physical aspects of brand identity such as a logo, baseline and so on. It goes on to helping our clients develop their communications platform, promotional ideas and advertising campaigns. Finally, our services extend to helping clients set up their channel and distribution infrastructure, not to forget their internal sales organization.

Monitoring in-market sales for our clients and suggesting course corrections when it comes to marketing inputs are ongoing components of the Vertebrand charter.

As our deliverables include all aspects of the branding value chain, Vertebrand has forged strong alliance partnerships with a network of specialists in specific functional areas like Market Research, Creative design, Retail strategy, financial consulting , Sales & distribution management, even venture capital funds and Recruitment firms! Collaborating closely with these handpicked associates, Vertebrand ensures that every aspect of the pre-decided brand strategy is delivered on the field- by design !

The Vertebrand Edge

Vertebrand has a real edge that comes from the composition of our personnel. Thanks to a unique combination of left-brain and right-brain thinking, we have the capacity to add a creative edge that stems from our scientific core.

We have more than our share of Engineers from I.I.Ts and MBAs from IIMs and other premier business institutes. However, we also have people with a strong background in branding and marketing creativity from some of India’s top advertising agencies.

This unique combination of scientific process and right-brain thinking results in solutions that are innovative, unusual and workable.

The Vertebrand Promise

Everything we do for our client on a daily basis is targeted towards one singular goal-that of enhancing his brand’s valuation. Whether it is a mid-cap brand seeking to raise venture capital for accelerated growth or a CEO simply wishing to track his brand’s value appreciation during his tenure, Vertebrand has tools and methodologies to unlock and estimate the brand’s value.

So finally what can we promise a client? If we’re working on a retainer we can promise our clients an outsourced marketing department that delivers innovative, creative marketing and branding solutions that stem from a verifiable, scientific process.

If we’re taken on for a consulting project we can promise innovative, creative marketing and branding solutions that stem from a verifiable scientific process.

Either way we promise you the same thing: solutions that will help you grow your business.

By growing your brand.