Future is for Sustainable and Purposeful Brands: Asia Branding Conference 2019

Seoul: ‘The future belongs to the brands who take care of the planet and its people. And brands should have a higher purpose above their product line and services to win the market.’ Convinced by this idea and sharing it with the world, the second APBN concluded in Seoul. The conference organized by the Asia Pacific Branding Network (APBN) took place in Intercontinental COEX, Seoul the capital of South Korea with major branding companies from 10 Asian countries taking part. APBN is a consortium of leading branding agencies from different Asian countries. The network is an association of leading branding companies from South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia Indonesia & Thailand.

This year’s theme for the conference was ‘Unboxing the trend: Exploring the future of branding in Asia’. The agenda of the conference was to address the current trend in Asian branding and its future. Discussions were carried out on the topic of ‘sustainability in branding’ and about ‘sustainable brands’. The conference observed that to sustain, businesses have to be purpose-oriented than profit-oriented. 

The conference was enriched by speakers from different Asian countries, including Korea, India, Japan, Taiwan, China. Representing India, CEO of Whyletz Branding Ahmad Vaseem told the story of Sustainable brands for greater change in India. The topic was recognized as relevant based on its significance today and connection with the theme. He shared his experience working with brands that are purpose-oriented. And insights building a sustainable brand in India, the land of diversities. The brand story of Karimadam, a brand from Kerala captured the audience’s attention and was an epitome for brands with a purpose.

The hosting company Metabranding representative presented the case study of the Korean Premium Code – how premium brands are made in Korea. Representing Japan, Ayaka Suda from Hakuhudo Consulting talked about the recent branding trends in the healthcare industry from Japan. Zhitao Peter from Osens Shanghai talked about Chinese Cashless Society. About brand impact and social purpose, Joning Lee from Redpeak Taiwan presented her study. A representative from LG Korea presented about Hyper-premium branding with LG’s global product case study. 

The Asia Pacific Branding Conference offered an opportunity for the branding agencies across Asia to come together and share their insights. This year’s conference helped agencies to discover the different branding trends around Asia and learn from them. The network is planning to conduct more conferences and workshops in the coming years in Taiwan, Japan, Singapore and Dubai. 

Unboxing The Trends: Exploring The Present And Future of Branding in Asia

Following the success of the first Asia Branding Conference organized by the Asia Pacific Branding Network, the second Asia Pacific Branding Conference 2019 will be held at InterContinental COEX Seoul on November 28th, 2019. Brand experts from Asian countries will be attending the conference and sharing their insights and knowledge on the theme ‘Unboxing The Trends’ and ‘The Present And Future of Branding in Asia’.       

The Asian Pacific Branding Network (APBN) is a consortium of 16 leading branding agencies from 11 Asian countries. The network is an association of leading branding companies from South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand & Australia. The consortium was established to understand and expand Asia in terms of branding.   

Last year Whyletz was privileged to represent India in the conference and our CEO Ahmad Vaseem shared his insights on Millennial brands in India and his experience working with them. This year also we are offered the opportunity to represent India in the Asia Pacific Branding Conference 2019. And our CEO is looking forward to addressing this gathering of the best minds in the branding world and sharing insights from one of the largest markets, India to the Asian audience.       


Branding with social impact: How purpose drives change?

Asia Branding Conference 2019 | Taipei, Taiwan


Asia Pacific Branding Network (APBN) organized Asia Branding Workshop 2019 in the world’s previous largest skyscraper Taipei 101, hosted by Redpeak, the leading branding agency in Taiwan. The workshop shared knowledge on different topics and gave insights about the growing branding market in Asia.



Appier, one of the leaders in AI technology, shared insights about how AI is driving the world and how the future can benefit from it. Speakers from Metabranding Korea, Hakuhudo Consulting Singapore, Redpeak Taiwan shared insights on building an authentic brand and 21st-century challenges in branding.

Representing India, Whyletz CEO Ahmad Vaseem talked about the impact of social branding and brands who achieved success. He covered the story of ‘Chekkutty’, the symbol of Kerala floods that affected the state badly, and this social initiative gave new life to the Chendamangalam handloom. Also, he covered various social initiatives that created an impact around the world.


Asian Millennials: Asia Branding Conference about the future generation


The first Asia Branding Conference discussed the potential future consumer market in Asia and trends they follow in different Asian countries. Asia has an increasing population of youth, and they are the trendsetters of brands. Branding industry should give attention to this crucial consumer base and set the trends accordingly. The conference was at the Conrad Hotel in Seoul, South Korea, organized by the Asia Pacific Branding Network (APBN). APBN is a consortium of 16 leading branding agencies from 11 Asian countries. 



The conference happened on 8th November 2018. Host country partner Metabranding CEO Eunha Kim started the event with his opening remarks. Kwangchul Shin from Lotte Future & Strategy Institute presented the case study about ‘Global Power Shift: Asia Returns.’

Wonsook Cha from Macromill Embrain talked about Patterns of Asian Millennials. Daewoo Kim presented the case study of Playce Camp Jeju, how the location became a favourite place for Korean millennials. Sonny Ikeda talked about Japanese millennials, representing Hakuhudo Consulting, Japan. Wang Si Han from Xianzhi talked about Chinese millennial brands. 


Asia Pacific Branding Network (APBN) Director Board


Representing India, Whyletz CEO Ahmad Vaseem talked about Indian Millennial brands and how they influence them. Silviya Yu from RedPeak Asia Taiwan presented the story of their millennials. About Australian branding trends, Michael Huges from Truly Deeply presented their story. Kyoung a Ko presented a Metabranding case study of a millennial product branding.

7 Top Gen Z brands in India growing rapidly in the region


Right now the world is entirely about dynamism. The thing you see trendy right this moment may not be the highlight the very next day. This liveliness is sometimes a boon, but it is tough to catch up with the flow of vigorous changes. Now reaching out to the new younger Gen Z era, being “Cool” is what matters! These Gen Z people are more into brands, flash sales, trends, and are more conscious of self than that of the previous generations. And this is what that keeps them adhere with dynamism or the ‘Cool Factor.’


After millennials, Gen Z made their evolution. Now the pretty part is that they are outnumbered. For a country like India, with the second largest population, the count of Gen Z is outnumbered. Besides, if we count the Gen Z population alone, China is far behind India. And this says that by the year 2020, India will be the country with the maximum number of Gen Z population. Now at this moment, if you think like “oh they are just kids, what do they know about living,” you are ultimately wrong. These people are going to determine what is best in the Country, locally and globally. Sales, Markets, Brands, Food interests… everything, literally everything is changing according to these people. Since the number of these people are pretty huge, investing in their interest could deal with some money yeah! Now talking about dynamism, since gen Z prefer things to be trendy and top, the country itself is focusing on new trends so that they can adapt it. Since Gen Z is more self-centered, they exactly know what they want and when they want it. Now, this is challenging to the brands around the globe to act spontaneously as the younger generation in town. But if you are planning to be over smart and thinking that you can easily fool the younger generation, you are one dumb guy. These gen Z people are self-aware too. They don’t believe in gimmicks; they are logical.


Being in such a world is a bit difficult. But there is a loophole. There is a pattern to these instinctively changing habits of the youngsters. If the brands can tackle it out, they are indeed safe. Talking about such brands, now we can discuss the top brands. They are not just Top brands; they are Gen Z top brands! Distinctively spontaneous and dynamic ones, I repeat, impulsively diverse and trendsetting! (What? Its Gen Z guys, the ones before “I repeat” is no more trending after it!) Roger that!


Top 10 Gen Z Brands in India - Instagram


Double taps are more interesting than the Like button! Gen Z dumped Facebook for Instagram. Facebook was so far a millennial thing right now. While foreign countries Gen Z dropped Facebook for Snapchat, Indian Gen Z chose Instagram instead. Instagram itself acts as a Gen Z influencer, and this adds high market values.  (Tip: If you are planning to influence Indian Gen Z, then roll on to Instagram and try something appealing!)


Top 10 Gen Z Brands in India - Nike


If you are asking what Dynamism is, the one-word answer could be ‘Nike.’ Nike is so so Gen Z! Nike is an adapting brand, and it knows the pulse of Gen Z. The campaigns, new launches, and ads are created in such a way that it shows what exactly a Gen Z needs. It’s a bit confusing to decide whether it is Nike driving the Gen Z or the vice versa! The ‘so cool’ personality of Nike along with its influence and momentum is what that drives the new kids crazy. Nike’s authenticity and diversity play a key role in that.


Top 10 Gen Z Brands in India - Netflix


Netflix was blooming some time ago, but all of a sudden, it became a new trend. Or it can be said as the other version of being ‘cooler’! If you have a Netflix account, you are literally considered as the coolest person ever, like they say ‘Netflix & Chill’! The reason for this is primarily the original content presented by Netflix. Netflix is following the pattern for Gen Z, and they know what Gen Z wants to watch. Netflix is keeping updated with Gen Z entertainment shows, and this is so appealing to them.


Top 10 Gen Z Brands in India - Amazon


Millennials we like ‘okay’ to online shopping but Gen Z, they are going gaga over online shopping. And Amazon has no competition in that. With the evolution of Prime products and Amazon Pay, Gen Z is finding their interests in Amazon. And Amazon, with their vast campaigns, are reaching out to Gen Z. Amazon is keenly observing Gen Z trends, and technically, they lure Gen Z by setting flash sales, lightning deals and Offer days.


Top 10 Gen Z Brands in India - Fastrack


Fastrack is yet another style statement, and for Indian Gen Z, Fastrack is so in the trend. When it comes watches, Bags, and Sunshades, Gen Z ultimately depends on Fastrack whereas for Millennials it was always Titan.  The diversity and bias in stuff made recognition, and this created an impact in Gen Z shopping experience with Fastrack.


Top 10 Gen Z Brands in India - Uber


Uber is so cool for Gen Z. Millennials actually inherited their liking for Uber to the Gen Z. Gen Z people consider that it is cooler to travel in Uber than to own a two-wheeler. Also, there is a significant increase in Gen Z people choosing Uber over rickshaws and Transportation buses. The brand is more consistent in case of Uber and yet dynamic with a wide range of choices. Now this attracts the youngsters to trust in Uber than the other transportation mediums.


Top 10 Gen Z Brands in India - Jio


When we are talking about Indian Gen Z brands, Jio cannot be skipped. Within a lesser span, Jio made a huge number of customers, and it is not a wonder if I say, most of them are Gen Z. As the Godfather said, “I am gonna a make him an offer he can’t refuse,” Jio made Gen Z an offer they could never refuse. It became a market storm and seriously a game changer for all the other corresponding brands. And surveys say that one in every five teens has Jio connection. I kind of wonder what that other four are using!!


For millennials, it was Ralph Lauren and Abercrombie. But for Gen Z, you can’t predict. Brands are evolving, restructuring and pacing up, along with the trends. Now when millennials preferred preppy brands, Gen Z is all into cooler kinds of stuff. Now if I say that the globe is turning along with trends of Gen Z, would you dare to deny?


Four Successful re-branding stories that were on point!

Branding trends are getting swiped off day by day because of some cut-throat competitive ideas in the market. Rebranding has become a bend in the mainstream and brands are running vaguely behind this trend to create or recreate (technically), a fresh appeal to their brand. Though the trend is in the hype, there is a higher risk when it comes to the application level. The target is to collect a set of new customers without losing the existing one. Now that need hell a lot of work else the worse the up! Here you can find four diverse rebranding stories that went out right will every element.


rebranding stories starbucks

The coffee giant Starbucks rebranded themselves in 2011. The dropped their wordmarks and created a new variation to their siren logo. Until then, Starbucks was only focusing on diversified coffee items, but with the rebrand, they have also dabbled in ice creams and alcohols. And with the change, the company became more recognizable than before.


In 2014, Airbnb made a rebrand with a fresh identity and a fresh color palette. The logo had a drastic change with all the new typography and fresh brand mark. The logo illustrations made recognition in social media because of its illustration but with negative publicity. The criticism made the brand famous, but with time, Airbnb made the customer realize the effectiveness of the rebrand.

rebranding stories airbnb


Instagram was rebranded in the year 2016. The rebrand-response was so average. The majority didn’t come up with the change, but the identity was done with a fresh, flat and gradient-oriented. With the rebranding, they have also added features such as Layout, Hyper-lapse, and Boomerang. With this rebrand, Instagram became an integrated platform reverting to a better mobile experience.

rebranding stories instagram

Mc Donalds

rebranding stories mcdonalds

Mc Donalds had that significant influence even before rebranding to its new identity. But with the rebranding, McD got globalized and became a symbol of Westernization rather than being a simple American food chain. The rebranding felt a bit same as Starbucks, but even then, McD made 40% extra revenue with the rebranding. Concepts like happy meals and health conscious products made recognition with the rebrand.

A quick health check for your brand in the new year

With 2018 kicking in, do you know how well your brand is performing? Here is a quick 10-min test that might just help you to know if your branding and strategic decisions are taking you in the right direction, present status of your brand health, and thus helps you in analyzing your brand, so you know the next measures you should be taking.

This quick test for your brand is surely not scientific, but it will surely give you a hint as to where you might want to focus on your brand, and might consider taking a deeper research.

So here is the test. Below mentioned are certain points, on a scale of 1-10, assign each of the statements a score (10 being the best). This will be the assessment of your company’s health and performance. At the end of the questions, just add up the score where 100 will be the best score possible. That easy!



1. The organisation’s mission / vision and purpose are elaborately defined and quiet inspiring

2. The brand positioning and strategy are very clearly made and easily differentiable

3. The leadership team and the management at the organization tell the same unified story about the brand

4. The employees also clearly understand the brand story and convey the same



5. The tone of communication by the brand is well defined and its guidelines are in place

6. The organization is using state of the art graphic trends with established rules

7. The company’s brand architecture is clear, and in return guides product branding decisions


Brand Effectiveness



8. The organisation’s message to its existing consumers is crisp, clear and to the point

9. The company’s social media efforts and online experience resonate with the brand communication norms, and follow the brand story and architecture

10. The external market branding is also in sync with the brand


So how did your brand fare? Were you able to decipher the areas of improvement that your brand is looking at? Were you able to rate your organization against each of the statement mentioned? If you think your brand might be facing a problem, then this is the time to take the corrective measures.

Bottom line – Keep close tabs on your brand’s performance. How would you ever know your brand is performing well, if you don’t measure its effectiveness!


From all of us at Whyletz, we wish you a healthy, happy and hearty 2018!

Action is Paramount to a Successful Brand Strategy

You are what you do, and not what you say you’ll do.

The simple truth which proves itself time and again in the business world.

Strategy and planning are crucial for the success of any kind of execution. But, without action, these remain just words. Actions are necessary to translate an idea to reality. It is only the reality that can be sensed, measured, evaluated and refined.

At the basic level, Brand Strategy is nothing but Strategy! A good brand strategy is the one that is constructed around well defined and orchestrated set of functional and emotional experiences that one wants their customers to experience when they communicate with the company. Strategy and Action, both are indispensable to Brand Building and that is the reason, many organizations suffer at the hand of execution in spite of having built beautiful websites and content.


Having worked extensively with companies to execute their Branding Strategies, here are some points that ensure an appealing reality experienced by customers.

  • Brand Roadmap: The roadmap allows the organization to identify the initiatives, both, internal and external which play a key role in delivering the (customer) experience, which the Brand Strategy aims for. It also enables the decision-maker to begin to execute and take action immediately with clear set priorities and assigned resources.
  • Customer Experience Innovation: One of the most critical and time taking process. A successful Brand Strategy is always associated with a set of customer experience innovations that align with what people think when they interact with the brand. E.g. if the brand strategy is built around notion of agility, Brand roadmap should be designed in such a way that it improves and delivers customer experience while reinforcing agility at every step.

Customer Experience


  • Corporate Narrative: The strongest brands tirelessly focus on re-shaping the industry dynamics in a manner that is completely in sync with their own brand vision and strategic growth plans. This can be achieved through a carefully designed corporate narrative, which presents an inspiring yet believable future that can be made possible by the company’s unique value and perspective.
  • Measure: The old saying “You cannot manage what you can’t measure” could not be more true! Brand performance needs to be measured and managed at regular intervals, which needless to say, needs to be done with precision. This is an important step, as regular check-ups will help the organization take the corrective measures in time and help in achieving the intended goal.
  • Employees First: Last but not the least; your employees are your key to develop your brand. Employees’ clear understanding and avid endorsement of the brand strategy (with its purpose, vision and benefits) are essential to ensure customer interactions result in the desired impression and associations. Let’s remember – Brands are created by the people, for the people!


Action is paramount to realize the potential of any Brand Strategy, as long as it is resolute, planned, smart and honest. Else, it is just motion.

Which branding structure suits your organisation?

Branding, as it stands today is quite critical for any product being launched. Depending on which organization it is coming from, a good branding strategy can either help a brand stand out from the rest of the products launched by the company or stand very much among them while communicating a story in complete synchronicity.

This can be distinctly understood by the two methods of branding discussed below: Individual Branding and Umbrella Branding.


Individual Branding

Johnson & Johnson brands

When an organization launches a myriad of products under different bands of brands, it is known as Individual Branding. For example, Johnson & Johnson has Dettol as the antiseptic range, Neutrogena as the women skincare range, and has kept Johnson & Johnson separate for the baby care line of products.

Umbrella Branding


Whereas Umbrella Branding is a technique where new products are launched under the same family or the umbrella name. Here, none of the products are disintegrated to form another umbrella and every product being introduced in introduced under the parent umbrella. For example, Amul has a line for milk, butter, cheese, buttermilk, ice cream under the very same brand of Amul.

Coming to strategically think of it, while Johnson & Johnson had to start from a scratch while it launched Neutrogena, Amul ghee or cheese while being launched just coined on the brand name of Amul which had already been established in the market. But at the same time, if there is one quality flaw in Amul, e.g. Amul Milk does not meet the quality benchmarks then the whole of the brand Amul suffers including the butter, cheese, and ghee line-ups.

Pros of Umbrella Branding

  • A new product being launch under an Umbrella or Family can always pull leverage on the already established brand image in the market. It need not have to compete in the market with its competitors and establish a ground for itself.
  • Cost of brand creation is also minimized for the new product introduced in the line-up.
  • Umbrella branding helps the new product position itself rightly in the market, in the initial phase itself.
  • Advertising and promotional activities can be all combined, with only parent brand being advertised while all the products in the line – up are advertised automatically.
  • Cost of Advertising and Promotions is grossly reduced, as marketing for individual products is not required. One promotion for the parent brand acts equally for all.
  • Benefits from economies of scale and product range efficiency
  • Can offer sales and combine promotions across many categories and markets
  • There is a huge scope of upselling the products. If the consumer has one good experience with one of the products of the brand, they will not mind exploring the other products under the same brand.

Cons of Umbrella Branding

  • Quality of brands within Umbrella band may vary
  • Impact of bad publicity will impact the entire brand
  • Easy to overextend the umbrella brand
  • Difficult to achieve distinct brand identity

Pros of Individual Branding

  • Each product has its unique image
  • Facilitates the positioning process, can position all the products uniquely without making trade-offs
  • Works best when a company has several unrelated products
  • The company does not tie its reputation to any product – if one product fails, the entire organization’s image or name is not hurt.

Cons of Individual Branding

  • More efforts are required to establish the brand
  • More finances are required to establish and keep up the brand
  • All the promotions and adverts are distinct and need to be done separately for each brand
  • Can cause an imbalance within the company as no clear brand lines are present

Though, while there are many branding techniques, given the pros and cons, these two might help to decipher the start of the technique being put into practice. Aiding the organization to understand if the product’s interest lies in sync with the Parent Brand or need to carve a niche of its own.

Individual or Umbrella, the real focus lies in if the brand and product are complementing each other and how the brand links to its consumers! We have a lot many examples of both kinds around us. While Amway, Amul, Google, FedEx etc. are examples of good Umbrella Branding, Johnson & Johnson, Proctor & Gamble, Hindustan Unilever are successful examples of Individual Branding.

The Brand Strategy Roadmap: How To Guide Your Brand’s Successful Future

Why is Brand Mapping Important?

Brand mapping is used to understand the positioning of a brand with respect to the attributes in any brand. In brand mapping, a large number of attributes are shown on the axis and a number of brands are rated on several of these attributes i.e areas of interest of customers.

Marketers have always had to juggle two seemingly contradictory goals: making their brands distinctive and making them central in their category. Central brands, such as Coca-Cola in soft drinks and McDonald’s in fast food, are those that are most representative of their type. They’re the first ones to come to mind, and they serve as reference points for comparison. These brands shape category dynamics, including consumer preferences, pricing, and the pace and direction of innovation. Distinctive brands, such as Tesla in cars and Dos Equis in beer, stand out from the crowd and avoid direct competition with widely popular central brands.

brand map graphic
Centrality v/s Distinctiveness of the Brand

Striking the right balance between centrality and distinctiveness is critical, because a company’s choices influences not just how the brand will be perceived, but how much of it will be sold and at what price—and, ultimately, how profitable it will be. And yet, marketers have lacked the tools needed to get this balance right.

Traditionally, companies have analyzed brand positioning and business performance separately. In order to locate the gaps in the market and gauge how people feel about their brands, marketers have used perceptual positioning maps, which typically represent consumers’ perceptions of brands or products on opposing dimensions, such as budget versus premium or spicy versus mild. To assess performance, they have used a different set of strategic tools that map or measure brands on yardsticks such as market share, growth rate, and profitability.


Brand Roadmap Plan Elements

Vision: What do you want your brand to be in the next 5-10 years? Vision gives everyone on the brand a clear direction, it should be measurable (quantitative) and motivating (qualitative). It should push you so much that it scares you a little, but excites you a lot.

Purpose: Why does your brand exist? Keep asking yourself why you do this, to find the personal motivation hidden in the brand. Articulating your purpose can be a very powerful way to connect with both employees and consumers, giving your brand a soul.

Values: core beliefs of the brand that shape the organization as to the standards, behaviors and expectations. The brand has to be able to stand up to and consistently deliver each value.

Goals: What do you need to achieve? Specific measures of brand health and wealth, related to consumer/customer behavioral changes, metrics of key programs, performance targets or milestones on the pathway to the vision. It’s the brand scoreboard.

Key Issues: What is getting the way from achieving your vision/goals? Deep analysis highlights what’s driving and holding the brand back, as well as future risks and untapped opportunities. Issues are asked as a question to provide the problem to which strategies become the solution.

Strategies: How can we get there? Strategies are the “How” you will win the market. Choices based on market opportunities, using consumers, competitors or situational. Strategies should have a pinpointed focus providing a breakthrough on the pathway to the brand vision.

Tactics: What do we need to do to execute the strategy? Framed completely by strategy, tactical choices deploy your limited resources against brand projects, the most efficient way to drive a high ROI.


The Brand Strategic Roadmap helps gain agreement, makes focused decisions and keeps everyone aligned.