Nirmalya Sen, ex-CEO of Havas Worldwide India, has announced the launch of his agency, The Rethink Company.
Sen had left Havas WW on 30 April.
Sen states that The Rethink Company is a result of his own experiences and observations, coupled with conversations with CEOs and CMOS in India and abroad about the world of brands and how the business of communication have evolved and are likely to evolve.
He says, "Big ideas and corporations, they say, are born out of discontent. And my discontent over the last few years has been with the way brands are treated. By marketers and their tired agencies alike. Most of them are well-intentioned and passionate people who want their brands to do well. All knowing very well that if they don’t keep pace with technology and its impact on the way consumers live, they will be left behind. All keen to try out shiny new technology or media and do things differently. All very good. But, often, there is little attention to the need for cohesiveness and seamlessness in everything that brands do across different aspects of their behavior. There is often little or no thought given to the need for an inspiring brand purpose that shines through in all the brand’s behavior. And who would appreciate the old consumer axiom more than you - ‘if you don't have a purpose that can transform my life as a consumer, I have little use for you as a brand’."
He adds, "It is becoming easier to avoid advertising with every passing day. The amount of time spent with advertising is under attack. And that is the minor problem. We have two whole generations of young consumers in play who have little to do with mass advertising. Who will watch it if that is the only way to keep the cost of quality content low. They also have little trust in most advertising. Unless it is hyper-relevant – both in terms of the message and the messenger. What they do care about, however, are the purpose, authenticity and dynamism of the people they follow and the brands they buy. Clearly, what advertising can do for brands to help them thrive in this new environment needs a rethink.
"We need to rethink our superficial, scratch-the-surface approach to brand strategy. We need to rethink our time-tested assumptions about consumers. Just as we need to rethink the one-size-fts-all approach that many brands still indulge in. We need to embrace the power of technology and design to rethink brand experience across touch-points. Because, positive brand experience creates advocates who are believed a lot more than paid endorsers. We need to rethink the same old ploys and platforms from yesterday for our consumer has lost interest in them already."
Sen had joined Havas Worldwide in 2014. Prior to that he was president of TBWA in India.