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How Leadership Influences a Brand's Identity For Consumers Your adoration and repurchase rate towards a brand or a product, by and large, is influenced by the face associated with it. For me, it's the face of a leader

By Paromita Gupta

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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One of the things I want to purchase is a Mahindra Thar. Nope, not a Jeep, a Suzuki Jimny, or a Land Rover Defender, but a simple-sweet-sexy Thar. Now, 70 per cent has got to do with its design, durability, and travel-friendliness. But the rest 30 per cent? That's for none other than Anand Mahindra.

No, you do not get to be snarky about what I wrote (or what you just read). If one can buy Hyundai simply for the sake of Shahrukh Khan endorsing it or Emami Navratna Cool for Amitabh Bachchan, I can certainly cite my reason as a justified one. Also, the fact that Mahindra has headed the vertical and knows what went into building it is a cherry on top for me.

Still, have your doubts? What do you think of Ratan Tata? Or the brand Tata? The Tata Group, its verticals, and its products are built on trust and fairness. And such value and spirit have led to it being a global dominator with a loyal target audience.

Your adoration and repurchase rate towards a brand or a product, by and large, is influenced by the face associated with it. For decades before, actors played the biggest role in influencing customers towards a brand or a product. However, a few family conglomerates broke through the traditional narratives and were prominent not because of a celebrity face associated but by the face of a leader.

My TED talk is not just based on the leadership of corporate giants; it stands to be true for the latest phenomenon that has shaken the Indian marketplace- startups. The biggest case study for it will be Shark Tank India. Eight brands and two seasons, Shark Tank India with Aman Gupta, Amit Jain, Anupam Mittal, Ashneer Grover, Ghazal Alagh, Namita Thapar, Peyush Bansal, and Vineeta Singh gave a new definition to what it meant to be the face of a brand. Overnight, these individuals transformed from just being founders to the face Indian households associate with the startups. Case in point, prior to season one of the show, for me, Lenskart was a brand Katrina Kaif endorsed with the 3D-try on service. Post January 2022, most customers or just the general public will associate the eyewear company with Bansal rather than one of its brand ambassadors- Katrina Kaif, Alaya F, Kiara Advani, Karan Johar, or Bhuvan Bam.

"To assess the viability of this point, one doesn't have to look further than the fact that founders, CEOs and company heads have regularly taken to representing their brands in ads and marketing campaigns. Popularised by Dharmapal Gulati featuring in MDH's ads for the longest time, we've seen many prominent examples over the years, with the trend spiking in popularity recently with Vineeta Singh making an appearance in her brand, Sugar's ad, and Anupam Mittal in Shaadi.com's, among others. It becomes a truer, more authentic form of influencer marketing when the brand leadership interacts with their audience through such channels," notes Shradha Agarwal, Co-founder and CEO, Grapes.

The new age of entrepreneurs are not required to just have the business capacity but also have to adapt to becoming more prominent through its brand image in an ocean of startups and competitors.

Just like I credit Mahindra's business and leadership acumen for my desire to buy Thar, maybe this generation will credit an influential leader for their sought-after products.

Paromita Gupta

Features Writer with Entrepreneur India

Covering news and trends in AI and Metaverse segments. An avid book reader running her personal blog on the side. You may reach me at paromita@entrepreneurindia.com. 
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