‘You have to find the edges of your brand’: Lion’s Sahasrabuddhe on bringing consumers on the culture journey

“You have to find the edges of your brand. Consumers will quickly tell you where you’re overstepping the mark, and you have to respect that, otherwise it’s a road to ruin in terms of just eroding the trust, the authenticity and the credibility,” said Lion CMO Anubha Sahasrabuddhe in a fireside chat at Mumbrella360 last Wednesday.

In the session, moderated by founder of Pure Public Relations, Phoebe Netto, Sahasrabuddhe spoke about the importance of culture for growing a brand, and how to take customers on that journey to embed a brand’s DNA in a contemporary context.

“You don’t want to go over the edge and fall off the cliff, but you have to be comfortable playing around the edges of that brand if you’re going to evolve it and bring consumers along on that journey,” said Sahasrabuddhe.

When it comes to gender specifically, Sahasrabuddhe said that the male-driven nature of the alcohol category is driven by consumption, as males consumers dominate the category, rather than an anti-women sentiment.

“We have brands that have had for over 100 years had their sweet spot in males and the culture of mate ship and all of those wonderful things, and we have brands that absolutely are modern expressions of the way we socialise and consume.”

An example of the latter is Lion’s Byron Bay Brewing Co, which Sahasrabuddhe noted has a 50/50 split in consumption.

“To just try and stick a girl in a beer ad is just disingenuous to the brand, so you’ve got to take it through the lens of what’s true for the brand and then ensure you’re reflecting the right identity of that brand.”

She adds that while marketers may think they are doing the right thing, taking a brand in a direction that is disingenuous for the brand’s consumers risks overcorrecting and doing a disservice to the brand.


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