Guest Lecture By Mr. Sameer Wanchoo, Vice President, Marketing, CavinKare

VGSoM recently had the privilege of hosting Mr. Sameer Wanchoo, Vice President, Marketing, CavinKare for a guest lecture. Having been exposed to the inner machinations of Brand Management, for the vast majority of his stellar career, he was the perfect choice to let people know about how this industry works.

Mr Wanchoo had primarily worked in the FMCG Sector being engaged primarily with the personal care brands and their marketing. Hence, he started the session with a very poignant question, “What is the difference between an advertisement and a movie?”


He then went on to share his experiences to highlight the departure of customer response from what marketeers would logically expect to cite the example of Dabur Red Toothpaste. It was primarily marketed as a replacement of the traditional Dant Manjan, however, it was more successful in the non-target markets due to its differentiating taste. This then naturally progressed to him stressing the need to find differentiating factors to market the low involvement FMCG products. Here he gave the examples of Meera Shampoo, and how tradition became its differentiating factor. He also cited the example of Chic 50p and how it provides the best fragrance in that bracket which ultimately became its identifier.

He then went on to talk about the perceptual shift, how a creative advert can alter the current image of a product into the desired image. However, he also elucidated how brand extension though deemed the more logical of a course, at times for the FMCG sector, a new brand is more successful due to the low involvement of customers.

He also gave deep insights into the world of purchase barriers and triggers. He also stated how market research is not absolute but relative to the culture and geography, from the overstating Indians to the blunt Japanese.

He stressed immensely on the need to review customer learnings to position the brand strongly. He gave the example of Pepsodent germi-check toothpaste. How the complaint from mothers “My kid brushes too fast.” led to the strong positioning of the toothpaste as something which kills germs in 10 seconds.

Finally, he left us with the ‘Think – Feel Grid’ a useful tool to decide the extent of reason vs feeling for any product. In which cases would one use a rational approach ( stating benefits) vs where one would appeal to the emotions of the customers across multiple categories of products.

His first quote would be the best to sum his session “ Before you know how to break the rules, you should know the rules”. As students, we felt highly privileged and honoured to learn the rules from a master such as Mr Wanchoo, and we look forward to more such interactions.

VGSoM Kharagpur

The Vinod Gupta School of Management is a business school in India. It was established in 1993 at IIT Kharagpur and was the first management school to be set up within the IIT system. It was initiated by a distinguished alumnus and a Life Time Fellow of the Institute, Mr. Vinod Gupta. In the year 2018, VGSoM completed 25 glorious years of its existence as a premier B-School of India. Today it is consistently ranked as one of the top 15 Institutes for business management in the country and boasts of a list of illustrious alumni holding prestigious positions in companies across the world.