Exide Industries Limited intends to sustain its annual spend on promotions and publicity at Rs 15-Rs 16 crore (Rs 150-160 million) as the company thinks that brand salience could not be taken for granted in the age of globalisation.
Speaking at a promotional function in the city, SB Ganguly, chairman and chief executive officer, Exide Industries, said Exide's automotive and industrial storage battery business had the highest unaided brand recall but it was nonetheless important for the company to continue to reinvent itself.
Being a battery company would entail making the best use of available media, innovatively through various activities, Ganguly added.
As part of the extending the essence of the Exide brand, the company has associated itself with specific activities like cricket with which it had a long history of association and sustained activity, Ganguly reiterated.
"Such associations are chosen with great care to embody the spirit of the brand and as part of which Exide has signed up Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the young cricketer, as brand ambassador," explained Ganguly.
Though Exide has been a market leader for close to six decades, the company was in young in spirit, reinventing itself to keep in sync with the automobile market which had trebled in the last two decades on the back of younger buyers, claimed Ganguly.
Dhoni was expected to appeal to younger buyers.
Exide was the leading supplier of batteries to manufacturers as original equipment suppliers and also a major player in the replacement battery market, which was price sensitive and dominated by unorganised sector players.
Gameplan, the company managing cricketers like Dhoni as well as international stars like Ricky Ponting, Graeme Smith and Shaun Pollock in India, said the business of managing sports personalities was not based on a structured risk taking model.
Research and meetings with cricket managers and coaches helped identify the right candidate, said Jeet Banerjee, promoter of Gameplan.
Exide was the first Indian company to have an endorsement deal with Dhoni.The Board of Control of Cricket in India was expected to allow coach Greg Chappell to sign up for such deals, said Banerjee.