4 Things that a Brand Manager can learn from Times Ascent Engineering Mastermind

We live in an age of rapid social interactions. Where a new blog post is obsolete within a few days, one event is quickly forgotten as “the next big thing” arrives. Brand managers need to constantly be on their toes to ensure that their brand remains relevant and is communicating the right message to the right audience.

Times Ascent, the weekly supplement of the Times of India that focuses on Human Resource Development, Employment and Job Opportunities, own an annual brand property called the “Times Ascent Engineering Mastermind”. Conceptualized in 2012, this annual quiz property is in its 4th year and aims to celebrate Engineer’s Day which falls on September 15thevery year. Through a dedicated online and offline presence, Times Ascent Engineering Mastermind has retained its appeal over the years in targeting a community of people.

Let us see what brand managers can pick up from one of India’s biggest quiz property.

Associate your Brand with an Occasion:

When you think of gifting during a festive occasion, you think of Cadbury’s and Archie’s. These brands have taken great care to cultivate the art of gifting during all occasions and have reaped the benefits ever since.

India celebrates 48th Engineer’s Day on September 15th to mark the birth anniversary of Sir M Vishweshwaraiah, the most outstanding Indian Engineer. To celebrate this occasion, Times Ascent created a brand property called “Times Ascent Engineering Mastermind”. With a series of contests and interactions developed during the lead up the occasion, Engineer’s Day has become synonymous with Times Ascent.

Target a Community:

The best way to create a brand presence is to ensure that you initiate targeted communications with your audience. With over 1.5 million students graduating as engineers every year and a substantial chunk of the workforce comprising of engineering professionals, this represented a huge market to create a presence.

Times Ascent carried out reports that were dedicated to the unsung heroes of Modern India, our Engineers. It spoke about how engineers have been in the fore front in nation building and articulated their aspirations, dreams and vision. Additionally, it also featured a noteworthy collection of articles providing right from serious insights on careers to humorous anecdotes on the field. It made sure that they were talking about Engineering to Engineers.

Create a Blended Approach:

Online and offline interactions need to complement each other and ensure that they all communicate the right content.

“AEM 2015” was created as a sub-page of “Times Ascent” in Facebook. A 10 day pre-launch interactions were held on Facebook with innovative contests such as “Our Mastermind Quiz”, “Maximum Invites” and “Maximum Shares”. This ensured that the Mastermind event was a truly social event and attracted the right audience. #aemquiz2015 was the Twitter handle complete with real time updates during the event.

Regional quizzes were held across Bangalore, Chennai, Baroda, Delhi, Pune and Mumbai with National Finals being held at Mumbai.  True to its appeal, this event had a turnout of over 150 teams at each city- undoubtedly making it one of India’s biggest corporate quiz events. The questions covered were around the theme of Engineering. Along with core engineering concepts, the quiz had a flavour of general Engineering questions too to ensure maximum engagement.

Treat your Audience Well:

Gratification plays a huge factor when you engage your audience through event based competitions. When your brand is big such as Times, ensure that you live up to that image. Winners were gifted ipad Air, ipad Mini, Mac book Pro and iphone 6- further enhancing the novelty factor associated with the event. 5 star stay for teams qualifying for the National Finals illustrated the care demonstrated by Times Ascent. Nationwide coverage for the participating teams in the print edition provided them with instant recognition.

The above 4 points are the basic factors that any brand can achieve to ensure that they create a buzz and sustain it over the years. Repeated interactions are a must to ensure that your brand has a “share of mind” amongst your target audience.  India’s biggest quiz events such as Tata Crucible, Brand Equity, Bournvita Quiz Contest and ESPN School Quiz were all built over the years. Times Ascent Engineering Mastermind is surely on its way to make it to the big league of corporate quiz events.

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