Madarth is a fast emerging independent branding, design and digital agency. The mission is to turn Indigenous products into Indian brands and the vision to transform Indian businesses into world-class brands. The agency ensures that the freedom to let creativity take flight and the responsibility to ensure that the solutions remain down to earth, also work that values customers’ time and the perk that values clients’ money. There is also the will to work with minimum budget and the skill to create maximum impact. An Ad-agency that believes in the inventiveness and the insightfulness of a partner. The madness and the meaningfulness.The ‘left’ side of Madhavan and the ‘right’ side of Siddharth.* and a team of brilliant minds together. That is Madarth.
In an exclusive chat, Madhavan Sankara, CEO- Madarth talks about the Agency’s name on how it came about, changing brand communication in this pandemic, future plans and much more.
Madarth was launched in 2018, how has the journey been in a year like 2020?
The first and foremost challenge faced by the whole world in 2020 was adapting to the new ways imposed by the pandemic. Our biggest challenge as a company was the 100% “Work From Home” format and the team readily stepped up to continue delivery without hindrance. I believe the year 2020 has fostered an everyday change. And, as a team, we had to accept the situation and realign our business to the new normal, as today’s business is all about the survival of the quickest. On the other side, by sticking to our ethos, we have contributed some of the best quality work to our clients, who were also facing their own set of challenges, even during the pandemic. Thanks to our intact culture!
The name ‘Madarth’ and the reason behind it?
In the year 2005, I started Pixel Boy Media Publicities Pvt. Ltd, a holding company. From 2005 to 2010, the company functioned as an all-in-one proprietorship firm. In 2008, Siddharth joined as an intern for 3 months and continued with us as a full-time designer. After we became a public company, I offered Siddharth the post of Director. We wanted to grow organically and evolved from a design house to a creative agency that offered services in branding, design and digital.
Initially, Siddharth and I wanted to create a comic strip and put it up as a meme on Facebook to troll bad designs, which was the scenario back then in the advertising community. We had conceptualised two cartoon characters “Mad” and “Arth”, an amalgamation of our names.
When the company moved to a bigger facility in 2018, we were passionate about rebranding the company with a better brand name. At that time, Chennai had a few other companies with “Pixel” as their brand name, and to avoid an identity crisis, we decided to stick with the name Madarth as it was already registered. The company has now evolved into a holistic agency with a full-fledged Tech, SEO, Creative, and Marketing departments.
In this fast-paced world that’s going digital in a big way, how do you think brands should communicate with their consumers?
Brands should pair personalisation with privacy to communicate with their consumers. Today, 90% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that provide personalised offers and are also willing to share their behavioural data to get them. For brands, it’s all about targeting the right consumers with the right message at the right place and time. This means that brands should know who their consumers are and where they are at any given moment, while ensuring there is no intrusion of privacy.
Has brand communication seen a drastic change in this crisis?
Yes, it has! The pandemic has had a profound impact across the globe. Branding and marketing will undergo a change and will focus on social media, customer retention, and appropriate messaging. Businesses continue to push ahead by focusing on strategies to sustain/win customer trust and loyalty. Since the majority of us are practising social distancing, there is a lot of craving for human connection. We turn to the internet to satiate this desire. That’s why businesses should be equipped with digital tools to be present at all times and provide support. Additionally, brands should create content that’s appropriate while avoiding promotional messaging staging as if nothing has changed. Having said that it’s best avoid talking too much about the pandemic too. It’s all about striking the right balance. A business should create an online presence with a brand-led strategy for digital transformation to achieve long-term growth.
Do Indian advertisements need to touch a chord of nostalgia to resonate? Your opinion?
Content that imparts emotions gets shared. That’s because emotion plays extra two beats when compared to any other content. We see that the Indian audience is attracted to content that comes with an emotional touch and not necessarily only nostalgic.
This lockdown has changed many things in our life from cooking to living as a family. How are brands communicating this?
Brands are adept at recognizing a trend and catching it. It’s imperative that we empathize with the challenges the target audience is facing and address that.
Many brands are into telling the consumers what to do and what not to do. Are the brands right in doing so?
After all, brands are keen on using the opportunity to acquire people’s mind share. As long as communication happens responsibly through thorough research from reliable resources, brands can talk to their consumers in an interesting way.
Will the market accept brands that talk about roots, as global brands?
The authenticity of a brand can be established only by showcasing its roots. The world is a global village and brands have decentralized their offerings by creating multiple smaller sets. In order to earn people’s trust and loyalty, brands have to show their authenticity. Global brands like Apple, Nike, Gucci, Microsoft, Chanel, etc. have talked about their roots. The market has accepted brands like this and looks promising for the future as well.
How are you seeing the ‘New Normal’ and what is your strategy for the brands?
My first recommendation to any client is to take not underestimate digital branding and to make it an integral part of their communication and business. As behavioural science is becoming more evident, the science of psychology is evolving and I strongly believe that the future revolution is through Psychology and not Technology.
Where do you see yourself in the next 3 years?
We have projections to expand 4 times our size. Digitisation is the current trend and a lot of traditional and regional businesses want to adapt themselves into the digital space to sustain and grow in the post-pandemic world. With marketing automation in the pipeline, we see that there is a huge scope to work with newer e-commerce players. We want to provide them with our expertise in using the right digital tools so that they can personalise their communication for their customers at different stages of their journey. Also,with the pandemic blurring geographical boundaries, We have adapted to the “Work From Home” format seamlessly and found that everyone is comfortable working remotely. As a Chennai based company, we can offer competitive pricing for our branding and digital services and provide top-notch quality as compared to any other agency based out of Mumbai or Bengaluru. This has placed us in a favourable position as it broadens the playing field and gives us more opportunities, and a boost to acquire more clientele.