Moët Hennessy Diageo Malaysia (MHDM) recently appointed Hemanth Jayaraman brand lead to oversee the marketing and commercial aspect of the Hennessy VS and Hennessy VSOP brand.
Hemanth was part of Moet Hennessy in 2006 when he was leading and managing one of the whisky portfolios, Johnnie Walker. He led this brand for five years after which he went on to manage Diageo in Indonesia and led a team of marketing professionals in a new setup in the market to build and establish the spirits business for Diageo.
“Coming back to MHDM is like coming back home except I now bring back a wealth of experience and knowledge during my years of running my own events and creative agency and with my recent APAC role when I was in PepsiCo Malaysia. With all these under my belt now, I hope that I will be able to leverage and apply this knowledge and experience in my current role in MHDM and build and grow the brand that I now manage which is Hennessy VS and Hennessy VSOP for Malaysia.
“MHDM houses a portfolio of brands across multiple categories and is the global leader in luxury Wines & Spirits and we are like no other in the world. Many of our Maisons are centuries-old Houses with a unique character, and are synonymous with the most prestigious origins and terroirs. We are known for the premium quality of our products, our constant pursuit of excellence and innovation,” added Hemanth
In his new role, Hemanth’s key tasks will be to strengthen the Hennessy VSOP brand which is the market leader in the cognac category in Malaysia and to further grow the brand by challenging the status-quo.
Secondly he will also be tasked to introduce, establish and grow the Hennessy VS brand which is relatively new to Asia Pacific but well established globally.
Hemanth spoke about brand loyalty and how this applies to consumers in today’s market.
“My personal opinion is that brand loyalty is a thing of yesterday. Consumers have changes drastically in the way they think, act and react. What more, when it comes to the way they shop and purchase items.
“For any brand to sell, it is Brand Relevance which is more important. If a brand falls out of relevance, even if the consumer has been loyal to the brand but if it doesn’t suit his or her life need – it will not sell.
“So I do not intend to build brand loyalty in my role but rather build brand relevance by understanding what consumer needs are at every touch points in their daily life.
“Every brand must make themselves relevant just like how individuals often strive to stay relevant in order to survive- for example – a marketeer of the past needs to have knowledge about ATL and BTL but today, to be relevant and to keep your job, a marketeer also needs to be equipped with digital and social platform know-how’s. So if a person needs to consistently stay relevant – then they same should apply to any brand.
On challenges, Hemanth added that some of the key issues would be the marketing landscape, consumer trends that shift every so often and an environment where price is also a key factor.
The new brand lead feels that it is vital to pay attention to the expectations of consumers in order to break the clutter and stand out.
“Consumers these days are global-travelers. They have seen and experience so much more compared to the previous generation and so their expectation is also much higher than before. And this is a generation of consumers that do not take in everything that a brand communicates – they challenge back.
“This makes our jobs as a marketeer a lot tougher but at the same time, interesting. But at the same time, we also need to ensure that we stand-by our brand manifesto which is our bible – and where the magic happens, is when this manifesto is brought to life with local relevance and in a manner that speaks to consumers in their language – consumer language,” he said.