Emitting The Light of Marketing Wisdom – Noor Alam
Author: Fatma Khalil - Chief Editor
From the niche realm of home décor to the mass appeal of fast-food industry, one force that can bring luminance to your brand equity is Noor Alam – Chief Marketing Officer of KFC Pakistan; just as his name resonates! Whitepaper got talking to this ever-so-cordial & welcoming being lately about all things he calls foolproof brand building…
- What was your journey like to get where you are at this point?
Well my first proper long-term job was at Igloo Icecream as marketing manager for four years. I then moved on to IBL Group and remained an integral part of the company for a good 12 years or so and cherish the experience of shaping up Pakistan’s biggest homestore – Habitt – truly felt like my own homegrown company. Then KFC came my way 6 years ago, and there’s been no looking back ever since.
- What are the recent ad commercials you found commendable?
Everyone’s talking about the simply yet so effectively executed new Kingtox ad. Its brilliant!
- What are ad film directors whose work you really appreciate?
Wajahat Rauf! He’s noteworthy.
- That one staple ingredient of an effective marketing communication is?
I love how some ads keep it real and convey their message in crystal clear manner.
- Which campaigns are you most looking forward to this year?
The All-female food delivery crew – our dame riders!
- How do you define customer care? Including your audience online. How do you address all of that?
We have a dedicated team of customer representatives working under my close supervision, attending to queries 24/7. And I believe in compensating when a customer shows dissatisfaction. Also, we don’t delete negative comments. If you stop listening and responding to your customers, they will disconnect with you and not choose you over your competitors after a point.
- How do you drive strategic business changes?
By focusing mainly on giving value addition at a low cost! A few years ago when we were facing a downer, we spoke to our vendors to sell us cheap as we wish to sustain in the market in the long run and keep giving them business in the future too but that can only happen if we survive this low patch. To our surprise, they cooperated fully! And that denoted to our revival.
- Which bold moves did KFC make to beat the competition lately?
We went really low with prices a few years ago so we make sales and revive our brand. The idea was to give such a low cost for a quality value meal that customers forget about their surrounding as our stores were not in top condition then. After earning, we invested it in our stores renovation. And it worked.
- KFC has lately been bringing a lot of innovation in the product range. What drove you to do that?
Food is a tricky product as it’s the easiest to get bored of so you have to keep innovating while also offering the classics on the side for people to have the liberty to choose from.
- How did Mitao Bhook campaign come about? What sets it apart? You have it on your regular menu unlike any other!
Till the day KFC Pakistan is around, Mithao bhook is too. We take absolute pride in the fact that we ever so humbly offer lucrative job opportunities to the differently enabled community of Paksitan and share a chunk of our earnings with Deaf Reach.
- KFC has lately been sponsoring a lot of movies and contributing towards the revival of Pakistan cinema, we see!
Oh yes! Don’t food and movies go so well together? More recently, we coined a deal in collaboration with a film called – Sherdil Offer for the brave hearted! The response was overwhelming.
- KFC is working on revamping their stores too. What level of new technology for customer ease and superior experience should we expect?
Speaking of high-technology, China has 6500 KFC stores which is the highest number across the globe. The technology they use is something we would only be able to achieve or bring to Pakistan in a while from now. They even have some fully systematized stores with zero human involvement supported by advanced mechanisms like face recognition and what not. Their delivery has gone techy to the extent of drones delivering meals to people! As of now in Pakistan, we aim to bring in KFC self-service automated kiosks; working on it.
- What are some new marketing trends you’re excited about?
Self-service kiosks! We’ve been using QR codes lately so that too.
- In the recent years this shift KFC’s marketing has made from print to TVCs will be moved to the digital medium hereon? What do you foresee in this regard?
As I said we had major budget constraints until recently, precisely why we stuck to outdoor branding & print alone but luckily it worked just fine. Since a few years we release TVCs every now and then and have come to learn as to how DVC is any day a better idea as it’s a lot more cost-effective and offers far more reach and engagement, comparatively.
- What is your biggest marketing win? Why do you consider this your biggest win?
Leading the establishment & development of Habitt, full throttle, and anchoring the steady revival of KFC Pakistan sure are the two prominent victories of my career to date.
- What do you do to unwind and simply have fun?
Oh, I watch lots and lots of films and TV shows on my phone screen. I also play table tennis at work with anyone and everyone good enough around here – our office boy being one of my favorite opponents!
- What’s your most important advice to other brand leaders who are on a journey to position a brand?
They have got to effortlessly connect and closely relate to the mindset, buying behavior and general habits of their target market. A brand manager too posh for say a Gai Soap won’t get what it is to its’ buyer so how will he sell it?
- When it’s all over, how do you want to be remembered?
As a pure-hearted, kind soul! Nothing else matters to me more than being equally respectful and kind to people from all walks of life.