Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Preeti Vyas: Guest of Honour at Vijaybhoomi University

Looking back at an exciting weekend at Vijaybhoomi University where our founder, Preeti Vyas shared a glimpse into the rapidly evolving world and how it's the "most exciting as well as challenging times in history of the planet."

Read the entire speech below-

First of all, thank you Sanjay for having me here today. I am honoured to be here on Founders day, sharing the stage with dignitaries and of course, meeting all of you. By the way, I am here not just as a speaker today, but also as your neighbour. I have a farm just a few minutes away and this also gives me the opportunity to invite you all over for chai when I come here from Mumbai, which is almost every weekend. 


But coming back to the event of the day. I want to say that as students, these are exciting times.


Looking back, when I was your age, I had just started as a student of the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad. And THAT was an amazing time for all of us there. A beautiful campus and an evolved curriculum which not just put us in touch with our Indian design roots, but also exposed us to immense possibilities through exposure of what was the best in the world. It infused us with a sense of purpose and a comprehension of the power of Design and how it could benefit the lives of people in a new post-Independence India. There was an awakening amongst the young Designers of being change agents and the roles and responsibilities that it would entail. It was indeed, a thrilling time. 


And here you are today, students in the most amazing and perhaps the most exciting as well as challenging times in the history of the planet. We have seen the incredible disruption, or perhaps I should say creative disruption brought about by Covid and all its variants. It has forced change upon us unlike any other event in recent history. It has created new socio - economic structures, new life style patterns, new value systems, new learning opportunities and so on. And this churn isn’t over yet. We have seen only the beginning of what could be a world of new and visionary opportunities.


And now, we are entering into a whole new digital paradigm; into the Metaverse and it will be you, who will invent, create pathbreaking ideas and seize amazing opportunities as you navigate towards an incredibly exciting horizon that you will be the architects of. 


In the last ten years, we’ve seen traditional banking go online, and online banking further evolve, with crypto currency now entering the financial stage. We are seeing artists starting to cash in on the digital revolution, with NFTs becoming new streams of revenue & recognition. We’ve seen big companies dismiss, then slowly embrace the power of design thinking, using tools from the designer’s toolkit to solve complex business problems. And, through the pandemic, we’ve seen a plethora of entrepreneurs and the birth of unicorns seizing opportunities through innovations in technology, healthcare, transportation, sustainability and more…


Who would have thought that a vaccine for a pandemic could have been developed and delivered in just over a year, when before Covid, this process has generally taken close to a decade. We are fast forwarding across all traditional timelines. And the future is here and now. The future is online and offline. The future is both in the metaverse and in the real world. It’s up to you to make the most of it, to make the most of the access to information & knowledge that you will gain here. 


As students of this University, think of the immense new business ideas which would have never found a place before in the world.


As lawyers, you will be at the forefront of new legal scenarios you have never yet visualized.


As Designers, the world of design and design thinking just got enlarged to include new ways of living, communicating and consuming.


As musicians, you will create, invent and engineer new instruments, and music for a generation hungry for new sounds. 


As data scientists, you will see & decipher patterns in numbers, and help influence, innovate and inform.


More importantly, as young leaders, you will inspire the next generation to follow their passions and chase their dreams, leading by example. The future is in your hands and it’s up to you to shape it.


I envy you for being at the epicentre of a new renaissance that all of you have the potential to create. And I wish you all the best.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Design Thinking

What is Design Thinking, and how can it help a brand/business?

Design Thinking is a management tool that persistently helps evolve, innovate and outpace change to cruise across choppy business scenarios. It is a human-centric way of solving business problems using the power of design. Think of it as an easy way to solve complex business problems. 

            Why Design Thinking is the best way forward?

  • 10% of the Fortune 500 has stated that design is their No. 1 priority.
  • 78% of design-led companies have defined a process for coming up with new digital customer experience ideas. - Adobe
  • 50% of design-led companies report more loyal customers as a benefit to having advanced design practices. -Adobe

           What does it involve?

  • Empathize – It all starts by learning how we can empathize with the human beings at the core of our challenge. They may be customers, employees or any other stakeholders.
  • Define – Next we need to clearly define and articulate all the challenges, needs, and wants.
  • Ideate – Once our challenge areas are defined, we can now explore different approaches to come up with solutions for the problem at hand.
  • Prototype – Once we have a great idea, it is now time to prototype our solution and bring it to life.   
  • Test – Before we implement the solution, it is important to test it and then revisit any of the earlier mentioned steps as per what we learn from every step.

            How does it help a Brand or Business?

  •  It can help a company boost innovation across all departments
  •  It can help enhance your culture.
  • It gives you the opportunity to view problems from different perspectives to determine its root cause.
  • It is an ideal process to developing deep empathy for our users to create a solution that will best match their needs.

           What is Designomics?

Designomics is VGC’s proprietary process where design thinking is used to create solutions for complex problems as a branding agency. Apart from being a knowledge and an award platform, today Designomics also forms the foundation for any strategic exercise that VGC, as a marketing agency in Mumbai and Bangalore undertakes. It also endorses the value of strategic integration of Design in Business. It started as an initiative to showcase the effectiveness of design in and for business.

Learn how you can use the power of design thinking through the Designomics workshops. Get in touch today to learn more.


Friday, April 16, 2021

A New Crown in the Historic City of Lucknow

A new paradigm of Exquisite Villa Living

3 years after VGC successfully launched Shalimar Group’s first-of-its-kind 220-acre integrated township, it was approached for the launch of the crown project within Shalimar One World – Valencia County.


Breaking the Norm

As their Brand Strategy Agency, our work for them included, designing the brand identity, developing a compelling brochure, and marketing collaterals for their launch campaign for both online and offline platforms.


The brief was to create a brochure and communication that embodied this new paradigm of luxury, unlike what the city had experienced before; Exclusive Bungalow living with a community lifestyle. Essentially representing, the best if both worlds.


A Compelling Narrative

Interpreting this unmatched lifestyle, VGC drew inspiration from the most immanent aspects of the project: The Oasis of greens and the exclusive and abundant Villa lifestyle. 


A Resounding Success

Within 10 days of the launch, with just one press and outdoor campaign, over half the Villa inventory was booked out!

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

VGC designs brand identity for BITS School of Management, a BITS Pilani initiative

BITS Pilani, an Institution of Eminence recently announced their foray into business education with BITSoM (BITS School of Management), a global business school based in Mumbai. The new age institution will be offering a residential two-year MBA Programme at par with the leading business schools in the world. Carrying forward the BITS Pilani legacy of excellence, BITSoM will be led by its Chancellor, Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla and an esteemed Governing Council. The business school aims to offer world-class business education blended with new age knowledge that encompasses tech + design + data, and brings together world-renowned faculty, an innovative curriculum and more, to shape the next generation of visionary leaders.


VGC came on board as brand partners to BITSoM, to help develop the brand mandate and launch the business school. Starting with an in-depth strategic exercise, the brand was created in close partnership with the BITSoM, 9Dot9 and Aditya Birla Group teams.

Carrying a celebrated legacy into the future

BITS Pilani has been synonymous with excellence for decades now. VGC's core task was to strategically carry forth aspects of this legacy into a new, future-focused brand without directly linking the two. In order to strategically position the brand, VGC undertook an in-depth research exercise, studied the market, category & competition, and spoke with students, faculty, recruiters, an exam administering body and many more, both in India and abroad. The insights revealed that people preferred a brand that was inspired by heritage, yet modern at the same time. These insights were then used to uniquely position the brand and also to develop BITSoM’s vision & mission.


Leading from the brand positioning, in order to develop the new identity, VGC identified key aspects of the new brand and brought them to life through relevant symbolism within the concept of heraldry (an ancient practice, still in use, where elements of nature that have specific representations, come together to create a unique crest or symbol that collectively becomes an identifying mark for organisations, families or even governments). The symbols taken forward were the Tiger - representative of India, leadership, agility & vision, and the Sun - representative of new beginnings, a fresh approach, the origin & energy. The brand identity collectively represents BITSoM's origins, it's global outlook, future-focus and emphasis on moulding next gen leaders for a new age world. While the initial ask was to create a brand identity for a business school, VGC went a step further and delivered a brand that is entrenched in key insights, new age symbolism and a focus on the future.

Group Mentor, Vice Chairman, Hindalco and Chairman, Business Review Council, Aditya Birla Group, Mr Debu Bhattacharya had this to say about the brand exercise and working with VGC – “As we launch BITSoM, I would like to acknowledge with thanks the wonderful role that VGC has played right from the word go in developing the Brand, the logo, and the creatives! The team has been like our extended arm - available always and responding rapidly and with precision. Wish the organization all the very best.”



The BITSoM Tiger finally roars! 

Apart from developing the brand's strategy and designing the brand identity, VGC also created a compelling launch campaign and plan for BITSoM. The campaign went live in the last week of January/first week of February and was designed to stand out from any other communication in the education sector. The launch ads highlight the multiple USPs of the new brand and is aimed at students who are considering doing an MBA in 2021.


“It was an honour to be invited to design the positioning strategy, branding and communications for Bits Pilani’s launch of a new age school of business in Mumbai. Our Design solutions endeavour to combine the legacy of an iconic institution with contemporary accents in keeping with the times.” Said Preeti Vyas, Founder & Chairwoman, VGC.


The brand universe that VGC has created for BITSoM covers the entire brand & communication ecosystem, so that BITSoM can not just survive, but thrive and work towards its goal of becoming a top 10 global business school, based out of India.

Monday, August 31, 2020

VGC Crafted a New Mark for India's No.1 Linen Brand

Linen Club, India’s linen pioneers have been around for more than 60 years. With a rise in competition & an influx of look-alike blended linen brands in recent times, they needed to differentiate themselves through a renewed brand expression and reclaim their leadership position.


Being brought on board as their Brand Strategy and Design Agency, we needed to extend their new positioning, ‘Passionate about Linen’ across the brand’s visual expressions. Our tasks included the Identity design for the entire brand portfolio, their brand architecture, retail extensions, and packaging which also covered respective product architectures.


We started by understanding the consumer groups and their relation with Linen. At the top of the pyramid were absolute Linen lovers, these were successful and passionate individuals who valued authenticity and appreciated pure linen. Next were the Linen aspirers, who as the name explains, used linen occasionally to stand out make an impression. The last consumer group covered the non-believers, who were driven away due to the perception and functional barriers of the fabric.


We also met with key stakeholders and learnt about the rich origins of Linen and their vision for the brand. Our in-depth research helped identify perception markers for the category and the brand, as well as highlighting that Linen Club, with its expert credentials, history, and wide product offering had the perfect mix to reclaim its leadership position.


The objective of the exercise apart from building brand preference within the category was also to broaden the base to recruit new users into the brand. Hence, the brand strategy aimed to help the brand make a switch from owning linen as a product to owning linen as a mindset, broadening its spectrum of offerings. Our recommendations also included consolidating these offerings under a Hybrid brand architecture, allowing efforts to be focused on growing the parent brand - Linen Club.


The need of the hour was to gear the visual and experiential expression of the brand to a larger and younger audience, whilst retaining the heritage of this legacy brand. For the new mark, we took inspiration from the pioneering legacy of Linen Club, the fabrics’ European lineage, natural origins, and limitless style statements. The codes of authority and heritage take form though the shield, while the flax stalk and flower represent the flax fields of Europe, embodying the story of its origin. 

The logo is visualised in a colour and form that is elegant and contemporary, with the promise of an enduring classic. Much like the brand and Linen itself. 


Developing the packaging was a crucial aspect of this landmark project. A deeper look at the brand’s offering revealed its scale and width. The brand architecture exercise laid the foundation for the packaging as the portfolio had now been simplified. The initial ask included identity extensions on the packaging across the fabric and apparel business; we used this as an opportunity to upfront the breadth of the portfolio while also breaking away from category associations like limited colour palettes. 


With ready-to-wear becoming a strong part of fashion and retail, it was crucial for Linen Club to create a meaningful extension into the apparel segment. VGC made recommendations to simplify their apparel range offerings and also designed an impactful identity for Linen Club Studio and Cavallo Studio.

The brand design universe created by VGC embraced the entire retail ecosystem, offering a rich and unified experience for Linen Club, to live up to its brand promise of “Passionate as you are”.


For VGC, this project was truly a memorable one; not just because we love the brand and the fabric but also because the project was executed through the peak of the lockdown. The lock-down and remote working threw up a variety of new hurdles around sourcing, production, packaging, design and digital approvals, however, we have still been able to push forward and successfully launch the project.


“As we prepare ourselves for the future, we want the Linen Club brand identity to manifest our passion for linen combined with our heritage, our expertise, and our authenticity. The new identity while staying true to the core values of Linen Club, gives it credible and inspiring imagery," 

Satyaki Ghosh, CEO, Domestic Textiles (Grasim Industries) Aditya Birla Group.


"As I am personally passionate about Linen, it was an absolute delight when VGC was invited to rebrand Linen Club. Through the new logo, we have brought alive the story of Linen's European heritage, the legacy of the brand in India, and the fabric's authenticity in terms of its sustainable qualities. We then also translated it to a stylish visual narrative across a range of packaging and varied retail touchpoints," 

Preeti Vyas, Chairwoman and CCOVGC 


Monday, July 27, 2020

The New Real, in Real Estate


The present situation is a perfect storm for the application of creativity. If necessity begets invention, we as designers and other top creative agencies can’t have a more important and urgent occasion to innovate and apply design thinking to meet the needs of this massive shift in lives and lifestyles.

Covid-19 has changed the world permanently. People are living differently, buying differently, and in many ways, thinking differently. And in this context, the meaning of a home has truly surpassed the previously understood impressive structures that came with a laundry list of amenities.

A Sanctuary for Well-being

A home today is much more than a place of rest, it has become a sanctuary for our wellbeing; and in the current crisis has highlighted the need for shelter and protection more than ever before. With organizations being forced to transition to WFH, the last four months have seen homes transition to become enablers of multiple roles; where home meets boardroom meets the classroom meets happy hour.

Gearing up for the New Normal

Amidst the staged lift of the lockdown in different states, developers are gearing up their (re)entry into this new phase of life and work. Like all crises, COVID too has given way, to many unconceived opportunities, and real estate as a sector is setting the stage to embrace the new normal. Many of the most reputed names are using this time to consolidate their offerings with disruptive innovations.

We at VGC, have had a chance to work with some of the most reputed names through this phase and would like to share our learnings of some of the leading trends reshaping the residential space.  

                                                          1. OWNING VERSUS RENTING: 
Owing to the current pandemic, many professionals are thinking about owning a home rather than renting a residence. Interestingly, this is now also being considered by a large proportion of millennials, much earlier in their life. Markets have witnessed surged demand for RTMI homes, given the limitations of a rented accommodation to equip it to be future-ready. From an investment point of view, undoubtedly a physical asset renders the highest sense of security especially during exigencies such as Covid-19, as opposed to dwindling stock and financial markets.

With homes becoming the epicenter for every aspect of life, designers and architects around the globe are seen wearing a people-centric design-thinking hat. Going beyond the conventional molds, making every square foot work harder are the need of the hour. Effective zoning of the new multiuse homes, as well as using different materials and surfaces with higher anti-microbial properties, all have become crucial considerations for any spatial design work.

While families living in large gated complexes appreciate the ease and availability of essential services with-in the ecosystem; overused amenities and crowded common areas are driving many to reconsider their options.

Welcome to the age of Jetsons. Smart locks, wearable biometrics and voice sensors are likely to help homeowners minimize contact with surfaces. Also, robots are likely to coexist and compete with the housekeeping staff to reduce human interaction. Taking cues from this growing demand of tech-enabled living, many developers are seen garnering AI and digitally-enabled infrastructure to sharpen their offerings.

Environmental awareness and social consciousness have dawned strongly in the minds of consumers. As a result, sustainability has become crucial, as they decide which developers they want to consider and the properties they want to invest in. 
Nature has emerged as a vital element that people desire in their immediate surroundings. Well ventilated spaces, surrounding landscapes are all a part of a new higher order of living. The untapped potential of indoor gardening is likely to play out too, serving not just as a stress buster but also as a means to healthy living.


As the economy grapples with the slowdown followed by the lockdown, and jobs are in question; people are seen largely favoring risk-free investments. As a result, the market is seeing heavy consolidation, and developers will have to re-engineer themselves to re-position their brand strongly in this environment. 

Friday, January 10, 2020

Design, Communication Trends in the Alcobev Industry

Addressing the elephant in the room – India is a dark market where alcohol brands have had to hide behind surrogates such as music, waters, and sodas for years in order to reach out to the audience. However, the tide is slowly changing.

Gone are the days where alcohol is associated with dingy-looking liquor stores adorned by dusty bottles or with men in ganjees seeking desi daaru and sale through store shutter windows late into the nights.

Today, as the taboo around alcohol starts to wear off, in new-age urban India the alcohol industry is also starting to shift dramatically at a fast pace. Drinking culture is becoming normalised and in fact flourishing; giving rise to brands innovating, finding newer ways to market themselves and actively engaging with their audiences.

Vyas Giannetti Creative is an advertising agency in IndiaOver the years, we have worked with a number of brands in this industry, to help them address various problems their brands have faced. From repositioning and branding exercises to marketing and communication, being one of the top advertising agencies in Mumbai, Vyas Giannetti Creative (VGC) has been able to help these brands across the board.

There are a number of emerging trends in design and communication for the alcobev industry and we’d like to demonstrate some of these through two of our projects -  

1. Foster’s, one of the world’s leading beer brands, had trouble connecting with their audience when they launched in India. VGC helped position them for the local context and rolled out a holistic communication strategy, right from brand activation to product advertisements and much more.

2. TJ’s BrewWorks is a brand with a national ambition that opened its first microbrewery in Pune. With microbreweries being a relatively new concept in India, we needed to find a way to educate the audience about the concept of homebrewed beers to differentiate it from the standard beer. To do so, we strategically branded the company, created an environment and various elements within it that showcased the different types of beer on offer, developed communication and a whole lot more.

Now, let’s take a look at some of these trends we spoke about earlier. 

The Chillheads - depicting different ways to chill

Innovative Packaging:
When it comes to beer, most beer drinkers prefer a nice, cold one. Warm beer is despised by beer aficionados, the world over. But, how does one tell if your beer is cold enough to drink. 10 minutes in the refrigerator? 20 perhaps? There’s isn’t really a science or guide to getting this bit right.

When Warm

To fix this, VGC had designed thermo-sensitive packaging a beer brand. The packaging would reveal a hidden element (like a mountain or the degree symbol, as depicted in the visual) when at or under the preferred temperature for consumption (anywhere between 4 to 7 degrees Celsius for a typical lager) and this element would disappear, when it was warm. This way, even before picking up a bottle or pulling it out of your fridge, you’d know that your beer was cold and ready to consume.

   When Cold

Immersive Experiences:
Today’s consumer prefers experiences over products (oh, that typical millennial mindset!). They are interested in engaging with their environment rather than just sitting around and having a drink. They like to get into the thick of things. So, when we set out to design the brewery, we wanted to create an experience that was definitely out of the ordinary, by making the whole place conversational and engaging the audience across all touch points.

Beer Mood Swatch

Revolving Beer Menu – For those that can’t make up their mind 

Conversational Table Mats

Our intent was to establish the brewery as a place that not only brewed beer but also brewed conversations, art, music, news and much more. So, from interactive table mats and coasters, where consumers could fill in answers to certain questions and win a ‘six-pack’ to a blackboard where people could draw or write about what was brewing in their lives, the whole space was designed to interact with the consumer. We even created a beer mood swatch so that consumers could pick a beer based on their mood. Even the menu was playful and interactive. All of this really helped bring alive the place and made it the preferred destination to get a brew. 

The beer lounge model at an airport

The beer lounge adapted for a pub

We were also tasked with creating immersive beer lounges, which were aligned with the parent brand’s positioning; these would offer a customer maximum control over the brand experience while delighting their five senses and also help in driving in traffic. The beer lounges were designed to have chill pits, a bar area and a lounge area for people to relax and move around in. Created for people to actually chill in while getting some of their favourite beer, this model could also be replicated in public spaces and pubs all across the country, from airports to malls and more.

Engaging the audience:
As the mindset of the audience shifts and brands become more inclusive towards them (especially women, who make up a large share of their customer base), it is becoming increasingly important for alcohol brands to actively engage with their diverse target group across various touch points.

A universally simple way to do this is to use elements of humour in your communication. This can be across mainline communication, or in our (India’s case) across customer experience points.

Fun ‘O Clocks

Standees, Banners and Collaterals to bring alive the brand’s positioning


Funny quips under bottle caps 

Cheeky lines, punchy captions and engaging visuals are the norm. It helps make the brand more relatable and inclusive. Also, adding an element of fun, helps the brand stay buzzy and entertaining for the end consumer. From pubs to breweries and from experience design to ATL (restricted) communication we have used elements of fun across various places, to playfully engage & captivate our audience.

Compelling Associations:
Earlier, alcohol brands used to settle for being passive sponsors with their logos strewn all over a baseball field or cricket stadium. Today, a lot of brands are developing properties of their own, engaging with new audiences and chartering new paths for customer engagement. Associating alcohol with music however, is a no-brainer.


Invites and Communication for the stand-up event with Vir Das

Coasters with different messages that you could share with a friend or pass to a stranger to begin a conversation with

For one of our clients, we helped curate and create a unique (at the time) platform to associate the brand with – stand-up comedy. Back when stand-up comedy was at its nascent stage in India, we celebrated comedy through LOL evenings – a series of shows anchored by Vir Das, in pubs and bars across the country. This helped us establish the brand as an innovator that was doing something different.

Bringing the brand alive online:
The internet and social media are the perfect place to bring your brand alive. Especially in India, where brands are restricted in terms of mainline communication, the online channels have fewer restrictions, allowing brands to engage directly with their audiences. 

Giving people the opportunity to share a talk about their favourite brew 

A whole lot of merchandise and gear that could be won or purchased

The Result – A huge number of fans in an extremely short span of time.

For clients in the restricted space, the key is to make the communication engaging, impactful and fun. In fact, we did this at a time where social media marketing was still relatively new to India. From gifting & promoting merchandise to badges, exclusive content, contests and other engagements, the campaigns we created and executed, helped boost engagement and awareness of these brands. 

As audiences become younger and as the media by which we engage with them becomes even more diverse, it is important for brands in the alcobev industry to find newer, innovative ways to engage with them, is our belief as an advertising agency in India.

From using cutting-edge technology, to crafting immersive experiences and engaging with talented creative agencies, brands are doing everything they can to stay ahead of the competition.

So, how can you increase your brand’s edge?

Well, watch this space or log on to our website – for help with your brand or to just watch out for more emerging trends and techniques to tackle the ever-evolving alcohol market. We are one of the top advertising agencies in Mumbai.
Article as featured in Ambrosia India (The Magazine for the Alcobev Industry)