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Wolfzhowl: A Consumer Behavior Change Lab Crafting Efficacious Brand Solutions

CIO Vendor Traditional advertising agencies and digital agencies have been serving brands across industries since decades. What they offer as solutions to clients is majorly ‘advertising solutions’ and not ‘brand solutions.’ A brand problem cannot be just solved by posting a digital post, filming a TVC or enhancing the SEO results. This is where brand strategy consultancy services come in. A brand problem, however small, needs a magnified look at consumer’s lives and what impacts it.

Wolfzhowl, a behaviour change lab that is focused on solving brand problems through the lens of consumer and culture, was established by Kalyan Ram Challapalli in 2012 to instigate brands to envisage behavior change by analysing the culture consumer lives in. Wolfzhowl believes that consumer behaviour change is the key instrument to achieve the brand task and brand profitability. For this reason, they spend a lot of time studying culture and marrying it with data to understand how consumers are changing, what is driving the change and how it would impact brands.

They wanted to help marketers who, at times, isolate departments solely based on the platforms they use (digital, ATL and so on). Wolfzhowl crafts mediaagnostic strategies that use different platforms for problem-solving. “We have worked hard at eliminating silos in marketing and this reflects in our team constitution as we have pure culture-led strategists, digital growth hacker, data analyst, market researcher, a company secretary and an engineer.

Bringing together teams from different backgrounds helps us in assembling different world-views as well as in solving problems for the client more
effectively. Another huge area of focus was ‘problem-casteism’, in which the clients do not always get to see the same kind of responses from agencies irrespective of the type of problem. We at Wolfzhowl, owing to my exposure on the client-side too, understood that every problem is exciting and interesting to solve and how every one of these problems is equally important for the clients to solve,” says Kalyan Ram Challapalli, Founder, Wolfzhowl.

Using a bespoke approach, WolfzHowl implements successful marketing strategy based on 3 pillars – indepth understanding of category, understanding the consumer by identifying the deep-seated cultural barriers to the category and brand, and understanding how the client’s eco-system works. They believe that understanding of the client’s culture, intention and ability are equally important in order to arrive at appropriate strategies. Offering premium services including Brand Creation, Brand Salience, Digital- Specific Services, Specialized Services such as Rural Engagement Strategy, Customer Centric Annual Operation Plan, Fashion and Luxury Marketing Strategy, Workshopping.

In addition, they also collaborate along with creative and digital agencies to help them with pitches and specific strategic problems for their clients. Wolfzhowl is one of the few consultancies that has crafted brand purpose for over 15 brands and bringing the same to life both through external communication and internal stake-holder programs, across industries for both MNCs as well as traditional, family-led brands in 4 different markets including India, Middle East, Africa and ASEAN.

While being focused on consumer and culture, Wolfzhowl is also making its foray into data science and using this data to decode culture and quantify something as qualitative asculture. “Being a ‘business profitability for the client first’ and ‘jargon-less’ brand consultancy; we want to enrich ourselves further on core skills such as semiotics, culture understanding, consumer behaviour decoding, along with sociology and ethnographic ways of understanding behaviour. One of our recently focused initiatives is bringing together digital data and cultural data together in a way that helps us mine insights beyond the obvious parity ones that exist in the market.

For this, we are working with our partners to create tools that can bring digital and non-digital data onto one dashboard in a way that makes sense to strategists and marketers. We are teaching a Module on the same at MICA as well, as we think the meeting of data and culture is essential for the future of our field,” concludes Prerna Dubey Gupta, Sr. Integrated Strategist.