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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Brand or Fad

Nokia as India's most trusted brand... naah [Brand Equity Survey]. I mean my last 3 phones have been Nokia and I just love them still I don't feel for they simply didn't deserve the numero-uno position in the survey, given the awesome ground players like Micromax and co have covered. Rest of the top 10 are made by the usual list of Lever products along with the red and white toothpaste, the awesome smelling antiseptic (smelled its Chinese version at Apeksha's home, disappointing, doesn't smell the same) and everyone's favorite biscuit brand.

Some years back at DA-IICT we were debating the difference between a Brand and a Fad. Pumped up from the success of Rang De Basanti and the awesome Legend of Bhagat Singh songs my roomie always wanted to be a rebel, maar daalo he said, anti-establishment had become. I came up with this point on Bhagat Singh being a fad, something which didn't last, and Gandhiji being a Brand. As per Nitin Paranjpe, CEO, HUL successful brands deliver timeless values, build on them and resonate not just with the immediate needs of consumer but with their larger aspirations.

Now think of Bhagat Singh, yes he indeed was a hero and he did satisfy the immediate need of the masses, but he or his means were not enough to sustain it over a time and fit into the larger picture of achieving independence.

Gandhiji lived his life with masses and delivered trust over a sustained period of time (even after his death) and the core values remained the same non-violence, tolerance and respect for everyone. He became much more than a brand, he became a way of life.

So is Nokia a Gandhiji and Micromax a Bhagat Singh? No, these things are not comparable but yes these brands can learn a lesson or two from personalities and how they managed themselves. Nokia can't all of a sudden come up with a blast of weird low cost dual/ quadra sim phones, and Micromax can't come up with the awesome quality which Nokia offers.Gandhiji would have never taken up violence of any form, and Bhagat Singh would have never had the tolerance to tackle the beating of British officers with a smile. But now these brands are trying to find a middle ground, Nokia planning to come up with multi-sim phones and Micromax offering great service through its network.

Whatever be it, no one wants a rebel around, just think of it, what would be better, a Nokia coming out of your pocket, or a Micromax!

[Note: It might sound loose, if one has to analyze Nokia, one has to look at a zillion other pressures the company is facing across the globe, I just mentioned a small situation which had stuck on for a few days]