Friday, November 25, 2011

Brands get older, consumers younger

The human race is a wonderful species. It must be the only species that can actually exult at someone else's misery. Children specialise in this. However, I must quickly add that some older people are similarly gifted. Have you ever noticed (gleefully) the anguish a middle-aged woman experiences when she sees her first grey hair, or her horror when the mirror shows up her first wrinkle? Her pain, I am sure, is greater than that of the entire Australian nation that watched in disbelief as its cricket team was shot out for the mammoth score of 47 last week! Yes, wrinkles or greying are all tell-tale signs of ageing and no self-respecting woman would like that. And yet, I admire their dread of ageing, even though it is part of evolution.

Ageing is as relentless as forty-year-olds needing spectacles to read the newspaper. However, it is a completely different story when it comes to people like me who have needed spectacles for the last forty years to see anything. But I am rambling and will not try to stay with the process of ageing. I wish people in brand management were as paranoid about the ageing of their brands as their spouses are about their own looks. Yes, we have lots to learn from our spouses (and every other woman) if only we stop to observe them. (And one has also heard that watching women is a pleasurable occupation though one always wishes that one had done more of it.)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Brand Kingfisher in the red

The King of Good Times is battling bad times, and all eyes are waiting to see how much the whole bailout issue will cost Brand Kingfisher. Right now, the airline business of Kingfisher is under deep scrutiny and the media focus has only heightened the negative atmosphere. Public memory, of course, is short and all ‘bailout’, ‘bleeding’ and ‘those who die must die’ phrases will be forgotten once Vijay Mallya is able to arrange the corpus to manage the airline’s functioning. Remember, Jet Airways employees’ protests against job cuts some years ago didn’t do much harm to the brand in the long run.

Kingfisher, known primarily for its beer, is unlikely to be affected. The brand has been there for a long time and people vouch for it. Even in this scenario, it’s the airline business that is under the scanner. The airline business is diversification of the core business, hence the impact on Kingfisher the brand would not be much. But when it comes to Kingfisher Airlines, people – especially frequent flyers and privileged guests wooed with the airline’s promise of an extraordinary experience – would stay away, considering flight cancellations and the consequent inconvenience.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Momentous days for the communications industry

Stellar outing: The F1 event showcased India’s event handling capabilities much more favourably than the Commonwealth Games could. - Photo : Rajeev Bhatt

On October 31, I was at Lucknow to celebrate a landmark birthday of my classmate from IIM Bangalore. It was a unique experience to be in Mayawati's kingdom, but I shall resist the urge to talk about statues and parks with huge, forbidding walls and stay with the events that India and the world witnessed around that time.

The media in Lucknow was showering praise on Mayawati for helping organise the F1 event, taking place in Noida at that time. Although it was largely a private sector initiative, the papers, in Lucknow at least, spoke in glowing terms about the support that behenji had provided to make the event a great success.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Brand Bangalore in need of a makeover

"Bangalore as a Brand has registered its mark world wide as the Software hub, thanks to companies like Infosys and Wipro. However the image of Bangalore as a brand is getting tarnished because of poor Infrastructure and governance, the city is in need of a "Brand Champion".


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