Saturday, 5 March 2016

Societal ideology in a brand: A sure for success factor

Brands, in general, contour functional ‘superiority over each other. This functional superiority has short life cycle as everyone is trying for incremental changes in their products and therefore in brand displays. As a matter of fact, shorter life cycle gives rise to tremendous pressure to succeed and complete every stage of life cycle- birth, growth, decline and death. Eventually, even before the stage of birth is complete, people start giving booster doses for growth. Booster doses do not give time to a product or brand thereon, to stand on its feet and therefore, collapses due to not able to give economic benefits leading to withdrawal of support in the form of budget for advertising further. We here can make inferences that is it the failure of brand to establish itself in the market or wrong strategy and conceptual interpretations that lead to death of a brand.

Iconic branding is the panacea for it. Iconic branding is based on cultural expression which are out worldly depiction of an Ideology, either existing or in making. This cultural expression has three components – ideology, myths and cultural codes. Iconic branding is based on demand for ideological expression and not on demand for functionality. A dichotomy comes the way – whether to go for meeting out demand for ideology or functionality. In this fast moving world with a pressure on managers to earn quick bucks for organisations, meeting out demand for functionality is easy. Also, incremental changes are easier to achieve than innovation. Adding fuel to this fire, economics, engineering and psychology of human beings make organisations go for incremental benefits as they have to publish their accounts books. Not only organisations, even people look for functionality more than anything else in isolation in a product. This troika ultimately stops in building iconic brands.

If organisations are looking for long term success for their organisations through branding itself or products, cultural branding as expressed through Iconic branding is required. More so, in meeting out demand for functionality, organisations make their products and brands commoditised – leading to more blood bath in the market.

Interestingly, iconic brands require all those ingredients as required for making other brands. Why I am emphasising it, as managers need some adrenalin to rush into their heads regularly through organising, planning and executing brand making efforts. These efforts include product design, print ads, corporate business policies, retail design, packaging, service encounter, naming, outdoor media and Tv ads. Only difference lies in when conceptualising all these societal ideology be woven in them.

Go for cultural branding, although tough but in the last gets you - managers a place in the history and also for for your organisations.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Iconic Brand Creation: An art or Science?

While deliberating on Brand creation strategy & process, a group of people innocuously asked the question, is Brand creation an art or science and more importantly, Iconic Brand creation?

Still a student of Brand Creation and Marketing, it was not easy for me to deal with it by crass talking & giving an upbeat answer but a moment to think and ponder upon. My interest in other subjects however, could give me some insight. Systematic adoption of changes is what science teaches us, art on the other hand recognises that change need to be soothing. Brand Creation is a science, deeply immersed in artistic expression of facts about society.

Let’s look at what goes in brand creation.  Brands are primarily created based on certain features of a product with rhetoric communication so that there is an influence on the purchasing decision of the customers. These are very sequential in nature. However, success coming out of these sequential activities do lose their intended relevance, the moment customer does recognise the intent of advertising and thereupon compunction. On the other hand, these sequential activities are not the cause of iconic brand.  In iconic brand, tacitly cultural strategies are woven through well placed communication about customer value. Cultural strategies are facts through stories, a society through its well-placed brands, is projecting out at a given point in time. These stories become the reason of buying a product for customers. An Iconic Brand becomes a manifestation conduit for customers to either express their feelings unintentionally to society or brand societal feelings & convey back to masses. Stories are experiences revealed ‘artistically’, product features display themselves ‘scientifically’. Thereby, there has to be continuous change in the expression of stories and myth-making. Brands need to shift as per changes in the society & keep creating newer myths, continuously. Just opposite to conventional brand modelling.

I say in the end, branding is more an Art than Science. Brand managers need not to look for features to influence customers through rhetoric communication but give them brand which they weave in their dreams having same product features to buy. Quality, benefits and values keep changing for customer, what does not change is their love for societal myths. ‘Society at large is the expression of individual thinking.’