Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Business Process Re-engineering to Branding Process Re-Designing

Business Process Re-Engineering to Branding Process Re-Designing – PART1
(There will be a series of three articles. This is the first one.)

Sounds cool or complex? But ‘kuch to hai’ (there is something in it). And by the way, BPR is not an old school logic or idea because it was born only in 1990 which is not very far away from us. The same time our country was waking up to reforms and liberalization. Children who were born then are completing MBA in a management school today, or have taken up their first job in the corporate hallway, or exercising their likes and dislikes on consumption from their own disposable income.
It’s been only 21 years since it was first coined, debated and consumed by organizations. BPR is not also one man’s idea or case, it was supported and propagated by established management thinkers like Tom Peters and Peter Drucker. Wow!
I am here just to re-engineer the abbreviation in an age and time where BRAND is the business, BRANDING is the process and DESIGN is the engineering. It is solely my view. So let’s begin and see if it is cool or complex.     
BPR (aka business process re-engineering) is a ‘set of logically related tasks performed to achieve a defined business outcome’. You will find many definitions of BPR and different ways to consider this idea and adopt as per need or individuals who propose and organizations who comply. It is actually about “where you want to apply it” for the favourable results.
My subject is BRAND and I want to see how branding needs re-engineering through DESIGN.
Normally the stakeholders of a brand and its branding are huge. In the earlier days there used to be very few stakeholders. For example, the brand owner, the brand marketer, the brand seller (sales), the brand advertiser and the brand customer. If these entities were in sync with each other and went about doing things as guided by each other, there were no problems. Each one would aptly deliver on the roles and acknowledge the outcome.
But today a brand does not have stakeholders. It has relationships. And hence the connections and associations it enjoys cannot be isolated into departments or organizational structures. I have seen people from finance in a company adding as much value to the branding as the R&D, and people from production aiding the brand building as much as the brand manager. You would not see this phenomenon in the earlier structures and processes of BRANDING.
To quote an example - I was once involved in the brand design of a nutritional supplement for toddlers. I found the brand in the process of being built (design & creation) exhibiting almost eleven relationships. Starting with the (1) Managing Director of the company who had approved the assignment and our agency, the (2) General Manager who had briefed us on their expectations, the (3) Brand manager who had put together and narrated the actual brief, the (4) Production guy who had specified the do’s and dont’s, the (5) Nutritionist who had worked on the product story, the (6) Research guy who had executed the research and study to find the insights, the (7) Creative director who was leading the design development process, the (8) Designer who was working on the graphics, the (9) Relationships manager of the agency who was servicing the account, the (10) Strategic planner who was decoding the brief and putting together a strategic framework for design and finally the (11) Printer who was supposed to bring the physical evidence into place. But strangely I did not find the advertising agency anywhere in the process. I won’t be able to say if this is the ideal mix of relationships for any brand design process but truly this team did wonders and the results were mind boggling. Once this team was ready with the delivery of the work in hand, then only the advertising people were brought in and briefed for developing a suitable and compelling communication in media.
We all know relationships cannot be manufactured. And there cannot be any engineering on that. It is like a software and not hardware. What brought so many people from such diverse roles and potential together is the relationship which each of them wanted to establish with the creation, the brand. Each one of them felt that their presence was significant while being critical and towards the end of the process had developed a very strong relationship with the brand even before it was available for the world to see and build on its relations further.
I am not trying to say that a brand built with relationships is a brand that will enjoy profitable relations or vice versa.
All I am trying to say is that very often the branding process engineering is done the other way round. And that is what needs to be re-designed. We start looking for ‘what communication should be done and so what relations can we develop’. We first pay attention to the communication, the ad, the campaign and based on that start engineering the brand design in reverse. But is that right, I wonder?
We often try to hunt for relationships first, spend fruitless time identifying who should we relate to and who can be avoided. We jump to decide what we are going to say and then hunt for words and then look at who is it all about. We first try to write the speech and then try to figure out how to make it relevant to the listeners. But this is not right.
If ‘Business process re-engineering’ is about “how can we make our brand profitable” then ‘Branding process redesigning’ is about “how can we make our brand lovable”. It goes beyond stakeholders, the people who are meant only to deliver a job.
It is about relationships and how the brand can earn from it in the process of development. The more relations are built in the inception and development, the brand becomes more admirable and likeable as it grows.
So if I may say, at the end of this part that today “BRANDING PROCESS RELATIONING” is BPR of 2011.       

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Is it Fair to hold 7 for fairness?

Is it Fair to hold 7 for fairness?
(for those who know me this is a work of fiction, for those who don’t this is a short story...on fairness)
I remember when I was reading the biodata of my sister which my dad had prepared for her matrimonial ad in one of India’s leading newspapers. It did specify her age, qualification and our family details besides her height and weight, but something was in bold which still haunts me even after 12 years when that ad was published in the newspaper and after 8 years of her marriage and 2 years of mine. Where did I come in the picture? Yes even in my matrimonial ad this one particular data was highlighted, but not bold. Plus there were only two differences, first that my matrimonial ad was written by myself and that the ad was never published. Phew!
But what iteez? Hold your breath my dear. It was the color of the surface on our body called skin.
While I took the liberty to describe myself “wheatish fair” after deliberating for many days on the right words and description, I never got to know if it would have attracted any attention and favour from a similar one or superior one destined for me.
We were born in a “small” middle class family and spending on personal care was a no no. Budgets were the order of the day and personal care products were perceived to be waste of money or luxury of the upper class. I even don’t know which “middle class” we belonged to, though I have stated one just to make a point. Small does not imply income, what did you think? It implies a family of four members. Anyways..
My mom would however take all inputs and inspiration from Sarita, Grihshobha and Grihani and many more which I completely detested in those days right from the cover. These used to get circulated from one house to the other wherever there was a girl child. Oops! No wrong intentions. I respect women. And my mother used to pick them up at the railway station when we used to travel from our place to our grandfather’s place or someplace out of town. Coupled with some inputs from my grandmother who felt that my dad was the brightest (color of the surface, mind it) in our family and would never mind mentioning in front of us, about how she managed to keep him brighter (again color of the surface). Sounds like a detergent!! Anyways..
My sister and many more like her were victims of several concoctions prepared with Indian herbs and ingredients. Sorry sisters.
I was the deprived one as my surface color did not matter. I would get married in any color, that’s what my mother used to say. That was just her belief not an actual truth. Actually when she saw my grooming wardrobe now, she really got upset. Not because she didn’t treat me to the concoctions but that I was wasting so much money on my grooming and looks. Especially when I am married now. Now what can happen and for what, by the way....
Now let’s look at the part outside my family. Enough of laughter!
Even in those days there were fairness creams. Slight correction, one fairness cream that held the responsibility of fairness of all the girls and women in our country in those days. What a burden?
I don’t remember if the product was any different then from what it is today. Except that there are more such creams today than there were women ‘seriously’ conscious of their surface color.
But one thing that frustrates me about these creams is not their ability to transform ‘he or she’ but the fact that they say it can in “seven days”. Who said that first is not important but that every new comer says that now, depresses me.
And then I wonder what can we do in seven days? And if we start thinking, we will be able to do at least 8 out of 10 things in a week if we are determined and dedicated. But never be able to change the color of our surfaces in 7 days. Sometimes I feel as if, if it cannot happen in seven days for you it can never happen in seven weeks, seven months or seven years even. But keep least seven people will get inspired from you, seven such companies will prosper and magnify their turnover seven times, seventh marriage proposal will get accepted, seventh matrimonial ad will get you a response or you will get married on the 7th of a month....
Sorry boys. That’s why girls have all the fun.
But there is one truth, I have become one shade brighter than when I wrote my first matrimonial ad. I wish I was 7 times brighter... 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Positioning losing its fixed position

“Positioning” is the flashiest word in Brand Marketing and Brand Building. In MBA schools, the one who frequently uses this jargon is considered a guru and often preferred in making the presentation to the class on the subject or related subjects. Several self proclaimed gurus have written a million stories and articles on the subject, defining and redefining the word in context of the change around us, people, businesses or products and services. In the industry where I belong, the most easy and yet difficult asked question is “ What is that one thing that your brand stands for” and everything gets answered except this one question. The easy part is the question itself, the words, the tonality, the visuals that come to the mind. The difficult part is to comprehend what it means. What is this thing about ONE thing? And why ONE thing? If my brand has three good things about it, how can I select that ONE from the rest. Isn’t it a compromising situation? And why would people have a problem in remembering three good things about my brand. The more they remember the better it would be, right. If one is forgotten then the other two can save the day.
To add to the difficulty, rephrase the question, “What is that one thing which gets uniquely registered in your customers mind about your brand”, Phew!! A simple question yet so many words needed to elicit a simple answer. Did anybody ask ‘for how much time should it be registered’? I mean, is there a time frame to it? WOW, that’s a twist. Never thought of it like this before. But seems quite apt. And does the duration imply positive or negative results. If I can remember one thing about the brand for five years is that good or bad? Versus, if I can remember one thing for only about a year and then remember another thing about it for another year and so on. I hope I am not infringing into the rights of information about the brand.
But then if I were to look at it closely, the second option is not bad either.
Let’s have a close shave with the way to interpret the second question. Apple was registered in my mind 1995 as Macintosh, in 2000 as iMac, 2005 as iPod, 2007 as iPhone, 2010 as iPad. Suddenly the span of remembering ‘ONE thing’ about a brand seems to shrink. Earlier one brand was known for its singularity for a longer duration of time or presence in our lives. Today that singularity exists but keeps modifying and is existing only for a small period of time. Maruti in mid 1980’s is registered in my mind as an Indian-Japanese car maker, mid 1990’s as the affordable Indian car maker, in 2000’s as the people’s car maker, 2005 as biggest car maker in India, in 2010 as economical car maker. In each of these times, there is focus on one thing and that is the car. While in the case of Apple the focus changes from one product to another as time passes by. The purpose of all cars is to take you from one place to another but all products of Apple don’t do the same – an iPod is different from iPad from what it does and why we use it.
Remembering few good things about a brand versus one good thing about a brand, still remains answered for now.
Positioning is also important for businesses like brands. Whether you are in the B2B or B2C space, it matters, because you deal with people, and it is here that memory is questioned. Inanimate things don’t have brains right, and so you don’t expect them to remember things.
When I look at my business/industry, I often feel uncomfortable when we are asked “what do we do”. Because actually we do a lot of things for a lot of businesses and hence, what is that ONE thing which I should answer becomes a challenge. Brand Design industry is a big picture already in our country. A decade ago it was in its nascent stage and it was very difficult to describe “what we do”. Often ‘what we did’ was misconstrued as ‘similar things’ like advertising agency. Which was true, just that “what we did” was a piece of the big pie in advertising which we blew it up into a whole new industry leaving the advertising behind. The separation was understood by companies but with difficulty and advertising people certainly didn’t like it.
Today when we pitch, we pitch as ‘all solutions in one basket’ just that the basket can hold only a few solutions. The moment we try to spread ourselves too large we tend to become thinner and deprived. We singularly cannot accommodate all possible solutions for a brand but don’t mind not mentioning it.
“What is that one thing” as a question looses it merit in our industry. While there are companies who have been able to answer this quite well, but more often it’s a hand in mouth situation.
I believe that Positioning defined as ONE something, will not matter any longer given the way things are moving, businesses are expanding, brands are extending, people are evolving, environments are becoming organized. Positioning will become fluid and hence will take the shape of the vessel in which it will be poured. It will have its own inertia but its pull will have to be configured according to the situation and needs.
Since the solutions expected from us will differ from one brand to the other, positioning ourselves as ONE solution provider will no longer be fruitful.
Design in itself has evolved in its definition and execution. It is no longer an ingredient but an outcome in itself. It is no longer a tool but a way of approaching a problem. It is a state of mind and not one person’s ability to deliver. Designers are no longer born in colleges but in the minds. A housewife is as good a designer as a product designer of her mixer grinder.
We all expect brands to deliver more because there are so many look alikes and do alikes. Hanging on to one string will only cause tension and break it. Beyond a point you cannot pull the string else it will snap releasing all the good energy and wasting all the time.
Design by virtue is like a fluid. The more easily it flows, the further it will reach. The denser it is the more depth it will have.
Positioning will still exist for brands but brands will have to find their fluidity – positioning, to exist, depending on the time they want to occupy ONE single position.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

How Private is the affair of Store brands?

Walk into any supermarket and you are bound to come across new products / brands adorning the shelves every week or fortnight. And these new products/ brands are not always the popular consumer brands which we could easily buy from any kirana store aka mom and pop stores in our neighbourhood, all this while. These brands, you will notice belong to the super market stores that you regularly visit for shopping and are available nowhere else but only within those stores.
A lot has already been written about the store brands/ private labels and a lot of marketing science and strategy has been applied to make them popular like the other consumer brands. We have also come across the logic of having store brands and how they are profitable for the store marketers. Price is usually on top of the facts and how the intent is to provide great value at reasonable prices. Reasonable is often articulated to mean discount or priced less than the other competitive brands for the budget sensitive Indian household.
But mind it, it is just the beginning. There will be more and more private labels / store brands in the days to come bringing with it a lot of tension for the categories and regular consumer brands.
Cut the chase for a moment. For me this whole phenomena and the way it is going, rings very different bells. I get reminded of very different things and wonder how we could draw inspiration from it as a piece of insight for the private labels.
This experience and observation that I am going to share will be more familiar and reflective with people who have stayed in smaller towns, especially with their grandparents or visited their home town/village during holidays or vacation. But otherwise also I am sure there would be people who would have experienced it in some way or the other.
My grandmother had this very unique intellect of recipes and talent of home-made snacking. During summers when we used to go to our native place we could see how engrossed she used to be with the preparation of as many varieties of pickles, papads, dry snacks and so more. She knew how to make pickles from chilly both red and green, mangoes, amla, garlic etc. and varieties of products that I don’t even know what they are called in English ( I am sincerely not making an effort also to know now). All that she prepared used to get divided between her children and my mother used to get back with her our share for the season. My dad naturally was addicted to his mother’s recipe and so my mother had to either learn it or simply outsource, like in this case.
My grandmother would have her day clearly planned out and keep almost all the kids busy with work. The kids used to be appointed as guards/monitors around the place where these specialities were laid out in the sun for drying or getting marinated. Our playground for some days used to change completely and our presence had become more vigilant.
Examples like these are plenty and even today I see reflections of those activities at our home in a metropolitan city like Mumbai. My mother when she is visiting us in Mumbai, never forgets to prepare kilos of ghee before she boards her train back home. And we do have an important role to play in these magical creations. We have to keep collecting the ‘malai’ or the cream of milk everyday without fail, so that when she comes we have collected  couple of kilos of cream for making ghee. As a daily chore she will never forget to prepare dahi at home over night, lassi in the morning or chaas in the afternoon.
She is also skilled to make pastes and purees for her cooking. She never recommends to buy any garlic, ginger paste or even masala’s. She likes to grind them herself after buying the spices raw from a very particular kirana store. She will not mind going a distance to procure and carry back home. The only difference between her and my grandmother is that my grandmother was well equipped with human resources who would do all the peripheral activities and she would do the main course. Unfortunately I cannot afford an army of servants and so I/we pitch in when its a weekend or a holiday.
I would like to call these ‘home brands’, the brand being ‘Maa ka Jaadoo’. I am sure something went down your spine and struck a chord. Any day this brand is more like able and affordable - ‘sasta’ than any that we would buy from a store. It lasts longer and evokes certain feelings or nostalgia every time we consume. It reminds us of them who would otherwise be absent sometimes.
Something very similar to what store marketers have adopted in their pursuit of happiness (profits) by calling it private brands or home grown labels. But similarity is only in the manner we are asked to consider, otherwise there is no similarity. They are also packaged like the other popular consumer brands and have a shelf life. The taste would certainly be good but not as good and enduring as a ‘Maa ka Jaadoo’ recipe. There is something about MKJ brand which cannot be explained and has more value than any VFM brand that is constantly waiting to entice us.
I wonder what could be the learning and insight from our very own MKJ brand and the tradition.
I am not as knowledgeable as the gurus with mantras but I certainly feel that there is an entire mystery which the private labels or store brands are yet to uncover.
To share my point of view I will create hypothetical situations as we go ahead. Only time will tell us if they can be realized in practise.
‘Gharana’ is a 21st century supermarket in a metro. It’s almost two years since Gharana opened its first store in the city. It is doing well with above average footfalls. It is located on a busy road in a densely populated area which works as an advantage.
Recently Gharana has introduced a range of products that are similar to the ones I have mentioned above. What catches my attention is the way these products are being marketed. The brand is called “Yaadein” and its portfolio comprises of products that are home-made preparations. Yaadein is about pickles, papads, chutneys, spices, condiments, pastes, dahi, ghee etc etc. The difference is that these products are made by the Indian housewives themselves. There are a group of women, housewives to be precise, with whom Gharana has tied up to prepare recipes for such products and even make them. The same is collected from these women across cities/towns and then packed and labelled at their warehouse. From the outside it seems that these women work in groups and have been appointed by Gharana after a screening process.  The process would have involved their demonstration of skills to prepare such home-made products and inclination to engage as a producer of such products. The other belief is that these women are asked to prepare what they are best at. Everybody is not making everything. There are groups or departments on the basis of their expertise and interest.
Coming to the brand, this brand is a people inclusive brand. It is there because there are these highly skilled women who take the onus to nourish it. These women are the reason for its existence and it portrays a very simple outlook. Everything about it is warm and very passionate. Quality is not even a subject for contention. It is what you would otherwise have at your own home.
The other good thing about the brand is that it is an empowering agent or catalyst for making housewives more self reliant. And it is not a charity but about ownership and participation. It is not an NGO or institution about upliftment of women, it is about bringing alive living a rich tradition and discovering the many magical talents hidden in our home makers. All these women are partners in progress for the brand.

Likewise there are many categories in which these women are the producers and Gharana is spending heavily to identify newer segments in which it could engage and partner with more and more women across India.
The other interesting thing about Yaadien is that it brings the producer upfront. All Yaadein packs have a protagonist or the main person behind the scene/making of the product. So while the other products that we buy, we only come to know about the manufacturing company’s name and address, with Yaadein you actually get to know the person who has made an effort to prepare something for you. You can speak to them, meet them and interact with them, share your experiences and give your inputs for improvements if at all. There is certainly more connectivity and more networking. It is a cult!
These women are engaged in activities like tasting sessions, sampling etc where they test their new preparations with other women before selecting and freezing on the one that would be produced in scale.
It is an inside out approach. Normally, what we want, we go and buy from outside, without much thought. We probably read the brand label, see the familiarity, past knowledge/experience, pricing, packaging etc. Now what we want is coming from somewhere that is like our own house, our own kitchen, someone who is like our own grandmother, mother or homemaker. There is more appreciation and comfort.
What Gharana needs to develop going forward, is a way to store and package them for a decent shelf life. Sourcing and collection system has to be more efficient and cost effective. Providing raw material and supplies have to be in advance so that the orders are fulfilled without any delay and disaster.
The brand should not consider doing things to beat or heat competition. This is not about who is best, as we know, who are the best. It is about providing a whole new way of enriching the skills and talent that resides in all the home-makers. And there can several ways and opportunities for all kinds of women.
Someone says, even the shampoo and hair care products are being produced and marketed in a similar fashion.
I am sure there will be more newer products in the days to come, once Gharana has figured out how to source and pack. There are certainly going to be challenges of SCM but like every other situation, a solution will always be within the problem itself. Its only about time that we turn the problem upside down.
I don’t think Gharana is looking at any big super market for inspiration and expansion strategy. I don’t think Gharana even needs to keep what others already have.       
Currently the store brands are struggling with the regular consumer brands and trying to etch their own script in the minds of customer. They are trying to be everything that a popular brand is all about, by looks, by name and by quality.
If it is a private brand, be something private about it, with the help of the store brand essence. Try to be in the personal space of people. Don’t emulate the popular brands in communication or positioning. Identify something more private in emotional quotient. Don’t name private labels like any other consumer brand, have a very personalized approach. Don’t get carried away by the glitz and glamour of the popular brands, be simple and warm. Be social and inclusive, rather than public and exclusive.
Keep the truth! Keep the faith!
Remember its after all Yaadein of our own Gharana.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Speaksfree: Charm of the new, shadowed by me-too

Speaksfree: Charm of the new, shadowed by me-too

Charm of the new, shadowed by me-too

Everybody wants to wake up every morning as a new person. In the pursuit we transform ourselves from the outside but hardly look on the inside. We believe by changing clothes we will be perceived as different people, by changing our shoes we will project a different us or by putting on a new fragrance we will be more approachable. Is it a myth or is it a way to complement ourselves for our changing spirit? Above all, where does this come from because the extent to which this goes is unimaginable?
There is a close analogy of this human behaviour with brands. We are used to seeing new avatars of brands every now and then. And we also get quite inquisitive to know what made the change happen and what the intended desire is. We search for information on the changed brand avatar and then evaluate it basis our own knowledge and instincts. Some of us tend to agree and some of us have a critical view point. But that’s ok, as long as we have noticed the change and have a point of view. One size fits all is not true, right. Brands can only imagine to please everyone by doing what they are supposed to do and what they are not. In reality it is very difficult to take everyone together on the same boat. We have to prioritize between what is important to change and what is perceived to be qualified for change. Although both need to be significantly substantiated with reason and rationality.
But my head starts spinning when I interact with the anchors of change. After all, the people behind the transformation are the first reasons for change. Brands don’t come in our dreams asking for change, right. They don’t send sms, fax or email, asking for a change. However people do that to be the executors of a change. While I do not have statistics to prove or make a strong point about ‘what percentage of change is a result of one’s mind / intention’ or ‘what percentage of change happens because of one person’s ideas’. What I have is the understanding of the minds of the people behind the change (of a small sample).
My experience with some Small and Medium enterprises in the fast moving consumer goods sector has given me enough food for thought and more precisely to have a strong opinion on the subject of ‘branding change’. As a Design Manager and consultant I have interacted with many brand anchors (owners of brands) and have observed their behaviour towards this subject. These brand anchors are leaders in their own right. They are small scale players but they know their territory so well that you might have to think twice to even consider them insignificant. By territory, I don’t necessarily mean market. I mean to say, the game. They know their limits, the liberties, the gaps and the stretch. They think ‘inside out’ which does not mean out of the box. Inside out thinking means, they are highly calculative, rational and self contained.
But when they start to loosen the ropes, open up the boundaries and change some rules, they are really confused. While, I am highly pleased with their intention and conviction to see their brands grow in the new world order by adopting new brand building techniques and infusing inspiration from the bigger canvas, I get perturbed by their imagination powers. I do respect the way they have reached so far and respect how victoriously they have not succumbed to any global forces of change or crashes, but when I get into the perimeter of trust and confidence, I often see a very different them. Their solidity, their confidence, their managerial skills and all of that, makes me wonder and question ‘Why’.
I do understand that Design is a specialized subject and alien for most of them, but I believe that there is a designer in all of us. It’s just that we don’t see it in ourselves. A 40 year old professional or school teacher or a small businessman, they are all designers in their own lives, but may not have received degree or diploma as qualification. A person investing in mutual funds, ULIPS, LIC, Health insurance, real estate, gold or anything that has a valuable return over a period of time, is a designer for me. My mother is a better designer than me and my father was a much much better designer than her. In his lifetime he was very meticulous about his investments and earnings and had started planning even before I was born. We realize his design skills now, when he is no more with us but we have everything that he designed for our future.
We take the subject quite unfamiliarly and that is where the mistake happens. We get carried away by the many interpretations or forms of the word.
Now coming back to the subject, when it comes to SME’s, while they will issue and express all that they want in a brief, they do not realize that eventually they will have to evaluate the outcome and chose the best result. They often get confused between ‘what they will have to choose that is best for the consumer’ and ‘what they will have to choose that is not best for them’.
Over various attempts and interactions, they seem to get over the ‘best for them’ syndrome. The syndrome of MD likes pink and HR likes blue. There are several twists and turns and manipulations to please the ‘inside team’ and have a consensus before it is ready for external environment audit. The design gets operated ruthlessly leaving no charm in it and becoming weak as if it were a patient. The design actually gets treated like a patient, who is not diagnosed enough before applying the sharp instruments and drips. Every department has a say in it and they all tend to view and judge it from their own window.
If the team has been pushed out of this syndrome, they get caught in another fierce syndrome, and that is ‘to do it like them’. This is the midway or the safest according to them. There is evidence lying all around, so there is no fear or confusion. This evidence happens to be of a much mightier and successful brand, so the internal team is almost vulnerable to listen or follow accordingly. It may appear to be the safest because it has been done before and nothing wrong seems to have happened but this is a ‘KILL’. This is the time when you willingly become a prey to the wild beast, when all this while you were a leader of your own territory. You give in yourself to be battered and bruised, leaving no appreciation for what you underwent. The change seems to go unnoticed as the brand does not end up building singular equity. Take a small boat (equity) to cross the river but don’t sit among the fishermen (competition) and go fishing when you have to cross the river.
‘My brand should look premium, young and fun loving like brand X’ is the universal mantra for most of the SME’s brand anchors. Instead of evaluating on the basis of the past and future, the evaluation happens in the index of similarity and ownership of secondary elements of the leader. ‘Why can’t we have the same color as them’, or ‘why can’t you use the same font like them’ or even worse ‘why can’t you just take the same image and put our name on it’. Oops@!
To hell with Intellectual Property, the oxygen of the Design Industry.
It is a battle to explain and convince the anchors that the ‘change’ has to bring something ‘new and interesting’ if words like ‘differentiated and compelling’ are not the cup of tea. It is a war of the words and less of the worlds (brands). ‘Young’ is the oldest, excessively operated and most vulnerable patient, if the MD’s pink is too girlish for the nurses.
A word of caution for all brand service providers, never use jargon if you are not sure how it is going to be comprehended and never compare the solutions with what exists unless you are sure that what exists is not an eye candy. Too much candy will spoil the tooth (idea) and leave the gums (design) bleeding.
Till then, have a sweet day.