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new & evolving thoughts


  Brand and branding opportunity and brand responsibility in a disturbed market


... branding, particularly negative ones, that happens from what is not said sticks to the brand thicker than that can be expected to happen from what is said. In the tricky processes of branding people's assumptions from what is implicit in what is not said is more potent to impact the brand than what they may believe from explicit announcements companies make.


.... that equation also provides potential branding opportunity from the crisis to the concerned ministries and the govt as a collective entity but loaded with brand responsibility of the highest order.


  How to manage a brand crisis? DON'T


DON'T try to manage a crisis that cries out 'YOU' are wrong.


A brand loses a good lot of its good reputation in a crisis when its managers try it with uncharacteristic (uncharacteristic to the brand) approach hoping to settle it fine and quick and a brand loses the good chance to reinforce its brand values from a crisis by not taking charge of the situation admirably with the next steps.


A (brand) crisis continues to remain a blemish for a brand if not settled with convincing explanation.


  Branding games and stakes in politics


Would the parties care to make the gain or at least fear the loss their brand (party) could suffer? Not really. Not yet. All parties seem to thrive alike being alike and being absolutely conscious of that fact. Brands are immune to issues that are neutral to all competitors and the best competition strategy under such a situation is to brand hard against a chosen negative attribute that is neutral. Corruption was neutral in politics and AAP won because of branding itself against it.


  Rahul Gandhi proves; and, proves a few unwritten tenets of branding


The five year term I believe keeps the comfort level of our politicians right till the end of it. Congress battled all the serious allegations in vain and became nervous only as the elections began. BJP would still not know of its temporary brand power, which gave it the authority to conduct the govt – being negated swiftly by stronger and lasting negative attributes it has created so very quickly. Professional companies in business in the private sector resort to market research to know the consumer sentiments in ensuring right decisions. Political parties too can mature their play should they talk to right sets of respondents with absolutely unbiased questions about their work and decisions.


  Kheencho, Kheencho


In a growing market a brand that has managed to accomplish critical sales volumes with progressive trends should ideally try to understand underlying reasons that are causing sales for it, to be able to move convincingly into league next. In a demand driven market most brands that gain certain grip in the market seem to be spending on advertisements because they have the sales or the money to spend, without of course knowing what pumps-in their sales ...


  Classic case of negative cross branding

In business, cross branding is tried between or with a set of brands belonging to a group or partnered with other brands for deriving relative brand advantages. Rarely cross branding is tried abusing rival brands notoriously for clinching a certain brand advantage. Cross branding in another lesser known sense refers to negative moves that diminish brand equity which essentially happen owing to ignorance about branding and sheer greed.




Certain big brands thrive on multiple competitive value factors but essentially draw the potential for unrestrained growth from just one or two strong root factors which of course happen to be fundamental in nature. Such root factors define the unique character of the brand in differentiating it from other equally large brands not just in their sector but from those in other industries also. Owing to the unique and powerful root factors they also remain largely resilient to vagaries of business, even to harsher ones. By the same logic such a brand would crumble should the actions of the company deride critical root factors, more helplessly – greater the degree of inconsistency.


Even very good marketing strategies can turn not good enough or even bad and negative because of the greater potential of the brand in supporting more complex strategies.


Leadership in a segment is not necessarily related with revenue volumes. Smaller brands can also claim it by showing the way to the competitors including the big ones. A big and considered leader brand may also lose leadership tag should it helplessly miss its way forward.




"... On an extension, the task is loaded with twin responsibilities. One, to effectively derive power of image and substance from the brand, and two, to ensure that the new business would gradually contribute to the equity of the brand extended - - or at least sustain it unblemished. Mutual transferability of values progressively is the essence of brand extension. Lack of meaningful fit can only peel precious equity off the brand."


"Brand equity and promotion efforts are largely interdependent. All promotion programs, apart from delivering against the set specific objectives have an inherent function -- to enhance Brand Equity. Other way round, effectiveness of promotion programs are determined by the Brand Equity as at the launch of promotion. It is a case of mutual aspect. Promotion programs while using the given Brand Equity as a platform should simultaneously contribute towards strengthening it."




Returns for the brand from social concern initiatives accrue only when something useful is effectively contributed and is also appreciated. The return is in proportion to the social value of such initiatives and the extent of larger consumer awareness about it.


Branding by social concern initiatives is hard. It is at least ten times more difficult than trying with advertisements and as many times harder to be effective.


  Air India


Make believe branding through advertisements give negative returns when the real beliefs on the fundamental characteristics about the brand continue to remain hopelessly negative. Longer they have remained so, greater the loss – well beyond the cost of advertisements.


When branding calls for fundamental corrections, the task essentially is about correcting before indulging in any promotions.


A brand that does not belong to anybody, with responsibility, sails perilously by the market forces.


In any market, even dud brands generate revenue. To know what ticks the sales against all odds, helps to understand how wasteful it is to try to sell.


  Kingfisher - a popular brand in India, nothing else.

Brand valuations are ever fuzzy and are highly subjective and often misunderstood and therefore misused. Often they can be gross nonsense too, like the way UB Group sold it to ignorant bankers as collateral, for more money.

Strong brands don’t die out of a slip with an extension, however miserable that may be. Any other airline, including Jet would have been out of sight and mind by now if they had slipped into the pit KFA has long been in.

Saving KFA is a simple and hard job. Brand Kingfisher still has the power and the charm to stand tall among the airlines in India.

I believe, Kingfisher badly needs to save KFA not as much for the debts and long term money in the airline but essentially for sustaining and enhancing its own brand equity, in the interest of the group.


  The Ghost Prevails


....... a brand that's hit by a lethal negative attribute loses its ability to signify any of its positive attributes however much valuable - irrespective of size and stature of the brand.


A brand name's potential to resonate values is limited by the normal mental limits of the people


  Bottling Vanishing Business


While positive attributes that build-up the brand equity are hard to create and call for perpetual reinforcement, negative ones stick fast and hard.

A brand essentially rises on the strength and character of who owns and runs it. More so a b2b services brand.

When a brand dies its businesses start evaporating - and in a hurry. It is slowed only by the constraints of the customers in finding an alternative.


  The Attribute - Unwise


The brands that are hit with the nuisance can of course make more by seeking a ransom for sullying. The chances are good and sure if the brand loss is articulated right.


  Zapak -- the new slang

Evolving brands, unlike established brands, can become difficult with just a few mistakes and rarely can even get ruined out of just one terrible mistake.

Positive aspects of a brand yield progressively in tune with the extent of awareness and by the same rule negative elements should hurt too 

  Mating Kingfisher


It is fairly easy to answer branding questions. It is hard to make them, make the right ones and most importantly in the right order. Most branding mistakes happen due to missing questions, ignoring them - often very simpler ones or jumping steps altogether.


Brands that attain certain stature happen to be resilient to be harmed by quite a bit of undoing. 


  The (Brand) is within brackets


Brand knowledge about lineage yields effectively and without restrictive impact when communicated in a subtle manner. Group signature is in fact the ideal way to make brand power yield either way.


  Your Brand. Their Underwear


If the new business is not in tune with the brand image or under-performs uncharacteristically it would erode some brand equity off the brand. Same thing happens in a brand-snatch too. While the brand-snatcher gets the benefit of instant awareness, the original owner suffers an image loss owing to inconsistent deeds


  Misplaced Convictions


A brand name is akin to a container which reflects a collection of identities and virtues - positive as also negative - essentially and precisely as perceived by the consumers in varying depths dependent on each one's level of awareness and experience with the brand.


  Living Under the Shadow


Take-on brands have just two chances. They either wither out sooner or later or speed into a hard-to-grow trap later or sooner.


These brands hang on till they find the toil unworthy. As said, one in hundred, ride through the opportunities in the market aggressively, progressively adopting professional methods to overwhelming success. But, once they pick up pace they speed - - straight into the hard-to-grow trap.


  Kingfisher Airlines. Cropping Feathers?


 ... On an extension, the task is loaded with twin responsibilities. One, to effectively derive power of image and substance from the brand, and two, to ensure that the new business would gradually contribute to the equity of the brand extended - - or at least sustain it unblemished. Mutual transferability of values progressively is the essence of brand extension. Lack of meaningful fit can only peel precious equity off the brand.

Potential of brands for extending arises from their stature and characteristics. Values of some are transferable only within the micro product category, some within a macro range and a few can carry almost any business. Even brands that can carry many a business hit limits, set by their essential character and image.


  Branding Life Insurance

As you start branding, a new one particularly, the first thing to think about is the name. There is a wholesome marketing work and future that can be bet on it.


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