Friday, August 18, 2006

Brand furore...

For all those brand conscious and die hard fans of international brands out there, here is my view point on how these brand have invaded in to our lives, and how we have been victimized by this plague of tagging ourselves with unnecessary international brands. I feel, that we have all been slowly been 'seduced', to get addicted to these so called, 'Quality brands'. India has off late emerged, as a self proclaimed (as per brand makers) potential market (actually a 'dumpsite') for all the international brands.

Today's markets are deluged with, what one often calls 'Branded' stuffs. Like it or not, the various brand makers are sure to foray in to your 'homes' with their brands, through their 'innovative' blandishments. The marketing of these stuffs are so powerful and enticing that you can hardly resist the temptation of getting yourself tagged as 'Branded’. I have subtly begun to look around at things and started to wonder, if there is anything or anyone who has survived this rage of 'Brand Mania'.

Let me make myself pretty clear, my 'agitation' is not against any brand or brand maker, but is against the 'hoax claims' they make to prove that their brands are indispensable and must buy product by anyone and everyone.

Let's get a bit pragmatic and I will try to be very substantial in my views as well.

This entire brand mania is the 'product' of a meticulous and articulate planning from the brand makers. The process of which typically involves these stages (simplified):
  • Come up with any brand.
  • Get your brand a popular brand ambassador. (Catch hold of some hot cakes like Sachin, Dhoni, SRK, Aish, or Aamir, the Indian versions of Brad Pitt or Angelina Joley).
  • Slog the TV channels with the ads of your brand .
  • Trap the customers in to a vicious circle of 'Brand cacoethes'. I tell you with my personal exps, once you are trapped in this circle, you will never make your way out of this.
I would like to just bring it the notice of the readers, how we have gotten ourselves trapped in to this 'quick sand' of branded stuffs, and how much our dependency has increased on these so called 'Quality Brands'.

Let me illustrate how a common man, (Any one who can presumably categorized under 'above the poverty line' strata of economy) has become a soft target of these ‘vultures’:
  • You get up in the morning and slip in to your bath room; you would find that your bathroom, in entirety is a mini mall of international brands. The brands ranging form your tooth paste to the high-priced shaving creams or the international brands of soaps. They have quietly invaded your bath room.
  • Nice kick start for a day, a good jog! Hey don't worry; you have the brands to save u again. Nike or Addidas are here buddy, step in to them and get 'rolling'.
  • You get to the table for a break fast, find your spouse getting u a nice bread toast (courtesy - microwave Owen, preferably an international brand) or some corn flakes (again a branded stuff). All these make up a nice inevitable part of your daily appetites.
  • You head off towards your car, to get to your office. Oops! again a wonderful, fatty priced imported brand. Seems, we have almost lost even remotely any habit of commuting in buses or any public vehicle.
  • Your work in the office stressful? Are you thinking of something, anything cooling and soothing? Worry not buddies, you are welcomed by those so called branded soft drinks, Coke and Pepsi outlets allure you (Even if they are as good as a fertilizer, you hardly care!).
  • Get over to a restaurant, and you have these brands following u like your shadow. You now order pizzas and burgers more than you even ever ordered for a meal (Indian dishes). The pizza huts and Mac Donald’s seems to be minting money. Thnx to your eating appetites.
  • Get back to your house, tired? Bored of that hectic schedule? Not to worry buddy!, you can get rejuvenated by these very brands again. A home theater or a DVD player (Branded), would sure bring u back to 'spirits'. Get yourself immersed in to any TV show (these days majority of them are a crap!).It's the commercials again, "Long live the Brands!”, a unanimous slogan of all the TV channels.
  • You finally get back to you bed, to catch a nice sleep. Hey wait, did we miss out something. Yeah, an AC! guys, to keep you and your room cooled.
The list just gets exhaustive as one goes on naming them. The bottom line is, even though it's best to get yourself the 'Quality brands', you need to decide judiciously of it's necessity in one's life or else you end up buying yourself a mini shopping mall.

PS: Being tagged as 'Branded', may seem a luxury, but in the long run, your sure to find your earnings leaking through these pours called 'Brands'. So be very choosy and go for a brand only if it's inevitable.

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