Friday, September 14, 2012

Telangana agitation affecting Brand Hyderabad ??

The word ‘Brand’ which till recently was a marketing term wrapped in a systemic & conceptual framework, and spoken in the closed doors of high end marketing strategies and discussions by thorough bread marketing professionals , has now become a misnomer used by all & sundry. Thanks to clutter of mass media and disrespect to professional terminologies misused and abused by amateurs for causal and half-baked coffee table talk.

Now a days everything is a brand from Sharukh Khan to Slum Dog, from Hyderabad to Patna. The term has lost its original conceptual base.

Let me address this issue now - “How is Telangana agitation affecting Brand Hyderabad?” – First of all ‘Hyderabad’ is a 400 year old city which is home to over 8 million population and is dynamic, has culture, heritage, life style, spirit, food which are evolving and more than anything not just a ‘static product’ and surely not a ‘Brand’.
Branding is a marketing concept which creates identity to products and services through a systemic method through which differentiation is made possible and the consumer is enabled to make decisions by weighing options. Branding is a standardizing process, through which unpredictability is removed and reliability is enhanced to maximum.

Though it’s fashionable to talk of branding cities, how can you create the identity of a city with convenience sampling? How can you justify in deciding what should the core value to brand and what’s to be left out? How is anyone capable to create brand delivery no matter what? How can anyone create standard expectations in a myriad of offers in the city? How can anyone freeze time and protect the brand from the natural & not so natural disasters which occur in a dynamic system unlike a controlled system of Products / Services?

It’s absurd & juvenile to talk of a city to be a ‘Brand’. It’s an insult to the collage of cultures, fraternities, groups which make a city their home, there is no first amongst equals to highlight. If someone feels they can brand cities…they are actually in the business of ‘Fooling people’ with manipulative terminology, which they themselves don’t understand fully.

Considering for some time that there is ‘Brand Hyderabad’ - How would Telangana movement affect it? Of course it will, but how would you protect the brand is not by oppressing a people’s movement, that’s where the foolishness and shallowness of the self-styled marketing gurus & intellectuals is exposed. In a democracy, if you undermine people’s voice and protest in the name of ‘Negative Brand Impact’ then what about ‘Brand India’ doesn’t it take a beating? Doesn’t Brand India deteriorate in the eyes of the world as a democratic nation working to fulfill the peaceful demands of the people? Wouldn’t India be compared eventually to banana republics that have no respect to their citizen’s lives, their aspirations and emotions?

If one is so worried about Brand Hyderabad getting affected, they should be equally worried about Brand India getting affected, if you don’t respect peaceful people’s movements for justified causes in a democratic system.

‘Change is the only constant’ in the dynamic and ever evolving world we live in. If cities were real brands, they would get affected by everything, not just by people’s movements. What about Brand Egypt? What about Brand Syria? What about Brand Libiya? Impacted by the uprising, and not to mention recently the ‘Occupy Wall street’ protests’ across American cities and especially in Brand Chicago & Brand New York. 
I don’t think cities are brands, neither people are. It’s inhuman, insensitive and shallow to feel that people fighting for rights destroy a city. If we have not fought for rights in the earlier century, we first of all would not have this brand Hyderabad.

If people fight for their rights, they don’t derogate a city. If real estate prices of a city falls does not mean, it will go into a non-recovery mode. Those who are making hue and cry over the city being negatively impacted by the Telangana movement should possibly also address, what should be the solution? and who is responsible for this impasse? & what do we do, with those who are responsible for this indecisiveness? 
Cities grow, fall, fail, resurge and thrive along with the time & economic cycles. The entire Europe is in economic shambles today. Greece which was an epicentre of world hegemony by Alexander today is broke. The unipolar super power United States of America is in dire straits not because they have been hurt by people’s movements but as they did many things wrong and couldn’t get it right in time.

Excess consumerism and money mindedness has blinded this generation to see, measure and understand everything by numbers than feelings. So, long as one considers cities as brands, they would surely have very less time and regard to think of why are people fighting for what they are fighting.
Krishna Sagar

1 comment:

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