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
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
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
‘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
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