Sunday, May 15, 2011

How Brand Sachin teaches me a lesson!!!

With every adjective/adverb/adulation/praise already used, Is there anything left out to be written about Sachin? The longer he stays in the game, the more problems he is going to create for journalists as they trash and pound the Oxfords and Wren&Martins but still up with melancholic oft-repeated cliches about him. (Probably that's why the media keeps quizzing about his retirement plans). Audacious as I am and the kind of freedom blogging gives you to write anything one wants, I pen down a few thoughts on how Brand Sachin continues to amaze me.

One of the toughest problems any marketer faces is to make his brand appealing and contemporary and stretch its longevity. Gone were those days when a product you used was governed by what your grand-dad and father used. There was also a pride attached to use what your grand-dad once did so early in your life (Ofcourse, you would have heard the stories about how much he struggled to earn that and how easy you are getting it like a thousand times). That was a time when people used to have long-term relationships with brands..

Fast forward to day these things hardly matter.I went to a police station to tell them I saw Murder..How was Mallika Sherawat? drooled the head constable. Surely this new age lifestyle and the constant craving to try out new things, we are looking to use a brand which is already not there in your wardrobe or you haven't brushed your teeth with. Although, this gives a chance for new products, it wracks the brains of those established brands. This is the age of one-night stands with no damn loyalty..

How do you make your brand contemporary? How do you appeal to the younger generation? What should I do to make these people repeat purchase? If I knew the answer to this, I wouldn't be here but getting ready for a guest lecture at the CannesLions sipping my champagne with Carla Bruni by my side. But as I grew up, I see a lot of brands not able to survive just because they are not able to appeal to beyond a generation.

Goldspot is no more..Once my favorite Coffee Bite is no more..Nirma is no more..Bajaj Chetak is no more..Ambassador is no more..Orkut has its tombstone engraved along with the Dodo's..The list goes on..How much of their descent was because of the their product failures? Or is it simply because of a simple fact that they were not able to redefine their position and appeal to the target audience when a new product came up with a slicker communication targeted at your want and desire to try a new product and break free of the monotonous repetitive things which everyone owns? You know the answer..don't you?

My father talks about Ilayaraja, I talk about AR Rahman, My father talks about Titan, I talk about Tommy..My father talks about Raymonds, I talk about Levi's..We hardly talk the same things, share the same tastes, appreciate the same art, But we both talk about Sachin..It's hardly the only thing where I find my dad's tastes contemporary with me and where he finds my tastes traditional with him..

It's amazing how across generations, one man has been able to capture the interests and connect with people across all ages. Believe me, it's not the runs he scored nor the centuries he scored that has made him survive so long (Ofcourse he is the most talented of all the contemporary cricketers), its how he has used that talent to make himself contemporary and appealing to a country as diverse as India (Forget his fans the world over!!!). His humility, communication, childish aggression, the smile and also his short-lived french beard, don't forget his look towards the sky (Helmet on the one hand and MRF on the other hand), all remain etched in memories of people who can not be segmented by caste, religion, age, language, sex. His performance looks a minuscule component in defining what Sachin is to all of us, how many times you have felt that Sachin should score the runs rather than anyone else? Sachin lives on, rather Brand Sachin lives on, even the most youngest of the Indian team Virat Kohli wants to win a WC for Sachin (for some1 who was born after Sachin made his debut).

As an aspiring marketer, Sachin will remain my quintessential go-to model for creating brand value. Also doesn't it tell you, if one is true from within and communicates honesty, his brand will survive? Sachin I think you have taught me a bigger lesson than anything I have learnt till now!!!

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