Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Brands and Life cycles

Many years back, we had gone to meet a cousin. At that time, we used some bambaiya slang and he got used to it. He was all of 5 years old. When we met him 10 years later, he remembered all those jargons exactly the way we had told him, even though we had moved on and updated ourselves on newer jargon. For my cousin, we were cool and he picked up some jargon. But while we moved on, he still used some of it.

Happens I guess. This piece was written sometime back, but I thought that what happened between us and our cousins is exactly what is happening here. An Economic times story of yesterday (couldnt find the link of the piece though) carried a story on Dead abroad resurrected in India, where they talked about brands that are not great shakes abroad but are big names in India. The theme was on track, though I felt that thy brands they mention have not exactly been resurrected in India, but have been in India for a while. They mention brands that are not "hot" elsewhere, like Everready and Bata. They also mention Sansui and Akai, but they are not hot brands in India either. There is also mention of Allen Solly, Louis Phillipe et al.

The Chinese actually have the story that the ET piece aims to tell. Old brands that have died elsewhere (US) continue to survive (thrive) in China. Although not a totally related example, heres some others.
How Uganda has some of the most ardent English soccer fans.
How Chunky Pandey is a big name in Bangladesh!

We also know how, here, since the British left India, our English still hangs on to some of the words which is no longer used in Britian. Mofussil, balderdash and other victorian nuggets still find a place in our day to day writing which would have been tossed out of the window in old blighty. Old English words do not die, they perhaps come to India.

Life cycles of products, brands, languages move on, at times, where they are not expected to move in a conventional sense. Old forgotten English bikes, are found in North India (and until recently in Delhi) where they are used as three wheeled rickshaws.

Brands are often born in one place, live life in others and often go on to lead multiple lives before finally dying off (if they do). In a globalized and highly connected world of information flow, there is very little chance that an old model of a car from the US will strike it rich in India (as some manufacturers have discovered). As the world moves along the networked speed that it does, the brand life cycle will be increasingly shortened and such hidden afterlives in other countries would reduce by much.

No comments: