Brand is a reality and a perception created over time by immense effort, hard work & ingenuity, constantly and persistently, without wavering an inch from the envisioned product, service or location and by getting it validated by both the stakeholders and the customers. The product engulfed in the creativity and innovation from the idea, creation and marketing is the killer. Some brands and products have become one and the same thing. Some companies are known by the name of the product they produce. What sells in this world is credibility and that makes the difference in being a brand or not being one. Brand gurus can have their well thought and we oiled schemes, but that can only complimentary or supplementary, but cannot be the creation of brand.
Brands of different genre have different parameters and consistency to take care and so is the case of broad types of it; product, service, institution or place. It can be a company, whatever that company produces has a brand value. The book Built To Last by Jim Collins are lasting companies which became brands and have lasted beyond time and space. The book is an epitome of research, six years, exploring what leads to enduringly great companies. Boeing, Disney, IBM, Merck, Marriott, Sony and Walmart are on the 18-company list. I don’t think anybody can grudge this. It is distinct from fly by efforts made to create a brand. It bites the dust with the first rays of the sun. All of us can see lots of them all around.
Places too become brands. A specialization with is born, groomed and made to bloom. This becomes the magnet for its further growth. A different culture not found anywhere else in that field, becomes the prevalent culture of that place. Around it is woven an ecosystem, which propels, sustains and pushes substantial growth. More often than not, risk is accepted. Place as brand is model of growth and also its engine for prosperity and change. Brand America as the mecca of education. The famed Silicon Valley, in more ways than one, gave us the Digital World and continues to do so. Switzerland remains synonymous with tourism. Of late the Shenzhen in China has become a formidable tech brand. From Texas Instruments setting its foot in Bangalore in 1985, to today, the city has become a brand, which India could barely imagine then.
Bangalore as tech brand has been here to stay, going by any of the parameters of growth, investment, number of companies, quality of workforce, the congenial global work ethic, connectivity, the ecosystem so created, it is thus easy to do tech in every dimension here than anywhere else in this country and in most cities of the world. The third biggest tech hub, the startup and unicorn story adds to value of Brand Bangalore. Unbranding process is an unforeseen eventuality of a brand being challenged. Some lapses, images, visuals and long drawn bad practices add to the watershed moment. The torrential downpours and flooding, the images all across the electronic and social media and the experiences of Bangaloreans in the last few days, have dented Brand Bangalore quite significantly. It is more a man-made nemesis rather than a natural one. The lost ground has to reclaimed fast to bring Brand Bangalore to where it belongs for each one of us and the nation. We owe it to Bangalore.
THE PROCESS OF UNBRANDING BANGALORE SHOULD STOP IMMEDIATELY FOR WHATEVER IT TAKES.