Does your brand ride on crutches ?

How many of us know Hugh Jackman. But of course people who follow wolverine franchisee would laugh at this question. But what is the population of such wolverine fan club and how many of them fancy a phone which is not an apple, galaxy or a Lumia series.

Quite possible micro max intends to reposition itself and Lowe delhi office could have possible answers to why Hugh Jackman as a brand endorser for micro max. But this blogpost is not on that.

Elementary question which I want to ask is why take brand endorsers ? Ranbir kapoor, Priyanka chopra, Farhan akthar , Katrina Kaif, virat kohli, and now Hugh jackman. Are all these brands so weak that they need to walk on crutches of star power of above mentioned celebrities.

Leave aside mobile phones category, look around you, each brand in india seem to ride on crutches of star power. Take this for example – travel portal musafir.com launched with Sachin Tendulkar, jewllery store Kalyan jewellers have a package deal with Amitabh  Bacchan  and Ashwarya.  Prestige kitchen appliances has Abhishek and Ashwarya, insurance and ask me take help from Amitabh and so on.

I am not against celebrity endorsements but I often wonder does it not point to either of two scenarios

A) the brand is so weak in its fundamental offering that it wants consumer to focus on star power and defocus on core brand promise.

B) consumers are so naive that they are blind in following celebrities and ape their preachiness and fall for the star power and not dig deeper into what they stand to gain from the brand besides a feel good factor of being like a celebrity.

More I observe consumers , I am getting to believe that it is the latter. Brand or marketers are only using the weakness shown by consumers in star power and hence investing in having endorsers. Though I do not have any research but I think that it might be a better deal for marketers to invest in celebrity as against investing in fundamentally strong brand promise. As developing a fundamentally strong brand promise would need higher planning, infrastructure and process control.

Globally good brands are built not on celebrities but brand promise. Apple on snob factor, Rolex on power of Wimbledon as a sport ( star players is an after thought with Rolex), Samsung on performance etc.

I think Indian market is yet evolving and it will take a while for consumers to ask what the brand promise is and not get confused with star appeal, as celebrity will change its promise depending upon the money being offered by the brand.

Till then use your brain, take a call on your purchase of a brand basis how does it add value to you and not how could it add value to Hugh jackman.

Self Belief or Heroism

So who is a Hero ?

I ask this question many a times to many a people and I am surprised by the answers I get. Some people take refuge in old fable/stories from Hindu mythology – Ramayana and state hero as someone like Ram who fought with Ravan thus celebrating victory of good over evil. Or Arjun from Mahabharata who fought with Pandavas to take revenge.

Some people equate Hero with someone with extra power and skills – it could be a super hero like Krissh, or spiderman, or someone who can woo girls, win a loosing battle, etc etc.  Bottom line is – A Hero is somebody extraordinary, talented and gifted.

To me this is the biggest myth we have been made to believe since ages. Irony is we still teach this to our children. We pass on this white lie about Heroes (Not to say that most of the time Hero is a He and not a She ?)

To me Hero is all of us – common human beings.

By giving that extra power, extra gifted from god and other such adjectives, we only make our self belief in us less. A hero is not someone who is extra talented. A hero is someone amidst us, but someone who is not blaming others for his/her problems and taking charge of his destiny to drive change.

A hero is someone who is self motivated, initiated and not an arm chair critic. To critique others is the most easy escape route we find and search for a hero to come and help us get rid of our problems . Why cant we make change happen ? Basically majority of us are lazy and hence want someone else to be that hero. If we have to get access road improved to our house/building, we will hardly make efforts but cuddle up to a politician, suck up to him and make him a Hero in eyes of other people ? What extra powers does a politician has ?

This lack of self confidence and lazy ness has costed this nation in a big way. From mythology to current new age, our search for heroes has always been external, but never internal. Why cant your daughter, your son, your father, your sister, your wife, your husband can be a hero who drives change.

If we have to progress as a society, time we start believing in us, and celebrate heroism in ourselves.