In India the culture is stronger than any Brand book in the world. That is the reason for why Worldwide CEO of Lowe, Tony Wright talked about the colonial corporate and that its time is over at his lecture last week in Mumbai for the AAAI seminar.
Not listen to and understand a strong and powerful culture with 1,3 billion people mean that you wont sell your product. Coca-Cola is right now learning this lesson the hard way in India.
Everyone has heard of Singapore Airlines; they’re famous for friendly service and letting the traveller experience Singapore for hours before actually arriving (their brand is flying high).
Everyone has heard of Singapore Airlines; they’re famous for friendly service and letting the traveller experience Singapore for hours before actually arriving (their brand is flying high). Less well-known is the Malaysian car Proton, even though it has sales in the billions of dollars. Although its visibility is improving, it suffers from the limitation of many other Asian brands: it has had trouble charging its brand with a rich culture. Why not let the rich culture shine through in the visible design of the car. Another problem is the product itself. The two are inextricably intertwined as they were for the Japanese auto industry in the early 60’s, an industry that produced fair cars with a laughable brand. Through a combination of branding and improved product quality, Japanese cars are now considered by many to be the best in the world. If Proton doesn’t improve their quality they are soon going to feel the negative side of consumer power in hate web sites. Surviving as a brand on a transparent market means delivering on promises – rumour and word of mouth travel much faster than any car on the planet. The blogs and the media are full of stories of quality problems, yet the company has responded mostly with advertising.
Some consumers are saying that they “love to hate Proton” – this is not the sort of passion you want for your brand. Why not just be honest and tell the customers the truth. Why not ask them for their help to improve and make them believe in the brand again by becoming ONE with Proton.
Malaysia is in many ways one of the most beautiful countries in the world and its products should live up to the role of ambassador in the same way as Singapore Airlines does for Singapore. Proton should move their boardroom out into the breathtaking Malaysian countryside to stimulate change, to open the door for input from customers and to usher in a new era devoted to reaching new goals with customers, suppliers and employees. That, if anything, would inspire ”Creative Management”.
I am a big fan of Bollywood movies and Mumbai is the place where bollywood is located and where they make most of the movies. Maybe soon we will see the Worldwide CEO of Lowe doing some local Bollywood dancing with the billions of consumers in India (then he is doing “Bollybranding” as I call it).
Update Mars 1:
Some more to read about India/Bollybranding on this blog:
Bollybranding to Sweden
ONE lecture at The Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI).
Culturestones – Things that last over time
Fortune Magazine on Hollywood vs. Bollywood
Create more Kodak moments
DO OR DIE
How you can start ONE newspaper today!
Update 13 April:
Bollybranding will make you dance