Wednesday, January 04, 2006

What it takes to create a truly global brand
NEW DELHI: If India Inc is restless, can global Indian brands sit idle? If India is to send out truly global brands, it must look at global audiences and play to its strengths. This echoes the sentiments articulated by Corporate India. While making a global foray remains top priority for local firms, the idea of creating a true-blue global Indian brand is gaining currency. But at present, there’s not a single brand that fits the bill. Brands get a rub-off from the image of the country of origin, says Jagdish Khattar, MD of MUL. “We have pockets of excellence and we need to identify a few and flog them hard with the global audience in mind,” he adds. “Global brands are created out of areas of strengths that the world gives credit for,” says Santosh Desai, president, McCann-Erickson. “Today, we are seen as an ‘intellectual’ country, thanks to the success of the IT industry. So, the first global brands may emerge from this space,” adds Jessie Paul, CMO, Wipro Tech. A country’s brand plays a role in how a product brand is perceived. A global Indian brand has to stand out amidst a clutter of dissimilar thoughts. Harish Bijoor, CEO, Harish Bijoor Consult, says the true-blue Indian brand is not about clonal offerings. “It is the brand that represents the distinction that is India.” Gandhi is certainly one. “Gandhi never took full-page ads screaming: ‘Gandhi shining’. Gandhi, the brand, happened by an amalgam of vision, hard work and passion for positive action.” Most don’t see this happening now. They see brands wanting to adopt global best practices of branding. Adds Mr Desai, “Building brand India demands a shift in mindsets.” And it requires understanding the power of brand that has been understood by developed economies.

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