How the place named as the town of boiled beans ‘bende kaalu ooru' came to be known as the silicon valley of India, is surely one heck of a brand story. Bangalore has arrived to stay on the global map, ready to make everyone in the east to the west roll their tongues with Bengalooru .
One thing most people can’t get enough of is the cool Bangalore climate. On a deeper note one could see that the climate of Bangalore is not just a boring cool – it is in fact like the moods of a terribly charming but an unpredictable woman. A chilly morning would give rise to a super hot afternoon and then again, it may rain all of a sudden in the evening leading to a cold cold night. The predictability of the unpredictably fascinating Bangalore climate creates an absolutely unique image for the place.
Places to chill? The garden city has been popular in this regard since the Mughal era with the presence of gorgeous and lavishly entertaining hotspots. Today with the outsourced work lapping IT crowd, these hotspots have turned into several pubs, resorts, clubs, and fine dining places to get this city the apt title of the pub city. The gardens haven’t all gone, the pubs have all come up and the brand of Bangalore became distinctive with its greenery in co-existence with its booze and jazz.
The Brand got bigger and got people coming in from rest of the India and the world, coming to it to get a taste of it. Rise in the sale of luxury villas, apartments, serviced apartments was the next big high for the city. Eventually, the hour long Bangalore traffic caught the eye. The city’s cosy old fashioned roads weren’t all prepared and so now people literally eat their breakfast, comb their hair, apply make -up, read books and even brush their teeth and change clothes, stuck in the kilometres long Bengalooru traffic.
The blending of different cultures, traditions, people, languages, religions, social and economic statuses, Kollywood, Bollywood, Hollywood, Tollywood with anything new which comes up that the breezily cool Bangalore city opens up to with arms wide open – has created an iconic status for it.
How did this brand develop? One could see several reasons for it yet its huge development on a global scale is nothing short of awe and wonder. To think it out aloud, the brand was always there – the wonderful climate, the greenery, the valour of Tipu Sultan, Indian Institute of Science, the lovely lakes and the green gardens, now the huge MNCs, high rise apartments, metro transport, international airport, world class entertainment parks, performance by international artists, The Art of Living International Ashram, Vrindavan Ashram, Sri Sathya Sai Baba Hospital, Closeness to Mysore, Ooty, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pondicherry, Kerela, Vijay Mallya, Kingfisher, Deepika Padukone, H.D Deve Gowda, Anushka Sharma, Pankaj Advani, Lakshmi Menon – the brand of Bangalore is nothing new. It had existed in the past, it exists right now and based on the strength of its brand until now, The Brand of Bangalore, will always exist.
Branding Consultants have to face this question regularly.
Let’s borrow the definition of brand from my last article. “What is a brand? For a common man brand is a name, term, design or symbol that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. An expert would define these as an outward manifestation of the concept or an abstract thought called brand, it goes quite deeper than all these. It’s like a considering an idol in a temple, as the god or considering a person as mere mass made of flesh and bones. Brand is more than the logo creation; it’s just an expression of a larger intangible asset or personality of the product or service. Brand is like a soul to the human being, which helps flesh and bones to become a human being.”
If we take this as the definition, branding spreads across to all type of organisations, people, places etc. You have to apply the principles of branding if you need an identity differentiated from your competitors or pals.
“We don’t want a brand creation” is a regular comment from most of the entities or personalities. This misconception is based on a narrow minded definition of marketing, in most of the cases. For common man marketing is sales, they forget other Ps. Sales is just a small portion in marketing spectrum. This is evident if you analyze any well-known organization or personality. They all will have a perfect set of branding elements. These would have been there knowingly or unknowingly.
Even religious figures and politicians are not different. Take the example of Mahatma. Look at the brand name of Gandhi, the packaging (dressing), Philosophy, etc. All of them were perfectly suitable for the target audience. TG (Common man) never found any difficulty in associating themselves with the brand. Look at the methodologies adopted for resistance; all were in congruence with the brand. Everything about the brand Mahatma was differentiated, well aligned to a core positioning and TG specific. We can see the same if we analyze all famous personalities. The same is applicable for Religions and Gods also.
It’s evident from the above discussion that a perfect alignment of branding principles is necessary for any activity to be successful. Question is about your intention whether to plan it in advance or to give the control to situations. Brand consulting agencies are necessary as all organisations finds it difficult to employ an experienced brand consultant.
Now I know why this romance imprint of British Publisher Harlequin UK Ltd has been such a hit with the girls for more than a hundred years (It was founded in 1908 btw) and still continue to do so.
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