Pyar and Marketing

All marketeers are romantics. They are out there standing to pamper you. They are out there to serenade you by tempting u to savour all those temptations!! No wonder few puritans, offended by the romantic gooeyness, called all the marketing folks devils!! Infact if I could sum up marketing in one word: it could be "Pyar" Note, Im not using the traditional four letter word, used so casually to downgrade its status to be throw-away slang or rather a semi-colon. Marketing and to be very precise Branding is all about "Pyar". After all, what do lovers/consumers do, so gobsmacked by their beloved brands, they could do anything for her!!
How can you explain long queues of youngsters braving the long night before I-phone could be released, all just to touch and feel the silken smooth skin of the electronic nymphet, showcased to the world by the greatest lover of all ages: Steve Jobs!! Isnt he the pioneer to bring in hot n sleek electronic chicks right from Macintosh to the latest I-phone!! If Marketing is all about Pyar, Steve Jobs is apna Devanand, the king of Indian romance.
If you ever thought branding was so boring, here is a refreshing way to look at it. Here is the evolution of branding through a simple love story!!

· Long long ago, there lived a smart, suave, talkative lover. Lets call him old Brander. He was the only Brander in town. He was a toddler when several invented products like radio, phonograph, car, light bulb had to be brought into the consumer’s life. He informed the consumers about the existence of some new invention and convinced them that their lives would be better if they used light bulb instead of oil lamps. He gradually brought a change in the way people lived their lives. The toddler grew up into a handsome adult with the invention which changed the world: the factory. Old products were given a new lease of life through factories as they acquired new shape. Old brander realized his raison d’etre when markets were being flooded with uniform mass-produced products which were indistinguishable from another. Thus competitive branding became a necessity in the industrial age. He first sought out to bestow proper names on every day goods like sugar, flour & soap which were earlier sold by mom and pop shop keepers. In the 1880s, corporate logos were introduced to mass-produced products like Campbell’s Soup, H.J. Heinz pickles and Quaker Oats cereal. [1]
· Inspired by the likes of Shakespeare and Keats, poetry flowed from Old Brander's lips to woo pretty consumers He gave amazing promises to all those gullible n naive consumers who were swayed by his charm. He became the familiar personality who could act as an advocate for the products. Advertising wasn’t just his cheesy trick to woo the consumers. It became an inseparable part in every fibre of his being. People believed his promises dearly as they had no other handsome chap to fall for. They bought all those he showed to buy, without any other restraint. Although he faced a personality crisis with the Marlboro Friday when it was announced by Philip Morris that it would slash the price of Marlboro cigarette. Old brander faced an existential crisis for the first time as consumers worried if his Marlboro avatar, an avatar which was carefully groomed with more than billion advertising dollars, was so desperate to compete with any Tom, dick and Harry, then Old Brander had no right to live. He however got out of this depression soon, thanks to his god-father- those big bodied corporations- who realized that he was a sine-qua-non for his avarice. 

As world began to grow, spurred by technological revolution, things began to change and the tribe of Branders grew. Let’s call them New Branders!! These New Branders took themselves too lightly as they were present everywhere, thanks to technology. They began to indulge in amorous activities, desecrating the sacred relationship they had with consumers. They grew up to be philanderers, having multiple affairs with different consumers. They gave different promises to different consumers. They made the cardinal sin of breaking several promises which stood in contradiction to other promises. The naive consumer, perplexed by confusing promises, began to break his relationships quickly with the branders. There were too many breakups. No wonder Brand Equity paper, few weeks ago, screamed the headline, "The Consumer is an infidel"... Pampered by too many choices and powered by technology, consumer has become notorious for his infedility. Although New Branders are discovering new techniques every day( Twitter and Face book are the latest to be added to this list!!) to seduce the consumers, they are struggling to get their relationships right. Gone are the days of rajesh kanna style of romance. The consumer is too busy to spend lot of time with you. She now demands undivided attention on you and expects to u fulfill all the promises given in the limited time she can spare for you. If you fail once, she ll begin flirting with someone else.

Is it still surprising we see relationships breaking down so quickly in brand-space and real world?? What is the way ahead ?? Relationships, be it in the real or brand world, are strung by a beautiful thread called as commitment. It would be a grave assumption for a New Brander to think that commitment doesn’t really matter in this age of consumption. The externalities of relationship may have changed. The soul of relationship will never change. Once marketers understand this kernel truth, relationships would last forever. After all, the rosy celluloid dreams of they lived happily everafter is not just restricted to real world alone!!

[1] Pg.6, No Logo, Naomi Klein., Flamingo Publications