Building Brands or Wallets?

It is quite disturbing to see valuable resources being poured down the drain apparently for ‘brand–building’. I am referring to the recent campaigns


It has become a fancy for corporates to indulge in high decibel advertising not to launch new products or services but to shout about their name change. Who cares, apart from the ad agencies and the insiders who rake in moolah by running these campaigns?

Is there a single value-add to the customers by Hutch being called Vodafone or UTI Bank being rechristened as Axis Bank? In fact, it means more inconvenience for them.

It takes just a few subtle and effective campaigns like monthly statements or bills to carry the message loud and clear but there is no money to be made in that, isn’t it?

Only very recently, Hutch spent a fortune in changing its colour from Orange to Pink and now it is the turn of Red!! I wonder what is next? And the honchos have the nerve to say that this rebranding will not be expensive and will be less than 500 crores!!!! Sure, the wallets of some people will be really fattened by this exercise and nothing more ! Indians are not going to get excited about being Vodafone users because they do not know the brand in the first place and if Hutch is really keen on leveraging the Vodafone brand on the yuppies, then it ought to have a branding and media planning strategy appropriately and not in every street corner!!

UTI Bank is a different story altogether! The Board should have listened to Shakesphere’s ‘What’s in a name?” but instead have taken the shareholders and customers for a big ride. If they are ashamed of their parentage (which they need not be), then they could have atleast called themselves as Unit Trust Bank (assuming people have forgotten what UTI stands for!!!) or just Trust Bank. Perhaps they were troubled by the ghosts of the Global Trust Bank (GTB). But they have taken the name of the infamous Axis of the second world war consisting of Germany, Italy and Japan! Even Allied Bank or Allies Bank sounds much better! Strange are the ways of corporate life!!!


1 Comment

  1. N Ramesh said,

    October 6, 2007 at 7:05 am

    I fully agree with the author that the very act of Branding and Rebranding is a mega business, where there is a lot at stake for all those who are keenly and very intimately involved in such seemingly non priority / high voltage events !

    In fact, it is a big strategy and a legitimate ‘Con Game’ too, wherein the hands of the professionally educated Executives of the higher order / top echelons of the Corporate ladder are sometimes even tainted with blood and zilch !

    There is a mega moolah in it and there is a lot of money to be made by the concerned parties (Read : the higher ups in the hierarchy of Corporate Management) by engaging in such unnecessary cum wasteful exercises !

    And that’s the sign of Corporate Shining at the Cost of the Shareholder Interest and Stakeholder value, under the garb of Corporate Democracy, even while loud mouthing the principles of Corporate Goveranance every now and then !

    Now let us all say in chorus as usual : Long Live India ! Bharath Matha Ki Jai ! Mera Bharath Mahaan ! as add ons to the erstwhile Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan, and now Jai Corporate India ! – thanks to the new age sloganeering !

    And this is just the voice of an Indian !

    N Ramesh
    and what have you

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