There’s much potential to brand cashew nuts but little has been done in that quarter. Farmers’ brands of produce are likely to take off in the future. K. K. MUSTAFAH
What is origin branding all about? Is there an Indian opportunity to harvest?
- Parul Bhatia, New Delhi
Parul, origin branding is what Colombian coffee has achieved. The moment you talk Colombian coffee, you emote positively with its quality and image. Californian prunes and oranges, Turkish olives and such offerings that base their imagery on origin help extract consumer premiums.
In India, for instance, we have the potential of branding the cashew nut, but we have done little about that. In fact, we have the ability to build a new brand name for this nut: “India Nut”. But the vision and the drive are missing.
Quality branding is all about ensuring that the quality of a location or a product is established and nurtured perennially to high standards. Brazil has done it with coffee.
Farmers’ own brands are efforts similar to the private label brands that retailers will build in the future in India.
Indian professors of B-schools are doing exceedingly well worldwide. Any university you go to, there’s an Indian, if not more than one. Why do you think this is?
- Mohit Raj Madhok, Kuala Lumpur
Mohit, you are right, Indian professors have made a name for themselves.
First of all, it is all about origin. India is an origin of significance. The Indian market is a complex one. The Indian market is an emerging one as well. To an extent, India is a crucible of consumer action. India is a market that has a “work in progress” status to it as well. This means that India as an origin is a market of the future. In many ways, what happens in India will pave the path for many economies across the globe. To that extent, having an Indian origin or at the least a name that sounds Indian is a big plus.
Just as a good doctor in the US has to be a Patel or a Gandhi, a professor with an Indian name at a foreign university is a good plus. I am being facetious, of course. There is more to it than that, for sure.
A B-school professor of Indian origin gets into the rigour of the environment in overseas institutions. This rigour is found to an extent in some good Indian B-schools as well, but what is lacking in India is the research orientation and backbone. Business schools in India that devote as much time to being a research-oriented institution as a teaching one are few and far between. In India, teaching overtakes research, and this is where the rigour is possibly missing. B-schools prioritise differently here.
What is the growth pattern in the market for “elders”?
- Ashish Rudro, Kolkata
Ashish, as of now there are two segments in the “elders” market. One is urban and the other rural. In both cases, most elderly folk are and have families and support systems in which they thrive. Out here, the elderly person is a patriarch. In many ways respected and looked after as that one person who spent his or her life making the family what it is today. This is a market that is waiting to be marketed to.
The growth of this market, as per a dipstick exercise done by us four months ago, indicates a frenetic pace. Over 85 per cent, in terms of value of spends by elderly folk, supported by their family super-structures. The spend is low in situations where the family support system does not exist or has totally dissolved.
The Indian marketer is yet to wake up to this opportunity. As of now, the low-hanging fruit of the young-opportunity is being focused upon and plucked. The elderly market is, however, one that is on the precipice of an explosion in terms of value, and aspiration waiting to find its way into the consumption market.
Every brand wants a foreign-sounding name today. Is this the new trend?
- Rama Venkatesan, Hyderabad
Rama, yes, it sure does look that way. It works better in categories such as luxury brands. Categories such as leather accessories, garments and even alcohol work better. Look at brands that you find in the alcohol category. Every Indian vodka wants to sound totally foreign. Every whisky wants to sound British and every vodka wants to sound Russian or East European.
There is a revival of this want and need to brand foreign. Today we do not have an active videshimovement, which we had a couple of decades ago. Brands are now getting bolder and bolder in pushing the gauntlet and embracing foreign-sounding names. Indian jingoism and Indian pride movements are on the backfoot today.
I do believe this trend will run, if not walk, as of now. As the world becomes a flatter place to live and operate in, Indian brands will want identities that are more global than local. The more global your brand name sounds, the wider will be your audience as well. India is a niche that some brands will want to use as a high ground, while lots of others will want to occupy a high ground of attention that is more global and less local.
Take a look at the e-commerce outfits that dot our lives today. In the old days it was all about Indya.com, Naukri.com, Bazee.com and even Shraadh.com. Today it is all about Pepperfry.com, Flipkart.com and more.
Harish Bijoor is a business strategy specialist and CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc.firstname.lastname@example.org