Brand Image -Sustenance is the difficult part

Creating a brand image is far easier than sustaining that very same image. Slip ups are only to be expected.

Take poor Mammotty's case. A video that shows him rudely slapping away a fan while perched on a vehicle is now being flashed by the tabloidical news channel, Headlines Today. It was funny to hear Mammotty grovel on TV, trying to defend what he did, in fact not even owning up to the act, which is out there for all to see. Now, my sympathies are with Mammotty, who is truly a great actor, having delivered performances that have gotten him cult status in Kerala. Also remember, the public isn't always made up of polite people. There are the perverts and jerks in every crowd. Mammotty must have lost his temper cause of one of them. But in trying to defend, deny what he did, Mammotty is trying to sustain his image. One that has naturally followed him from his films. After all his bread and butter depends on it. The larger public sometimes forgets that these stars are ultimately mere people. Now that forgetfulness is welcomed by movie stars who try and leverage their image elsewhere, as seen in politics.

At the cost of the stars, let me venture to say that these episodes do a lot in presenting the true picture of who they really are. Watching a clip on Stardust Awards on a News channel, now I know that Saif Ali Khan can't dance, unlike what his movie dance sequences portray. When Aishwarya giggles and says in an interview that she's lived a 'real' life, I am convinced she hasn't. I know that her contrived image is what she cultivates.

For marketeers too, its the same story. Their carefully cultivated product images sometimes crack. And then we know the iPhone is no 'cult' product but one that does exactly what every other mobile phone does. And that Steve Jobs does not care for his customers to be as self-realised as he is. All he is trying to do is to make the extra 'buck'.

Am I damning brand images? Absolutely not. In fact image is everything. Perceptions dictate reality. All I'm trying to say is that images can at times slip to reveal what the product truly is. Just as we know that Mammooty can get irritated and slap a fan.


Sandy said…
Poor Mamooty, I agree with you there.After all he too is a human like each one of us, subject to tantrums and temper.Whose to say that you and I would not have reacted in the same manner?The fact that the whole episode was caught on TV,and blown up is a little sad.

Forgive me here though for going off on a tangent...but your viewpoint that iPhone and the iPod are not really "cult products"..I beg to differ.
APPLE has and will always be a maverick company.They have come out with products that have pushed the human race forward.Take the iPod-it has revolutionized the way people listen to music.Similarly the iPhone(yes, it has its drawbacks-but then the user interface,the Safari browser and everything else is something which no other firm has managed so far)

Now the point I want to make here is this; APPLE does not do too many advertisements,and in whatever they do APPLE has been very honest.They just be themselves.They do not try to gloss or glorify their products,but state the true facts in as simple forms as it can get.(If you have seen the APPLE & PC comparison adverts, one would know)
Sometimes it pays to just portray the truth. Also if one looks at the Google trends for the iPod & iPhone, you'd know that most of the APPLE products have been picked up because of the buzz it has generated, not because of the ad campaigns.I sure think that APPLE will always remain a "cult product"(mind you though; its got nothing to do with "self realisation)Its simply the best thing out there.
The fact that Steve Jobs makes an "extra million" is besides the point and not his fault.

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