Can Brands manufacture credibility?
As much as Sugata Srinivasraju scores a point when he states,
'This manufacturing of credibility is comparable to the meticulous exercise of branding that takes place all the time around us. If you buy a branded shirt, the belief is that you'll never find the stitch overlapping or its colour bleeding. If you buy a soft drink produced by a multinational company you are not supposed to find pesticide residues in it. If you break the chocolate bar of a reputed company, you can be assured that there will be no worms embedded. If you go to a speciality hospital, the doctors will always remember to take the scissors out before they sew up your stomach on the operation table. What branding does is it pushes you to blindly consume without constantly verifying truth, while truth is something that needs constant interrogation. Branding also clouds reality. For instance, the moment you brand Bangalore as an 'IT City,' you tend to erase the existence of other cities inside this seemingly single city and forget people who live outside the ambit of the hi-tech industry',
he misses out big time, I'm afraid, on a 'branding point'.
Sure, Branding may blind you, but it ain't absolute, total blindness. In fact it is with varying degrees that we a turn a blind eye. And that 'varying degree' is dictated by what we term in Consumer Behaviour, the 'level of involvement' with a purchase. The greater that level, the lesser the blind eye.
Consumer's involvement with products and services purchased, in turn, is dictated by their perceived risks associated with that purchase. The greater the risk, the greater the involvement. So I may be blinded by the Soft Drink brand, but I am definitely keepin' an eye out, when I wash that expensive branded shirt, to see if the colour runs. And if it does, that shirt's never gonna adorn my torso!
Brands don't necessarily blind people all the time, though I admit, at times they do. Brands make it easier for consumers to make choices about products and services they wanna buy. If it weren't for the brands, I wonder if I could ever be able to sink into that favourite chair of mine and watch the epic battle, that I did, between Roger and Rafa yesterday. I would've been busy ruminating about those umpteen things I needed to buy, just so that I could have a move on with life.
Oh, and by the way, when Sugata talks about Indian firms 'manufacturing credibility', I agree, Lock, Stock and Barrel!