Brands can dictate judgements

Without taking anything away from the musical genius that A R Rahman is, I have to say, listening to Indian designers waxing eloquent about how his music takes you to a different level, I couldn't suppress a chuckle. That's because the TV news story on fashion shows in India, had these designers choosing Rahman music for their shows, and then swooning over it, despite me thinking the song I heard on the ramp felt as if the singer was in pain or maybe the song was about someone in pain.

Now I have no idea if it was a Rahman song. All I remember was that the song was about some flower, sung in manner that was excruciating. For the singer and me.

Before I miss the point, let me state what I intend to. Rahman's Oscar winning music has been accepted as not being his best. Yet the accolades for his music just doesn't seem to end. That's because the response to his music can't at least for a while be objective. The Rahman persona towers strong enough to affect most assessments. Especially after his Oscar win. Anyone listening to Rahman wouldn't daresay it sounds like someone's in pain. How dare anyone say that!

Brands that have built incredible levels of equity for themselves, will then start dictating judgements based on that equity. It wouldn't really matter that at times the brand would mess up. Even such mess ups would be seen as near perfect.

The lesson here is, as much judgements by consumers dictate levels of equity enjoyed by brands, the reverse is true too. That is, once an equity is reached and accepted by the consumer, the brand has the upper hand and can influence judgements. The truth will most probably be never told or even if someone dare say it, would be summarily rejected.

The truth is, it would take a little boy on his father's shoulder to exclaim, 'The emperor isn't wearing clothes'. Only then can we behold reality.

Comments

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