Winners don't take all

| Updated on December 05, 2014

Winners don't take all

Brands today are trying to set Guinness records. Do such accolades help them at all?

Ranjan P Lall

New Delhi

Ranjan, not really. Setting a record for your brand is only a PR milestone. at large. All it does is focus the attention of one and all on to the achievement. The Guinness Book of Records is respected by everyone. The authentication procedures adopted by them are reasonably detailed and credible. Therefore, brands that enter this book seem to earn credibility cues that are strong.

I remember doing this for Tata Kaapi in 1996 when Tata Coffee built the world’s biggest coffee mug. We spent a total of ₹25 lakh on building the mug, showcasing it at the Bangalore Palace Grounds and getting it unveiled ceremoniously. What we got in return was some ₹8 crore worth of publicity for the brand in media terms, not only in India, but across the world. Brands get a disproportionate bang for the buck in terms of awareness scores through such activity.

But the important point to remember is that when every Tom, Dick and Harish starts doing this, only one actually goes and kills the Guinness goose that lays the golden eggs.

Are mass brands really non-brands?


Ritu, interesting point. Many really are. I do believe the death of mass brands is a self-fulfilling prophecy mass brands write. Unless, of course, the mass brand is sensitive enough to have enough variants and options that make it look very-very customised. The death of the product brand is already here. Today, every brand is a service. The service dimension of the product brand is not to be ignored.

Important point, I make, is that every product brand is a service. Products are static and dead and mass-ified. The service dimensions of these brands can be customised with ease. Use this service dimension of brands to customise and stand out from the mass brands movement.

Does e-com mean death-knell for traditional commerce?


Pallavi, not at all. E-commerce will thrive just as traditional commerce will boom, in most categories. The land is large and the appetite of this land is for every channel of commerce, virtual or real.

Internet shopping caters to a limited sub-set of some 110 million e-commerce active people in India of the 273 million who have access to the Internet. Therefore it is a relatively smaller play. Internet shopping is also finely segmented, as most who have access to the net are privileged folk who make privileged product buys. Selling on the internet and buying on the internet is that much more of an intelligent process as well.

Harish Bijoor is a business strategy expert and CEO of Harish Bijoor Consults Inc. Mail your questions to

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Published on December 05, 2014
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