November 27, 2011

Brands need to evolve with time. Every marketer knows this. Yet more often than not, established brands fail because they did not feel the need to evolve with time. The mentality that takes brands down the drain is - "why fix something that ain't broken yet?" The answer to this mentality is - "if your brand doesn't stay relevant to an evolving consumer, she will dump you and you will not know what hit you and when."

Some brands know this fact of life and adapt themselves and their communication from time to time in their quest to remain relevant in consumer's life.

Over the years, Cadbury has moved from "The real taste of life" to "Khane walon ko khane ka bahana chahiye" to "Shubh Aarambh" to "Mithe mein kuch mitha ho jaye" thereby always staying in the heart of the consumers and keeping the relationship glowing. Cadbury never becomes outdated.

Similarly, Airtel has kept its relationship with consumers intact and endearing through smart shift in communication - "Touch tomorrow", "Live every moment", "Express yourself", "Barriers break when people talk", "Har dost jaroori hota hai."

Tata Tea took the engagement level with consumers to a new high with the path breaking "Jaago Re" campaign and now it is making another shift through "Sonch Badlo" communication.

There are many more examples where successful brands have constantly evolved themselves to walk hand in hand with evolving consumers. The results are there to see. They are growing and becoming stronger in a highly competitive environment.

But there are perhaps an equal number of brands that have faded or are slowly fading from memory because they refused to evolve all the while thinking that there was nothing wrong with them. Some iconic and many good brands of past like Iodex, Amrutanjan, Keo Karpin, Vicco, HMT, Dalda, Binaca, Forhans, Halo, Ambassador, Boroline, Palmolive, etc. had to bite the dust because they failed to keep the connect with ever evolving consumers having numerous choices. Even generic brands are not immune to failure if they fail to evolve.

The lesson is simple - evolve or perish!

November 23, 2011

Many organizations have a bias towards having systems and processes for everything under the sun. The intention is always good but practical implications of this "excessive systems orientation" may be seriously detrimental to an organization's well being.

Once the system orientation has taken its roots, people get more concerned about systems rather than what is good or bad for the organization. As a result, systems and processes that were designed to be means to an end become an end in themselves.

If systems and processes for everything can run an organization, what is the need for human resources? By design, systems and processes should be efficient servants to help human resources run an organization. The moment they become master, trouble starts!

New frontiers of innovation and growth can never be conquered by treating an organization like a machine that can be run and controlled through systems and processes. Winning organizations believe in creating and nurturing an environment to unleash the human potential.