Thursday, September 17, 2009

Confessions of an alcoholic

What does it take for a brand to achieve cult status?
Has any Indian brand reached the levels of customer empathy as, say, Harley-Davidson, Starbucks and Apple?

Can any Indian brand do that? Can India create its own cult brand in the foreseeable future?

Till now… NO

Why has India not been able to produce cult brands the way Europe or the US has? Don’t we have several brands that have a small but loyal following?

The reason why India has not been able to create its own cult brand is because we are a very diverse nation and we tend to disagree more than we agree. Indians are very individualistic and prefer our own approach to everything. Cult following typically happens when a country has a large proportion of people following a common lifestyle or group behavior.

Another major reason what I think is that Indians are encouraged since childhood to "fit in" rather than "stand out", and cult brands draw their consumers with propositions that go against the mainstream.

Any Indian brand, from a match box to a plane, can become iconic and achieve cult status. However, marketers need to build brands that help give people an identity. People like to be different. At the same time, they would like to be part of a group that acts different.

There is one brand which I think has the potential to reach cult status.

This is my homage to a brand called Old Monk.

To tell you something more about OM, especially important to non-drinkers. OM is famous brand in dark rum. It’s an internationally appreciated brand produced in India. OM is available everywhere in India- from roadside dhaba to any five star Hotel. Generally in any bar menu OM is the most inexpensive drink. OM is an inexpensive drink. But beware! Never call it a cheap drink!!

I think OM is one brand which knows no cast, creed and is for all strata of the society. It is probably India’s favorite rum, or rather alcoholic brand. From its uniquely shaped bottle, to its taste, Old Monk’s popularity cuts across all segments and it remains one of the largest-selling brand in the country.

It’s affordable, it goes down well with almost everything, it is there on all party menus, and, of course, it tastes great. It has probably been around for as long as, well, an Old Monk!

“Old monk is the scotch of Rum”

In my view there are two kinds of drinkers- those who drink OM rum and those who don't. OM drinkers are generally hardcore devotees of the drink and they are typically very addicted.
Old monk drinkers are not brand loyalists. They are brand fanatics.
The emotional attachment with the brand is enormous

Mistri diagnosis

Conventional marketers need to watch out—even as companies are spending zillions introducing new brands and defending established ones, the fact is, customers are becoming less loyal. The only brands that are in with a chance are those that customers don’t just buy, but live by.

Normal brands try to build a “relationship” with customers. Great brands try to build a ‘romance’

At last very important note to all the readers..."Consumption of Alcohol is injurious to Health"


Author: Sanjay
Common man pic by: Ching


  1. ha ha..good one sanjay..
    like it

  2. Good thought.. We have strong Indianized Brands but it will reach globally only when the rest of world accepts and starts to believe in "Made in India" Tag.. hope for the best...


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