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Brands drive the marketplace but what it takes to sustain them?

17-January-2005
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Brands drive the marketplace but what it takes to sustain them?

Over last few years, the mindset of corporate India seems to have definitely switched from the commodity-oriented state where it was just after liberalisation took off, to now, when it wants to focus on creating extraordinary value driven brand not only domestically but internationally as well. In this process of becoming confident of quality of goods and services, in fact, the entire value delivery mechanism has led to India boast of having perhaps the largest number of ISO 9000 certified organisations. Result: We have begun to believe that brands do matter.

“Yes, as we can see it in the purely Indian brands we have, like Infosys, Wipro, TCS, Satyam, etc – they are ready to take on the world. All these have brand images and brand values, which are bringing to them customers and abilities to generate sustainable profitability. Now as this process accelerates, the confirmation on whether it is possible to capture the difference that exists between the top IT companies and any ordinary IT company and place it to understand brand value becomes imperative,” observes Shailesh Haribhakti, Director, Haribhakti & Company.

But what is it that keeps the brand alive and progressive and guards from possible threats so that the brand doesn’t get destroyed?

Responds Ramesh Jude Thomas, Principal Executive Officer, Equitor Management Consulting, “In my view, if you can’t measure how brands are creating value then you can’t manage it. We often talk about re-launching brands to external customers but very rarely do this to our internal members, but successful companies in the world have done it. This perhaps sets them apart. The top 15 brands in the world generate more value than GDP of India; this is the power of brands.”

Haribhakti says, “The normal accounting notion is that you cannot put on balance sheet anything for which you haven’t paid a price and the price value has to be amortised over a period of time. But even then, the business and conceptual notion is gaining more and more ground.”

In a world where anything that has a name believes itself to be a brand, how does one manage the brand? “Over the last few years, brand is a word which is being commonly abused. But even when this is true, I would like to say, the danger lies in the fact that one can manage only what he can measure. So the map is not the territory, but the brand valuation, it is a measure but not the territory. Here, the future perhaps lies in the unknown,” states Anand Halve, Partner, Chlorophyll Brand Communications Consultancy.

Taking stock, one can safely say that though brands are important and are increasingly making their way in the left side of a company’s balance sheet, it needs to be remembered that until and unless the promised benefits are delivered consistently, the brand’s value wouldn’t be highly sustained.

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