Thursday, August 12, 2010


Have you noticed how often we change our brands? I use to be very particular initially about the brands I associated myself with and my loyalties towards them. My brand loyalties had nothing to do with their so called image but had a lot to do with my personal liking.

Unfortunately once you change a country, you are bound to change your brands thanks to the unavailability of your beloved brands. In my case a packet of Benson and Hedges lights has been switched with Davidoff Gold. My favorite Kingfisher has been replaced by Weihenstephan beer. The fate of my clothes is no different. H&M has taken over Promod, and not just because it is more economical but also because they have more colors and style. Another interesting fact is that if you pick up these brands, they are all made in either India, Bangladesh, China or Turkei. What's more is that H&M doesn't sell in India. I wonder what their (clothes) journey is like? Like how does it feel to be H&M being "Made in India" and worn on foreign skin. Similarly, how does it feel to be Benson & Hedges registered on "Old bond street, London" and being smoked by Indians?

I often wonder how much our consumption affects these brands in the larger perspective? I know they are not human enough to feel bad about our negligence or disloyalty but there is still that still..

An average person earning for 2 to 3 years like me probably spends at-least Rs 10,000 on alcohol per month. If you calculate this for a year, it come to 1.2 Lakhs. If we get on to my packet of smokes, it would be another Rs 3000 per month, viz, 36000 per year. Now if we come to clothes, it could easily be another Rs 5000 per month., viz, 60,000 per year. So, in all if we calculate, my economy loses 2.16 Lakhs on my changing loyalties. I will not add to the taxes that I give to my economy because that is not a part of my brand loyalty.  So where does all that money go now right?..definitely not in to my savings..divide them in euros now and put them in to my changed loyalties.

Do brand names ever wonder about how to retain the same customers in different countries, and I am not just talking about banking companies here,though HDFC has failed there too, I am talking about the likes of Zara, Promod, B&H, Kingfisher...? Do they realize when I move in a different country, I earn a different currency and spend on different brands due to their unavailability..And mind you this is not my vanity talking out aloud to treat me like a queen for using a brand but to treat me as what they say "Customer is King"( By the way, they should change that "The customer is the Queen ;))



  1. WHat you do need to realize is that the brands have to establish an image for them to be used by the masses or the loyalists even in the country they are launched in. Which could be that you would never have had kingfisher beer in India even if they had never advertised it.

    So in order for them to launch their brand in say Germany, there will have to be exhorbitant costs on publicity and branding and other stuff which is involved like operations and suppy chain to ensure visibility and availability.

    Now if you take the %ge of people like you, who have switched countries ... Which is quite a high number, I agree, but then you need to discount the pseudo Indians who will not touch Indian brands just coz they are now in phorein land... next you need to be aware that even if the population of such people is high enuf, then comes their spread ... even in a country like germany, you are in stuttgart... while others would be in frankfurt, berlin or even smaller towns...

    So all in all, it doesnt justify for a brand to think of such consumers since these are informed estimates which these guys have built into their metrics while calculating brand loyalties and expenses they are willing to incur to retain a customer.

    Ohh and BTW, Kingfisher is also made in Germany and is available at all Indian stores there..Atleast I used to get it in all stores in Amsterdam :p

  2. Well, this is the reason I write, I learn this way.
    The funny part is that all the phorein brands as you just called them are now made locally or even in phorein land they are imported, which gets me back to my point, if it is so easy to manufacture locally then why not produce it and sell it in your country at the same quality?
    Ok, when you talk about advertising,Germany as a country is not so big on it. People drink beer from the local breweries but when you talk about clothes, just as an example, everyone owns a Levi's, so why not own a XYZ brand?
    Hmm..may be someone should hire me and my ideas..that's all I'm saying ;)
    Thanks for writing in, definitely learnt something