“Our top rival is planning to launch a product which would obliterate us from the market. It is a serious issue. How should we react?” said a junior executive.

 “Don’t worry. You don’t have to. We know how their Board operates. It is a highly intellectual group. We will use ‘intellectual paralysis strategy’, just leak the news and they would get diverted away even from their areas of strengths,” observed, the grand master.

 The company:

Board room discussion and voices of competent intellectuals-

“People are dying because of malaria and dengue. They need a cure. It is a golden business opportunity.”

“How can you have cure of malaria and dengue it is everywhere?”

‘Yes you are right but let me tell you it is not only everywhere but it is there from time immemorial”

“We already have a mosquito repellent product, so why a new one?”

“You are short sighted to focus on only one thing; people also suffer from typhoid, sun stroke, infant mortality, poor quality of water”

“How can a remedy be developed for malaria and dengue, we can’t control rain, water accumulation and bushes?”

“Let us make the existing product better?”

“Why don’t you call people from water harvesting, horticulture, aquaculture, marine biologists and entomologists?”

“Why don’t we try an ‘all in one product’ cure of everything?”

“We don’t have money, where will the finance come from?”

“Where are the suppliers, our current suppliers cannot supply required parts and components?”

“To be honest, how will we distribute the product?”

“Our engineers cannot design this product- let us outsource designing from the US”

“Why the US, your advice is politically motivated?”

“Why don’t we do a formal extensive research on what do people actually want, do they really want cure to mosquito menace. We need conclusive proof?”

“There are different types of malaria which one are you talking about?”

“We are a commercial enterprise we don’t want to get into welfare or betterment business”

 And the arguments go on and on…..

 Brand Anna stands for one well defined thing/meaning. There are two sides to this equation: the Brand and the Competition (or rival force). The forces internal to the Brand itself are degenerative. So called people who ‘in principle’ agree themselves seem to work counter to the brand driven by their own ‘territorialism’ and ‘tunnel vision’. This myopic territorialism first aims to create a ‘cocktail’ (a kind of ‘be all brand’) which appeals to none because everyone is ‘somebody’ but not a lousy mix of ‘everybody’. The global mission stands to get compromised by these doses of ‘territories’. Rather the territories should be viewed from the ‘brand’s lens’. Local territories in their bids to prevail, compromise the ‘collective’.

 The supremacy of the mission must prevail upon those who agree in principle. Refinements can be made later. First allow the brand to take off. Let the baby be born. Most of the brands start their journey as ‘imperfections’. Imperfection is real and perfection is surreal. Take Tata ‘Indica’ which was not best engineered car to begin with and see how P&G refined ‘Whisper’ overtime. The ambition to create the best solution sometimes leads to no solution.

 In the present situation the competition does not require a strategy to ‘fight’ if the tendency to ‘over analyze’ is fostered. The idea would crumble under the burden of its own arguments and counter arguments from within. Homogenization and convergence ‘within’ is the key to get the brand off ground. The real threats to brand building first originate from within.  There lies a beautiful opportunity for the competition.

 Isn’t it true for Brand Anna? It is weakened by forces within. It is falling victim to ‘analysis paralysis? The competition just has to buy time. Pick a newspaper and ‘dissent within’ in class which ‘in principle’ agrees emerges as a ‘the’ threat to the Brand.  The woods are being missed for the trees. Everybody seems to be springing up with a sapling.


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