Have you ever seen some rag picker happily collecting empty shells from a war site? What motivates him is not a desire to create a bomb rather to sell them in metal trash market in order to be able to make some money. Now consider politicians like Lalu, Karunanidhi, Rahul, Mayawati and Mamta. These probably now appear like empty shells without any gun powder. The question arises is whether their assembly under one banner of Mahaghatbandhan is going to create a bigger shell or a bigger bomb? Shells don’t make bombs, it is their contents.
In most cases these leaders and their politics have become irrelevant. What do people like Lalu or Mulayam signify? Their caste based ideology may ring a bell in isolated hinterland of some states but it is simply an irrelevant agenda for new millennial generation. Consider Congress and very paradoxical idea of secularism that it has thrived on has lost its appeal. The very narrative of secularism is divisive. It takes big section for granted and seeks to appease the other. The UP results testify that. The BJP led by Modi and its new reinvented avatar as nationalistic growth oriented party has cast a political death knell of these players.
Can you create a mega product or brand by assembling together failed obsolete brands? Let’s take example of brands which once ruled the television market like Weston, Uptron, Dayanora, Beltek, Texla and Televista. Would they have created a mega all in one brand with all pervasive universal appeal? Answer is plain and simple- no. Solid brands are not created by mergers of weak or obsolete brands. Rather they are products of imagination and ideas that are in sync with market reality. Let’s consider a very powerful brand like Apple. It is some of parts of Sony, LG, Samsung, HP, Microsoft and IBM? Or is it is an idea very different from them?
In marketing and branding cobbling together different ideas is sure shot recipe of failure. Each brand idea belongs to its core territory and fundamentally these territories are different and that is the reason marketers create different brands. When different ideas are stitched together this undermines the very fundamental essence of branding. A Brand is created for a given segment and each singularly stands for an idea. The brands diminish in their appeal when they seek to become ‘one size fits all’. More ideas they incorporate lesser becomes their appeal. This is the reason why you have Closeup for young, Pepsodent for worrying mothers and Sensodyne for people with sensitive teeth.
Ask yourself which segment do you belong to and sate your preference. Is there is a toothpaste which enjoys universal appeal? The attempt to put three appeals or ingredients in a product does not make it three times stronger. Rather it reduces it to becoming one third.