A musician can find music in silence, an artist art in emptiness, and a brand enthusiast branding, anywhere.
Though I didn’t hear the word brand in my formative years, I still can’t help recollecting how branding was prevalent in all spheres of life, across the walks of life, and amongst people of different hues.
Diwali was a time of sightseeing the streets, the bazars, and certain locales. As teenagers, we could hide our excitement as we went for our annual rounds to feast the spectacle of festive decorations.
The bazaars were basked in brightness, shops dressed as brides, adorned with flowers and lights, each yearning for well-earned attention. The jewellery shops, in particular stole the show. While most were strikingly handsome, some were on our must-see list, as they always had a special touch about them.
Years later, I understood this as branding. They used every opportunity to express themselves. They didn’t go through the motions. They planned, toiled and assured that they used it as a brand building exercise.
Celebrations have different hues, and in the eighties crackers were a popular expression. Some establishments made their presence through crackers as eager spectators lined up for the fare they had come to expect over the years.
Many housing societies demonstrated branding unknowingly. Each society had its own theme, but a pleasing spectacle was that an identical kandeel of the same colour and size adorned at every house window. And an enlarged version of the same kandeelwelcomed the visitors at the entrance of the premises.
Looking back I wonder whether it is possible to bring back those ways. Quite unlikely. Not that it would have been easy in those days to make everyone agree on a uniform festival code. They would be the odd disgruntled types, or some who would have wanted their own way.
Great lessons of branding – of spirit, teamwork, and consistency.
Festivals change their colours, the festivities change their expressions, but branding will always find a way to express itself.