Sunday, February 1, 2009

Hiding behind brands

Work for major brands and you are branded. I wonder whether we lose our individual identity when we hide behind brands or multinational companies. Of course, I agree we cannot avoid it and it is part of the package. When I left a wellknown newspaper brand after 17 plus years, many who were pestering me with requests, stopped even the courtesy calls.
The provocation for this post is an observation made by my ex-colleague. He is now the editor of a top brand newspaper in Mumbai.
“How you doing?” I asked him.
“Good, but I get pissed off when people say this is Mr S from “…” newspaper. I am S and that’s it. The name of the newspaper is not my surname.”
Well, do we call it professional hazard? I am confused.


  1. Hi Ramesh, well written, after reading it seems you are also in same dilemma in which I am, When I had left Taj hotels and joined new international chain, I was very excited, but now after working for almost five months, that feeling is not there, I am still looking for new job. Now when I have got one new offer, again same dilemma of brand is going on in my mind..... I am confused too.

  2. Dear Ramesh,

    Companies spend lots of time and money to get their brand established.

    But these brands not only represent the symbol of the company or product but to a larger extent define the life of their employees as well.

    Yes, as you said, it can definitely become a professional hazard when the company’s image in the market gets disturbed.

    For Example: After the Satyam scam (the biggest fraud in India's corporate history), thousands of its employees have begun hunting for jobs. But the company’s image is having an impact on them and in spite of having experience; they are forced to settle for pay scales lower than what they used to get before.

  3. Could not agree more. From an employees' perspective one spends years building a brand and evem more time identifying and including oneself with the brand. When the brand collapses it is extremely difficult for individuals who has been part of it to extricate and distance themselves from the brand they strove so hard to build.

  4. Well Mr.Ramesh u raised very nice matter, the human race is moving by brands and we all have tag on us, somewhere we all feel delight in relating our self with some brands but in doing so we loose our own identity.

    The one fraction is that some companies deem in promoting company's name instead of its owner/coo name (in some cases they match)...but there is no point in loosing our own individuality, company subsist because of employees n it’s their hard work which bring buff to its name.

    But to endure in rat race we have no preference but to rove with tag on our head. Either we move with the equivalent velocity and to the same course as world or else we perish, like say Godrej perished from Indian market.

    Its loss of identity for sake of endurance.

  5. you are known by the company you keep!

  6. One of the observations I made when going through the college-work culture change was that a hell lot of people in this world stress on socializing. The true friends' circle is limited but there extends another friend circle - and in that sphere how much of that person can help you is how important that person becomes.

    It sounded really selfish to me at start but later I accepted that it's a basic human need, ain't it? No man wants to be alone and most men prefer an easy life.

    The whole importance of getting tagged professionally amongst courtesy callers is this need. No point fighting it out in the head, the process is simple - alright, okay, that's the way it is, out of your control-Move on. :)

    I try to surround myself with as many non-courtesy callers as possible. :)

  7. All agree that brands are intangible asstes relying on a complex mix of brand attributes operating on the fringes of human psychology....
    – all hard to define perceptions.

  8. Brands - Yes we loose our identity....


    PS: I am back, did my exams well. I am doing good and thanks for your wishes..

  9. To me, this is merely a sign of our times, when what we are matters more than who we are. Unfortunate.

  10. I am too late to say anything of value that hasn't been said already...oh, and really love magiceye's comment - an other philosopher :)