Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Branding of Gods.

Everything in this world has a gestation period, some things for a longer time remains popular in human minds and is sooner or later replaced by something new in the same segment of the former popular thing. The same thing is similar and familiar with ‘God’. God may be one but human have made him into many and every human has its own God now a days.

So this makes me think, “is there a reason that people are looking for someone specific (GOD) to take care of themselves?”

-The answer for this question is as simple as the marketing concept of branding suggests, that one name has a brand life and people tend to choose the most popular brand and in search of that they are choosing something specific for themselves.

Remember the days when human beings did not know about the Sai Baba. Where they not happy? Were things not going right? Was not life as it is today? Human being is a such a complicated species created by the Supreme Power whose want has never been satisfied, they are not happy with one thing, they always want to switch from one thing to another ( i.e. from one brand to another and in this case from one God to another)

Given the opportunity to work on this topic by Dr.Ravi Paturi (Director Aurora’s Business School), I have gone through many articles on branding and few books related to history of cultures and religions especially focusing on Indian context. The difference in opinion and belief of people I have found here is drastically changing by influence which can be observed as a type of branding.

For instance:

Ø Before Mughals in India, Hinduism was at its peak and was being branded and reinforced by Aryans,

Ø Then during the reigns of Harshavardhana, the branding of Buddhism grew and went up to central Asia.

Ø Then After Mughal Invasions, people started believing in Prophet Mohammed and this was branding of Islam in India.

Ø Then came the British Rule which branded along with western culture, Christianity in India.

Ø And now we can see how people are getting switched from believing in one God to another as the situation demands inside the boundaries of same religions i.e. from Lord Venkateshwara to Sai Baba, from Haji Ali to Ajmer Shareef.

These type of branding is not only taking place in the form of changing Gods or religions but it has also giving foundation to new types of markets and are providing opportunities to brand differently.

If we see typical Indian shops, a decade back used to have shops name on any of the God or Goddess name like Durga, Vishnu, and Krishna etc. Slowly this pattern was changed with names of god Venkateshwara as Balaji, Venkatesh, Tirupati, Govinda etc. And the present boom is of the name ‘Sai Baba’. I can quote many examples for Sai baba being used and made a brand, like Sai Baba was made into a TV show which was hugely popular and from that came DVDs and Cds of this show. We can observe the same kind of pattern with Lord Krishna’s Branding. If we take example of ‘Green Gold Animation’, their popular show Chota Bheem’s 2nd part was ‘Chota Bheem and Krishna’ which is a big hit which later started selling books, key chains, notepads, mugs etc on Krishna and Chota Bheem.

Same thing goes with the LOGO for this kind of Branding of GOD.

If you see a cross you recollect Christianity, The OM goes for Hinduism, The half Moon with a Star makes us recollect Islam, A man Meditating tells us about Buddhism and so on. This is also a great thing in which the religions have branded their own God with different Logos.

The same thing can be observed with the attires of some communities.

Especially in south India, the people who follow Lord Ayappa, tends to dress in black clothes. Like wise the people who are of Sikh community ties a turban on their forehead which makes it clear to others that they belong to Sikh Community. The same goes for people who wear white long coats belongs to Christianity and may be a Father of the church, the people who wears a white small cup like cap over their head and keeps only beard without mustache are Islamic.

So to conclude, as the taste and preferences of people are changing their faith and belief are also changing. And from centuries together this concept of Branding related to Gods and Religion is going on and has been developing at a rapid speed. One can foresee a brighter and bigger market for these brands in coming years.

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