India is fast cracking the source to its brand code. Early this year, an initiative spearheaded by Union commerce minister under the aegis of India Brand Equity Forum (IBEF) set out to identify sectors that could spawn global Indian brands ad activate branding initiatives for them. That led IBEF to every nook and corner of the country.
India is a cafeteria of brands and there is a need to expand the menu for the global audience asserts the minister. Branding effort is seen as a means to an end to generate value and wealth for the country.
A slew of early brands originating from Indian soil IIT, Infotech, Yoga, Taj Mahal and Ayurveda et al have already brought India on the global map. The story, say analysts, has just begun. The country is working overtime identifying newer brand ideas, concepts, traditions and art that could be exported. And get a positive rub-off for brand India through such multiple offerings. As India gets more globally integrated at multiple levels, people will look more positive things out of the country and that will build a strong nation brand says professor.
IBEF is working with WPP owned marketing consultancy, Henley Center, to take that agenda forward. The agency is seeking to give a big push to traditional sectors where India has an inherent strength such as leather, handicraft, and commodities and give them a strong India branding. Indian government wants to unlock the potential value in these sector through branding and generate employment.
The brand of Indian creativity expressed by way of painters, artisans and designers is fast gaining recognition the world over. India needs to seize the moment to harness that and promote Indian creativity in general. On the other hand there are opportunities opening up for brand ideas that have already transcended Indian borders.
Yoga and alternative medicines such as Ayurveda, are the Indian ideas most popular in the US. So much so that large retailers like Wal-Mart and Target have announced initiatives to target senior citizens market with herbal medicines and Ayurveda players from India can leverage.
Eastern influence on the world in the coming years is bound to increase and India along with China will influence the Western world.
Take the case of Indian curry. The brand of casual Indian food has already taken over traditional fish & chips in the UK. These soft global brands from India have not only given the country a visibility, but also to the people from here. That was the sentiment echoed a cross section of US based Indians.
For instance, brand IIT has given a majority of the Indian Diaspora a great deal of visibility and an extremely powerful lobbying platform in the US says a insurance broker who spent last 15 years as executive in retail majors.