Popular Posts

Tuesday, February 27

Flash Brands. Flash Thoughts

Like most of us, I have been privy to the out-of-work Bollywood actor Shilpi Shetty's bizarre turn-around in fortunes through the British reality show Big Brother! It's been a 100m sprint towards famedom for Shilpa...

From 'nowhere' to 'everywhere'
From relative joblessness to a flood of Bollywood offers(a report said 74!!)
From a 2nd rung Bollywood star to an 'overnight diva'
From an ill-dressed actor to an icon of 'fusion clothing'
From a 'dumb bimbette' to an 'Indian Icon'(of course debatable and with large dollops of media frenzy!)

Over the last 12 months, I have viewed few such Flash Brands, built solely by media who rise to prominence and share of mind and then fade away. But while they last they are a brand no less!

Some other flash brands( if I can say so) would be 'Prince'(the Haryana boy who fell in a hole and shot to national recognition, Budhia, the Orissa marathon kid who generated TRPs for close to a month for all the Indian news channels and of course Laxmi Niwas Mittal...

Unlike Shilpa, of course, Prince and Budhia did not generate commercial opportunities(at least I am not aware of). Was wondering if there could be a science/ art of the flash brand. In our attention-deficit world, can we create them...Or do flash brands happen only by chance?

I think flash brands might have the following traits...
1. They have a strong topical core. In the case of Shilpa it was 'Resurgent Indian Pride'. More about it here. Budhia = Super Kid Archetype...

2. Built by PR and media reportage and not by advertising.

3. Largely unpredictable. But the flash-timing has to be right. The media must be relatively free to build stories and feed the public. So. flash brands are unlikely to be created in the week preceding KBC's launch or the Union Budget week:-)

4. Indian Flash brands(Shilpa, Budhia, Prince, LN Mittal...) in the recent past have mostly been human. As opposed to the Western/ Japanese ones - Harry Potter(a fictional character), Rubiks Cube, Pokemon, Sudoku!!

5. Flash brands generally follow a story, a quick trajectory of facts, fiction and spice...They ride on a wave of media frenzy and 360 merchandise(Harry Potter, Sudoku)

6. While the origin of a flash brand might be serendipitous, it needs sustained interest by media to keep it going through its relatively short shelf-life...


7. Flash brands might happen with greater frequency today. In the digital age, with the democratisation of technology tools and creative expression, if a flash brand core has an appeal, it encourages an active participation from the masses rather than a passive, push-only communication strategy of most conventional brands...

Would love to hear of more examples, counter-views, other flash brand traits...

14 comments:

Rithika Kumar said...

Flash brands to me could originate out of sheer coincidence, like in the case of a Shilpa Shetty where neither did she nor the media know the events that would unfold in Big Brother.But media spinners world wide saw an opportunity to but a frenzy and over hype this issue which led to Shilpa's moolah raking in post the show, sudden shooting up to youth icon,becoming the epitome of Indian fusion...

Another case scenario is where Flash brands are created purely by media spinners like in the case of Rakhi Sawant where an already existing low profile celebrity part takes in this creation of hype from the very start and very consciously...
Stories get planted ,events get structured to create a buzz,close friends talk...

Just a thought...
Can fashion fads lend themselves to Flash brands if there is scope in the commercial prospect they hold?

Manish said...

fashion already is a 'flash industry'! There are trends, fads and other stuff which are plugged by astute fashion marketers...

Good point Ritz, there is learning from fashion...lets find out more!

Jigs said...

i beg to differ on one point. Mittal can't be a flash brand in my opinion. Flash brands could be those that spring up from nowhere and remain in the news for a short period of time. And more importantly, their core value itself is questionable. In Mittal's case, neither is his core value of 'the agressive Indian' arguable nor is his continual news making ability. I believe is an enduring brand as against a flash one. Kya bolta hai?

Manish said...

Jigs, you are right in a sense...was comparing Mittals to the Tatas, the Birlas or even the Ambanis...compared to these Mittals is a bit flash...

Also, I feel Mittals have existed as a solid global product for the past decade or so, but as an Indian brand(the core being 'Indian Domination of the World') it's very 'flash'!

And yes few flash brands might become enduring! Mittals might be one such brand!

Mayank Krishna said...

Interesting post :-) But I feel these so called "flash brands" are not well qualified to be termed brands. A brand is something more deeper and much richer with a foundation strong enough to build an entire skyscrapper of reputation and value. The real test of a brand happens in long term when it faces challenges and comes out of them as a winner, always gaining in strength.

"Flash brands" are like flash. They come and go, and after a while no body is even able to recall them.

At the same time, a few so called "flash brands" have the potential to become real brands. Borrowing from Malcolm Gladwell's Tipping Point, I feel if a flash brand has three factors namely, the law of few, the stickiness Factor, and the power of context,in its favour, then it can definitely scale up over time to become a big, real brand.

And another good example of a Flash brand would be the Gandhigiri fad in the aftermath of "Lage raho munnabhai" :-)

Cheers

Manish said...

gandhigiri is a really gud example. thanks mayank!

i think flash brands must not be confused with brands as we know. They are 'flash'.Therefore by definition they will not have the solidity and long-termness of a normal brand. Flash brands wud be relevant for a time and within a context as you/ gladwell says!

its the DNA of a flash brand that interests me . and the possibility of creating one in the future for commerce!

meraj said...

warhol got this long ago and talked about '15 minutes of fame' bit

Manish said...

yes indeed...Its just that the entire world is going Warholic:-)

Today, we have the technology, the participation of the connected crowd and the sheer lack of attention to watch, appreciate anything 'enduring'

'Byte size is the right size' and therefore 'Flash Brands' make more sense today than ever before...

Give me more points hasan...Want to make this into an article...cheers

ram said...

I am really enjoying your blog. The insights are fresh and have a irony in them..

The notion of flash brands is quite cool..But one needs to look at all media etc as a kind of booster rocket but what is critical is the destination. What are the experiments you undertake in space. It is just not about booster rocekts.

I think we need compelling goals

Manish said...

yes ramu...am thinking of some connection between 'the long tail' and 'flash brands' ...post any other related thots that u may have...

FiNK said...

v interesting post. youtube recently had that video diary of a girl which turned out to be fake. To me, that's a flash brand in a shared medium...

Manish said...

yes Fink. thats a gud example...World Cup Cricket cud also be a flash brand for India? what say?

any other thots which come to mind on the subject?
cheers

Giles said...

i like the concept of flash brands you could add that a trait: for the media/public to enjoy turning on those brands and destroying them - in the case of jade goody & shilpa shetty.

i also like the spin on warhol or warhol 2.0: rather than famous for 15 minutes - it is now famous for 15 people.

http://interactivemarketingtrends.blogspot.com/2006/11/andy-warhol-20.html

manish, i like your blog & the community you have going.

you might be interested in this ogilvy blog aggregator i built in yahoo! pipes:

http://interactivemarketingtrends.blogspot.com/2007/02/nice-pipe-generate-your-own-mash-up.html

Manish said...

thanks giles...

famous for 15 people is a nice insights...

i saw the aggregator that you have built ...great!

lemme figure out how to use it!