Signs that your brand has mid-life crisis

Facebook is jumping on the cryptocurrency bandwagon with plans to launch a wallet based on the Libra network next year. US regulators have promptly invited them for a ‘chat”. India has made its views on this topic so clear that Facebooks has no plans to launch it here, though it is one of the biggest growth markets. Yes, of course, your very own currency would be awesome for an organization that has always felt it is a country of its own, but surely it is a little hard to pull it off. In the past, when brands were at a loose end they would either change their logo or revamp their website or, like, Myntra, suddenly announce that you had to buy only on their app. This seems to be sign of a similar sense of ennui.

Twitter seems to also be having similar angst. It is now launching its first ever mass media consumer campaign in India around, well, #wetweet. It might drive people to initiate trials. But given that their potential audience would be on some digital platform already would it not be sufficient to stick to digital? But again, nothing like a nice splashy traditional media campaign to cheer up the bored brand manager and his family. While I continue to use Twitter to catch up on trending news and get customer support, the fear of trolls has reduced my presence there quite a bit.

Another global brand seemingly itching for excitement is AirBnB. Many of its lucrative markets – Singapore being the latest – are clamping down on home-owners’s desire to become fractional landlords. While hotels have to go through a whole bunch of compliance and taxes, your neighbour can become inn-keeper pretty much by hanging out a ‘room vacant’ sign, regardless of what other residents think about their adventure and the associated risks to themselves. AirBnB’s solution is similar to Twitter’s – launch a consumer campaign in India to woo the millennials!

If you are a brand owner and someone comes up to you and wants to suddenly launch a big campaign, do ask yourself whether your brand (or brand manager) is in the midst of a mid-life crisis. It will save you a year and pots of money.

I have been smiling a lot more this week. I’m in Bangkok where everyone greets you with an enthusiastic “sawadeeka” or hello, much bowing and big smiles. In forcing my normally grumpy self to respond I’m feeling more cheery. Their mails are far more elaborate and polite and I find myself having to move away from the Indian snappiness. Is it possible that a culture of smiley greetings improves the national mood? Maybe we can adopt effusive namastes all round in India. It’s worth a shot. And certainly more hygienic than clutching those unwashed paws.

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