Back to the Future Branding

From generation to generation consumers are in habit to recall brands of their time. Their emotional attachments to these brands are undiminishing. Name any of past famous brands to the older generation, their mood would change and one could visibly observe their immediate departure to their past. This emotional transformation is the most amazing aspect of any company’s brand world and not cashing such emotional appeal is the biggest mistake.

If think strategically, companies that once enjoyed ownership of such brain-alive brands have fairly well chance to attain back brands’ equity in this cutthroat brand competition era, where a tiny recall factor can be a great benefit.

Brands are spending hugely to build brand recall by positioning in the consumers’ mind. It is like building a nest, straw by straw with utmost care and alertness. The nest can be destroyed but the location is still not erased from the bird’s memory. In fact, seasonal migrated birds love to land on the same spot year after year. Dalda in Pakistan is one example of such. The brand’s famous line “Jahan Mamta Wuhan Dalda” is still the great emotional association for many in the country and core cause of the brand re-emergence to its brand prominence. Unilever with its all brand management might let the brand go in 2004, thinking that the brand is financially dead for sure because of intense competition from local and foreign ghee and cooking oil companies.

In Pakistan, the demise of brands is mostly because of poor brand management from the parent companies. The companies’ incapability to understand changing marketing realities is the main reasons for their brands’ disappearance, demise and decline to extinct. There are also many other reasons for brands’ decline including:

  1. The parent company stopped investing in the brand’s expansion including product development, innovation and research. Furthermore, the parent companies’ mistake to think that the brands were infallible and “Lady Luck” would keep smiling on them. Paktel is one example in this regard.
  2. The parent companies started investing in other ventures by taking out money from core businesses and ignore their existing best assets’ development.
  3. Lack of consumer behaviour understanding has been a major cause of Pakistani brands’ falters. At the corporate level, the decision makers usually were not well aware of ever-changing marketing dynamics and reluctant to accept changes.
  4. Lack of promotion or stop spending advertising money was yet another reason for the local brands’ demises. It is like what Henry Ford said “stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch to save time.”

All the famous brands of past that vanished left behind strong impartialities and traces on that generations’ memories. Often, these memories are strengthened by famous taglines such as “Jahan Mamta Wuhan Dalda” or “Ah Khuda Meray Abbo Salamat Rahayn” or “Phaly Bata Phir School” or “Sub say Acha aur Sab say Alla Chanda Battery Cell.” The loyalty and trust engendered by those brands are still fresh in the minds their living regulars.

In fact, companies with a fresh or altered approach can often capitalize on existing equities, overcoming past challenges with greater flexibility, or a fresh strategy, a new consumer target, different product or retail distribution, a brand repositioning, or a modernized version.


  • Qumber Hussain

    Milkolu biscuit is another example of that “emotional brand connection”. Vanished from market almost 8-9 years ago, its relaunch became a great success due to strong emotional attachment children had with it. And guess who were the top buyers?. Teenagers who used to eat it when they were children.

  • Aqsa Zafar

    Vey well written. In addition to this, Marketing planning and the strategies been taken, plays a vital role in giving an endless life to any product’s name. And the customer’s loyalty with any certain brand even after its fall is something to cherish.

  • Ehsan Zaidi

    A similar example is of Yummy Ice cream. It was a renowned brand in the 90s recognised by its logo of three kids having icecream and a gingle. However, the brand wiped out from the retail market once walls came in to Pakistan. As a matter of fact, walls does not even sell milk ice cream. It is rather a frozen dessert yet their effective marketing campaigns wiped out established branda like Hico and Yummy.

  • Ali Shigri

    We as consumers have evolved with our change in preference and taste. it is important for brands to focus on the story telling part which in case of dalda ” jahan dalda wahan mamta” can go forever but in many other cases things like that might not work as consumers lifestyle is changing. Talk about late 90’s we had landlines with circular dail up and cost were too high after that we had 3310 the worlds strong mobile phone and then comes the age of smartphones. we are continously evolving. what matters is that how we tells our story. the problem now a day is brands dont get involved much with the agency on delivering mechanism of the story and how and what funnels do they need for effective marketing. what their brand persona is and how is the story going to communicate with the audience effectively. we realize that we need to catch the emotional aspects of the consumer but we lack on the delivery part. Also in Pakistan, the ‘Seth’ culture is still prevalent. these people think that marketing is only required the sales is going down or if the product is performing well we donot need to change it. as rightly identified we donot care for future and our brands donot have the vision to look into the future. The example that fits well is of honda 70 and mehran which is the most sellable item and hasnt been changed in decades due to its monoply. now they are changing due to foreign competiton acting as a threat so they need to improvise. i believe that competiton drives marketing effort more but still the art of story telling is above all.

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