01 January 2013

"Grand Brand Rajini" by Ram N Ramakrishnan & P C Balasubramanian

It takes a personality, a value system, consistency in meeting a need and a defining icon/trait for a person to become a brand.

Mahatma Gandhi understood that and met the need for freedom with a simple symbol of a homespun cotton cap. MGR understood that and met the need for social equality with a simple trait of fighting for justice.

In the last forty years, one person who has cultivated a brand with a mass appeal spanning two generations is actor Rajinikanth.

Rajanikanth started as an average actor and morphed into a big ticket brand strong enough to be coveted by every one requiring votes in Tamil Nadu. The brand represents innocence, devotion, humility, and fairness and was defined by its punchlines.   The brand survived (in an era of exceptionally competing talents), grew, and prospered to convert a Rajini film into a "Rajini experience".

Authors Ram N Ramakrishnan and P C Bala Subramanian (disclosure: both are good friends of mine and fellow CAs) provide an exceptional analysis of how the Rajani brand grew from "இது எப்படி இருக்கு?" days to "என் வழி தனி வழி " days.

Our personal brands (yes, in the era of social media, each of us has one) may not be comparable in appeal but there are some lessons in the book "Grand Brand Rajini" for us to shape our own personal brands so that we leave "nice footprints on the sands of time".

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