In 1977, coming-of-age-themed television sitcom Happy Days aired their fifth season, which is more widely remembered for creatin
g a catchphrase than any of its inane plotlines. As TVa��s machismo mainstay, The Fonz, catapulted himself on a pair of water-skis over a shark (with goofy leatherjacket on, of course) in the season finale, the popular show had hit an irrevocable new low with audiences. It added to our popular parlance the phrase a�?jumping the sharka�?: a reference to something that has simply gone down the tubes after a dream initial run. For every decade, that clutch of era-defining television programming, whether it was M.A.S.H.a��s dark comedy of errors, Jerry Seinfelda��s a�?show about nothinga�?, or Tony Sopranoa��s Machiavellian character arcs, ran their course with consistency on their side. The showrunnersa�� success at creating a brand, one brimming with recall value and timeless relevance, is what raked in decades of syndication profits and perennial re-runs across networks, like Happy Days had when it first aired.
At a time when Bangalore-based start-ups are crawling out of the woodwork in unprecedented numbers, therea��s a real dearth of focus on developing a brand. Chatting with Pranav K, a�?mad scientista�? at Logic and Madness Creative Labs, he mentioned that a lot of branding efforts
from start-ups are a�?extremely-adhoca�?. While quite a few see branding as an abstract enigma that more funding will help eventually demystify, the rest of consider it through a very narrow lensa��logo, business card and letterhead (logos that fail the first test of consistency and use different colours each time, even.)
According to Pranav, start-ups ignore branding as a cost-cutting measure in the early days, but it comes back to hit them when theya��re suddenly sitting on huge funding and find themselves in sixes and sevens, scrambling over an identity. What he advocates instead, through Logic and Madnessa�� StartMad initiative, is that start-ups evolve their brand gradually, right from the very beginning. Of course, the requirements are different based on how far along the road youa��ve come; the basket of options for a single-entrepreneur client might vary dramatically from the branding blueprint for a start-up in their sophomore phase.
And contrary to the prevalent wisdom of the age, it isna��t simply about online branding, Pranav mentions. a�?While just social media alone might seem comfortable for some start-ups, ita��s equally important to take your products out there and really find your market demographic through offline branding initiatives,a�? he says. Because fundamentally, like he puts it, branding is essentially a�?the clothes you put on your producta�?.