Campaigning for “Made in Uttranchal”
The last Saturday of May o6, was a different day for Bihar and television news viewers of India. Usually, the news coverage of Bihar tends to be towards bad news for the state. However, on this Saturday, most of the Hindi news channel broadcasted the news of gifts of leechi to the Indian president, prime minister and other celebrities by the Bihar chief minister Shri Nitish Kumar. Though in India, Bihar is the largest producer of leechi, the perception among the common Indian is that Dehradoon is the main producer of quality leechi. In my opinion, the morning television news of the said day about gifting of leechi by Bihar chief ministers became one of the strongest branding campaigns for a food commodity. As a branding professional, I shall give cent percent marks to Shri Nitish Kumar for his brilliancy in branding a state related food-commodity by public relation methodology. The branding or popularization of country of origin (COO) of a commodity, product, concept or service is one of the strongest aspects of positive branding a region like Bihar, Jharkhand or Uttranchal.
In the era of stiff competition among various regions for tourism development and private investments, each region or state requires strong branding campaigns. The region or state has to spend huge money on branding the region through various available media and by creating new media .The smallness of Uttranchal and its limited resources do not permit to Uttranchal for spending huge amount of money for branding the state in India and abroad. Therefore, the public relation activities and branding for exclusive produces, concepts and services of Uttranchal are the two strong means to brand Uttranchal as an advantageous state for the investors and Uttranchal as the right destination for the tourists.
The fame of regional produces among tourists or prospective is one of the successful and tested methods for centuries to brand a region. Agra and Mathura are famous in the southern regions because of petha and peda trading respectively apart from Taj Mahal and Krishna birthplace. There are many food and forest commodities in Uttranchal, which require aggressive branding outside the state. For instance, the sukhsa (dehydrated raddish) and jakhya in food commodity and damphoo in forest commodities require aggressive branding out side the state. The branding of damphoo or rasbhari is easier than other two commodities because the non-Uttranchalis are aware about the taste of damphoo too. The branding of the said commodities will not only bring revenues for Uttranchal but branding will create value addition for the above commodities and farmers of raddish and collectors of damphoo or jakhya will get extra incentives. Value addition in marketing of such food and forest commodities is created either through processing food articles or through strong branding. Like wise, there are tens of farm and forest products in plains and hills of Uttranchal, which require professional branding for initiating export of such articles.
The branding or popularization of an article (country of origin) is an old concept in India or elsewhere. When there were least media, our ancestors used to popularize their products through different public relation means. Public relation never looses its importance in marketing or branding a commodity and the Uttranchal establishment should come out to use various types of public relation oriented methods to exploit the known or unknown produces of Uttranchal. The Uttranchalis should understand that the fame of “Made in Uttranchal” would bring new riches and new fame for them. Every sects of the society should be conscious to brand the exclusive produces of Uttranchal. We all know that pandas of Hridwar and char dham visit their yajmans all over India in every winter season. The marketing federations of farm and forest produces of Uttranchal should take help of these ambassadors (panda) to brand many Uttranchali products out side the Uttranchal. These pandas can become the medium of mouth-to-mouth publicity for popularizing many products and concepts of Uttranchal. Mouth-to mouth publicity is the strongest media for branding the produces of state like Uttranchal. The governing workforce of the state and society of Uttranchal should inspire and encourage the community as pandas to popularize the produces of Uttranchal. The government should also inspire the millions of migrated Uttranchalis to popularize exclusive produces of Uttranchal among non-Uttranchalis. Like wise there are many useful, public-relation means to popularize the concept of “Made in Uttranchal” and the concerned authorities and social bodies should come out to use such medium for popularizing Uttranchal by the help of a product or concept.
Copyright@ Bhishma Kukreti, Mumbai/India/2009