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Posts Tagged ‘Carnatic music’

Don’t we all yearn to achieve something, be famous and leave our mark behind?  Would you like thousands of people uttering your name several times in a day 500 years after you’ve gone?  Some brilliant people have done that even 900 years ago, with no formal MBA education. More about that, later.

Thomas Campbell’s saying goes, “To live in hearts we leave behind, is not to die”.  Visionaries leave their stamp behind the world. Reading their biographies is inspiring.  I read Odyssey – from Pepsi to Apple – the story of Steve Jobs and John Sculley from start to end non-stop, it was so captivating.  Steve Jobs was then, and is now, a true visionary.  He knew computers would change the world.  In the 1980s, John Sculley was at Pepsi.  He had catapulted Pepsi into a leadership position, he met Steve Jobs and Steve asked him the famous question, “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?” This changed John Sculley’s life and Apple Computers’ future.   Steve Jobs continues to change the world we live in today.  The world waits eagerly for every product launch that he personally unveils to a global audience.

Geniuses like him and great human beings leave a stamp on the world like none other.  There is no city in India which does not have an MG Road, named after Mahatma Gandhi.  Bose is a household name for speakers now.  The Swedish and Danes are great designers and inventors who built Kazaa, Skype, Nokia and IKEA.

Even luckier are those who have units of measurement named after them.  Like Newtons or Bosons.  Boson is a subatomic particle named after Satyendra Bose and Einstein.  You can have iPads or iPods but who is luckier, probably the one whose name is permanently engraved in posterity in a unit or measure or a place or planet.  It is probably the most powerful form of branding to have your name embedded in history.  Economists are probably the luckiest, having all those glorious theories named after them, Keynesian economics et al.

Cricket has its share of names going immortal.  “Mankaded” is an unusual, now disallowed, type of dismissal of a batsman, named after Vinoo Mankad who dismissed Australia’s Bill Brown in a rather strange manner in 1947.

In my opinion, the most unique branding technique which immortalized one’s name has been used in Carnatic music and Hindustani music.  Songs or kritis of the great composers like Purandara Dasa (1484 – 1564), Thyagaraja (1767-1847)Muthuswami Dikshitar (1775 – 1835) and many others like Basavanna (1106-1167) are sung by thousands daily every day.  The unique thing is this.  Their name or signature is embedded in each song or kriti.  Purandara Dasa song has “Purandara Vittala” embedded in the lyrics.  Muthuswami Dikshitar has “Guru Guha” in every kriti and Basavanna has “Koodala Sangama” in every Vachana or verse he wrote.  In fact every child starting to learn Carnatic music in India starts with 3-4 compositions written by Purandara Dasa and utters his name right from the beginning.  Kabir’s dohas (verses) are recited probably thousands of times daily and “kahata kabir” (meaning – says Kabir) is omnipresent in all the verses.

There was no branding guru or Philip Kotler to teach them marketing, nor were there Harvard courses to attend on branding.  Even 600+ years ago, these composers had the foresight to build in their names into their compositions. Today we have “easter eggs” in software programs or games with names of developers embedded secretly, but which developer really gets a chance to be seen or talked about daily?

What better branding strategy do you need which immortalizes you 500 years after your life, with probably few hundred thousand people uttering your name every day?  Any thoughts?

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