BY ROBIN GHOSH
( ECONOMIST AND PRESIDENT OF SHANTINIKETAN SOCIETY FOR YOUTH EMPOWERMENT)
KOLKATA, 6 JANUARY 2023
Bangla Misti is a brand.
GI tag or not. Legally protected or not.
The repertoire of sweets from Bengal is overwhelming and magical. Customers looking for authentic sweets, Bangla Misti is a real delight.
Having heritage of more than four hundred years, each district of Bengal has a specific basket of sweets. Sweets to suit the taste of young and old. For every occasion from birthday to wedding. Different colors and textures, and different size and shelf – life.
In the market today, every product or service is conscious about brand protection. Not only individual products or services are trademark protected — even industries are getting brand insured.
Brand security is becoming important in business. Reasons are many: for marketing and promotion, for pushing the product and industry in the global market, communicating authenticity and subsequently, asking for better prices from the overseas clients.
Branding initiatives for Bangla Misti have to be initiated at two levels. One at the unit level and other at the industry level.
Let us first look at the industry level.
The best example is to observe how KVIC is pioneering to promote the ” Khadi” brand in the domestic and international market. It has registered ” khadi” as a trade mark in India and in 40 countries.
The core idea behind this initiative has been to protect the interest of the customers, and artisans who are manufacturing genuine khadi products.
But, in case you are planning to protect the brand ” Bangla Misti” the crucial issue is who will own the brand? There has to be an independent authority or an authority jointly owned by Industry and Government. This technical gap needs to be curetted.
Now, coming to brand promotion at the unit level, the design and schema is different.
Let us take an example,
To promote the business, Airbnb, world’s largest community driven Hospitality Company offering home stay designed a brand management package. The initiatives covered: changing of the logo, the tagline, creating a unique human brand image, convenient online transaction platform and so on.
What Airbnb did is: it worked out a brand promotion model which created a brand identity, brand meaning, positive brand response and relationships.
The composite package positioned Airbnb as a cost effective, unique platform for accommodation services.
Unfortunately, misti making units in Bengal – only some of them – have taken baby steps towards brand promotion. The aggression is absent. It is mute. It is not serious enough.
In order to build a strong brand, misti making units in Bengal must have a clear understanding of them and establish a brand positioning exercise.
Based on this, misti making units should establish their own unique selling points. Core competitiveness and subsequent marketing strategies.
In a nutshell, Misti Making units have to create a positive association in consumers mind. Use social media and online platforms to promote their brand.
To make Bangla Misti as a national and global brand, like ” Khadi “or “Airbnb”, a strategic blueprint is needed and actionable steps have to be defined. But who will bell the cat?