Thursday, 21 April 2016

Are you with the brand managers of Shiva Pale Ale?

Let me start with an interesting incident from the Shiva Purana, one of the 18 genre of Sanskrit texts in Hinduism.

When the gods and demons were churning the ocean (Samudra Manthan), Halahala (deadly poison) was produced and its venomous poison started killing both the gods and demons. To save them from the consequences, Shiva drank the poison. 

A can of  Shiva Pale Ale. From Anand Chaudhary's Facebook post.

Now let me relate this with Asheville Brewing Company’s Shiva India Pale Ale.

I came to know about this after one of my friends posted a picture of the ale can in his Facebook timeline. As soon as saw the image, I was scouring the Internet to know more about the drink.

Here is what I found.

The brewing company’s website says:
A crisp, citrusy India Pale Ale with a light color, Shiva will destroy all your preconceptions of an I.P.A. A transcendentally simple malt bill accents a generous helping of Columbus hops, lending an intense floral aroma with hints of grapefruit and a pleasant bittering quality. Your palette will be lifted to higher planes of consciousness with a bittersweet finish.
It seems the brand managers in the West have a fascination with Hindu gods. Earlier, owing to protests from Hindus, Burnside Brewing Company, a Portland-based American brewery, postponed the limited release of "Kali-Ma Beer" in 2012.

Rajan Zed, President of the Universal Society of Hinduism, had called for an apology and the removal of Shiva’s image from the ale’s packaging.

Likewise, a petition was filed in for the removal of Shiva’s image from the beer bottles and cans.

So, while knowing the consequences, why are brands created around religion?

Is it the fascination for the powerful gods as described in the holy books? Or is it all about cooking a controversy and build a brand around it?

For me, the first and foremost thing, it gives the brand a strong personality and it’s easier to explain the product benefits.

Shiva, the god of gods, connotes power and the drinker (if he or she knows about Shiva) would be elated to grasp a can of beer named Shiva. For those who don’t know anything about Shiva, it’s always some fascinating Hindu god. And obviously, it fascinates the drinker. But for Hindus, using the image of a revered god is a complete No-No.

So, did you get the message?

Be cautious and respect others’ sentiments before creating a brand around gods and goddesses.  

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Why it’s necessary to convince your CEO to be active in social media

Image by Flickr user Sean MacEntee. CC BY 2.0

You must have faced it – it’s hard to convince your CEO to be active in social media. And even if CEOs start blogging or tweeting, it’s really difficult to ask them to contribute regularly. It’s simple. Their schedules are packed and it takes huge effort from their side to keep the creative juices flowing and jot down something that is relevant and interesting.

Besides, they are worried about committing any mistake in social media that can right away tarnish their reputation and put the organisation’s goodwill at stake.

So, how do you convince the CEO? That’s the big question.

A survey by BRANDfog found that 83% of the US respondents and 73% of the UK respondents believe that CEOs participating in social media helps building better relations with customers, employees and investors.

The survey also came up with the finding that executive use of social media raises brand awareness.

People like to hear from the top authority. And the CEOs should use their authority to provide updates about their organisations.

In an interview with Forbes, Weber Shandwick CEO Andy Polansky says if done well, using social media can be a compelling way to enhance the company’s reputation, business results, employee communications and tell stories around innovation.

If your CEO is not comfortable with social media, help them to get on board and once they start doing it on their own, move away.

However, some CEOs are naturally social. Richard Branson with millions of followers posts multiple times a day.

CEOs like him can be an inspiration to your CEO.

So, just ask your CEO to blog and tweet. It has lots to offer to your organisation.