‘God The Mantra of Branding’ is a book on Branding born of a dream. It is an attempt by the author Dr Vipul Jain to juxtapose the life of mythological characters (mostly from Mahabharata) to explain his point-of-view and context to Branding.
It is not a book for practitioners, who may find it too simplified compilation of quotes, thoughts, statements and definitions.
It is not a book for Management students who may find the mythological references and presentation style a bit more complex than expected.
It may be a book for people living in tier-II and III towns with a better grasp of mythology and with no prior management, marketing education.
The mythology tilt to the whole discussion on the subject seems an interesting peg in Indian scenario. However, the author fails to really use it in a focused way. There are instances that crop up and stories that are shared expecting you to infer their relevance to the context. I think it is an opportunity that is left unexploited.
Moreover, he tries to conceptualise the lives of various mythological characters (Primarily Karna and Bhisma Pitamaha) concerning branding and positioning. The author had an opportunity to further probe the area of ‘Personal Branding’ and ‘Brand-I’ for these mythological characters. Sadly, it is not even probed.
Unfortunately, the lack of deliberations between a service or product brand that can’t think or take decisions for itself. Vs. a person living within social constraints bound with norms, tradition and expectations, affecting the proposed personal image and perception is not even attempted.
There is a high degree of straight from heart trying to be expert statements that use ‘I Think’. Unfortunately, the thinking is least supported with any empirical evidence or references. It’s ‘take it or leave it’ from Dr Vipul Jain’s side.
He even tries to create an acronym for what is labeled Vipul’s approach to brand formation. It is a set of alphabets fitted to form EMPIL; Empathy, Mentor, Passion, Initiator and Lateral Thinking. It is precisely one Page long. The follow-up case of LIC fails to use or present the model.
Pages after pages, there is information that at best can be classified as Marketing advertising Trivia. It just appears like being teleported into the chapter does nothing.
For example, Page 39-47 in Chapter ‘Brand Logos and symbols has reference to Audi, BMW, Canon, FedEx, HP, Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Adidas, McDonalds, Google, Lenova, Airtel, NorthWest Airlines, SUN, Coca-Cola, Unilever, LG, Sony Vivo, Gillette and Amazon as examples. Now, the information is not unique or interpreted uniquely. It is something that has been there and shared enough. One would have wanted to author to use fewer of examples but go a bit deeper behind the genesis, which is not mere archival history.
Page 68- 74, in Chapter on Brand Equity and measurement, Vipul presents a fairly good account of Tata,Yamaha and Patanjali sporadically sprinkled with the reference to Brand Equity. It hardly states, helps measure or brings alive the concept- so it remains as flimsy and clouded as it was at the start.
Page 127 is a classic example of banking on vagueness and expecting the reader to be wow-ed. I quote “Samsung uses multiple forms of promotions. Samsung as a company believes in pulling its customer to themselves through advertising but at the same time uses strong tactics to push the product to the customer through sales promotions. Brand Image can be considered as one of the major criteria for customers when choosing products or services. Samsung has reached great heights with its smart phones, which helped the brand to become a symbol of quality and reliability for its consumers. Samsung’s marketing mix has shown that multiple products could contribute to a business’s growth, and they could also become revenue drivers for the company’”. Too many unsupported inferences are made with a magic wand. There is no way; it makes the reader any more aware.
Page 146-161 is a short quick deep dive into Mahabharata. It is long and well detailed. If nothing else, it brings the reader nearer to few tracks of the epic. Nevertheless, the narrative adds nothing to the discussion. Its presence seems to be related to the title. I will again say that the thought of God- Mythology –characters being used as a metaphor to explain branding maybe a good idea. However, this book has completely failed to nail it. Or It may be that my expectations from Dr Vipul Jain were too high.
The author has used ALL CAPS in many places to empathize the points or to summarize the iterative discussion. Unfortunately, it does not add to reading pleasure and comfort. He would have been better advised to use italics or title format for the same.
I would hope you save your money and wait for Dr Vipul to re-write the book.
DISCLAIMER: Dr Vipul Jain shared the book with a request for a review.
GOD, The Mantra of Branding. By Dr Vipul Jain. NotionPress, INR 201. 194 pages.
About the author: Dr Vipul Jain was brought up in Mussoorie. He completed his schooling and graduation from Mussoorie. He took up teaching in 2000. He is a PhD from HNBGU, Srinagar, Uttarakhand. He has authored various papers in national and international journals. He is a motivational speaker, trainer and conducts regular sessions on communication skills and personality development. He has an experience of over 21 years and is working as an Associate Professor (School of Management) in SGRRITS, Shri Guru Ram Rai University, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India.