Staying Relevant- is it misunderstood?


Staying Relevant- is it misunderstood?

Relevant, irrelevant; I tell you these terms have created havoc since they have resurfaced with the Gen-Z. They’ve been adding quite a lot to the dictionary these days. Terms like cancel culture, slay, delulu, rizz and so many more have made their way to the millennials. And mind you, there’s a lot more floating around which will have to be accepted sooner or later.

With terms that defy a current generation, or a rather specific stratum of the generation there come a lot of ‘wannabe(s)’. Who are wannabes, you ask? Well, from a branding or marketing perspective, wannabes are the players who move out of their age-old, established positioning to ‘vibe’ with the new-age audiences, hence losing their credibility in the psyche of the audiences. So, in order to try and be relevant, they lose the chance to establish themselves uniquely. The ideology of being a brand that satisfies all, in reality, manages to reach none.

Technology-driven platforms are always going to treat you with avenues and innovations that will feel tempting and worth giving a try, but the novelty of these avenues should not be directly proportional to your approach. To put it simply, if you’re an FMCG brand carrying a legacy of 60 years, don’t just change your packaging to look cool on Social Media. The tonality, the touch points, and maybe even the face might not compliment the OG and you’ll end up creating a new positioning. And the vicious circle of awareness-sales-recall repeats itself. And if at all you are aiming to do exactly that, look around, contemplate, rethink, and do something absolutely revolutionary; otherwise don’t bother.

Staying relevant with the audience gives them a strange authority to dictate your next move, and ultimately it can lead to your death. Instead, moulding the audience according to your positioning via strong recall, collaterals, and visual communication can give you an edge over the wannabes of the market.

Everyone can make memes, casually change positioning, do collaborations with irrelevant influencers, talk like everyone (no one) does, and spend exorbitant amounts of money to get a face that doesn’t compliment the brand. It is just a few that make a place for themselves with positioning like ‘G maane Genius’ ‘Kuchh meetha ho jaaye’, ‘Amul doodh peeta hai India’ and make every generation vibe to their jingles.

Following baseless trends, taking an approach devoid of market analysis, and forcing associations has lead brands into uncleanable, unacceptable messes.

Staying relevant is about keeping on to be more of what you already are. Period.

Shrijay Parikh
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