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Wednesday, December 01, 2021

Book tells origin stories of iconic brands from pre-independence era

"This book is not about chronicling the oldest brand or company. Instead, this book examines how brands emerged at a time when India was beginning to shake off its shackles of colonialism and find its own identity," writes the author in the book.

By: PTI | New Delhi |
November 13, 2021 11:00:52 am
brandsTake a fresh look at how market competition has played out in the country over the course of a century, in Branded In History by Ramya Ramamurthy! (Source: Hachette India/Twitter)

From consumer goods to consumables, household utilities to toiletries, and heavy industries to medical supplies, a new book explores the reasons behind the successes and failures of the earliest brands in the subcontinent while offering valuable and relevant marketing lessons from an era gone by.

Branded in History: Fresh Marketing Lessons From Vintage Brands, published by Hachette India, is written by author-filmmaker Ramya Ramamurthy. It claims to be an “examination of a period of our nation’s history through the brands we consumed”.

Focusing on a century bookended by two movements for independence, the book draws readers into the story of how colonial Indian brands — both home-grown and foreign — were “produced, distributed and marketed between 1847 and 1947, a time when branding as a concept was still in its infancy”.

“This book is not about chronicling the oldest brand or company. Instead, this book examines how brands emerged at a time when India was beginning to shake off its shackles of colonialism and find its own identity,” writes the author in the book.

According to the publishers, besides giving easy takeaways on branding and marketing lessons on how market completion and the early economy of India impacted these colonial brands, the book also offers a “cautionary tale for brands to be mindful of their zeitgeist as they weather waning economies and political transitions in any era”.

“Lux soaps, Jabakusum hair oil, Woodward’s Gripe Water, Atlas Cycles, Dalda, Mafatlal Textiles — these evergreen brands have immortalised themselves by capitalising on emerging trends for almost a hundred years. These popular brands as well as others lesser-known — though equally iconic — can teach modern-day brands a thing or two about surviving in a market that is in constant flux,” it said in a statement.

Mumbai-based Ramamurthy’s debut book, “Rebuild” (2018), was a collection of cautionary tales of crisis management, featuring case studies of over 20 brands as well as expert interviews.

The 296-page “Branded in History”, priced at Rs 499, is presently available for sale on offline and online stores.

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