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BW Businessworld

In Good Times And Bad

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What happens when the King Of Good Times encounters bad times? It is a question that many brand experts have mulled over ever since Kingfisher Airlines ran into a financial maelstrom.

The carrier opted for the advertising line ‘Fly the good times', an adaptation of the brand's tagline of ‘King Of Good Times' for its Beer offering. While any negative rub-off on the airline positioning is unlikely to affect the more profitable beer business, the moot question is: do brand experts ever think of a brand positioning that can hold its ground in good times and bad?

In a competitive market scenario, no positioning can claim to be disaster proof, says an advertising agency head. Arijit Ray, president, Mudra West, says the logic of change being the only constant applies to positioning as well. "The positioning of a product or service is subject to alteration depending on the life cycle of the brand."

Hopefully, competitors will be polite enough to not grind the current positioning of Kingfisher Airlines to dust when the chips are down. In the airline business, there is an unwritten code, say ad executives. In the aftermath of a crash, all airlines operating in the market suspend advertising for a month, so that one carrier does not gain mileage out of another's misery. Hopefully, that ethic will continue to apply even when a carrier is in danger of going bust.
(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 12-03-2012)