“We are citizens of the world. The tragedy of our times is that we do not know this”
The US President Woodrow Wilson said these words in 1919. And 100 years later, we are all too cognizant of our global citizenship in a highly connected world.
The thought of being a global brand is pretty tempting – but the temptation is soon assuaged by the realisation that creating an international brand and living up to its values can be pretty daunting. Not to mention the thought of whether is it necessary to become a brand – let alone a global one.
Technology (read social media) today has made it possible to project yourself across a wider audience – transcending physical borders. It is possible to become a global brand even before you are a local one. However, it is not so easy to remain a sustainable brand for long. It requires having to keep investing in self to remain relevant. Thanks to the innovative marketing tools, it is easier to brand yourself in a larger than life format. But, hollow brands soon turn out of fashion. Relevance is the most important ingredient of a successful brand.
To me – charity, love and change all begin from home. And I would prefer to be a strong local brand before I transcend my value across borders. A strong national brand before I take off globally. Clear about the values that I stand for. Take any classic global brand – Swiss watches, German engineering, Chinese manufacturing or Indian food – all are strong local specialities that have got appreciated world over.
It is fondly said about Indians that you can take an Indian out of India, but you can never take India out of an Indian. And I would not be an exception. The ‘Global Me’ would be quintessential Indian – standing for the values of tolerance, spirituality, pluralism and self-enlightenment. I won’t be able to be a global change agent till I do not bring change in my own backyard. I will not be an effective global influencer if I fail to influence my own people.