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cover story cover story | | Brand Rajini is still able to sustain the BRAND that he is. Read on. SUSTAINABILITY It’s his other face behind the humungous on-screen

markathon|may markathon|month 2013 2013 made it to the coveted broadcast list of NHK. It was also publicly broadcasted in 2002 in Japan which was something very new to the otherwise conservative Japanese public broadcaster. Since then, Rajini is a name known to every household in Japan. The irony is that the movie was never publicized as a Rajinikanth movie in Japan but after the release of the movie, Brand Rajini grew all by itself. One may think “Why is brand presence in just one country and especially Japan, celebrated so much and written about?“ The answer is that “Muthu” is the first and the only successful Indian movie released in Japan. This is a territory yet to be conquered even by the likes of Shahrukh or Salman Khan and Bollywood is still hoping to tap the Japanese market. A brownie point for the readers: The Rajini brand loyalty is so high in Japan terms, we call this “Brand Power”. but it’s more startling to know that Rajinikanth has not visited Japan even once till now. In marketing In marketing terms, we call this “Brand Power”.

Let’s get down to the 4P analysis of “Brand Rajini” Product: ones that makes Brand Rajini a sustainable and inimitable brand – SIMPLICITY! The man does not like to wear glamorous clothes or use costly phones for that matter. He is content with wearing rubber slippers and dhoti — that’s the real him. Yet another reason why he is the most celebrated brand is his impeccable success record at the box office. This may bring the question of “What about his failure movies then?” But only his ardent fans know what this man has done to shield his producers from financial troubles at such times.

In his early days, Rajini defied conventions and that defined this star. He started having punch dialogues for himself, had his own style for even a simple walk or while flipping cigarettes and these worked wonders for this conductor-turned-superstar. He made everyone feel like a superstar. Also what sets “Rajini the product” apart is his humble nature, simplicity and the variations in the roles he has portrayed over the years.

GLOBAL PRESENCE Every brand tries to target the domestic market initially and then gradually moves towards capturing the global market. But for Rajini, in spite of a not so great nationwide brand presence (read courtesy Rajinikanth jokes circulating throughout North India) the case is different. He has a strong and unbelievable fan base in Japan. The 1996 release “Muthu” started the way for the brand. The movie ran for a record 23 weeks with a 90% occupancy throughout and also

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IIM Shillong Markathon May 2013  

IIM Shillong Markathon May 2013