Saturday, October 8, 2011

Marriage & Its Brand Equity

As I have mentioned on several occasions, ‘Marriage’ has been the phrase and flavor in my life since some time now. Every now and then, I am bombarded with news of friends and acquaintances getting married or getting ready for the huge step. Then there is the dreadful question that’s often thrown at me, “When are you getting married?”  Getting hitched and making me settle down suddenly seem to be the priorities everywhere! The age of getting married, oops… sorry, the ripe age of getting married is torturous. There are enormous rounds of drama and trauma involved, courtesy the two involved parties – the prospect and her family. Well, I guess everyone stands right at one’s own place.

I am never against marriage. It is a sacred institution. But somewhere down the line, I feel this sacred institution is losing a certain amount of sheen off its Brand Equity. If I am allowed to use a marketing jargon, ‘Marriage’ today has turned into a ‘Cash cow’. All the pros and cons of this establishment have been analyzed and comprehended in our mature market, oops, society. The businesses of wedding planning, hotels, resorts or banquet halls and fashion are leaving no stone unturned to milk this fat cow. Ironically, we often use the term ‘The Big Fat Indian Wedding’ (without a doubt, inspired by the cute movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. We are so good in copying!)

But biggest reason for comparing marriage with Cash cow is simple. Consider this situation: when you are planning to buy a car, you get numerous suggestions. But if you state that you want to buy a just launched vehicle, people will advise you to opt for a safe option and buy an already popular car. So, you are directed to the most popular car of a particular brand, the cash cow of the brand. “If nothing works out, lets get a Maruti 800, Santro or I10!”

The logic usually given is: you can’t stay alone forever. You are required to blend in the society. So even if you wish to swim against the tide, others try to ensure you don’t break the convention. We still look at couples in live-in relationship with curious eyes, if not scandalous manner. Marriage is the safest and the best investment in your life. You won’t be at a loss if you get married! In terms of the BCG Matrix, your personal growth (market growth rate) might be low, but you enjoy a strong social position (market share). Hence, I am calling ‘Marriage’ a ‘Cash cow’.

You can choose to differ. And I will state again, I am certainly not anti-marriage!!! It is just that I don’t understand the rush people and their families exhibit once they reach that ‘marriageable age’. Any investment in life requires lots of thought and marriage IS THE BIGGEST INVESTMENT OF LIFE. After all, you are going to spend of your whole life with that person, get tied down with each other’s families as well as with biggest responsibilities, including giving birth to a new generation! So, why the rush?! How in an arranged marriage, families can try to seal the fate of the persons involved? Even in love marriage, how much time is enough to understand the gravity of the future responsibilities? Are a few days of courtship sufficient to take the big decision?

‘To be or not to be’ is the trick question. And I am not the right person to opine. But I know for a fact, marriage is definitely not dolls play. Even if you want to buy a popular brand of car, you are usually spoilt for choices. So, you should do proper research, give deeper thought and take the biggest decision. Marriage is not an impulse buying decision!!!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. And well written too. "Shadi ka laddu jo na kaye pachtaye, jo kaye woh bhi pachtaye".