In brands we trust. Rest all, must bring quality!

Ye bajaa ke tere mizaaj mein, hain sakhaavatein hi sakhaavatein … 
Magar ittefaaq ki baat hai, is intekhaab mein hum nahi.

(Undeniably your conduct is full of tenderness and compassion.
Merely a coincidence though, I never made past your selection.)

Nothing sums up the angst and agony of Indian customers against global brands more than the above mentioned immortal lines of Munir Niazi. Any consumption-driven economy with little or no respect for consumer rights, will always remain a dumping ground for substandard products. Does this confidence emanate from thinking that advertising and PR blitzkrieg can help them obliterate general common sense? Well, they wouldn’t be entirely wrong to be fair. But then as Bob Dylan once said, “The times they’re a changin…”.

Remember how the imported chocolates tasted different despite of similar brand? Travelling back “a device year”, remember how Volkswagen India didn’t even bother recalling its vehicles in India or forget compensating its customers as it did globally in wake of emission scandal? Remember how Nestle India froze in Captain America style when questions were raised on its quality?

More recently, any tech enthusiast would share how Huawei probably dumped a faulty batch of nexus 6p devices into Indian markets, resulting in lots of complains and bad customer reviews. With LG G5 getting hammered in US due to its uneven build quality, I won’t be surprised if the consignment for those rejected devices are heading towards India as we speak. HTC & Samsung went the other way — of delivering a phones with sub-standard specs even at a premium price (assuming HTC 10 will be priced north of 40K).

Customer service is important but not at the cost of spoiling the initial experience of the client. And if you are Apple India, no matter what standards you set globally; your Indian store managers are still going to serve you with a lackadaisical attitude.

Yes, you may feel I am cynical. Well, may be even in April! But that’s where the consumers are being vocal and making it a point to be heard. Social media. Aren’t all of us tempted to simply tag a company’s twitter or Facebook handle to complain on their product or service, knowing well that things will move (most of the times they do too if its a global brand)!

To quote Selina Kyle, “a storm is coming Mr. Wayne!” The question is would global corporates continue to treat communications as billboards or will they sow the seeds of real confidence by opting for a focused community-led communications approach?

The answer my friend is …

Till next time.

(Translation credit: Alisohani.wordpress.com)

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