Friday, July 17, 2009

What 'Brand Identity' do you choose?

Slightly non – standard disclaimer or rather, 'claimer': I have not written this post out of frustration or irritation. I am just wondering out aloud what I have been wondering within myself for more than a year now.

What is it with the C* word that gets people obsessed with it? Why do people find so much self satisfaction in proclaiming themselves to be Cs, whether they say it in a proud tone or in a cribby tone? Why do normal, really normal people, whom I have known as normal people for ages now, suddenly find the urge to identify themselves as Cs rather than as the normal people they have been?

Now that the initial flurry of questions is out of my head, let me explain myself.
I am a C, like many, many people I know. I envisage and strategize sometimes, and I ‘Excel’, PowerPoint’ (please, please let’s make them verbs) and document at other times. I attend meetings 80% of my time at work, I do multiple projects under different lines of business at times, and so on.
I might write all this in a better, ‘pseud’er language in my resume. ‘Cos I think all this is part of my
work. That’s it. I don’t let it spill over in to my personal life.
I agree that sometimes I do consciously try avoiding work influences in my personal life.
Trying not to write a blog post like an official document is a case in point. At other times, I very unconsciously am not influenced by my work personally. I talk the same way I have talked for ages and I think the same way I have thought for ages.
In essence, I don’t find myself having changed as a person because of the work I have been doing for a year or so. I don’t find the necessity to re – define my brand identity in sync with my career because I firmly believe that the career one ends up with in the
long term will inevitably resonate the kind of person one is.

So, I find it really hilarious when people say things like “I am a C, so I will always look at the business case even when I am not ‘Cing’ and try to optimize the way it runs blah blah”. First up, I don’t think one needs to be a C to check out how efficiently a business can be run. Forget it, one does not even need to have a business heritage to think that way. One just needs to take a keen interest in the thing (venture or business or whatever) that they see. Rather, one needs to be interested enough to take notice of the thing, not just see it, with or without a C’s eyes.
I find it even funnier when some Cs think that everything should be compulsorily fitted in to a 2 * 2 matrix so as to make it meaningful. Maybe, I am being a disgrace to the C community here, but, no, I don’t think the world runs on 2 * 2s. Even when ‘Cing’, force fitting everything in to a 2 * 2 is humanely impossible and totally nonsensical, in my opinion. And, am not too sure pages and pages of 2 * 2s go too well with the client.
But, most of all, I find it appalling (that's perhaps a strong word) when some Cs constantly attribute the way they talk and think to being a C. My personal take: I 'globe' because I 'globe'. My 'globe' cannot exponentially increase because I am a C. It applies to other ways of talking and thinking.

Correct me if I am wrong, I do not have any survey to prove my point, but I do not think that people in other professions really get so drunk and drowned in it that they cannot function beyond it. For instance, I have not heard of my techie friends talking tech talk (Wow! That’s an alliteration :) ) all the time. If they did, I might have branded them ‘nerds’, never to talk to them again in my life. Nor have I heard my marketing friends talk all the time about brand value, brand recall, brand positioning, STP, consumer needs etc. If we did that, we might have bored each other to death so much that we would not be friends any longer.

Why does it happen in this profession alone? Is it that some Cs are just too proud of having become Cs and want to show off? Or is it that they are insecure about someone demeaning them with a, “Oh! You are a C! That’s why you are talking this way!” when the Cs offer an opinion and so want to preempt that comment through some kind of self - proclamation.
Maybe, I am making a mountain out of a molehill, but whether I were a C or not, I would have felt quite bad about people around me losing their heads and their identities, or perhaps, their identities and their heads (am not able to decide the order) over a C – level issue.

* - Abbreviated so as to protect the identity of the profession ;)

7 comments:

excitingjourney said...

I thought 'Excel' 'PPT' 'Google' 'orkut' etc. are verbs already.

//One just needs to take a keen interest in the thing (venture or business or whatever) that they see. Rather, one needs to be interested enough to take notice of the thing, not just see it, with or without a C’s eyes.//

Stay the same way and you will make a great C. I am serious!!

//Correct me if I am wrong, I do not have any survey to prove my point, but I do not think that people in other professions really get so drunk and drowned in it that they cannot function beyond it.//

Try talking to an academic :)

Shreya said...

I agree K. Some C's think they are the cat's whiskers and the cat's tail. You can almost see the bubble swelling up.
In it's less hyped avatar, C-ing is a very interesting profession and definitely has a useful place in the chain of events.
One thing is for sure - we should definitely stay away from making our work define us.

Kavity said...

@ excitingjourney: No, I feel 'academics' are still not that obsessed. Talking about work is one thing and talking about how you are that work is another thing altogether!

@ Shreya: "C-ing is a very interesting profession" - So far, so good.

Kavity said...

@ Shreya: As an aside, 'S' is a cool way to be referred to as, while 'K' isn't. I tried signing off as K on a couple of mails, but it felt so K-max that I had to stop eventually! :D

Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

Oh that's C!!!!!

Bihag Bhatt said...

Oh.. That's probably because it's a profession currently in fashion. Especially among the BS-ers (B-schoolers I mean :))

I think you will find the profession ruling lives at a lot of other places. E.g. Military, Sailors, probably I Banking. I believe it is also a function of the amount of time you spend being engrossed in the profession. :)


I believe something you spend so much time doing provides you with a frame of reference through which you measure the world around you. I dont think there is anything wrong with that.

In one of the Upnishads Sage Aaruni asks his son Shvetlketu when he returns from the Gurukul - "Have you learnt that by which unknown also can be known?"
I think all of us are using what we have learnt to dabble in what don't know about.

Kavity said...

@ Bihag Bhatt: I like the 'BS' part :D
Otherwise, I still find it repulsive to measure everything around you in terms of the profession you do; to an extent, all of us do it at times, but doing it at all times is out right revolting, me thinks!