Branding And The Caste

The Indian caste system has been in use for many years. Although some Indians (generally the younger generation) fight to change the system, most accept it for what it is. Caste refers to the breed, race or kind of person. Indians expect people to respect the caste system and often marry and die within their caste.

This is generally not an issue in India because Indians put more weight in feelings and emotions opposed to hard facts. Indians respect the opinions of family members and friends and do not tend to go against their wishes.

There are five different levels of the system:
• Brahman: the priestly or “occupational” class
• Kshatriya: Warriors and rulers, senators, presidents, majors, born from the chest of Brahman.
• Vaishya: Farmers, merchants, lawyers, doctors
• Shudra: Unskilled workers
• Harijans: Untouchable or child of God.

Indians are becoming accustomed to getting products built for their needs. They are realizing and enjoying the fact that brands are customizing their products to suit Indian’s individual desires. Shouldn’t the messaging and social media be the same?

In order to be successful throughout India, tailoring messages to individual castes – without patronizing one could benefit the brand. Because Indians like to do for themselves, often refusing help from others, they will appreciate the fact that the brands are understanding and accepting of their culture – without being insulting or crossing the line.

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2 Responses to Branding And The Caste

  1. This is an ambitious choice for a post topic this week, given the tension that has routinely existed around India and many international communities around the subject of caste. Because it is such a nuanced topic, it is very tough to get a good sense of the different facets in just a week. That said, to fully explore this topic, I would have expected to see you do a bit more first hand research to see how people are talking about the issue of caste in social media. Are there blog posts focused on it? What about Facebook groups?

    Tailoring messages by caste would be an extremely tough thing, because some people don’t necessarily self identify what caste they are part of, and emotions tend to run high with it anyway. At the end of the day, I think the topic you chose to focus on worked against you a bit this week, and it was tough to connect it to social media easily. (2)

  2. Adrienne Allmond says:

    Noteworthy post! I never really understood the breakdown of the “Caste” System. Maybe its because I am American, but it seems odd to me that Lawyers and Farmers belong on the same social class? Furthermore it still is not really clear to me who is the elite and who is at the bottom of the totem pole?

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