28 July 2011 24 Comments

Brand communication and Social Media lessons from ‘The 3 Idiots’

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals


Everyday should be a classroom where we learn. Every situation or circumstance should teach us a lesson. Those who do not make learning a priority will soon grow old and become obsolete. I am not a movie fanatic but sometimes I derive joy in using some as a favourite pastime. ‘The 3 idiots’ produced by Dileep Desai and starring Aamir khan, kareena kapoor, R. Madhavana,Sharman Jooshi, Mona singh and Sanjay Lafoni among others is a story that revolves among three college students popularly known as 3 idiots but whose screen names are: Raju, Farhan and Rancho.Brand-authority-Brand-awareness-Brand-communication-Social-Media-Brand-attributes

Farhan entered college to study Engineering because that was what his Daddy wanted him to do instead of his passion-wildlife photography. Raju’s choice was engineering but fears of tomorrow hindered him from making progress. The matter became worst when the school director-Virus kept saying life is a race and the best way to live is to crush other competitors.

For Rancho, brands/individuals could only be successful if he/she follows his passion. Becoming the best student and most successful of all was the ultimate goal of one their course mates-Chataur. So chataur would rather crammed text Books and followed the tradition. There are several branding and social media lessons to be learnt from this movie but here below are salient ones:

Passion trumps talents: In many instances, Rancho demonstrated that it takes more than talent to build brands, community and solid relationships. The builder, leader must be passionate and truly love the cause he is building or supporting.

Authenticity: There is no level of ‘anonymousity, faking it’ that can build strong brand or social media efforts. A brand builder and social media influencer cannot afford not to be real. You cannot preach something and do the opposite. In one of the scenes, Rancho told Raju that the cause of his failure in Engineering was fear and Farhan’s problem was that he was not passionate about engineering. The two equally accused Rancho he was suffering from both as he loved Pia- Prof. Virus’ daughter- but he could not declare his intention. To show real leadership, Rancho took the step immediately so his friends could face their own challenges.

Success is more than certifications: While many brand custodians place lot of emphasises on getting all the certifications, Rancho constantly encouraged that success is more than paper qualification. It was discovered later that he came to school to get a certificate for the son of his father’s employers. After which he went on to pursue his passion and became a successful scientist and school teacher, Administrator and Proprietor. While necessary certifications in Brand management, social media are ideal, practitioners must not see the certificates as the ends in itself.

Going extra miles for your brand community: Rancho showed brand custodians and social media a great lesson that will beat other factors hands-down. He was always there for his friends. He saved Raju’s father from death, saved Pia’s sister from untimely death that could have occurred through child birth among many examples. No wonder his community was able to do everything which ensured Rancho’s well-being. Raju and Farhan ‘kidnapped’ Pia on her marriage date so she could marry Rancho instead.

Pursuing excellence over success: One other great lesson brand communicator and social media geeks can learn from the movie is to pursue excellence over success. Rancho proved through his life that when we pursue excellence in everything we do, success will follow pants down. At the end, Chataur was beaten in the rat race for success. Do we think these points are valid as professionals? Let me read from you? Use the comment section.

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