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Decoding Cool in Indian Context: Meaning, Value, and Brands

Decoding Cool in Indian Context: Meaning, Value, and Brands
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Author(s): Harsh V. Verma (University of Delhi, India)and Ekta Duggal (Motilal Nehru College, India)
Copyright: 2020
Pages: 20
Source title: Handbook of Research on Managerial Practices and Disruptive Innovation in Asia
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia Ordoñez de Pablos (University of Oviedo, Spain), Xi Zhang (Tianjin University, China)and Kwok Tai Chui (The Open University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0357-7.ch003


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The term cool is both nebulous and valuable. It contains some magical property which transforms perceived value of anything to which it is added as prefix. Therefore, marketers want to make their brands cool for superior outcomes. But the challenge lies in apprehending what cool actually stands for and how to use it in brand building. This paper explores meaning of cool by tracing its genesis in theological texts and popular culture. Cool has connections with theological discourses of religions like Hinduism, Stoicism, and Buddhism. Buddhism's fundamental tenet is cultivation of equanimity. Hinduism's sacred text Bhagavat Gita exhorts development of control over senses. Stoicism's core principle is ‘Ataraxia' or indifference. Cool in popular culture originated from the sites of slavery by people who cultivated an attitude to calmness as means to survive in punishing conditions. This study assumed cool as a signifying system and sought to uncover the hidden meaning for which it stands. It found that cool stands for four human facets: composure, paradox, good, and cheeky.

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