Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Next Retail Rush – Mobile Retail

88 lakhs and 81 lakhs is the number of new mobile users we have added in the Dec and Jan. If one were to estimate the time taken for it would take to cover the whole population of US would be three years, which in a way explains why Indian market is so attractive today. The drivers have been call rates which are among the lowest in the country and the fall in prices of handsets.

This post is not about the number of mobile users, but it is on the organized retail which is coming in a big way into Mobile Retail. Across cities which I have been traveling I have seen at least 10-12 new ventures into mobile retail. The established retailers like Big Bazzar and Subhiksha are extending their extending there exiting forays from normal retail into the mobile domain. The more interesting are the new ones like Mobile Hot Spot, C-to-C, and the RPG group’s ventures. The existing older traditional shops are also trying to make an impact and cash-in on the boom, but with their regional presence they would find it difficult to compete...Like Sangeetha in Bangalore

The multi-service outlets by the companies would offer end customers not just mobile handsets but also mobile accessories, new connections, value added services, after sales support and electronic products such as digital cameras, iPods and other gaming devices.

Thus we are seeing the entry of organized retail into another segment wherein earlier we had to either deal with the company showrooms or the unorganized market. Another addition to the increasing diversity of Indian Retail Landscape.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Market Update 21.02.08

A good article in business standard on advergaming, juxapositioning advertising and gaming, Link

The strategist had a main article on the changing business models in Indian film industry, Link

The brand line has the story of $27-billion Sharp and its plans in India, Link

And an interview with Urquhart, President of Omega Watches, Link

Brand Equity covered the issue of Luxury brands, Link
Dial M for Mobile

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Unofficial Best Seller Lists

In any major traffic signal in a metro one can observe how the road side vendors tend to sell the copied/counterfeit version of books. You can be assured that all the best sellers would be carried by these people. Some might feel flattered that they are being copied, but I am sure the authors and publishing house would be a worried lot. They have a very good distribution network in place which endures the regular supply of these books to the vendors, which also applies to the other products which are sold by these vendors . The moment the first rains hit, these people are ready with the waterproof caps and jackets and similarly at the onset of winter they have with them the caps ready.

One wonders what all one we should learn from them , obviously leaving out the counterfeiting part....

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Market Update 12.02.08

The Brand equity had a story on how Super Bowl has managed to retain its position as the ultimate in TV advertising in spite of the emergence many new options and TV losing out as the main source of entertainment. Link

In the initial days success of Walmart was driven by its strategy to target small towns in US. Something similar is what is being done by the second-tier retailers, Link

Business Standard
Strategist had

The cover story on how to serve the "next billion" customers, link

In campaign logic the story of re-branding of Canara Bank , Link

The new emerging category of sugar free chyawanprash, Link

Brand Line on Business line coverered the make-over of the Dabur group, Link

And an article on building power brands in services.

A story of the plans of Haier group in India, link and one on the importance of CRM.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

More Dead Products

On my recent visit to Mumbai I saw one more example of a product considered for long to be dead and buried. It is the ubiquitous Fiat Taxi roaming around the city. They constitute the majority of Taxis in the city. They have been fitted with gas conversion kits and according to the few Taxi Drivers i spoke to they are quite economical, which is obviously the reason why they can still be seen in the city, though they also told me that it is a matter of few years before they disappear from the roads of Mumbai....

Smoking ways for prevention and role of marketing

At on end of the burning cigarette we have consumers who know that smoking is bad for health and still keep smoking , in spite of the ban on ads in TV, and increasing prices the consumption has been going up. On the other end we have large corporate houses with huge marketing budgets willing to go after the consumer to achieve their sales growth figures....

In the last few months we have had a lot of coverage on the efforts being made to reduce the consumption of cigarettes among the youth. The initiatives include,

1. Adopting a visual representation on the covers of Beedis and cigarettes to indicate that they are injurious to health. On this issue I have written earlier, and the initiative has not been implimented, due to various reasons, including the pressure from the Beedi Lobby. The initiative makes sense looking at its utility in beedis where many consumers might be litterate to read a written warning.

2. The banning of smoking on screen. The recent plea made by Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss to Sharukh Khan has gone unheeded. The logic is said to be the fact that many youngsters take up to smoking influenced by watching their movie heroes smoke. Though it very easy to blame the entertainment industry for the ills of smoking and drinking , but is it the solution.

3. The latest is the survey which points to the role of family members in inducing youth into smoking. The survey points to the fact 35 per cent have one or more parent who smoke thus conditioning their mind towards a casual attitude towards smoking.

The survey also brought out that smoking prevalence amongst youths in 2000 was 4.8 per cent which catapulted upto 15.9 per cent in 2006, it points to the urgent need for prevention of smoking , because most of the people who get addicted find it very difficult to kick-off the habit.

People like Seth Godin have criticized Marlboro for glamorizing smoking and making this addictive habit a fashion statement among many younger consumers. Marketing is a very powerful tool which can be used for the good as well as bad, but the question of how can it be used to persuade consumers to stop smoking or rather not to take up to smoking is the note at which i would like to end this blog and hoping to get responses from readers, out of which i would post some of them back in the blog in the next few days....

Comments and Suggestion ..............

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