Thursday, April 19, 2007

Kurkure Train

The latest initiative of Indian branding trains has hit the headlines recently. Kukrure, a pepsi brand of snacks has won the bid to co-name three summer trains. Now these trains would be referred as kurkure express. It is a three-month contract to brand three summer special trains plying on the Bangalore-Nagarcoil, Bangalore-Chennai and Bangalore-Hubli routes. The trains have been named Kurkure Express.Other companies which had bid for the initiative were Tata Indicom and Airtel.

The initiative will ensure that certain areas of the train would be branded, tickets and the reservation charts will have the brand name printed on them for these three months. The destination name plates, the panels above and below the windows, the beginning and end of the trains, and even internal facilities such as the bed rolls and coach numbers will bear the Kurkure brand name.

The question which comes to my mind is that how would such an initiative of three months duration help in building the brand kurkure? The sources from the companies end say that kurkure is associated with family enjoyment and getting the brand associated with train journeys during the summer holidays would help strengthen the brand association with consumers. At Rs 7.5 lakhs cost the effort looks worth-while, as it would create enough word-of-mouth to justify the investment. But brand building being a long-term initiative how would the company ensure that it is able to associate itself with similar initiatives elsewhere.

Monday, April 16, 2007

More on Brands which are Similar

More thoughts on what happens when a customer confronts a purchase decision that involves making a choice between brands which are perceived to be similar. I think if it is a high purchase decision like a consumer durable, and the consumer has some time at his disposal, he will wait till he has a chance to interact with the brand outside the buying context. Say in an exhibition or some other place and this contact with the brand helps him in deciding for or against the brand.

In the same context because the brands seem comparable the consumer falls back on non-rational means of decision-making, like may be look into things like country-of-origin of the brands and other issues which he would not normally look into, if he the brands are clearly differentiated in his mind.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Titan into Prescription Glasses - Unorganized becoming organized

The other day I was talking to one of my friends who owns a traditional pop-and-mom clothes show room. He was sharing with me his worries about how the emerging retail business would eventually wipe out the small retailers, and was counting out the areas in which maybe the traditional small retailers might survive. But I think in the long run that list of areas where the small retailer would survive because the bigger retailer is not interested would keep becoming smaller with the urge for growth pushing the organized retail into the unorganized market.

As can be seen from the recent entry of
Titan Industries, into the largely unorganized prescription eye wear business.The company plans to open first ten `Titan Eye+' (Eye Plus) standalone retail stores in Bangalore, Chennai and Nagpur with first to be opened here. Titan plans to open 150 such stores within five years, including franchised outlets.

This is a growing trend in companies entering into her tho unorganized markets so that they are able to extract more value out of the business. Titan ha also made an entry into the small town jewelery market.

To survive the smaller retailer will have to innovate and identify niches where he can survive profitably.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Pricing of Low Fat Milk

I have been thinking how should one price a product like low fat milk.To start with one needs to know who would be consuming it? Probably consumers who are health and weight conscious. Basically a very small but growing segment of the effluent class of the Indian consumer. The consumer would be willing to pay a premium for the product, right?

But how does pricing of milk work at the dairy level, high fat milk is priced higher as the dairy is not able to extract by-products out of it so the price is higher. As the fat percentage gets lower the prices reduce. So the 99.9% fat free Amul should be priced low, because the dairy has extracted value out of the milk.

From a marketer's point-of-view if once should price a product keeping the target consumer in mind and not the production considerations...... though the slim milk is priced at 2 rupees higer than their "taaza" but is the pricing right?

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