Friday, May 30, 2008

New Ice Cream Flavour and Biscuits

I was watching the TV during the IPL and saw two products which have been recently launched and are linked to TV shows and tournaments,

there might be more like this ....

1. Panchvi Pass Flavour at Baskin Robbins ---- Based on the new quiz show hosted by SRK, in Star

2. Parle 20-20 butter and Cashew Cookies --- linked to the obsession we all have had for the last couple of months with 20-20 cricket..

On the face of it , the strategy looks good. Capitalize on the hype that a TV show or a new cricket format is creating, but then what happens when the hype goes down. Would the companies continue to promote these new flavors or variants or is it enough to be there when the show is on , as the 26 episodes planned for Panchvi Pass.....

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bodu Odour and Marketing

I just read this news item in ET on the smelliness of Asians. Link

To quote from the article, According to Russel Taylor Unilever’s global V-P for Axe deodorants, “No one had yet found a way of making Asians self-conscious about body odour.” , he adds that the region offers a billion-pound opportunity (for Unilever’s deodorants) — ”the last empty space on the map.”

According to Unilever consumption of deodorants in India is ‘virtually nil’ and that only 7% of Asians use deodorants. And the solution identified by the company to tap the market is use a ad campaign to induce shame about sweat stains and body odour across the region............

The article also says that the comments have not gone down well with the Hindustan Unilever (HUL) top brass. I am sure many others would share the feelings,

Questions on role and power of marketing in promotion of products which are not needed comes up in one's mind??

Monday, May 26, 2008

Consumer based Brand Equity

When one reads about the cases and histories of major brands in the developed one realizes the time and effort which goes into building a Brand, and the kind of valuations which the brands get in many of the cases the brands of the companies are valued many times more than the total physical assets of the company.....

But one needs to realize or question where does this equity reside, within the company? in the marketing department? or within an individual in the organization ( Maybe a Steve jobs........). The truth is that though the some of the source of equity would lie in all mentioned above , the marketing department of the company, the dynamic brand manager and so on........... but brand equity mostly lies in the minds of the consumers who use the brand. Though it might sound very obvious but marketing implications need to be carefully assessed.

In Indian context one finds many of iconic and old brands entering India and not making much of an dent with consumers, the other day I wanted to buy a lemon drink, asked the guy for Sprite, he gave me 7up, I drank it reading the new POP of Mountain Dew hanging in the shop.

Most of us would actually have a preference for Limca (for or against), but we are insensitive to the other lemon drinks. Which emphasizes the point which I had made earlier on the consumer held equity, because Limca has been there in India for longer than most of the other brands and we have been exposed to its communication campaign from the pre-lib days, we perceive it to be different. But it is not same with Mountain Dew, about which I have written earlier also...

And that is why one can see the older brands going in for a change in the logo and design of the brands, Ex- Godrej.....with the hope that they would be able capture consumer equity with the newer generation of consumer, who don't connect with the Brand as their parents did.....

A related article which came in Business World talks about how old brands are being revitalized, Link

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Indian Retail Reactive Vs Proactive Expansion

It was two years back when I had written how Subshiska, Foodworld and the local supermarket were jostling for space in an area in bangalore, with all these retailers were in less than 500 m distance from each other. Today when I was back in the same place I saw that another 2-3 new retailers have joined the fight. 'More' of Aditya Birla Group and Niligiris have opened there stores , so with not much increase in the foot fall....

And the same time two years back I went to a new area around 10-15 kms from this organized retail dominated area where there were only a few typical Mom-n-Pop stores serving the consumers who had shifted to that area. And after two years today the area is full of many small shops, be it grocery, clothes or anything which one would need, and all to emphasize all the shops are the small mom-n-pop stores.

This contrast - at one end all the organized retailers are converging to the same area in the city, maybe driven by the same analysis and facts that organized retailer have and the smaller mom-n-pop store entrepreneurs keeping their eyes and ear open to opportunity in a new emerging area ( observation many of the mon-n-pop stores which have opened in the new area are those shop keepers who have shops in other area of the city)....

Friday, May 23, 2008

Change of season....

I have been traveling quite a bit in the last couple of months and thus the frequency of posting has gone down, which hopefully I will pick-up in the next week when I am back full time to my office. But traveling across the country highlights the various challenges and learnings which the Indian market has to offer to a marketer.

I was observing how the change of seasons mark the change in the products being sold and the marketing campaigns which would hit the television channels. All the summer we had the cola major talking about youth and jassan, the mango drinks bringing in some spice by moving away from the typical campaigns to Maaza 'Bina Ghutali wala Amma' Ad

The Frooti ad was one which i liked more

The link for the ad , AD

And we had the consumer durable companies capitalizing on he summer by campaigns for their ACs....

Now with the expected arrival of monsoons in the south the shops which were selling hats have shifted to selling rain coats and umbrellas....this transition in merchandise and change in the TV ads is worth noticing....

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A good video

Found this good video on, which i regularly follow, and thought would be of sense to my readers too


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Met life Insurance and Sony Handycam ad Campaign

The example of how the communication has been adapted for India,

If one were to remember the initial ads of Metlife on the hoardings and all, when the company entered first time in the country i.e, is the late 90's they used cartoons from peanut to promote insurance in the country. The ads made very little sense to consumers as they were ads which were used to promote their insurance products in US/UK. But if one were to see the ads being used today one can see the difference..

Similarly the ads for SonyHandy cam in India vs other countries,

the Indian Ad speaks more about the ease of usage of the product versus the technology angle in the other international ads on youtube.....

Flat World Vs localization

The debate of localization vs standardization is a long standing one, with authors like Ted Levitt being the initial propounder of the idea of "one product one world" theory, which was fueled by "The World is Flat" by Thomas Friedman. At the localization end we have people like Pankaj Ghemawat with his new book Redefining Global Strategy who disagree with the world is flat theory. One can read more against the world is flat and the semi-globalised theory of Ghemawat , in his interviews with strategy-business and Knowledge@hbs, the first article is the more latest one and will provide more insights.

The idea of localization seems to one which which would lead to more successes in merging markets like India. Later on I will add insights on how two companies have adapted their communication campaigns over the years to suit the local conditions in which they are operating. Of course the adaptation would not be limited to communications, it would permeate through the various functions of the organization, but we can limit our focus to the communications part...

Monday, May 5, 2008

Market Update 06.05.08

Catalyst has a story on how the consumer durable companies are mulling over hiking prices for ACs this summer, link

Second story is on the 20-20 format and how it reflects the current mood and mental make-up of the society today, link

Last edition of catalyst had a detailed coverage on one of the largest FMCG companies in the east, Emani, and its plans to expand further through acquisition route.. article

This week's strategist

An interview with Mr B S Nagesh MD of Shopper stop, where he share the his insights on the retail industry in general and about shopper stop, link

And how Malvinder Mohan Singh has systematically purged risk out of Ranbaxy's model, link

Brand Equity also had it's share good stories on what's happening in the Indian Marketplace

The main story was the clash between the larger format stores and the mom-and-pop stores in consumer durables retail in the country, link

An interview with rodney fitch, founder of the eponymous UK-based Fitch, on the growing importance of design in branding..... link

And a article on how advertisers are creating tailor-made content , link

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