Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Customer Value....Not just Creating but Emphasising it's Delivery

We have all heard about the importance of creating and delivering customer value, but equally important but often ignored is the importance of communicating the value being delivered.

Often when the marketer is not able to communicate effectively and emphasise the value he is delivering the customer ignores the extra value which is being delivered to him. When the emphasis is there it would lead more satisfaction and loyalty. Example-the other day at a retail store after the purchasing was done the retailer while writing the bill wrote both the mrp of the product and then in front of he wrote the discount and calculated the total bill. This way he is able to emphasize the discounts that he is giving to the customer, which one would have easy not noticed had he not written them separately.

Though this is not some thing new, we keep seeing the original price being striked-off and then the lower price being written, and discounters like Big Bazaar at the end of the bills have an additional heading total savings during this visit.....
Even more interesting was the experience shared by Consultant Harish Bijoor. He said they were given a task of designing fog free glasses by a top hotel chain, and after some trail and error they came up with a cost effective solution of putting bulbs behind the mirrors of the bathroom to prevent them from fogging. But surprisingly very few of the customer's perceived the value being given and the effort was not acknowledged, and the issue was back to the consultant's drawing board. Then they came up with the alternative of keeping the bulbs only behind that area of the mirror where the face would get reflected. End result was that there was lot of positive customer feedback appreciating the non-fogging mirrors, because now the mirrors fogged in places other than where face would get reflected.
This again reinforces the point that not just creation and delivery of value by communicating or rather emphasising the value...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Men Care Products ...Placement Issues

'Men Care' as a category has seen a lot of activity in the last few years and it would not be wrong to say that the category was born with the introduction of Fair and handsome by Emani, till then some companies had a few products here and there for men, but now one can see many other cosmetic companies coming up with exclusive products for men.

Nivea fairness cream for men, Garnier Hair colour for men is an addition to the list.
The introduction of these products is driven by the insight that men have anyway been using the fairness creams, with HUL estimating that 20% of consumers for fair and lovely are men and Cavin Kare estimates this figure to be 27% for their brand Fairever...

But looking at the overall marketing approach for these products , one also needs to think about the placement aspect for these products, one obvious place would be the men's shaving products and accessories section. But they also have been given prominent placement in cosmetic shops, the traditional stronghold for cosmetic companies, but another reason why these products are stocked and displayed prominently in cosmetic stores could be that they are being bought by wives for their husbands......

Friday, September 26, 2008

Counterfeits from FMCG.... to Mobiles

Cheap imitations of popular FMCG brands in rural India is a problem which is quite well recognised, but the urabn markets are also not much better of. Many companies have countered this problem through innovative packaging to make imitation more difficult. The estimated market for such products is in excess of Rs 25 Billion.

But the news that fake handsets are posing a threat to mobile players is what took me by surprise. The number of fake handsets sold is put at a million. Translating to a loss of close to a billion dollars to the mobile companies. Link

We have always had a grey market where you could go and pick up a smuggled Walkman or a mobile, in the pre-lib days but then fake mobile being sold in such a huge numbers...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Interbrand Ranking of Brands 2008

The yearly interbrand brand ranking is some thing which many marketers look forward to. I had covered the ranking last year too, link to my post on 2007 ranking , link
and a related post on ranking of brands in India , link.

The 2008 ranking is out, and as usual the list has its share of surprises....

But no suprises for the top slot coke, which has been there for the last eight year, the Olympic sponsorship is supposed to have helped...

The surprise came at number 2 and 3, IBM overtaking Microsoft ... and the entry of Google into the top 10 for the first time.........
I have put up the top 10 list and the list of biggest gainers and losers in this year's ranking for quick reference and people wanting more can follow the links given below

business week has a full section on the story, link

and of course on the interbrand site one can find a lot of stuff from the methodology to the previous year rankings, Link

Google Mobile Vs iPhone

A month back we had the official launch of iphone in India, now we have google which has come with a new mobile against iPhone. A lot of buzz in the market so thought will highlight the lauch...

The official sit has a lot of details about the product, http://www.google-phone.com/

Hopefully whenever it come to India the reception would be better than one which iPhone got....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Low Priced Product - Impact on a Company

The introduction of a low-priced product into the product portfolio of a company can have many implications. Many a times it can change a company in many fundametal ways. As a premium high priced product's a company can afford to ignore many retailer while distributing and communicate to a select group of customers, but when such a company is forced to introduce a low priced masss product, then....

One company which has gone through this sort of a fundametal shift is Britannia Industries. A premium biscuit and cookie seller till the launch of Tiger biscuits. Tiger was launched in 1997 and marked a shift in the overall distribution and marketing focus of the company because tiger was pitched against Parle-G Glucose biscuits , the Rs 40 per kg mass biscuits.

In the pre-tiger era there use to a gap between supply demand for britannia biscuits, and the company had a laid-back approach towards distribution and in tier-II cities in the coutry a situation of non-avalibility of Britannia biscuits was not a very uncommon . The launch of tiger changed all this, the company was forced to think, act and distribute like a mass marketer and they ended up developing specific models for distributing Tiger in rural markets across the coutry....

And the introduction of the Rs1 Sachets of Tiger meant that the company had to even place the product in Tea shops and other smaller shops where it would be cosumed with tea....

Today Tiger brand is a Rs 650 Crore plus brand in the market and the comapny itself has trasformed itself from distribution power house.....

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Market Update 17.09.08

A delayed update on what all has come in the print media on happenings in the Indian market,,

Starting with Brand Equity,

This weeks lead story was on the space behind the check out counter of a retailer, which has been empasised by many others, link
And then on the end of Deccan Brand, link

And Idea generation in Indian Ad industry, examples of where many ideas of famous campaigns had come, link

Coke's tie-up with the next bond movie, link

Strategist had a good story on how Max life Insurance is moving beyond the typical campaign of security and life to the concpet of desiring more, a refreshing change, but other insurance comepanies have already been doing that, link

Brand Line of Business Line,

"Rubber Brand" story on brand extensions, link

Harish Bijoor's Column, Link

Other Stories,
Retailer's pulling out of malls, link
Luxury branding , link1, link2
ESPN's $975m deal fro T20, Link
Car Sales for August, link
Indigo Most Preffered LCC, Link
Loyalty does not always mean profitability, link
Nokia and N96 Launch, link
Lenovo and India, Link
FMCG Companies using IT, link

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Marketing Condom....

Most of us think of marketing in the context of soaps , toothpaste ...and so on, but the concept has much wider applications, when this idea was first mooted by Kotler and Levy in the late 60's it met with a lot of resistance, but then over the years the idea has been very well accepted,......

A recent exmaple of how various elements of marketing have been put to use to promote the usage of condom has attracted a lot of attention. The mass media campaign of BBC World Service Trust in its last phase has introduced a mobile ring tone, " condom a cappella" which has become a instant hit not only in India but world wide. The ad associated with the campaign

A visit to the website http://www.condomcondom.org/ gives a good overview of the overall campaign. This I think is a very good example of the varied application of marketing ....

More of the story, Link

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