Friday, February 27, 2015

Defying Conventional Logic : Media before Distribution

I have always believed that among the four Ps of marketing "Placement" is a unique challenge in India, and companies which have been able to crack it are the ones which have managed to succeed......

And the emphasis is also on how well one is able to align distribution with overall marketing strategy. Though seems very logical I will give an interesting question which confronts many marketing managers, Should media come before distribution, which means that should the Ads hit the TV first and then you go ahead and distribute your products. The conventional logic says that the distribution or placement has to happen before the media hits the TV, as you would not want consumers to go to the shop and ask for the product and the retailer says it is not available.

But there are a few companies which defy this logic like Darshan Patel,  of Vini Cosmetics, who made Fogg deodorant available after almost a month of Advertising on the TV. The retailers kept on asking for the product as people were coming and asking from them. The unfulfilled demand meant Fogg could afford to reduce the trade margins.

But can all companies do that , I think for most companies the conventional route is safer, and one should also have the confidence in your product adopt this strategy....



Monday, February 23, 2015

Ecommerce Revolution 3.0

There have been two phases of ecom revolution in India,

The first phase was ecom 1.0 the first time internet and ecommerce was started in the late 90's and early 2000 (at least in India), and they also very exciting days, lots of hype and recruitment happening. I also bought stuff online and experienced the revolution first hand as a consumer. As with many other new industries there was a bust (Dotcom Bust) and very few survived. The focus in those days was to get maximum eye balls, but how would one monetise them was never answered or rather questioned ………

We are in the second phase now, and as with the last time this phase is also very heady, deals and match-making happing between companies and consumers having a ball with deals and free deliveries and it seems that the party would never end. And guess what is the focus now, it is on transactions, al a the "Billion Day Sale” of flipkart or the snapdeals. There is a mad rush to get to the maximum transactions, again as earlier no one seems to be looking at anything beyond transactions. The snapdeal losses should help open our eyes....

I guess there would be ecom 3.0 which would happen where people would focus on profitable transactions, and that is when the industry would stabilise. I hope this would happen without a bust and companies like the Flipkart’s and the snapdeal’s would be the ones who would capitalise on the market which they have built, but then you never know if revolutions can happen without bloodshed.....



Friday, January 23, 2015

Interesting hoarding

Saw this interesting board in the market yesterday.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Bamboo Cluster Village - Assam

Recently had the chance to visit a village which was into production of products out of Bamboo. Each house was specializing in some product. One has to see the skill level to actually appreciate it. A few photos from the visit..

Entrance to the Village

Sofa Sets being made

Bangles being made

Smaller Stools

Finished Smaller Stools

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Uber - throwing the Service Provider Away with the ....

I have been reading a lot of reactions on the banning of Uber in New Delhi after the unfortunate happening. I would agree that there would have been fault at Uber's end in verifying the Driver but does that mean that we will ban the service.

Let us come to the basic issue , why is suddenly that one finds these app based services becoming popular across cities in the country, first is the poor state in which our urban transport infrastructure is in. Second, is that the other formats of public transport like Auto or Cabs are very expensive and one has to rely on the whims and fancies of the drivers to reach your destination,. Anyone who has travelled in a Auto in Chennai or Bangalore will testify for that.

I was reading an article in the TOI in which the author lamented the fact that the incident had snatched away the sense of security which women use to have when one travelled through these app based services.

In terms of the verification process, we all know that how difficult it is to get a genuine verification from a authorities and the other way round too...

I think the solution does not lie is just banning these services but to reflect back on what processes can we have in place where the verification processes are more reliable and of course the overall safety levels improve....


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Forgotten Brands

It must be true for the other markets also, but I find this a little surprising when I see very good brands languishing in neglect in a market where there is a dearth of good brands. I saw one example yesterday in a shop and that triggered this post. The brand which I am talking about is catch, it use to a quite well-known brand a couple of decades back, but now I do not think many people would think of it is a strong brand. 

A more recent example is a brand in apparels - ColorPlus, it again use to a  very strong brand in cotton apparels , but now today I do not see it occupying the mindshare as it use to 10-12 years back.

One of the reasons is that these two brands were bought over by larger player like Raymonds bought Colour Plus, but then rather than leveraging the brands name , it has left to die, maybe some the internal dynamics of the organization would dictate that or the brand gets lost amidst  the numerous brands that the acquirer has.

The list of the forgotten brands is very long, Uncle Chips, Deccan Airways, Kelvinator...

Nokia will also join the list soon, at least in the mobiles....





Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sachets and their role in increasing category penetration

Sachets are perhaps the most important innovation to happen in the Indian market in the recent times. They say that litmus test for a real good innovation is that after it is executed it seems very simple and apparent, that is true for the use of sachets in India. Another reason could be the fact that we are naturally used to buying in smaller quantities be it buying cigarettes in sticks, oil in loose , one just needs to go to the hinter lands to see what can be sold in smaller quantities.

The overall role of small packs in increasing penetration of categories like shampoos in rural India is an old story.

A few days back saw the small packs of Hershey's Syrup. My guess is that this is an adaptation for the Indian market. Will surely promote the trial of the product especially in India where familiarity with the category is low.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Nokia feeling Nostalgic

Yesterday was the last day for the Nokia factory in Chennai and when I saw the article in et and the models shown in it ...

The significance of the factory in terms of the output is not known to many of us

 

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