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Going Brand Agnostic April 3, 2016

Posted by simarp in : Marketing, Marketing Strategies , add a comment

Over last few years I can see my self turning brand agnostic, it is a very gradual process and not a switch-on-switch-off thing with me. I am discovering value and power of purchase over and above value and power of a brand.

If I wish to wear a fine 100% cotton socks does it mean I need to buy a particular brand? No, I just need to know what I need, specify need and find for least price for my exact need. Works. Saves. Makes me feel happy.

There are at least 100 brands I have strong association with and becoming independent of them is a daunting task, most difficult it is to disassociate wit brand Tata. I have always believed that brand Tata stands for value for money mated to good work ethics and business fairness. This is the brand which is most under test. From cars to tea bags, Brand Tata dominates my spending habit. Tata launches Grand as a brand extension for coffee and there I see myself going for it without looking whether I need coffee or not. That is power of the brand, and that is exactly i wish to turn agnostic to.
More to come…

Freedom251 or Fraud251 or BusinessIdea251 February 18, 2016

Posted by simarp in : Marketing , add a comment

Freedom251 or Fraud251 or Scam251 or BusinessIdea251?

Here is how a Rs 251.00 Android phone can actually be sold.

  1. Place an advance order for 10 Million Phones to these specification with one of the better Chinese Contractor Manufacturers.
  2. Order likely to be placed @$ 70 to $ 100 range or $ 700 Million to $1 Billion.
  3. Go to shopping Makemytrip – Tell them,  will pre-load your app in 10 million phones for $10 Million.
  4. Go to Flipkart and tell them, will pre-load your app in 10 million phones for $100 million.
  5. Tie-up another 30 apps, Swiggy, Pepperfry, Urban Ladder, Uber and so on…. Tie-up $1 Billion
  6. Preload with an Airtel number, which just needs activation and has hundred free minutes. Pick-up another $ 200 Million.
  7. Do it all honestly and earnestly.

You are home. Theoretically there is a business idea out there at that kind of volume.

Loud thinking. May have many flaws, but yes, it is possible by backward and forward integration. Volume is the key.

 

 

Patanjali and Us January 12, 2016

Posted by simarp in : Food, Marketing , add a comment

My this post is a kind of comment/response to an article by Ravi Ananthanarayanan – Patanjali mountain or molehill? Article was published today in Mint.

Baba Ram Dev’s brand is definitely entering households, it is a slow and steady multi product entry. For my family it has entered our kitchen and replaced one FMCG brand – Dabur and two “any brands” would do to Patanjali is better. We have moved from Dabur Honey to Patanjali Ayurved and we have moved from “brand doesn’t matter” Amla Juice and Aloe Vera Juice to Patanjali Ayurved brand Amla Juice and Patanjali Ayurved brand Aloe Vera Juice. That is about Rs 1,500 per month of FMCG spend from a total of Rs 15,000.00 – Rs 20,000.00 spend. 10% share in our household which has no pro Ramdev sentiment is great for Patanjali Ayurved. All the three products are recommendations by my wife’s dietitian and endorsed by me. So, it is a word of mouth for us.  We definitely use over 300 products in our home in four FMCG lines which Patanjali Ayurved operates in, mostly brands and almost all bought at least 3 times a year. So out of 300, Patanjali Ayurved has a 1% share. Patanjali Ayurved’s two of four categories have us as buyers, Juices and Food. We don’t buy any cosmetics or any Ayurveda medicinal products from them.

One FMCG major has lost about Rs 12,000.00 p.a. account, that is Dabur for Honey, which has been built over 3 decades or more. That business has moved lock stock and barrel to Patanjali Ayurved. For juices, we don’t even know who the loser is, we bought what was available at a local grosser or a chemist or a modern retail outlet.

Here are some questions I landed putting to myself. Having done that I flipped my laptop around and sat on the opposite chair to answer them inline.

  1. Are we inclined to move to Patanjali from MDH if they come to Masalas? No, we are happy with MDH quality and price for this range doesn’t matter.
  2. Are we likely to move over  tea & coffee purchases to Patanjali as and when their products are freely available? No, it has taken us ages to get our combinations and tastes right. We know when we need Bru and when we need Nescafe and when we need premium brand because of a particular roast. Same with tea, Aap Ki Pasand handles our Super Premium Tea needs since two decades or more and Tata and HUL largely take care of our daily tea requirements.
  3. Would we move our Atta away from ITC’s Ashirwad Sharbati? Very very unlikely. That is what we need.
  4. Would we move our laundry detergents and current soap brands, largely HUL to Patanjali? Even ITC couldn’t succeed here, Patanjali has almost no chance.
  5.  Our lentils? Tata Shudh has just started making an entry, local brands are getting replaced, looks unlikely that we will move.
  6. Chips from Lays? Cold Drinks from Coke & Pepsi? Regular juices from Tropicana & Real? Cookies from Britannia & Parle G? Almost impossible.
  7. Ice Cream from Amul, Mother Dairy, Kwality Walls, Naturals and Gianis? Are you joking. too tough, 5 brands dominate our house because of particular flavors. At best if Patanjali comes with some Amla-Mango ice cream and it tastes nice, it can become a 6th brand, that’s the best chance.
  8. Amul & Mother Dairy Milk? Amul, Mother Dairy and Britannia Cheese? Mother Dairy and Gopalji Paneer? Mother Dairy and Nestle Curd/ Yogurt?  Mother Dairy & Amul Lassi/ chhach? No way.
  9. Chef’s Basket Pasta? Maggi Noodles? Knorr & Keya soups? Probably after next seven generations ;)
  10. Nonveg? Are you kidding? Patanjali won’t enter that section ever.
  11. Cadbury’s Chocolates? Bournvita? Horlicks? Too toucgh for Patanjali.

I think they will replace in our household things like Hamdard’s Roohafza, Dabur Chawanprash, Organic India’s Tulsi, Dabur’s Pudinhara, Hamdard’s Sualin, Dabur’s Hajmola. Broadly the Ayurveda connected FMCG, other that odds are firmly against them. Patanjali Ayurved as brand has been developed around Ayurveda and for it to be a universal FMCG brand would be a challenge.

 

 

Advertising in Web 2.0 September 18, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Advertising, Live Blogging, Marketing, Marketing Strategies, Online Advertsing, Web 2.0, Web 2.0 Expo, websites , add a comment

David Kidder is talking about Challenges on Advertising 2.0

  1. Automating of advertsing has to be multistage
  2. Analytic Vs. Creative Challenge
  3. Cost Optimization challenge has moved over to simplicity challenge and time optimization holds the key
  4. Decision making speed is rewarding
  5. Semantics hold the key to success
  6. Execution enabled but strategy focused approach is working
  7. Unified accounting measurements is mission critical

Panel Discussion Max Kalehoff, Jim Barnett, Mike Kelly and Tim Hanlon

  1. Forecasting accurately in digital world is a challenge
  2. Last 10 years have made things complex in advertising space, talking about simplicity is it real….
  3. Fundamentally machines just cant solve problems’, it is the quality of human resource which would continue making the difference, complex marketing needs would require complex marketing solutions and complex advertising solutions… so there is no easy way out Brands is a billion dollar issue and is bound to be complex, machines or no machines
  4. Objective of automation is and should be measurement of every single impression, strategic success rests with computing down to each and every impression released in the digital space.
  5. User experience needs to be measured to add value to any campaign
  6. Automation of cource leads to transparency, what is working and what is not, you can’t bull any longer. Transparency is what is creating to complexity and data overload
  7. Inventory is increasing every minute and new options are emerging simultaneously, which is adding to the complexity, at no point you have clue to the whole offering market has to offer
  8. Performance of fresh inventory available is very unpredictable, transparency is fine but what to do about the performance.
  9. Business models need simplicity too, complex advertising options for media buyers can create its own challenge
  10. Driving leads versus driving revenue, driving global traffic versus driving local traffic and linking them together is also a challenge
  11. Marketers dream is to make automation give a great flexibility, to ease moving around geographies and medias, and mediums
  12. Creativity can’t be automated, but at the same time the audience complexity and commonality pushes creative team to try it harder
  13. Advertisers have a choice and they know it, advertising agencies have a challenge in delivering to their expectations
  14. Interactivity and measurement would also strongly influence success
  15. Personal relationships have always driven advertising industry and automation doesn’t change that.
  16. Relationships are not replaceable but restructuring of relationships is bound to happen, better persons and better processes can be the differentiators
  17. Non premium inventory is growing and piling up, that is something which doesn’t require personal relationships that can be handled by automation very well
  18. Most of the automation are aimed at publishers making more money out of what they think is required, which maynot mean much to advertiser and marketer and the advertising company.
  19. There is a big talent gap which has emerged due to the digital challenge, new products in the market need new marketing approach
  20. Feature obsession may not be helpful, being choosy in mastering features for your own use is important
  21. Lot of inventory which has no buyers goes in for house ads, ad networks are not yet working to expectations, it may take some more time for action to happen.

The session concluded with couple of unexciting questions…

Reinvention of Marketing the Web 2.0 Way September 17, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Blogging, Business, Education, Internet, Marketing, Marketing Strategies, Web 2.0, Web 2.0 Expo, websites , add a comment

Brian Solis on Web 2.0 and its role in PR and Marketing, my 2 cents are all over (Brian may or may not agree)

  1. Customers are moving online, PR and Marketing needs to move beyond 1.0 which it looks like it is stuck in’
  2. Are you an influencer, or do you know influencers, bloggers are influencers and they are at it
  3. Perception is important and social web has a role in how you are looked at
  4. Defining and measuring influence can help in decision making
  5. Are you everywhere… Traditional media, Events online and offline, New Influencers, Social Networks, Blogs and Comments, Forums, Content Creation & Curation
  6. Composite strategy can work for you, all encompassing approach to PR and Marketing would help
  7. Engagement is important in PR now, not just a look or a hit.
  8. You need to be hybrid PR professional in today’s world
  9. A PR professional needs to be all it takes he has to be octopus
  10. PR today all about Public
  11. A PR professional needs to be participative a good Press Release may not lead to anything
  12. Common Sense rules the day
  13. Rules of PR are influenced by rules of Blogging, which has no rules
  14. Relationship of trust with a lot of guys
  15. Be incremental in approach, keep sharing and communicating as you go on, let the story build up fast enough
  16. WOMM (Word of Mouth Marketing) is what every thing leads to.
  17. PR today has to be organization wide
  18. Are you everywhere, exclude none
  19. Do you know where-ever you are, you just have to be everywhere.  Look at all of the key networks and measure your performance on all active networks
  20. Become a resource for people
  21. Participation is the key and not initiation
  22. Web Analytics holds the key to how you are doing
  23. Creating special landing pages for your various activities can help
  24. Quantification and tying the activity to sales helps
  25. WEB 2.0 is not frozen, there is a lot more to come so keep learning
  26. You are the brand you project
  27. Some resources – Future-works,  SocialMediaClub, sncr.org, nowisgone 

SES 2008 San Jose August 18, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Bay Area, Blogging, Internet, Marketing, Search Engines , 1 comment so far

For all my posts on SES 2008: http://simarprit.wordpress.com/category/ses-2008/ 

Long Tail of Search & Semantic Search

It is my first time at Search Engine Strategies 2008 – San Jose, California (SES 2008, San Jose), two sessions down and currently attending the panel discussion here are my early thoughts on what’s going on:

Random Gyan:

Long Tail of Search

  1. Long tail can count to about 30% of the organic search
  2. Use blogs to harvest long tail traffic
  3. Use local long tail terms in local listings
  4. Use attributes in Google Maps
  5. Look for the “very Long Tail” and not just the long tail
  6. Weigh your advertising options
  7. Smaller Niche sites maybe a cheaper option, and may give great results at fraction of cost
  8. Links with navigation can help
  9. SEO’s have a role in online search market
  10. Mind your Traffic vs. Bounce rate
  11. Three phrases per page maybe the most optimum and effective targeting
  12. Live out of logs, they hold he key
  13. Shoot upto 20 “me too”: terms per key phrase
  14. Make sure your pages get indexed, search engines are busy, they may miss you.
  15. Divide your site into Key Phrase Zones
  16. SEO is no longer dead, it is making a comeback, and a big comeback
  17. PPC is becoming expensive
  18. Understand your Page Yield
  19. Account for your bottom 100 pages, analyzing them may help
  20. Attack your freeloaders
  21. Plan your SEO Dashboard, ensure it has everything you need, right under your mouse
  22. Measurement is critical, Measure visitors per page
  23. Know the lifetime value of your customers
  24. Search friendly URLs are important, but there is also life beyond them.
  25. Use “No Follow” effectively to increase your page rank
  26. Slicing and Dicing the content is critical
  27. Ideal length of the URL is a very subjective thought
  28. Anchors within the documents help
  29. Rate your keywords and assess your value
  30. Optimize Pagination
  31. Re-look at your internal linking structure
  32. Surrogate sites can help
  33. Getting high value back-links remains critical

Semantic Search:

  1. Let us talk to search engine and forget abstract codes and mono syllables
  2. Semantic Search engines attempt to understand underlying structured data
  3. Semantic search engines tend to eliminate ambiguous queries
  4. Search monkey project by Yahoo is an attempt to open up Yahoo Search platform for further development, based on semantic qualities and natural language expressions.
  5. Boorah claims that semantic search is happening. A quick 20 word analysis revealed little and exposed lots of limitations to the project.
  6. Google is implementing high degree of behind the scene semantics
  7. Hakia is a full blown version of Semantic Search (Beta), some of the attempts looked to be right, results are coincidentally close to Yahoo
  8. Powerset claims to have extreme semantic capabilities, which were not visible when I gave a set of questions to the website
  9. Ask.com claims to be amongst the best semantic search engines around with best results in Natural Language Query processing
  10. Generalization Vs. Specialization, Parallelization, Question Type, Categorization, Compressions, Content Characterization, ontology science applications are amongst some of the terms introduced.
  11. Inside the page semantic results could be another deliverable.
  12. Semantic Search has a lot to do with Aggregation of facts
  13. Improving relevance would remain a challenge
  14. Linguistic capabilities aided in ample measure with AI can deliver a great product over couple of years.

M&M’s World – A Review of the Flagship Store June 8, 2008

Posted by simarprit in : Marketing, Review, Uncategorized , 2comments

At 11:30 PM walking on 7th Avenue my daughter Avval playfully asked me to take her to M&M, M&M to me was only those colored Dime size or smaller chocolates, what were clothes doing out there, a peep inside and we decided to make it one of our must see destinations for tomorrow.

There is a lot said about brand extensions, but this flavor of brand extension I had never seen and had no clue. When we landed up at M&M’s World - Flagship Store at 1600 Broadway New York, NY 10019 there, three of us had three distinct objectives, Avval to spend her pocket money, Mini to buy gifts, and self to understand the business logic behind all this. To me M&M had always been a Fun Chocolate Brand, essentially aimed at kids; it had effective last minute purchase strategyacrossthe world airports; it had a smiley with legs and boots as its brand ambassador; it was a company which had pursued its China manufacturing strategy aggressively to develop a range of packaging for its chocolates.

One visit to the M&M’s World store and I have started looking at the whole concept of chocolate retailing differently.

Some Observations:

  1. In New York; In Manhattan; On Broadway
  2. Three side open
  3. Three levels
  4. Decent size mouth but huge belly. The ground floor is the smallest, IInd Floor is the biggest, third floor is also decent in size.
  5. Washrooms are on third floor.
  6. Chocolate walls on IInd floor.
  7. Impulse buying; Impulse buying and Impulse buying.
  8. “We know how to loosen your purse strings.” Money upfront approach to business.
  9. It is a destination.
  10. No samples.
  11. No one checks you if you taste from the wall.
  12. We are a destination, 10 – 12 strategic placed photo opportunities.
  13. If Disney has, we have.
  14. Of course they know Hershey’s is next door, and they need to hold to parents.
  15. Deal corners for parents to “balance out”.
  16. No M&M employee should be without a product ever, displaying utility.
  17. Buy and close approach to selling, strategically located check outs.
  18. Ground floor has some of all.
  19. A child is encouraged to have “everything M” footwear, clothes, linen, cutlery, crockery.
  20. The huge Neon Poster wall outside ensures that everyone watches the commercial fully at least once.