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July 22, 2018

Jyothi Bhavani - Gunfoundry - Bottom of the Pyramid - Sindhi Colony - Wheel of retailing - Common sense is not common!

Was at Jyothi Bhavani yesterday. It is a small Bandi at Gunfoundry, Abids, Hyderabad. On Friday I was explaining the concept of bottom of the pyramid and what a lovely example on Saturday. That is why I love marketing. It is easily demonstrable by illustrations.
This astonishing Bandi was serving mouth watering Vada Pav for just 10/- rupees. Me and Y. Srinivas Rao had two each and by the time we finished ours there was a sale of nearly 10 more! Mostly people, rushing on their jobs and school children.
Bhavani has cleverly identified its segment, customers including children whose impulse purchase cost is Rs 10/-. And there is a similar places close by where hot and piping veg biryani is sold at Rs 20/-.
Sindhi colony bandis were famous for Vada Pav. They were dishing out Vada Pao at Rs 10/-. Now they have priced themselves at Rs 25/-! Proving the wheel of retailing concept true, customers will come but slowly start looking for alternatives which might include MacDonald whose burgers start at Rs 39/-.
A small eatery cum take away centre near my house is manned by a surly owner who frowns on her customers like a teacher frowns on her errant school children.
But customers being customers, mostly software professionals take the flak as they are not adept at preparing evening snacks or are plump lazy!
Our 'lady of the evening snacks' bulldozes every one with her suspicious looks and most buckle under her wrath.
Just the other I visited her shop along with Madhusudan Kota who wanted to buy bellam jilebi. Our lady was at her surly best.
A meek guy in front of us asked for punugulu (a sort of snacks) and said that he wanted them for Rs 10/-). The lady said "At our shop a plate of punugulu are Rs 30/- and half plate is Rs 15/-". Rubbing salt in the wound, she added with a snigger "what will you get for Rs10/-".
The guy was stunned and his eyes started to water. The lady threw in 5 or 6 punugulu and handed it out to him as if she was she was doing him a favour.
The guy was humiliated. The place serves unlimited chutneys that the customers can serve themselves which is the only USP of the tiffin centre along with the proximity.
But the customer was a gentleman. He served himself with a very limited amount of chutney and rushed out of the place. Gone for ever. Lady, you have lost yourself three customers for a life time. YOU JUST HAVE PROVED "COMMON SENSE IS NOT COMMON"! WELL DONE LADY, WAY TO GO!

June 21, 2018

Boring FIFA World Cup Matches - Food for thought - Is the world's most beautiful game doing enough to attract viewers interest!

And you thought that world was a fair place - People shouting from the tops of roofs wishing so should understand that fairplay and meritocracy are things are used conveniently and as and when needed. Sample this. The world's most popular game Football's world cup is on and there are RESERVATIONS IN PLACE even for countries playing in the world cup. 

For the not so sports inclined readers there are a total of 32 teams playing in the FIFA world cup and they are divided into eight groups of four teams each. The four teams play a round robin league where they play each of the other teams once. 

The top two teams from each group progress to the group of sixteen or the pre-quarter finals .And from that stage every match is a knock out with the winning team  progressing and the losing team getting eliminated. 

Simple Meritocracy rules say that the best 32 teams should play the world cup. But sadly that is not possible as FIFA is a political body and has to pander to its VOTE BANK.

9th        placed   -           Chile,
17th                   -           Netherlands,
18th                   -           Wales,
19th                   -           Italy
25th                   -           USA
26th                             Austria
28th                   -           Slovakia
29th                   -           Northern Ireland
30th                   -           Romania
31st                    -           Republic of Ireland
32nd     placed   -           Paraguay not playing .

What is galling is champion teams like Chile and Italy not playing.

And playing are

Serbia                -           34th
Australia           -            36th
Iran                    -           37th,
Morocco            -           41st
Egypt                 -           45th
Nigeria               -           48th
South Korea      -            57th
Japan                 -            61st,
Saudi Arabia      -           67th Place

Coming at the tail is Russia at a fantastic rank of 70! And they are hosts and they need to be accommodated.

The paradox is all the teams from Serbia to Russia are simply to fill in numbers and get eliminated in the group stage itself. But because of the quota policy we get to see "blink you see, blink you miss the action' football matches which are very boring. Food for thought FIFA!

June 12, 2018

Marketing lesson for the day Advertisement we have been waiting for - Pretty 24

This I feel is the advertisement that we all have been waiting for. Pretty 24 hits all whitening creams right in the solar plexus! Coming of age of Indian advertising and hitting where it hurts the most. It is time we Indians don't feel inferior about our colour, rather we should celebrate our colour for which most westerners pay a fortune to get and call it tanning! We Indians are naturally tanned.

May 29, 2018

Marketing lesson for the day: Common sense is not common – Kohinoor’s - Meeta Pan, Kala Khatta, Juicy Strawberry and Silky Chocolate

My often repeated idiom -  Common senses is not very common. Kohinoor has introduced a new set of Condoms and to build up excitement and awareness of its new offerings, it gave them very saucy names, Meeta Pan, Kala Khatta, Juicy Strawberry and Silky Chocolate.

On the face of it, my readers might ask me, what’s the big deal? It is the worst deal. Kohinoor has every right to name the product as it likes and it is up to the Customers to like the products or not. But the product display in a medical shop raises the hackles!

As usual it was Madhusudan Kota who brought it to my notice. Let us remember it is not at a place that is secluded and away from the prying eyes of small children. But the display is right at the POS and very much in the face.

The product names appear innocuous but are very close to Meeta pan a toffee, Kala Khatta is a brand of ice-cream and worst of all Strawberry and silky chocolates look like brands of chocolates. Product categories that belong to the children and names that they are familiar with.  

What happens if the children demand these products from the parents? Imagine the embarrassment a mother would face if her small son or daughter ask for them seeing the product display! How does she explain the products to her inquisitive children?
Customers should not be put through such embarrassing situations, Kohinoor. Use some other media and don’t let your products embarrass people. In the modern world the possibility of a loyal customer changing into a virtual vigilante is just a Facebook post or a photo share away! You could become viral for all the wrong reasons!

May 26, 2018

Marketing Lesson for the day: Real Me from Vivo - Mark of desperateness!

My students always ask me “why are you so fascinated with Marketing?” It is the only area where changes happen every day and one can observe and learn. Observation can pay rich dividends and one of the sharpest observers is Madhusudan Kota my ex colleague at SSIM. Kota is pursuing his PhD under my guidance.

Kota has just send me a photo. Take a look. This is the new Mobile phone offering from Vivo and its name ‘Real Me’. Innocent branding or cute name. No way Sir!

This can be called “Desperate Marketing”. Generally, such desperate tactics are indulged by local or even micro level competitors trying to cash on the brand names of their famous competing brands by aping their names. Examples galore; Coolgatte, Nirwa, National Panasound, Adibas, Black Labial, Coma, Saniya an many more. To get more fun and knowledge follow the link.

When small players do it, we can all laugh and say ‘desperateness of a small player’. Those are counterfeit products and customers can avoid buying them. But when Vivo does it, it appears sinister. Look at the font it looks like Red Mi.

For all the hype created by VIVO with its association with IPL 11. Red Mi is the king when it comes to online sales. And everything is fair in love and war and Vivo goes for the kill and names its product Real Me. I am not impressed. How would Red Mi retaliate? Your guess is as good as mine. But my two bits of advice to Red Mi -  Don’t do anything. Be quite and serene. Imitation is the best form of flattery.