Monday, April 25, 2005

Offbeat Marketing ..from another P

A nice offbeat article on offbeat marketing, of an offbeat product in International Herald Tribune - World Music.
Putamayo World Music.. ever heard the name? Well, I didnt.... and what a better name to learn from, than another P .. ;-D
The co-founder, Dan Storper, goes around different parts of the world, distributing free CDs, which are a compilation of world music, clubbed with new and innovative features, and specific album covers, to ensure brand-recall.
Singapore...Brazil...France...the New York-based record company typically hands out 20,000 promotion copies of each new album. Medium of sales ... half at retail outlets, and half in record shops... Result: No one is going to buy a staid CD, with nothing to differentiate it in a record shop .. but if the same thing is associated with ethinicism, played at the country clubs and restaurants, where the nose and the tongue ..synchronize with the ear (ok ok.. I mean, the food and the music have a common theme/culture..), it sure would have more takers in the market.

World music constitutes 1-5% of overall sales. By definition, it varies, but generally, is accepted as a type of music which is not mainstream, and has some kind of ethnic component, as the article says.
What I liked most about this marketing was, that, the product, per se, is not with which the current generation can connect with easily. But, the marketing that the founder has done is innovative and ...awesome. For instance, look at these:
- Besides selling records through retailers like gift shops and furniture stores, most of Putumayo's album covers feature the distinctive folkloric art of Nicola Heindl to help with instant brand recognition.
- Since most of the radio stations do not play much world music, the company launched the Putumayo World Music Hour, the first commercially syndicated world music program on its own.
- Trying to reach a new generation of customers, it also created a children's division in 2002. Its "World Playground" is now its third best-selling album, after "Cuba" and "Music of the Coffee Lands."
- The compilations also include videos of live performances, shots of exotic locations and even cooking recipes.

Aloha to another P I say :-)

Friday, April 22, 2005

Token of India-Pakistan Ps process… Dabur gets the cake!

Just read about a new Ad by Dabur in Pakistan.
The kind of Advertising that is allowed in Pakistan is different from that done in India. The Media there is controlled by the govt., and there are certain laws which one needs to abide. For example, two interesting ones that I came across are:
- All the ads must include Pakistani Models only, and no one outside Pakistan
- Indian movies cannot be aired in Pakistan, though VCDs are available.

Regarding this Dabur Ad, 2 issues could be raised – one, the models were NRI models, and two, the shooting was done at Dubai, and portrayed Karachi, Lahore and Multan.
But, thanks to the latest friendship stunts, I mean efforts, taken by both the governments, this was sidelined and was accepted by the Pakistan authorities.
Should I say, they were preoccupied with putting on the smiles in front of the Indian media, or the euphoria after the 4-2 series win over India, gave them a one-up Phillip that saved Dabur and of course, Prahlad Kakkar :-)

Cut it ....

FMCG companies and the retailers are meeting again – “to cut the costs”. Same old clichéd statement and efforts.
I think the entire industry knows that SCM is the bottleneck, and if the economy has to grow, the processes have to be streamlined. And when we say streamlined, it means one cannot proceed with thousands and thousands of “mom-and-Pop” stores, and the “Parchoonis”. First an effort has to be made at the back-end, like the textile industry in China – why can’t we have that model replicated for the FMCG as well?
Once we have a strong back-end, map it with a systematic and visible front-end.
Take a minute and think….Why is Wal-mart successful? Why do all the Chinese and Indian suppliers slaver at the very thought of supplying to the global giant?
It is not the brand name, not the customers, and not the market…
The visibility lures the suppliers, and the scale lures the retailers.
Come back to India, do we have these in India? Ask a HLL Brand Manager, can we think of an Indian Wal-mart in the current scenario? Ask Kishore Bhiyani, how much of imports does he command from the Chinese Industry?
First, these questions have to be answered and introspected for, and then we can call for EAN India (a trade body under the commerce industry) and AC Neilson reports.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

P-yo Rasna!

Rasna - Ahmedabad-based firm, with Rs. 275 Cr Sales.
It is in talks with Global retailers for visibility.
This is in line with plans of Hard rock café and Starbucks to enter the Indian market. I don’t understand, why should that create insecurity for the soft drink concentrate maker? It is a completely different segment that it addresses, just that the target consumers would be the same essentially. So, if there is segment called as non-soft-drinks-looking-for-alternatives, then I guess, Rasna does tend to lose market share.
Solution? Reinforce its positioning, and change the USP. On a long term, diversify its portfolio, and venture into new segments. Look at P&G, look at Dabur. If Real doesn’t work, Real Active would! If Ariel can’t get the markets, Tide would !
Talk of the soft drink concentrates market, Coca-cola’s Sunfill and HLL’s Fruit Kick are marginal players (what about Roohafza?) Total Market Size : Rs. 250 Crore)
As for Rasna, they did try their stint at repositioning – singing “health” songs than “kiddos” pals.
Other products by Rasna – Nimbu Pani – was repositioned to cater to the adults as well, since kids segment didn’t give them the intended targets.
Sub-brands – Utsav, Ek ka do, Juice up and Shake up.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Ad'em all ... Soft Drink Ads

Ad-check on the current ads catering to the soft-drink market, specific to carbonated drinks segment.
Just for the accounts, Total Soft Drinks market – Rs. 5000 Crore.
Out of this market, Lime-lemon category constitutes almost 30 per cent.
Pepsi launched "khoofiya" campaign with Saif, followed by Coca-cola's Thanda Aish-cash offer..This triggered the oye-bubbly mega campaign by Pepsi, the multi-mega starrer "Oye Bubbly" Campaign.
Could Coke stay behind? Enter - the trumph card for Coke - Aamir Khan, with yet another superb performance after the "thanda matlab coca cola" campaign, this time in a double take .. Manno Bhai.
Definitely an outstanding appealer with high brand recall value.
As for the others, Thums Up (Communicated as an outdoor brand, and associated with attitude) launched Akshay Kumar with Everest challenge, which was spoofed by Mountain Dew, with Mountain pe dew peetey hain style ( do they have a creative team??)

How can we forget the G-factor in the ads.. 7up leaves the drinkers slavering with Yana Gupta in the cool Kahengey ad, where as Limca preferred to play a subdued model - Deepika Padukone , reinforcing the fresh-ness and not the fresh-face! The Brand communication is of Freshness...
'The new tagline for Limca will be "Mazza Taazgi Ka". "Since Andhra Pradesh is a very important market for us, we will be dubbing this commercial in AP'

Fanta took another line of thought with Rani Mukherjee talking about the curves and shape of the new Fanta bottle!
For the Smart Alecs, there is the Sprite Ad with the froggy princess on one hand, and the Mirinda ad featuring the protective bhai log running after the fanta crate...

P-ney ka?

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Brand Equity Quiz 2005

Citibank Chennai won the BEQ 2005(16th yr) with SBI as runners up, and Mudra 3rd.
Few Questions I could manage to get...
Ray Raymond created as an MBA school project - Victoria's Secret
The Name of the Michigan graduate on Balaji Telefilms Board - Tushar Kapoor
Expansion of the acronym - BYOD-KM, coined by Steve Jobs recently introduced while launching the MacMini - Bring your own Display, Keyboard and Monitor - as the new, low-priced Macintosh computer comes without any of those peripherals.
What are Engineers at Disney called? - Imagineers

Wal-mart in India?

Wal-Mart gets a feel of India from MNC Partners
For the first time, the $288-billion company called on over 10 MNCs in the country - Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Frito Lays, P&G, Cadbury, Henkel, Nestle and others - to study the consumer behavior in the Indian markets. To know more about the buying habits of the Indian Consumer, the SCM in the markets and the margins.
Main 3 RoI for Retailers are - Conversion Ratio, Footfalls and Ticket Size.
Wal-mart - has always entered thru acquisitions in a country.. Pantaloons?
All 9 countries in which it operates - it has always entered by acquiring the largest retailer present in that region.
Acquiring a stake in Seiyo in Japan, Woolco in Canada, ASDA in UK, Wertkauf in Germany, and of course, the latest one - talks with Migros to enter in Turkey.
Pantaloons in India?
Of course, China and Argentina are exceptions, but that is another story in itself.
All the companies with which Wal-mart met are suppliers in the countries in which it operates. All of them operate in India, and so are potential building blocks for the Wal-mart setup.
Earlier, had discussed with Indian Textile owners, and the segment, post MFA.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

SoaPs Market...

Went to Subka Bazaar today, jotted down the soap collection offered by them. They have 21 brands in all:

Mentioning the marketers also. Of course, the leader takes the chair....

Hindustan Lever Network (10)

Lifebouy (Care, Fresh, Strong)
Fair and Lovely


No Marks - Ozone Ayurvedics
Palmolive - Colgate-Palmolive
Savlon - Johnson & Johnson
Jeeva - Jyothi Laborataries
Santoor - Wipro Ltd.
Dettol - Reckitt Benckiser
Mysore Sandal - Karnataka Soaps & Detergents Ltd.(KSDL)
Fa - Henkel
Aramusk - Henkel
Godrej No. 1 - Godrej

This list might not be exhaustive, but as of now, have this list with me. Will keep adding more, and simultaneously, building up on each of them.
For instance, the new look Lifebuoy now comes in 3 variations - Care, Strong and Fresh, targeted for different parts of the day, or different segments? Do the ads reflect the same? Or is it open ended as of now? Or are they advertising for the parent brand, and doing market research on the same, to identify which is the preferred variety?
Could be that they have launced line extensions based on the different perceptions of the brands, and subdivided the brand into 3 segments, to cater to each separately.
What remains to be seen is the promotion aspect of it, and the way, in which each of the "needs identified" is being communicated to the intended target consumer?
Also, are there any other players fighting it out for a piece of the cake?

Will come back on this!

Friday, April 15, 2005

Introduction to the blog?

Since it is my first experience, am not sure how much I would be able to put into it, and how much execution would be realistically possible....
But then, Planning does not take these factors into account, does it ? ;-)
So, what all do I "plan" to publish here....
In one single word, it would be "Marketing" .. and in 3 words ... "All about Marketing"....
All that I read up on Marketing, the latest updates, and of course, my hammer and saw on them ... :-D
It might be a will-o-the-wisp if I plan to include everything under the sun related to Marketing... I have neither the patience to collect so much information, nor the interest to butt in everywhere and in every segment.
Of course, the C-factor, or the "curiosity factor" would act as an exception most of the times!
Specifically, few of my favorites would be:
- Retail Sector, including some of the Major International Retailers (do a search on Wal-mart on this blog after a few weeks, and you would realize that a fan has evolved in a true sense). Also, Indian Retailers have also been exciting lately. But in Retail too, Food and Apparels are my favorites.
- One step down - FMCG Sector, am not sure whether my future lies in this sector or not, but cant resist the 4-letter word everytime I read about it.
- Rural Marketing, and initiatives towards the same
- Specifics on Consumer Behavior - nopes, not the theory, that might come into play 3 months down the line, when I start nerding around in the corridors of FMS. But as of now, it would be centric towards the application part of it, and of course, my supernatural perspectives to it...- Advertisements, the likables and the dislikeables out of them.

Sources, would upload in some time, but am a regular on - Harvard Business Online, Knowledge@Warton, Brand Reporter, Agencyfaqs, Business Standard, Eco Times, Retail Forward, Wal-mart Blog, and Mckinsey Quarterlies...Once I streamline the blog, would structure the sourcing part of it also.

Thats about the overview bit, as far as plannnning is concerned. But what fascinates me is a little in-depth analysis and research on particulars of the data I read about. So, it would not be a culmination of different articles from different sites, but also, more personal aspect involved. I plan to personally inquire about the initiatives, the marketing strategies, and talk to people, who, of course, know much more than normal junta, of course.
I did start a little on it, went to Chaupal Sagar at Sehore, spoke to Air Deccan people, went to a few Retailers.....
But, now I have an incentive to publish my efforts, so the researcher in me, might just expedite the whole process in some time ....

Anyway, fundas, jargons and lingos, will catch up subsequently, as and when I start getting groomed into the lifestyles of the B-school cult, and perspectives similar to that of the budding global managers... 3 months down the line.

But no harm in already feeling like one, isnt it ;-) ?


First post, first entry,... Welcome to the world of bloggers... Is it herd mentality, or a cliched epiphany?
Time will tell.
For now, want to see how this P comes out of this blog....
Another P of Marketing? or a P's of Ad-wise!

Checking the date