Will Hindustan Times plan work? I doubt it.

Hindustan Times, a leading newspaper in the India, has a appointment supplement called Powerjobs which it distributes along with its main paper. Powerjobs supplement from, at least an outsiders perspective, is not doing well even though HT folks have told me that they are making some money from it. The leading appointment supplement is Times of India’s (TOI) Ascent against which the appointment supplements of every other newspaper competes. According to me, the market position of Powerjobs is getting from bad to worse. I don’t remember the last time any of our clients advertised in this paper even though we release appointment advertisements in TOI-Ascent on a regular basis (By the way, I run an advertising agency).

Can somebody flank Coke & Pepsi?

Red Bull is trying to give Coke and Pepsi a run for their money. It seems that Red Bull seems to have the right and the wrong idea. First, what’s right about the idea. It seems that Red Bull is launching a premium cola in the US at $1.49 for a 12 ounce can which is expensive than Coke or Pepsi. There is no premium price cola and they have certainly found a gap in the market. One cannot fight with Pepsi and Coke head on. They have to be attacked from the side, in other words flanked.

Top 3 or out

In an interview in Economic Times (7/3/2008), Aditya Birla stated his criteria for being involved in an industry. He said that he will only participate in an industry only if they have 1,2 or 3 position otherwise they will quit. Well this is nothing new. Actually, its a criteria borrowed from Ex GE’s chairman (I am forgetting his name. Sure sign that I am getting old) who built GE based on the same criteria. However, I do not think this makes sense.

Flanking with Tata’s Nano

There is no one who has siad so far that they will be seriously affected by Tata’s Nano. I think this is the best sign that Nano will succeed as no one considers it a serious competition. What Nano is going to do is flank a number of product categories. It is going to nibble away small market share from a number of products and no one would be any wiser. By the way, the reason for the success of Nirma was that it flanked Surf. Surf didn’t feel that Nirma was a worthy competitor till it was too late. Lets see who all will Nano flank?

Why are we so obsessed with targets?

I think we should do away with targets. Hey, don’t shoot me. Listen to my complete story.

Another gap in the marketplace – Bedrooms in the air

Earlier I had posted an article in which I had stated that “finding a gap” in the marketplace in the key to marketing success. Singalore Airlines has found a gap, that is, provide bedrooms in their A-380 planes. They are starting this on Singapore – Sydney flights. The bedroom cabins will resemble cabins of luxury yachts and will have a private clost, 23 inch video screen, reclining seats, and a built in bed expandable to a double bed. This was based on research which suggested that the premium class customers just wanted to sleep. Of course they have to pay 20% extra bring the Singapore – Sydney fare to $6000.

80/20 rule of marketing success – Find a gap

One of the 80/20 rules of marketing success is to find a gap in the market place. As someone very rightly said, there is no saturated market. A market is saturated only till someone finds a gap. For instance, everybody thought that the toothpaste market is saturated till Anchor was launched as a vegetarian toothpaste.

Merging low cost brands with high cost brands – a risky proposition

Sometime back I had read an article in Mint that Tatas are interested in buying Jaguar and Land Rover brands from Ford. Vaishali jajoo of Angel Broking Ltd. raised a very valid issue by saying, “They (Tatas) don’t have the experience in managing such brands. Tatas overall portfolio consists of low-cost products and I don’t know how they will leverage the distribution network.” Imagine mixing Indica taxis with Jaguar.

McDonald’s positioning-what do you think?

I am giving below excerpts of interview of Vikram Bakshi, CEO oF McDonalds in Economic Times (17/10/2007):

How many times we can reposition a brand?

It was recently in the news that Godrej Consumer Products is relaunching its Cinthol soap. The brand was introduced in the market in 1952 as the first deodorant soap. It was initially positioned as a “soap for men.” Later it was repositioned as a “family soap.” Now it seems that the company wants to again reposition it as a “soap for the youth.”