A lesson in branding for Vijay Mallaya

I am a little surprised as to why Vijay Mallaya (VM) is so confused about branding issues related to his airlines as he has been pretty successful at building his other brands.

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).

IPL-Can everyone become a champion?

I have never been able to understand people who put undue pressure on their kids to come first in class. Only one out of the many contestants or participants or students will come first or become a champion. Everybody cannot become a champion

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?

Its about finding a gap in the market, stupid!

On 21/10/2007, I had posted “80/20 rule of marketing success – find a gap” in which I had mentioned that MEOW the radio station has found a great gap and staked its claim to this space and that according to me it will be a great success. The reason my dear is very simple. They have found a gap and positioned themselves as a radio station for women.

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):