Thursday, October 30, 2008

Is “Clinic All Clear” Heading for a fresh Branding & Repositioning !!

“Clinic All Clear”, the ‘no dandruff’ shampoo from the house of Hindustan Unilevers’ Limited, has institutionally been the Indian version of brand “CLEAR” of Unilevers’, London.

“Clinic All Clear” has had a face lift recently. The colours and the typography of the bottle containers and the sachets have changed, giving it a new look and feel. It primarily appears to be a respite from the “Old” look, which had been there for quite some time, and so grown monotonous.

In the world of “Change”, “Looks”, does have a significant appeal and it can well be a silent ‘marketer’.

A given product, might go on maintaining a perceived quality standard for a period of time. But, that does not mean, the said users of the said brand would continue with it only because they find it “good.”

“Boredom”, has always been a major cause for ‘shifting trends’. We the users, usually take the product quality, that is, the performance and affectivity parameters for granted. This results in the “creeping effect” of monotony and related ‘boredom’.

Result : We look for other brands as we become “habitual shifters.”

The observations made in this aspect are :-
  1. The word “Clear” (in bottles & sachets) is very distinct and prominent due to its ‘large font size’.
  2. The words “Clinic” & “Ace” come in a much smaller font size and have a relatively unattractive colour background.

So, is it that ‘HUL’ is silently proceeding forward, to bring about a ‘Re-branding’ for “CLINIC ALL CLEAR?”

“Clinic All Clear for dandruff free hair”, the related Ad’, used to send this message. Therefore, the positioning evidently pointed out that, here is one shampoo, for those who are faced with ‘dandruff’ problem.

Observations made from this part is :-

Going by the televised visual, I find that the Ad’ explicitly speaks about “Soft and Silky hair”, away from it’s earlier positioning of “No dandruff” shampoo.

Inference made there of :-

  1. The brand is likely to be pushed to the people who consider “Soft and Silky” to be the most appealing quality of a ‘shampoo’.
  2. The brand is expected to compete with brand “Pantene”, which also tends to have the attributes of ‘no dandruff’ and ‘soft and silky hairs’.

So, going through this, I strongly feel that, the day is perhaps not very far, when India would also experience the brand “CLEAR” replacing “Clinic All Clear.”

Contributed By:
Malay Bhattacharjee
(Globsyn Business School)

Monday, October 27, 2008

A marketing approach to begging on the streets

A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. He held up a sign which said: 'I am blind, please help.' There were only a few coins in the hat.
A man, who happened to be a professional marketing man, was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words. He put the sign back so that everyone who walked by would see the new words. Soon the hat began to fill up. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy. That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were. The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, 'Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write?'
The man said, 'I only wrote the truth. I said what you said but in a different way.' What he had written was: 'Today is a beautiful day and I cannot see it.' Do you think the first sign and the second sign were saying the same thing?
Of course both signs told people the boy was blind. But the first sign simply said the boy was blind. The second sign told people they were so lucky that they were not blind. Should we be surprised that the second sign was more effective?

Moral of the Story: All human activities (even begging) require a marketing approach to be successful. Marketing starts by looking at the customers, ascertaining their needs and communicating to them in a way that makes sense to them.

Contributed By:
Prof. P. Guha
(Globsyn Business School)

Friday, October 24, 2008

The mother of all myopia

The “Modern Age” has been termed as the 'Age of Marketing'. With the advent of ‘Globalization’, markets of any commodity has grown beyond the horizon.

This has resulted in higher operational needs. Unless, substantial production is made how come the markets be catered !

So today, market is of essence and prime importance. All are trying to satisfy the market and every decision taken is targeted to win over them (market).

Furthermore, Marketing Era firmly believes and propagates the concept that, “if one has to do something, he needs to do it first before others could do!”

I would like to contradict here, and would like to try to prove that “The Marketing Era” started much before, than what, the ‘stalwarts’ perceive.

Let us go into the pages of history for a while and make some critical analysis of the facts presented by it.

The “Industrial Revolution” started in Great Britain in the mid 18th century, as by then, the British had colonies in all the continents known.

The British have been chiefly traders and businessmen, who took daring sea voyages to reach new land masses. One such exploration led to the discovery of India.

Initially, they would engage in trading activities and later on they would take their chances in grabbing the land.

History tells us, that by virtue of their superior arsenal and fire power they were able to defeat the natives (of the respective country), and proclaim themselves to be the master of that country. India being no exception!

The huge empire forced them to look for alternatives, as they were finding it increasingly difficult to cater to the demand of their market.

‘Industrial Revolution’ saved them. Machines took the role of human beings in producing goods. Mass production became a reality!

Advantage Britain! Once again they did it first, before others could do.

Today what we are, have only been a continuation of what started in Britain in the 18th century.

The ‘Marketing Era,’ is said to have started in India in the late 70’s and early 80’s, though it generated pace only after 1994.

In America and Europe the ‘Marketing Era’ started in the late 50’s.

And what tends to be the “mantra” of the ‘marketing era’:-
  1. Marketers’ needs to be pro active rather than re-active.
  2. All focus on Quality, quality and quality.
  3. Never to think of compromising Quality , and it should be of international standards.
  4. The consumers/customers (market) have the final say, and so, satisfying customer needs is of primary concern.
  5. Research, as an effective tool for the identification of future trends.
  6. Arresting the market’s need before the market senses or your competitors sense.

Now, way back in the 18th century the British also sensed, that, with their empire stretching from one hemisphere to the other, they would be requiring mass production to cater their markets.

Perhaps it needs no mention that, products of the British reign were much superior to that of today (so quality function was given due importance, proved.)

Is it not marketing! If not why? Thinking about the market first and then about self is what has been termed as ‘Marketing’ by the modern day ‘Management Guru’s’ and stalwarts.

That was absolutely what the British thought and did, as I, a modern day marketer is compelled to analyse.

Would it be absolutely wrong to say that, the “marketing era” started much before we had perceived it to be, and we have been “myopic” enough not to understand and identify that.

(Waiting for your esteemed observation and criticisms!)

Contributed By:
Malay Bhattacharjee
(Globsyn Business School)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Branding in a different way

"Necessity is the mother of all inventions” - Says the proverb.

The aim and objective of all ‘inventions and innovations’ has been to uplift the ‘Living Standard’ of men in general round the globe.

Now again, unless and until these inventions are given a material form they would perhaps not serve the purpose, that is, the cause of humanity and its development.

Furthermore, the common man needs to know that certain products and services are available in the market, which if being used, might serve them in their need. This when done, would automatically uplift “their” standard of living and hence, “quality of life.”

For example, The Great Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb, used to take one long year to travel to Deccan from Delhi, to crush the rebellion at Deccan, as history points out.

On the contrary, today, we the common man, who in no way can be compared to the might of Aurangzeb the great, take 2 to 2 ½ hrs to cover the same distance.

Our Sincere thanks to the “Wright Brothers” (the inventor of flying plane.)

With the rise in competition, the manufacturers felt the need of having their self-identity.

Here comes the concept of “BRANDING”.

(1) The process of Branding first started in 2000 B.C. in Egypt, involving the Livestock’s.
(2) The concept of “Modern Branding” started in the year 1776.
(Data Source: Research material of Prof. R. C. Bhattacharya)]

Through branding, one tries to carve out an identity of his/her own, very different from that of others.

Exactly like our own names, like Malay or John, which separates from others, though, all of us are primarily “human beings.”

Perhaps the idea behind, is to reach the people called the “consumers or customers.”

As a modern marketer, I would jolly well be interested about the performance of my brand of product(s). If other brands are performing well and mine is not then I don’t feel I have anything to rejoice for (assuming that product quality of mine and my competitors are at par.)

This makes me understand further that, not only the ‘quality standards’ of my product(s) would do, but the name or identity of mine should also reach my people.

Furthermore, they should be able to remember my name, and my name only, at their time of need (Brand Recall.)

Again, I’m not the only one to understand this, others do also! Result : The culmination of a “sea of brands.”

Result : The consumers are at bay to keep all these names in their brains.

Researches in this regards indicate that, people tend to remember something which is not commonplace or is something different from the rest.

Here should come the question of “Innovating Ideas” in the creation of a brand. This would be the topic of our discussion today.

As a marketer I would like to go into the issue of today, and my readers should not misunderstand me, as the area of our discussion would involve or to be more precise would center around a lot of big-bang politics of today. Whatever be it, I would be happy to look into the all concerning issue, purely from the modern marketing angle, and highlight the process of “Innovation” that has been silently used in the “awareness creation” of “NANO”.

Ratan Tata chose West Bengal as the place for the setting up of the small car plant because perhaps he knew this move of his would give him instant focus, as very few Industrialist earlier have taken such a bold step to venture into industrially starving Bengal (if I’m not wrong to say so.)

The Bengal Administrative machinery is (it being an on going process) direly looking for “investments” not only because of their new found knowledge that ‘investments’ can only save the State, but as also their face. But more so because, they wanted to prove that their way of functioning has changed and that they are no longer against the ‘industrialists’ or the so called “Capitalists”.

The Tatas took this opportunity and intentionally chose Bengal (Singur) the place with the word that Ratan Tata wants to do something for the people of Bengal.

Undoubtedly, a bold decision - hailed by leading industrialists!

Awareness creation and generation had been the principle issue at the back of mind(of the Tatas) in reality. So, it was MARKETING at the core!!

The “Singur” fiasco brought about a lot of media coverage almost regularly for over a period of two years. Once again, a very effective tool, for MARKETING.

Then came the moment of reckoning, news spread over the air – The Tatas’ are leaving Bengal!

Leading industrialists’, Chambers of Commerce, NRI’s and to end with the handful of Ambassadors and High Commissioners of different countries started speaking out their concern in the event that “Bengal loses NANO”.

So, NANO was no longer regional or national. Her name could be heard in countries like the U.S, the U.K. also (to name a few).

The circle has been complete! NANO have become nano to big and from big to bigger. Is it not M-A-R-K-E-T-I-N-G all the way!

Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and last but not the least Gujarat leaped into the scenario to get the NANO project in their respective states.

Ultimately, Gujarat emerged the virtual winner. NANO traveled “SANAND”. By then, almost the whole of the country have come to know about NANO.

“SANAND” has been renamed as “NANO GRAM” by the Government of Gujarat as a tribute to Nano.

NANO has turned to be a highly proclaimed “BRAND” even before a single car has rolled into the streets!!!

To me, it’s marketing all the way, and it’s a very unorthodox route to create a BRAND.

What a cute approach of brand creation and generation from the view point of a marketer, like me (that is, if we do not want to get stuck in the quagmire of politics).


Hats off to Ratan Tata, the new “MARKETING LEGEND”.

Contributed By:
Malay Bhattacharjee
(Globsyn Business School)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Luxury on Rolls

By Feeroz Ahmed

A Bentley is quicker and a Maybach is prettier, but there is no rival to a Rolls Royce in regal splendour and quiet cruise. That is probably why most heads of state, royal families and business moguls prefer to ride this 20-footer lounge-on-wheels than any other luxury automobile.

Rolls Royce has a history of almost a century in India. The maharajas of yore aspired to own this symbol of British engineering and craftsmanship. Now, the company is trying to reach out to the new maharajas, the billionaire enterpreneurs. It opened a dealership in Mumbai in 2005, and has now added one in Delhi. The new owners of the company, BMW,have sold 30 Rolls-Royce in India since taking over the company in 1998, 12 of them last year.

"These dealerships not only take care of the requirements of local customers, but also the local requirements of our global customers," says Graeme Grieve, director of sales and marketing at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

"Typically, our customers have offices and homes at multiple locations in the world, and they like to have a Rolls-Royce at each location." The demand for the Roller among Indians and foreigners with bases in India is growing. With three months still to go this year, already 12 Rollers have been sold – as many as in the whole oflast year. But the fastest growing market for the Roller is China, where more than 100 cars were sold in 2007.

In fact, sales of Rollers are an indicator of a country's economy. The most Roller-loving country in the world is the US, which makes up a quarter of the world's GDP. Last year, nearly 400 of the about 1,000 Rollers sold across the world were sold in that country. Of those 400, a little less than half were sold in one city alone - Los Angeles, Hollywood's home. Florida, with its colourful billionaires, was the next largest buyer of the uber-lux automobile.

It is one old men's car that even the young drool over for its subtelty and silence. It is the utter tranquility of Rolls-Royce amid the cacophony of traffic, its bump-less stability on rough roads , and its wafting-like drive at high speeds of150-200 kmph that awes the uber rich into paying about $400,000 to own a Roller.

According to the Delhi dealer of the brand, Yadur Kapur, a standard Rolls-Royce costs Rs 3.15 crore, including 112per cent import duty. But this car is nothing if not personalised, and that includes exterior and interior colour to personal monograms, choice of leather, wood, embroidery, and installation of a safe box for jewellery in the boot or a humidor for cigars. Such things can add about 10 per cent more to the cost of the car. The best thing is that you can see your car being made by engineers and craftsmen at its Goodwood factory, two hours from London. And you can actually be on the shopfloor and chat with the persons making your car.

Of course, the car's persuasion includes the luxury and sophistication of a nearly 20-feet ship on wheels powered by a 6.75-litre engine that seems to have power to spare even at high speeds or during sudden acceleration. Its interiors are made of 15-18 bull hides and 43 wood parts, and it is loaded with high-end electronics that close doors and extend driver's vision through cameras in addition to a 15 speaker sound system. In fact, a Roller can be intimidating for even the rich.

"Many of our customers have said that they did not feel that they were ready for a Rolls-Royce, that they were not successful enough," says Grieve. "Our job in marketing is to help customers get over their diffidence and enjoy the car for its great engineering and comfort."

According to Matthew J. Bennett, general manager for South and East Asia Pacific, once somebody tastes a Rolls-Royce, he keeps coming back for more. Ofthe 1,000 Rollers sold worldwide last year, 400 were acquired by those who already owned one, he points out.

A lot of Rolls-Royce owners use the car to do business. "It is so quiet and offers such privacy even in traffic that many of our customers do business as they travel in the car," says Bennett. The most interesting use of this car is at private estates. "Some of our customers use the car as a golf buggy," he says.

While a fortunate few get to own a Roller, the rest count themselves lucky even if they get to ride one. Don't miss a chance to travel in one if you get it.

Contributed By:
Prof. P. Guha
(Globsyn Business School)

Reference: Businessworld