Friday, June 22, 2012
FDI in Retail
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
A: Rohit, the true test of a tournament such as this is the manner in which the first set of fixtures take-off or not. It is therefore in the execution, rather than in the branding and the hype and the glitz and glamour being built around it.
Content is really king. And here, the content is good cricket. If there is good cricket, this will survive. If not, it will sink.
The format of 20:20 cricket is a hit. There is eminent fatigue in all other avatars of cricket of the 5 day and sadly even the 1-day variant.
In this day and age of twitter with 140 character limits, the format in cricket that seems to work is 20: 20 today, and who knows, possibly 10:10 over’s tomorrow.
Remember, in a world that is frenetic in its pace of work, the time-tested format of success in sport is the 90-minute game represented so solidly by soccer. Will we have 9-minute cricket then? Something that will be a big hit?
KPL's regional format is good, because it helps regionalize cricket. It helps knit smaller geographies together in this passion-format. Let's remember, more contiguous and small an area, more homogenous its peoples. Therefore KPL will help harvest local passions for a game. It helps build local jingoism in local cricket.
In the old days, cricket jingoism was national. It was about India versus Pakistan. And then with IPL it became city versus city. KPL brings it to the level of district versus district literally!
The format will work, provided care is taken to build this format with patience and care. God is in the details of doing this.
Remember, ICL flopped. KPL can.
A: Mehul, the customer is a very important entity. All business exists and revolves around this entity. The very purpose of all business is the fulfillment of the needs, wants, desires and aspirations of this entity. To that extent, the customer is the central focus of all business activity. The customer is the pivot around which all else revolves.
Having states this basic universal marketing truth, the customer therefore needs to be understood. Not only at skin-deep levels, but at levels that are deeper and subliminal even. Most businesses understand customers as numbers and numbers that contribute volumes and value to the enterprise they run. Most companies however do not believe it is important to drill beneath the skin of it all. If you understand your customers well, and in more ways than skin-deep customer understanding, it is a good insulation of your business. You will be able to predict behavior, predict change and gear up your business to face it all when it happens.
Q: Is the current aviation turmoil bad for the brand of aviation in India altogether?
And then in came the private airlines. In came Damania, Modiluft and the others. This was the beginning of the brand wars in mid-air. Damania offered excellent service and added in the bells and whistles for branding. Even liquor for a while. These brands invested in building a brand, a color-recall, a service-memory tag and more. Premium was possible in such a market as well.
The brand wars intensified with Jet, Air Deccan (which created its own brand of low cost imagery with the common man as brand icon and more. Premiums were possible here as well. There were multiple choices to pick from. The Aviation industry was a menu of options.
We have now come a full circle. From commodity to brands to commodity again. The current situation of the industry has erased all lines of branding that were created by one and all with much effort, time, energy and money.
Clear positioning stances of the airlines have been erased. Today one chooses an airline basis the price of ticket and convenience of sector. This is the ultimate commoditization of the market. There is a clear decimation of value here.
The tribe of Business Speakers...
Friday, June 08, 2012
Why this Kolaveri Di?
Media and mediums have evolved. In the old days we had mediums which were totally top-down. These were typically television, press, radio and Outdoor. Today, mediums have evolved with the consumer. Today, mediums such as the internet are all about peer-to-peer connect and peer-to-peer communication.
Take blogs for instance. They allow anyone and everyone to publish and broadcast, never mind whether you are a good writer or a good thinker or not. There is a certainly a celebration of democracy and a most certain celebration of imperfection.
The same goes for Youtube. There certainly is a strong and vibrant celebration of the fact that the largest numbers of the masses are imperfect, and perfection itself is but a small island. Perfection is a minority, whereas imperfection is the majority. Let's celebrate!
Q: How do you see the gems and jewellery market in India shaping up? Are we on track?
2. Luxury retail embraces e-commerce: Expect ‘solus’ portals that will promote themselves vigorously. Expect the luxury brand aggregator portal as well. Expect a quiet and personalized selling format from these.
3. Luxury retail will go custom-made and bespoke: Want something specific, ask for it. Your luxury retail brand will deliver. Bespoke options ahead!
4. Luxury retail goes tier 2: Expect Vijayawada, Bhopal, Indore and a Vishakapatnam emerge as possible new locations form a bouquet of Tier II towns ahead. The prosperity is here. The propensity to buy is here as well.
5. Kerala retail goes big: And that’s in your backyard. Baby steps are being taken just now. This is particularly so in jewellery. Expect the Kerala gold retailer to be big. Very big!
Firstly, leadership is never a given. Leadership is what leadership does. Your team members are really on the morph all the time. There is nothing static about it at all. Times change, and people change. Look within for support, but look for that support with new strategies that promise the earth and deliver the earth for sure. A leader and captain is only as good as what he delivers. It is important for Dhoni to focus on his delivery. Time to be single-minded in this. Time to focus on delivery above all else.
Recession is a cycle. It comes and goes. If you are to push it away faster, you need to be proactive, and you need to have planned for it. Time to focus on the fundamentals of cricket rather than the cosmetics of cricket as well. PR is good when the going is good. When the going is bad, hollow PR gets you nowhere. It is results, results and results. Grab the leadership mantle once again dear Dhoni. By the horns.
Saturday, June 02, 2012
This will do you good. It will get you the blessings you deserve. In the beginning these are small and quiet little blessings. I know you are a builder or an apartment in business and not a builder in the realm of charity. But be patient. These small little blessings have a way of correcting your brand Karma. They have a sweet little habit of converting into what we call "positive collective goodwill". And this positive collective goodwill has a habit of converting into a positive brand appeal. Your future consumers will come from this very community. Today they may look poor and impoverished. Tomorrow is however theirs! Try it.
A: Hari, exclusivity has a purpose. Exclusivity shuts out many from the buying class. Exclusivity creates snob appeal and literally bears a virtual signboard outside to many that says, "Do not enter". This is a tactic really, and not part of brand strategy. It works sometimes. But fails mostly. Gone are the days of snob appeal. Brands need to be as real as their consumers are. Brands cannot afford to alienate themselves into a narrow dark corner of their own creation.
A: Kevin, this is a big question and requires a big, deep and long answer. But I will not do that. Let me cut the chase head right to the end meat of it all.