Monday, November 9, 2009


The marketing gurus “Jack Trout and Al Ries” are back with a masterpiece this time. In cinematic terms it would be called a “remake”. Actually it is modern view of their earlier concept about Positioning. It’s a 1980 classic about how market dynamics has changed from the “product era” of the 1950s to the current “positioning era”. It talks about the current overcrowded market where the consumer is bombarded with a whole lot of advertisements and information that it is hard for a corporation to create a space or “Position” itself in the minds of its customers. It is essentially a brand management book and takes an inside view of how successful brands made it to the minds of the consumers and the rest simply melt away. Loads of examples in almost every industry have been given, right from the bottling giant “Coca Cola” to Proctor and Gamble’s different FMCG products. It has given many success stories where a well thought out and simple names can work wonders for the product. On the flipside it also criticizes major corporations for not concentrating on brand and logo management and losing out market share to those who do. Its perspective ranges right from the huge corporations like GM, Ford to the smaller ones like Avis and even gives a broad strategy on how to take on the “big fish” in your own industry.

It has even given excellent ways where marketing yourself in your career could do wonders to your career. How to go up the corporate ladder and how to make a name for yourself and get credibility for all the hard work you put in. Out of around 18 laws the most interesting that I found was positioning of a ladder where a product establishes itself on the first, second or third rung of a ladder. It also warns about how major companies fall into the line extension trap, complicate their product names, prefer initials over full name of the company, and concentrate on producing already established products. It advises companies to go for niche market segment which they call as finding a hole, that is at any given time each market has a segment which has still not being explored. They also give various ways to discover that hole and stamp your authority on it. The good thing about the book is that it has been written after exhaustive research and analysis. Hence after you read the book you are bound to think over the daily products that you use in marketing sense.

Although the book is excellent in presentation with interesting facts and figures to keep the reader hooked but there were some follies in it too. Although you have be highly critical to criticize this book, but it simply does not explain the rise of General Electric which is a major in around 12 market segments. Further the examples sometimes get too repetitive and because the concepts overlap, many times you are left to wonder if you are reading the same things over and over again. Anyways a good book to read if you are seriously considering marketing as your specialization. But even if you are not its self marketing concept is worth giving a read for future success in career. The authors other best selling books are “The Horse Sense”, “The 22 immutable laws of marketing “ and a few others. All are worth giving a go.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Litigation free India

An interesting article by the economic times has caught me thinking ( a difficult task to achieve). It was the fire at the Indian Oil Corporation which raged for more than a 100 hours. It said that how litigation protected our country was. After 100 hours of constant fire and so many deaths and I don’t know how much ppm of pollution , still no organization or a single person has come forward to actually ask compensation. An interesting observation if you might say. Because for the past two years I have litigation filed for each and everything. Like the average movie producer is the worst sufferer. You have people taken to court for movie title names which for strange reasons have been hurting people’s sentiments. “Billu Barber” is a case in account. Interestingly this fire was one of the best opportunities to cash on some heavy rewards from the Fortune 500 Company if I am not wrong. But sadly like the 5th one day international against Australia it too went begging.

An American counterpart would have been sued heavily by those affected directly as well as indirectly. I think that is why companies in U.S. have such strict code of conduct more from fear of judiciary wing rather than the ethical code. I think that is the reason U.S. companies prefer to work around in India due to such lax laws that prevail in the Indian regulatory system. IOCL in fact responded by hiking their oil prices in all of their franchisees, a strategy which could dangerously hurt their reputation. Moreover the “loss by fire” for major oil companies is mostly insured heavily hence I don’t think there is a problem over there. This also shows how we all the time for the silly things in life for suing film makers to change their titles and stop hanging dolls as marketing strategy but if fire rages for more than 100 hours encircling a city and endangering my lives it is always “the other’s problem”. Again here the rage of stupid journalism played their part to perfection, which has been a constant cause of concern.

Another thing our religious belief often clouds our judgment because we tend to believe that God is superior to the gift given by him “human life”. Again this is main reason why we fail to come so many problems in our lives just because we label them as other region, the neighbor’s problem that is his lookout. When this is the same things that come full circle and cause obstacles in our lives too. Hence we can bear human tragedy but we cannot surely bear religious or Godly tragedy. A person killed near a Gandhian statue will be watched upon but someone throwing stones at the statue of a dead political leader will be killed and buried there and there. Moreover the miscreants destroy public property on account of this and police becomes a mere spectator in that case.
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