Thursday, February 5, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Interesting read for folks in advertising and PR.....
Hover.in is a Pune startup that provides a service for web publishers (i.e. website/blog owners) to automatically insert extra content into the webpages, in the form of a bubble that appears when the mouse is hovered over underlined words. The bubble can be informational (like a map appearing wherever a name of a place appears, or a background information about a company appearing wherever a name of a company appears), or it can be contextual, in-text, advertisement from hover’s network of partners, and most importantly it is fully under the publisher’s control. While services like this have been around in other forms, hover.in believes that its ability to handle any language, and the focus on Indian market sets it apart from the competition. See the PuneTech profile of hover.in to get a better idea of what hover.in provides.PuneTech, Jan 2009
You should read the whole article.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
Bumped into an old friend from the advertisng business a couple of days back. Thought the agenda was purely business we somehow managed to get into reminising about how wonderful the agency scene was twenty years back. The days of photo typesetting, cut paste artists, rubber solution et all!!
Typeset artworks with separations in CMYK, Rotring point pens (gawd! does anyone remember Rotring!!!??), Pantone colour sheets, type point size positives, color processing houses (now thats one for the history books!)... some action in those days! Bromides, negatives and client dockets; the in house dark room for urgent bromides and would you believe it, the graffitti in the dark room about the sexiet babe in the agency!!!!
A enduring memory is of a late night night in office with the guys which kind of degenrated into a 2 hour melee with rubber solution. The solution used to thicken instantly and the trip was to make small rubber balls and play with them. They used be become something like the 'crazy balls' that we saw later. The actual function of these balls made of rubber solution used to be to act as an 'eraser' to remove the excess solution prior to 'white painting' the entire typeset artwork! Anyway, i remeber the entire office being shafted by the boss the next day for the mess! How i miss the addicting smell of that rubber solution!!!
Most amazing used to be the guys who used to work in the spray department. The hum of the compressors, the smell of water colours and mostly the pure talent of the guys would just blow me away.
Just awesome. And also i disticntly remember the ad fraternity used to get a heck of a lot more respect than it does today! Amen.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
- Online conversations: Are your ears buzzing?
Well, they should be. Whether you know it or not, there is a conversation occurring about you, your company and products right now. Customers, vendors and partners are sharing opinions and perceptions. Bloggers, journalists and other influentials are watching, commenting and most importantly, influencing. And often these perceptions, which may be critical, is exactly what search engines are looking for.
Welcome to the world of high impact, consumer-generated media, where anyone can use a simple publishing tool to connect directly with like-minded people.
A brand for most people is an experience that creates an impression. Brand and corporate reputation leads to conversations that creates a perception. And isn’t perception really what we are looking at specially in this digital world?
As part of our digital initiative, brand managers and corporate communication strategies must scoure public, online discussion areas - including blogs, newsgroups, social media, and more - to capture, understand and report the issues, opinions and ideas that costumers share between and among themselves. Understanding these conversations is critically important to:
Understanding brand and product perceptions and reputations
Over time these conversations might provide early warning systems regarding brand or product issues
Responding in real time to customers' concerns
Gleaning intelligence for communication and product strategies. This is probably a research tool that advertising agencies would absolutely love to have!
Understanding the most influential portals as well as influencers for your company, brand and product
Measuring and validating effectiveness of communication and advertising efforts
Narrowing down on allies and prospecting for evangelists
Over time this detailed mining of all the buzz is probably an essential step for all of us in understanding conversations and developing a strategy of influence.
Friday, January 2, 2009
Branding, Information and Communication
As specialists in branding and segmentation with tons of experience we have realized that the only way that anyone really understands any concept is when we give examples. The BIC Picture is replete with examples. Examples of what one should do and more importantly what one should not be doing. The BIC Picture talks of issues that obsess CEO’s – more! About multi step branding. About what dominating a category of business is all about. The threats and pitfalls that, most often that not, befall behemoths in business. About how conglomerates have billions of dollars in revenue but still manage to post a loss!! Amazing but true. The BIC Picture TM tells us why branding, information and communication are so very important. Why they need to be focused? Why it is imperative for a brand to be what it is – a brand!! The Indian economy today is on the verge of a international presence. The big boys of Indian industry, so far shielded from competition, must tread carefully. The list of victims reads like a daily who’s who!
All businesses divide further into categories. That’s the universal truth. But big companies and conglomerates keep trying to get into businesses where they have no reason to be. Isn’t it better to dominate a category than to be a fringe player in some other product line. History is replete with examples of this. The big blue, IBM was at one time the market leader in personal computers. Heard of Compaq? Guess who the market leader is today? Did you know that IBM also spent billions of dollars in developing operating systems and chips? Guess what happened to them? What does the brand Kodak remind you of? Did you know that Kodak spent billions of dollars and years of agony in making computers? Brand extensions are a misnomer. They can’t be extended. Businesses divide and so do categories. Many conglomerates think that their brand can sell anything. So most of the time CEO’s are looking to get into other businesses when they should be spending time trying to dominate their industry. We’ll give you a classic example. In 1996, Pepsico had bought more than 24,000 restaurants in which to sell Pepsi. As opposed to which, Coke wasn’t even in that vertical at all. Pepsico had sales of $28.5 billion. Coke had sales of $16.2 billion. But guess what the stock market valuations for the two companies were – Pepsico, the bigger company, was valued at $44billion and Coke, the smaller company, was valued at $93 billion. More than twice the valuation! That’s the power of brand focus!!
We see it today too. One of our favourite examples of today is the Kingfisher brand. You tell us where the brand is headed? Is the brand focused? What next? Kingfisher detergents and washing machines? Maybe even Kingfisher noodles? Do you think Mr. Mallya is going to listen to us as we tell him to focus his brand? You got to be kidding!!
The BIC Picture is a flying run through your strategic marketing plan which encompasses today’s big three in any marketing process – Branding, Information and Communication.
· Situation Analysis
· Industry Overview
· Competitive Analysis and Profile
· Customer Analysis and Profile
· Target Markets
· Objectives – Long and Short Term
· Brand Positioning
· Strategies – Marketing, Advertising and Communication
· The Tactical Overview – Marketing initiatives
The Brand Masterclass is a process, proprietary to BRANDZ 360, which delivers some crystal clear advantages to your firm or product. The Brand Masterclass is a classroom for everyone to learn and evaluate the synergies that you have with your customer which in essence is what builds your brand equity and increases the value of your brand.
Toddler’s steps in the art of branding…
Brands are part of the decision making process of every purchase. The stronger the brand means the clearer the position it has in your mind. Ergo it has more value and the chances of the customer buying the product or service again and again increases. In this, the kindergarten of branding, the goal or initial sketch of how to ensure that the customer makes those choices is what we proceed to enumerate and discover.
The Kindergarten is a process of finding out from the very basics the strategic state of your company’s brand. Based on research, it will help your company to uncover elements that are critical to satisfy your customer base. These first steps will provide us a foundation for developing the best methodology for creating brand communications. Leading to profound knowledge and analytical skills vis a vis your brand, over time, the Brand Masterclass is your acknowledged weapon in the art of brand management.
The Kindergarten measures the effectiveness of your brand. As well as values therein both nascent and obvious. It establishes brand value as a benchmark for enhancements by focusing on the attributes of your product or service that make you different from your competitor. It also gives you in depth analysis of what the customer perceives your product or service to be. The Kindergarten enables you to modify, align and create positioning communication with pin point accuracy on your target group’s specific needs and wants. Finally, it teaches all of us the power of the focus of a brand. Or rather of the brand that is focused!
Once the values of a brand are unlocked and laid bare, which is exactly what The Kindergarten does, it becomes so much more easier to measure, monitor and enhance your communications. Both internally and externally. It helps you focus on your brands core communications and increase your bottom line. BRANDZ 360’s Masterclass helps you maximize value relationships between corporate profitability and brand perception.
The Kindergarten is in depth profiling of your brand. It obviously comes up with the good points but more importantly tells you where you are going wrong. This happens not because we say so but because data from related measurements which gauge brand effectiveness tells you so!
The following documentation is available on retaining BRANDZ 360 for in-depth research of your brand in the Brand Masterclass. Aspects of branding are graded on a scale of 1 to 10 on the following:
1. products or services
2. target markets
Other processes that unlock your brand’s value are:
1. Internal interviews
2. Suggestions of internal nourishment and enhancement of the brand.
3. External reviews from customers, vendors and key personnel
4. Competitive analysis – to tell you how you stack up against the competition, how your target group perceives you.
5. Brand Analysis Report – a tabulated report that is informative and revealing.