Lose Silver, Win Gold….

When Nike came up with this slogan for the Olympics “you don’t win silver, you lose gold’ much time has actually been passed when this created a controversy, leaving all the controversies apart, India has managed to win gold. Abhinav Bindra a alumnus of Doon School and St Stephens who is now a business man who is the CEO of Abhinav Futuristics has manager to get the gold for India, what surprises me is a new breed of sportsmanship which has risen, take the example of professionals in sports and professionals in their career. Of course there are a lot of professionals like that who are working but having a company which is in the business of Gaming and shooting for the olympics and winning the Gold is a great achievement, needs a great deal of patience, perseverance and hard work, and a CEO who needs to manage the company, his family and the Olympic sport is a win-win combination, kudos you have made India proud……….. Here is the link to his bio from the wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abhinav_Bindra

You can have any Car as long as it’s Electric

If Henry ford would have been alive today, much to every one’s dismay or rather tumultous state of affairs, Henry Ford would have proudly proclaimed that you can have any colour as long its electric, and its happening, the vice president of SAP by name Shai Agassi, has launched a company in October 2007 called Project Better Place, an initiative which he started out of his own interest to contribute towards the global warming. He in association with the Isreali government are trying to launch an exchangeble battery program, which would be in association with Renault and Project Better Place. The whole concept would be like a pre-paid mobile chanring point, where the same concept would be applied to electric cars. It works like somewhat like this, take an instance that in a month X would talk for 300 bucks, so the pre-paid that the person would buy would be 300 bucks and an additional in case of emergencies, now apply this same concept to the rechargeble batteries of cars, if X wanted to drive 400 miles, the recharge would be available for 400 bucks. This is funded by Monthy miles which would be minutes for the telecom operator, Thomas Friedman also in his NYT article, mentions the same approach which would be to lay effective infrastructure, and have national recharging networks and facilities, This has also been talked in Davos Extensively about the infrastructure for the Electric car which the Isreali government wants to mass produce just similat to the mass production of the black model T.

Here are the video’s to the Davos Infrastructure

Have a look at the video – Shai Agassi – Revolutionizing the Eectic Car

I wish this idea take out big time for tax incentives and a vision to eliminate gasoline transportation, The infrastructure should be powered by Open Source or Gnutella Networks as i personally feel Open Source will bring in more innovation and personalization which would bring participation. Hail Richard Stallman.

How Lively!!!!!

Google is once again at its best, its next innovation which once again explains the 20% off the job project is a run away, Students from the Arizona State University aimed to create a new 3D virtual chat room which uses the behemoth’s products for its 3D chat room, here users can enter rooms of 20 and design their own environment and use youtube video’s and picasa photo’s. Lively tries to make the conversation more realistic and dimensional by adding avatars and have branded virtual scenes.

Here is the website http://www.lively.com of the Google lively, though a part of Google labs the site does give some good information,

For people who would live to know more about Lively here is the Article in the NewYorkTimes http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/09/technology/09google.html?fta=y

It could seriously change the way chatting would be done, imagine the yahoo search engine and the Gtalk which was pretty plain could now be a new 3D device with virtual surroundings. For all thats there its going to be a lively experience after all.

My New G-Spot

The recent news of Gucci launching a new G shaped ice cubes came as a surprise to me while i was reading the article, For me i had a feeling that a name of everything would probably dilute the name of the brand. It happened to Disney or heck it happened to Pierre Cardin when he shocked the world with Pierre Cardin Toilet seats, it took Eisner to realise that the brand disney was infact getting diluted and removed the name of disney on most of the products, Pierre cardin was a luxury segment and so is Gucci but the relevance of Gucci to get into Ice Trays is unthinkable, it is a totally different segment altogether, of course it can get all the major fashion pubs and resto bars to put a Gucci ice cube and increase the price of the drink by 10% but then, it would act as a major noticable difference, here is a picture of the Gucci Ice trays

However the price of the ice tray is not cheap and that is a sure indication that Gucci is doin its job of luxury very well, who knows when my neighbour comes and asks for an ice tray a Gucci would surely be the talk of the neighbourhood, till then thats the new G-Spot

”Ugly is only skin deep”

Ever since Bernbach gave us the ”Ugly is only skin deep” welcome to the new world where ugly is really skin deep, This june marked the first Plastic Surgery fashion show, plastic surgery isn’t common to us, the Indian physician Sushruta in his work Sushruta Samhita describes the practices of Rhinoplasty and Otoplasty. A fashion show using the tools of plastic surgery is however not common and was never practised before, this however brings major implications for we marketers in general.

Branded to perfection: True that fashion shows have always been sources for showcasing major brands, in the future hell, we might have prisoners do a fashion show and have companies brand prison wear, this would be a big taking, imagine what would Martha Stewart wear to prison… ordinary clothes, hell no; we have companies which can launch branded prison wear, and too much to Anita Roddicks surprise Cosmetic companies can make a killing by branding their cosmetic products and selling plastic surgery solutions for a better world, or have major companies providing new category killers for the new segment. Companies can sponsor the fashion shows, have new designers and the rest they say in cliche terms in history, i surely wouldnt be surprised if in the future they having fashion shows for the cutest robot.

A new way for mass PR: Well markets have become cluttered, and the only way to make some impact is to launch a fashion show to get the media talking, the blogs talking, wiki would have an article, talk shows, discussions, damn i am also to blame for writing topics like this, this way some other companies will jump the ante, in the future we shall have a PSFS ( Plastic Surgery Fashion Show) of various kinds PSFS Spring Summer by X, PSFS by Y and the media would jump into by writing how it makes more sense to spend the money on food crisis or povery, capitalists would jump by defending themselves.. a la one more cliche to the whole thing, the only thing it does good is that it gets people talking.

A new untapped opportunity: Typical MBA jargon, its a new untapped opportunity, Imagine young managers speaking to their bosses about a new PSMW (Plastic Surgery Miss World) PSMU( Plastic Surgery Miss Universe) and a PSMA (Plastic Surgery Miss America), heck it sure is a new untapped opportunity for marketers, why they can have auditions from every country and encourage plastic surgery,

True all this is possible in the long term, we have to however live with this crazy world, just as George Bernard Shaw emphasised “Fashion is so intolerable that we have to change it every six months” Six months is very short a period of time for IPSC ( Individuals with Plastic Surgery done Community) and there will new laws in place for protecting people with Plastic Surgery, new FDA laws, new acts for people undergoing plastic surgery, of course this is going to be one complicated activity in the future, Men would jump saying they are a part of the IPSC and demand equal rights, there would be a special community and focus on this new community, Countries would lobby for their share of legalizing PSFS and then the same cycle of media, blogs, talks, debates, finally makes me ponder, a complicated issue however, but then ugly is skin deep and imagine robotic fashion shows, new patents, new untapped markets, branded products and finally new laws, new acts, new communities and further complications.

There is some HOPE ( Hummer Owners Prepared for Emergencies)

Ever since the Energy Tax Act came into prominence, it was a new realm.. the Gas Guzzler Tax, today we see its all the environment and nothing but the environment. The recent news reports about the General Motors thinking on the lines of removing the line of the Hummer came in rather expected rather than a jolt, the Hummer brand isnt going to survive for long, it was Arnie who popularised the Hummer and taking it to the consumption when he first purchased the Hummer which was specially meant for World War purposes, Its the Oil shock that is making the Hummer out of the market, i don’t have a liking for MUV’s for any reason but i do like Suv’s ;). What can GM do is the biggest challenge. In its fight for oil i would suggest GM to think of new ways to rethink of launching the new HUMVEE by strategically innovating, true its a gas guzzler but it would make more sense for GM to use Bio fuels for the Hummer just as Richard Branson did it with the Boeing, the hummer should try to launch new models which are not energy eaters, and the tax on the Gas Guzzlers act as another disadvantage, of course the number of people who are driving the hummer is very few, GM can as well scrap the division but can also start various model of the Hummer, the question is the resources that needs to be taken in question, will the hummer be made into a eco-friendly vehicle, much of what we know is that in the world of technology is possible, or another wacky idea like an electric hummer, it all depends on how much we need to charge to get the hummer running and it would sure attract the electricity freaks into business, the way to go it to make the hummer an eco friendly vehicle by launching a bio-fuel one and launching new models, this way there could be some HOPE ( Hummer Owners Prepared for Emergencies)

Beauty parloured for the new look!!!!!!!!!!!!!

T.S Elliot in the wasteland proudly emphasised that April is the cruelest month, but not for marketers, since april there has been rebranding efforts taken by marketers, a close look at the rebranding issues that have come up have been enormous, first we had the likes of UTI-Axis, A new face of Canara bank, Hutch becoming Vodafone, till recently the new look of Godrej, the new face of Ceat and the new positioning done by shoppers stop and Arvind mills with its new logo. All these suggest many factors, one being that the companies are looking beyond the traditional image and having a new look, another reason is that of projecting the company as the new company with fun and excitement, breaking the clutter and saving the considation are the most obvious reasons, is the new look justified….Let us take a moment to understand what works, why it works and why the mind of the customer is becoming difficult to change. One obvious reason that have been the cause is that the industry is getting diversified and there has to be a clear cut brand proposition for it to stay healthy in the market place, of course the 6 crore that godrej paid Interbrand for the rebranding efforts is just a small percentage of its volumes. People have not realised much change, for a change to happen there should be an overall change for the whole companies point of view, let me put my two cents in this, the first is that even though Vodafone is the new avatar, people still associate it with hutch, for example on my Nokia phone the name is still hutch and not vodafone and they have not changed it, with the rebranding there has not been much change in the connectivity and it took the ad guys to get the dog back to show that we care, and by the way i perfectly think that the dog overshadowed the brand name ”winks winks” too much for advertising these days. Take canara bank, i have asked some customers, their reply, the logo is changed and they have incorporated new colours, but the service is the same and they have not been any new services to prove the change, Shoppers stop have been a wonderful campaign, i personally loved the work of contract for its ads, the advertising is beautifully done, but will the campaign show that shoppers stop have really changed, the change should be a 360 degree branding, first make all the systems, staff and the strategy in place and then go for a rebranding efforts, i am not really sure in the case of ceat but on a personal note i loved the born tough and the Rhino as a logo, made perfect sense for a tyre brand, it is upto brand managers to understand why rebranding needs to be done, my three cents on this, first is that there is a better offering and the company is going for rebranding, second is that they have entered a different segment, for example soaps and glycering during the world war II, third is that there is a confusion in the original branding efforts, much also needs to understand that a new beauty parloured look would not matter if the consumer does not feel the difference, the same service existed in the Deccan to Simplifly deccan, there has even not much people who were aware that a rebranding effort has been taken place, when companies spend money and time, when the rebranding efforts is not aware by the customers, i sign off saying the rebranding is not about a new look, a new colour, a new symbol or a new logo…it is much beyond the these, it is about justifying that the new look suits the image of the company, rebranding without systems, staff and strategy in place is like changing you style but the same of you remains……