Sunday, August 2, 2009

Repositioning is in Fashion

The challenge for today’s market leaders is to reposition so as to sustain. It is always tempting to compare the competence of today’s leaders with those of the previous generation. People who have watched Gavaskar take on the best fast bowlers of his time would certainly rate him higher than Sehwag. People who have watched Big B on Don might rate him on a higher scale than SRK.

A leader is a function of the times he lives in, just as much as a batsman is function of the opposition that he bats against and the pitches that he bats on. The biggest challenge for today’s leaders is to reposition themselves to the point they aspire for. Starting from consumer durables, FMCGs, footwear, entertainment, media houses, advertising agencies, web portals have repositioned themselves. To add to this, even Himesh Reshammiya (Jai Mata Di, Lets rrrrock, fame) for his forthcoming film has repositioned his voice, keeping aside his new looks. As a teacher of marketing, the theme excites me and hence, collected few information on revamping/ repositioning workouts, which, I thought to pen down on my blog.

Media in India has transformed. From the few mainstream papers and one TV channel, the industry has metamorphosised into a maelstrom of choice. It is only few years back, the newspapers were busy saying “no space” and even magazines like India Today wished they had multiple “ front sections;” so acute was the demand for space and preferred positions. The performance of media managers were evaluated mainly on their ability to get space. The emergence of cable and satellite and the growing literacy of India has lead to vernacular media making its presence felt in more ways than one. Regional media is growing and is no longer the country cousin of English.

In the footwear market, Bata is on the front foot; seventy five years and still running strong. Generations have gone to school and grown up on Bata. Now the footwear major is re-inventing itself to appeal to a younger generation. The first footwear brand to set foot in the country, Bata is now looking to “surprise” customers with an expanded range- all at “great prices”- in a new and improved shopping environment. While being strong in men’s shoes, Bata also has grown in the ladies, children and sports segments. Furthermore, they also launched a new specialized division “ Bata Industrials”, offering footwear meant for various sectors such as defence, automobile, agriculture, construction, agriculture, metals & petroleum. The stores are now more spacious with more than 3,000 sq.ft of retail space, some are even larger than 10,000 sq.ft, not to forget that these stores have been designed by a specialist team of retail designers from Italy in collaboration with in-house team of architects. Bata’s retail environment underwent major changes with superior store fit-outs and furniture. Although the global meltdown did induce Bata to cut down its expenses, the company did no compromise on expansion or even modernization. With a revamp and new product range, Bata battles it out with the players in the organized sector like Adidas, Liberty, Nike, Reebok, Khadims, Metro, Woodland and many more.

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