Saturday, December 15, 2012

Game of Rebranding

One of the significant marketing changes in the past decade involves the dramatic increase in various ways in which consumers can express their identities. A key driver of this change has been the growth of one-to-one marketing and mass customization, which has not only expanded accessibility to traditional means of self-expression(e.g., hobbies, cheering for favourite sport teams and music groups, wearing iconic brands) but also introduced a variety of innovative self-expressive formats. This trend has led many organizations to rebrand and reposition their products or services focusing on functional attributes to focusing on how they fit into a consumer’s lifestyle. This rebranding exercise is welcomed by managers who believe that by positioning their brands as means for self-expression, they are less likely to go head-to-head with their direct competitors. Rebranding refers to repositioning or revitalizing a brand. It is also changing or reaffirming the existing marketing niche. It is different than the initial launch because the marketers usually don’t want to lose their existing brand equity with their current customers and clients. It is one of those terms that cropped up in the last two decades or so. There are many different interpretations of re-branding, and ideas on when it's needed and exactly how it should be undertaken. There are two divergent opinions about re-branding. The first is that re-branding is essential for business success; one needs to re-brand in order to evolve its brand so that it keeps up with the time and meets consumers' ever-changing needs. The other, that re-branding should be avoided at all costs; after all, if brands like Kellogg's, Kodak, Coca Cola and Gillette can still be market leaders in their categories as they were in 1925, then is re-branding really necessary? Rebranding can have a dual purpose; one, to assign a new name to a product or service and two, it can mean to reposition an existing brand. It can be applied to either new products, mature products, or even unfinished products. The process can occur intentionally through a deliberate change in strategy or occur unintentionally from unplanned, emergent situations. Rebranding is thus a process of giving a product or an organization a new image. Too often companies perceive Rebranding as just another cosmetic exercise. Adding a new color here, tweak of the logo there and putting up some nice TV commercials, but rebranding can only be successful when it is more than this. It signifies the second birth of a brand, so along with the outer look there also goes certain changes in the inner aspects of the brand, like changes in offering methods, changes in the product, changes in policy, etc. Rebranding is often necessary after M&A or if the brand has outgrown its identity / marketplace. When organizations have failed to establish a brand, or have been through any kind of scandal, total Rebranding may also be in order. In these cases, the intent is to erase any previous brand identity and replace it with completely new imagery and messaging. In the recent years, we have seen a growing trend of rebranding in our country starting with Vodafone, Airtel, to media channels, and many others. But the pertinent question that blogger seeks to find out from her readers, if any, is – “what is the end result of such massive and expensive exercise on the consumer? Was the change cosmetic only? Was the image of the brand affected in the consumer’s mind? What makes this affect positive or negative? What changes does it bring in the consumer buying pattern? How does the rebranding affect the bottom line (if any)?"

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mind : The Best Charmer

Charm is magnetic…. It strikes the cord and leaves an everlasting impression in heart. Probably this is why it is said “first impression is the last impression.”

Recollecting my childhood memories.... when I used to accompany my parents at Ramakrishna Mission at Satribari- Guwahati quite frequently, once came across a very interesting read from the writings of Swami Vivekananda. Although I did not understand much that time what was written, but on the advice of the Maharaj present there I, very hastily noted down the same. Today, when I read and ponder, I could realize how valuable these lines are…

Few of the directives which I still remember are noted below that can go a long way in making one’s personality more & more charming and life extra worthy..

# 1 – One should have control on his / her mood; we must make a habit of breaking bad moods.
# 2 – We should offer understanding, empathy & help.
# 3 – One should avoid fault finding and spend time to analyze self.
# 4 - One must create his / her own influence and not be the center of attraction.
# 5 - Show interest, give encouragement & appreciation.
# 6 - We must be cooperative, helpful and generous.
# 7 – One must avoid desiring to be considered as superior.
# 8 - Be pleasant & look cheerful.
# 9- While speaking, one must be proactive and look pleased to see people
#10- One must be enthusiastic and energetic
# 11–Last but the most important, we must avoid talking behind the back of the people.

These may not be the standard set, but I am sure, it is definitely the basic primer for good life and healthy personality. We can all create our own laws as long as we keep on analyzing, learning and analyzing our own real self. The more we study our-self, we will come to know more about our-self. There may be many books which will help to be charming, but, yes, there is one perfect book which will help and guide us constantly to be CHARMING and that is our own MIND.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

We didn't have the green thing back in our earlier days

While checking out today at a grocery store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman standing next to me, that she should bring her own shopping bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

While the woman apologized and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in my earlier days." the cashier responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care much to save our environment for future generations."

She was right – our earlier generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

Back then, I remember my Dad returned milk bottles to the milk depot/ store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so they could use the same bottles over and over. Yes, they really were recycling.

I also recall how we refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen; Dad replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. Yeah, we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up the stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every shop / grocery store and office building.

Back then, Mom washed our nappies because we didn't have the throw-away concept. We dried clothes on a line, not in an 'energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts;' wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got "hand-me-down" clothes from senior siblings, not always brand-new clothing.

We had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And, the TV had a small screen - (the size of a big handkerchief- hope we all remember.. ), not a screen the size of the county of Yorkshire.

In the kitchen, Mom blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. But, that lady is right. We didn't have the green thing back in our day.

When we packaged a fragile item to send in the post, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

Bach then, we drank water from a fountain or a tap when we were thirsty instead of demanding a plastic bottle flown in from another country.

We accepted that a lot of food was seasonal and didn’t expect that to be bucked by flying it thousands of air miles around the world.

We actually cooked food that didn’t come out of a packet, tin or plastic wrap and we could even wash our own vegetables and chop our own salad.

But, we didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the tram or a bus, and kids rode their bicycles / bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mothers into a 24-hour taxi service.

We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances.

And we didn't require a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

It is sad... the current generation laments how wasteful the old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then..