Archive for September, 2011

September 29, 2011

Amazing Amazon! The iPad still Rules.

Like its mighty name sake, it flows on broad and deep and wide!  Those of us who have used the iPad, particularly iPad 2 are not likely to see Amazon’s Kindle Fire as real competition. Undercutting iPad does not apply as an argument to us because had we been price conscious we would not have bought the iPad in the first place. Apple has never been positioned as a price led brand. Its value comes from the fact that it delivers on its price promise. It sits right in the middle of a heavy laptop and a lighter eBook reader. It has an interface that is more than just user friendly it is positively seductive. So today’s headlines putting Amazon’s new Kindle Fire as a head on competitor to the iPad do not make much sense. On the other the speed and agility with which Amazon has responded to every single opportunity in the market is beyond impressive. These technology driven consumer brands catch hold of the consumer’s wrist and never let go. Every shift in the pulse is measured and something done about it. The interesting question is why hasn’t the “traditional” consumer products industry done the same?

And here is another analysis of what could be other problems with the Kindle Fire…..largely from the e Book reading perspective.


September 28, 2011

Measuring TRUST in India

The Economic Times released its findings today….the 100 brands that are most trusted by consumers in India. Since Nielsen did the survey we can at least hope for some degree of objectivity and authenticity because all too often these surveys suffer from either inadequate sample size or some other bias.

Colgate leads, displacing Nokia which was last year’s number one trusted brand in India.  Airtel is the most trusted service brand with an overall rank of 3. Of the top 10 in this list all but one are “MNC” in status, although with a strong India character. Of the 100, “MNC” labels out numbers pure local brands. Plenty of Unilever brands in personal care. No big surprises and we are reassured to see that the corporate India we are most in touch with chugs along in its usual reasonably healthy manner.

September 28, 2011

Hard Innovation vs Soft Innovation

Nice juxtaposition to generate some new thoughts and provide a new perspective…..what benefits a brand more: making hard technology changes and improvements or making soft consumer friendly almost incremental additions/changes? Something like a little detail added in or taken out and the user has a WOW moment?

September 28, 2011

Here comes the next battle field: Brand Plutocrats vs Bankrupt Governments

France wants  more money, has a brain wave, says let’s tax all  “sugary drinks” because as we all know sugar is bad for us and our children and we would like to discourage its use. Sugar tax just as we have cigarette tax and booze tax, two categories that get slammed budget after budget in practically every country.

So sugary drinks say no way: we thought we would invest a big chunk in France but not any more thank you very much.

But of course the French government also wanted to tax FUN….but they lost that battle.

September 28, 2011


Pizza Hut and Zynga Partner for Hunger Relief

September 26, 2011

Unusual and expensive promotions seems to be worth it for some….

LEGO. Who would have thought that a brand largely perceived as a play toy for children would spend vast amounts of money to send up Lego figures into space and make replicas of Westminster Abbey to celebrate William and Kate’s wedding. But this seems to be the case and according to this report the brand considers it money well spent. It must be said though that some of these ideas are very good. Have they actually helped sell more Lego, would be the big question which this article of course does not answer.

September 26, 2011

….and the race is on! Coke steps in to also do some good…

The Coca-Cola Company and UN Help Accelerate Women’s Economic Empowerment

Coke finds relevance in focusing on the economic development of women.The company has already given $ 9.6 million to 40 global community organizations around the world to encourage social entrepreneurship amongst women. And now it plans to participate in   the UN’s Women’s Strategic Plan which envisages building business skills in women to improve their economic situation. I wonder whether these programs take into account the pressure growing economic and professional success places on women who also have children to bring up. And do these programs then build in initiatives/suggestions that can support women when faced with this challenge. But all such endeavors deserve praise.







September 25, 2011

Pepsi in Ethiopia, getting the good for business balance right

Pepsi with USAID and the World Food Program is now starting an grow more chickpeas program in Ethiopia. In many cuisines chickpeas are an item of regular use. They also happen to be more nutritious than was earlier thought. And so we will watch with eagerness what becomes of this initiative in one of the world’s poorest, strife rent countries. How well can business convert social economic and commercial benefits into one winning package? Either this hasn’t been done yet or it hasn’t been tracked or its impact was not measurable because nothing big comes to mind. So here is wishing Pepsi all success. Keep us posted please!

PepsiCo’s Newest Role In The Food World: Chickpea Pusher



September 19, 2011

Brands for a Good Cause: Update

Kellogg’s ‘Help Give a Child a Breakfast’ 

……part of the Breakfast Club initiative.  Is this a marketing gimmick or does the brand expect to leave some lasting change. A better nourished next generation? Would adding on a big helping of corn flakes do the job? Is this just to make us feel better for eating these because a part of the  sales proceeds go towards supporting this initiative? And apparently it has been 13 years since the breakfast club idea started. Is Kellogg tracking progress of those who participate in this program?

Cause Marketing Does Affect Brand Purchase

Here is the latest on impact on brands from doing social good.

January 2011

The latest branding wisdom states that you must do good, be seen to be doing good and sustain your good efforts in order for your brand to engage in a rewarding manner with your consumers and other stakeholders. Those committed to this say their efforts are not to be confused with corporate philanthropy or corporate social responsibility. This effort is linked to the products people buy and then feel good that in buying them they are contributing to the social betterment of those who cannot afford to buy these products. The newest in this category is Gucci……

Here is a useful site in case you want to know more about who did good and how  over the last few years:

September 19, 2011

Liquor brands do some of the best promotions…

Responsible or not? No one said alcohol was altogether bad. In fact new research, not sure who funds this, says a little is better than none at all. But here are some new stories on who is doing what. Guinness comes through as the winner as far as I am concerned.