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Arindam Chaudhuri, Editor-in-Chief, 4Ps B&M

Gandhi has been my favourite for seminars on leadership and management for years! In fact, in the last chapter of my first book Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch, I described him as the ultimate successor of Krishna as a management guru! The reason is simple! To me, there is no greater a management guru than Krishna; and the Gita is my ultimate guide to management! Krishna guides a handful of five brothers to victory against the army of a hundred brothers in the mythological Mahabharata, and in a similar way, Mahatma Gandhi guided us to Independence against all odds! Whether Krishna was true or not is debatable, but Gandhi was for real! And what we all know about Gandhi is that when he died, he said, “Hey Ram, He Ram, He Ram,” – though now even that is debated by various scholars. However, what many of us don’t know about Gandhi is that he used to read the Gita daily and called it the most important guide to success.

So what is it about the Mahatma that makes him such a revered figure even when it comes to management and especially marketing? For that, we have to perhaps study a little bit about his past and look at world history on the whole. World wide, freedom from the oppressor always meant violent struggles! Freedom was always synonymous with violent revolutions. You conquered with the power of violence and you got freedom by fighting violence with violence! But India had a peculiar problem! The problem was our prevalent religion. Gandhi himself called Hindus cowards. I wouldn’t say that, but we sure were complacent, patient and tolerant and relatively the most peaceful race in the world. We had not developed in us the spirit of war and violence! And therefore, when it came to motivating Indians and bringing them out for a violent revolution, even the man who defeated Gandhi’s own candidate in the Indian National Congress (INC) elections and became the President of INC – Subhash Chandra Bose – failed miserably. His war cry – “Give me blood, and I will give you freedom” – would’ve worked in every part of the world... but for India! And Bose finally had to leave India to collect his army from outside India to fight the Indian war of Independence! Gandhi, of course, was a keen observer and a quick learner – a key trait of a great marketing man! This man, with a burning desire to succeed in getting India freedom and realizing that violence didn’t appeal to the common Indian man, changed and did what was never done world wide – again, a great trait of a good marketing success story is being first! And Gandhi surely was the first to bring to the world, the concept of non-violence! This concept made him the TIME magazine’s Man of the Year way back in 1930 and won him followers ranging from Martin Luther King Junior, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela and Aung Aan Suu Kyi amongst others over the years.
 
At first, non-violence was looked as the stupidest tool of revolution. But Gandhi knew what he was doing. He knew how to market his concept because he knew he was satisfying an existing need – the need to participate in the freedom struggle and throw the British out, which was combined with a desire to not be forced to take up arms and risk one’s life in a violent manner. He knew that his concept was a great solution to this need. The next thing he had to do was to connect with the masses and spread the word. In those days, when newspapers were a luxury, telecommunication absent and even transport and connectivity a rarity, getting the message across the length and breadth of this huge nation was the biggest possible challenge. Gandhi decided to go about it man to man! He always had a great respect for the end customer. He had said, “The customer is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us an opportunity to do so.” And in his struggle, the end customers were the masses. To connect with them, he gave up his suits and ties. In fact, to connect with them, his marketing campaign included burning of foreign clothes and making khadi. Many like Tagore didn’t find it logical. But being a marketing man, Gandhi knew it was helping him connect emotionally with his audience and convey his message across. The common man often understands symbolic gestures better than great works of poetry. And Gandhi reveled in such symbolic gestures. Being a great leader, leading from the front was never an issue, but what many Indian leaders fail to do even now in these days of easy connectivity, he did way back in the early 1900s. He went to his masses and became a part of them. He walked with them and inspired them to walk along with him. His new attire – the khadi – was something the common man identified with; and his half naked clothing was symbolic of the man whose support he wanted – the unfed and suffering Indian looking for salvation. As they say, there is nothing to beat a great word of mouth! The word of his work with masses spread like fire and soon the entire country was finding out ways to follow the activities of this man of peace, who was talking of giving India independence and looked closer to achieving it than anyone had ever had!

 
 
TRITON COMMUNICATIONS WORKS WITH OVER 75 BRANDS, YET BELIEVES IN THE “NO SHOW-OFF STRATEGY”. ALI MERCHANT, DIRECTOR, TELLS 4PS B&M HOW THEY PULLED IT OFF

“Very, very sexy!” When deodorant Zatak got this tag line, not many knew that Triton Communications was behind the rambunctious statement. More so perhaps because the agency itself did not want it – apparently, the agency likes to work on a low key profile and follows a typical “no show-off” strategy. Although this positioning tactic is quite unlike many others in the industry, that’s the philosophy the agency lives with, at least for now. In numbers, they seem to be rocking big time with a host of clients (with over 75 brands including names like Yes Bank, Eureka Forbes, Force Motors, Cadilla, Adani, Ever Yuth, Papa John’s, Chili’s, The Kabab Factory...) in their kitty and now clearly set to lock horns with the big daddies of the industry. In an exclusive interaction with Triton’s Director, Ali Merchant, 4Ps B&M attempts to dig out the nuances of how Triton pulled it off, and how their so called “family bonding” style helps them strengthen their mind share in the industry.

Triton Communications is one of the few agencies that have a successful track record of building and launching primarily only Indian brands. Is it a conscious strategy or a coincidence? Don’t you think you are missing out on international brands?
Yes, across offices, Triton has worked with a number of Indian brands. At the same time, we were the ones to have launched Honda mobikes and Samsung in India. We have worked with Coke as their regional agency in the past and of course, Panasonic from our Delhi office. Our strategy finally depends on the brands that are entering the country. But many of those [foreign companies] which exist here have a diktat to work with select groups/networks only. International brands certainly do have big budgets and hence a pitch results in all the agencies throwing in their hats for it. We would love to pitch in for any prestigious brand. We are as capable as any other agency in terms of delivering to their satisfaction.

Triton also has a full fledged media planning and buying division? How is that arm doing?
Extremely well as a department and a resource for the rest of the agency. A lot of our leading clients use our media services – planning and buying. Besides, we also handle independent agencies-on-record. The billing for the department is in excess of `200 crore. As an agency, we have invested as much as other specialized media companies in data, research, media buying and planning tools, which give insights into buying behavior, cross category insights and penetration of different products, besides the obvious media habits and consumption. This bundling of services helps our clients in more ways than one. It permits both the marketing and the agency team in better analysis, understanding and hence targeting the consumer. Our media team doubles up as in-house quantitative research resource.
 
There exists a general perception that among the mid-sized agencies present in the country, Triton generally maintains a low profile. Any particular reason for the same?
You are right. But now we are working to change the same. It stemmed more from the good old belief that let’s stay focused on our work and results will follow. But somewhere, we got caught in the trap. For example: an ad aired on TV does not carry our name. In the past, the first thing that people used to do, when they saw a new ad that they liked, was to see which was the agency. Not anymore. But things have gone through a lot of change. Now, it’s very important for an agency to get covered because it impacts the agency’s ability to grow as well to attract the right talent, the two things which are key to the survival of an agency. Before deciding on agencies, clients search through the net for information. Considering the same, we now showcase our work wherever and whenever the opportunity permits. Our web site is being redesigned and updated to show our new work. Also, we are planning to register our good works for awards in future. We have realized that some things cannot be taken for granted and visibility is really important in this age of tweets and social media.

For more articles, Click on IIPM Article

Source : IIPM Editorial, 2011.

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

For More IIPM Info, Visit below mentioned IIPM articles.

IIPM ranked No 1 B-School in India
domain-b.com : IIPM ranked ahead of IIMs
IIPM: Management Education India
Prof. Rajita Chaudhuri's Website


IIPM Proves Its Mettle Once Again....
Arindam Chaudhuri on Internet.....
Arindam Chaudhuri: We need Hazare's leadership
Professor Arindam Chaudhuri - A Man For The Society....
IIPM: Indian Institute of Planning and Management

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Some Brands, despite missing out in making it to the most valuable brands list, deserve a mention. Reason: They hold immense promise, deserving of an inclusion in the list of the most promising brands 2010. 4Ps B&M brings to you ten such names which have the potential to outshine the pack.


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Kent RO

Kent RO, the 15 year-old brainchild of Mahesh Gupta (Founder and CMD, Kent RO Systems Ltd) has given a new meaning to domestic water purification, having given the country its first RO purifier system, and that too with an enduring celebrity endorsement. With greater media visibility guaranteed over the next few months, this brand is certainly in for bigger prizes soon.

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Senator

Senator Worldwide, marketer of specialty writing instruments, may not be one of those brands that you watch being flashed on mass communication channels day-in-and-day-out. But it is here, hopefully to stay. The company has entered into a JV with one of India’s leading business houses, the Modi Group, with an aim to become the most influential brand in the business of writing instruments. The Senator has landed!

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SAFEXPRESS

Logistics is one business where credibility is of utmost importance, and advertising is key. Proof: Look at Safexpress, which is making waves with its most recent campaign dubbed “Distribution Redefined”. The brand has been able to secure an impressive list of clients, comprising global and national corporate houses. It’s only a matter of time when the legacy of this brand becomes an analysis for b-school case studies!



For more articles, Click on IIPM Article.

Source : IIPM Editorial, 2011.

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

For More IIPM Info, Visit below mentioned IIPM articles.

IIPM ranked No 1 B-School in India
domain-b.com : IIPM ranked ahead of IIMs
IIPM: Management Education India
Prof. Rajita Chaudhuri's Website


IIPM Proves Its Mettle Once Again....
Arindam Chaudhuri on Internet.....
Arindam Chaudhuri: We need Hazare's leadership
Professor Arindam Chaudhuri - A Man For The Society....
IIPM: Indian Institute of Planning and Management

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FOR THE FIFTH YEAR IN A ROW, ICMR-4PS B&M BRING TO YOU THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE AND COGENT RANKING OF THE MOST VALUABLE BRANDS THAT MAKE INDIA INC. PROUD. BEGINNING 2008, A SLOWDOWN-MARRED YEAR-AND-A-HALF FOLLOWED, WHICH SAW MANY BRANDS WHICH WERE BASKING IN THE AFTERGLOW OF THEIR PAST LAURELS, LOSE THEIR GLITTER. ALL LOST SOME, SOME LOST ALL. BUT WITH THE SECOND HALF OF 2009, THE FRAGRANCE OF POSITIVITY STARTED FILLING THE AIR, PROMISING MUCH, BUT WITH A CHANGE. THE NEW TIMES DEMANDED THE BRANDS, WEAK OR STRONG, RICH OR POOR, TO FIGHT THE ODDS AND STAND UP AGAIN. THEY HAD TO TAKE A CHANCE AS THE TIMES CHANGED. THIS SPECIAL ISSUE OF 4PS B&M IS DEDICATED TO THOSE BRANDS, ACROSS 40 CATEGORIES AND 100 SUB-CATEGORIES, WHICH EMBRACED THE CHANGE, AND RECOGNISED THE NEED TO SPRINT ALONG THAT ONE TRACK THAT LED THEM TO WIN THE LOYALTY AND CONTINUED TRUST OF CUSTOMERS. NOT SURPRISINGLY THUS, THE WINNERS THIS YEAR ARE THOSE BRANDS, WHICH RECOGNISED THE FUNDAMENTAL PURPOSE OF A BRAND’S EXISTENCE. THEY DELIVERED SECURITY AND CONSISTENCY, AND PROSPERITY WAS THEIRS FOR THE TAKING.

 
 
B. Surender, Senior Vice-President and National Sales Head, 93.5 Red FM
 
How lucrative is radio as a medium for advertising?
It is very lucrative. But what we need to ensure is that it should be used properly. The intensity is what matters when it comes to advertising on radio. Whether you use it as a brand-builder or a multiplier along with other mediums such as television or the Internet, it works fantastically. The ROI always turns out to be better on radio as compared to other mediums. It is a value for money investment. There’s no doubt about it. But there are certain basic things that an advertiser should understand. There is a particular intensity of usage below which radio does not give required returns. So investment in radio should never be made in a casual way. Creative usage of this medium is also something that is very important. In some cases, you can use creatives that are being used on other mediums, say television. But in most cases, you have to change the creatives to suit the listening pattern of listeners.

How do you decide the placements of ads?
Usually, this is decided by the ad agency. Nevertheless, we do give suggestions on the placements. For example, if you want to catch the young office-going men and women, then we suggest the morning and evening driving time band. Similarly, if your target listener is a homemaker, then afternoons or late mornings should be the preferred time slot.

Which time band do you consider as prime time when it comes to radio?
For radio, I would not consider a particular time band as prime time. Radio definitely reaches a much broader listener base but unlike television, it doesn’t have a particular time band which could be labeled as prime time.

The creatives that you came up with for your clients are very interesting. Are they done by the in-house team or are they outsourced?
99% of the time, the creatives are done by the in-house team. We believe that creativity is at the heart of 93.5 Red FM. Infact, different companies outsource our services in the domain of creatives.

How important do you think are BTL activities for promotion of a radio station?
I think they are extremely critical, because radio as medium is a great multiplier and since this medium has a mass reach, BTL goes extremely well with it. Plus, BTL has live experiential element attached to it, which advertisers view as extremely important. For example, you can create a direct experience in front of a few thousand people using a BTL activity and if you put this on air, then you can share the experience with millions of people within a fraction of a minute.

For more articles, Click on IIPM Article.

Source : IIPM Editorial, 2011.

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

For More IIPM Info, Visit below mentioned IIPM articles.

IIPM ranked No 1 B-School in India
domain-b.com : IIPM ranked ahead of IIMs
IIPM: Management Education India
Prof. Rajita Chaudhuri's Website


IIPM Proves Its Mettle Once Again....
Arindam Chaudhuri on Internet.....
Arindam Chaudhuri: We need Hazare's leadership
Professor Arindam Chaudhuri - A Man For The Society....
IIPM: Indian Institute of Planning and Management

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He came, he saw and he conquered. The king of sophistication, glamour and adult entertainment, Hugh Hefner, always owned the mind of his consumers with Playboy. But the brand today is having trouble standing up to its original brand promise. At 84, can Hefner ‘Play’ it well all over again?
 
Hugh was an awkward student who often got rejected by girls at school. Apparently, those experiences drove him to make “more” of his life. He created himself as a person who became an epitome of a sophisticated, urban, young bachelor who was always surrounded by beautiful, sultry women. With his silk pajamas, semi–nude models by his side and a martini in his hand, Hefner not only became the original playboy but also influences millions of others by introducing them to the Playboy brand.

Born in 1953, the brand Playboy has been globally embraced by young men and women, winning their hearts, minds and much more through its satirical cartoons, sex stories and most watched photos of women. The first issue itself included photos of Marilyn Monroe and authors such as Vladimir Nabokov (The Best of Both Worlds!). One in every 10 men in the age group of 18-34 has read the magazine. With colossal expansion throughout the globe in the 1960s and 1970s, the magazine’s circulation peaked in 1972 at 7.2 million, just after one year Playboy went public and then launched its licensed products which generated more than $900 million annually in global sales in more than 150 countries and territories at one point.

The brand today has an implausible story to tell with revenues touching rock bottom and losses mounting to $200 million. Subscription sales dropped to only $1.5 million from $2.6 million last year; so much so that Hefner’s daughter Christie Hefner who served as CEO for 20 years stepped down. So is the iconic brand in trouble? Hefner’s announcement in July to go private with the Playboy magazine having put forth a proposal to purchase all public shares of Playboy Enterprises will leave one totally unambiguous. The 84 year old made the move to ensure security of the company going forward. The company shares peaked in 1999 at about $33 for class A stock while today Hefner’s offer values the company at $5.50 per A share (he controls 70 percent of the company’s Class A voting shares and 28 percent of the Class B non voting stock). Now that will be distressing for the Bunny eared brand. The rabbit logo is one of the most recognized symbols in the world with over a hundred branded merchandise under its belt but the brand is seeing its worst time till date. So what hit Playboy so hard? Just one movement – the Internet. The idea of free sexual content being available globally killed the uniqueness of an adult men’s magazine. This, in all, ended the Playboy monopoly as the biggest adult entertainment provider. Media being a business directly proportional to social trends, Playboy’s business has fallen prey to a game it couldn’t quite master despite being there on the internet and providing on-demand videos (Playboy T.V, radio, The girls next door).

For more articles, Click on IIPM Article.

Source : IIPM Editorial, 2011.

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

For More IIPM Info, Visit below mentioned IIPM articles.

IIPM ranked No 1 B-School in India
domain-b.com : IIPM ranked ahead of IIMs
IIPM: Management Education India
Prof. Rajita Chaudhuri's Website


IIPM Proves Its Mettle Once Again....
Arindam Chaudhuri on Internet.....
Arindam Chaudhuri: We need Hazare's leadership
Professor Arindam Chaudhuri - A Man For The Society....
IIPM: Indian Institute of Planning and Management

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