Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Microsoft's branding will be difficult after Nokia

Microsoft has officially dropped the Nokia brand name and is working on rebranding its mobile phones division. It continued launching the Windows based phones under the brand name Lumia and held on to the Nokia name for the other existing products. Last week, the company also killed the Nokia Asha branded low-end smartphones, and is now on its way to completely doing away with the Nokia brand in one country at a time, including India, where the phone was at one time ubiquitous.

Snake anyone?

The consumer is also getting promiscuous. The consumer wants a good product and even the most loyal ones are moving away from the brand, particularly of late since a lot of negativity has resulted from the news of the shutting of the manufacturing plant in Chennai and the resultant loss of jobs. Although Nokia was considered to be one of the most trusted bands in India, despite it still being on the list, it will require Microsoft being proactive to garner some of this trust.

You can read the full piece on the merger in the Times of India here.

Formality Hatao, Coke Pilao

I had been approached by Afaqs on the new campaign created for Coke India, by McCann Erickson. Coca Cola moves ahead of it's "open happiness" proposition and positions itself as the perfect drink for social gatherings.

I am of the opinion that there is nothing earth-shattering about the ad and it uses the old concept of family occasion or social gathering. It is just one more execution of the core theme of Coca-Cola on happiness, family, occasions and togetherness.

The old couple carrying a bottle of Coke is more like a 'Gift' or the joy of giving Coke. This isn't Coke trying to enter the tea/coffee space and I dont think they could make a dent there either.

You can read all my thoughts on the campaign and coke's over all strategy in this piece in Afaqs here.

Kenstar Oxyfryer: Deep fried A la Carte

The Oxy Fryer is targeted at people who love eating fried food. It is touted as the perfect solution to eating fried food in the healthiest manner. Kenstar has identified a surge in demand for appliances that enable healthy and hassle-free cooking and has even launched an advertising campaign featuring Shah Rukh Khan and announcing its launch exclusively on Flipkart

Launched on Flipkart

When they first launched the microwave, they priced it much lower than the usual price tag from other brands. This strategy helped the brand to get to the masses easily. With the Oxy Fryer, they have done the same thing. This is Kenstar's tried and tested way to break into the masses considering the competition (Philips) is retailing at almost double the cost.

You can read more about the category and how the e-commerce tie up strategy would work in this Afaqs piece on the category and this entrant here.

Monday, November 10, 2014

RIP Time Machine: HMT

The announcement of HMT's imminent shutdown seems to have rejuvenated interest in the brand and its memorable timepieces. It definitely gave me a dose of nostalgia, having worked on the brand in the late 80s in my stint at Mudra in Bangalore.

The technology was then shared by Citizen

Somehow, the marketing division in HMT figured that quartz watches would not work in India and concentrated on manufacturing its mechanical range. Indians who were going to the Gulf to get their watches suddenly found alternatives in Titan, with its elegant range, and HMT failed to see that. The communication then positioned owning an HMT as a point of patriotism, but this did not work with the evolved Indian consumer. 

You can read more on my take on what set back HMT, in this piece in Open Magazine, here.