Marketing Idea No. 213- 2010: An ipad odyssey

The blogosphere is alive with reviews. The retail stores are  counting days to get their hands on it. The world is eagerly waiting. All because, its ipad time.

Will ipad time be as good as ipod time and iphone time? Circumstances are a bit different. For both ipod and iphone, Apple ventured into totally alien territories for them and revolutionized that territory. So in a way, they were underdogs there. So the weight of expectation was much lighter. And mistakes, however few there were, had been overlooked.

But this time, ipod is very much within Apple’s area of expertise. So the reviews will be more thorough. The criticisms for tiniest mistake will be harsher.

Some 30 years ago two gentlemen names Al Ries and Jack Trout introduced us the concept called brand positioning and told us that the greatest brand positioning trick is to create a new category and be the first in it to own that category. 2010 ipad launch will forever be the testament to that notion. Because the biggest questions that ipad will have to answer is that since its too big to be portable and too small to be used as a personal computer, where the hell is the need for it?

Knowing Apple, one can only assume Apple has an answer for that. In fact, the answer is probably out there in long lines and huge pre-orders. To understand Apple’s success, one has to look beyond the way a product interacts with a human being because thats not the way Apple users interact with their product. They interact with their Apple like a human being interacts with another human being. They like to touch it, feel it and bond with it.

Understanding that will probably give you an idea that ipad is going to be another phenomenon. Will this be the future of computing? Dont know. Will this be the future of publishing? Probably. But one thing is for sure, with ipad being here, the way we look at the future for now, will definitely change.

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Marketing Idea No. 212 – If businesses need leaders not managers, how come your business card does’nt say that?

If 20th century can be described as the century of business theories, 21st century can best be described as the age of business wisdoms. And one such wisdom, that actually makes a lot of sense, claims that a herd of sheep, or  a political campaign or a front office desk in a drive-in restaurant need managers. But to run a business we need leaders, not managers.   

If that is such widely accepted, how come your business card still says “Marketing Manager?” Like all the management contradictions, we are internally saying one thing and externally saying another. In our earnest attempt to ride the 21st century wave of changes, we are biting hard on the business fads. But in reality, we are still holding on to our age old beliefs.

So if you are asking your employees to be leaders, not managers – the least you can do for them is stop labelling them as managers.

Marketing Idea no. 212 – How to create a distinct navigation and spatial layout

We agree that advertising is important for brand building. So is finding a good brand name, being very good in after sales service and how much penetration your distribution has.

Here’s something to think about. How you create navigation in your outlets or in your product is also a key for effective branding.

This shouldnt come as a shock. After all, what built the great brand name of Nokia. No, its not the fancy N-series. Also, neither the Music Express nor business friendly E-Series. Its the ease of navigation within a Nokia set, which was custom built into a Nokia handset back in the days when big 3310 handsets were cool. Thats the numero uno reason we stuck with Nokia, because it felt so easy to explore anything by using a Nokia handset. And its remarkably consistent. You ditch one Nokia and take up another, and even the stupidest dude can start exploring the new handset in no time.

For Nokia, the word that built the brand is user friendliness.

Can you say the same thing about your brand? I feel amazed specially when i visit super shops. If you are blindfolded and led inside a super shop, can you tell which shop it is by identifying its internal layout? What about hotels? If you wake up with a hangover inside a hotel room with no knowledge of in which hotel you crashed last night after the great party, can you tell the name of the hotel?

Unfortunately no. So much money is spent on creating the cosmetic look of a place. But none spends any thought or money to make the inside of your outlet or product distinct.