Marketing Idea No. 223 – Pause and Think

As corporations always focus on growth and moving forward, its easy to get caught up in the act and go through the motions. Also, organizations favor action oriented people, the “go-getters”. These are the blue-eyed boys of the managment, the ones who are groomed for the future leadership role.

Keeping these two above mentioned trends in mind, the best thing an executive can do at times is when everybody is rushing to move forward, he should stop, take a step back and reasses if they are at all doing the right thing.

Sounds contradictory, but believe it or not taking a step back is the best skill never to be taught in organizations, where everybody is in a hurry to get things done. But you need people who will question that. They will put their hands up and say”Lets pause for a while and refocus. Remind me again, what do we achieve by doing this?” These kind of people are valuable assets to a company. By doing this, he not only ensures the wrong thing is not done but also that its not done in the wrong way.

If only we had people like this in Wall Street, the global recession could probably been avoided. 

So next time when everybody is rushing to get things done; just stop, take a step back and reevaluate the situation. Ask questions. See it from another perspective. You might do the organization a great favor.

Marketing Idea No. 222 – The “How” Question: Execution is the missing skill

Larry Bossidy, the ex-heavyweight of GE and former right hand man of Jack Welch and Ram Charan, the biggest living management consultant of our time, should receive a lot of acclaim for bringing attention to one of the most neglected aspect of Marketing – Execution.

Planning is glamorous. Planning required out of the box thinking – a term that is a big favorite in Job Descriptions around the world. Planning requires strategic analysis. It sounds important. And there is a perception that in a organization, the senior guys or the real leaders do the planning. The mere followers down the chain is in charge of executing the beautifully crafted plan of the leader.

So should there be any doubt why execution as a principle, as a philosophy, as a management practice and most importantly as a skill is the least focused aspect of an executive’s job? 

But there has been a renewed interest on execution, thanks to the above mentioned gentlemen. And rightfully so. In an ever-increasing competitive world, the organization that executes well gets it right most of the time. And in an execution oriented company – everybody executes, starting from CEO to the front office executive.

The key fact about execution is it answers the “How” question. While planning probably answers the “Why” and “What”, it is the execution that answers the missing “How””question to complete the strategic answer.

So next time when someone tells you an ambitious goal after a long strategic meeting, take a minute to ask how you are going to do it.

Marketing Idea No. 221 – Finally a camera that loves you as much as you do

Well the vanity insanity has reached a new peak because believe it or not, Panasonic is working on a new camera that will take beauty to a new level. Yeah, you heard it right! A camera that will take beauty to a new level.

Well take a hike Photoshop because here comes Lumix FX77 that while taking a photo will make your eyes bigger, your yellow teeth whiter, apply make up, clear up spotty skin and make you look oh so beautiful. So no more worries about taking a photo after a wild night’s party because the camera loves you enough now to make you look good even at times when you are not.

The camera goes on sale in Japan sometime this week.

Marketing Idea No. 220 – Positioning Vs Re-Positioning; Branding Vs Re-Branding – do it the Material Girl style!

We have been warned before in the management books – change is the only constant. So are we really caught off guard when the whole world all of a sudden started changing in the name of rebranding?

Maybe we are, because change is difficult to accept – no matter at what stage and situation of life we are. It has been even more difficult for pundits all over the world to understand, accept and get on board this rebranding bandwagon. Well they do have a case. Wasnt it the mantra of all branding to stay true to your positioning and deliver your brand message consistently through all touch point for a long period of time to build brand equity?

So the big question comes – in a game of change vs no change, position vs repostion – which one is the right way to go?

Like all things in life there is no simple and one-fits-all answer to that mind bending question. For brands like Anderson Consulting, rebranding into Accenture was the only way to survive. For International Business Machine to become IBM and then become a computer service provider is the only way to keep their business alive. For Airtel, changing their logo was the only way to show them as a modern, international brand rather than a local Indian brand.

So change is needed. Rebranding is a tool that we need to use, sparingly and carefully. But in the midst of all this changes, staying true your positioning may be even more important than ever. Does it make sense? Isnt that a bit contradictory?

Welcome to the world of branding!!

I guess Madonna did it the best possible way. Througout 80s, 90s and 21st century Madonna continued to reinvent and reposition herself from a symbol of raw sexuality to pop icon to fashion diva to spiritual maturity to controversy magnet. But through this entire journey Madonna didnt lose her soul which stayed consistent – which is the soul of a person who prefers to do things her way no matter what. That was her brand positioning. And through all the costume, cosmetic and genre changes; that positioning still holds true.