Marketing Idea No. 100 – Can TV channels come to newspaper business?

We are living in the era of extensions. The familiar family health soap, also known as Lifebuoy has ventured into shampoo business. Coke is making coffee, Dove is making shampoo, Starbucks is publishing magazine, beauty pageant winners are starring in blockbusters. With such extensions increasing in extended speed, what would be more obvious than a TV channel extending into newspaper or a newspaper extending into TV channel business?  

We are experiencing a global media boom unlike ever seen. Wall Street Journal is taking a slice of Indian Pie with their new “Mint” journal. Wall Street itself is being purchased by global media tycoon Rupert Murdoch and News Corp. In Bangladesh within a few years we have gone from 2 channel and 4-5 newspaper dominated landscape into a 10+ channel and more than 20 newspaper universe. In such an era of media fragmentation, wouldnt it be great if the trustworthiness of TV can be translated into paper business?

If Wall Street Journal is the number 1 selling business publication, wouldnt it stand a greater chance into extending its business by opening a 24 hour business channel? If ATN news is the must-see news of the day, wouldnt it benefit by venturing into a business publication called ATN news?

This would solve 3 problems.

1. This will result in consolidated media landscape, which will give greater control to brand managers in terms of where to spend their media budget

2. This will make customers life easier in terms of choosing what to watch and what to read

3. This will enable media houses to increase their business in an organic way, rather than solely depending on line extensions ( Like nTV brought another channel RTV).

If so, can we look forward to a Prothom Alo TV channel?

Marketing Idea No. 99 – Use your new year gifts as new brand medium

As Christmas and New Year period are coming within our eye distance, for some it means one thing…two in fact – new diary and new calendar.   While we have forever treated diary and calendar as a gift item, truth is, for effective direct marketing the diary and calendar of your brand is the best bet you have.    Why?   Apart from the computer and mobile phone, this is the only two things that will stay within the eye level of anyone throughout the year. That’s why these are the only two medium that can cost effectively deliver your brand message throughout the year, not your press ad, not your tv ad.   But companies historically are willing to prepare diary and calendar based on themes and stories which look good, but totally irrelevant when it comes to their core brand message. In this regard the following suggestions might come handy 

  1. Change your thought first. Think of your diary and calendar as a medium to send your brand message, not as a gift item.
  2. What is it that you want your audience to remember that is too lengthy for any press ad and TVC and need frequent reminder? Include that in your diary and calendar.
  3. Is there any interesting story about your company or brand? Include that as a theme or in different parts of the diary / calendar
  4. Are there facts / interesting quips regarding your brand that none knows but fascinating nonetheless? ( like – when your company started, when the big boom took place in your sales, did you win any awards, did any of your employees conducted any interesting deeds etc.) There are lots of space under each page in a diary. Include these stories there.


Marketing Idea No. 98 – Unwind……

In England, the football night is nothing short of a religious affair. All the pubs are packed with chanting fans and smoke-filled air. Its more or less the same scenario everywhere, be it on either side of Atlantic or at one particular side of Bay Of Bengal. And there’s a good reason behind it – people need to unwind after 5 days of hectic workload.   

Although our hectic life is getting more hectic with every increasing second, here in a muslim country, the answer to the need of unwinding is not as straightforward as a pub or a lounge. Pub will always be for a select few. And the lounge can never cost-effectively target the middle income.    

That’s why we can have a sort of a go-between of a club and a lounge. This will be a one room shop with one big screen TV, some snacks, soft drinks and a few sofa. Since the cost base is so low, the company who will give these shops can have it like a chain all over the city. As English Premier League is getting more and more popular, on Football nights people can buy Tk 100 tickets, get an entry, watch the game with friends and have a good time. Wouldn’t that be a great way to chill out and unwind during weekend?   

Marketing Idea No. 97 – Adding a “De-Caf” and “Low-Caf” coffee line in the coffee business

Checking out the ever increasing number of outlets of Coffee World, as well as traffic in those outlets, coffee is definitely “In”.

What Howard Schultz started years ago through his “Starbucks” dream, has gone the full circle. Before this visionary CEO started this journey, a cup of coffee was just…a cup of coffee. But it was he who made 2 bold, immortal statements.

1. Starbucks will be the 3rd place – after Home, Office, then Cafe. Meaning – people will work on office, sleep at home and chill out in Starbucks cafe.

2. A coffee is not just a cup of coffee. Its a social encounter where people spill out their heart on a cup of coffee.

As we move toward more hectic life, the “Coffee” culture will boom. Just look at India. The fight for coffee supremacy has just notched a gear thanks to the market entry of Starbucks. Finally the giant took notice of this market and it was just a matter of time. Now we can expect a 4 way fight between Starbucks, Barista, Cafe Coffee Day and Coffee World in India.

However, one area where we are missing out is the healthy coffee. While we have all of the sorts, starting from Latte to Mocha – its the de-caf, low-caf or half-caf category thats missing. Now these are considered more healthy due to lower amounts of calorie, caffeine and sugar and they might be just the “new” thing needed to push this coffee boom into a full scale phenomenon.

Right now the coffee culture is focusing on the youth and the young executives. But adding this “healthy” line of coffee, they can broaden the market by enticing the “cash rich” 30+ group.

So whose gonna take that step? 

Marketing Idea No. 96 – Play Up to Line Up

While its expected that we encounter different kinds of music in different places we shop, have we ever thought their might be some story behind it? Or even more importantly, have brand builders here really put to good use the power of music in point of sales purchase decisions?

You might find it pointless. You go to a fast food joint, you hear rock music (and loud one too). You go to a good restaurant, you hear classy tunes. You go to a lounge, you hear a jazz tune. Isnt that obvious? Whats the big deal?

Well, Victoria’s Secret, the worlds favorite lingerie brand did not think so. They have conducted years of research and found out that by playing a certain kind of music in store, they can influence the purchase decision heavily. I mean believe it or not, they have backed it up with data and experiments.

Not only that, fast food joints also used different types of music to influence sales pattern. When they wanted people to eat slowly, so that their waiters can take their time as they are short in numbers, they play a kind of music. When they want people to hit their eating overdrive, they play another kind of music. 

Come to think of it, its quite obvious. Music has a very stong affect on our mood. And our mood has everything to do with our purchase behavior.

But its not just a question of playing  a fast tune and line up for the customers. Its not as simple as that. The brand has to find out what it want the music to do for them, find a tune that suits their brand essence and play it accordingly.

Marjeting Idea No. 95 – A blind date with your favorite concert

With the first puff of winter breeze comes the season of concerts. And we do have quite a few variation of them, namely, open air, unplugged, underground, indoor, fundraising etc. However, with more than 20 glorious years behind them, we need some change in the concert scenery as its all getting too predictable and one dimensional.

I mean think about it. You see the poster, know who is playing, buy the ticket, gather around and do some major head banging. Thats the routine.But what if you didnt know whose playing? What if you d idnt have a clue whats gonna happen in the concert? Wouldnt that made it more intriguing?Imagine this. There is this big hoopla surrounding a concert. Everyone is talking about it. But none really knows whose gonna play and whats gonna happen. Your responsibility is have faith in the power of music, buy a ticket and just be there. And once you are there the big opening act is a duet between Hyder Hussain and John of Black, followed by one band after another. The beauty is, you just never know whats gonna happen and whose gonna play.

This kind of concerts were introduced in USA by Miller Draft Beer and they were a huge success. It’s a matter of time we should do something similar. Its time to inject some new energy.  

Marketing Idea No. 94 – Turning your country into a superbrand

This idea is contributed by Rizwana Tasneem 

Suppose you want to buy a car and you were given two options:- one made in Germany & the other made in Turkey. Which one would you choose? Like most people, you’d choose the one made in Germany because it has established a reputation for products that are of high quality, of good design and secure.

A country brand is everything! It not only ensures healthy earnings from tourism but also creates consumer perceptions that earns respect for your country.

Depending on the image the country wishes to establish, the branding strategy will differ. The branding strategy for a country that wishes to promote tourism will be different than the one that wishes to foster international relationships.

In less that two years’ time, New Zealand had increased its tourist traffic by 56% thanks to a movie. Or three. ‘Lord of the Rings’ did it for the country. Is this just a coincidence? Not really. Since the 1990s, countries like New Zealns & Autralia have allowed movie-makers to use the country’s pristine & breath-taking landscapes in big-budget movies.  Mission Impossible II and Finding Nemo were set against the backdrop of Australia.

The NZ government offered the production team of Lord of the rings special governemnt taxe incentives and grants.

Movies are just one of the many tools that can be used to  brand a country. International tournaments and global sporting events are instrumental in building a country’s image. During the Sydney Olympics 2000, snapshots of Sydney were shown during every televised event. This was part of a very well-rounded branding strategy. Even during cricket matches, you’ll see clippings of the local attractions, beautiful places, commentators indulging in local actions- all part of a calculated strategy to promote the country or the place hosting the event.

It is possible to build a strong country brand and it most definitely can be done. It took Nokia 5 years to turn Finland into the master of wireless technology, India to turn into a progressive and efficient place where their goods and services can be relied upon.

So, what can Bangladesh learn from all this? We have been endowed with so many natural attractions. We have the longest beach at Cox’s bazar, the largest mangrove forest, Sundarbans, the Bandarban Hill Tracts, tea gardens at Sylhet, just to name a few. It’s true that maybe the time hasn’t come for us to go into country branding yet. But it soon will and we need to work on it from now.