Suman Srivastava is the Founder and Innovation Artist at Marketing Unplugged. He is also the author of Marketing Unplugged: Spotting the elephants in the room.
Suman Srivastava enjoys doing new things. A graduate of Delhi University, IIM Ahmedabad and IMD Lausanne, he is an advertising man, strategist, author, marathon runner, teacher, social worker, sports fan, creative bartender and an entrepreneur.
Suman has been the CEO of Euro RSCG India for 5 years and also Chief Strategy Officer for Euro RSCG Asia Pacific. He was the Chairman of Euro RSCG's emerging markets planning council and a member of the global management committee. Lastly, he was Vice Chairman & Chief Strategy Officer of FCB Ulka Group in India.
In 2011, he started an innovation firm called Marketing Unplugged. The focus of the company is to help Indian companies create marketing innovations and thus achieve extraordinary growth. In this capacity, he has been associated with brands such as Raymond (suitings), CaratLane (online jewellery), Network18 (media), Sweekar (cooking oil), Spuul (entertainment app), Johnson & Johnson (OTC), Navneet (stationery) and FCB Ulka to name a few.
Suman loves startups. He was part of the team that started SSC&B Lintas and later part of the team that started Euro RSCG India. He has a track record of changing jobs only in the years when India has hosted the cricket world cup. He got his first job in 1987, his second in 1996 and his third (Marketing Unplugged) in 2011.
Suman believes that he was put on earth to be a teacher. He loves teaching and has taught at IIMs in Ahmedabad & Bangalore, ISB Hyderabad, IITs at Bombay & Kharagpur, MICA and several other management institutes across the country. He has also run workshops for clients like Microsoft, Intel, Reckitt Benckiser, Max New York Life, Dainik Bhaskar and Bharat Petroleum.
Brand building is a passion for Suman. He has been closely associated with brands from India’s leading companies including Hindustan Unilever, Reckitt Benckiser, Intel, Microsoft, IBM, Dell, HDFC Bank, Bharat Petroleum, Reliance, Mahindra & Mahindra, Bajaj Auto and Philips.
He is active in the voluntary sector where he works on causes that range from schooling for slum children to child sexual abuse to rural tourism to getting India to Give more. He is a trustee of two NGOs, an adviser to a third and a volunteer with several others.
Suman has run the half marathon three times and loves to make creative cocktails.
And here’s a bonus recommendation. A work of fiction by a veteran adperson which I would rate as one of my top reads of the year: By IVAN ARTHUR After a long time, I read a book that is an example of brilliant storytelling.
Sociologists have taken over advertising. We don’t deal with business problems any more.
Over the past six years, boy band One Direction have sold more than 50 million albums and millions more singles. Last year, they sold more than two-and-a-half-million concert tickets globally – more than any other artist.
I first heard about network effects from Venky Harinarayan in 2002. I was in my early 20s and worked for one of his portfolio companies in Mountain View, California. My ignorance was written on my face when he first mentioned network effects in the context of peer-to-peer technologies.
Kate Glazebrook is principal adviser and head of growth and equality with the Behavioral Insights Team, a self-described social purpose company based in London that applies behavioral science to public policy and best business practices.
The nonprofit sector has limbs. It has fingers that reach into the most neglected corners of society, forearms that lead large national chapter and affiliate organizations, legs made up of the nation’s foundations and massive individual donor base that fund it and help it to move.
Consumers' overall engagement in traditional loyalty programs has declined consistently over the past four years and retailers are looking to refocus their loyalty initiatives to compete more effectively. While total loyalty program subscriptions peaked at 2.
In an increasingly competitive consumer packaged goods market, where consumers experiment with several brands in any given category, the failure rate for brands is high, with only one in five brands winning.
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What Does the Agency of 2020 Look Like? by Jami Oetting, editor of The Agency Post. It can be hard to imagine that change will actually happen. Oftentimes, we are blind to the forces that will cause our business offerings and services to become devalued or worse, irrelevant.
Upper-class Indians have mostly done away with many of the obvious forms of sexism. In an earlier generation, just going out to work was mostly taboo but now if you come from a family with, say, college degrees, that (mostly) shouldn’t be an issue.
Mumbai: This conversation is off the record. Yes. Off the record.
Employers need simple, low-cost ways of helping employees make healthy choices. The effects of poor health and obesity cost U.S. companies $225 billion every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and this number is quickly rising.
Of late, Devendra Chawla, Future Group’s president, says he’s been besieged with meeting requests from a clutch of chief executives of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies. And there’s only one thing they all seem to want to talk about: the phenomenon called Patanjali.
Michael Wheeler has taught negotiation in the Harvard Business School’s MBA and Executive Education programs since 1993. He is the author of The Art of Negotiation: How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic World.
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We all aspire to work better together. Technology is making some of that effort easier. But digital tools are only part of the answer. It’s people who ultimately make the difference.
New Delhi: Thought leader and Charles H. Kellstadt professor of marketing at Goizueta Business School, Emory University, Jagdish Sheth is a keen observer of consumer behaviour.
In the fall of 2012 I did something I never thought I’d do: I took a sabbatical from TOMS. It was not your typical travel-the-world sabbatical.
One of the interesting things about Tesla is that the company is trying to copy Apple's business model. As a Silicon Valley entrepreneur myself, and an owner of a Tesla car, I thought I'd write up what that means. There are two basic business models in the world.
During periods of excessive demand or scarce supply, when there are far more riders than drivers, Uber increases its normal fares with a multiplier whose value depends on scarcity of available drivers.
“The #100sareepact began as a pact between two friends to wear their sarees one hundred times in 2015 and to tell their saree stories. This became a catalyst for many more to join in from all over the world to show the sarees they had some love.
Social media strategies have become a critical element of any comprehensive marketing and media campaign. With so many social media avenues, brands and marketing people are showing keen interest in developing strong campaigns by investing heavy budgets.
The theory of disruptive innovation, introduced in these pages in 1995, has proved to be a powerful way of thinking about innovation-driven growth.
In 2006, Burberry’s former CEO Angela Ahrendts and chief creative officer Christopher Bailey declared that they wanted the brand to become the first fully digital luxury company.
The future of brick-and-mortar retail is fun, flashy and doesn't require a lot of storage space. At least that's the cue from Kate Spade Saturday, the design house's recently launched weekender line, which earlier this month unveiled four digitally enhanced "window shops" in lower Manhattan.
Matthew Willcox, in his new book, The Business of Choice: Marketing to Consumers’ Instincts, describes an experiment in marketing and social media. Participants were given £50, which is about $76 as of this writing, and asked to divide the money up among three charities.
The tendency to fixate on the most common use of an object—a bias researchers call “functional fixedness”—is a serious barrier to innovation. The problem is that we see the object’s use, rather than the object itself.
Aaron Franklin, proprietor of the Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas, has been lauded for his pit master skills, specifically in smoking beef brisket. Bon Appetit anointed his fare the best barbecue in America, and he was awarded Best Chef: Southwest by the James Beard Foundation.
Traditionally, marketers calculate the ROI of a marketing investment by measuring how much sales increased in its aftermath. This is a blunt metric: maybe the consumer had a different interaction with the brand that influenced them.
BUSINESSES have always told stories about their products. But in recent years they have become particularly verbose, bombarding consumers with any small detail that might enhance the brand. Shoppers at Whole Foods can peruse scintillating biographies of the chickens they are about to casserole.
People aren’t very good at judging changes in size. For example, I’ve found in my research with colleagues that when you make something bigger, people routinely underestimate how much bigger it is.
Many executives start presentations about products or initiatives with a vague theme statement, often expressed with as much pith as a puff of smoke: “We have a new focus on customer satisfaction,” or “Our current strategic goals are execution and innovation.
Imagine that you want to buy a home. You might find a real-estate agent to show you around, which is a very 20th-century way of doing things. Or you might go 21st century and use the Web to research prices and available properties and to take a few virtual tours.
WHEN marketing researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School rigged shopping carts at a major East Coast supermarket with motion-tracking radio-frequency tags, they unwittingly stumbled on a metaphor for our path through the aisles of life.
Brands want loyal customers. They buy more, pay more, and refer more. But research shows that loyalty is in decline. Consumers are considering more brands and switching providers more frequently than ever before.
I suspect there are 200 odd startups in India full of fresh engineers, pounding away at their keyboards and ordering Faasos rolls post midnight trying to launch the next Uber of X.
Data storytelling has become a powerful part of the communications toolkit, allowing both journalists and marketers to communicate key messages by using data and data visualization to drive articles, blog posts, and reports.
If you work in a bank, you should probably read this. Banks are in grave danger.
The network effect, which describes how services and technologies become more valuable as more people use them, has driven the success of many internet companies. But it is not confined to the tech sector.
I get up, walk into the bathroom, and weigh myself. The data streams from the Chinese scale to an app on my phone and into an Apple dataserver, my permanent record in the cloud. I started this ritual because I thought it would keep me honest.
It amuses me no end when I walk into a room full of senior corporate-types discussing “excesses” by start-ups in the dotcom business.
You have to hand it to Apple. What other company incites such a frenzy when it releases an updated version of its product? The recent iPhone 6S release went as expected: winding lines of eager consumers at Apple stores and fevered media coverage.
For almost 20 years, an unusual thing happened in Germany around this time of year. Beer drinkers flocked to Munich by the million for Oktoberfest, a debaucherous celebration of brew, and found that the lagers and ales they came for had, once again, become more expensive.
The trend toward more personalized packaging continues, with a twist, as Snickers is replacing its brand name on packaging with 21 hunger symptoms.
How do you make carrots cool? In 2008, when I became the CEO of Bolthouse Farms, that was the question we needed to answer.
We all make bad decisions sometimes, but have you ever wondered what mental obstacles can lead you astray? This infographic goes over 20 of the most common cognitive biases that can mess with your head when it’s decision time.
MintAsia profiles the 25 most influential people—entrepreneurs, investors and deal makers—driving Internet commerce in India.
These days, Tesla is the darling of the automotive world. But many of its strategic moves — A factory in Nevada that will crank out many times more batteries than the company can use? Turning over its patents to competitors? — can still seem quixotic, if not self-destructive.
At the TiE LeapFrog, Nandan Nilekani spoke about disruption in financial services citing the example of Whatsapp’s innovation in the messaging space. “Just as WhatsApp disrupted the messaging space from 2009 onwards, digital innovation is changing the payment and banking space in India,” he sa
Some call him the greatest coach in history. Before retiring in May 2013, Sir Alex Ferguson spent 26 seasons as the manager of Manchester United, the English football (soccer) club that ranks among the most successful and valuable franchises in sports.
The senior team of a large player in the global wealth management business recently asked me for my opinion on their strategy. They had worked long and hard at coming up with it.
How should entrepreneurs decide the brand name when they are about to launch a brand? (Psst, please note we said about to launch a brand, not about to launch a product, since they refer to two totally different events.) By short, we presume you mean monosyllabic: like Coke.
Commuters can “travel by book” if they make education a priority while transiting. Between June 4th and 7th this year, travelers in the city of Cluj-Napoca, Romania had the opportunity to transit the city for free if they read a book inside.
If you think me anti-establishment, so be it. That isn’t going to stop me from presenting a hypothesis. Which is that in India, the pot of gold does not reside in a mobile app or a website. The potential to make real money lies offline.
Increasingly, corporations and professional services firms are working to create design-centric cultures. Many products, services, and processes are now technologically complex. People are not hardwired to deal well with high levels of complexity. They need help.
Several of the great success stories of corporate ethnography have 3M engineer Richard Drew as their protagonist. In the 1920s, Drew spent several days at an auto assembly plant, observing how the workers were using his company’s sandpaper.
When it comes to launching new products, should your company be a pioneer or a follower? This question presents a constant dilemma for some businesses. Product pioneers face more risk, but can reap big rewards when an innovation proves successful.
Bengaluru: India has the third largest population of smartphone users in the world and the device is clearly altering shopping and browsing behaviour in consumers. Market researcher Nielsen India revealed how gender divide alters usage of smartphones and applications across markets.
In the absence of sufficient data to inform decisions about proposed innovations, managers often rely on their experience, intuition, or conventional wisdom—none of which is necessarily relevant.
Google Flu Trends article of November 2008 heralded in a new age for big data where where it is possible to leverage the vast amount of data to speak for itself, without theory or expert knowledge of the subject matter.
Blair Christie shares her advice on how to build a tech brand and leverage partnerships to create a "multiplier effect." Christie is Chief Marketing Officer at Cisco Systems. She was a guest speaker at Stanford Graduate School of Business professor Jennifer Aaker's "Designing for Happiness" class o
A new research report from the Society of Digital Agencies finds that in the past year there has been a dramatic spike in the number of companies who no longer work with outside marketing agencies — 27 percent, up from 13 percent in the previous year.
In 2013, Southwest was named No. 1 in customer satisfaction by the US Department of Transportation; earned the No. 2 spot on Consumer Reports' Airline Customer Satisfaction Survey; and ranked second on Business Insider's list of the best airlines in the US.
For some time, social media commentators have asserted that the ability of brands and consumers to communicate across social platforms in real time holds the promise of humanizing brands and personalizing customer service.
In the past, companies sought to please old customers and entice new ones by offering small holiday gifts. They gave away refrigerator magnets, calendars, and Christmas ornaments emblazoned with the company logo.
Take out your smartphone—now. Count your apps. How many do you have? How many do you actually use? In an increasingly appified world, that distinction is critical to brand marketers wondering if they should jump into the fray.
Mobile apps are becoming a legitimate revenue driver for brands. In fact, some of the leading consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies in the world are building entire fleets of mobile apps.
Marketers tend to like big, bold actions that grab attention and spew off metrics. Yet all too often, we ignore the much more mundane work that comes before. To market a product or an idea, you have to change minds, and that takes time and a lot of careful work.
Till recently, buyers were influenced by brand advertisements or word of mouth, which motivated them to visit brick-and-mortar stores to buy a brand. In the store, sales assistants further educated the buyer about the brand. Based on inputs from these myriad sources, the buyer purchased the brand.
Matthew Willcox, EVP, global planning director of FCB West and founder and executive director of FCB’s Institute of Decision Making has intertwined more than two decades of advertising and marketing experience with the findings of decision-science researchers from around the globe to create a ma
Every time I do a workshop or presentation, I end with a list of resources— including a list of books. At one of my recent talks, someone asked what other books I would recommend for business owners. 2. “Social Media 2.0” by J.R. Atkins.
This year’s Emmy ballot is being culled from the greatest number of scripted dramas eligible in the history of the Television Academy.
COME July 29th, Windows 10—Microsoft’s successor to its ho-hum Windows 8/8.1 operating system (OS)—will be rolled out to original-equipment manufacturers and certain privileged users. Others who have signed up for a copy will be notified of its availability in the days and weeks thereafter.
It's a typical afternoon, which means that you're on Facebook instead of doing whatever it is you're supposed to be doing. You notice an ad from a company you follow — say, Chevrolet — offering you a chance to win a car if you sign up for a newsletter.
In years gone by if you were a big brand with handsome marketing spend, you commanded all the attention of your customers. You could buy the biggest bill boards and the best ad slots on television.
The Internet of Things will collect and transmit unprecedented amounts of data. This poses a big problem for marketers, who can end up down a rabbit hole of fruitless information. Now, more than ever, marketers need to be measuring the right things.
I first met Tommy Hilfiger around 1990, when he was already well known in the fashion industry. In the late 1960s he’d been a teenager in upstate New York, but he wanted access to fashionable clothing that he couldn’t find in local stores.
The idea of “co-creating” with customers has been circulating for years, but until recently few companies effectively exploited its power or understood its contribution to the bottom line.
We love to hate meetings. And with good reason — they clog up our days, making it hard to get work done in the gaps, and so many feel like a waste of time.
Today’s technologies allow digital businesses (as well as a growing roster of traditional companies) to change prices frequently, even minute-by-minute in real time if they want to. It is not unusual for prices to change on sites like Amazon, Expedia, and Priceline several times a day.
Everyone likes a good story. And Rahul Yadav's is a great one. He's taken the Indian start-up ecosystem on a roller-coaster. A ride that has ended for now, but the system will continue to shake and shudder for a while from the aftereffects.
Companies want to know: Is there a market for fair trade goods? | Reuters/Shannon Stapleton/Files When consumers are asked in surveys to choose between fair-trade goods and the run-of-the-mill variety, most will say they prefer fair trade.
Companies are increasingly turning to social media to expand their Internet presence, promote their brand and engage with consumers. However, while social media is a powerful and effective tool, it can also generate a ton of negative publicity if used carelessly.
If I told you this article was written by an algorithm (and you believed me), chances are you’d be creeped-out, suspicious of the content, and unable to muster much if any emotional response to it. That’s a natural response.
We've all had to work with annoying colleagues — the foghorn who won't stop talking, the slacker who palms off his work on others, or the kleptomaniac who never returns your stapler. You learn to live with their little quirks.
Whether they lean more toward humorous, hostile, or honest, executives are taking to Twitter to shape their message and their brand.
Though Baby Boomers may criticize Millennials for being self-centered, careerist, and politically dispassionate, they are really just adapting to the world they live in today.
In America, saying thank you is routine. In India, it can be insulting. I have been living in the United States for more than a decade, and I now say thank you about 50 times a day. Most of the time, I do it without thinking.
In The New, New Thing, Michael Lewis refers to the phrase business model as “a term of art.” And like art itself, it’s one of those things many people feel they can recognize when they see it (especially a particularly clever or terrible one) but can’t quite define.
I’ve been a surgeon for eight years. For the past couple of them, my performance in the operating room has reached a plateau. I’d like to think it’s a good thing—I’ve arrived at my professional peak. But mainly it seems as if I’ve just stopped getting better.
That Yanis Varoufakis, the rakish Greek finance minister, would meet with senior European officials wearing a leather motorcycle jacket and open-collar shirt would probably have fascinated John F. Nash Jr.
You will also see boys and girls playing various games on their phones [the old tradition of elaborate system of card play with seats blocked for men who will join the gang at various stations I suppose still continues]. What is the latest game to hit Mumbai trains?
The research: UCLA professor Alan Castel and his colleagues asked more than 100 students to draw the Apple logo from memory. Although many were Mac and iPhone users and most were reasonably confident they could accurately complete the task, only one person did.
At some point in their careers, most leaders have either consciously — or, more likely, unwittingly — based (or justified) their approach to motivation on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
George*, a managing director at a large financial services firm, had an uncanny ability to move a roomful of people to his perspective. What George said was not always popular, but he was a master persuader. It wasn’t his title — he often swayed colleagues at the same hierarchical level.
John F. Nash Jr. is widely known as the subject of the Oscar-winning film “A Beautiful Mind,” but his contributions to the advancement of human knowledge are far greater.
Contrary to popular belief, Thomas Edison did not invent the lightbulb. Twenty or so inventors and labs had already come up with similar designs when he patented his in 1879. What Edison really invented was affordable and accessible electric light.
Companies have long used perceptual maps to understand how consumers feel about their brands relative to competitors’ and to develop brand positions. But their business value is limited because they fail to link a brand’s position to market performance metrics.
May 25, 2014, was, effectively, the last day of the Congress-led UPA government. May 25, 2014, was also the day Hindustan Motors suspended/discontinued the production of its Ambassador cars.
IN 1916 Clarence Saunders changed the face of retailing when he opened his first Piggly Wiggly supermarket in Memphis, Tennessee.
Inspired by conversations on the Food52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.
Electric car maker Tesla recently seized headlines when it announced plans to enter the market for battery-based, power-backup systems for homes, businesses, and utilities.
This is how BMW became the top selling luxury car company in the U.S. In 1975, when Bayerische Motoren Werke AG opened its first dealership in the U.S., the German maker of sporty cars and motorcycles was barely known to American motorists.
In the western media, we often see only one type of Indian image. Crowded, dirty and polluted. The pictures would be often taken from random sewage canals and slums. The problem is that those underbellies exist in every part of the world. Shanghai can be like this or like this:
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Part-2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeJbR_...Marcus du Sautoy looks at the contribution of Ancient Indians like Aryabhata, Brahmagupta, Bhaskara, Madhava, etc in the field of Mathematics.Programme: BBC - The Story of MathsPresenter: Marcus du Sautoy
This past quarter Apple once again crushed its earnings report. This despite Wall Street’s uncertainty since the death of the company’s founder and visionary, Steve Jobs. How has Apple managed to maintain its stock price and convince investors of its growth potential?
College students who plan to go into business often major in economics, but few believe that they will end up using what they hear in the lecture hall. Those students understand a fundamental truth: What they learn in economics courses won’t help them run a business.
One of the selling points of a Mac these days is the ability to run Windows software on it, via virtualization or Apple’s own Boot Camp. Running Windows lets you play PC games that haven’t been ported to the Mac, or stay completely compatible with your documents from a PC-centric workplace.
Determining which customer to target first is one of the most critical decisions in the entrepreneurial process. Customers that are relatively less risky and more predictable can make it easier for new to firms gain a market foothold.
THE cliché of the “Asian century” is usually presented as an economic argument: that the startling growth of a number of Asian countries is shifting the centre of gravity of the global economy to the continent where the bulk of its people live.
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These days audiences expect more from presentations. We want to interact, and we expect access to the presentation again afterwards. We also expect audio and video, not just stills. Slides seem to have become synonymous with bad presentations, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Most people journey to Provence for at least 7-14 days to sample fresh produce, admire the beautiful scenery, enjoy the long and hot summer days, and generally adapt to the Provencal way of life.
A world traveler who speaks ten languages, British linguist Richard Lewis decided he was qualified to plot the world's cultures on a chart.
Digital is changing the world and chief marketing officers (CMOs) know it. They are embracing digital channels with fervor, but it’s time to do more, believes Accenture.
Speaking to delegates at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity 2014 were two Coca Cola Company executives from the brand’s ‘war room’ in Rio, via Skype.
Legendary strategists have long been compared to master chess players, who know the positions and capabilities of each piece on the board and are capable of thinking several moves ahead. It’s time to retire this metaphor.
The line between marketing and IT is becoming blurred in many organizations.
This post is part of a series in which LinkedIn Influencers analyze the state and future of their industry. Read all the posts here. If I had just two words to sum up everything that’s going in the payments industry right now, I’d pick “disruption” and “transformation.
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