This article was written for MxM India and appeared there on July 3, 2012. Click here for the original article


1. The marketer has to define the category he is in:

Marketers should define their category by the way their customers see it, rather than the way the industry sees it wrote Theodore Levitt in Marketing Myopia. This is true even today. One can argue that a discount airline and a full service airline operate in different categories, even though they both fly planes.

2. Pricing has become an art and not an accountancy exercise:

Cost plus pricing is dead. Today consumers live in a “free” economy. Musicians give away their music for free from their websites and then make money on the concerts and the merchandize. Printers in theUSAcost less than a full set of cartridges in them. Go figure.

3. Marketers increasingly sell augmented products:

You never just buy the car. You buy the car and the service and the resale value. As products become more commoditized, the pressure is on the marketer to differentiate the product in some other way. Hyundai offered to buy back cars from people who lost their jobs inAmerica. That ensured that it increased its market share in a declining market.

4. In India, creative distribution ideas can truly disrupt markets:

Cavin Kare changed the rules of the game by launching shampoos in sachets. They started a revolution that has extended from personal care products to telecom (prepaid cards). Sachets could be placed in the smallest of stores and be within reach of the poorest of customers.

5. Advertising doesn’t work as well as it did before, so marketers need to think of unique brand experiences:

Smirnoff is not allowed to advertise, so it created a series of events where consumers were taught to make cocktails. These were fun events where the consumers left after not just having a few drinks, but also learning the right way to make and serve cocktails. Beats a 30 sec TVC any day.