Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Apple versus Blackberry in the world's cheapest market

So Apple manages 2.5% of the Indian smartphone market, BB does 15%, Nokia 45% (data picked up from the ET of 4 Oct, 11).

Should Apple be worried?

Nope. But Apple should not get greedy. Its a very expensive phone and it relies on high speed networks to show its prowess. Both money and high speed networks are hard to come by in India. In fact, Apple should not allow more than a few hundred units to be sold each month as the netowrk in the country builds up. Or, play at the lower price point with a phone that can dazzle on 2g (like the BB).

BB has reinvented itself like no other recent brand in the Indian market. From a corporate device, it has positioned itself as the device to have in the youth market.Its messenger is a cool application and the new touch and type is an innovation which is just right in the market.

At a sub 10k price point, its well positioned on price. While the local manufacturers (Micromax, Lava etc) are more aggressive on price and features where i have found them lacking is durability of device.

But BB in India has gained my respect - in understanding the youth and offering them a great product. Whether BB will continue its domination on the corporate front- i cant say. In the long run will it become the brand of choice for the youth? I cant say.

The youngest markets in the world are in Africa and India and BB has not yet got a design centre in these places. The day it does, i will buy some BB stock. BB has doen in India what it has not in most markets of the world. That should give it some confidence to go much further.

Nokia- the good was'nt as good....the bad certainly not as bad..

I know Nokia got a lot of things wrong in the Indian market recently: they were late on the dual sim phone, qwerty keyboard....cheap 'smart phones'.

But when i saw a recent brand survey done by the economic times and saw Nokia slipping down 15 ranks in the SEC C segment (low income and education bracket), i was indeed surprised. Additionally, Nokia retains top spot among the SEC A (high income, education segment)- the segment which has coveted the smartphones- a segment where Nokia has also struggled in a big way globally.

So what explains this? The low end consumer who needs durable and rugged kicks Nokia for a dual sim (Nokia phones are without doubt better in robustness than any local brand) and the high end consumer embraces the brand that does not serve him well.

I must speak to friends at Nokia to understand their perception of the results.

My own assessment is that on quality the phone is tops. In terms of range, wide.
With its dual sim phones, the brand will capture the loyalty of its customers down the income strata. But unless its top end phones regain their mojo, loyalty at the top end will be lost shortly.

Lets wait and watch.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Go on Pond’s … try being a parent....

We are on youtube often entertaining our baby boy with nursery rhyme videos. We see a lot of advertising from Pond’s face was for women now precedes any video for the child.

It appears that some media manager and the brand manager (at Pond’s) has hit upon the insight that mothers accompany kids as they browse the internet for nursery rhymes and hence hitting the mothers with an advt upfront is a good idea to catch relevant eyeballs.

Bad idea Pond’s.

We are searching for these videos because our baby has a 30 minute window in which to get fed and these videos keep him engrossed and in one place. He gets on his seat eagerly awaiting Noddy and not a pretty model for Pond’s. When one video ends, he wants it replaced by another…again seeing a pretty face makes him very uncomfortable- he stops eating and that makes us uncomfortable. Remember that our baby has a 30 minute window tops after which he will not sit on his seat/ nor eat.

We spoke to a couple of mothers, and our experience on this matter seems to stand.

It’s a good suggestion that marketers target their advertisements to get maximum eyeballs. But ask the question- is the eyeball there really interesting in seeing my brand at that point of time.

Ritu and Venkat