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Showing posts from December, 2007

A tale of two bookstores - Crossword and Landmark

When I started as a serious 'serious book reader', I had only one resort - Crossword - to satiate my appetite for reading. I was young and I was relatively less knowledgeable about many things/subjects in life. The two things I had were curiosity and a past full of collecting magazines and story books. Wayne W. Dyer's "The Erroneous Zones", which I picked up from a second-hand roadside book reseller, got me initiated and from then I was regular at Crossword.

Starting with typical self-help-cum-psychology books I drifted towards reading more cross-disciplinary books. The more I read, the more I found Crossword inadequate for my tastes but I somehow managed to stay loyal until the time I went to Bangalore for some official work. I landed in Landmark for the first time and it definitely seemed to have more titles than Crossword. However, Landmark wasn't present in our town and that led me to look for books online. That's when I became a customer of fabmall.c…

Celebrity brand – Mr. Perfection, Aamir Khan

Watching Taare Zameen Par was an experience par excellence. What was the movie about? A little child’s struggle to grapple with dyslexia and as a consequence, with his problems at home and school. The child’s in deep trouble when his new art teacher comes in and helps him achieve the unthinkable; of course, by making him explore his unusual abilities in a suitable manner.

That’s been Aamir Khan’s success mantra through out his career. There have been diversions every now and then, but more or less he has achieved success with one formula – depict achievement of victory in adverse circumstances. Adverse circumstances often in a very specific context, often unforeseen, often compelling enough for a drastic and definitive measure.

Let’s go back to some of his earlier successful movies:

Deewana Mujh Sa Nahin – fighting all resistance to win the love of a woman who’s a big star

Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar – victory in a cycle race for which he prepares and participates in a very short time in lieu …

Do you buy Hindustan Unilever Ltd.?

Do you like the logo? Oh, you do! These days it appears at the end of every TVC of every brand that Hindustan Unilever Ltd markets here in India. Why? Earlier it didn't happen. Perhaps it did. It was HLL (Hindustan Lever Ltd.) then. The logo was different too.

Well, whom is this transition meant for? End consumers or internal employees or HUL's business partners? Going by the TV ads, it does seem that it is meant for consumers? But the first question is, do consumers care? No. Consumers care about Fair & Lovely or Lifebuoy or Lux or Dove because they buy Fair & Lovely or Lifebuoy or Lux or Dove. They care about the products which carry these brands. For them, the brand is the company. They aren't bothered about whether the brand comes from HLL, HUL or P&G.

The management at HUL should've asked what do the consumers buy? If they think it's HUL that consumers buy, then they are sadly mistaken. HUL is for internal employees or perhaps business partners, if t…

Being first almost makes you a leader

Hero Honda recently launched another new bike called HUNK in the 150cc category. The name says it all - whom the bike is targeted at. And one look also tells you what it is supposed to do. Thrill and excite. In short, it’s a Sports bike and positioned for performance.

As part of its strategy Hero Honda surely has a serious motive behind introducing this bike. It wants to undermine the dominance of Pulsar.

Bikers would easily recall that when Pulsar was introduced some years back, the campaign said ‘Definitely male’. Not just the words, but even the styling meant just that. The bike was the first to come with a huge muscular looking fuel tank. That set the tone for Pulsar and set it clearly apart in the league of motorcycles. A few months later, bikers confirmed that the driving performance was good too. That established and confirmed Pulsar’s claim ‘Definitely male’.

Pulsar wasn’t the first bike in 150cc category. Hero Honda already had CBZ in the market for a couple of years by then. Th…