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Showing posts from April, 2008

Abstractions in Extensions

Abstraction is tough to sell. It's easier to imagine the face of a girl if you've met/seen her. But if you hadn't seen her, you wouldn't be able to figure out even if I described her features in the best possible way. Sounds similar to "A picture is worth a thousand words." Words are abstract, visuals are a little less. Isn't it also similar to saying "Actions speak louder than words."? Pictures are more tangible, more concrete. Actions have greater impact, are easily felt.

Let me explain through some concepts through a lollipop exercise:

Imagine 'Soft'. What happened? Difficult? Easy? What did you imagine? Velvet, Sofa, Fur, Fairy, Child or something else... Fair. You can imagine many many more things.

Imagine 'White'. Fairy, Milk, Soap, Fur, Feather, Swan, etc. You can imagine many things.

Imagine 'Beauty'. Aishwarya Rai, White Marble, Taj Mahal, Lake, Sea-shore, Smile, etc.

These words can represent many things at the same …

Papa John's has better ingredients and the right message

Pizza wars are interesting to watch. It's hotting up here in India. More brands are getting launched

Have just come home after having a Red Hot Pepper Pizza at the newly opened Papa John's Pizza outlet here in Powai. Don't want to talk much about the experience, perhaps doesn't fall in the purview of this blog-post.

If you look at the message, it says "Better Ingredients. Better Pizza." Pizza Hut for 'having pizza sitting in a restaurant', Domino's for 'home delivered pizzas'. It wouldn't make sense to be yet another Pizza brand for 'having pizza sitting in a restaurant'; there had to be something more to differentiate and clarify the positioning of Papa John's. So the brand focussed its message on 'ingredients' - one of the most important aspects of any recipe, especially pizzas. Better Ingredients. Better Pizza. That does it. Nicely positioned, nicely differentiated.

Since it was the opening day of the outlet I visit…

Bajaj Kawasaki Ninja 250R

Received some information about the Ninja 250R that Bajaj plans to launch soon. I've been informed that it might be priced about INR1.25+ lac. Not bad, I would say. Some competition to Yamaha R15 for sure, though each belongs to a different segment. Check the specs below:

Specifications
Engine type: Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke Parallel Twin
Displacement: 249 cm³
Bore x stroke: 62.0 x 41.2 mm
Compression ratio: 11.6:1
Valve/Induction system: DOHC, 8 valves
Maximum power: 22.2 kW {30 PS} / 10,500 rpm
Maximum torque: 21.0 N·m {2.14 kgf·m} / 8,500 rpm
Fuel system: Fuel injection: ΓΈ28 mm x 2 (Keihin) Dual throttle valves
Ignition: Digital
Starting: Electric
Lubrication: Forced lubrication, wet sump
Transmission: 6-speed, return
Final Drive: Sealed chain
Clutch: Wet multi-disc, manual
Frame type: Tube diamond, steel
Rake/Trail: 26° / 83 mm
Suspension, front: 37 mm telescopic fork
Suspension, rear: Bottom-Link Uni-Trak with gas-charged shock and 5-way adjustable preload
Wheel travel, front: 120 mm
Wheel travel, …

Why did I sell my Bullet? (will help the aspiring buyers)

I've been asked this questions many times now. Whoever knew that I rode a Bullet earlier asks the same question: Why did you sell it?! And then when they come to know that I've bought an Avenger to top it all, they give a rather amused look :). Understandably so. If I were in their shoes, perhaps I would also be amused.

But here's the story. Bullet Machismo with the AVL engine has its gear-lever on the left-hand side (as all other bikes do in India). This makes it easy for new Bullet buyers (who are migrating from other bikes to a Bullet) to familiarize themselves with riding a Bullet. However, therein lies the problem. The older Bullets had the gear-levers on the right; while one lever would help you change gears, the other would help you hit the neutral. This 'other lever' is not present in Bullets with AVL engines and that makes it extremely tough to hit neutral in certain conditions. And then, it's mighty tough to manage the bike. Let me explain with an exam…

What's the aura around Orra!

Yesterday evening, I visited the Hiranandani Galleria - Powai. The market has quite a few jewellery shops, one of them being en exclusive Orra outlet. As you can see in the picture, Orra says it is THE DIAMOND DESTINATION.

Firstly, it 's a rather weak differentiator (in fact, it is no differentiator at all). Aren't there plenty of shops around dedicated to making and selling diamonds and diamond jewellery? If they are satisfying the consumers well, who needs an Orra? At best, Orra will do only as well as other diamond stores are doing or perhaps a tad better since it spends a hell lot of money into mass-marketing (though I have my doubts how effective mass marketing turns out to be in jewellery).

Now specific to my visit yesterday, I noticed that the Orra outlet was running a 25% discount on all the products! 25%! Imagine. Where buyers in India are so accustomed to calculating the worth of their jewellery by calculating the weight of the metal and precious stones used (because t…