Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2016

The utility trap and what consumer value is.

We do a change of places and visit a new barber shop to cut Jaden's hair. You see, the regular had one its shutters down and despite our waiting it out, it remained as it was. The new place didn't look promising, yet we decided to give it a try.

When we stepped out after a while not only did Jaden sport a decent haircut but he was also the recipient of a smart li'l handshake at the end from the proprietor. All through the process the man was at his nicest best. Now that made a lot of difference to me. That 'difference' and the 'decent haircut' in marketing is termed 'value'. Smart marketers are those who understand value in its entirety. Though it may seem simple on the surface most businesses mistake utilitarian value for total value. Nah. That's just one component of value. Total value is in addition to utility. So for example, the handshake by the proprietor has nothing to do with the utility he offers at his salon. That's him adding to …

The logic behind Pierce Brosnan - Pan Bahar association

Okay so most experts don't think Pierce Brosnan pushing Pan Bahar Pan Masala in a tacky commercial is such a great idea. I don't agree.

Here's why.

My seeing sense in the Pierce Brosnan-Pan Bahar association is steeped in the theory of 'classical conditioning'. What's playing out here is an attempt at ensuring associative learning happens. There's also good reason why Pan Bahar should take this route. You can't ever sell Pan Masala by rationalizing its use. So you take the 'phony image' route. That is, you use an unconditioned stimulus (an aristocratic Pierce Brosnan winning, wooing and scoring ) that elicits an unconditioned response (an automatic response of awe and admiration) and connect to it the conditioned stimulus (Pan Bahar) to exact a conditioned response (patronage). Now its important the brand reinforce this connection over and over again for the association to stay. Once the association between Pan Bahar use and debonair aristocrac…

OYO & the persisting 'unpredictability problem'.

So OYO promises to solve the unpredictability problem that's common to booking hotel rooms, and that I believe is a super solution to any potential traveler, including yours truly. Last week I got my first taste of the OYO promise at an 'OYO-Premium hotel' at Pune and guess what, the brand didn't do good on its promise.

In fact it was broken big time! Both with the Accommodation, and Food & Beverage. I'll spare you the details, but just so you know, I can read the business of Accommodation and F&B like an alphabet book, and based on my expert judgement, OYO's got a long way to go. That mean's booking hotel rooms and getting a great one to stay at and eat at remains as unpredictable as ever.

Any promise by a brand has to be kept. Period. Break it, and you lose the consumer's confidence. For now, I don't trust OYO's promise of predictability. Getting me back at an OYO hotel will require the brand to entice me with an irresistible offer, a…