Monday, April 7, 2008


Very interesting to see the huge coverage of the festival which celebrates and facilitates ideas and their creators! Even more interesting to see a brand & it’s advertising related story making it to the cover page of the economic times. Indeed sad that the story is in the news for all the wrong reasons.


While I understand that the fest, in its current form, is not the place to discuss ROI on campaigns or their effectiveness to business, but I think there is very good reason for the industry to sit up, start to take it selves seriously and weed out what is obviously scam work and presentation. If it cannot do so, then we need to understand what is the industry felicitating? And can you think of any other example where the fraternity encourages & recognizes con work?


It is common knowledge (but sad to see it in print) that 90% of the work was legal scam!! Read the article here if you have not already read it.

Analytics made understandable by the Red-Shirt Phenomenon.

I came across this brilliant piece of work by Matt Bailey of Site Logic Marketing, on analytics / analysis of the Red-Shirt Phenomenon in Star Trek. You don’t need to be a fan of Star Trek to enjoy and understand this (of course I am a big fan). You also don’t need to be into data analytics to enjoy this - though it will hit home harder!

Loved the research finding “When Captain Kirk meets an alien woman and “makes contact” the survival rate of the red-shirted crewmen increases by 84%.”

Read the article here & enjoy.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Feedback 2.0

Here is a good example of a brand encouraging its customers to ‘put down their wishes & ideas’ & share the ideas with a like minded and passionate community. These are further filtered by the community & the most needed & workable solutions are put on the implementation route. Simple!

So how is this different from the regular “feedback form” which all of us have an option to fill. Very different indeed! The brand here is creating trust and a bond with its community of users by just being open and alive to customer responses, as against secretly analyzing feedback within its dark office cabins and implementing only what it wants to do. The intention to listen attentively to the customer is the key. I also believe that the willingness to put the “action being taken” upfront is a great way to show that they care.

While it appears that the guys at Starbucks are generating some great ideas and trying to implement them for the consumers’ benefit, what they are really additionally generating is a lot of positive spin around the brand and a database of truly passionate Starbucks customers. The campaign also highlights Starbucks willingness to listen to its key constituent – the customer.

Very simple but awesome viral thought. Visit My Starbucks Idea.

Some starting thoughts.

Organizations traditionally have a board of directors which guides the organization along its growth path and as per the demands of the share holders who own the company – however their interests in what the organization does and how the organization responds to customers / consumers the are very restricted and constricted. More over this is the tradition way of looking at business and at what an organization should do to/with the consumer. This is a very "brand to consumer" way of looking at the life and functions of organization.

It is however common knowledge that referrals work best for the organization’s growth and the passionate and involved tribes of consumers can do wonders for any brand. There is also a lot of discussion and talk on customer centric approach and thinking.

In a scenario where the world of brands is turning on its head, how about an organization having a "BOARD of CONSUMERS” ? Think about it, who better to tell the organization what they need and desire than the actual consumers or the products / services of the organization.

My view on large format events.

Here is a link to a recent article which I had penned down based on a discussion on the “events business”.

Personally I see no real ROI in the traditional events business model – the number of “exposed” and intended customers or partners are too few for it to be a viable exercise. The “event/project” has to be amplified by use of other media touch points.