Sunday, April 02, 2006

Aiming for the Worst!

Advertising and marketing professionals take note - selling a product inside trains can make for an interesting case study.

Consider this - every product that is introduced in the market tries to position itself as something unique, having a certain set of USPs which no other product in the same range can offer. In other words, every (or most) product or service is trying to position and market itself as the best a consumer can get.

But what if they tried to promote themselves in an antagonistic way? What if, out of the blue, some company came up with the idea to market itself as the "worst" a consumer can get? Then we wouldn't be surprised if hoardings were plastered over the city - "Blah Blah Oil - The Worst your Car can get", "BPL - Believe in the Worst"...

Positive and negative numbers all exist on the number line. For everything positive, there is an equal and opposite negative. For every Neo, there's a Smith. All are equally strong, although directed in opposite directions.

It would be interesting though, to imagine, how consumers would respond with propositions for the "Worst" products. Common sense tells that, provided the product or service exists within the disposable incomes of the person, he wouldn't mind trying it. Let me quote an example.

On board the Gitanjali Express to Kolkata, I was taken by surprise, when amidst cries of Badhiya Chai....Coffeee...there emerged a lonesome cry - "Kharaab se kharaab chai!" Initially my fellow passengers and myself exchanged casual smiles as the tea-vendor casually passed by hoping we'd order tea from him. After some moments of reluctance, one of us called him and inquired about his tea which was ready to take on the best in the business - from behind. "Ab kya karen saab, bechne ke liye, bolna padta hai! Aap peekar to dekho dada, chai buri nahin hai..."

Nevertheless, we all ordered tea atleast once through him, in the entire journey. There was not much difference in quality of the tea, but he definitely won us over, as first timers, in his selling strategies and positioning. Even though innovative strategies have been observed which go reverse (Surf Excel - Daag achche hain), it'll be interesting to see how "Rush for the Worst" strategies work in India. Maybe after the initial hoopla and mayhem and cacophony, the interest may die down. But then, it'll be a terrific way to hook-up potential customers and make them sample the product atleast. But note, only within their disposable incomes. And this is just my personal point of view. Its quite out of the box - since its never been used in the box (read TV).

We bought tea because it made our wallet lighter by a mere few coins. A television set or mobile phone damages our wallets much more severely.
- Third Eye