Monthly archives of “April 2010

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Real-time Brand Management — nice read

On March 13, a Virgin America flight from Los Angeles to New York was diverted from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Stewart airport in Newburgh, N.Y., due to severe weather, and the passengers and crew waited in the plane on the tarmac for over four hours. The crew was anxious, babies were crying, mothers were anxious, and the passengers were unruly — to the point that one woman was taken off the plane by police. The entire ordeal was documented by David Martin, the CEO of, on his company’s iPhone social-media application.

Martin was called by someone in Virgin America’s marketing department, who offered him a $100 voucher for his troubles. He said the passengers deserved more. He subsequently received a call from Virgin America CEO C. David Cush. During that conversation, according to Martin, he negotiated a full refund and a $100-per-person voucher for all passengers.
If this account is accurate, it is fascinating that a customer, by posting an account of his ordeal as it was happening via his iPhone, became powerful enough to negotiate such a deal. It demonstrates the need for every company to start thinking about real-time brand management.

Firms may “own” their brands, but brands really live in the heads of their consumers. Companies must constantly nurture and actively manage their brands at the speed customers form opinions about them. And today that’s mighty fast. Notifications or conversations about an experience may begin on Twitter, but they can be immediately posted to all social media around the world. (If Facebook were a country, its population would make it the third-largest nation in the world — behind India and ahead of the United States.)

Greg Brandeau, chief technology officer of Walt Disney Studios, recently told me that the window for premiering a new movie used to be the first weekend of its release. It would take two and a half days to figure out if a movie was doing well or poorly. Today, with people Tweeting and posting to Facebook while they are watching the movie, that window has shrunk to hours.

Most firms do not have the marketing reflexes to respond in real time. There are a number of implications for executives:

• Every company must have “a brand radar system” to constantly monitor social media. The good news is that if a company commits to this notion of having a brand radar system, there are many tools to help build this surveillance capability.

• Firms must get used to being “naked” to the marketplace. There is no question that all the things that happen with your customers and even within your firm may become a matter of global, public record in minutes.

Companies need a “trust bank” with their customers. I believe that Virgin America did not suffer too much from the horrific L.A. to New York flight because its customers deeply trusted it. In contrast, United Airlines suffered terribly when it broke the guitar of a passenger, who then created a YouTube video viewed over 8 million times in which he bashed United’s service and attitude. Unlike Virgin America, United did not have a reservoir of good will to help protect its brand when a problem arose.

Disclaimer: I got this through a email. I can not guarantee is authenticity.

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Raj Thackrey’s letter to Mukesh Ambani


We have following suggestions for your franchisee:

1) Rename your franchise’s name from Mumbai Indians to Mumbai Marathis (the should be exclusive for Marathi Manus). Devnagari script for Marathi should be used as text to display team name, player name, jersey number and for all other communications.
2) No player outside Maharashtra should play in the team.
3) The foreign players should be also be Marathi to be eligible to play for Mumbai.
4) All the support staff, coaches, physician should also be Marathi.
5) All the bar girls should be hired as Cheer leaders for Mumbai Marathis (thats how they can get an decent employment by doing job they have done for past many years).
6) Dabbawallas should be made official hospitality, food and beverage partners.
7) The team song ‘Duniya hilan denge’ should be translated to Marathi and then aired.

We would request you to make implement these changes ASAP failing to which we will start protest all over the state and will not allow to host or play any match in Mumbai.

Raj Thackrey
Chief MNS

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It’s dog’s life after all


A butcher watching over his shop is really surprised when he saw a dog coming inside the shop. He shoos him away. But later, the dog is back again. So, he goes over to the dog and notices he has a note in his mouth.

He takes the note and it reads “Can I have 12 sausages and a leg of lamb, please. The dog has money in his mouth, as well”.

The butcher looks inside and, behold, a ten dollar note. So he takes the money and puts the sausages and lamb in a bag, placing it in the dog’s mouth. The butcher is so impressed, and since it’s about closing time, he decides to shut up shop and follow the dog. So off he goes.

The dog then comes to a bus stop, and starts looking at the timetable. The butcher is in awe at this stage. The dog checks out the times, and then sits on one of the seats provided. The dog goes and looks at the number, notices it’s the right bus, and climbs on.
The butcher, by now, open-mouthed, follows him onto the bus. The bus travels through the town and out into the suburbs, the dog looking at the scenery.  Then he gets off, his groceries still in his mouth.

Well, dog and butcher are walking along the road, and then the dog turns into a house.
He walks up the path, and drops the groceries on the step. Then he walks back down the path, takes a big run, and throws himself against the door.

He goes back down the path, runs up to the door and again, it throws himself against it.

There’s no answer at the house, so the dog goes back down the path, jumps up on a narrow wall, and walks along the perimeter of the garden. He gets to the window, and beats his head against it several times, walks back, jumps off, and waits at the door.

The butcher watches as a big guy opens the door, and starts abusing the dog, kicking him and punching him, and swearing at him.

The butcher runs up, and stops the guy.
“What in heaven’s name are you doing? The dog is a genius. He could be on TV, for the life of me!”

to which the guy responds:
“You call this clever? This is the second time this week that this stupid dog’s forgotten his key.”

—-Moral of the story—-

You may continue to exceed onlookers’ expectations but shall always fall short of the boss’s expectations!!
It’s dog’s life after all…. J

Disclaimer: This is not written by me. I got an email which contained this story.
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