Archive for the ‘Yes It’s True!’ Category

Brand Hijack

Just when branding became a custom, followed religiously by managers, here comes the bully to sweep off your identity.
What is it and how does it happen?
Is it killing your brand? If yes, then how do you save it?
If no, then how do you use it?
In this post, I have tried to get a closer look at this system of hijacking.
As always, waiting for comments…!

Brand identity v/s brand image
Brand identity is the meaning of the brand that the marketer wants to convey. Brand image is the representation of the brand in the consumer’s mind. Ideally the brand identity and brand image should overlap. But sometimes the brand can be desired by a totally unintended market segments. This is brand hijacking.

Your brand – a public property

Brand managers may give an identity to the brand. But it’s the customer who has the ownership of the brand image.
Consumers appropriate the brand for themselves and add meaning to it.
Example –
Dr. Martens was never a political brand. It was a gardening shoe for
elderly women. But youths and mods hijacked the boot for their own

Well planned accidents!

The marketer intelligently uses creative, low-budget, person-to-person strategy. Connects with the target audience and makes the customer market the brand himself.
Example –
Blair witch project
Pabst blue ribbon
Dr. Martens
Red bull

Hire your customer, he is free!
* They are street smart and will take you to places where you didn’t know you wanted to go.
* Consumers work for you when your brand offers a vision with which they can identify – one which they want to involve themselves more deeply.
* Listening to the mass public is a key aspect of marketing. Without identifying and understanding the needs of the audience a brand would fail to provide products beneficial to the consumer.

Getting consumer in your loop
Make them the discoverers –
The consumer will be passionate about your brand when they feel they discovered it. They think they own the brand and share it with others. Make a statement –
The social or political tribe will associate and relate itself better if the brand fits in their social/political bubble. Eg – Harley davidsonClear mission –
Have your brand define a purpose. When red bull said ‘speed in a can’ – it connected with the demanding lifestyle.Add humor – consumers find it endearing when you show that you can laugh at yourself.

Pulling the odd ones in !
Design plays a crucial role in signaling the right cues to such an aware audience which rejects marketing. Pabst blue ribbon, favored by middle America, are specifically created to appear ‘ anti – design’. Just right for those who reject the concept of marketing all together. Consumer becomes your fan if you can pull off a tough design challenge. Red bull did wonders! Because they acted with patience and sensibility.

Be ‘cool’ , Be ‘in’

* Brand hijack helps making the product look ‘cool’ without trying too hard.
* ‘Cool’ is an attitude, not a behavior.
* Apple never sold out and they continue to market towards their inner circle rather than the mainstream.
* Since the target audience is specific and the ‘cool’ trend setter kind, It delivers loyalty and stability which other brands strive for.

Don’t forget culture, use it instead

The marketer needs to know that the brand adds tremendous value. Adds to quality of life and provides with belief and meaning.
Use the brand tribes
Brand tribes are group of people who share their interest in a Specific brand. They do not accept brand meaning dictated by the brand owner. In fact they reconstruct brands for their own symbolic usage.
Harley Davidson’s success was propelled by the sheer will and energy of its community : the HOG

The hijack-able brand
The ideation for hijack-able brands has to be bigger than a consumer insight.
Early adopters are best story tellers. They add meaning to your brand and translate message to a larger, more conservative market by creating myth and rituals around.
Innovators open doors for the mass media. Hijack marketing uses mass media tactfully rather than person-to-person.

Enjoy loyalty

Marketing needs to stay bold, brave and surprising.
Loyalty is attitude, retention is consumer behavior.
Say it and say it right! – Tell the audience exactly what they want to hear and do it at the time and place where they will be able to remember story.

Once hijacked, land smooth!

* If your brand becomes aspirational – use it.
* If your brand has covert consumption – promote it to the new segment.
* If your brand has partitioned consumption – promote it to the new segment.

Finally, weigh the benefits of supporting the new segment with impact on your intended segment. Supporting the new segment benefits only if it sticks with you. Faddish Segment doesn’t help.

Brand Hijack – Summarized by Kanchan Gokhale


24th January – No Petrol Day!


Petrol in Pakistan Rs 17 per litre
Malaysia Rs 18 per litre

In India it’s 51 per litre

Why this difference in Asia itself? World Market CRUDE OIL is not the reason for this. It’s all Gain for private owners. It has been calculated that if everyone did not purchase a drop of petrol for one day and all at the same time, the oil companies would choke on their stockpiles.

At the same time it would hit the entire industry with a net loss over 4.6 billion dollars which affects the bottom lines of the oil companies. Therefore “24th january ” has been formally declared “stick it up their behind “day and the people of this nation should not buy a single drop of petrol that day.

Remember one thing, not only is the price of petrol going up but at the same time airlines are forced to raise their prices, trucking companies are forced to raise their prices which affects prices on everything that is shipped. things like food, clothing, building supplies medical supplies etc. who pays in the end? we do!
We can make a difference.if they don’t get the message after one day, we will do it again and again. so do your part and spread the word. forward this email to everyone you know. mark your calendars and make 24 january a day that the citizens say “enough is enough”.

Pune Leads India Towards Wi-Fi Age

On Monday 2nd April 2007, Pune moved a step closer towards becoming the first location in India where citizens can access the Internet anywhere without cables, thanks to the rollout of WiMax technology.

Pune Municipal Corporation, in association with global chip-maker Intel Corporation and Chennai-based wi-fi service provider Micorsense, launched the first phase of “Unwire Pune”, a project aimed at providing easy and seamless net connectivity through laptops or PDA phones.

Microsense will implement the network and offer broadband wireless services while Intel will be the chief technology and programme management consultant for the project. Phase-I of the project aims to provide connectivity in a 20 sq km covering Deccan Gymkhana, Sambhaji Park, Aundh, Baner and Model Colony.

The first phase is likely to be completed in four to six months and the entire project covering 250 sq km will be rolled out over the next 12 to 18 months.

Beginning today, areas in Sambhaji Park and PMC Building will receive high-speed wireless connectivity. In over a year’s time, Pune citizens will have round-the-clock Internet connectivity across the city.
WiMax, short for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, provides a secure wireless network that can be deployed across metropolitan-sized areas by using cost effective standards based technologies.

WiMax and wireless fidelity technologies compliment each other and are often used together in a community-wide wireless solution. Though the Centre is yet to announce its much-awaited spectrum policy, Pune will see the first commercial rollout of WiMax.

However, the project is expected to face delays as the government is yet to decide on the appropriate bandwidth to offer high-speed connectivity to people.

Black Google Would Save 3,000 Megawatts a Year


As noted, an all white web page uses about 74 watts to display, while an all black page uses only 59 watts. Let us do a little math and see what could be saved by moving a high volume site to the black format.

Take at look at Google, who gets about 200 million queries a day. Let’s assume each query is displayed for about 10 seconds; that means Google is running for about 550,000 hours every day on some desktop. Assuming that users run Google in full screen mode, the shift to a black background will save a total of 15 (74-59) watts. That turns into a global savings of 8.3 Megawatt-hours per day, or about 3000 Megawatt-hours a year. And at 10 cents a kilowatt-hour, that’s $300,000, a goodly amount of energy and dollars for changing a few color codes.

Black is only more efficient for CRT monitors, it makes no difference on LCDs.

The link to the wattage for different colors is from EnergyStar.

Originally by –

BSNL Blunder


I would like to highlight an important issue pertaining to BSNL braodband subscribers. BSNL is following an incorrect procedure for billing its broadband subscribers. I was over-billed in the month of February and March. We all know that BSNL offers free downloads between 0200 and 0800 hrs.Surprisingly they do not bill you for the actual time of download, even if you schedule your downloads for between those time points. If you stay online for 24hrs, they will charge you for 24hrs.

Say i log in at 0000 on Monday and log out at 0000 Tuesday. I schedule my downloads for six hrs(0200 to 0800). I download 240mb in those six hrs. BSNL says only 240/24*6 = 60mb is free , & charge you for 180mb. This is shocking, and if this were the US or any other country, it would have resulted in a class action suit. This method must be netting them crores of revenue from unaware, innocent and policy abiding customers. This needs to be stopped, and necessary actions must be taken.

Your feedback is welcome.

Note: Article posted in Digit Magzine regarding the same.