Whose Sale Is It Anyway; or; come onnn – Differentiate!

4 May

Sale Sale
Seen on front pages of a newspaper, and its supplement yesterday. Made me think about what competition does to one. A few thoughts:

a) Media is amazing! No conflict of interest obviously right? Front pages of 2 sections of the SAME paper with 2 direct competitors BOTH sponsoring full page ads?

Oh btw, the next day got these – AGAIN!
Sale 1

b) No noticeable difference between the 2 (or even 4) – infact, till you look really deeply, you miss the store where the discounts are being held! (unless you are my girl Friday Tulasi, or my sister in law Niharika, both of whose bigtime source of entertainment is to check deals). So HOW are these stores expecting ROI? Footfalls, I may still assume they will get – if it’s general shopping season, and since these are regular grocery/ super marts, they will have a steady clientele anyway, but ROI for these ads (as in, increase in revenues/ attention/ whatever the objective was? ) – hmm not so sure

c) While topical/ day related catalogu-ish advertising was always something our “organized” retailers did, the flavour of these has gotten a bit different (more desperate) since the mega online guys-with-their-VC-money-funded-advertising has got! (Remember the unprecedented-and-then-much-maligned flipkart’s billion sale thingie?)….
flipkart big billion

….with the tried-hard-to-be-funny “ambush” campaigns by its competitors?
snapdeal-toi Biyani-ad

Just goes to show the impact of e-comm on even traditional/ middle class India! (well, maybe not. It’s really urban India that is getting affected by this)

This thing about “differentiation” also sparks a parenting thought (as all things do with me). My teenage daughter is kind of caught between a devil and a hard place almost, at times I think. Like most kids at that age, her prime desire – when interacting specially with parents, is to blend with the crowd – not do anything that gets her attention (so, mom yelling HAPPY NEW YEAR on the streets on christmas eve is a no-no….OK, that I grant to her :); but even if we need to get something clarified from say a store salesman, goes through severe angst at this whole “calling attention to herself” thing).
On the other hand, she actively looks for things to make her different – so, dip-dyed hair, her theatre classes – which is fairly unique in her circles, a desire to play the ukelele (of all things!), she is constantly looking to do things which may then get her “cooler” attention from her peers.

I think this is fairly similar to what any of us goes through too – a desire at the same time – to “belong” and yet to “stand out” — I think it’s basically the choice of where you want to belong vs. stand out that hones your essence!

On a randomly different (though related since we are talking of differentiation) thought, I came across some nice doppleganger pictures of celebrities (with even funnier descriptions)- enjoy!

AND one of Anne-Amal
anne amal

Coming back to the whole point of differentiation as competitive strategy, I think Amazon has done a super job recently – their “Aur Dikhao” ad, while on a seemingly over used plank, is just sheer brilliance in creative execution! Here it is:

And, talking of sales, their May sale ad, with many people dancing hilariously, is truly different too (couldn’t find it to post sadly! )

So, its desirable, even possible, one just has to work harder!

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4 Responses to “Whose Sale Is It Anyway; or; come onnn – Differentiate!”

  1. sudhām May 4, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

    Hi do read The Bollywood Dancers Theory https://abrandviewstory.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/the-bollywood-dancers-theory/
    Might strike a chord with you especially on the blend-in vs stand-out issue.

    • joshsang May 4, 2015 at 6:00 pm #

      Yes, good one – I didnt spend as much time on this vein as I wd have liked to (mainly because my not-wanting-to-stand-out-the-wrong-way daughter was getting late for class…umm maybe I am overthinking this, and it was just punctuality, a virtue of princesses 🙂

  2. sudhām May 4, 2015 at 5:32 pm #

    Hi,
    Do read my post The Bollywood Dancers Theory https://abrandviewstory.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/the-bollywood-dancers-theory/
    Might strike a chord on the blend-in vs stand-out issue.
    Had written on similar lines wrt to the online mega-sales Hope of Deliverance: The Silver Lining in the Flipkart Fiasco https://abrandviewstory.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/hope-of-deliverance-the-silver-lining-in-the-flipkart-fiasco/

    • joshsang May 4, 2015 at 6:06 pm #

      yes, interestingly similar views – just needed the brick and mortar ad story 🙂

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