Wars in the Times of Marketing


Increasingly, one often comes across marketing terms that are borrowed from the vocabulary of military strategy. From “launching a breakthrough campaign” to the “cola wars”, the analogy between marketing and warfare is apparent and can be easily linked with each other.

Firms are often under a misconception that harder they attach the better it is but in reality it is the strategy and not hard work that determines the success. A company’s strategy for fighting a marketing war can be classified under 4 categories they are:

  • Defensive
  • Offensive
  • Flanking
  • Guerrilla

The strategy adopted by a firm often depends on its market share relative to that of its competitor. In order to understand this concept in a better way we can assume an analogy where there are four firms and each is approximately twice the size of the next closest to it.

In such an environment, each of the four firms has different objectives:

  • Number 1 firm: Market domination
  • Number 2 firm: Increased market share
  • Number 3 firm: Profitable survival
  • Number 4 firm: Survival

Consider the case of the firm which is having the largest market share at present. In this case if the market leader attempts to grow larger, then anti-trust issues will be raised. If a major market leader wins the marketing war and causes the next largest firm to exit the market, then the government may take steps to break up the firm that is dominating the market. Consequently, the best strategy for such a firm is a defensive one since it just has to nullify the marketing efforts of other firms existing in the market.

The number two firm’s best strategy is an offensive attack on the market leader if there is a large gap between the number two firm and number three. The reason is that the gaining of market share from the number three firm is unlikely to make a large impact on the much larger number two firm. However, there are potentially significant rewards if market share can be gained from the dominant firm.

The number three firm is too small to sustain an offensive attack on a larger firm. Its best strategy would be therefore to launch a flanking attack so as to avoid any sort of direct competition. This can be done by launching a product that is positioned differently from others existing in the market.

The smallest firm would not be having enough resources to sustain an attack. So such a firm will pursue a guerrilla strategy where in it will identify a segment which is not that large to attract big players but big enough to hold small firms interested.


The above article has been put by Sankalp Kohli, a student of MPSTME. Connect with him on his facebook page.


Brand Kolkata Knight Riders – What is it?!


Cricket is almost a religion in India. Though we, the Indians, have always been craving  for any kind of cricket but since the inception of the 20-20 cricket, it could easily be said that fanaticism for cricket has gone to the next level.

With the masses already crazy for the format, it was not difficult for a certain Lalit Modi to come up with the legendary Indian Premier League. But the IPL is not just about the sport and the teams, it is also about what the teams have created in themselves, Brands.

The best example for this is the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). The brand strategy implemented has made the team the richest amongst all its competitors.

And not that KKR is the best team in IPL. This is despite a streak of poor performances at the IPL matches by KKR. The team has been deduced to have a brand valuation worth of US$ 22.1 million in 2009. This is as per Intangible Business which is a leading international brand valuation firm in UK. The study was conducted in association with MTI Consulting.

So what exactly does provide value to this team inspite of its degrading performances? What drives the brand KKR?

The answer is actually simple.

Playing It Right! Winning is just one aspect of the sports’ marketing. Another very important factor is that the team must be known. The team should be easily related to by the masses. This is where branding comes in.

Whether it is the launch of new jersey, or the introduction of the mascot Hoogli, be it the Fake IPL Player blog or the reality show for the cheerleaders, everything KKR do, people notice. Though some controversy is good for a healthy image, it has to be ensured that it is in the news for the right reasons.

Other important factors are the team owner Shah Rukh Khan and the captain Sourav Ganguly. Here, the important factor was for the audiences to connect which was easily possible with the two Mega Icons of the country. They are brands in themselves and strike a chord with the general public. So, with them in hand, it is not very hard to create an effective marketing communications or an efficient PR strategy. Presence of King Khan in the matches of KKR makes it even more lucrative for people to go and watch him cheering the squad.

Also, with a bagful of awards, KKR has caught eyes of all. At 4P (not to be confused with us!) BMA Power Awards 2009 Marketing Strategy was bagged by KKR

All in all, brand values could be defined as a forecast predicting the capability of a brand to generate income in the future. It is study which looks into the past performances to generate trends for the future and KKR seem to be the masters for it.


The above article has been put by Akshat Jain, a student of MPSTME. Connect with him on facebook page.

Tiger Woods – Case Study about Brands in Sports’ Marketing


No, I am not going to give you a link on who Tiger Woods is. If you don’t know him, you simply have not been reading the newspapers. Of course, I am hinting at all the recent scandals.

Till the whole scandal outburst, we could have said that Tiger Woods was one of the most recognized and biggest brands in the world. He had developed a huge brand around himself, and was easily considered to be a huge brand icon, considering the mixed lineage he comes from, making him a favorite with almost every one.

Name the big brands, product or sponsors, like Accenture, Nike, Tag heuer and many more, he had done them all and people would relate these names with Tiger. He has huge video games deals with EA and they are selling like hot cakes out there in the market.

But this was all till the scandal.

There are basically 2 broad categories of someone’s personal brand value and with sports marketing which is highly related to one individual.

Rising and falling brand.

Rising brand is someone who is in the spot light or what we could call the 15 mins of fame category or those who have been performing really well over a period and show a consistent upward trend in there performance and brand awareness. They may sometimes be out of the spot light for some period of time but thats because they are unavailabe and not because they are falling.

Falling brands, on the other hand, are the ones who were high profile celebrities, now facing the music of getting into negative situations like a Tiger has been or may be Shane Warne with his sms controversy or maybe a John Terry with his affair with a team mates girlfriend.

But all is not over. For as a society, most of us have a short memory span, we forgive them as humans and believe that such things happen over time. People will continue to follow a Tiger  and his golf play, his games and buy his products.

Don’t forget that a Tiger always fights back. As long as Tiger comes clean, admits the mistakes and promises to take corrective steps, of course, assuming he keeps performing as a player which made him the brand, we will see the rise of the brand again and the increase in the brand value. 


The above article is written by Arnish Shah, a student at MPSTME. Connect with him on his facebook page

Wish to Scale the Social Media Platform?


You know what social media is don’t you? If you don’t, than you might as well, visit this link.

Brands try to use the immense power provided by social media to create a strong foothold in the market. May be your business or your brand, or you as a brand are trying to do the same.

So what should you do? The main focus to achieve success is dependent on scaling the social media by appropriate  strategic and operational plans.

Well, 4C gets you the 4 C of Social Media to scale it.

C – Customer Support

It is immensely important for brands to scale up their support teams to cater to these feedbacks and establish an appropriate social media customer support medium. It is highly important to scale up the social media support system well in advance to the scaling up of queries and complaints by the customers.

If brands wait for scaling up of issues to start countering them, then it would overburden the support teams with extensive load of unresolved issues and would result in a disaster.

C – Communication

Before investing in social media, a brands must carefully analyse the strategies by which it will interact with the customers. The strategy must provide a path of providing open door information sharing. Emphasis must be on conversation and information sharing openly and willingly. Critical issue is not what to say to the customers but how to say. Main focus should be on how is the brand going to engage and address the customers and how will it handle the response.

C – Content

Content can include news announcements, tweets, posts, interviews, videos, images, spec sheets, tips and tricks, apps and widgets, polls, and anything else that the customers would consider valuable in their relationship with your brand. Content provides a mean to educate and entertain the social media audience. Content can provide a mean of understanding the needs and wants of the customer. By observing the replies, shares, retweets, etc a brand can understand the relevance of the content to the audience and can accordingly work on their product development. Content analysis can clearly provide the current trends going on among customers.

C – Count

Count constitutes the number of followers a brand has on social media platform. This component is the one that brands try to concentrate more before other components, but it is not possible to sustain it without emphasis on other components. A general misperception about social media is that it is a free and low cost media channel. Though the end result is highly cost efficient but to achieve an appropriate platform need time, internal and external resources and money. Before going all in financially for increasing the fans at your facebook page, all other avenues must also be observed. Brands own digital assets, such as websites and newsletters, can provide a serious lift in followers, fans, and subscribers by way of simple banner and link placements from areas where customers are already interacting with the brand. So it is very important to publicize the social media channel through the brand’s owned channel.

Of course, if you think all this is mumbo-jumbo, just stay tuned into 4C – Collect. Connect. Commence. Contest. and you will know what we are talking about here! After all, we are scaling up the ladder of Social Media, and your presence here confirms we are doing a good job? Are we not? You tell us!


The above article is written by Amardeep Singh, a student at MPSTME. Connect with him on his facebook and twitter page.

Just a Mind Game – Collect and Connect


You know what an unconscious mind is, if you don’t then you can visit this link.

So, why do I need you know what is an unconscious mind is? Because I want to tell you that the unconscious mind is the king which rules you. Changing this state of mind is a really difficult task. The more an act is unconscious the greater the time needed to change it.

The trick lies here:

Pick up something out of the king state – bring it into a sphere of awareness – finally use it – and use it in the nick of that very moment.

All you young marketers should know this:

Marketing is all about changing people’s behaviour. There is so much in behavioural economics that can be picked up and applied by marketers. It allows us to take a larger perspective of marketing through human behaviour.

Just a very small example to convey to you the message:

In Australia, water consumption was cut dramatically by simply printing the average consumption figure for his street on an individual’s water bills. The idea to consume less water was sold in a very simple manner of picking up and targeting the human behaviour of perceiving things that are scarce at a higher value.

If you pick up marketing textbooks such as Philip Kotler’s Principles of Marketing – upon which recent generations of marketers have been weaned – you will find the same behaviourist psychology.

He has an illustration showing “marketing and other stimuli” entering the consumer’s head (labelled “the buyer’s black box”) and coming out the other side as the “buyer’s response”. The accompanying text explains:

“The central question for marketers is: how do consumers respond to various marketing efforts the company might use? The starting point is the stimulus-response model shown Marketing and other stimuli enter the consumer’s ‘black box’ and produce certain responses. Marketers must figure out what is in the buyer’s black box.”

Take any modern theory of marketing you like and look at its inner workings and assumptions. Tell me if you can find a theory of marketing or advertising that doesn’t take behaviourist stimulus-response assumptions as its starting point.

I would like to conclude by saying that all of us will have to issue this stimulus some day. Be it a brand message, an emotional association, a unique selling point or a promotional incentive. In order to get the desired response from the buyer you are targeting, its you who will provide this stimulus.

It will take time to think and work out the mind game (within the consumers) to achieve our ambition of marketing and selling our ideas; but think what it can mean to your firm in profits if you can condition ten million children to grow up as adults trained to buy your products as soldiers are trained to advance when they hear the trigger words ‘forward march’.


The above article is written by Zalak Shah, a student at MPSTME. Connect with her on her facebook page and twitter page.

Introduction to 4C – Collect. Connect. Commence. Contest

You must be wondering what this one is about. Is it just another blog on marketing? Or if it is just another blog that is trying to promote a club?

Well, in  a sense it is both. But then, look deeply and you would realize that it is NONE. Because 4C is not just another blog.

4 C is to Collect.

Collect information. Collect knowledge. Collect thoughts. Collect Ideas.

Of course, that you could find it on in other blog. So how is 4C different?

4 C is to Connect.

Connect to Best in Business. Connect to Best in Academia. Connect to the Brightest Minds

You could tell me, that you could do that on a social networking site too. Why 4 C then?

4 C is to Commence.

Commence the Change that you want to see. Commence the Change that you want to be.

No, it is not another philosophy. It is action oriented. And:

4C is to Contest.

Contest with the best. Contest to Learn. Contest to Win.

If you still have not got what 4 C is, then I will spell it out for you.

4 C is Collect and Connect to Commence the Contest.

It is a place to gain information, to network, to do something, and to learn and win!

Simply 4 C!