Friday 30 October, 2009

Happy Journeys from KPN- a true story

Well even though i have my personal blog for my stories, this story (well since its true u can term it as a incidence) deserves a place here since the moral of the story stems from marketing :P

It all started 3 months ago, when I came to know to the train to Madurai has been fully booked for Diwali and has a waiting list longer than Apple fans queue waiting for the iphone.

So these were the last 2 options which can result in a peaceful journey, if not a happy journey.

  1. I can wait till the last two days and try to book the tickets in Tatkal scheme within the 12-15 mins i will get when the booking opens. – [booking starts at 8 am (online ) and usually its fully booked within 15 mins-bcoz Madurai has only one train to Bangalore :( ]
  2. Or I can wait 2 more months and book the tickets in KPN travels before 30 days when the booking opens @ 12am online.

Since I have not gone home for 6 months and because it was DIWALI..I went for the 2nd option.

So I kept a reminder and dutifully booked the ticket-Volvo Ac onward to Madurai.Mission –1 accomplished.image

I have to wait to more days to book my return journey.And my reminder was working fine and i proceeded to book the tickets then I found the price was higher – Rs .650… Rs.200 etc (diff becoz it night trip,but no Volvo no AC)

My super intelligent brain thought about “value for money” and i didn't book it.thought I will check with my brother before booking.

After me and my brother agreed to go ahead with KPN itself, i was shocked to find that no more tickets left and it was just 6 am

All I could think was……….u too KPN?

Anyways we couldn’t get anything else and I told my dad to book whatever he can get. And he booked it in Balaji travels Rs 550 for airbus ..Rs 100 more..but its k at least we have got a reservation.

we didn’t know that's the only thing we were gonna get…

The onward journey was great..we were picked up by minivan to the main boarding point. and since it was VOLVO A/C, no heat,no was a breeze and reached Madurai @ promised timing.

On the day of departure we call those guys and they give us a shock by saying bus has broke down and we are refunding..after we blasted him for not informing before ..he offered a deal..u come in 30 mins i will get you 2 tickets to Bangalore in some other travels

and so we ran to bus station and he acted as if he was generous to arrange two tickets.then he took us to another travels office and gave us 2 tickets for special bus to Bangalore and said good bye to us.

we waited n waited and finally the bus came…to shock us even more.This special Bus was as ordinary as a bus can was not even a semi sleeper and posed as a tourist bus. To spike our misery they started playing loud music with Dolby DTS effects.As silent as I am.. even i couldn't take it and screamed to reduce it.Then they showed some mercy by keeping it at ‘normal’ volume. We thought of switching, but we were too tired to fight with those guys and since we didn't now if we would get a better bus.After another 3o mins bus finally started and came out of the bus station.Since we were both tired we slept off and hope to see Bangalore on the morning.

90 mins later i wake up and get the worst shock of the whole trip..the damn driver has just took a U turn and come around the other side of bus station. that was the time i realized what is a brand name & just a name.

KPN stands for great service..correct timing,stops only @ quality restaurants, comfortable seats, less sound..(read WHY KPN ?)

Balaji travels stood for one thing ..Govinda.. Govinda….

PS: well by Balaji’s grace or whatever they did drop us in Bangalore safely

PS2: If u wonder what is this post really about this

Wednesday 28 October, 2009

Social Media in your Hands

“Facebook zooms up mobile sales”

Don’t Believe Me?

Take a look at the ads of the all  the recent mobile ads. You will notice social media integration  especially Facebook ,(Twitter next) being highlighted as a prime feature.


Its true that consumers are particular whether their new mobiles have seamless social media integration. Gone are the days only Iphone used to have such things ,  even a budget phone costing around Rs.5ooo comes with Opera Mini browser and Java support and provision for Facebook application.

With better phones & faster GPRS, also  with 3G coming up, there will be a significant increase in Mobile browsing especially in terms of social networking.

  I think a lot of WEB oriented applications will have a critical role to play , than the megapixels & memory cards in the upcoming models.

What’s with the Brand thing?

Jeans – Rs. 499

Levis Denim wear – Rs. 2499

That’s a hell lot of difference in the price and very nominal difference in the product. So are consumers stupid to pay that premium price? Of course not they pay because they get a guarantee for its quality.

But we all know this.. don’t we? So why I am digging basics here?

Because when you say brand many consumers (at least in India) think of only Coke,Pepsi, Maggi, Levis, Nike, Reebok etc. But what about Local Brands who  are not really hip n happening  but still have a brand equity?

For example KPN travels is a well known transport service provider in south. I forgot brand KPN stands for their service  quality and did a terrible mistake of booking  in some other travels to save 5oo bucks,and what I got was the most pathetic travel experience.

If  I had been willing to the extra premium for the Brand KPN  I would have  had a return journey.I can say this for sure because  my onward journey was through KPN.From now I am not going to book in any other travels other than KPN. 

This experience made me observe many local brands I come across in my daily live, which I should be specific with, like for example I always prefer Adigas over Shanti Sagar (chain of restaurants) – Adigas is a lil costly but worth it & most of the Shanti Sagars suck big time.image

The point is Big or Small, Local or Global, Branding is essential ,  important & worth having. Many of my batch mates are now managing  their family business and I strongly suggest them to develop a distinct brand,logo, etc (anyways, what’s the point of an ‘MBA’ running the business if its not branded?)

BTW Any idea how do Big brands protect their brands logo etc from being misused?

Because I saw , SONY brand crackers, Disney & Harry Potter  Fireworks and a Tamil magazine with a tweaked Google Chrome on it

Image0052 Will/Can/Should Google sue these guys??