Advertising as Association: Warranty as an Open Card

Association is the relationship between two data items that is established through feeling, expectation, or memory. Creative and crafty advertisements seek to establish a positive and desired association between a product and person, positioning as the providers or enablers of such association. Some soaps, for example, seek to establish a clear association with skincare while some specialized soaps with hygiene. Ayurvedic products bring out association with natural cure, bereft of chemicals. Electronic products focus on specific attributes such as picture clarity to promote real-life visual experience. Not all associations of advertisements are positive, however. The advertisements of yesteryears on cigarettes associated smoking with heroism and cowboy style, and in hindsight had been extremely negative for life and living. Advertisers continue to be crafty and not in the best universal interests.

There is a need to put in place alternative templates of advertising. Advertisements must have two sections; one the visual and descriptive part as now and the other a technical part which provides technical details of claims in a manner intelligible to common persons even. When an ayurvedic product advertises itself as having 21 herbs, two things are required. The first is the theoretical aspect of what each herb is purported to do as per ancient texts. The second is the practical aspect of how the company has, in its view, succeeded in bringing those benefits to the product by virtue of material isolation, product quality, and validated clinical trials. True and authentic advertisement makes an open commitment to consumers on product quality based on specifications, manufacture, and usage with expected benefits, almost as an open warranty card more than anything else.

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Indian Automobile Marketing: A Three-Layer Demand Model

The Indian automobile market has grown to be one of the largest and fastest growing markets in the world, backed by multiple collaborations, and with an annual production of over 20 million vehicles, with about 15 percent exported. The domestic sale comprises over 20 percent as commercial vehicles, 15 percent as cars and utility vehicles, and 65 percent as two wheelers. The rapid growth has put an enormous pressure on the already congested and inadequate road system in India but that does not seem to deter either the customers or the manufacturers. Clearly, a combination of rising incomes and increasing number of players with a liberalized import system has led to the growth in the market. Compared to other developed markets, however, the scale and scope of the market has not motivated either the customers or the manufacturers to seek or introduce more relevant marketing approaches, respectively.

Automobile marketing is a complex amalgam of socio-economic factors, technological factors, and consumer need factors. While the sheer power of economic development provides the motive force for the expansion of the Indian automobile industry, understanding the demand paradigm in terms of economic demand, technology demand, and promotional demand would help the automobile manufacturers, global and Indian, to come up with proactive and responsive strategies that optimize the long-term demand-production models. There is considerable talent in the country, economic, engineering and marketing, to submodel each of the demand layers and come up with firm-specific strategies which could collectively foster healthy competition in the Indian automobile market, and also enable the Indian automobile industry achieve global competitiveness.

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Common Branding and Uncommon Power: The Mystique of Sustainable Innovation

Brand power is a strategic hedge against the vagaries and vicissitudes of economic and business environment. A strong brand helps a company coast through lean patches with enough entropy left in the wheels of business. The iconic brand power held by Sony as an electronics super brand helped the corporation manage the near opportunity miss it had on flat panel televisions until it could develop its own panels. Toyota's iconic quality image has been so strong that despite the unprecedented recalls, the corporation continues to be accepted as a leading marquee. Brand power, once established, provides a surrealistic continuity to businesses. For example, despite lack of progress or even setbacks in drug discovery, a few Indian pharmaceutical firms continue to be branded as innovative discovery-driven companies.

The insurance provided by brand power must be utilized in a judicious manner by companies. It cannot be seen either an optical facade or easy reprieve. Those companies which have recognized the responsibility that comes with established brand power and exerted to get back to innovative track could reassert their positioning. Sony, for example, continued to innovate in gaming devices and a host of other electronics products during the time it grappled with flat panel setback, thus enhancing overall brand equity through supplemental channels. Microsoft fought back in tablet space by leveraging a successful Windows operating system intended for desktops and laptops, despite scepticism. When properly strategized and prudently utilized, brand power acts like the flywheel of business, smoothing the energy flow for growth.

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