27Nov 2009

Let us take a stroll back in time to see how America has bought toys during the holidays in years past. In the 1990s, Toy R Us was the category leader. The holiday toy sales started the weekend of Thanksgiving, with Toys R Us newspaper insert, in which America learned about the coolest toys of […]

03Nov 2009

While having coffee with one of my colleagues one afternoon, I asked for his views of the future of luxury brands and Baby Boomers. “Luxury brands are dead,” he said, pointedly. I was taken aback by this cryptic pronouncement. Probing further I asked him to reconsider such a pessimistic position. Entire companies and industries depend […]

13Oct 2009

I am honored to be the first guest blogger on Arjun’s blog. I don’t need to know that others were asked before me and turned down the opportunity. I seized the chance to tell my tale of the turnaround of a brand; or least the beginnings of a turnaround. By definition, a turnaround has to […]

06Oct 2009

This piece of artwork was created by K.K. Muralidharan , specially for Restaurant Marketing Group (a division of ZenMango) for the Leaky Bucket research. Brands of all types use Leaky Bucket research to determine why past customers do not return to the brand.

19Aug 2009

Over the last fifteen years I have helped numerous brands in using comparative ads to win over the consumer. If the decision has been made to directly target a competitor and prove brand superiority, the brand must be prepared to substantiate that claim. If challenged, all internal communication and research must be shared with federal […]

12Aug 2009

Have you ever seen a serious runner not time his runs? Football teams measure how long a punt is in the air, because higher air time means defense is more likely to prevent an advance. Every successful “super professional” I have encountered over the years was simply amazing on knowing the state of their business […]

29Jul 2009

All of us are caught up in the discussion about how bad the current economy is and how we will survive this tough time. Recently, I experienced a practice by two brands who are doing things a “tad” differently to beat these tough times. First, Chili’s. Chili’s has a new promotion for two in which […]

20Jul 2009

Many a time when I think about Marperations, I think about Operations not being consistent. My recent experiences with my iPhone made me start thinking, when Marketing over-promises, does Operations even have a chance? The AT&T dropped call storyBeing a single dad and small business owner, most of the time I am on my cell. […]

09Jul 2009

1. Relevant awareness of non-profit The target must know all relevant information about the non-profit. Here are some key issues to consider as the non-profit builds awareness: The information should come to target first hand and not filter through second or third hand audience. That builds a connection. The communication should be on-going and not […]

03Jul 2009

In 1988, when I got my first job offer to work for Pizza Hut corporate in Louisville, I was introduced to the complexities of the pizza wars.  It is amazing to see that the members of the Pizza Hut team of 1988 are now at CMO level positions in at least seven major restaurant chains. […]

30Jun 2009

What is the one thing a frequent traveler wants from a hotel during a business trip? Of course a clean hotel, a nice room, a great flat-screen TV, a shower with amazing water pressure and other things. But all this is of no avail if one cannot have a good night’s sleep. Some of us […]

23Jun 2009

Many times when I write about Marperations™, Operations gets the bad guy image, something which is trying to come in with measures to be more efficient and hence makes the guest experience more blah. The following incident is slightly different as Marketing set a tone which put Operations in a no-win situation.June 16, Westminster, ColoradoA […]

16Jun 2009

Recently, my daughter was not feeling well. It was a Friday afternoon, after 4PM. Most readers who are parents will agree with me that health problems with our children mainly happen either after hours or on weekends. So like any dad would do, I took her to The Children’s Hospital. In Denver they have a […]

09Jun 2009

During my days in working in the Pizza Industry (I started my career at Pizza Hut and eventually was the VP of Marketing & Operations Services at Papa John’s), one thing always baffled me. Why did the pizza category have the highest deal rate among any restaurant category? (A deal rate simply means what percentage of customers felt that they […]

02Jun 2009

Recently, I was visiting a Target. At check-out, I only had seven items so I went through the fast lane. It was quick and efficient. I was done in lightning speed. When I was ready to gather my bags and leave, I paused to look at the long line of regular customers who were buying more than […]