सिर्फ चीज़ें या वस्तुएं ही नहीं बिकती, उनको बेचने का तरीका भी उतना ही अहमियत रखता है|

किसी विख्यात ब्रान्ड की फ्रेन्चाइझी लेनेवाले के मन में यह आश रहती है की पैसा डाल दिया, फ्रेन्चाइझी ले ली अब तो बस चांदी ही चांदी है| अब तो ब्रान्ड के चाहक ग्राहक ढूंढते-भागते हमारे पास आयेंगे…|

लेकिन ऐसा हमेशा होता नहीं है|
मुंबइ के जुहु में एक ख्यातनाम आईस्क्रीम पार्लर है| उस की सफलता से प्रेरित कंपनीने बहोत सारे फ्रेन्चाइझी पार्लरों के द्वारा अपना विकास करना चाहा| जुहु की आईस्क्रीम का टेस्ट जीस को अच्छा लगा होगा वह कस्टमर को वही क्वोलिटी, वही फ्लेवर्स, वही कोन-कप उन्हीं दामों पर अपने घर के करिब मिलेंगे तो वह खुशी-खुशी वहां जाएगा ऐसा कंपनी के मार्केटींग डीपार्टमेन्ट ने सोचा और मालिकों को भी यह सही लगा होगा | लेकिन उन में से काफी सारे पार्लर ठीक नहीं चल रहे हैं|
कारण?
१) कुछ पार्लर गलत लोकेशन्स पर हैं, जहां कस्टमरों के लिए आना मुश्किल है|
२) पार्लर के कुछ फ्रेन्चाइझी अपनी लालच के वश में पैसा बचाने के चक्कर में कस्टमर को अच्छी सेवा-सुविधा देने से कतराते हैं| इन के मलाड-वेस्ट सब-वे के पास स्थित पार्लर में आप जायेंगे तो आप को ऐसा नकारात्मक अनुभव होगा|

परिणाम?
लोगों को प्रोडक्ट या ब्रान्ड तो वही मिल रही है, लेकिन अनुभव वही नहीं हो रहा है|

सिर्फ चीज़ें या वस्तुएं ही नहीं बिकती, उनको बेचने का तरीका और कस्टमर का अनुभव भी उतना ही अहमियत रखता है|

अगर कोई ब्रान्ड सिर्फ पैसे देखकर किसी को भी अपना फ्रेन्चाइझी बना देगी और उस के नैतिक मूल्य ब्रान्ड की ईमेज से विपरीत होंगे, कस्टमर को अच्छा अनुभव नहीं होगा, तो अंत में वह फ्रेन्चाइझी भी निष्फलता प्राप्त करेगा और उस ब्रान्ड को भी उस फ्रेन्चाइझी की लालच की वजह से नुकसान ही होगा़…

It is not only the product or brand that sells

Only a strong brand is not enough to succeed. Along with “what” we are selling, “how” and “where” we are selling that also matters.

It is not only the product or brand that pulls the customers. Customer Experience counts.

If along with the product and its brand name the selling process is not transferred with the brand’s true spirit, all the franchisees of a product don’t get the same response because the customer experience is not duplicated everywhere. Here is an example.

Even though Juhu’s famous Ice Cream brand has its franchisee parlors at many places in Mumbai and elsewhere, only the flagship one at Juhu is always very crowded. Others are not so successful. Some are complete failures. Reasons?
1. Location plays a very important role. Some parlors are in very inconvenient locations, which people don’t like to frequent.
2. Service and Customer Experience are most important than the brand or the product itself. At their franchisee store in Malad-West, for example, customers don’t feel welcome. The franchisee owners are very greedy and the staff completely unprofessional, making a customer’s experience unsavory in contrast to the brand’s tasteful reputation.

It is not only the product or brand that sells. The process of selling and customer experience also affects sales equally.

Along with financial strength of a franchisee, their value system also must be examined. Otherwise their association will damage the brand’s image.

मेनेजमेन्ट का ओवरडोझ कस्टमर के अनुभव को कडवा कर सकता है… Over management results in bad customer experience

मेनेजमेन्ट-सिस्टम्स-प्रोसेस यह सारी बातें सही हैं लेकिन उनका Overdose या गलत अमलीकरण कभी कभी कंपनी के नुकसान का या उस के पतन का कारण बन सकते हैं| Over management का एक जीवंत उदाहरण प्रस्तुत है|

मुंबइ के झवेरी बजारमें एक पुराने समय से विख्यात एक मीठाई की दुकान है| उनकी मुंबइ के अलावा अहमदाबाद में भी शाखा है|
दुकान काफी पुरानी है और उनका बडा अच्छा नाम है|
पुराने समय की सफलता के आधार पर ग्राहकों की बडी संख्या को attend करने के लिए कंपनी के मेनेजमेन्ट ने कुछ कार्य विभाजन की सिस्टम लगाई हुई है|

वहां एक कर्मचारी ओर्डर लेता है, दूसरा बील बनाता है, तीसरा बोक्स निकालता है, चौथा मीठाइ निकाल के उसका वजन करता है, पांचवां बोक्स को पैक करता है, छठा उस बोक्स को प्लास्टिक बैग में डाल कर काउन्टर पर छोड देता है, सातवां पैसा लेता है और तीन-चार लोग यह सारा नजारा देखते रहते है|

किसी भी घडी आप इस दुकान में जाओगे तो ग्राहकों से तीन गुना स्टाफ पाओगे|

इतना सारा स्टाफ होने के बाद भी बील बनाने वाले के पास से बील केश-काउन्टर तक कस्टमर को ही ले कर जाना पडता है| और फिर पैसा देने के बाद वापस काउन्टर तक जा कर कस्टमर को ही अपना खरीदा सामान उठाने जाना पडता है|
उस में भी अगर दो या तीन कस्टमर एक साथ आ गये तो उधर धमाल-full chaos हो जाती है|

इतना overstaffing और over management होते हुए भी कस्टमर को अच्छी सर्विस या अच्छा अनुभव कराने में यह दुकान सरियाम निष्फल जा रही है|

Management अगर ज्यादा और बिना सोचे समझे होता है तो उस के विपरीत परिणाम भी आ सकते है|
मीठाई की famous दुकान भी कस्टमर को कडवा अनुभव करा सकती है|

In India, how can we save a lot of public money?

Recently, a report about a teenager’s suggestion to US government to change font in their stationery from Times New Roman to Garamond estimated that it could save some $400 millions of the government due to reduction in ink use. Even though the authenticity of the claim is yet to be established and counter arguments are out to prove this wrong, India, too, can save a lot of money if some obviously simple things are done more sensibly. Here are some suggestions.

1) By putting proper signs on roads

A lot of precious time and fuel can be saved and a lot of accidents can be avoided if the quality of road signs in India improves. The signs on inner roads and highways are either missing, or they are too small or at obscure locations which are impossible to spot while driving. At most of the places, the Einsteins in charge of NHAI and other road infrastructure authorities have put so ridiculous signs at completely meaningless locations that they appear just too late, leaving no time for action. The only sensible and timely signages are found on expressways. Why can’t all Einsteins think similarly?

2) Making the commonly used information accessible

A huge amount of time and energy is wasted in finding some simple information regarding government and its offices and companies. A web site like sarkaritel.com can save a lot of money. The only condition is that somebody should actually pick up the phones of which numbers are mentioned. In India, helplines are generally not helpful because most government helplines just keep ringing.

3) By putting timers on traffic signals

In cities like Mumbai and other metros, sometimes we need to wait for 20-30 minutes at some junctions when 3-4 iterations of signal changes pass before we finally get through, thousands of litres of fuel can be saved by shutting down vehicle engines if timers indicating seconds to reopen the signal can be shown.

4) By putting signals or traffic police at every crowded junction in cities

A lot of avoidable traffic jams are caused by vehicles which break traffic rules at an unmanned junction. In the absence of regulator or a disciplining reference, India’s smart drivers prove their enormous smartness and agility by sneaking through impossible places, risking their own and others lives and creating a complete chaos and traffic jams. India has a lot of unemployed. The cost of employing people to control traffic will be many times compensated by the saving in terms of time, energy and fuel.

5) By sensibly designing coins

The recent coins introduced by the Einsteins of RBI are so confusing that people have to spend a lot of time just figuring out whether it is 1, 2 or 5 rupee coin. The similarity of new Rupee symbol with number ‘2’ adds to the meelee.

6) Privatize all Government companies

Yes. Privatize or close down all Government companies. Business can’t be mixed with charity. History of Indian PSUs has shown that Govt can’t do a good job at business because of its temporary nature. The bosses change every five years. Where is consistency required for implementing a stable mission? Most of the government companies are hotbeds of inefficiency because of the callousness from top to bottom. Examples like telecom, aviation, infrastructure and metal industries have proved that the fear of customer disadvantage due to privatization are completely misplaced and the contrary is true.

Most of the money wasted in India is due to unaccountability of the Government and its machinery. This rot from top must stop. If the government is divested of all other activities than pure governance, it will be a blessing for India.

Marketing is telling believable stories

Some films succeed. Many others fail. Films are well-crafted stories. The films with stories which connect with a large number of people, succeed. The ones which tell a bad story or tell a story badly, fail.

Stories help us live a different life, even though temporarily. Seth Godin says marketing is creating and selling stories. Successful marketing means building successful stories.

Stories that connect with people.
Stories that let them live a different life, even though temporarily.
Stories that help people to lie to themselves.

In the absence of some other productive occupation, we love telling lies to ourselves. It is a distraction.  But a motivating one.

When a cream brand tells a girl that 4 out of 5 girls get softer skin after applying our cream, the girl dreams of being one of those 4. She goes and buys that cream.

Finally, after weeks of religious application of the cream with no significant improvements, the truth emerges and she lands among those 5th girls who did NOT get softer skin. This happens with 80% of the girls who buy that story of softer skin and get disappointed. By the time the futility of the promises and claims made by the company dawns upon a now-wiser girl, she gets hooked to another “New Improved” cream of yet another brand and buys another dream, believing and telling to herself the lie the brand’s advertisement said.

Thankfully for the older brand,  younger sister or cousin of this now-wiser girl grows up with dreams in her eyes and goes and buys that same cream with the dreams of softer skin.

This continues. Just like we sometimes watch the same movie or read the same book again and again even though we know everything about it, we keep buying the things we don’t need because of the lure of the story.

This is the success of marketing. Creating “New & Improved” stories and selling them.
Repeatedly.
Profitably.