Sunil Alagh's 10 commandments on marketing

MUMBAI: "Keep it simple," was SKA advisor Sunil Alagh's opening line.



The ten truths about marketing that were spelt out by Alagh were as follows -

1) Thou shalt keep it simple, stupid vegetarian

Stating Britannia's vision - which was to have every third Indian to be consumer of Britannia products, Alagh talked about the necessity of moving away from flowery corporate jargon, keeping the vision statement simple and relevant. Another case in point was Fed Ex.

2) Thou shalt beg, borrow, steal

Beg the best to join you, borrow when you can have competitiveness (Outsourcing) and steal if you better an idea and make it yours.

For instance, Wagon R was Hyundai; while the former launched first in Indonesia, the latter capitalised on the concept and established leadership in India. A similar case can be drawn between Sony's Walkman and Apple's iPod.

3) Thou shalt do unto one what you do not want done unto you

P&G and the smaller players like Cavin Kare, Nirma's attack on HLL.

4) Never chase a Jerry in your life

Don't spend time chasing the wrong small fry, as one will end up chasing one's own tail.

5) What you take from others can be taken away from you

It is essential to create a long term differentiation which is unique and is yours. Sony's Walkman was untouchable for number of years. So, is the iPod and the Volkswagen. "Don't offer greater bribes to your consumer; create greater emotional bond."



6) Thou shalt love thy competition's wife

For instance Virgin Airways Vs British Airways. And the Parker ad with Amitabh Bachchan. Says Alagh, "Loyalty pays in a marriage. In marketing infidelity has its own rewards.

The Tanishq ad states, "Beware, there is a thief in the family."

7) Don't work at how much is in the glass; look at the glass itself.

There will always be a niche in the market, but is there a market in the niche?

8) Thou shalt not mistake thyself for God

Alagh pointed out how Philips in the 50's and 60's ruled the sector and became complacent letting Sony beat them.

9) Thou shalt worship Lady Luck

10) Thou shalt not wait for the last commandment

Make your own commandment. Contribute your own verse in the poetry.



Alagh's concluding words were: get the right people and it is only the team that can build an empire. With a rush of relevant and rejuvenating ads, Alagh - the last speaker at Promax 2005 - made it a truly memorable session.

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