Thursday, January 19, 2012

Taking Indian Retail to the next level

The main fall-out of the now defunct FDI decision by the cabinet is the heightened interest in Retail and large amounts of media space and time being devoted to this topic. As I have always maintained, the core issue of an Industry status is again lost amist this noise. Please Click Here to read a detailed article about the next stage of Indian Retail which has been published in Images Retail.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Word of mouth in the social networking era

The buzz around social networking sites has been growing over the years and in the recent past we have seen many corporate trying to leverage the same. Unfortunately, the rules of the game have changed and corporates are still getting used to these. However, Indian Retail is still a far cry away from truly leveraging these media options. Barring the few mandatory Facebook pages, there is very little that is being done. Even these fan pages are fairly static in nature which defeats the very purpose of social networking sites. I had lamented the lack of initiative by Indian Retail in leveraging this excellent customer connect platform in my post "Using Social Networking Sites"

Recently, when travelling out of the country I came across this advertisement by a leading retailer.

The picture is self explanatory as to how well this Retailer has leveraged the social networking site and more importantly how the positive comments have been taken forward into a conventional media (Newspaper advertisements). Needless to say, this will help create a good and positive cycle of increased word of mouth amongst customers and more importantly potential customers.

However, this approach is not for the faint hearted as social networks cannot be controlled and manipulated to reflect only positive things. One needs to work really hard to be able to carry this effort off in a successful manner.

Recently in one of my training sessions I was explaining how well this media lends itself to both corporate as well as store level marketing initiatives. Although the participants were very excited and wanted to implement the ideas given by me, they were diffident about the corporate bureaucracy which will eventually kill the idea.

It is not impossible but definitely not easy. Will Indian Retail move to leverage this wonderful new customer connect opportunity?