Thursday, April 18, 2013

Indian Retail - Point & Counterpoint: Great ideas are a waste of time without execution focus

A few days ago I woke up to see a half page advertisement of a national Retail chain which was trying something new and interesting. They had affixed a scratch card to the advertisement and I am guessing that they were hoping that this would trigger curiosity and drive walk ins.

Sadly, the scratch card had been already scratched out and the offer was visible which completely defeated the very purpose of a scratch card. The other evident lack of execution focus was that the scratch card had been affixed upside down as you can see in the picture. (Retailer’s name has been masked)

A good idea and this is in line with the basic Retail focus of generating customer footfalls and then focusing on conversion inside the store.

However this good idea did not factor in some basic ground realities. Namely, that a scratch card which has already been defaced will have absolutely no impact on any potential customer. The other reality is that anyone will be tempted to scratch and see what is in such a card, very similar to the universal fixation of breaking the bubbles of a bubble wrap sheet.

So, another great idea which sounded fabulous when being presented seems to have fallen by the way side.

How could this great idea become very effective?

Very simple, factor in the reality that news paper agents will have access to these and if they can insert pamphlets in a paper, they can definitely scratch and see what is hidden.

Just print a random number sequence on a card which is stuck on the advertisement. This card can be shown while billing and the offer pertaining to that random number can be accessed from a data table which is uploaded in the billing software. The curiosity value is retained and the idea becomes effective.

Lastly, there could be one more perspective. In Tamil Nadu there is a ban on lottery or what is called as game of chance. This is one reason why coupons always have a slogan and then gets defined as a game of skill and not chance. (A leading ice cream brand had to withdraw a national promotion only in TN, a few years ago due to this reason). Maybe, the scratch cards were defaced deliberately. In which case why spend so much of money in making these cards and getting them fixed onto the news paper advertisement.

A distinct lack of execution focus seems to be coming through and that is a big NO, NO in Retail.

CLICK HERE to join the discussion about “Execution Focus” on my page and share your perspectives and examples.


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