Wednesday, August 27, 2008

i Phone, India Launch and 5Ps of marketing

A story making round in industry iPhone fails to lure Indian consumer and thus lost rare opportunity to penetrate in one of the largest (in fact 3rd largest) handset market by volume.

India and Indian consumer are again and again proving the same thing one who able to conquer the world may not necessarily able to repeat the same in India. Marketer can not forget "GLOCAL" - (Global but Local) funda when dealing with India. Pepsi, Coke, X-box, Mac Donald, Nokia all did it though in different manner, all had to go through complete Indianness- भारतीयता

5Ps: where arguably i Phone India Launch went wrong

Product: Excellent -no doubt about it! But feature as simple as sms fwd can make product from 'Aspiring' to 'frustrating’. There should be additional development fitting to Indian psychi. Look at Nokia not big modification, but one simple addition of strong LED and advertised strongly as light in dark. Or Samsung advertising prayer feature in its handset. Sometimes just simple moves bring one champion and differentiate from others

Price & Placement: Considering these 2Ps together and even specially in case of iPhone. All across world iPhone was launched with Telecos. Teleco subsidizes iPhone by virtue of long term contract. When it was well known fact in India operator can not have 12 month long contract with users... iPhone launched with operators- was for what?? Secondly why was it exclusive with Airtel and Vodafone?? - for office e-mail supports servers and Black Berry like services. And all these come at what price? Is any one really bothered to take iPhone in India especially for Black Berry like services?? Mass market- much larger market was eagerly awaiting to grab their precious one.. But huge disappointment at pricing front.. One iPhone at INR 31K plus!

Promotion: Required fan fair was not been created! Hype associated with Apple iPhone launch were not matched in India!! Was that Apple’s over confidence? Advertisements were also not featuring sexiest, coolest features of iPhone as it should be.. Rather Ads were disappointingly boring!

Positioning: Most important P of all the Ps. Apple’s iPhone positioning in India was very unclear! May be it did not turn up properly - Should it be considered as business phone or coolest tech-toy to be owned on earth. All across world youth and mass was queuing out side store to be among first one to flash sexy gazette.
India had thrown a chance to make it mass phone with a class! (get best possible economy of scale) But Company was busy to position it as very good business phone with so many 3G features highlighted!! Hey, Hang on, In India 3G is not even launched. And don’t seem to be commercially launched before 6 months.

When huge pool of youth were attracted to iconic phone brand!! When there was chance to market it to mass, why Apple went for niche marketing!! Was Apple not confident about meeting demands, or has Apple over rated Indian market!! Or is it simply complacence of Apple!!! Indian market always go for value for money. And it will not change in near future- It's cultural habit of consumer. Today youth spends, today everybody spends, there are huge aspirations among youth, Indian middle class. India is aspiring for ‘Class’ but its not for any cost-just because priorities to be attended are too much – India is for Cost as per True Value Add

Concluding: nothing wrong with Apple 3G iphone! But it is Apple and so there was certain expectation built up!! And it didn’t go with that high successful launch expectation!!!
True, first opportunity lost by Apple but battle is not over yest…Let us talk about how will be battle, what could be Apple’s move and how Nokia and Samsung will react in India?? Any comments……

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