Monday, February 12, 2007

"Wow" Mozilla Rocks - Part 1

I am sure many of us would have seen the television Ad for Windows Vista. People from various walks of life express their delight in experiencing Vista by giving a "Wow". Banking on Customer Delight.

Well, I have not used Vista yet, but when it comes to web browsers Mozilla is & will remain to be the best. Its a product which creates customer delight for sure. Wondering why? Then read on about the various Add on tools Mozilla has....
  1. Scrapbook - It helps you save a page or website or a snippet from it with a couple of clicks.Once you save it we can access the pages offline. The various steps involved are;
  • Just access this URL and download the scrapbook.
  • Once download is complete user is prompted to restart Firefox for completing the installation.
  • Just access a page or select a snippet in a page or website and save it in a folder. You can also create a folder and save. :-) Now, go offline & experience the "WOW"

    Well, the unique selling points being
    a) User need not download the whole page for just viewing a snippet.
    b) A complete website can be downloaded without any download tool.
    c) Easily manage the pages or snippets or websites by saving them in separate folders.

2. Backword - How many times we would have wondered how to pronunce a word like
Plagiarism. Well, from now on you need not refer to Oxford or find a English language geek.
The various steps involved are;

  • Just access this URL and download the scrapbook.
  • Once download is complete restart Firefox (i.e close window & load firefox again) for completing the installation.
  • Just access a web page and select a word in a page and mouse over.Now, you need to be patient though. It takes couple of seconds for the menu to pop-up.
  • Now click on a speaker like icon {Visual Metaphor is not used well here :-( } and hear to the pronunciation of the word. A real wow isn't it? :-)

The main USPs being;

a) We can "back a word" i.e. bookmark the page from where we picked up the word. In the
future, if you encounter the word again just mouse over the word and right click on the
quote list. The page where the word appears gets displayed in a small window.
b) Search the web for the pronunciation incase it is not available in Backword. Hmmm what more can a user expect?? :-). Another good point being the web page opens in a separate tab too...

Watch out for Information on more Add ons in Part 2......

Rushing to office......


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Income Tax - Is the calculation so Taxing?

"The hardest thing in the world to understand is income tax" -Albert Einstein

If this is the case with a mortal having highest levels of IQ then imagine the plight of intelligent IT professionals like me :-). Well, being a M.B.A student of LIBA I had the opportunity to learn the art of tax calculation. As the saying goes;

"No education is complete if it is not applied for the upliftment of self and the society"

So, I just wanted to share with my readers the slab rates for Salaried professionals like me in India;

For the assessment year 2006-07, rates of Income‑tax in the case of individual assessees are divided into the following three categories:

a) resident individuals, who is of the age of 65 years or more (senior citizens) at any time during the previous year;

up to Rs. 1,85,000/‑Nil
above Rs. 1,85,000/‑ up to Rs.2, 50,000/‑20%
above Rs. 2,50,000/‑30%

b)resident individuals, being a woman, aged below 65 years;

upto Rs.1,35,000/-Nil
above Rs. 1,35,000/- up to 1,50,000/-10%
above Rs.1,50,000/- to 2,50,000/-20%
above Rs.2,50,000/-30%

c)other individuals (this is were I fit in)

upto Rs.1,00,000/-Nil
above Rs. 1,00,000/- up to 1,50,000/-10%
above Rs.1,50,000/- to 2,50,000/-20%
above Rs.2,50,000/-30%

Please note that the tax rates are applicable on the Income remaining after Deductions.

Hope this article was helpful. Until next time.....


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Brand Concepts - Part 2

Let us now see what we really mean by Brand Architecture? It is nothing but the organizing structure that specifies brand roles, and the relationship among brands, keeping their market driven roles in mind. Usually I would divide the Brand Architecture into 4 dimensions.

  1. Brand Portfolio - Includes all the brands & sub Brands
  • This is how HLL’s (Hindustan Lever Limited's) brand portfolio looks like: Surf, Surf Excel, Modern, Rin, Pond’s, Lakme, Aviance, Aim, Clinic Plus, Sunlight, Dalda, Kissan, Le Baron, Close-up, Vim, Ala, Liril, Pears, Wheel…. and a long list that includes numerous variants and branded products as diverse as thermometers and glycerine

2. Portfolio Roles

  • Strategic Brand-Represents a meaningful future in terms of sales and profits. Like what Xbox is for Microsoft
  • Silver Bullet-is a brand or sub-brand that positively influences the image of another brand. Like how IBM Thinkpad boosted IBM’s corporate brand image
  • Lynchpin Brand-Leverages a major business area though it may not be the core business. Example - Jetrewards for Jet Airways

3. Market Context Role - A combination of brands that fulfils a specific product or market related need. There are various roles here:

  • Endorser brand-is usually an established brand that provides credibility and substance to the offering.Like HDFC endorsing its home loans
  • Driver Role - The degree to which the brand drives the purchase decision and usage experience. Thus people refer to their credit card as “Citibank card” and not Visa from Citibank. Here Citibank plays the driver role.
  • Co-brands: are brands formed by collaborating brands from distinct organisations
    to create a new offering. Ex- Indian Oil Citibank Card

4. Portfolio Graphics - the pattern of visual representations across brands and contexts.

  • Taking HLL as an example the visual representation of Surf and its variants represent one string of brands that are different from the look and feel of Pond’s & its variants.

So, what does Brand Architecture really achieve?

•Clarity of product offerings
•Leverages brand equity
•Provides a platform for future growth
•Effective and powerful brands - Those that have a point of differentiation and customer appeal.

Hope this topic was helpful. Until Next time....


Sunday, February 04, 2007

Brand Concepts - Part 1

Let us look at the definition for a Brand. What exactly it stands for?

"A Brand is a complex symbol. It is the intangible sum of a product’s attributes, its name, packaging and price, its history,reputation,and the way it’s advertised. A brand is also defined by consumer’s impression of people who use it, as well as their own experience "
- David Ogilvy

Now let us look at how Brand Experience is differentiated. The External Brand Experience include;

  • Name
  • Logo
  • Advertising
  • Brand Identity
  • Environments
  • Products & Service
While the Internal Brand Experience comprises of;
  • Business Process
  • Customer Relations
  • Brand Values
  • Training
  • Quality
  • Staff Motivation
  • Recruitment Policies
  • Technology etc..
Now what exactly we mean by Brand Positioning. It is how we Position ourselves in the minds of the consumers. In other words it is how you differentiate your product or service from that of your competitors and then determine which market niche to fill. Look at McDonalds Positioning statement;

"We are not a burger company serving people but are a people company selling burgers"

This statement clearly reflects both the Internal & External brand value of McDonalds. Now let us look at the Brand Identity Prism based on Kapferer model and the 6 key dimensions in it;

–Product features, symbols & attributes
–Character & attitude
–Beliefs & association
–Set of Values
–Customer’s view of the brand
–Internal mirror of customer as user of brand

For Sify India let us look at how they have built the brand basis the Kapferer Model;
  • Physical - Kite Symbol, Online Access
  • Personality - Innovative & Tech savvy
  • Culture - Customer centric & Indian
  • Self -image - "net" way of life empowered
  • Reflection - Consistent & dependable performer
  • Relationship - Best guide to the net
Rushing to the office now. Rest in the Next...