How Many Lives Does a Jaguar Have?

So Tata Motors is doing a lot to revamp the Jaguar brand. It purchased the Jaguar and Land Rover brands from Ford for $2.3B. Ford, which lost $800M on the sale, seems to have shed its heavy baggage, but can Tata bring this cat back to life?

There are mixed reactions from industry on the effectiveness of the luxe auto’s new advertising campaign, which is aimed at making an emotional connection with auto enthusiasts. Professors from the University of Michigan and MIT said it missed the mark, while a consulting firm out in LA stuck its neck out to say that the campaign is “avant-garde enough to definitely capture consumers’ attention and put Jaguar on the radar screen of more potential luxury customers”.

All those opinions don’t matter. Let’s see what the sales numbers say in a year. It will surely be an improvement for Jaguar to get 18,000 to 20,000 people to test-drive its cars, as opposed to the the 300 to 400 who try them out annually in the United States. Wow only 300 to 400. Anything above that will be a remarkable improvement.

Advertisements

What Apple Can Teach You About Not Having To Compete On Price

I found this great article at www.fastcompany.com. The major take aways for businesses that do not want to compete on price are:

  1. Develop Powerful Branding – Effective and unique branding puts your product in a competitive space that has little to do with price, and more to do with being cool, trendy (or timeless), and of great quality.
  2. Strategic Marketing – This encompasses the four Ps of marketing and much more. In luxury marketing you need to be thinking about the four Es (exclusivity, emotion, engagement, and experience). While Apple won’t admit that they intentionally create product shortages in order to create a buzz, it is certainly part of the reason why customers are willing to pay huge premiums to have their products as soon as they are released.
  3. Excellent customer service – Customer service is something you can not afford to lack. From getting customer’s to try your products and services to keeping them loyal, customer service is the lynch pin that sets you appart from competitors.
  4. A product that doesn’t disappoint – All of the above won’t mean anything if you don’t have a stellar product. Take a page from companies like Apple and Patagonia who are committed first to making the best product possible.

If a product can’t live up to the expectations set by its marketing, it won’t be successful for the long term

Part 2 – This Thing Called Luxury

Building on the confusion of yesterday’s post, today’s entry focuses on the academic justification for a firm’s participation in the luxury segment. Though what appears below is very intellectual, it is very similar to the thoughts I had on the matter long before I ever knew I wanted to work in the luxury segment.

In his work covering business strategy, Michael Porter explains that there are two main categories, in which a firm’s competitive strengths fall: cost leadership and differentiation. Depending on the firm’s market focus (broad or niche), and the uniqueness of its products (custom or commodity) and services, Porter posits four generic strategies a firm can use to develop a competitive advantage. Continue reading

Part 1 – This Thing Called Luxury

Yesterday, I got into an intense discussion with two of my classmates about the strategic justifications for my focus on the “luxury” segment. While my colleagues were making an argument for the limited market size demerits of luxury products, I tried to explain my thesis of luxury goods/services in a transactional framework. In the end, both sides came to similar conclusions. I’ll attempt to take you through the debate first from an abstract level.

If a customer asked me: “why do you consider your product/service a luxury?”, I’d say to them: Continue reading

Commitment – Staying on Course

There is nothing more deliberate than having a goal. Goals if done the SMART way can really help you develop in every aspect of your life – personally and professionally. The last time I set a goal on this blog, it was the “30-day Challenge“, where I committed to publishing at least one post per day for 30 days. Seems like since then, I let the other aspects of my life (like the intense MBA program at W&M) take over my blogging responsibilities (yes, I do believe I have an obligation to the readers that spend a “click” to come to my part of the blogosphere).

Today, I am making another commitment – longer than 30 days, but less punishing in frequency. I am going to publish one post per week for the next three months. I call it the Post Per Week challenge (lets call it the PPW Challenge). Later today, I’ll publish the first PPW post. Here’s a peek at what I am thinking for the post. Continue reading