Why am I writing this?

January 8, 2008

I started this blog with the sole objective of penning my random thoughts, ideas and mainly links which I liked for myself (something like my own Digg this space) and was happily surprised to know that some of friends regularly read it, even though they did not comment.

Lead me to think…..Has Social Media really arrived in India? Maybe yes and Maybe no. But a quick glance around the webspace leads me to believe we are getting there and…..fast.

The rules of customer engagement have changed and companies are waking up fast. A good example are the virals I talked about in my earlier post, then came Sunsilk with its great interactive website (I’m sure you have heard of the Sunsilk Gang of Girls)  and recently, Skoda instead of actually talking about their soon to be launched car… Fabia.. or extolling the many features and car comparisons in their print ads… chose to just mention their web address in the print copy …. purely to engage the customer. I don’t think they have done a great job in the “engagement part” beacuse the contest page doesn’t seem to mention the rules of participation and is a dead end, but neverthless, we are getting there.

Are our companies ready for the Social Web and its effect on our brands and buying behaviour? Have we budgeted for this? More importantly, how do we measure this impact? Start clicking around and you’ll be surprised.

I love my photos…

January 8, 2008

Last week, I needed to send some logos and pictures which were being thought up for a new promotion and I didn’t them to be mis-used. I wanted to put watermarks or some copyright information so that these could not be edited, so what did I do? I found this excellent website that allows you and me and anyone else to upload, edit and then save your photos from anywhere for FREE and you don’t even have to be a member and there are no forms to fill. It was a breeze. I loved it.

Picnik lets you edit and tweak your photos online by allowing you to change, put special effects and more (regular features of photo editing software) besides helping you put copyright information as well as watermarks to your images.

I think it was swell. The UI was excellent. Photojojo recommends them too. Considering  the number of photos I had from the new year’s party which needed touch up, I gave it a try and really liked the results.

I forgot to add, I loved the way the website keeps you engaged even while the interface is loading….rather than the regular 10% or 20% loaded… they sow the seeds, then grow the grass, then water the plants, pick the strawberries……. very nice touch. Check it out.

Yummmy!!!

January 2, 2008

The New Year Party was a Blast, a Big BonfireBeer and more Beer, Barbecue and Biryani….. and yep Confetti Bombs …. that was a cool idea. While chewing on the succulent pieces of meat, I couldn’t help thinking of this amazing (I guess so, as I always salivate when I look at it) seasoning idea I looked up the other day. BACON + SALT = BACONSALT

Yep all you foodies; think of the taste of melted bacon and salt combined together …. oooohh… man it must be awesome. “Justin and Dave” chucked their jobs and combined Bacon and Salt to create Bacon Salt; which as per them is VEGETARIAN and yes.. ZERO calorie seasoning salt. What a zany idea. I just loved it. Slurp Slurp. Please send me some if you order for yourself….. Cheffy .. are you listening??

This is what I would call a “flavour-bomb” (A flavour bomb being any food recipe which when combined together in its first bite would give you an refreshing, explosive, multi sensory tasting experience)

Are you ready for Umami – the fifth taste ??

I am hungry now….

Welcome 2008….

December 31, 2007

Wishing you and your loved ones a Super Duper Fantabulous 2008!!!

Happy New Year

Let’s Jiggy Wit It…

December 26, 2007

I recently saw this interesting question at LinkedIn asking if there was a technique in solving a Jigsaw Puzzle. Mine used to be starting out with the corners, then color coordinating and then fitting in the biggest – easy looking pieces, wow, it used to be Super Fun.

Memories of me and my brother trying to clock the fastest in a 180 piece puzzle came back. Even though both of us had solved it many times, it used to be such a challenge trying to do it all over again. I saw the old box on one of my visit’s back home to Mom and Dad and couldn’t help sitting down to solve it once again…. It looked something like this after 15 minutes….

Jigsaw

I also found these amazing sites where you could solve Jigsaw puzzles online…yippeee….

Jigsawland and Jigzone 

The guys at Jigzone even give you an option of embedding one in your blog besides feeding a new puzzle out to you everyday. I loved both the sites and I am sure there are many more such online. So go on try your luck and send me some links if you find more…

Lets Jiggy Wit It !!

So where was I?

December 23, 2007

my-booze.jpg

Does this give you a hint? T’was some serious partying since the last two weeks. Sid got married, got to meet everyone from college. It was great fun.

RE-FRESH your dictionary…

December 10, 2007

trends.png

Now those are some of the words you should be mapping ,,,, huh?

One of my favourite sites that maps upcoming trends, whats going to be in vogue and what’s already happened…. a storehouse from where I get lots of ideas is TrendWatching.

Now a couple of these fellas started compiling trends and sending a synopsis way back in 2002, and it became an instant hit and yep, if you still haven’t heard of them, guess where does that leave you in this zoom info age?

Catch their latest briefing which is one their nice ways to send you “intel” to be “In the Know” or plain vanilla subscribe to their mailing list.

I guarantee you will want to contribute and become a Spring Spotter. I am already one.

If you really like it….buy me a copy of their 2008 Trend Report…. its really cool…. infact so much so that they have recently started mapping India big time and mention it in their recent Trend Report.

Don’t miss their Free Tips. Happy Reading.

What’s your Slogan?

December 5, 2007

SUDEEP CHHABRA CAN.

SUDEEP CHHABRA CAN DO.

SUDEEP CHHABRA CAN DO MORE.

I personally liked the last one as my slogan? What would be yours?

This was the after thought. Let me tell you the thought, first.

Like HTML, our thoughts connect with each other and I think mine jump from one to another faster than I would imagine. These thought jumps of course came from page jumps across some incredibly useful web-sites I found today. More about those in my future posts. Coming back to “Sloganising”

Do you want a catchy slogan? Tied up for the right one for your business / ad campaign / teaser / promo. Look no further. Go to Sloganiser, punch in a maximum of two words and yipeeeee you can choose from the random one’s the site throws back. I thought it was funny and of course doubted the sensibility in it. But, after trying various words from funky monkeys to lamb chops to vanilla crispy ….. well I was convinced. 

Lastly I also tried my name and the some of the options (besides the hilarious ones) that came up were… 

  • Sudeep Chhabra Rocks
  • Sudeep Chhabra, so what??
  • Sudeep Chhabra Non-Stop….
  • Sudeep Chhabra Can….    from where I made my slogan …..

Try your luck. You may get your next best slogan from here….. Then, let me know if you liked it.

Buzz Marketing

November 29, 2007

I am sure many of you who are in the echelons of Marketing as a function find yourself face to face with words like “Buzz and or Viral Marketing” I have recently seen many discussions on LinkedIn talking about how to create this so called “Buzz”

So how do we create this Buzz?? Like Seth Godin talks about finding our “Purple Cow” and then introducing it to early adopters / sneezers / seeders who then spread the good word around, I wonder how easy it is to zero down on our true differentiator…. I guess it’s not that easy, considering the overlaps in “me-too” products and similar services present out there. But if we start thinking in that direction, I am sure there are answers waiting to be found. Good starting point for that next brainstorming session.

Yesterday, I came across a brilliantly written blog post by Peter Delegge about how Apple recently said Thank You to the early customers of the iphone. Must Read.

Plus, if you are someone like me who’s still learning on the job, I am sure you’ll get the Buzz on this presentation….

A little “birdie” on the ground

November 27, 2007

Yipppeee…  I got a couple of birdie’s…. hehehe before you think further …. I got them at the TERI Golf course this last weekend. For amateurs like me, who are just three months into this great game, it meant a lot. Particularly because t’was at the TERI Golf Course which in fact is a small course which makes it unforgiving. You better hit straight and nice or … well you are OB (out of bounds)

golf-5.jpg

It’s such a great feeling to play a round of Golf which goes well and is immensely satisfying. It pretty much levels out considering the frustration if your next round goes bad. But overall, I am kicked with my performance. The coolest thing about Golf for me is that you play against yourself and there is always room to be better.

Some great help for you wannabee’s is to check out these free Golf Videos amongst the others. Though there is nothing to beat a “pro” to guide you and loads of practise. Dew kissed grass, birds chirping, the ocassional peacock in the distance and a great game where you get a couple of birdie’s. I liked my weekend.

“MB-O”

November 21, 2007

While reading last weeks “Corporate Dossier” I came across this wonderfully written article by Devdutt Pattanaik where he draws parallels with Ram and Ravana and the nature of Knowledge Management.

Quote – “Over the past decade, a whole new business process known as knowledge management has evolved that seeks to harness, store, transmit knowledge within an organisation. Every CEO agrees that it is a valuable business process, that investment in it is critical. This sounds very logical but most organisations do not do this. The effort involved is huge and the rewards are neither immediate nor tangible. Everyone in an organisation, are repositories of great wisdom – not only knowledge of things that work but also knowledge of things that do not work. Conscious efforts must be made to capture as much of it as possible.”

I was reminded of a different kind of MBO – Management By Observation. It’s leadership driven and essential for the health of any organisation. The best way to manage is to observe and work on the interplay of human behaviour to ensure the best for everyone. It’s quite a tight-rope walk, but well worth its effort. Talk to everyone and smile a lot. Reminds me of my hotel sales days, where it was so important to judge personalities / behaviour interplay and look at problem resolution quickly to make customers happy.

Grab My RSS Feed….

November 17, 2007

Yep, I got my RSS chicklet and yes you can now add my feed to your feedreader. Get updated content. Not that anyone’s subscribing as of now. Waaaah!!!  

Part of me not doing this earlier is that I also felt who’s going to check out all the gobbledygook about codes and html and so on to learn more about RSS. Even though there’s not much to learn.

 rss_button1.jpg 

For those of you who are saying “Huh – whats this?” It’s real simple.  RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. The easiest way to put your blog infront of more eyeballs is by making it easier for people to be able to add your blog feed to their feed reader. This essentially means that every time content is updated on any site whose feed you subscribe to, your feedreader automatically upates it at one place for you to quickly skim through.

The best place to start to know more is Feed Burner.

You could also check out Alex Barnett’s RSS 101 podcast or FeedBurner’s silent movie or read more at the RSS Learning Center 

Next step… Google Adsense…

Lets say “Thank You” and really mean it…

November 16, 2007

Having been a Sales person for the last decade or so, I have come up with my own list of sales websites that I love. One of them is THIS.

The easiest thing to do is to subscibe to their mailing list and they fill you up with loads of goody sales stuff and other things you can motivate your Sales Team with. One of their recent posts talks about how to “really” say Thank You. Simple but so important.

4 Basics of saying Thank You

1. Be prompt 2. Be Professional 3. Be Specific and Brief 4. Be Real

They even put up some cool quotes on a separate page for easy access. Do look up their corporate gift ideas.

Now go and Just Sell.

SCM – Supply Chain Management

November 16, 2007

Do you know Ajai Chowdhry? I didn’t till I came across an article by India Knowledge @ Wharton. Most of it talks about how beautifully HCL has managed their supply chain to ensure profits. Its well worth the read, even though it looks so formal and bookish to start with.

Quote “When we look at distribution, our objective is to make our partner successful. Most distributors function as fulfillment companies — they move products from A to B, and after that, they simply manage their receivables. In contrast, we define our role as value-added distributors. We initially work with our partners to define a strategy for market entry; then we focus on market growth; and finally we work together to achieve market leadership. That is how we view our role. It involves everything from providing marketing and strategic advice to developing a successful business model.”

Click HERE to read the full article.

Bolo Om Shanti Om…

November 14, 2007

Yep .. I did it. Finally.

Like the thousands of people who would stream into cineplexes this weekend to watch the super duper hyped movies of the year, I too joined the bandwagon to watch Om Shanti Om and lets say a very little (almost enough) glimpse of Saawariya.

A little birdie tells me that for the first time in Bollywood, theses two mega publicised movies had consolidated bets to the tune on 35 crores. Now that is what I call the power of cinema. Judging from the crores spent on actually making the movies and then the crores spent in promoting / marketing the movies, it was no mean task. It seemed like the arsenal of one would eventually run out, if not the marketing budget. But these guys kept going ahead trying to score one up on the other.

D Day and the first weekend and you know, Om Shanti Om is clearly the winner. Now I am not saying this because I am a starry eyed fan of SRK or that I drool on Deepika’s dimples or curves (she does have a real pretty face). I say this as the thumb rule of the first 15 minutes works. If it ain’t got your attention in the first 15 minutes, brother it surely won’t in the remaining 165 minutes,eh??

Om Shanti Om’s story was a no brainer but it surely is entertaining. I loved Farah’s bit in the last crediting everyone from the spot boys to the hairdressers. It was cute, catchy and fun. Talks a lot about her spirit. The song with the 31 actors, did catch quite some attention. Saawariya on the other hand did seem like very made up constipated actors trying to make an actual play blend into the blue – black backdrops and shadow effects. I couldn’t last the first 15 minutes. Going by the number of people in the audi, I guess very few did.

The whole point here is that from a marketing perpective, one may be able to package, present and push a product in a ceratin way. But, hey in the end the product or service actually counts. So it makes more sense to weave our marketing depending on how to sell the “product / service” rather than just do the marketers job, per se.

Bolo Om Shanti Shanti Om….

For a “Select” few

November 5, 2007

The newest, swankiest mall has opened in Saket. The tenant – mix as its called in “retail-lingo” (meaning the type of retailers present) got me thinking!!! We definitely seem to be ready for “Luxury”.

See the great presentation below on marketing luxurycourtesy Idress Mootee – CEO –Idea Couture

Destroy what we Create….

November 5, 2007

Kishore Biyani, whose “Future” is here talks candidly about his group, their constant changing philospohy, leadership as well as Sam Walton’s design in this interesting read.

‘We Believe in Destroying What We Have Created’

I’ll bet ya didn’t know this ….

November 2, 2007

Some things interest me and some things don’t, like any other person on this planet. However, I have come to realise that only few things don’t interest me. Okay, the difference is the time I spend on these very many things that do interest me.

You may call it random, however the beauty of the World Wide Web is actualy http – i.e Hyper Text Markup Language. One word properly linked could take you to many possibilities and so on and so forth. Something similar to what I told Abhi on his recent blogpost.

I chanced upon some of these random things which caught my fancy. Like a simple act of taking photos. Or this thought provoking post by Scott. Did I tell you about the Bakery?

Hmmmmm any such random things which caught your fancy lately? Tell me about them…

Killer Monkey Gods….

October 31, 2007

Scott Monkey Adams couldn’t help writing about the sad episode of SS Bajwa’s death, apparently from the monkey menace in Delhi. What surprised me are the comments people have left, from the hilarious to the downright stupid. But hey, its the Dilbert Blog…. so anything goes.

Hey Scott, hold on to your banana and nuts!!

Mooooooo….

October 31, 2007

While watching TV last night, I saw a couple of ads which were quick and drove their message home albeit in-directly. It was implied and made “to be understood” by the masses. I couldn’t help thinking about my most recent read – “The Purple Cow” by Seth Godin. Now the books been around for quite a while, but I just got my hand’s on to it. Interesting read.

Recommended.

Now, I am reading “The Big Moo” edited by Seth.

Coming back to the ads, if you look closely, you realise there is a shift in TVC’s from product – touting to experience marketing and its easy to miss if one doesn’t look closely. Everyone remembers “दिमाग की बत्ती जला दे”, or the award winning Happy Dent ad. Beacuse its a “Purple Cow” and its experience based.

Which leads me to all these great virals doing the rounds, by the awesome team at Webchutney. See them all here. 1  2  3  4  5