PLAYING THE MONEY GAME

While NASSCOM had predicted the India Gaming Industry to reach $350 Million by 2010. Localized content and interactive gaming is replacing the hardcore gaming scenario and no more is it about powerful computers and large disk drives, its all about accessibility and convenience.

Talking about this I have to quote my visit to R City Mall observing the various new brands and visual experience of the branded booths and exhibits.
RCityMall-Mumbai-9Oct-2012-IMG_0174-by-Brandbull-iPhone4
I saw this gaming device with a elevated seat, a steering wheel and a huge 42”+ LG digital display attached. The curious I am, I went to have a closer look and found that its a dedicated console for racing games and is built to convenience. Except of course, the price. When asked about the cost the exhibitor unassumingly quoted 20 lakhs.

Considering you had to buy a gaming device for a kid in your family, would you spend that amount?

Smart Calculations – gift from Google

While most of us are still figuring effective ways of increasing the visitors time spent on business websites and blogs, Google has found a great way already.

As soon as they figured out that many people are a fan of their easy search bar calculations, they found the most effective way to increase their time on the site and add real value to their experiences.

20120910-201544.jpg

Integrating a fully functional scientific calculator right into Google Search when you type in number(s) with an operator, is the smartest thing a search engine could attempt to turn users and visitors into fans.

Kudos and three cheers to Google for this smart move.

How many of you like this?

Google Facebook Offline collaboration

I was wondering why I had not seen this before. Was it an update of Google Chrome or was it simply something that went past me in the busy of work.

However, what I saw today was interesting for all to know. We all know now that Public data shared on Facebook is cached by Google for its results.  Today I see that as I type “Facebook.com” on my Google Chrome, I am asked if I want to search “within” Facebook on the right top corner of the browser window.

“]The 'Press Tab to Search Within Facebook' feature in Google Chrome

While its a new concept to search within a website right from your search engine, Google has been reinventing itself and has a similar engagement with Flickr online. And yes the search within Offline (on Google Chrome) feature is available for Flickr, Youtube, WordPress, Yahoo and Bing too.  Ironically Blogspot or Blogger does not have the same enabled.

Now is this collaboration or the new Revenue Model of Google? Got to find out.

Do let me know if you know. Welcome your thoughts and observations in the Comments. Will be glad to discuss.

P.S> Did find this article which discusses the same – http://www.kabatology.com/09/06/hit-tab-to-search-within-google-chrome-address-bar-omnibox/ , however my google.com entry on chrome does not give me the ‘Press Tab to search..’ option. Does everyone one else get it?

Win Free Books – review BookBuzzr.com

Right from Amazon to Flipkart online shopping for Books have been flourishing as more and more pen interesting stories. While being on Online shopping carts did give Authors that had less readers, a better reach and ease of selling even the seldom heard titles, marketing the titles was still the Author’s headache.

Here is a man in armor, in the form of  BookBuzzr and its customer facing game site fReado. They call it ” fReado.com – World’s Biggest Free Book-Winning Site”. Quite like a Card Matching game, this one has Front Covers of Books and Novels which you have to find the pair of. Every game gives you points and every some points makes you eligible to get books. The books are dispatched around the world by Amazon.

This surely is a very innovative way to bring less known books right in the eyes of book lovers and players.

I felt if the game was more of a widget that could be placed in blogs and other websites, it would get more prominence and users. Another area I felt lacking is, the game does not have any Indian titles and is not focussed on the Indian Audience. With FREE being the attraction, I personally felt Indians would be more participative and pro-active.

What do you feel about the game and the concept? Do let me know in the Comments.

iPad and its Challengers

The Probable Apple iPad 2.0 and Steve Jobs spotted by BrandBull

However much we try, we cannot push away the fact that Apple is one of the most innovative companies that gives trends and not products to the consumer society.

Take the iPad for that matter. Although there were Digital Pads that existed even before it, when the iPad come into the market, the entire Industry woke up to compete. Right from Binatone launching its “Home Surf Touch Tablet” priced at Rs.9000 for India to Blackberry’s “PlayBook”, the name of the game is ‘Beat iPad‘.

BlackBerry‑PlayBook‑Tablet‑PC
Where Apple is almost ready with its new iPad 2.0 , the likes of LG, Samsung and many others are stacking their Pads with features unseen. While LG’s Optimus ditched its waiting eyes by delaying its launch, Samsung has already added a star to its Galaxy and named it Galaxy Tab and Microsoft is all set to launch its MPad with Windows 7 on it.  The actual gusto into the Tablet market is all thanks to new entrants making their foray into this space. Not long ago, first timers DELL and Cisco unveiled their DELL Streak and Cius tablet respectively and Nokia its N800 Internet Tablet. Not to forget the India’s first 3G Android Tablet, Olive Pad, which runs the Android OS.

 

Olivepad‑VT100‑Indias‑First‑3G‑Tablet pasted by Brandbull
One fact we may notice is, in spite of Samsung having its flagship Bada OS, Nokia testing a MeeGo for Tablets and Motorola planning its own operating platform, and despite Google admitting its latest Android 2.2 “Froyo” is not built for Tablets, the most preferred platform seems to be Android.

 

While we are bound to get all our questions answered, we have some more rolling in our minds.

Is the Tablet, there to last?
While we are just about coping up with Laptops, the Tablets have arrived, what next?
In this jungle of devices and operating systems, are we as users gaining options or losing time?

If you have the answers already, kindly write in the Comments and I would be privileged to discuss  and learn.

“] Samsung Galaxy Tab spotted by Brandbull

 

P.S> The other links (apart from those intext) I referred to write this article are:
http://gadgetophilia.com/olive-pad-landing-in-india/
http://www.electricpig.co.uk/2010/09/09/google-says-android-froyo-is-not-for-tablets-is-there-a-tablet-os-on-its-way/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_770_Internet_Tablet
http://www.pcworld.com/article/200004/cisco_tablet_a_reality_running_on_android.html
http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/29/cisco-unveils-cius-android-tablet-with-hd-video-capabilities/
http://www.9to5mac.com/28526/ipad-2-0-camera-mini-usb-ships-q2-2011-goldmans
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/5_reasons_to_wait_for_ipad_20.php
http://www.dazeinfo.com/2010/07/06/lg-to-launch-android-powered-tablet/

Are Discounted prices a trend?

While a few years back we would associate bargains with cheap products, today we are spoilt for choice thanks to even big brands offering rebates on their wares.

When considered the best buys today we not only find the new comers, the established brands also are giving away their products for less.

The reasons the businesses quote are:
1. Cheap competitors have reduced its market worth;
2. Thanks to more vendors, the cost of making the product has come down;
3. Their focus has shifted from niche to mass, thus a price slash was essential,
4. They had to sell away old stocks so that they can make way for new ones.

Come what may there are a few facts, that I see when sieving out the excuses.
1. Their wares were too optimistically priced,
2. The are getting rid of the goods before they go out of fashion or loose their utility value,
3. Their goods are fast reaching expiry dates,
4. They are not able to stand against their competition in the price war,
5. The product was never worth its price,
6. Their products are no more niche.

The reason for price fall, depends not only on the market behaviour, it also relates to how innovatively and well-planned the market lifecycle of the product is. And most fall short right there.

If you have a different opinion, why not we discuss that in the Comments below.

hootsuite.com is jinxed

At 2:18am on 10 October 2010, I type hootsuite.com on the browser and I get:

hootsuite.com jinxed - screenshot by brandbull

hootsuite.com jinxed

Now the next obvious is to ask Google if I was wrong. And the response to that is:

hootsuite.com google search results spotted by brandbull

hootsuite.com Search Results

What does an average user of Hootsuite understand by this? Has Hootsuite shutdown its services? Is the website / link down? Is it Google Chrome’s cache acting up?

However small you may think is the issue, it might just give raise to uncomfortable PR.
Should a Brand be negligent of such a possibility? Or should the audience be more forgiving?
Lets see your thoughts on the comments.

Apple Launch Ads choreographed

While I like blogging, I tend not to post more than 4-5 blogs a month. Today, is an exception, I must admit. Bear with me, if you care.

How Apple organizes launch day in SF

How Apple organizes launch day in SF

While I love talking about Apple for its innovation of categories and excellent Marketing initiatives, I was Wowed by the planning and detailing they did for the launch of the iPad. Thanks to ChiMac’s Blog, I found that out.

Buying Bus Stop Ad boards is not a new thing, however orchestrating the release of the ad on all these Bus Stop Ad boards at the same time when Steve Jobs actually unveiled the iPad, is Awesome Symphony!

Hats off to Steve Jobs and his team for putting in so much of diligent efforts to doing everything so perfectly well.

P.S.> So want to work with him, someday. :)

Innovative Analytics by Cleartrip.com

Analytics have become so important today for website. And one of the most widely used is the Google Analytics for websites. However, this is more a business facing fact report of sorts.

Turn this upside down and what you get is innovation to the end-consumer. And this is what Cleartrip.com has done with the introduction of its graphs.

Cleartrip Graphs (colors inverted) by BrandBull

Note: I have inverted the colors to make it snazzier :)

Cleartrip shows the Flights that ply to the destination, their cost forecast for the month and even the comparison between the airlines based on price for every day of the month. Long gaps if any show unavailability of flights on those days.

Overall, a great tool to plan in advance. Sadly, its available for domestic flights only, as yet.

What are the new principles of Marketing?

Touch. Connect. Engage. Involve.
Simple isn’t it. And I am sure most of you could draw sensible inferences from just those words. However, the relevance of these words is not limited to this post. Its to every post that will come on this blog from hence.
Matter of fact, these are going to be the key drivers of every marketing activity ever. Including yet not limiting to every single successful communication, interaction, marketing or brand building activity of every enterprise, excercise, initiative and implementation.
Touch:
If I cannot grab the attention of my Target Audience, my communication spend, be it time, money or intentions, is an absolute waste.
Connect:
If I am incapable of starting a conversation, I have probabaly not made an impact worthy of consideration.
Engage:
Once connected, my key focus needs to be in raising the interests levels of the Audience, in me and/or my product/service.
Involve:
Building interactivity and letting the Audience know their participation is important to me, is vital to make them take me seriously.
Would you like to see case studies and topics related to these key drivers? Answer in Comments. :)