Today is the first day of rest of your life

I came across this amazing American proverb while watching ‘Holy Man’. How truly you can get rid of all your anxieties with just a thought of this with conviction. I am convinced that the value of past is zero and today is the only day to start building your future. But at the same time I am concerned of the concepts around us in which our personalities are judged and perceived based on our past. The fact that our identity is made from the background, education, language, experience etc

Last few years, ‘Change’ emerged as the biggest brand. Politics, entertainment or businesses everywhere ‘change’ predominantly appeared and accepted by mass. Obama in politics, IPL in entertainment and Internet in businesses proved this point. Change appears to be hard and tough but afterwards it is always pleasing. In a sense we all are part of change as a process. However, change is also perceived to be relative, it’s always measured in the form of transition from one status (past) to another (present or coming future).

The real meaning of change in this discussion is radical shift. People may confuse with incremental change, which is actually progress in same direction. A radical shift can happen in any direction and in any dimension. In this sense the radical shift is not linked with past. So why should we bother of history while evaluating a change? In this context “Today is the first day of rest of your life” is real mantra for change.

When you believe that today is actually not linked with your past, you are ready for a spiritual change. Which is change of your believe system, your thought process, your mind-set and your approach to the life. I am sure that these changes can make you ready for a radical shift, a real change.


Product Features’ Rationalization

Rationalization of product features to optimize cost with a hypothesis that some features usage pattern of which are rare, if removed, will not affect a consumer choice of a brand could be a good idea. Manufacturer will have choice of transferring the gained value in the form of price to consumer in a high competitive environment. This strategy can be suitable for a brand targeting mid segment consumer to whom price matters. The limitation of this hypothesis is that the segment we define based on demographic variability is actually usage or need based.

Recently, few manufacturers thought in this direction, and they introduced new variants with rationalized features targeting a specific group on demographic and need based segmentation. Samsung and LG introduced refrigerators with lower size of freezer based on their findings of Indian consumer’s usage pattern of freezers. This helped them to charge 20% lower than the other premium brands. There are numerous examples in FMCG industry. To name a few, GSK’s “Asha”, a low cost substitute to Horlics for rural market, Maggie Masal–ae- magic and Maggie Rasile chow targeting population with low purchasing power.

Customer requirements can be translated into technical requirements of the product. However; a customer wish list does not always convert into a good business proposition. It’s important to understand cost of the customer’s wish. A customer of small car may wish for a power and safety requirements of a high capacity cars. So from a product manager’s point of view it is very important to understand target group and its actual need (not the wish list) from the product right at the time of conceptualization of new product. The right approach starts with segmentation which must be NEED or USAGE based than the other demographic parameters. The cost advantage will be the outcome if the product features are designed for specific needs or usage.