The elections in India’s national capital, Delhi, have surprised a number of people with a relatively new political outfit upstaging an established, well entrenched political party. We would not like to get into specifics here, but we do think that these elections gave some pointers not just to political parties, but also to tech companies. So here, without naming anyone politician or party, are seven takeaways for tech companies from the Delhi election.
Don’t give footage to the competition
This is something we never cease to get surprised at. Snarky comments about the competition might get a laugh or two out of the audience, but if repeated, simply start giving the competition more visibility and honestly, start chewing into your own time. I mean to say: you have a product of your own and your competition has one too. Which one would you rather talk about? Common sense! Alas, it is not too common.
Ads do not sell products
An ad can only make a person aware of the existence of a product. Thinking that heavy advertising will translate into hefty sales is wishful thinking. In fact, repetition can also cause boredom. Apple’s iconic 1984 ad was screened publicly barely a few times.
Being a market leader does not ensure every product is a hit
No matter how good your track record in the past, you cannot expect the consumer to pick up any product just because it bears your brandname. Apple has had its share of flops too. So no matter how big your reputation is and no matter how much goodwill you enjoy in the market, always focus on your product and not on your glorious history. A bad product can muck up that terrific track record of yours.
Star endorsers will not save a poor product
This flows from the previous point – a product does not improve because of a star or celebrity’s endorsement. Such a move will get you visibility in the media, but if the product is not perceived as being good enough, it will not translate into sales, no matter who endorses it and how stridently.
Public visibility beats media visibility
We cannot stress this enough. A product’s place is in the market and among the consumers and not in newspapers and media. Yes, the latter can help raise awareness about the former, but it definitely will not make a consumer go out and purchase a product as much as the sight of it in another person’s hands will. So once again, use the media for awareness, but do not expect it to sell your products. Your products will have to back up that awareness by being available on the ground, in the hands of the public and in stores.
Do not get personal
Running down a competitor is not a bad idea if you can find something incredibly weak about their product but getting personal never helps. Look at the way in which many people dismissed Samsung for being plasticky and a copycat and mocked Micromax for being a Chinese importer. Humble pie is being eaten in vast quantities.
Be competitive, not contemptuous
While it is always good to be very competitive, it makes sense to have some respect for the opposition – it did not end up where it was just by accident. At the end of the day, no matter who your competition is, remember that it exists because the public invests something in it (faith, money, etc.). When you poke contempt at your competitors, you also indirectly insult those who support it, and who you actually are trying to convert to your line of thought. Take the odd pot-shot in fun, but do not make a habit of it.