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Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

That’s Not A Phone Ringer, It’s The Death Bell For WindowsPhone – IMRAN™

Posted by imrananwar on August 18, 2016

Microsoft Windows smartphone sales collapse. Down 76%!” reports Computerworld.

That’s not a WindowsPhone ringing but death bell of Microsoft’s phone platform strategy that you do not hear, because when was the last time you heard a WindowsPhone ring except for the expensive product placements on TV shows and in movies? 

It was a mere $8-10 BILLION write off which destroyed the lives of tens of thousands of Nokia employees. Please stand by for a similar LinkedIn write off in 3 years for about $30 Billion. They could have cured Cancer or built 1000 hospitals worldwide with that money!

Imagine me, a MacOS lover from Day 1, working at Microsoft (in strategy / cloud / consulting though) for 3 years. Ironically, I was already sick and tired of the 200 years old iOS UI (user interface) that has STILL not changed since it launched, and the UXdesign (user experience getting worse) from Apple in EVERY area. 

So I was actually happy to see Microsoft’s WindowsPhone interface as one of the few things they did not steal from, I mean, copy from Apple, and something actually better. But, the problem was not the technology. It was, and likely still is, the people of Microsoft.

It is a company with MANY smart people who made so many stupid decisions again and again, but never learned. A most senior leader liked some ideas I had to build a WindowsPhone ecosystem. He connected me with an Indian guy (not Satya Nadella) who was the VP responsible for WindowsPhone app and ecosystem development. I wish I remembered his name now. 

On each proposed step I discussed, he laughed and said, “We are Microsoft, We do not need to do that.” And, “Developers are begging us to develop on our platform.”

I wish I could have recorded that conversation for entertainment value alone.

Imran Anwar

Posted in Apple, Digital, Engineering, Imran, Leadership, Lumia1020, Management, Marketing, Media, Microsoft, Opinion, Revenue, Strategy, Technology, Telecom, User Experience, UX, Windows, WindowsPhone | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Brand New Day, Bold New World, Of Global Brands Popularity

Posted by imrananwar on May 9, 2011

There was a time, even in the 1950s and 1960s, when you could go to the least developed place in the world, that had no electricity or running water, yet be sure to find just a select few brands recognized by everyone, not just the educated elite in those countries.

These most definitely were Coke and Mercedes Benz, and perhaps a handful of others. In the 1970s and 1980s Levi’s and Pepsi, started showing up. Even though some technology companies like IBM were doing business globally, they were unknown or irrelevant to the masses.

That is not the case today. As I tweeted today:

World Top 10 Brands: Apple top, Google, IBM follow – http://bit.ly/iRdI5Z

Not only is a technology (and increasingly consumer electronics now) company, Apple, the world’s most valuable brand, it displaced another technology company, Google. To show the trend even more clearly, IBM actually rose up, to become number 3.

Other global brand stalwarts like McDonald’s, and especially Coke, have fallen.

They remain in the Top 10, but it is amazing to see the impact technology has had on the global society in just a few years. Don’t forget, it was literally 10 years ago that Apple, coming back from near death in the late 1990s with the Return Of Jobs, launched the iPod and MacOS X.

Ten to twenty years ago most people in the world would not know the difference between Unix and other similar sounding words. Today, the world’s most valued brand is based on Unix, a variant of MacOS X, running on Macs, iPad, iPhone, Mac, and counting.

Today we may think that Cloud Computing (or the impact it has) is limited to big corporations. I daresay, there is nothing stopping Cloud vendors of today from being the Apple of tomorrow.

Steve Jobs, and Apple, see that, as we know from their acquisition ($4.5 million!) of the icloud.com domain name. But, surely there will be many more new entrants of today that could be on that Top 10 List in 2020, if they have the vision.

What do you think? Will your brand be one of them? And, what are you doing today to make it happen?

 

© Imran Anwar

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Posted in Business, Globalization, Imran, Marketing, Strategy, Technology | Comments Off on Brand New Day, Bold New World, Of Global Brands Popularity

India’s Triumphant Cultural & Political March

Posted by imrananwar on February 23, 2009

India’s Triumphant Cultural & Political March:

From The Slums Of Bollywood To The Red Carpet Of Hollywood

By Imran Anwar

(New York) It was nearly 30 years ago that my first writings were published in a major Pakistani newspaper, the once defunct and then reborn Pakistan Times. The writings continued during my time with the Jang group, in particular MAG Weekly, in the late 1980s, until I left for the United States.

All during that time, despite all my criticisms of whoever was in power at that time in Pakistan, my writings were always full of hope, desire and confidence of a great future that Pakistan had ahead of it. I also often wondered about why people older than me, some who had also travelled abroad, were far more cynical and much less hopeful.

All through that time I had always been the staunchest supporter and the defender of the name of Pakistan, whether it be in writing letters to the editors of foreign journals and newspapers critical of Pakistan or trying to convince foreign diplomats and journalists, as well as Western citizens, about how great Pakistan was going to be.

One of the important yardsticks, which would perhaps now be called a Meter stick under the metric system, was how we were doing in comparison to India. I distinctly recall how Pakistan had always been a pro-western, America-allied, fairly liberal, capitalism driven society.

India, on the other hand, was a country we competed with on the field of sports, the battlefield, as well as for international influence. We used to laugh at the ugly, dinky little cars that the Indians made, instead of importing the fancy ones we were driving in Pakistan.

Yet in the last 20 years that I have lived in America, India has made amazing, impressive and steady marching progress towards becoming a major global player – in almost every industry in the world. Pakistan during that same time seems to have sprinted downhill – faster than any Olympic athlete could.

It should have been a matter of concern for us when India, the long staunch Soviet and Communist ally, became a major trading partner of the United States, a country on which we had long relied, and whose foreign policies we had often followed. India developed a pool of engineering and other professionals, providing services, engineering, talent and operational capabilities to the world’s largest companies.

In doing so they earned billions and billions of dollars for their country. During this time, we in Pakistan saw the decline of the educational system, the breakdown of institutions, if any existed, and simply the beginning of the end of what might have been a great future.

It was a matter of personal disappointment, almost shame, for me that the day that India launched its first astronaut into space was also the same day that Pakistan went to the International Monetary Fund to beg for survival money. Shame.

During the same time that we were making a name for ourselves, for kidnapping and beheading visitors to our country, India launched, and continues to run, one of the most impressive media campaigns to promote tourism in its country.

Titled “Incredible India!” this campaign appears in major newspapers, magazines and many other places. It simply takes almost exactly the same kind of tourism places and situations that Pakistan could offer visitors but turns it into a must-visit, mystique-filled, once-in-a-lifetime, cultural experience image.

During this time despite the proliferation of private TV channels in Pakistan, another field where the Indians have done an amazing job has been their film industry. They have leveraged it not just in making a name for themselves, but marketing their country and becoming a source of talent abroad. In addition, in exchange, they are bringing even more visitors and foreign exchange to their country,

First their hottest movie stars started appearing in Hollywood films. Then, despite many Indian movies being barely concealed copies of Hollywood scripts, India was able to convince Hollywood to make many Indian-themed movies.

Then they tied their greater and greater visibility in Hollywood, ever improving quality of Bollywood films – which were getting screened in America. They then mixed in marketing of India and its culture and cemented it with the welcoming of American tourists and filmmakers. This was an amazing recipe to lead India to one of its greatest global public relations successes just a few minutes ago.

The Academy Awards ceremony has just concluded in Hollywood, California. As this publication is going to press, the whole world (including a television audience of probably 1 billion people, along with the many millions more who will read newspapers and see photographs online) has seen India emerging as a triumphant victor on yet another field. This time it’ the red carpet of Hollywood and the Oscars ceremony.

Even a movie called Slumdog Millionaire, set against the backdrop of the intense poverty that can be found in India, has turned into a global publicity and financial victory for India, its culture, its movie industry, its tourism and its economy.

And this is not just about showbiz or something that has no global or historic significance. India’s clout, its visibility, its popularity and its new-found confidence – even from something as simple as a movie award – is manifesting itself in its ability to dictate to the world.

India can now even dictate what President Barack Hussein Obama‘s team can or will discuss with the foreign ministers of Pakistan and Afghanistan – who are now in Washington DC.

India not only did not attend the meeting, it made clear to the American government that Kashmir is not to be discussed. The American administration agreed to that. In the meantime the same American Administration has expanded the missile strikes it will carry out within Pakistan – while Pakistan’s shameless politicians are merely fighting over dissolving assemblies and not even worried about justice, the one promise that people had asked to be fulfilled, from Karachi to Swat.

The early copies of tomorrow’s New York Times show the exactly opposite paths that two countries born on the same day in history have taken.

The Indian movie industry’s massive triumph on the Hollywood red carpet is one headline related to India. On the same page, the news item related to Pakistan is about a secret United States unit now in Pakistan to train its commandos to battle AlQaeda and the Taliban.

While American companies, and even individual creative types, are literally discussing over cocktails this very minute the next project they want to do in India, the few people discussing Pakistan are wondering if Pakistan will even survive as a nation.

I wonder if I will be around in 20 years to write a similar analysis. And I wonder where in history, geography and world affairs Pakistan will stand on that day. What do you think?


Imran Anwar is a New York based Pakistani-American entrepreneur, Internet pioneer, inventor, writer and TV personality. He can be reached through his web site http://imran.com and imran@imran.com . You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/imrananwar

Posted in 2009, Afghanistan, AlQaeda, America, Barack Obama, Hollywood, Imran, Imran Anwar, India, Justice, Kashmir, Marketing, Media, Missile, Obama, Pakistan, Politics, President, Washington | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

MADvertising: Old Stereotype Underlies Sports Authority Under Armor New Prototype

Posted by imrananwar on July 11, 2008

Generally, I am not a big fan of people or organizations that see, or cry, racism, or sexism, or something-ism or the other, in almost anything, even if none was implied.

However, I also strongly believe that, regardless of the (low) merits of political correctness, it is imperative for businesses, especially those in communications or consumer industries, to be cognizant of how their work(s) may be perceived. Sometimes, a racist, or bigoted, or sexist, person may deliberately create advertising, or TV characters, or movie situations that play up stereotypes. Other times it is sheer cluelessness that leads to the same results.

The latest example of such, most likely clueless, MADvertising came into my Inbox just now. It is a Sports Authority electronic promotion for Under Armor brand sportswear.

Madvertising_SportsAuthorityUnderArmor.jpg

What amazes me about this image is the deliberate or inadvertent combination of racism, sexism, stereotyping as a big, strong, and apparently determined Black male is seen running after (or behind) an obviously weaker (single?) white female. Even worse, look at the expression on her face. She is not out running in a determined manner of an athlete. There is almost an expression as if she is concerned and stressed, and looking for shadows on the ground to see if someone is coming after her.

Yes, I can be accused to seeing imagery that is not there and imagining these issues where none were implied. But, that is the whole reason I call it MADvertising. Smart communicators and marketers avoid such potential pitfalls to the best of their abilities. This particular ad surely could have been done a lot better.

What do you think?

===

PS. This comment generated a lot of comments, as you can see below. I am quite amazed, and amused, by some of them, but displaying them regardless of the personal attacks. As can be seen, everyone’s comments have been posted…. even the ones from the same ‘anonymous’ using the same computer a few minutes apart. 🙂

It is also interesting to see many people completely miss my referring to this as most likely an example of clueless advertising (the world is full of more examples than just this) or MADvertising.

I think people also miss that I am personally sick of political correctness (or of pandering to particular races that a lot advertising is now doing). I am also sick of having to squint my eyes to read English instructions on product packaging because half of the space has been given up to Spanish. I detest having to choose between English and Spanish when I call banks or other companies’ phone numbers. This is America. We speak English. I feel if an organization has so many customers of a particular language or ethnic group then they should set up a separate 800 number for them instead of making their (most likely) 90%+ of English speaking customers to have to select what language to speak in their own country.

But, that does not mean I can claim there is no racism here. (I will be accused of being racist for the above comment, while being accused below of seeing racism where it does not exist!)

I do raise eyebrows when I see particular ads where, for example, the likelihood of seeing Black models tends to be higher if the ad depicts some sort of stupid behavior. Again, it is not only Blacks shown doing stupid things. There are plenty of ads showing stupidity (in the name of humor) with models who are white males, females or even groups of people. (I will post something about those separately later).

But, everyone’s comments are appreciated and are being posted here…. including the moronic ones. 😉

Imran

Posted in Advertising, Bigotry, Communications, Danger, Madvertising, Marketing, Political_Correctness, Race, Racism, Sexism | Leave a Comment »

 
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