Your business can only be as big as the market you choose to play in. How you define your market determines how big you get. Vani shares some creative techniques to broaden the way in which you can define your market. Peppered with loads of real-life examples, this episode is bound to deepen your business understanding!
04:00 – How Epigamia played big
07 :20 – Coca Cola and Pepsi’s competition
15:00 – What-Why-When framework
23:00 – The Deprivation technique
Read the complete transcript below:-
How big you get depends on how big your playground is. Because if your playground is small, which is, if the field on which you are competing is small, then even if you become a king of that field, you’ll still be small. Do you want to become the king in the puddle or would you rather be a small fish in a very, very big ocean. Because if you aim big, then you get big and this is applicable for life in general as well, right? When you aim big, you get big. When you aim small, then you can only be small. So how big we get depends on how big our playground is. Now, I want to make sure that all of you understand right at the very outset how big your playground is does not mean that I become just anybody, that I don’t have anything distinctive or differentiative about me. It doesn’t mean that everybody should become a commodity. No. It’s about when we talk about the playground and this is what this session is going to be about. The playground can be the mind, the playground can be about changing behavior. The playground can be a particular habit. The playground does not have to be only the market as is conventionally understood. So let’s understand this better. You can be a brand that is aiming for a small share in a very big playground and let’s say you are a brand that is aiming to be only 2% of a very, very large playground, versus a brand that says, look, I’m happy to be small and I’m happy to be a 50% or a 20 to 40% player in a playground that is much smaller. Now when you do that, let’s look at numbers.
If you were to put numbers to this, the first one you could, the market could be as large as 30,000 crores and that is in fact, roughly the size of the branded snacking market in India today. It’s about 30,000 crores. Now, if I’m yet another snack, I could become 2% and I aim to be 2% of this 30,000 crores. One could argue 2%, does it sound like a very tall ambition. But 2% of a market that big is still very big because if I aim to be 2%, then I become 600 crores. If I were to aim to even have a dominant share, you know, with 20 to 40%, one could argue I will have a dominant share because 50 crores of a market is all of 500 crores and still only 50 crores. So with this, I wanna show you an example of exactly what this means, why our brand? So here’s, Crax curls. So Crax is yet another snack brand, right? And one could argue yes, it’s yet another snack brand. They are competing in the snacking market, but Crax is still a much, much, much bigger brand than a specialty product like Epigamia. Now, Epigamia, I must tell you, has actually done exceedingly well. It is one of the only flavored yogurts in the market and it’s also scaled up rapidly. But if Epigamia were to say, if they were to say, not that they are saying it, but if they were to say that my market is only the branded yogurt market, then they’re limiting the size of their ambition because the snacks market is huge. The snack market is as large as 30,000 crores but the branded yogurt market is estimated to be between 500, 600 crores. So if Epigamia were to play only in that market, they would limit their ambition over a period of time. Whatever they might do, they will only get to be that big. However, what Epigamia has actually done is that they’ve chosen to go out and play in the snacking market. Isn’t that interesting? Epigamia has understood that if I were to play in a puddle, then I will only remain, my ambition will only be limited to that puddle. So Epigamia has chosen to play big. So now we’ve understood how a brand like Epigamia has in fact expanded its ambition and they’ve reflected that in the commercial that I just showed, right? Now, every product or service solves an unsolved problem or it could deliver a solution in a delightfully new way. But you must know what you are solving for. And you must also know that if you are solving for something, then there is certainly something that the consumer is doing in its place today. It could be anything, whether the consumer is using a competing product or the consumer is behaving in a certain way or the consumer is resorting to other alternatives, whatever the consumer might be doing, that is your competition.
Okay, now I’ll explain this better with the example of a soft drink. Okay. Now here, let’s say it could be Pepsi. And Pepsi says that my ambition is that I must help my consumer. I must help the youth of this country to belong to the cool, right? If Pepsi says that, I wanna help everybody belong to the cool then Pepsi’s competition could be anything that makes me look cool. It could be styling products, it could be a certain language that, you know, the college goers use to make themselves look cool, which nobody really understands. There are so many other words, which nobody gets. I certainly don’t. And there are a whole lot of gadgets that they buy, so many different apps that they use. Anything. Anything that used to belong to the cool would be Pepsi’s competition. Pepsi is trying to be cool and hence anything else that belongs or that helps you do that would be its competition. Let’s look at it another way. If Pepsi were to say, or let’s say any cool drink, were to say that the primary benefit that I deliver is. I refresh, I quench my thirst. Then what would its competition be? Anything that refreshes any liquid that refreshes, right? It could be any juice, it could be nimbu paani, it could be a glass full of ice. It can be anything that refreshes, and this is exactly the thinking that Coca-Cola took. Coca-Cola wanted to own the whole plain field of anything that refreshes, of any beverage that refreshes.
And if you guys might remember, Coke came out with this lovely Amir Khan commercial, when you say, “tanda matlab Coca Cola” is the language of the masses. Everybody understands “thanda” you know, when somebody comes home, you always ask people “aap chai le liye, aap thanda le liye” and Coke wanted to own the word ‘thanda’. Coke wanted to become the dominant leader in the category that is defined as thanda and thanda is a very big word because thanda encompasses almost everything. Everything other than hot chai and coffee is thanda and that’s what Coke defined as their playing field. That was Coke’s competition. So what they’ve done in this process is that they’ve defined their playing field, and they’ve also clearly communicated to consumers that that is what we mean when you think of thanda. You should think of Coca Cola.
Here is another one, we also know that a lot of consumers actually prefer carbonated soft drinks when they have khaana, when they look at it as a perfect meal companion. So Pepsi wanted to own that because that is really big. There is a lot of us, in a country like India who want a carbonated soft drink and Pepsi said that we are going to become the king of that space. We will become the best friend of the meal. And so their whole strategy for the time that I was there with them and I think even now is primarily about being khaana’s best friend. So whether it’s a lassi or a kanji or a salad or even that pickle that a lot of the Rajasthani have or many other parts of the country, you know, the pickle, which has a whole lot of ajwain and saunf and jeera and all of that, which you have along with a meal, only because you wanna feel that everything’s gone down and settled. That’s what they’re competing against.
Okay. Now over here I wanna take this example of, I’ve been watching a lot of Shark Tank with my son, during this lockdown. And, in one of the episodes there was this pitch that a couple made for a product, which is basically, it’s like a bib that a man wears. A bearded man wears it when he wants to clip his beard hair and he pins up this bib onto the sink in the bathroom because when you’re clipping your bearded hair, as you can imagine, you can make a lot of mess in the bathroom. What’s interesting about this is that when they came and presented on Shark Tank at that time, you know, the shark said, so what’s the big deal about this? You are presenting a beard bib and how far can you go with a beard bib? How many beard bids can you sell after all? It’s just about keeping the bathroom clean and that’s then this woman, because there is a couple who pitched for this, she said, Look, our ambition is to maximize sink share. And when she said that, that our ambition is to maximize sink share, that’s when all the sharks sort of, sat up in their seats and started listening to them carefully because it was a signal of how they are viewing their market. What is their market? Their market as they’re defining it, is everything that goes into the sink, they’re looking to maximize sink share. It was a very interesting term, and that’s what actually won them the investment in that episode. They actually went home with a hundred thousand dollars. Now, the only thing is that over here with a name like Beard King, they’re really limited in their possibilities because it seems to suggest that they’re going to be things of the beard and beard only and I, for example, wouldn’t be able to grow a beard even if I wanted to. But stating their ambition to be, to maximize the sink share says that they have the ability to think differently. Now, here’s another example: IKEA says that its ambition is to maximize its share of peace of mind at home. I really like this. IKEA is not saying my competition is other furniture. IKEA is not saying my competition is other beautiful things that can be kept in the house. No, IKEA is not even saying anything functional is my competition. IKEA is actually stating its ambition to share peace of mind at home.
Look at Cadbury’s, it’s a not so recent commercial, but it’s, of course Cadbury’s has been taking on the meeta and, you know, Cadbury’s wants to become the meeta. They’ve, basically aiming to compete against all of the ‘mitai’ because ‘mitai’ is so ingrained in Indian culture. I want to draw your attention to a particular commercial, which shows that Cadbury’s could also, Now, this is another way of just expanding your mind to possibilities. Cadbury says, it could say that my ambition is to maximize my share of the I love you moments. Every time you wanna tell somebody I love you, and you find it difficult to express yourself, because it’s not the easiest thing to say, sometimes when you feel woozy about somebody, you can actually use a chocolate. So now let’s look at another example, Snickers. Sneakers is not saying my ambition is yet another chocolate. Snickers is saying, my ambition is to maximize the share of small hunger. They’ve defined their competition as small hunger. So anything that is hard to satisfy small hunger, whether it’s a samosa or the dhokla or anything that you reach out for in the fridge or any sort of a snack it could even be a packet of chips that you reach out for. Anything that satisfies small hunger is their competition and they say they’ve hit upon this lovely consumer insight that when you are hungry, you are not quite yourself. You can behave very strangely when you are hungry. We are here to learn. How can I expand my mind to possibilities? How can I actually think big? Because if I don’t think big, then I can’t play big and if I don’t play big, then I don’t become big. So to become big, you’ve got to be able to think big and to be able to think big, you need some support. And here is what I’ve got.
Let’s look at Kurkure, my brand, which I feel very, very, very affectionately about. Kurkure is a snack brand. Of course, we all know what Kurkure is. Kurkure’s competition could be, if you were to think of the what, the what could be all other products that are also in this category. So this framework is a very, very simple framework. So this framework is the what, why, when and where framework. And if you think of the what, the what is simply who are the others in the category. So Kurkure could say to everybody else, any other snack is my competition, whether it’s a Lays or a Bingo, Mad Angles. Anything that is another branded snack packet is my competition, right? The other way that Kukure could think of its competition is what is the need or the desire that I serve. What do you think? What could be the desire that Kuku as a brand could serve? We all know that a lot of us snack not just because we are hungry. A lot of us actually snack when we are simply bored and Kurkure, we used to say, and it is, it is entertainment in the mouth. It’s sensorily so stimulating, starting from the aroma that you get from the bag, as soon as you open the bag to the drama in your mouth. And in that context, Kurkure could actually look at competition as anything that helps you kill boredom. If it’s a little snack, it could be soup that is its competition, apart from the many other things that I use to kill small hunger. It could be a Sudoku puzzle or a Rubik’s cube. If I’m simply looking to entertain myself or I’m looking to stimulate myself with something, you know, because I’m simply bored and instead I could pick up a Sudoku puzzle. It could even be a sutta break that I take because I’m simply bored. Kukure could also say that when I think of the when and I think of what specific occasion can I use or can I own the when could be all family bonding occasions. So any occasion where family bonding is critical or where you’d like the family to come together Kurkure serves as the ideal solution for that occasion. So, Kurkure’s competition then is anything else that is used to bring the family together. So, in that context, Kurkure’s competition could actually be a board game, which serves to bring the family together. Kurkure’s competition could be what else? It could even be pakoras. Everybody loves pakoras. It could be movie time and lastly, if Kurkure were to say that my competition is a place, a specific piece of real estate, a special place that I’d like to own, Kurkure could say that I wanna maximize my share of the tea tray, which means Kurkure saying anything that is served on the tea tray must necessarily have a bag of Kurkure on it. So my competition or my playing field is defined as the tea tray.
So now we are going to do this exercise for Netflix. So now what we are gonna do is we are gonna apply this framework for Netflix. Now, let’s think about what is Netflix’s obvious competition if you were to apply the lens of the what. What does this mean, who else is playing the OTT platform. It is, yes, Amazon Prime. It is Hot Star. It is YouTube. How can I steal market share from these other OTT platforms? And hence my ambition could be that Netflix wants to maximize its share versus all other OTT platforms, right? Now come to the why or what is the need that Netflix serves? It’s personalized entertainment at your fingertips. For a lot of us, it’s also the me time. For me, it’s my me Time And that’s what would go in the box right under the why and hence, what could Netflix’s ambition be? Maximize me time that Netflix is the only option that consumers think of when they’re looking to make the best of their time. Now let’s move to the next column, which is the when. Now do you think Netflix, think of the when, think of a time band or think of an occasion, do you think that there is an occasion or a time band that Netflix could aim to own? So for me, the 10:00 PM to 12:00 AM those two hours after dinner is when I want to reward myself with Netflix because I tell myself, it’s been a good day. I’ve done what I had to, now I deserve a little reward. So that time for me is my Netflix time. Now, if you think of a place or you think of real estate in that sense, think about it for us. When we are all bored, we typically mindlessly tend to go to apps like WhatsApp or other apps on our phone. Imagine if Netflix were to define its place as the mobile screen and think of its competition as anything that distracts from Netflix on the mobile screen. And in that context, Netflix’s ambition could then be the only app that my thumb seeks in default mode.
Okay, so let’s try this exercise for Zomato, now. So think of what, what is Zomato’s obvious competition? So now we are looking at Zomato in the context of being a food ordering and delivering platform. Don’t think about Zomato’s dine in business, but specifically about Zomato as a platform where we order food and we look for options, food options. In that context, what would Zomato’s immediate competition be? Dunzo, Amazon Foods. Uber Eats, yes, absolutely. Domino’s, yes. All of this is competition in the world. Now let’s come to the next one. What is the need that Zomato is serving? What Zomato does is that it brings me my favorite food home. Am I right? Or to my office or wherever I am. I can go to that platform, I can look at the huge, huge number of options that there are and I can pick my favorite food and I can rely on them to bring me my favorite food wherever I wish it to be. So, the need that’s being served over there is that of the convenience of favorite food at any time, at any place that I want it to be delivered at. Now, let’s think of the wind. Is there a particular time band, is there any special occasion? If you think of Zomato’s business, which is about ordering in food, do you think that there is a particular time band that they could look at? Zomato could say, yes, I deliver food all 24 hours. In that context, what could Zomato’s competition be? If I’m thinking of different time banks, my favorite food at any time, what would I do otherwise? What else would you do otherwise? You’d probably go to the kitchen and you’d open the fridge, you’d open the pantry and see, mein kya kha sakthi hum, yahaan pe kya hai. Let’s say, if it’s any time, it could be that I drive out to a restaurant that’s open at this time. If it’s a strange time in the night and I’ve been pubbing and drinking and dancing all night and at 3:00 AM I wanna have dinner somewhere, then it is that five star that has an all night buffet. All of that is competition to me, right? And hence the soul, what for Zomato could be, how can I build Zomato as the only option that anybody turns to when my tummy desires anything at all, at any time. And hence, Zomato’s ambition could be to convert all non homemade food occasions to Zomato occasions. Now imagine if I could bring all of the restaurants, boom and that’s what Zomato helps me to do, which means no matter’s playing field then Zomato wants to bring the outside world of dining out within the house. The only idea of this framework is only to help you expand your mind to possibilities on how you can think about your competition. If you think about it, if you are struggling to figure out what else is this category used for? For example, over here I’ve used mobile. If you were to actually use this technique which I call the think deprivation technique, now this is very, very powerful as a tool in expanding your mind to what all are the various needs that are served by a particular product, if you could actually take it away. Imagine if you had to live without your phone for 24 hours, if you were to study a consumer behavior and a consumer’s mind frame, if the phone were to be taken away from him for 24 hours, how would he feel? It would give you a lot of insights on what this person’s relationship with the phone is and all of the different needs that a mobile phone actually serves for a consumer. The flip way of looking at this is to think excess. There are consumers who are extreme users. Imagine a consumer, and there’s actually a very interesting video that I’ve got, but we’ve run out of time terribly. Imagine a consumer who has an extreme relationship with chewing gum and there is this guy who says he’s tried out this experiment. He chewed gum continuously for 30 days every day. And he says, why did he chew that chewing gum for 30 days every day in all of his waking hours, he was trying to acquire a more defined jawline. Isn’t that interesting? Would we ever think about a chewing gum serving that needs a chewing gum that helps you to acquire a more defined jaw?
In that context, a Chewing Gums competition would be any kind of diet. It could even be cosmetic surgery, it could even be any kind of facial yoga. It could even be camera filters [00:25:00] or any sort of face apps that make you look pretty. All of that would then become the chewing gum competition. The only reason why I’m showing you this is again to help you think of techniques, to use, techniques that can specifically be applied, to help you think of different ways of expanding your mind to different possibilities. Google Trends is also another brilliant tool, often underused and Google trends, if you were to actually get Google to give you a little class on how Google trends could open up your thinking, you’d be surprised at the number of ideas that Google trends itself can draw for you. All of this comes at zero cost.
This show is sponsored by CherryPeachPlum Growth Consultancy. ?CherryPeachPlum is a marketing-focused business consultancy that delivers business results. Get in touch via www.cherrypeachplum.in to get marketing solutions that work in the real world!