Now this picture could surely make itself to one of the caption contests of a newspaper asking its readers to write a terse-yet-telling line. However, we have something different to discuss.
When I took this photo, I was sitting at the window seat adjacent to the front door of a bus heading towards Patiala from Nabha. I quickly took out my camera and shot this picture–the title of this post immediately popped in my mind–battle of bottles. The player selling Vekra milk has just opened the shop. However, he chose a very particular point. The left hand-side of his shop is a wine-bar while the right-hand side is a juice shop. The place is of a bus-stand where passengers would surely drink something to refresh themselves. So, the prospects of good business are bright.
When Verka started their business of bottled milk, they opened a lot of milk-bars at various places, ranging from play-grounds, schools, colleges, public places, etc. Their slogan, directly targeting the bottle (intentionally the wine) caught the fancy of many minds and the business went well. However, the hype died down, as it does with almost all the things, but by that time, Verka had established itself in the business of milk.
Now, it you read the text written in Punjabi, it means: if you want to drink a bottle, then drink from Verka. In the villages and smaller towns, people don’t call wine or beer by its name–they prefer to talk about bottles. Half, quarter–of course, in the regional language. So, when Verka though of launching a product, they made sure that their slogan catches the fancy of those minds. I am not sure whether somebody stopped drinking wine and took to milk, but surely the lancinating slogan did work in establishing the product.
Now the question for you, dear entrepreneurs, is: can you think of similar ideas where the product is totally different and there is absolutely no competition to cut the customers, but still, there is a connection of businesses? If you think of such businesses, surely some slogans should be on their way.
I am reminded of another incident: when we were building our house back in 1994, I was studying in 9th standard. I had a habit of sit with the masons and watch the construction process. They usually talked about lots of things: one day, one of them mentioned that there was a laborer who stopped eating tobacco because of Vicks. Now Vicks is a medicated toffee popular for the last 20 years and more. Can you just imagine how the transformation occurred–a laborer, who usually can’t work without tobacco or smoking, quit it completely and moved on to far more luxurious and non-offending product?
There are always a lot of opportunities for entrepreneurs at a very small scale. The key lies in being creative and exploring them from different angles.