How Smirnoff Vodka Became The Best Selling Vodka

In the late 30’s the Smirnoff Vodka makers was looking to increase sales. In general they were ‘ok’, they were surviving but not really thriving. The company decided to hire an outside consultant for creating new marketing message. This consultant studied the Smirnoff Vodka in and out. He tried to understand every aspect of the vodka and what makes it unique. By doing this – he would be able to launch an effective marketing campaign for Smirnoff Vodka focused on Smirnoff’s unique selling points.

In his research he discovered one thing that was very unique: When you drink the vodka – you don’t have the smell of vodka in your mouth afterwards.

Based on this discovery, Smirnoff launched a campaign promoting this message and the company became one of the top selling Vodka companies in the world.

Message : Its all about finding that one little thing in your business thats a little bit better then your competitors.

New Sales Initiative for CCS

Last couple of weeks has been aggressive in creating a Strategy for improving the Sales for CCS. So what are we doing for last couple of days? 

  • Revamping Cogzidel.In Layout & a Slight change in Design
  • Rewriting content for Cogzidel.In
  • Moving from our own framework to Joomla
  • Aggressively addling links in Directories
  • Aggressively posting press release about CCS.
  • Aggressively increasing networks in Linkedin, Twitter, PeerPower & Facebook 

All the above things are online initiatives. These are some offline initiatives; 

  • Distributing Broachers to companies is Complex’s.
  • Visiting companies directly after getting lead / link from friends.
  • Planning to buy corporate gifts and planning to meet new prospective clients, client who have given good business & client who have not turned after enquiry.
  • Planning to take telephone yellow pages and call all the companies and ask them if they have any need. 

We do all these with the help of two folks Senthil Kumar & Suresh who are in our incubation labs. They spare a quality time for CCS Sales other than working on their new startup. 

Now it is my responsibility to think more innovatively and document things that click so that it can be passed to my successor.

A Jam Packed Day

Yesterday has been a fulfilling day as it kept me fully engaged which is what a person like me expects. The day started drowsy as usual like every day. I got up by 11 AM and it was normal routine. By 11.45 AM i drove to my office and reached office by 12.15 noon.

Then I started the day with couple of tweets and posted a Blog. Then came my cousin who wants to be a part of my marketing initiative and I took him as a Business Development intern.

I did some mentoring which started with some enlightenment of his current small business and then I took him through his role as an intern. Hope he enjoys working under me.

Got a call from my friend who came to give his marriage invitation. Then spent an hour with him and took him to the house of another friend.

Then retuned to office to pickup another cousin who started an aquarium business and he visited my office to give his consultation on setting up an aquarium in my office.

Then by the end of the day me and Bala thought of going for a movie and we went to Satyam Cinemas and booked a ticket for Kurbaan. As it was only 8 o clock and the show was by 10.30 we thought we could spend the remaining time at Amethyst as Bala has never been there before.

At Amethyst it was as usual a nice atmosphere but the food was really bad. Then this time I was more irated by their behavior. in their menu they has specified their timings as 10 AM – 10 PM.

But instead they started closing the shop by 9.15 and the guy came near us and he switched off the fan without having the courtesy to ask for an excuse. They did all things to drive us out even before 9.30 PM and we came out with frustration.

But we were talking business, cracking jokes and I didn’t want to spoil my mood and I drove till island ground and returned and parked the car at Satyam Annex and we took a walk to theatre.

My expectations we set high on movie as Shiv Sena has said that they are going to send saris to Kareena Kapoor & while getting the tickets we were told it was an adults only movie and we cant take minors.

I thought there would be some adult scenes in the movie and nothing of that sort was shown. All hype created by promos, media and the person issuing tickets ended in disappointing me after the movie got over.

Over all it was a day where I was engaged every minute and I’m happy to close the day.

Good Night!!!

Fundamental’s of Marketing

Got this wonderful forward from my friend Sundar Kumar…


  1. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say: “I am very rich. Marry me!” – That’s Direct Marketing”
  2. You’re at a party with a bunch of friends and see a gorgeous girl. One of your friends goes up to her and pointing at you says: “He’s very rich.” Marry him.” -That’s Advertising”
  3. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and get her telephone number. The next day, you call and say: “Hi, I’m very rich.” Marry me – That’s Telemarketing”
  4. You’re at a party and see gorgeous girl. You get up and straighten your tie, you walk up to her and pour her a drink, you open the door (of the car)for her, pick up her bag after she drops it, offer her ride and then say:” By the way, I’m rich. Will you “Marry Me?” – That’s Public Relations”
  5. You’re at a party and see gorgeous girl. She walks up to you and says:” You are very rich! “Can you marry? Me?” – That’s Brand Recognition”
  6. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and say: “I am very rich. Marry me!” She gives you a nice hard slap on your face. – “That’s Customer Feedback”
  7. You see a gorgeous girl at a party.. You go up to her and say: “I am very rich. Marry me!” And she introduces you to her husband. – “That’s demand and supply gap”
  8. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and before you say anything, another person come and tell her: “I’m rich. Will you marry me?” and she goes with him – “That’s competition eating into your market share”
  9. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to her and before you say: “I’m rich, Marry me!” your wife arrives. – “That’s restriction for entering new markets”

Marketing for Entrepreneurs workshop at IIMB

We often complain of weak marketing in our organizations. The problem in fact is not so much with the organization but the approach we adopt to marketing. We do not ask ourselves questions like “In what way is my product/service different from that of my competitor? How can I make it different? How can I make my communication unique so that I stand out? ” and so on. In short the problem is the lack of innovation in marketing.


Consider the following questions.


  • What is the most innovative application of blue tooth or laser technology?
  • What are the ten most innovative products/services (IT or otherwise) in today’s market and what can we learn from them?
  • Why is it that some start-ups become Google-like but others fall by the way side?
  • How is it that some companies are able to charge a premium for their products and services while others are not?


Given our schedules we hardly get time to reflect on such issues that impact our business. Keeping these typical concerns in mind a 2-day program exclusively devoted to marketing has been planned for entrepreneurs. A broad overview of the content is given below.


Program content

  • How to market innovatively? How to create radically different products or services? How to position them in the minds of customers distinctly?
  • Is there a systematic method for the application of innovation to marketing? What are the steps involved and how to learn the method?
  • How do I reach my customers? Is communicating with customers different in IT as compared to say, consumer products?
  • Can I be given a dry run or demonstration of how to make an innovative communication plan for reaching customers?


These are some of the questions to be addressed in the program. If the participants have other specific issues they can be discussed. Overall the idea of the program is to help entrepreneurs think innovatively to address their marketing problems.


Pedagogy: Lectures, exercises, case studies, group discussions and role-plays


Course Fee: Rs. 6,000/- per participant if registered on or before 10th May

                      Rs. 7,000/- per participant if registered after 10th May


The brochure and application form can be downloaded here.


For more details contact;


Girish Kumar M

NSRCEL, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore

Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore 560 076

Tel: +91- 80- 2699 3701

Fax: +91-80- 2699 3769 / 2658 4050