Winning market share in the downturn
August 26, 2009
The New York Life Insurance Company, 9th till last year, jumped to No. 2 in market share behind Metlife with a near 6% market share in Life taking a leaf out of the book of the World’s best. AIG dropped just 4 places in the whole melee of the stimulus and this continuing depression. New York Life simply ‘educated’ prospects about how it was properly capitalised and fully ready in case of any further financial breakdown, bringing it a whole lot of new business ( see story: Slump spurs grab for Markets)
NY Life always had a vibrant sales force and with its diligent processes and adequate attention to current relationships, it has also managed to keep its existing customers happy, increased its share in market friendly Variable Life plans and kept its leadership in Whole Life plans for more than a decade. There is definitely one underlining factor that believers in the risk driven markets model do not realise. The underlying fact in winning is sanity in leadership and focus on the good pieces of business. It is not about Richard Branson and other half baked half thinking brazen tomfoolery like at BofA after the purchase of Merill ( there are some other examples that you can also read at http://advantages.us ) or the GOP reaction to Obama’s healthcare plans. ( And how is Obama’s plan going to make insurance cheaper? It does not seem to be the issue at all!!)
New York Life also lost $3.5 billion on its investment portfolio like the other big banks and AIG but Metlife having taken all of the business headed for AIG ended up with a sky rocketing 12% market share and NY Life managed to increase market share by a further 180 basis points. True, NY Life is but a can of soup for those hit by the recession opportunity..because there are other ways to beat the old leaders in the recession.
One of these popular ways this time has been to give jobs to out of work investment bankers from Goldman Sachs, Lehman and others at Deutsche Bank and some boutiques, that were not owned by these ex bankers. However, Deutsche Bank has already been caught in trying to beat the losers of the recession, continually facing funds shortages in the market and hungry for Capital after market adjustments caught up with its losses.
Yet it is relatively easier, and thus there is an opportunity during a bad recession to catch up with the falling Joneses and come up ahead in the race. It visibly happens in retail in the Coke vs Pepsi and the P&G vs others wars (Unilever in Asia and Europe) or in GM vs Ford, but is equally vehement in markets in banking and insurance. Competition is the life blood of the economy and without such acts it is very difficult to beat any recession.
On a relatively obscure note, that is also why banks running away from Asia are unlikely to survive in the coming decade, as the growth and the money here ensure that the growth is sustainable, and Life and P&C entrants in this market would also do well to learn more regulatory control from the economies in Asia that remained capitalized and capable despite investments sinking..but then that is another article altogether.
Facebook at 77 million visitors, Amazon 64 m, Craigslist at 47 m, WordPress at 26m and Twitter at 20m compared to Goog at 157m in June09 – about 2 hours ago from TweetDeck
So $AMZN makes $1.75 bn per month from 64 million visitors
– 5 minutes ago from TweetDeck (11:40 am ET)
That is more than $27 from every single visitor! $AMZN
– 3 minutes ago from TweetDeck
If Twitter made 10% of that they would have sales of $54million to start with ( based on June comscore) – 2 minutes ago from TweetDeck
China’s new loans may surge to a record 11 trillion renminbi ($1.6 trillion) this year as the government refrains from tightening lending rules to protect economic growth – just now from Tweetdeck
Goldman /Blankfein paid a 23% return on the govt’s TARP investment, paying $1.1 billion for the warrants – half a minute ago from TweetDeck
Also Buffet sold a third of his stake in Moody’s
– just now from Tweetdeck
China’s state construction giant raised a $7.3 billion in IPO – 4 minutes ago from TweetDeck
(Green Shoots?) Both American Express (AXP) and Capitol One (COF) reported earnings that were quite weak (seekingalpha dot com) – 2 minutes ago from TweetDeck
$CIT looks in line to become smaller, selling its comml business and most likely losing its aviation lending and rail finance biz profitably – half a minute ago from TweetDeck
BTW, we continue to be short on both $AXP and $COF and bullish on the market ( same as before act. results came out @zyakaira – half a minute ago from TweetDeck
zyakaira notes: Apple continues to ride on its current successes and hopefully would be able to get itself out of the DRM snare for customers as also improve its payments portal to accept international payments as Music Labels would earn the most out of that with an ipod than any other platform.
Apple Inc and four record labels are working on a plan to increase digital sales of albums, while the computer maker is also separately developing a tablet-sized device, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.Apple is working with EMI, Sony Music, Warner Music and Vivendis Universal Music Group on the project, “Cocktail,” with the sides hoping for a launch in September, the paper reported, citing unnamed sources.
The project with the record companies aims to offer interactive features with music downloads, the paper said.Apple also hopes to offer the tablet-sized computer in time for Christmas shopping, the FT reported.The computer will connect to the Internet like Apples iPod Touch and its screen may be up to 10 inches diagonally, the paper reported.The paper said book publishers have also been in talks with the computer maker about offering their services on the new device, which could compete with Amazon’s Kindle.Apple and the music companies were not immediately available for comment.
The Pepsi logo story was here..
July 25, 2009
You already heard, and it wasn’t shaking twitter and facebook..but the Tropicana Orange juice logo just got withdrawn and back to the traditional one with the orange. And the ‘Marketrazzi’ like zyaada used email and (my thought waves) to push the envelope and tell YUM and PEP that the new brand designs were flawed.
There has been a lot of similar talk of the new smiling face of Pepsi (see below) and not so much of their social strategy ( remember sobe diet , it was a big twitter on superbowl time with gator) They are obviously under fire for the social web has empowered voices that were killed by the health revolution ( I am told, it is still on at Pepsi, because of my compatriot CEO Ms. Indra Nooyi )
here is an extract directly from the bnbranding.com team :
Great design speaks for itself. You don’t need a physics thesis to explain it. It just works.
My 11 year-old daughter likes the new Pepsi logo. (Says it makes her happy.) And now that I’ve read the exhaustive brief, I know why…
It’s a smiley face! An overanalyzed, underwhelming, million dollar smiley face. It even comes in a variety of grin sizes. (Apparently regular ol’ Pepsi gets a smaller grin than the newer versions of Pepsi, like Pepsi Max. Whatever that is.)
Pepsi’s going to spend more than a billion dollars redoing all their packaging, vending machines, trucks, POP materials and everything else. The new logo’s going to be EVERYWHERE!
So I’m kinda glad Arnell changed the old wavy logo into a smiley face. I’m just not sure about their methods.
Actually, it was Pepsi and it still looks like a very soft target out on the web but this brand insight has changed my moind, though i still remain all things coke at heart.
more from the blokes at brandinsightblog.com
The 27-page design brief entitled “Breathtaking” reads like a scientific white paper loaded with marketingese and unprecedented levels of highly creative BS. In fact, Fast Company Magazine called it branding lunacy…
“Every page of this document is more ridiculous than the last ending with a pseudo-scientific explanation of how Pepsi’s new branding identity will manifest it’s own gravitational pull.”
The L.A. Times was equally critical:
“Behold, then, the scattered and burning debris field of one of corporate America’s most misbegotten image makeovers… According to the brief, the new Pepsi logo lies along a trajectory of human consciousness that includes in its arc the Vastu Shastra, a 3,000-year-old Hindu architectural guide; Pythagoras (the Golden Section); the Roman architect Vitruvius; the Fibonacci series; Descartes; and Corbusier.”
Get a load of it at: http://drop.io/pepsipdf/asset/pepsi-gravitational-field-pdf
Well, i can guess the criticism directed at me as well, because i don’t like to muddy waters when someone else is equally bright and so there is less of authorship in my blogs than elsewhere, ( it also helps me concentrate on zyaada ’s social strategy and branding exercises and attend to my work..but i believe that even if they do change the logo back it wouldn’t hurt to love this logo.