Saturday, May 21, 2011

Lessons from RED BULL – Awful Taste – Massive Market Share

“Red Bull is not just a drink. Instead, it is a "philosophy"—one seemingly derived from his own outlook on life—and a "functional product," used to improve strength and performance and to revitalize the body and mind.” Dietrich Mateschitz –Owner of Red Bull

Starting from Fuschl, an Austrian village, RED BULL has developed its niche in 161 countries. Only last year it sold 4.2 billion cans of its drink, including more than a billion in the U.S. alone. In 2004, the company had 2,605 employees; in 2010, 7,758 -

Undoubtedly, Dietrich Mateschitz now 67, is one of the most successful entrepreneurs of this century, a man who with his unique selling abilities, challenged the most established brands in the beverage industry..

His vision that created a new beverage category “The Energy Drink” also famous as “speed in a can". This unique positioning made RED Bull as number 1 product in this category!

Question is: Red Bull does not taste very good, so what are the reasons for this huge success?. Mateschitz says “It's not just another flavored sugar water differentiated by color or taste or flavor. It's an efficiency product. I'm talking about improving endurance, concentration, reaction time and speed”.

To me the answer is: A Well defined USP – Implemented in a Unique way

The company works closely with sports that require energy and present state of mind. Focus of Red Bull's marketing campaign has always been its claim that “it can improve athletic performance”. It l has over brand 500 brand ambassadors - athletes from 97 various sports. The company also owns four soccer teams: New York's Red Bulls (and their stadium), Red Bull Salzburg, Red Bull Brasil, and RB Leipzig and a Nascar team and two Formula 1 racing teams.

Mateschitz is Austria's richest man, and Red Bull is the biggest thing to come out of this small country in Europe. This success has close ties with “Vision” “Positioning” “Strategy’ and “Implementation.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Another Surprise – Excellent Waiting Lounge at Dhaka

On my way back to Pakistan from Dhaka, I got the opportunity to wait for my flight at Business Class Lounge managed by Ruposhi Bangla Hotel. This lounge was earlier managed by Sheraton Dhaka. Since Sheraton has now stopped operating its chain in the city, the lounge is now managed by this local hotel.

In my pervious visit, I used Biman Airline lounge, and I was shocked at the poor quality of that lounge.

So my expectations were low this time around too!

However, when I entered Ruposhi Lounge, I was happily surprised! It was a well managed and neat place with hi speed wifi, nice choice of snacks and beverages. Staff was very friendly. I particularly like to mention that Chief Captain Sarwar Hosain and his waiter Prince were actively taking care of their guests.

Mr Hosain told me that this lounge serves about 250-300 customers on a daily basis and they prepare fresh food and keep it properly replenished. It is operated around the clock.

This lounge is supervised by Mr Harun Ur Rashid Mollah, who is the Operation Manager for this lounge.

I recommend spending time at this lounge at your next flight from Dhaka

Dealing with Workplace Conflicts

“I am upset”, how frequently do you hear this phrase? Off course uncountable times, at home or at work. Reason is simple – people are generally frustrated!

The above phrase is the beginning of “anger”, symptoms can affect the individual badly and spread like an epidemic, causing damage to the organization.

In my recent discussions with senior executives, one key feature which registered to me very strongly was, all workplace related anger issues initiate with “ego”! Hurt by a remark or attitude of a colleague, reaction starts. Perhaps uncontrolled emotional reaction is human nature, but certainly workplaces aggressions mostly caused by some underwater currents within the organizations.

Generally speaking, the key reason for workplace anger is to do with attitudes about themselves and predisposed judgments about others, which influence them to display disrespecting behavior towards others. People acknowledge that exhibiting aggression isn’t a sign of rightfulness or being energetic. There is no doubt that those who engage in angry behavior, lack maturity and insight about influencing behavior of a fellow human. Whether you are the one who is an aggressor or are the one on the receiving end of these emotional outbursts, the key to manage workplace anger is to make conscious choices for one’s actions. One must pause and reflect whether the behavior is going to contribute towards resolution of exacerbation of the problem. This one choice is likely to spell the difference.

Having said above, managers often find themselves in a challenging situation while dealing with such issues. Please realize that “Anger is mostly caused by conflicts” – period.

Now if this realization soaks in, managers need to understand the reasons for conflict and deal with it accordingly. My extensive discussions with HR guys reveal that there are three major reasons for workplace conflicts:

• Communication barriers
• Lack of recognition
• Ethical issues

And often dealing with workplace conflicts become easier managers are focused on the three points given above.

While dealing with an angry staff members, first thing is to listen and take notes, ask simple questions, repeat if answers are not satisfactory, get your facts right.

Caution: Do not react even if a direct comment is passed; remember angry person is “out of his mind”

Slowly you will see fire dying, this is the time to start your move towards discussing the solutions – Be prepared, as angry guy can’t give you one – You are now in lead. Enjoy!