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Application Exercise

Choose a Product/ service Brand from your organisation . 1. Who is the target segment for this brand? (5) 2. Now define the category in which the Brand has been positioned. This would establish the competitive frame of reference for your brand. (5) 3. What are the product/ service benefits that your customer segment values. (5) 4. What is the competitive advantage that your nearest competitor possesses? (5) 5. On the basis of the above can you design your points of parity and points of differentiation?(5) 6. How does your Brand fare on the 4 parameters of Brand Equity- Awareness, Preference, Perceived Quality and Brand Association? (5) 7. Evaluate each element of the marketing mix and suggest how each element can add to the 4 parameters of brand Equity.(5)

I work for Tejas Networks limited as Senior Manager-Presales. The product which I would be taking up for discussion is TJ1600, which was launched 3 years back.

TJ1600-HIGH CAPACITY AGGREGATION DEVICE Tejas Networks was founded in year 2000, for developing low end access optical networking devices. This product range required dynamic and constantly evolving platforms to meet growing bandwidth requirement of mobile and broadband users in a cost effective way. Most of the global renowned vendors found it preferable to outsource their R&D or OEM such products to smaller companies, rather than building their own products. Thus, leveraging the R&D/Software skills in India, Tejas was started to become an OEM for optical networking products for global telecom product companies. However, this effort to develop a back end R&D center for this segment of devices for large vendors coincided with the telecom boom in the Indian market and it was able to build a large customer base in India thru direct selling. By the period of 2007-2008, the direct selling of products overtook the OEM business. Also, in the access networking space it started finding difficult to grow at the rate it grew over last 7 to 8 years. This made the promoters rethink their product strategy. Hence, Tejas started to shift focus from low end access devices to higher

capacity aggregation devices to bring more value for direct customers, and it also positioned Tejas a competitor to lot of other vendors, for whom previously it worked as OEM.

Who is the target segment for this brand?

Largely the target segments for this product were: 1) Indian Telecom Service Providers which are expanding their networks at very high pace, and require cost effective products to enable it. 2) Indian Infrastructure companies which are laying Optical fiber network along their existing services, such as Railways, PGCIL, GAIL to generate additional revenues along with their core business. 3) Telecommunication service providers in developing countries such as South East Asia, Africa, Latin America which were looking to expand their network with cost effective high density products. In majority of these segments, Tejas was already present as access low capacity equipment provider, and proved its technical capabilities to adapt to customer requirements at a much faster pace as compared to other global vendors.

Now define the category in which the Brand has been positioned. This would establish the competitive frame of reference for your brand.
This product has been positioned in category of high end aggregation devices segment which ranges from 100G-400G of switching capacity. The product category is majorly used in providing high bandwidth application such as Enterprise connectivity, broadband, high end mobile services(3G, 4G).

So majorly the push would be towards the customers who are looking to provide high bandwidth application at much lower than existing market rates, but the resiliency requirements are not extremely stringent such as Ultra applications of Submarine, Defense etc.

What are the product/ service benefits that your customer segment values?
This category requires high reliability, as very high bandwidth flow across these equipments, and one failure would lead to blacking out of complete towns/areas in the city. Also the requirement with this category is flexibility, an ability to scale without affecting current traffic, as this critical to expand services on top of existing running services. Also, depending on each market there is need of customization of these products. Along with it, very important parameter is after sales support for these products, as these have high technical complexity, so it is critical to provide strong support during the operations and maintenance of these products. But the most important parameter would be the price. Currently most of our competitors have very high initial cost for this product category. So providing cost effective products to meet growing bandwidth needs in developing countries would be very critical.

What is the competitive advantage that your nearest competitor possesses?


The nearest competitors in this product category, 1) Ciena- Core Director As mentioned previously that reliability is very highly rated feature in this segment. Ciena Coredirector has been a major product in this segment for the last 2 decades. The important advantage they provide is their proprietary ASON functionality, which

provide network restoration in lesser than a second, in case of multiple fiber cuts also. Also, Coredirector has been a platform of choice for majority of long haul bandwidth providers due to high resiliency which is proven in field over years.

On the basis of the above can you design your points of parity and points of differentiation?
Points of Parity: 1) Reliability of the product should be high, comparable to existing products if not exceeding 2) Capability to support upgrades to meet next 3-4 years traffic predictions of the operators. 3) Strong after sales support for efficient O&M and utilization of the equipments. 4) Support for multiple route failure protection.

Points of Differentiation: 1) Cost effectiveness by providing pas as you grow approach. Thus limiting the Day 1 cost to roll out services using this category of equipments. Currently, initial cost of deployment of this category of equipments is very high. So helping customers deploy high capacity equipments with much lower initial cost would be biggest point of differentiation. 2) Customization as per operator requirements would be another major point of differentiation. Since majority of our competitor products are designed to meet developed markets(US/Europe/Japan) requirements, they are not ideal for developing countries where the need is to provide faster rollouts. 3) Another point of differentiation would be providing compact ruggedized equipments, since the existing product are very much bulkier and power consuming. So to work on totally new platform which would be highly compact and power efficient would prove to be major differentiator.

How does your Brand fare on the 4 parameters of Brand Equity- Awareness, Preference, Perceived Quality and Brand Association?
a. Brand Awareness Brand awareness is the degree to which consumers precisely associate the brand with the specific product. Brand awareness can be regarded as a means through which consumers become acquainted and familiar with a brand and recognize that brand. Tejas has very high brand awareness in Indian subcontinent, as the premier organization in optical networking to emerge out of India. So the equipment which is branded with our product series in most of our existing customer under the flagship name on TJxxxx, has immediately gain awareness. Also, the latest award of the best Indian electronic product awarded by CSIR to TJ1600 has further enhanced the products awareness in the industry.

b. Brand preference Brand preference is the indicator of the strength of a brand and represents which brands are preferred under assumptions of equality in price and availability. For this category, still TJ1600 is not the most preferred brand. Ciena and ALU products still have higher brand preference due to long period of reliability records. We are still improving by making inroads in major customers thru our cost differentiation and gaining market preference by performing strongly in those customers. Also, additional preference is being gained by adding customization as discussed in the PoDs above. c. Perceived quality Perceived Quality refers to the customers perception about the total quality of the brand. While evaluating quality the customer takes into account the brands performance on factors that are significant to him and makes a relative analysis about the brands quality by evaluating the competitors brands also.

On this parameters, we are rated the lowest in the market. This has been primarily as we operated in low end segment till date, and hence the perception attached to us has been of makers of low cost, but not best in class equipments. Hence, this is major blocking point when customer has no budget constraints, we are not the preferred vendor for this segment.

d. Brand Association Brand association is what is deep seated in the customers mind about the brand. These are attributes of the brand which comes into the consumers mind when the brand is talked about. It is related to what the customer relates / associates with a specific brand name. Brand association is comparatively high, as the past proven records of customization carried out by Tejas Networks for majority of the existing customers. Also, Tejas is associated with being the most compact and power efficient equipment manufacturer makes very positive association for TJ1600 in the market.

Evaluate each element of the marketing mix and suggest how each element can add to the 4 parameters of brand Equity.
The Marketing mix is a set of four decisions which need to be taken before success of any new product. These four variables help the firm in making strategic decisions necessary for the smooth running of any product / organization. These variables are 1) Product Brand Awareness Reliable product under TJxx brand name

Brand Preference Customization based on operator needs to increase adaptability. Perceived Quality Improving quality to meet the needs of the supplied application. Brand Association Relating to strong after sales support for the products, and keeping the feature roll out time to minimum for them to deliver new services. 2) Price Brand Awareness Cost leadership in the category. Brand Preference Pay as you grow approach to reduce initial cost of deployment Perceived Quality Value for money category to be catered in delivering new services.

3) Place Brand Awareness Strong R&D presence in India to understand and meet the developing countries need.

4) Promotions Brand Awareness Further participation in technology forum to increase product visibility. Participating in various interop testing to demonstrate compatability with existing networks

Perceived Quality Brand Association