A very real fairytale
Recently, Harrods' Managing Director, Michael Ward said that they would not be able to open a store in India. Not enough takers for expensive clothes and jewelry, apparently. Fair enough.
But to the more accessible international brands, which are emerging-market reluctant, I say, there is definitely a story. Maybe even a fairy tale ending. Like these.
Hippo Baked Munchies, a popular Indian snacks brand faced a similar challenge, but at the opposite end of its supply chain. It retailed at over 400,000 stores, mainly the mom and pop variety. Tracking inventory was an unending nightmare. It decided to seek help from its customers, asking them to tweet the location of a store that was out of stock. The brand rewarded them with attractive gift coupons for every shared lead. It put an efficient mechanism in place, which replenished within 48 hours. Customers were delighted with their goodie bags filling up . In no time, the number of Twitter trackers equaled half the company's sales and distribution strength. Sales jumped 76%. The rest, as they say, is history.
A similar tale awaits other brands. Of markets where the blue sky is the limit. Where they will encounter a few stiff challenges and many teething problems. But also a solution - in the form of innovation and creative use of technology - to overcome them all. And live happily ever after.