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How VCs are affecting marketing

Free-100

 

Couple of days ago there was a great discussion on facebook which went something like this..

 

A person in Bangalore wanted to transport a bed between two locations. However, the cost of transportation was more than the cost of the bed. So he had posted a Q asking for leads for transportation vendors who were cheaper.

Someone gave this great idea.

Register yourself on quikr as a seller and upload the picture of the bed.

Then visit quikr and offer to buy the same bed. You are paying yourself so no cost to you.

Quikr will arrange for free transportation and paytm will give you cash back as well.

How amazing is that? You not just save money, you make money.

This is just another example of how VC money has flooded the market and basically made everything ridiculously cheap or even free, for that matter. Making marketing of start ups all about a price game.

It did not bother me too much till a very recent example in Bangalore.

A furniture lending company launched on the proposition of 72 hours from ordering to setting up in your house. Good, bad or terrible positioning doesn’t matter. It was a position they had taken.

A week later came another company with the proposition of ‘anything you want for Rupee 1’ or something like that. What I remember is Rupee 1.

There isn’t even an attempt to claim range, quality, delivery, service or anything of the sort. Straight to the lowest price possible.

This is what I therefore fear, with so much money flooding the market and no drive to profitability, it becomes increasingly easy to go the price route. And that is lazy marketing.

Of course there are brands that have stayed away like bigbasket, urban ladder, pepperfry and the ilk. But tons of others are giving away something or other free just to get whatever digital metrics they are driving.

Good strong brands are not built that way.

After all those who come for a deal, will also leave for a deal.

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