If We Ran a Company With Sensitive Branding We Would Learn From Tata

Tata logo from the Financial TimesBack in December, I read a great case study in the Financial Times on Tata and how the branding is used within its companies.  Some use the tata name and logo, others don’t (like Taj Hotels).  This isn’t that big a deal, according to the article, what is most important is if the values are being incorporated into all the companies.

But there is a lot to Tata’s decisions to rebrand or not when it comes to their foreign acquisitions.  Tata has to consider their Indian identity and what their fellow Indians think, and also what the foreign consumers of the company they are acquiring might think.  So there are times when rebranding is appropriate, like with Corus, and times when it is not, like with Tetley. 

Great lessons to consider for a company that has a strong identity with a group of people.


If we ran a vision insurance provider, we wouldn’t have this authorization nonsense

I’m not a fan of vision insurance.  My take on it always has been that you have to be pretty calculated to figure out if it’s worth it to get.  It’s one thing to have something that protects against catastrophes (home, car, health, etc), but for something like vision – where the max amount of money you’ll spend is so limited, it’s just not worth the headache.

But, I just found out my wife had signed up for it because it was a really minimum amount extra so I might as well use it.  But, unfortunately, for me (and I assume many others) it’s not that easy. 

I called UHC Vision (formerly Spectera) to find out about what I could do with the insurance only to find out I couldn’t do anything because there were two authorizations which were pulled.  The vision insurance told me that I had to call the two eye care providers I had visited last year and have them let go of the authorization.  Why the insurance company itself couldn’t do anything is beyond me.

So I called the first place and they (of course) said they couldn’t find anything open for me and told me to call the vision insurance provider back and ask if they could call to the place.  I called the second one and I’m on hold there right now.

If we ran Facebook Ads, we’d be clearer on our coupons

I was issued a @facebookads coupon code for $50 on 12/7 that expired on 12/22/2010.  I had tried their ads last summer so I guess that’s why they targeted me.  I emailed them that day about an issue uploading a picture and they  replied on 12/9 with the instructions.  By 12/14/2010 the ad was made (and approved) and I asked the follow up question about how to use the ad coupon – and in the message, included screenshots which showed when the ad was going to run.  Later that day, facebook ads support replied on how to use the coupon.

I set the ad to run from 12/27 (the day after Christmas) to give myself sometime to get a baseline of what kind of activity my site was getting BEFORE the ad ran.

On January 3rd I got an e-mail saying I was charged for the Facebook ad.  It was only $8.34 (the lifetime budget of my ad was $50)

I sent them a message about this and they replied the ad had to finish running by the coupon expiration date.  This is something I don’t feel is fair because it wasn’t spelled out clearly on the ad.  It should have said something  more meaningful than just “expiration date.”

We’ve been going back and forth on e-mails since then but seems they don’t feel they’re in the wrong.  I’ve stopped the campaign now and I’m not sure yet if another charge has occurred.

If we ran law enforcement, speed cameras wouldn’t be used to make money

Police Officers checking out a speed camera setup in Laurel, MD

I was happy to see a letter from Nate Hammond of Laurel Maryland complaining to The Gazette (our local newspaper that covers Laurel, MD) about the placement of a new speed camera in laurel being at the bottom of a hill.  I was hoping to see a response back to the page with the letter ( Speed cameras aid city, not students ) but have not seen anything appear yet.  This is something that warrants a response. 

Oh, and this complaint falls  under a broader category of feeling that in many cases, speeding is used to just make money. 

If We Ran anything, we would focus on flaws and rehearse everything like Steve Jobs

Great write-up in the December 23rd Financial Times on Steve Jobs titled: Silicon Valley visionary who put Apple on top By Richard Waters and Joseph Menn

It was a very good article on everyone’s favorite Tech leader.  My favorite takeaways were on how he was fixated on flaws such as the example given of an icon.  And the other was on how he rehearsed every line in his presentations.