Brand Update : 5 Star Lost in Amnesia

5 Star has a special place in the Rs 2000 crore Indian chocolate market. The unique caramel filled chocolate has been a favorite among kids who wanted a legitimate break from the usual chocolate bars. Over the last few years, 5 Star has been adopting a consistent message of " Lost in the taste " but losing the bigger picture as far as positioning and targeting is concerned.
It was in 2009  that 5 Star adopted the positioning of " Jo Khaye , Kho Jaye " meaning "lost in taste " where the basic plot is that the 5 Star lover suffers a temporary amnesia after eating this delicious product. The idea was good as the brand was always claiming superiority in taste and its USP was always the taste. One major change the brand was made was regarding the target group. 5 Star began addressing the adult chocolate lovers just like its counterpart Dairy Milk. All the characters in the ads of 5 Star was grown-ups while the message was universal. 
Then came the two protagonists ,Ramesh and Suresh, who were long-lost friends meeting in a small shop. From then on, 5 Star's entire brand was centered around these two characters. Sadly the quality of the creative has gone alarmingly down and in the name of humor, the entire brand personality was projected akin to idiotic. 

Watch the latest campaign here  : 5 Star Tailor ad
Although the ad was meant to tickle your bone, the protagonists here being  projected as sort of idiots is sad for the brand. In pursuit of humor, the brand forgotten what it wants to convey with respect to brand persona. 
The brand needs to be congratulated for its consistency with the message but it should not get carried away with the message .

Why I am concerned about the portrayal of the main characters is that in the first ad featuring Ramesh and Suresh, both were normal guys meeting each other and unknowingly lost in the taste of 5 Star. But now both these characters are portrayed as idiots ( by their look and behavior) and I feel that without eating 5 Star, they would behave in the same way. 
If these guys reflect the 5 Star users, then the brand has landed itself in a bad position. Although the ordinary consumer may not think as cynically as the author of this blog does, the brand needs to careful in the portrayal of the main characters of the story.
And why forget kids ? 
Related Post

Stop Not : Whatever Happens !

Brand : Stop Not
Company : Perfetti van Melle

Brand Analysis Count : # 505

Perfetti Van Melle ( PVM) the leader in the Indian confectionery market and a master marketer who built brands like Alpenliebe, Centerfresh etc has ventured into Indian snacks market. In its biggest diversification, PVM launched its first brand Stop Not in the Indian market. 

Indian snacks market has been a lucrative market thanks to the impulsive great Indian middleclass. Indian consumers has always pampered themselves with  homemade snacks and marketers lured them to switched to packaged snacks. ET has pegged the Indian snack market at Rs 12000 crore ( source) and Hindu Business line puts a figure of  Rs 3000 crore for the packaged snack market . The market is highly competitive and has seen many brands burning out because of intense competition. 

Stop Not is launched in two formats - Stop Not FOFS - which is a filled snack and Stop Not GOLZ which is in the form of rings.The product is made for India using rice and wheat flour and comes in Indian flavors like Yummy Tomato, Khatti Meethi, Spicy South etc.

The main differentiator for  the brand is its packaging and product attribute of   "filled and not fried ". The packaging really is clutter-breaking and gives lot of visibility to the brand.The packaging can also repel many  consumers. The brand has tried to emulate the packaging strategy adopted by Hippo brand of snacks.

Naturally a product launch from a company like PVM evokes lot of interest among the marketers. Marketing enthusiasts look forwards to some clutter-breaking campaigns from a star marketer like PVM. 
Stop Not brand is currently running its launch campaign for its GOLZ variant.

Watch the ad here : Stop Not Golz

The launch ad is nothing but a complete letdown from PVM. Nothing is new in the ad that will create any meaningful impact for the brand. The concept of " taste to die for " has been raped many times by many brands. Wonder why PVM chose to air such a commoditized idea  as its launch campaign.
Stop Not has chosen the tagline " Whatever Happens " relating to addiction to taste. It is interesting to note that the brand is trying to take the earlier positioning - " No one can eat just one " of Lays. Lays had discarded this position and Stop Not is trying to capture that vacant space. But the creative was a big letdown in this regard . 

The clutter-breaking packaging may induce lot of trials by the consumers but the sad fact is that the brand campaign has failed to create any excitement about the brand. Let us wait and see " What ever that happens " to the brand.

Brand Update : Your Time, Your Place, Your Moods

Moods, the Rs 40 crore brand from Hindustan Lifecare Ltd , is back in media with a clutter breaking campaign. The campaign " Your Time, Your Place, Your Moods "  has  already being well received among the marketing community.
Moods' last campaign  " My Man " had also received rave reviews from marketing analysts across the country. The only doubt is whether the brand  hurriedly took the previous positioning platform without extracting maximum juice out of it.
The new campaign shows various characters like a plumber, mountaineer, museum care-taker discovering evidence that moods users were there  in those 'most unlikely ' places . The surprised look of these characters give the punch to the new tagline " Your Time, Your Place, Your Moods ".

Watch the ad here  : moods 

The advertisement campaign is an attempt by the brand to bring humor into its communication. A drastic change in the brand's approach since most of the earlier campaigns were sensual in nature. The ads are refreshing and fun to watch and also gives lot of creative headroom for future campaigns . According to reports, the brand campaign is also aimed at the global markets which is a key focus for this brand. Moods is exported to more than 40 countries and in some middle east nations, the brand is a market leader. 

Condom brands are lazy marketers. The brand campaigns are sporadic and it seems that no brand is specifically interested in becoming a category leader.Gone are the days when brands like Kamasutra blazed the category with some bold advertising.

The current campaign of Moods is aimed at improving the brand recall . Although there is a significant change in the brand's personality, it does not warrant further analysis since the brand is not aggressive in the promotion front. Positioning strategy lacks relevance if it is not backed by consistent promotional activity. The changes in the positioning of Moods will not help in developing a lasting impression in the consumer's mind. How ever the condom marketers now are more interested in promoting brand recall rather than developing a powerful positioning. 
To be fair to the brand, the new ads are clutter-breaking and watchable. Without venturing into sensuality, the brand is able to convey its message. The elderly couple creates a definite iconic picture to this new idea. The new tagline is also good and packs lot of scope for further creative executions. Hope the brand stays with this idea for some time.The new campaign does its job of increasing the brand's visibility and recall which will be there till the brand decides to go back into hibernation. Kudos to the creative team behind the job.

Related Brand
Moods : My Man

KwikStik? KwikStuk!

During a recent electronics show my attention was drawn by a strange small orange device on display at the Freescale booth. It turned out to be the Kinetis KwikStik and a very enthusiastic Freescale employee immediately showed me its features and explained that it was fully compatible with the Tower system, Freescale�s reconfigurable development platform, but it can also be used stand-alone. When I asked for a KwikStik to review, no problem, he would send me one after the show. Only five days later (including a weekend) I received the kit.

The KwikStik comes packed in a nice box and you can see that Freescale has spent some time and effort to deliver an attractive product. In the box you will find a KwikStik in its bizarre orange silicone jacket, a DVD, a USB cable and some instructions. Included also is a warranty card, the first one I get with a dev kit. If the kit is broken, you can send it back.

Looking closely at the KwikStik you may notice the logo of Pounce Consulting in several places. Looking up this company on the internet you will find an electronics outsourcing company that probably did this kit for Freescale.

The box promises �the fastest way to realize your design potential�. Now that got me interested as this seemed to be a great candidate for the MCU dev kit benchmark that I presented in a previous post.

When you open the booklet you will see two photographs of the board with arrows indicating its special features. There are many: an LCD, a microphone, a micro USB socket (two actually, the other is for the Segger J-Link connection), an audio output, a buzzer, six touch buttons, a micro SD socket, a battery, an IrDA port, a switch, extension connectors (one as a PCI-like edge connector), and, almost forgot to mention it, a Kinetis K40X256VLQ100 ARM Cortex-M4 MCU. This 100 MHz hot rod sports 512 KB Flash memory, 64 KB RAM and 4 KB EEPROM. A large range of integrated peripherals is available and since it is Cortex-M4 based, it also has an additional 32-bit integer DSP (which is completely ignored in the K40 Sub-Family Reference Manual).

On the next two pages of the booklet information is provided about the demo software preloaded on the kit and also step-by-step installation instructions. Step 1 is connecting the board to the PC to power it. Step 2 is navigating through the demo applications. Step 3: select an application, step 4 go to the Freescale web site. Strange. Nothing to install? I mean, what about the DVD? Next page of the booklet: J-Link and additional features. Last page: nothing.

Oh? OK. Well, let�s do step one: connect the board to the PC. Windows detects the board without any problems and I see the text �KWIKSTIK� scrolling from right to left, hear a beep and then see �LFT� followed by �RGT�, then �SEL.� (with dot) and finally scrolling again �SOUND RECORDER�. Pushing the touch pads is not very reliable and results in a kind of random behaviour, I don�t feel that I have any control over what is happening. So I remove the board from its silicon jacket and this makes things somewhat better. I can now navigate a bit easier, but it is still not very reliable.

The options available are Sound recorder, Remote control, USB mouse and Fretris. Trying the sound recorder I manage to record 2 seconds of data. The recording played back over headphones is barely audible and hidden by some loud interfering sound. I cannot try the remote control because I do not have a Sony TV. The USB mouse suddenly makes me understand the acronyms LFT, RGT & SEL. Why on earth didn�t they write it out? The display is large enough. Anyway, the USB mouse doesn�t work very well. Pressing LFT does random things on my PC like jumping to the left or selecting a block of text, the RGT pad opens the context menu. Actually LFT seems to do a double or triple left mouse button click; RGT does a mere single right mouse button click. Finally, Fretris is a simple Tetris game that is very hard to control as the touch pads do not work well.

The Kinetis KwikStik indicates all by itself its helloWorld score. It is even more severe than I am.

So, then, what�s on the DVD? Well, a flash animation that let�s you click some links to open documents or install software. Included on the DVD are Freescale�s MQX RTOS (free), IAR�s Embedded Workbench for ARM (30-day evaluation and a 32 KB limited kickstart edition), Green Hills� Multi IDE and Keil�s MDK for Freescale Kinetis (32 KB limited edition). Other tools (Segger, CodeWarrior, etc.) are available on-line. Unfortunately, there are no instructions on what you should do next.

At random I pick Green Hills� Multi IDE. Wrong choice. You have to unzip this, and then install 1 GB before getting tangled in a license request net. In the world of fastest ways to realize your design potential this is very bad and results in an immediate uninstall. Unfortunately there is no uninstall provided for this package, which makes it even worse. Let�s hope deleting the folder is enough to get rid of this stuff. Probably not, because a dongle driver was installed too.

[24 hours later: I am still waiting for an evaluation license from Green Hills.]

[Monday 19 December, a week later: I finally received a message from Green Hills about my licence request. More questions, but still no evaluation license. How intimate do you have to be with this company before they let you have a glance at their products? This sure takes the pace out of the fastest way to realize my design potential.]

Because I do not give up easily, I now try the IAR EW 32 KB kickstart edition. First, get a license by filling in a form and answering all kinds of questions. Contrary to Green Hills license delivery is immediate. Then install 2 GB of tools to discover that no examples are included for the KwikStik. I have now reached the point of saturation and give up.

After two hours of fiddling with the hardware, installing software and filling in license request forms I am still not able to flash an LED on the board. I haven�t even addressed the J-Link needed to program the board for which separate drivers have to be installed from some conveniently unspecified location. The fastest way to realize your design potential, yeah right. What a bummer. The KwikStik receives an helloWorld score of 1. You cannot get any lower than 1 because I will always give 1 to compensate for the time & effort to design, build and send me the kit.

It is really a shame to see how all the effort to design a nice and fun looking kit with an extremely powerful MCU is annihilated by a total lack of interest for the end user. Is it really that difficult to add a few lines of instructions to help the user on his way? Many hours went in the design of this board but apparently the budget was used when the DVD still had to be done.

The reviewed board may be great once you get the tools set-up correctly, but being an impatient person I did not manage to get that far. I have other things to do too.

Brand Update : Bournvita Drifts in its Positioning

Bournvita is one of the major players in the Rs 4000 crore Indian Health Drink market. The brand has a market share of around 15% according to Business Standard. The brand has been a darling for kids who liked the chocolate flavored drinks.
Cadbury has been nurturing the brand well focusing on kids and their affinity towards good taste. The brand got initial traction in the market by focusing on the chocolate taste. It further reinforced the taste factor by associating with its fellow brand  5 Star.
Later the brand went for a laddering exercise and brought in the concept of confidence. The positioning worked really well for the brand since confidence was a very important attribute as far as kids ( and parents) are concerned. The brand backed the laddering up with the creation of Bournvita Confidence Academy and followed it up with a media blitzkrieg.

2011 saw a marked difference in the positioning of Bournvita. The brand began drifting away from confidence based positioning. Early 2011 saw the brand professing the concept of " Prepare to Win " proposition. The brand adopted the tagline " Tayari Jeet Ki " meaning - Preparing to Win.
The ads were beautifully made and explained the concept beautifully. 
Watch the ad here : Bournvita Judo Ad.
Besides the change in positioning, the brand's primary audience ( protagonist) also changed. Rather than focusing on Kids, the brand directly began addressing the Mother. Kids began to play the supporting role in the advertisement. The brand began to move into the way of Horlicks and Complan where the principal character in the campaigns are mothers and not kids.

Now in late 2011, the brand made another significant change in the positioning . The brand discarded every thing it did in the past and began talking like Horlicks. In the recent campaign, the brand began talking about calcium and the script of the ad is almost the copy of Horlicks' ad. More over the brand has now the tagline " Badhaye Doodh Ki Shakthi " which is strikingly the same as the latest Horlicks campaign.
Watch the ad here : Bournvita Calcium
And compare it with Horlicks ad here

I have never seen anybody asking questions like " Calcium ke liye kya karthe ho ? " , Vitamin C ke liye kya karthe ho ??? It looks totally out of synch with the characters in the TVC.

Am not sure whether it is sheer coincidence or a competitive move. What ever it is both the brands will suffer because of the same talk. More importantly Bournvita will suffer the most because it ditched its earlier positioning in favor of the Milk based positioning.
Another interesting factor is that in the ad , there is no character representing the user ie kids. It is one of those rare occasions where Bournvita ads are without kids. 
The absence of kids in the ads and focus on ingredients mark a major shift in the marketing strategy of Bournvita. By talking in the same language of the market leader Horlicks, the brand is trying to directly attack Horlicks which commands more than 50% of the market hoping to expand its base. But this move is at the expense of the positioning of Bournvita. 
Related Brand

Brand Update : Pureit Ups The Ante

HUL's first foray into the consumer durable market- Pureit is on an aggressive mode. The brand which was launched in 2004 has taken the battle into the premium segment of the water purifier market with the launch of Pureit Marvella. 

Pureit is a classic case of a brand exploiting an important need-gap in the market. Indian water-purifier market worth around Rs 1200 crore is evolving, growing at 15%. The marketing of water purifiers were skewed towards urban markets of India. Only 8 % of the Indian consumers use water purifier which indicates the poor penetration of this product category into Indian households. The major hindrance for this being high price, installation difficulties, electricity consumption and lack of awareness. Eureka Forbes pioneered the growth of this category in the Indian market. Now this category has lot of players and  new product-lines like RO water purifiers has been introduced.

The major players in the electricity -powered water purifier market however ignored the mass market focusing more on the margin rather than volume. These products which were priced at Rs 5000 upwards were beyond the reach of the average middleclass customers. Even though many such consumers were aware of the health benefits of a water-purifier, it was never in the priority list of high value purchases.
Sensing the opportunity, HUL launched Pureit range of battery operated storage-type purifiers at a price range of Rs 990- Rs 1250. These purifiers did not necessitated any installations which was a definite advantage for those who lived in rented houses. The brand was widely tested in South India before the national launch . According to reports, Pureit has already sold more than 1.3 million units becoming the largest selling water-purifier in India in volume-terms. The brand also created a new category of  non-electric storage- water purifier market which is now worth around Rs 300 crore and growing very fast than the electric category.
One of the problems that Pureit faced during the launch was the doubt about brand's efficacy in the purifying business. HUL is new to this industry and not an expert so consumers rightly doubted the effectiveness of its product . To counter that, Pureit ran a very highly advertised " 1 crore challenge " to convince the consumer that its product is more effective than the competing brands. 
After establishing its name in the mass market, Pureit is now targeting the market-creator Eureka Forbes in an aggressive frontal attack by launching the premium brand Pureit Marvella. Marvella is also a a non-electric purifier with storage capability priced at Rs 7000. The brand also launched its Reverse Osmosis water purifier Puerit Marvella RO at a price point of Rs 13500. These sub-brands directly competes with Eureka Forbes's major product-lines. 
The entry of HUL into the Eureka Forbe's territory was marked with lot of legal fights between the brands because of advertising claims and counter-claims. Now the fight is in the field with both the brands trying to out market each other.
HUL in its typical FMCG style is launching Marvella range with a celebrity endorsement. The brand has roped in Farhan Akther and Praachi Desai as the brand ambassador. The campaign is now running featuring these celebrities. 
Watch the ad here : Pureit marvella
The USP of the brand is its advanced warning system which alerts the consumer to change the RO membrane before it stops working.
The entry of HUL has virtually changed the dynamics of the water-purifier market in India. The market creator was totally out-maneuvered by HUL. Eureka Forbes decided not to counter HUL's foray into mass market because of lack of margin. In strategic terms , the decision made sense because low priced products tend to affect both margins and brand -equity. But Forbes failed to see the shift in the market and the growth of the non-electric segment to become the fastest growing segment. The popularity of the mass market segment also gave confidence for HUL to enter the market of Eureka Forbes. Eureka Forbes countered the HUL's entry by lowering the price of its base models. But HUL is such a formidable player that Eureka Forbes may need all its marketing strength to fight this giant.
Related Brand

A benchmark for development and evaluation kits

The other day a colleague asked me if I was interested in reviewing the TMS570 MCU Development Kit. This is a kit for playing with the TMS570LS20216 ARM Cortex-R4F microcontroller and when I looked at the picture of the kit available on the product page on TI web site I immediately became interested. It is a big main board with a TFT display and many connectors on which a smaller board sits. The TMS570 microcontroller is designed for use in safety critical systems and as such it includes [quote TI website] dual CPUs in lockstep, CPU and Memory Built-In Self Test (BIST) logic, ECC on both the Flash and the data SRAM, parity on peripheral memories, and loop back capability on peripheral I/O. The Floating Point CPU offers 1.6 DMIPS/MHz, and it has configurations which can run up to 160 MHz providing more than 250 DMIPS. [quote end] The TMS570LS20216 has 2 MB Flash memory and 160 KB SRAM. One might be tempted to say that this is a pretty powerful MCU.

When the kit to review arrived it turned out to be not exactly what I expected, as it was just a large USB stick. The stick is so large because otherwise the MCU in its 144LQFP package wouldn�t fit on it. It came in one of those CD/DVD boxes that we know from TI and that included besides the stick a little flash light, a DVD, a USB extension cable and a flyer with installation instructions. The installation instructions are simple: insert the DVD and do a full install. So I did.

I wrote down the amount of free disk space before launching the install and the time: 9h20. More than 30 minutes and 95 (really!) mouse clicks later the installation was complete. Looking at the free disk space left over I noticed that this demo had used a whopping 7 GB! As a comparison, my Windows XP Pro folder contains 9 GB. To be totally honest, I did this installation twice, the first time I just ran it while trying to do other things. But when the number of mouse clicks and the amazing amount of pop-up windows started bugging me I decided to redo the installation and count and measure the above mentioned parameters.

Naturally I now was pressed to see the demo's, curious to discover what a USB stick with only a few LEDs and a 5 square cm MCU on it supported by 7 GB of software had to offer. Connecting the stick to my PC worked fine, it was recognized immediately, and I started the Safety Demo Software as indicated in step 3 of the installation notes. A window with six large buttons came up and I clicked on the left upper one labelled �Safety Features�. The tool now first programmed the MCU before showing a block diagram of the chip and a list of small buttons on the left that let you generate an error event in the MCU. The error is graphically illustrated in the block diagram and a little red LED is lighted on the board.

You will have little trouble to understand that I was deeply impressed by this convincing demo so I quickly went on to try the others. I clicked the Ambient Light button and a little window with a vertical bar graph showing ambient light intensity came up. A light sensor included on the stick makes this demo possible. If you keep your hand over the stick the bar drops to a few percent and when you shine the flash light on the sensor you can get it up to 100%.

Again, Wow.

So quickly on to the next demo: the Temperature Sensor. Clicking the button opens a small window showing a graph of the temperature. According to the demo the temperature was over 30 degrees Celsius, at least 7 degrees higher than the ambient temperature, but maybe it measured closely to the MCU or the PC? Anyway, this demo was as convincing as the others.

What about the LED Light Show? Again a little window pops up and this time you can start the preprogrammed light show or toggle the six blue LEDs manually. To not spoil the surprise in case you want to buy this development stick yourself I will not tell you what happened but I can assure you that I was again deeply impressed.

If I remember correctly TI was the first to introduce the concept of USB development and evaluation sticks, but where the first one featured an MSP430 MCU that you could break off after programming and then use in your own application, this USB stick seems to be a pure product of marketing. Only 22 of the 144 pins (called �test points�) are brought out to two pin headers although a CAN bus is available too. You get a compiler too, so you can write some code for the MCU but do you really need 7 GB and 95+ mouse clicks for that?

Let us now define a benchmark for MCU development / evaluation kits so we can quickly compare the ease of use and system impact of those kits: the helloWorld (hW). The helloWorld is calculated as mds/(ds*(mc+i)) where �mds� is the highest capacity hard disk available in the year of release of the dev kit (see Wikipedia, in 2011 msb = 4 TB), �ds� stands for disk space needed by the dev kit and mc means mouse clicks needed to get an LED flashing on the dev kit and finally �i� is the number of icons & short-cuts created on the desktop (8 for this kit). With such a benchmark the flash light included in the kit would get a score of infinity because it does not occupy any disk space. The mds parameter is included to introduce an element of time in the benchmark so that it would be possible to compare helloWorld benchmarks over time. You might argue that including Eclipse in a dev kit should be a separate parameter pulling the score down, but Eclipse in itself consumes enough disk space to ensure a low benchmark anyway.

The TMS570 Microcontroller Development Stick presented here scores a value of 4 TB / 7 GB x (95 mouse clicks + 8 icons) = 5.68 helloWorld [hW].

If you have any suggestions of benchmark scores for other dev and or eval (evil?) kits, please do not hesitate to send them to me so I can publish them here.

Brand Update : Indica Vista Goes Sedan Class

Brand Indica got a big boost recently by the launch of the new Tata Indica Vista . The new Vista comes with a spruced up looks and classy interiors packed with goodies. While the competition is hotting up in the premium hatchback market in India, Tata Motors is leaving no stones unearthed to regain its position in the Indian car market. Tata Motors launched its Vista product-line in 2008. The attempt was to strengthen the brand's foothold in the growing premium hatchback segment. 
Although Vista was launched as a sub-brand of Indica, the car was built on an entirely new platform and the refinement and the quality was entirely superior to that of Indica V2. However, Tata Motors decided the new launch to be under the umbrella of Indica brand. This move however was faulty and the response to the premium offering from Indica product-line found reluctant takers despite being value-for-money package.

This year, the brand relaunched the Indica Vista with lot of refinement and tweaking in the pricing. The frequent fuel price hike proved to be a boon to the predominantly diesel focused Indica range. 
The new Indica Vista  finds its point of parity with the sedans. The brand compares itself with a sedan and tries to convey the message that the car is  " Like Sedan".
Watch the ad here : Sedan Class
The new Indica Vista has the tagline " Sedan Class " reinforcing the new positioning. The ad is very sensible and conveys the message quite forcefully. The brand's idea of exemplar comparison with another category is quite effective in communicating its USP of better space and comfort.

During the early months of 2011, there were several reports of the plan of Tata Motors to make the Vista brand independent. The visibility of Indica brand name has been made insignificant and Vista is made prominent. So technically, Vista has become the primary brand in this case. The question is why Tata Motors is reluctant to let go of the Indica endorsement of Vista and make Vista a completely independent brand ? The damage has already made by associating an value-for-money brand ( Indica) with a premium offering ( Vista). Vista is going to suffer by continuous association with Indica brand. Other wise, the brand should be priced significantly lower than the other premium competing brands. 

The confusion regarding the branding of the premium hatchback offering from Tata Motors is evident in the case of Vista. The initial mistake was to stretch the Indica brand to a premium offering. It is very difficult for a VFM brand to build an equity in the premium segment. Second was the reluctance to make Vista an independent brand together with the fact that the premium offering had lot of similarities in features with the VFM offering. On hindsight, I feel that Tata Motors lost an opportunity to build a premium hatchback brand Vista. Three years is pretty long lost years in branding world. Would be interesting to see how the New Tata Indica Vista going to play up in the market. The timing has never been so perfect for a diesel car launch. 

Mederma : Leave Your Scars Behind

Brand : Mederma
Company : Win Medicare Ltd ( Licensed from Merz Pharma)

Brand Analysis Count : # 504

Mederma is a globally renowned brand for scar treatment. The brand from Germany based Merz Pharma  is marketed in India by Win Medicare Ltd under licensing agreement. The brand was launched in India in 2005. 

Indian skincare market is pegged between Rs 4000-5000 crore characterized by heavy competition and micro-segmentation. All the major global brands have entered this highly lucrative market. Another less visible but huge market is the specialty skincare market otherwise known as Dermatology market. According to Express Pharma, Indian dermatology market is worth around $ 513 million (roughly Rs 2500 crore) . This dermatology market consists of prescription products and OTC products and most of this products are niche products.

Mederma is such a specialty product with expertise in treating scars. An interesting fact about this product is that it is derived from an extract of Onion. The brand currently upped its share of voice in the Indian market with a series of campaign highlighting the product efficacy. 
Watch the ad here : Mederma Kid
                             : Mederma Adult
The ad is simple and convey the message in a very effective manner. Most of the Indian consumers worried about scars but not aware about a possibility of scar management using creams. The brand's aim is to build awareness about such an option . 
Mederma does not claim to remove those scar marks permanently but helps make scar less noticeable.  Mederma has the tagline " Leave Your Scar Behind ". The tagline is the same globally for this brand. The main positioning of the brand is based on  regaining confidence and self-esteem of people faced with this issue. Scars, acne, pimples etc can cause a loss of confidence and social withdrawal in many people. This issue is growing since our locus of control has shifted outside and people are getting more and more worried about their image and social acceptance. Marketers are adding to it through campaigns highlighting the need for looking good, fair and beautiful. Mederma's pitch looks appropriate in the Indian context. 

Parx : Live Easy

Brand : Parx
Company : Raymond's Apparels

Brand Analysis Count :  # 503

Parx - the premium readymade casual wear brand from Raymonds Ltd is in a relaunching mode. This Rs.185 crore brand from Raymonds wants to play an aggressive role in the hyper competitive ready-to-wear category in the Indian market.

Parx was launched in 1999 as a premium ready to wear brand targeting the highly mobile young corporate customer. The brand was targeting the users for their after- office hour dress requirements. Despite the backing from one of India's reputed textile brand and perceived high quality & expertise, Parx did not quite make it to the big league. It was dwarfed by the success of brands like Color Plus ( which was later acquired by Raymonds) and Allen Solly.

The Indian ready-to-wear market is highly lucrative in terms of market size of approximately Rs 24000 crore. The casual wear market is expected to be around Rs 7200 crore.  
Despite the fact that Parx belonged to one of the most respected textile houses , the brand did not quite caught the fancy of the consumer. As a consumer, I found the brand very pricey and failed to give any meaningful justification to the pricing either interms of brand or product features. Over a period of time, the brand also failed to keep itself aspirational due to increasing competition from global brands.

Parx was also laid-back in its branding efforts. The brand owners was not quite clear about the positioning of Parx. Neither the brand had any meaningful positioning. The brand was neglected by Raymonds and most of the promotional investment was given to the flagship brand Raymonds and Park Avenue.The brand was perceived to be just another casual wear brand from a reputed manufacturer. This lack of a clear positioning failed the brand to justify its premium pricing. Having said that, Parx has a good fan following in tier II cities. The brand is pushed back in metros and large cities by the competition. 
The promotions of Parx was also very erratic. I don't remember any work of this brand nor any of its taglines. This lack of proper investment on brand promotion also weakened the brand's position in this highly cluttered market.
In 2011, the brand went in for a relaunch. The brand redesigned its logo and also introduced a brand- symbol  :- a Racing Stag. This symbol will be in all garments from the brand. The brand also launched its first ever television campaign since its birth.
Watch the tvc here; Parx
Parx now has a new tagline " Live Easy ". The brand is focusing on building a personality traits of independence, attitude, casualness, freedom  through these commercials. The use of foreign models aims to bring an aspirational  touch to the brand. The attempt is to brand ladder to the higher attribute of freedom rather than product characteristics.
The new effort is commendable but little too late for a brand like Parx. The positioning idea of Live Easy is nothing new and the same theme is used by various brands across categories. The brand lost precious 12 years in creating a space for itself in the Indian consumer's mind. The brand now needs to tell compelling stories of the brand attributes it is trying to tell. It needs a lot of catching up to do. 

Brand Update : Horlicks Extends to Breakfast Segment

In pursuit of the stated objective of making Horlicks a megabrand, GSK announced the launch of Horlicks Oats. According to ET, packaged, ready-to-cook oats market is worth around Rs 200 crore and growing at 25% . Horlicks expects to leverage its equity in the new product category also.
From healthy malt drink, Horlicks has come a long way. Now  the brand has become so big and diversified, there is no point in criticizing these extension. ( one can only pray for its survival).
Regarding the brand extension towards oats, the existing health based brand association of Horlicks will be a huge advantage . According to academic researches, consumers evaluate brand extension on the basis of these parameters - 
Brand loyalty towards parent brand
Confidence of consumers about the competence of parent brand in the new category
Perceived quality 
Positive brand associations 
Perceived fit between parent brand and the extensions
Attitude of consumers towards the brand.

For Horlicks, because of its rich heritage and product performance, it scores well in most of the above parameters. Hence the chances of consumer trial will be high compared to any new brand.Brand dilution will happen for sure since the brand is trying to leverage its expertise in too many categories. 

There are also chances of the oats to be viewed as a Kid's product since Horlicks in India traditionally targeted kids. This kid's association may prevent many adults to switch to the brand. However Horlicks will be addressing this issue in the launch ad. My feeling is that Horlicks oats will be targeting the family as a unit rather than adults.

Related Brand

Brand Update : Havells Ventures into Small Appliances

Havells brand which made everyone look up with its clutter-breaking  " Shock Laga " ad has diversified into small appliances. Indian small appliances market is worth around Rs 5000 crore with premium segment contributing around Rs 1000 crore ( Source : Business Standard)

Havells is now running its commercials announcing the launch of the domestic appliances. By the theme of the ads, it is assumed that the foray is targeting the premium segment. Indian domestic appliances market is highly fragmented and intensely competitive. Brands like Philips, Bajaj  etc dominates the market. There are also local brands which have powerful equity in certain product-lines. Havells have already marked its presence in fans and water heater product categories.
Havells would be hoping that it can leverage the equity of its electrical products into the new product range. This time also , there is no specific brand value or USP that Havells is trying to project although subtly the ads try to position the brand as futuristic or technologically superior. In some ads, Havells is displaying the tagline " Future Ready " implying the futuristic technology that its product has. Having said that , the ads are able to convey the premiumness of the brand quite effectively.
I still see the absence of a corporate tagline for Havells as one of its major branding mistake. Since the brand is trying to be an umbrella brand endorsing products across categories, it is important to create a positioning platform for the corporate brand. Hope that the brand will get serious about its parent brand's positioning.

Related brand
Havells- Shock Laga Kya

Yamaha - Launches In India

YAMAHA, Big Daddy in the cycling world, launched an attack on the Indian market two wheels in 2008. It is finally awakened a dormant state and decided to go full speed in order to increase its visibility and market share in India. The major Japanese motorcycle took the first step of becoming a marginal player in an ordinary player in two Indian markets Wheeler.

Yamaha has wisely dug deep into its glorious past and came out with two machines incredibly developed and bikers in India were wanted. These bikes have taken the second Indian market wheels by the storm. With these offers Yamaha has seriously disrupted its competitors who have become more precarious after the launches. It has forced its competitors to return to the drawing board and think to meet the standards set by them. He really raised the bar very high heaven and it will be extremely difficult for its competitors. Both bikes are YZF R15 and FZ16. With these two launches, Yamaha is ready to resume his part in the Indian Ocean Wheeler second market. Both bikes were the Herculean task of promoting and restoring the Yamaha in India.

The launch of YZF R15 has a response from the Indian audience roaring. The bike has been touted as India's first superbike. Although the core of the machine is a 150cc engine, its the whole package, which strengthened the performance of the bikes and remedies. You can see other vehicles evaporate in retrospect, when you mount this beast.

The body is heavily inspired by the legendary Yamaha R1, which has captivated audiences worldwide for many years. The bike has a body tempting beautiful shape to match its macho image. Evil Twin headlights on the front is bleak. Scores high in the bike looks department. This bike also has some brilliant engineer who pushes ahead of its competitors. Injection system replaces the carburetor ingenious obsolete. The 6-speed transmission with a powerful punch. The process of shifting is smooth and effortless experience promises a horseback riding. A water-cooled engine (the first of its kind in India) dissipates heat faster and more efficient. The bike has an excellent ability to bend and provides excellent driving experience. This bike has been a blessing for young people who have been deprived of good quality bikes for years. He instilled the instinct of race in young people.

The other Yamaha motorcycle on the block, which began in the second half of 2008 is the macho FZ16. This bike has a more attractive bare soil. This seductive beauty has a robust construction and a gas tank perfectly chiseled. The tires are wide and offer an incredible road holding. This bike has attracted the eyes of all parts of the motorcycle industry and set the pulse racing. With the murderer is, along with a brilliant performance of this bike is ready to be the leader in the 150cc segment. The bike looks muscular and raw materials, which fell with the Indian public. Clearly, beating all its rivals in the 150cc segment, which is about to be crowned "Lord of the streets." The engineering on this bike may not be as advanced as the YZF R15, but it certainly is a high performance and value for money bike. Offers much more than a normal bike 150cc. It is a joy to own and is priced perfectly.

Kawasaki Motorcycle

Many bikes have been around for many years. The Kawasaki Eliminator 125 motorcycle is one of these bikes. Many things can happen in the world of motorcycling. Many things can happen and has happened to improve the Kawasaki motorcycle. Let's see how the consumer image of the Kawasaki motorcycle has changed since the 2008 Kawasaki 1998.

Overall rating Kawasaki

Taken as a whole in both 1998 and 2008 Eliminator 125 Kawasaki motorcycle scored the same way. The best score is 100 and 125 Kawasaki Eliminator scored 65.1 and 64.1 respectively. As you can see, it is better than average, which would have been 50, but always at the low end better.

Kawasaki motorcycle engine performance

The performance of a motorcycle engine Kawasaki is very important. Engine performance is important on any bike, not just a Kawasaki motorcycle, but it seems that Kawasaki has improved significantly over time. Kawasaki Eliminator 125 1998 was almost 10 points lower, at 58.7, against 68.2 in the engine of the Kawasaki Eliminator 125 2008.

Reliability and smooth conduct of the Kawasaki motorcycle

Unfortunately, the 1998 125 Kawasaki Eliminator does better in this area. He scored a 68.8, a total of four points higher than the 2008 model. It seems that the Kawasaki Eliminator 2008 125 is declining in this area.

Authors pleasure and Kawasaki

Fun, fun, fun. Motorcycles are all fun. So what do consumers think of the Kawasaki Eliminator 125? In 1998 it was at 70.5, and improved in 2008, the result of 71.7. 2008 Kawasaki 1998 model is more fun then.

Value of Kawasaki

Everyone wants a great value for their money, so how did Kawasaki motorcycle stack up? In 2008, Kawasaki Eliminator 125 bike was almost ten points higher than for 1998-model. They scored from 78.5 to 68.8 respectively. People believe that 2008 is definitely the best deal.

The costs of repair and maintenance of the bike Kawasaki

Maintenance and repair of the 2008 Kawasaki Eliminator 125 is much better in this department from 1998 model almost 24 points. Model 1998 has been placed in 2008 and 58.7 models were placed in well 82 points. In this regard, the model 2008 is a much better pockets, then the 1998 model.

Design and appearance of the bike Kawasaki

We all want a bike that looks good, unfortunately, the Kawasaki Eliminator 1998 125 highest scores. With 77.2 beat it with only a 71.7. The appearance of the Eliminator 125 Kawasaki motorcycle was better 10 years ago, such as consumer ratings

Brand Update : Sure taps men's deo market

Unilever's global brand Sure which was launched in 2010 has launched a new variant Sure Men's Deo in the Indian market. The brand is a pioneer in developing the anti-perspirant deo category in India.Sure was initially launched as a women's deo. The brand initially imported its global commercials in India and later adopted a local communication strategy roping in celebrity endorsers like Bollywood actress Asin. 
Indian deo market is worth Rs 900 crore and growing at a pace of 25% ( source). 70% of this market is men's deo. Hence it make sense for Sure to launch a variant tapping this large segment.
The brand variant took the celebrity endorsement route by roping in the action hero Akshay Kumar as the brand ambassador. The brand is running a television campaign featuring the star.
Watch the ad here : Sure men
Thankfully the brand did not take the " seducing women" route and chose a rational positioning instead. The variant follows the same positioning of the parent brand - No Sweat.
The USP of Sure men's deo is that it works even at 58degree Celsius highlighting its efficacy in relatively hot Indian weather conditions. There is nothing much to talk about the creative part of the ad since it follows the same stereotyped typical Akshay Kumar commercial.
As a consumer, I feel that the anti-perspirant brands needs to take consumers in to confidence regarding the health-related worry of such products. A lot of consumers have  a worry whether anti-perspirants are good for health because it stops the formation of sweat which is essential for the regulation of body temperatures. Many consumers are shying away from the use of anti-perspirant because of this worry.
The deo market is getting crowded with lot of players vying for a pie of this growing category. Sure is trying to standout of the crowd by focusing on its " effectiveness". The endorsement from Akshay Kumar gives a definite advantage for this brand for sure.

Related Brand
Sure deo

Reverse engineering? The new Wiring S board

In the fall of 2008 I started researching Arduino for an introductory article for Elektor. In that article I wrote that Arduino can be seen as a simplification of Wiring. The Arduino environment is very much like Wiring but slightly simplified and the Arduino Diecimila, the board of choice in 2008, was much simpler than the Wiring microcontroller board that had more I/O ports available. It is difficult to prove that the huge success of Arduino is due to this simplification, but the fact is that the current estimate is that more than 300,000 Arduino boards have been sold world-wide, which is pretty impressive.

The people behind Wiring must have been a bit jealous of this success achieved by others with their work so they started simplifying too. The result is the brand new Wiring S board that is almost the same size as an Arduino Uno. The Wiring S team apparently decided that they wanted to do things slightly different than the Arduino team, so the board looks a lot like an Arduino, but it is not compatible. Where Arduino uses mostly ATmegaXX8 controllers, the Wiring S board is based on an ATmegaXX4 controller (ATmega644 on my 1.0 board). The connectors look very similar, and are positioned in a similar way, but there are 5 instead of 4 and the pin-out is different. Also the project is open hardware, but the design files are in KiCAD instead of Eagle.

Seeeduino (left) and Wiring S (right)

It is rather interesting to see how Arduino is becoming more and more complex with programmable USB interface chips, all kinds of different processors and more connectors whereas the Wiring S board is almost like an old Arduino Diecimila but with a bigger processor. The board even offers the possibility to replace the FTDI USB/serial converter chip by an FTDI cable which brings it very close to the even older Arduino Serial. The two teams seem to be working in opposite directions.

For the people who would like to have the best of both worlds, they should use Wiring because the Wiring environment is capable of handling Arduino boards, whereas the Arduino environment does not handle Wiring boards and a Wring Play Shield is available that allows you to stick Arduino shields on the Wiring S board.

The Wiring S board is simply rectangular with its extension connectors on a 0,1� grid and 4 mounting holes placed in a logical manner. I do not like the position or the shape of the reset button; it is too hard & difficult to press. The solder side of my board was not cleansed properly and this seemed to be true for the whole batch received by my distributor. Maybe this is a pre-series problem?

Retro yellow LEDs!

Will the Wiring S meet with the same success as Arduino? Hard to say, I guess not, it is probably too late now.

Nokia 5230 Blog is Now Closed I have moved to Nokia Innovation

Nokia 5230 Blog is now officially closed and i will be writing from now on at Nokia Innovation.Nokia Innovation is a team based blog focusing only on the latest and greatest Nokia News and is "Your Portal to Anything Nokia".

Started over an year ago Nokia 5230 Blog has come a long way and Nokia Innovation is the next step.If you like my work here then just head over to Nokia Innovation to read s60v5,Nokia 5230 news and more.I wish all my readers to come to Nokia Innovation and lets make this transisiton a sucess.

Foursquare releases a full featured QT app for Symbian

Foursquare has just released a new QT based app for Symbian which is a major upgrade over previous version.The app looks like its the N9 version ported to Symbian nevertheless its fast,its full featured.

                                                         image coutsey @nkumar_
The new features include Photo uploads, notifications,comments,listing venues and more and is pretty fast.Head over to Nokia Store and download the app just remember to download the QT version or download from the link below.
For more pics go here or here

Facial Lite now available on Nokia Store

Free version doesn't have widget, full messages, "more" button, photo upload, checkin, like comment, delete post/comment, add to calendar or rsvp to event.

So it's a stripped version of Facial but basic functionality is there.Facial Facebook  client for Symbian had been recently updated to version 4.0 and now the developer has released a free version with most of the features.

The features supported are

  • Ultra smooth scrolling
  • Feed, Friends, Photos, Pages, Events, Groups, Notifications 
  • Post, Comment, Like 
  • Facebook Messages (read)
  • Search 
  • Auto refresh 
  • Swipe gestures 
  • Black and White theme
The features missing from paid version are
"Free version doesn't have widget, full messages, "more" button, photo upload, checkin, like comment, delete post/comment, add to calendar or rsvp to event.
So it's a stripped version of Facial but basic functionality is there."


Soundtracker Radio 1.7 released

Soundtracker is a Social Radio app which gives you access to Over 10 million songs on demand and best of all free.

The changes include

  • Symbian Anna text player bug 
  • Symbian Belle performance
  • Hide password on setting page
  • Scrolling bug for my stations and nearby list
  • Improved performance of my stations and nearby list
  • Friends' Stations page improvement
  • Fixed bug of first item selection by editing my stations list
  • Optimized size for album images for my stations and nearby list
  • Email feedback with more info about the device
  • MP3 player bug
For Download and more info go to Soundtracker's Beta Labs page.

Facebook Touch Site Redesigned for Symbian

Facebook Touch( is the mobile version optimised for touch screen devices and it has got a pretty good face lift echoing the new changes for the desktop site.

 The main feature you will notice is a new menu in the top left corner giving easy acess to new feed,messages,pages,groups and more.

The notifications panel also got a facelift now looking like one from an iPhone app.Also the news feed also has been improved like in desktop site showing recent stories you like rather than just showing recent news which was populated by game spams(friends triumphs playing Farmville and the like).
 Also The status update has been changed adding Facebook's new feature allowing you to select who reads your updates.Though the update button required a refresh sometimes.

Overall the new touch site can compete with any Facebook app for Symbian and yes there are missing features like video upload and checkins.But for an average user Facebook has took the right path and will accelerate its path to global dominance.(Hope Google's listening).

via[the independent Symbain blog]

Foliant eBook Reader

While its unlikely that Amazon will release Kindle app for Symbian there a couple of good ebook readers combined with services like ManyBooks and Project Gutenberg can fill the gap.Foliant is one such eBook reader and a promising with nice set of features and good interface.

 The features include
  • format support EPUB, FB2 and TXT
  • complete library, grupirovka by author, genre and other parameters
  • search and download books from the Internet
  • trained support True Type fonts
  • turn on the display 90, 180, 270 degrees, support for the accelerometer
  • opportunity to comment on and rate books
  • Work with ZIP archives like folders, support for GZip archives
  • built-in English-Russian dictionary with the touch of a translation
  • user-friendly menu with support kinetic scrolling
  • support for the main character WIN-1251, ISO-8859-5, UTF-8, KOI8R, DOS
  • three modes of paging of the book: Kinetic scrolling, page-flipping stroke, page-flipping in the zones
  • hyphenation (supports English and Russian hyphenation rules)
  • detailed set of formatting text
  • support profile settings
  • backlight control (only Nokia and SE)
  • Russian, Ukrainian and English localization
Download the app from Official Site[Russian]

Socially 3.07 released

The all in one social app for Symbian has been updated to version 3.06 mainly bringing bug fixes.

The changes include
fixes bugs related to Facebook crash for some users & Twitter trends

download the latest version by going to on your phone.


Halloween Day Theme by TheShadow

Here is another cool Halloween theme complete with custom icons,cool wallpaper boasting 1000 icons for 3rd party apps.

  • Full Svg theme with light weight icons
  • 1000+ icons added
  • Toolbar icons, signal indicators skinned

Happy Halloween Theme by Iree7

Enjoy this Halloween season with this cool new theme by Iree7 complete with cool wallpaper,custom icons.

Download the theme from here

fMobi 2.0.1 released

fMobi facebook client has been updated to version 2.0.1 and now is available on Nokia store.

The changes include
"This version fixes problems with closing application and it still stays in memory. Menu screen status update is also updated. One language added and some minor tweaking in some languages."

imo IM client updated with Support for group messaging and more

imo is a new instant messaging app for Symbian has been updated to version 1.05 bringing group messaging ,bug fixes and more.The Skype support and now group messaging will provide stiff competition to other messaging apps.

The changes are

  • Group messaging 
  • searchable chat history
  • ui improvements
  • couple of bug fixes

Imsy updated with Anna like icons,UI improvements and more

Imsy the messenger app from the creators of Socially app has been updated to version.93 with new features and more.

The new features include

  • Set own profile photo and see profile photos of friends
  • Ability to turn off auto-suggestion of images when you type a message
  • Ability to change registration name
  • New Nokia Surround style icon (special thanks to @logonaniket for designing the logo)
  • UI Improvements, especially on S60 v3 phones
  • Performance improvements and bug fixes


Gravity 2.0 preview now available

Gravity the undisputed king of Twitter client for Symbian released first preview of version 2.0 bringing some big changes. Major changes include full featured support for Facebook,support for preview of multiple images.

The new features include

  • Facebook support is now full featured
  • multiple image previews in Twitter
  • improvements to Foursquare support
  • performance improvements and more
Note that it is a preview release and unexpected bugs can occur.Download the latest version from here


C6 firmware V41 leak hints new firmware update for all s60v5 devices

Symbian Latino reports that they have access to updated C6 firmware version 41.2.10 and hints that a new firmware update will be available for all s60v5 devices.

The major feature we know as of now is the updated browser which looks just like the Symbian Belle one.The changes we know of are

  • Update to the native browser to version 7.3.131 with bottom navigation bar
  • Improvements and correction of the bug of "camera in use" when you delete a photo
  • Improvements in the stability of the device
  • Improvements in WiFi

These changes are based on the unreleased version of C6 firmware which is expected to be available in few weeks and they have even made it available for download for C6 users.

Ovi Suite 3.2 beta released renamed to Nokia suite and much more

As part of the removing Ovi brand after Store the next stop is Ovi Suite now called Nokia Suite.The update not only brings a name change but also change to ui and new features.

The changes include

  • Nokia Ovi Suite is now called Nokia Suite
  • The application has a refreshed look and feel
  • The new Support view offers info and help with using Nokia Suite and your phone
  • The Support view helps make sure you have enough free space on your phone
  • The improved sync log shows you what has changed during syncing
  • Software updates for your phone software and phone applications run now more reliably
  • You might also notice, that Nokia Suite doesn't anymore run MPlatform.exe process - we've removed that from our architecture. You'll MPlatform.exe still running, if you have Nokia Ovi Player installed into same PC
  • Of course, new Nokia Suite 3.2 contains lots more new stuff, huge amount of different errors have been corrected and also many crash issues have been resolved
Download it from Nokia Beta Labs Page and don't forget to give feedback here,the best feedback will be given prizes by Nokia so be sure to report any bugs.

Horus RSS Reader for s60v5 now available on Nokia Store

Horus is a RSS reader for Symbian with great UI and makes reading RSS feeds on your mobile fun.A beta had been released earlier and now it is available for download on Nokia Store.


Dubstep Nokia's Official Ringtone for next 100 million devices

Any one who has or had a Nokia will never forget the trademark Nokia Ringtone.Nokia had announced an extensive competition  to find its Successor.

The winner is called Nokia Tune Dubstep Edition and will be preinstalled on Over 100 million phones shipping next year.The competition attracted 1.4 million visitors,entries form 70 countries.

Read more about it and runner ups over at Nokia Brand Book and see the full list of entries at Audiodraft page

via[thenextweb,nokia conversations,nokia brand book]

Facial 4.0 released

Facial is a light weight Facebook client for Symbian smartphones and has reached version 4 with new features ui changes and more.

Here are the changes

  •         Homescreen Widget(not for Nokia 5230)

                       Content: Profile pic OR shared pic, timestamp, sender name, post
                       Auto & manual scroll
                       Notification, message & feed counters
                      Timestamp when feed was refreshed
                      Refresh now button

  • Full Facebook Messages (reply/delete/manage via Mobile Facebook site)
  • Feed browser (scroll through full home feed posts)
  • Like/unlike comments
  • Delete own posts and any posts in my wall (ONLY if they are done with Facial)
  • Delete own comments and any comments in my wall
  • Auto poll does full home refresh always
  • New option to stop auto refreshing at certain time of the day (default 23:00)
  • Clicking any of the main tab's "topic" refreshes it
  • "Back" animates different to direction
  • Events view changed to show ALL events ever been invited to
  • Visual improvements
  • Progress bar for loading photos
  • Network connection handling improved

Symbian Anna v7 beta custom firmware available for Nokia 5230

Symbian Anna v7 custom firmware has been released last week and was made available to Nokia 5800,5530 and X6.The Nokia 5230 version was pushed back due to some problems and a new beta version of the firmware has been released.

The new features include

  • Cores Based on the new Nokia N97 for better management of the RAM(Different for 5230 version)
  • Processor speed increased to 536 Mhz
  • New web browser with improved interface v7.3.1.25
  • Emoticons support for messages and symbols
  • Horizontal menu in full screen with the bar down
  • Language English and Spanish Latino
  • Fixed keyboard in portrait mode to make typing easier
  • Ovi Maps 6.3 built-Final (Exclusive Version)
  • Pure optimized Nokia Sources
  • Integrated the new store NOKIA STORE 1.16
  • New default theme courtesy of Anna Symbian @ aj23thememaster
  • Improved Sidebar much smaller improvement in all space applications
  • Full QWERTY keyboard, Symbian Anna
  • New image on and off
  • Unlock Unlock tap that increases memory performance and battery
  • Behavior rescheduled lights
  • Firmware thorough cleaning to get more free space.
The beta version can be downloaded from Symbian Latino  and here is the tutorial,please remebr to install phoenix,JAF and also follow video carefully.

NOTE:Use custom firmwares at your own risk,it can essentially void your warranty and even brick your phone

Albite Reader 2.2 released

Albite Reader is one of the best eBook readers available for Symbian and has been updated to version 2.2.

The changes are

  • Support for native Java fonts
  • Bookmarking / looking up text is far easier now by using a context menu
  • Added two more font sizes to the HD version
  • Files/folders are now listed alphabetically, not randomly
Download the app from here 

Download Orginal Nokia N9/Symbian Belle ringtones

Nokia had refreshed its iconic ringtone for Nokia N9,Symbian Belle and new S40 devices and it has now made it available for download at Nokia BrandBook.

Read more and download the ringtones over at Nokia BrandBook.Don't forget to tell what you feel about the new tunes.