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Raghavendra Rau

Raghavendra Rau

Marketing is a Pain in the Glass

From: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
To: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
Date: 12 April 2001
Subject: Water glasses

Hello. We're out of water glasses (customers keep dropping and breaking them). Please run down to Target and get us a new case. Nothing fancy - just plain water glasses will do.
Maybe even some plastic ones? Those won't break.
-- Chief Cook and Bottle Washer


From: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
To: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
Date: 12 April 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

I'll get right on it.
-- Merf Doofle, MBA
Requisitions, The Restaurant


From: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
To: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
Date: 16 April 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

This is a follow-up on your email from the other day. We're still out of water glasses. I thought you were going to get some right away. I know you're busy, but this is kind of important. Our customers are going thirsty.
-- Chief Cook and Bottle Washer


From: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
To: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
Date: 17 April 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

We're currently conducting marketing research on the water concept. We expect to have some useful feedback from the Marketing Focus Group within a day or two.
-- Merf Doofle, MBA
Coordinator, Water Project Marketing Focus Group
Requisitions, The Restaurant


From: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
To: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
Date: 21 April 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

Not to press you, but it's been a couple days since you said you expected feedback from your "focus group" on the water.
We still need glasses.
-- Chief Cook and Bottle Washer


From: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
To: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
Date: 23 April 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

It's not enough to have raw feedback from the MFG. Now that we have the pure information, we need to analyze it thoroughly to determine how we can leverage the water product for optimal marketing position so we can grow our business. We're efforting that now. Let us have a couple more days to cook the data.
-- Merf Doofle, MBA
Coordinator, Water Project Marketing Focus Group
Supervisor, Water Product Efforting Cadre
Requisitions, The Restaurant


From: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
To: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
Date: 26 April 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

How's the effort going with the water data thing?
-- Chief Cook and Bottle Washer


From: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
To: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
Date: 28 April 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

Our focus group feedback analysis is complete. Please set aside time sometime next week so we can conduct a team direction meeting for internal knowledge dissemination.
-- Merf Doofle, MBA
Coordinator, Water Project Marketing Focus Group
Supervisor, Water Product Efforting Cadre
Presenter, Water Product Internal Direction Focus Committee
Requisitions, The Restaurant


From: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
To: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
Date: 4 May 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

That meeting was, to put it mildly, exhaustive. I never knew there were so many factors to consider in producing water in a glass. I have to say that your PowerPoint presentation was most thorough, and I have been reading over the 75-page printout of the presentation you provided us all with.
I see now that you've been careful to consider every possible angle, and I sure do appreciate that, but - not to be a nag - when can we get those water glasses?
-- Chief Cook and Bottle Washer


From: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
To: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
Date: 7 May 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

We're consulting outside contractors for further construction of the Water Product. Once we've passed the NDAs through Legal we'll be able to proceed development of preliminary releases.
-- Merf Doofle, MBA
Coordinator, Water Project Marketing Focus Group
Supervisor, Water Product Efforting Cadre
Presenter, Water Product Internal Direction Focus Committee
Overseer, Water Product Outsourcing
Requisitions, The Restaurant


From: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
To: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
Date: 22 May 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

It's been a couple weeks since we last talked, and I was wondering how things are going with the water glasses.
We're starting to lose some regular customers now - they say (this is a direct quote from one of them) if they can't have a g-- d--- glass of water, they aren't going to order any g-- d--- food either.
-- Chief Cook and Bottle Washer


From: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
To: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
Date: 25 May 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

We expect to hear from our outsource contractors by the end of the month on the status of the initial prototype of the new water product.
This is a very exciting time for The Restaurant! We'll be distributing awareness materials for all the customers within the next few days, once they are back from Graphics and we've approved the design.
-- Merf Doofle, MBA
Coordinator, Water Project Marketing Focus Group
Supervisor, Water Product Efforting Cadre
Presenter, Water Product Internal Direction Focus Committee
Overseer, Water Product Outsourcing
Chief Adviser, Water Product Awareness Material Creation
Requisitions, The Restaurant


From: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
To: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
Date: 2 June 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

The brochures sure look great, though I don't know exactly what a Caribbean coastline has to do with water glasses.
Some customers are folding their placemats into paper cups and drinking water from them. I've told them it might not be a good idea - the ink in the four-color printing may contain lead.
Most customers just ask what the h--- the brochures have to do with getting a glass of water.
Are we going to be getting those water glasses soon?
-- Chief Cook and Bottle Washer


From: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
To: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
Date: 5 June 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

The Caribbean motif is to enhance the sense that our water product is so easy to use it's like being on vacation. You must have noticed the lovely young lady as well - that's sex, and sex sells.
We're conducting final testing on the initial water product design. After that we'll be ready to test it in an actual market.
The ink is soy-based. It's non-toxic.
-- Merf Doofle, MBA
Coordinator, Water Project Marketing Focus Group
Supervisor, Water Product Efforting Cadre
Presenter, Water Product Internal Direction Focus Committee
Overseer, Water Product Outsourcing
Chief Adviser, Water Product Awareness Material Creation
Administrator, Water Product Premarket Testing Consortium
Requisitions, The Restaurant


From: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
To: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
Date: 6 June 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

I guess I can understand why you'd want to include a Caribbean coastline, and a leggy busty bikini model. But it's not like we're trying to sell anyone a yacht or private jet - we're just talking about water here, a plain glass of water, something people already want.
But hey, you know your business - I don't mean to step on your toes or anything. I really don't understand anything about marketing.
Are you sure about the ink? One of our customers drank from a hand-made placemat paper cup this morning and suddenly started staring off into space and drooling.
-- Chief Cook and Bottle Washer


From: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
To: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
Date: 8 June 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

There is nothing "plain" about this new water product, I guarantee you. We're going to completely change the way people think about water forever.
I'm sure about the ink. I just double-checked with our printers. It's soy.
-- Merf Doofle, MBA
Coordinator, Water Project Marketing Focus Group
Supervisor, Water Product Efforting Cadre
Presenter, Water Product Internal Direction Focus Committee
Overseer, Water Product Outsourcing
Chief Adviser, Water Product Awareness Material Creation
Administrator, Water Product Premarket Testing Consortium
Director, Water Product Alpha Challenge Assessment
Requisitions, The Restaurant


From: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
To: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
Date: 9 June 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

Never mind - I found out that customer is a tobacco company attorney. That explains everything.
I'm really looking forward to this water thing, and all of our non-drooling customers are too. When can we see it?
-- Chief Cook and Bottle Washer


From: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
To: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
Date: 13 June 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

We've finally received feedback on the initial water product testing, and have identified several areas which need correcting.
As soon as that's done we can do a beta release, clean up any remaining challenges, and then we'll be ready for a product rollout.
-- Merf Doofle, MBA
Coordinator, Water Project Marketing Focus Group
Supervisor, Water Product Efforting Cadre
Presenter, Water Product Internal Direction Focus Committee
Overseer, Water Product Outsourcing
Chief Adviser, Water Product Awareness Material Creation
Administrator, Water Product Premarket Testing Consortium
Director, Water Product Alpha Challenge Assessment
Leader, Water Product Challenge Correction Steerage Team
Requisitions, The Restaurant


From: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
To: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
Date: 13 June 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

"Correcting"? "Testing"?
What on Earth are you talking about? It's just a bunch of water glasses!
-- Chief Cook and Bottle Washer


From: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
To: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
Date: 18 June 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

Since you seem to be skeptical about the importance of the feedback we've received from the water product prerelease testing, here is a copy of the notes we collated from our alpha team:
1. The miniature refrigerator shorts out when the glass resizes and the relative volume of the water in the glass is improperly adjusted.
2. The miniature microwave flash-heats the smallest water quantity in the smallest glass to steam.
3. The water container autosize function causes fluid hyperrelease ("overflow") when decanting while container autosizing is taking place.
4. Coloring agents should include a chart or table to more effectively select the desired color effect.
5. Opacity on the water container is sporadically implemented.
6. Scenting agents should permit a pre-waft, thus allowing the customer to determine optimal scent factors prior to adding the components to the liquid.
7. Undo needs to be universally and consistently implemented across all elements of the design.
As you can see we've addressed some key issues. These take time for a proper response.
-- Merf Doofle, MBA
Coordinator, Water Project Marketing Focus Group
Supervisor, Water Product Efforting Cadre
Presenter, Water Product Internal Direction Focus Committee
Overseer, Water Product Outsourcing
Chief Adviser, Water Product Awareness Material Creation
Administrator, Water Product Premarket Testing Consortium
Director, Water Product Alpha Challenge Assessment
Leader, Water Product Challenge Correction Steerage Team
Collator, Water Product Alpha Team Feedback
Requisitions, The Restaurant


From: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
To: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
Date: 18 June 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

I don't understand any of this - I thought you were kidding in that presentation you gave last month, where you talked about all those different options. Are you telling me you are seriously trying to add all those features you talked about?
For a glass of water?!?
-- Chief Cook and Bottle Washer


From: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
To: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
Date: 18 June 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

We take our MFG feedback most seriously. Let me recap the major points, in case you've forgotten, so you can understand how much success we've accomplished:
1. Water product should have variable temperature, customer-selectable. (Specific questionnaire comments: "A little refridgerator might be nice, so I can cool the water down" and "A mini-micro wave so I can make the water warmer would be GREAT!!!!!!!!!!")
2. Water container should be of variable size to allow the customer to choose the decanter volume with which he is most comfortable. (Specific comment: "Somtimes I don't want a big huge glass of water, but sometims Im real thurst.")
2.a. Engineering reminds us that beginning with the largest container, filled to capacity, would result in overflow if the container were sized down. Suggested including a draining function, which would reduce the water level as the container got smaller.
2.b. Engineering points out that a variable-sized container might be too large to fit into the initial mini-refrigerator and microwave designs, causing a fundamental reconstruction of those objects.
2.c. Initial refrigerator design called for freon; however overseas contractors are not available so the more-expensive non-freon unit is indicated.
2.d. Microwave shielding sufficient to meet Federal minimum safety standards for exposure necessitates the overall size and mass of the microwave component to be increased by 15 percent over initial design.
2.d.i. Prominent posters, labels, stickers and warnings must be placed on and near the microwave units for benefits of cardiac pacemaker patients.
2.d.ii. Similarly prominent warnings must be placed to warn the customer that the liquid in the container may be hot.
3. Water container should be refillable at the customer's discretion. (Specific comment: "Sumtimes I hav to allmoust trip the waittress to get mor water.")
3.a. Engineering suggests creating an installed fluid decanter, which allows the customer, at the flip of a switch, to add more water as needed. Further suggestion is to connect this decanter with the draining circuit mentioned in (2.a) to prevent spillage and permit maximum recycling.
4. Water container should have variable shape. (Specific comments: "Those little stumpy glasses are too big for my kids to pick up", "Thosse thin tall galsses are too hard for me to pick up", "I like little wine-glass shaped glasses.")
5. Water container should have variable opacity.
6. Water should have colorant agents as optional features. (Specific comment: "I like looking thru red-color water.")
7. Water should have similar agents for flavor. (Specific comment: "Water with those littul lemin slises taste good.")
8. Water should have similar agents for scent. (Specific comment: "I love the way choclit smells!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!")
9. All options above should be included in the single water-container product concept. The customer should be able to choose any of these things without having, for one moment, to change to a different water container or water fluid.
I've attached the raw notes from the MFG meetings so you can see the full bulk of data we had to work over to distill the above.
-- Merf Doofle, MBA
Coordinator, Water Project Marketing Focus Group
Supervisor, Water Product Efforting Cadre
Presenter, Water Product Internal Direction Focus Committee
Overseer, Water Product Outsourcing
Chief Adviser, Water Product Awareness Material Creation
Administrator, Water Product Premarket Testing Consortium
Director, Water Product Alpha Challenge Assessment
Leader, Water Product Challenge Correction Steerage Team
Collator, Water Product Alpha Team Feedback
Requisitions, The Restaurant


From: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
To: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
Date: 21 June 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

Merf, you must be f---ing kidding. I read all that and cannot believe you are serious.
From the feedback you got from your "focus group" I can only conclude the following about "focus groups" in general, and certainly yours specifically:
1. That their participants are gathered from the clientele of methadone clinics; and/or
2. That their participants have nothing better to do otherwise than watch Jerry Springer; and/or
3. That their participants are also too dumb to be able to escape jury duty; and/or
4. That their participants are tobacco company attorneys.
The only thing more mind-boggling to me than that this consortium of idiots could gather together without collapsing into an intellectual black hole is that any otherwise rational-seeming human being would consider - even for a moment - taking seriously what these cretinous slopheads have to say.
Enough of the focus groups, leverage, efforting and all that. Where are my damned water glasses?
-- Chief Cook and Bottle Washer


From: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
To: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
Date: 21 June 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

I would hardly characterize actual feedback from actual consumers of a product we intend to release as being in any way trivial or worthy of being discarded.
If we want to produce a superior product we must be market driven - we must find out what the consumer wants from water, and we must endeavor to create the ideal product.
As you said before, you know nothing of marketing, so take my word for it. This kind of in-depth market research is what matters.
-- Merf Doofle, MBA
Coordinator, Water Project Marketing Focus Group
Supervisor, Water Product Efforting Cadre
Presenter, Water Product Internal Direction Focus Committee
Overseer, Water Product Outsourcing
Chief Adviser, Water Product Awareness Material Creation
Administrator, Water Product Premarket Testing Consortium
Director, Water Product Alpha Challenge Assessment
Leader, Water Product Challenge Correction Steerage Team
Collator, Water Product Alpha Team Feedback
Market Researcher, Water Pro
Requisitions, The Restaurant


From: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
To: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
Date: 21 June 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

Look, Merf, it's just a glass of water! All I want is some water glasses!
-- Chief Cook and Bottle Washer


From: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
To: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
Date: 21 June 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

What if the customer wants his water colder or warmer than usual? What if he wants a different sized glass? What if he wants flavors?
-- Merf Doofle, MBA
Coordinator, Water Project Marketing Focus Group
Supervisor, Water Product Efforting Cadre
Presenter, Water Product Internal Direction Focus Committee
Overseer, Water Product Outsourcing
Chief Adviser, Water Product Awareness Material Creation
Administrator, Water Product Premarket Testing Consortium
Director, Water Product Alpha Challenge Assessment
Leader, Water Product Challenge Correction Steerage Team
Collator, Water Product Alpha Team Feedback
Market Researcher, Water Product
Requisitions, The Restaurant


From: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
To: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
Date: 21 June 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

He can ASK for those things! He can ASK for lemon slices and ice cubes!
-- Chief Cook and Bottle Washer


From: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
To: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
Date: 21 June 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

Why make the customer have to ask for any of it? Why make him wait for any of it?
If it can all be provided to him as a single water product package, isn't that better than making him ask - and wait for the hostess to fulfill his desires?
-- Merf Doofle, MBA
Coordinator, Water Project Marketing Focus Group
Supervisor, Water Product Efforting Cadre
Presenter, Water Product Internal Direction Focus Committee
Overseer, Water Product Outsourcing
Chief Adviser, Water Product Awareness Material Creation
Administrator, Water Product Premarket Testing Consortium
Director, Water Product Alpha Challenge Assessment
Leader, Water Product Challenge Correction Steerage Team
Collator, Water Product Alpha Team Feedback
Market Researcher, Water Product
Requisitions, The Restaurant


From: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
To: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
Date: 6 July 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

Well, I have to say the rollout for your "water product" was well received. Between the fireworks, the live Moody Blues performance, and the Michael Jordan celebrity endorsement, it sure makes it look like we've got one really tasty glass of water to offer here.
Even after getting through the disclaimers and selecting from all those options (which seems to take most people between five and fifteen minutes), it seems pretty obvious that this new water idea is a major hit. The customers are guzzling it.
Only 900 of the 5000 we served gave up partway through the dialog, shouting things like "I don't know, I just want a GLASS OF WATER! Just GIVE ME A F---ING GLASS OF F---ING WATER!" before stalking out of The Restaurant and drinking from the fountain down the street. Most just sort of bewilderedly worked through the dialog and seemed to be more or less happy with the water they ended up with. They all knew they could change the water at any time they wanted, but most seemed unwilling to try that, apparently worried that by making too many changes they'd lose track of the basic glass of water they wanted. (Even if the water they ended up with wasn't exactly the water they'd had in mind when they started - I saw one guy drink a tiny glass of overfull tepid water colored mud, scented sewage, and flavored camel spit because he seemed a little intimidated at the idea of changing anything, fearing I guess that he'd lose his water entirely.)
Two or three dozen seemed to really like all the choices, and spent several hours trying different water and container configurations. Seems to me like most of them just went back to plain water, a little cool but not really cold, in a basic glass. Still, they seemed to enjoy spending five or six hours playing around with the options before finally settling on basic water.
I heard a couple of serious geek types laughing about issuing a command called 'make water,' and was afraid they'd pee in the corner, but from what I heard them mumbling I gather they were eunuchs. (Or that they liked eunuchs - I was too busy mopping up inadvertent water hyperquantities to really pay attention.)
It seems that WaterMillennium is more or less a success. Congratulations.
But between the rollout and the Webcast and the planned Superbowl spot, it looks like we're going to be in debt until about the year 82147.
That's a lot of tips. I hope your International Water Product works well next month.
-- Chief Cook and Bottle Washer (and accountant)


From: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
To: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
Date: 8 July 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

Glad you appreciated the product rollout.
I'm sure our 4Q profit margins will reflect the degree of customer interest our promotional campaigns have created.
-- Merf Doofle, MBA
Coordinator, Water Project Marketing Focus Group
Supervisor, Water Product Efforting Cadre
Presenter, Water Product Internal Direction Focus Committee
Overseer, Water Product Outsourcing
Chief Adviser, Water Product Awareness Material Creation
Administrator, Water Product Premarket Testing Consortium
Director, Water Product Alpha Challenge Assessment
Leader, Water Product Challenge Correction Steerage Team
Collator, Water Product Alpha Team Feedback
Market Researcher, Water Product
Architect, Water Product Rollout Success Gathering
Requisitions, The Restaurant


From: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
To: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
Date: 12 July 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

Hey, Merf: Your water glasses leak. Please fix it.
-- Chief Cook and Bottle Washer


From: requisitions@theRestaurant.com
To: ccabw@theRestaurant.com
Date: 12 July 2001
Subject: Re: Water glasses

I'll get right on it.
-- Merf Doofle, MBA
Coordinator, Water Project Marketing Focus Group
Supervisor, Water Product Efforting Cadre
Presenter, Water Product Internal Direction Focus Committee
Overseer, Water Product Outsourcing
Chief Adviser, Water Product Awareness Material Creation
Administrator, Water Product Premarket Testing Consortium
Director, Water Product Alpha Challenge Assessment
Leader, Water Product Challenge Correction Steerage Team
Collator, Water Product Alpha Team Feedback
Market Researcher, Water Product
Architect, Water Product Rollout Success Gathering
Liaison, Water Product Phase Two Production Staff
Requisitions, The Restaurant