Probably my second post about my trip to Pilani - the train journey taught me a lot.
One of the things i noticed was the sampling being done by Orbit Chewing Gum on the Rajdhani Express. On the way to Delhi, the placement was of another kind while on the way back to Mumbai - something else took shape.
On the way to Delhi the sample was provided at the end of the Journey - just before arrival. Along with that came a questionnaire asking if the Chewing Gum was provided with the meal tray (which was the desired placement as opposed to at the end of the journey). It also asks the standard stuff wanting to gauge customer involvement with the product. (a particularly funny question asks consumers if the Indian Railways is a good communications medium).
Obviously a lot of people would have ticked that the gum did not come with the meal tray as a result of which the railways would have been pulled up. On my way back to Mumbai - 3 days later, the gum was given with the meal tray.
I actually think that Orbit has got the placement wrong. The earlier placement of distributing it loosely and distributing it is 'free courtesy Wrigleys' works much better. It makes the gum stand out, gives it more goodwill, and etches the product in the consumers' mind. If it comes as a part of the tray, one can often mistake it to be something that is being provided by the railways - a part of the package (on my way back it came with the tray - and no questionnaire followed it).
I also noticed that this gum competed directly with the mouth freshner already being provided. So most people stuck to the mouth freshner and either discarded it or put it in their bags (for their kids maybe?)
It would be better if they had underlined the value of that original 'mistake' and continued with it. I felt that the railway ushers hold great weightage in the passenger train eco system. Why not capitalize on that and buy markets (not sell products).