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I got thinking about the Quikr and OLX the other day after watching their TV Commercials (TVC) back to back. The TVCs looked very close to each other, the takeaways from both the of them were very close to each other, nah, exactly same – If you want to sell anything come to Quikr/OLX. Both of them targeted to sellers and drove home the point that it is very easy to sell on their portal. So, I asked my wife, if we have to sell our book cabinet which one should we go for and her response – Go for either, how does it make a difference – exactly my thought. And to make matters worse, both of these TVCs repeat with amazing frequency one after the other.

Then I decided to take a closer look to figure out if it is really so and what better way that using powers of Google  I searched for “Quickr”, yeah you read it right – it was intentional on my part to start my search with a mis-spelt word and guess what I found. Hold your breath — On the top of search results, there were two sponsored search results as Google calls them or advertisements in plain english. The first sponsored search was OLX, yup, not Quikr but OLX. The second result was Quikr. I then repeated the search with “Quikr” – this time the correct name. And not surprisingly Quikr turned up as the first sponsored search result, followed by OLX. Some one at OLX has surely placed his bet correctly for keyword search with Google. Now was the turn for search of OLX, the results not surprisingly OLX as the first sponsored search result followed by Quikr. This leads me to believe that even their Search Engine Marketing (SEM) strategy is closely following each other with OLX coming out more aggressive out of two – coming on top of OLX with the mis-spelt Quickr searches.

Coming back to my original thought – both OLX and Quikr seem to be locked in a circular sort of battle, with each closely following the other. I am sure that both of these companies have some really smart guys looking after their brand strategies, but for an outsider it does seem like they are either following each other or fixated with each other, whatever happened to focusing on “points of differentiation” which MacMillan and McGrath so passionately argued for in this piece from HBR, way back in 1997 — http://hbr.org/1997/07/discovering-new-points-of-differentiation/ar/1