Sunday, May 16, 2010

Peek : Simply Connect

Brand : Peek
Company : Peek Inc ( brought to India by Aircel)

Brand Analysis Count : # 453

Peek is a very very interesting brand. In my analysis of 453 brands, this is one brand which intrigued me the most. My opinion about Peek keeps on changing when more and more information was collected. Regular Marketing Practice readers know that I am highly opinionated when it comes to brands ( often it is the most voiced criticism about this blog) . For this brand , I couldn't make an opinion at all.

Peek is an email only device that was launched in India a few months back by Aircel. Peek is a brand from USA based Peek Inc. The brand has created lot of interest among the media and tech analysts in USA.

Peek is the brain child of Dr.Amol Sarva, a Stanford Phd holder, who was the co-founder of Virgin Mobile. Peek has an interesting story behind it. Amol and his wife were expecting their first child. After long walks to take exercise, Amol's wife came home worrying about the e-mails that were piling up in her inbox. Smartphones were not affordable to her. Hence the idea came to Dr Amol to design a simple solution for those customers who could not afford a Blackberry or smartphone but would like to check email on the go. ( read the story here)

Peek is a mobile like device that can be used for checking email. In the techie lingo, it is called email only client. Although Peek looks like a mobile phone, you cannot make phonecalls from it. The brand is launched in India in association with Aircel which is offering connectivity to Peek. The handset is costing Rs 2999 and Aircel has a tariff plan starting with Rs 299 per month. Peek supports 5 email accounts .

Now comes the most important question. What is the market for Peek ? Who will buy a device that can be used only for checking emails ? Will anyone pay Rs 300 per month for checking emails on a device ?

I still don't have an answer.

Peek is a big break-away product in a market which talks about products that claims to do everything. Smartphones are now increasingly loaded with more and more applications. Even ordinary mobile phones are now loaded with multiple features. Peek is a product that does only one thing. The million dollar question is whether such a device makes sense in the Indian market?

Peek is not competing with Blackberry or Smartphones. This is a device that is targeting a specific set of consumers who like to check emails while on the move/at home. Now who can be such customers ?

a. Those persons who does not have an internet connection at home but gets lot of emails.
b.Those who doesn't want to carry a laptop on the move but need to check mails regularly.
c.People who always travel a lot and could not afford a laptop and data plan .
d. Those people who cannot afford a mobile internet data plan .
e. People who want to check emails but dislikes internet browsing.
f. Those who travel to places where there is no internet connection.
c.Corporates who can give Peek to their executives instead of the expensive Blackberry

Peek makes sense in markets where mobile internet data plans are expensive. In the US, such plans are very expensive and have long term contracts associated with it. Peek does not have such constraints and is not restricted to one service provider. Hence there is a market for such a product in US.Another plus for Peek is the simplicity of usage. The product is simple to use and configuration is very very easy. So for a non-geek, the product is a simple solution.

In India too, mobile internet plans are expensive. Now the tariffs are coming down because of intense competition. It needs to be seen whether the Rs 299/month offers a value proposition to the consumers compared to the mobile internet data plans. As of now, the product is available only with Aircel. Hence the product is virtually locked with one service provider.

Peek is relying heavily on its simplicity . The product does only one thing and tries to does it very well. The brand is relying on the wisdom that there is a segment of consumers who prefer simple solutions to their needs. It is laudable for the brand to resist the temptation to add one more additional feature to Peek.

Peek also makes immense sense to businesses who are looking for a cheap alternative to Blackberry. Peek can be given to the employees and compared to BB, the cost is very very low.

I am still confused about whether the brand will be successful in India . My initial impression was that Peek will be a failure but am not going to predict doom because you never know how consumers will react to such a simple product.

Having said that, Peek opens an opportunity for a device that is purely a social networking client. If there is a product that does emails, facebooking, orkut, twitter and at this price, I would be the first one on the queue to buy.


  1. that as always was an interesting read...

    you are very right, its hard to predict the future of this product.

    Am told that the first telephone had elicited the response that 5 of such instruments would be enough for the we never know.

    Am however here on a different mission...we are organizing a seminar and want to invite you as a speaker....would want to know how to get in touch with you. (Have been a fan of your blog and style of writing for a long time, so really hoping you will agree)

    my mail id is would be lovely to hear from you.

  2. You may need to try the INQ series (again through Aircel in India) - They call it a Social Networking phone, not sure how good Email access is, in it.


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