Tuesday, April 24, 2018
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How to Improve LinkedIn Profile – Tips and Tricks


LinkedIn is a rich platform for connecting with people in the same field and having similar interest. Young professionals as well as MBA graduates can improve Linkedin profile and use the platform effectively to network and learn about areas where they want to pursue their career. Using LinkedIn effectively might land you in your dream job by connecting with the right people. Though, it is unlikely that anyone entertains a stranger but the chances of your LinkedIn request going waste is less if one sticks to the following hygiene practices on the platform.

1Improve linkedIn profile by taking care of hygiene factors

The attention span to your connection request will be in seconds. Therefore, if you do not have a meaningful headline or you have missed putting information in your profile, your LinkedIn request will most probably get ignored. So, to improve Linkedin profile, do add a headline to your profile, mention significant achievements and state everything you would do in your resume. Headline, Summary, Experience, Endorsements, Connections and even a customised LinkedIn URL push towards adding credibility your profile.

2You must send a personalised message in your connection request

You are not the only one seeking for advise, opportunity for an individual. If you find him/her worthy, many others as do the same. Consequently, the person ends up getting hundreds of random LinkedIn request which is the last things on his priority list. Always add a short introduction about yourself or beginning the conversation with a small note on your common interest. To find a ‘warm’ topic to talk, you can scan the profile of the individual and find commonalities – say working in one of his ex-organisations, same field, same industry or many be same B-School, you never know what might click.

3Typos and Spelling Mistakes

Typing Errors and Spelling Mistakes in your profile could be the biggest turn off for a recruiter scanning through your profile. Your biggest achievement can go down the drain if it is jotted down with spelling errors. Avoid.

4Spelling others name incorrectly

While you reach out to someone over LinkedIn, please make sure that you do not end up spelling his/her name incorrectly. The chances of your message getting answered will drop significantly; and if you are using the premium service with InMail, that one might go waste.

5Improve LinkedIn Profile by Writing Blog Posts

Apart form regular status updates, LinkedIn has a ‘Post’ feature where you can scribble your subject knowledge and showcase it to your prospects. This is an effective way to be heard to the right audience and at a platform where they are in the knowledge receiving mode. However, one must make sure that you keep on writing a regular basis and at fixed time intervals to build a loyal audience outside your network.

6Don’t push from Day 1

You should not send out a connection request to a person on the day you need him/her. Instead one should keep looking for people to connect and build meaningful relationships and reach out to them when really needed. Connecting and asking for a referral to a job on Day 1 hardly works as the person doesn’t have confidence in you to refer.

Kapferer Brand Identity Prism – Concept & Examples


In order to become a brand with loyal following or how Kapferer says ‘passion brand’ or ‘love marks’, brands should not be just a name. Instead they should have a story or a deeper inner inspiration which connects to its consumers. Brands should have their own character, their own beliefs and their own identity. Kapferer Brand Identity Prism tells us how to build a story and give the brand a much needed identity considering six important facets of brand identity.

Kapferer Brand Identity Prism

1Brand Physique (Kapferer Brand Identity Prism)

A brand, first and foremost, should have ‘physique’ with physical specifications and qualities. It is made of a combination of either salient objective features (which immediately come to mind when the brand is quoted in a survey) or emerging ones. Physical appearance is important but it is not all. Nevertheless, the first step in developing a brand is to define its physical aspect: What is it concretely? What does it do? What does it look like? The physical facet also comprises the brand’s prototype: the flagship product that is representative of the brand’s qualities.

Example: Coca Cola in all its communications lays special emphasis on the ‘Coke Bottle’ and how it looks. For markets where Coke entered for the first time, it always starts with the traditional Coke bottle. In fact to no surprise, Coke cans also have a outline of the iconic coke bottle. Therefore, the physical appearance of the brand remains intact.

Also, colour of the product (say Black in the case of Coke), should be a part of the physique. And if so, you can never imagine a colourless Coke. There could be variants of different colours but the brand colour will never change.

2Brand Personality (Kapferer Brand Identity Prism)

A brand has a personality. By communicating, it gradually builds up character. The way in which it speaks of its products or services shows what kind of person it would be if it were human. This is a tough task to implant a product as a human in the mind of consumers. Therefore, brands rope in famous personalities to endorse the product. The brand and the celebrity being roped should sync in personality therefore forming an important facet of Kapferer Brand Identity Prism.

Example: Mountain Dew, a drink from Pepsico, promises thrill and adventure and therefore always loops in celebrities who are seen close to sports.

3Brand Culture (Kapferer Brand Identity Prism)

A Brand should have its own culture and brands with strong culture end up being ‘cult’. Both product and communication should reflect this culture. Brands targeting masses focus on culture which is common to a wider chunk of population or vice versa. Late entrants to the market prefer choosing a niche targeting a particular culture and evlove big in due course of time.

Brand culture plays an essential role in Kapferer Brand Identity Prism and helps differentiating brands. It indicates the ethos whose values are embodied in the products and services of the brand.

Example: Royal Enfield motorcycles in India have a cult following as the brand has a very strong culture. Though started slow but the brand is the fastest growing in the motorcycle industry in India both in terms of following as well as market share.

Brand Culture is very much influenced by the country of origin. Other global brands such as Apple, Nike, IBM adhere to an idea which is more globally accepted.

4Relationship (Kapferer Brand Identity Prism)

Indeed, brands are often at the crux of transactions and exchanges between people. This is particularly true of brands in the service sector and also of retailers. Once the consumers build a relationship with the brand, the brand can demand consumers to do things which it believes in.

Example: Nike bears a Greek name that relates it to specific cultural values, to the Olympic Games and to the glorification of the human body. Nike suggests also a peculiar relationship, based on provocation: it encourages us to let loose (‘just do it’). Nike in India created amazing TVC celebrating women athletes featuring Deepika Padukone. Here the brand is in a position to ask its consumers to ‘Just Do It’ because it has nurtured a relationship. The ad campaign was named Da Da Ding.


5Reflection (Kapferer Brand Identity Prism)

A brand is a customer reflection. When asked for their views on certain car brands, people immediately answer in terms of the brand’s perceived client type: that’s a brand for young people! for fathers! for show-offs! for old folks! Because its communication and its most striking products build up over time, a brand will always tend to build a reflection or an image of the buyer or user which it seems to be addressing.

Example: A majority of apparel brands portray a model in the age group of not who they are targeting, but the age group which the consumer thinks he/she belongs on buying that brand. In reference to the below ad, only a minuscule percentage of people in the age group (as shown in the image) will buy a Louis Vuitton suit. The consumer group will be much older for the product, however all those consumers will perceive to look younger with an ad featuring a young model (Jacey Elthalion in the below ad).


6Self Image (Kapferer Brand Identity Prism)

Finally, a brand speaks to our self-image. If reflection is the target’s outward mirror (they are …), self-image is the target’s own internal mirror (I feel, I am …). Through our attitude towards certain brands, we indeed develop a certain type of inner relationship with ourselves. And therefore, these brands always communicate to push the limits.

Example: BMW India launched a campaign for people who see themselves driving a BMW, no matter now or future. The campaign went on TV as Don’t Postpone Joy. Below is the TVC asking to drive a BMW sooner.


Read More on Brand Identity – Aaker Model – Defining Brand Identity

Loan Waiver Not a Solution to India's Agriculture Problem


The deaths of five farmers in Madhya Pradesh has brought India’s Agriculture Problem once again to the editors desk across all forms of media. While the latest incident may have got the much needed attention, but the fact is that the crisis has been under the shackles for some time. Farmers across the nation have been demanding loan waivers to get out of the trouble. Lets have a look at what steered to such a dismal situation in Indian Agriculture and what is a sustainable solution to the problem.

1Lack of Government Attention in the sector has fuelled India’s Agriculture Problem

Agriculture in India has faced slowdown in the first 2 years of the BJP led government.

The national accounts (new series) data clearly demonstrates that agriculture is facing a severe slowdown. The net value added (NVA) in agriculture declined at 0.23% per annum in the first two years of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government. Even accounting for bumper production last year, gross value added (GVA) in agriculture has grown at 1.77% in the last three years.

Investments in Agriculture has been on a decline in India has faced slowdown in the first 2 years of the BJP led government fueling India’s Agriculture Problem further.

Data shows that investment in agriculture is declining at 0.8% per year at constant prices since 2010-11. For the first two years of the current government, investment in agriculture declined at 3.8% per annum. It declined from Rs2.84 trillion in 2013-14 to Rs2.63 trillion in 2015-16 at 2011-12 prices—the sharpest fall in more than two decades.

Minimal Increase in MSP (Minimum Support Price)

Not only was the growth of minimum support price (MSP) minimal, the central government refused to pay the usual bonus that the farmers were given. For crops such as pulses, the MSP announced was much lower than promised.

Demonetization Effect

The final nail in the coffin was the demonetization of high-value currency notes, which affected the purchasing capacity of market traders, forcing farmers to undertake distress sales. India’s Agriculture Problem

Short Term Solutions from the Government

The response of the government in the sector has never been proactive and has been focussing on the short term. Farm loan waivers are never a long term solution. Increasing MSP also benefits only a small section of farmers.

2Farmers have been struggling to keep up with changes

Increase in Input Costs

In the same period, input costs have increased. The big increase has come in fertiliser and seed prices, denting the profitability of farmers and complelling them to hunt for loans.

Change in Cropping Patterns

There has been a structural shift in cropping patterns with horticulture and cash crops dominating farm output. Today, the overall horticulture production is higher than food grain production. Most of these crops are outside the ambit of MSP operations and hence vulnerable to fluctuations in market prices.

3The Solution to India’s Agriculture Problem

Recognition of changing patterns in Indian Agriculture

The long-term solution has to first recognize the new reality of Indian agriculture as well the changing role of agriculture in rural incomes and growth. While reviving agriculture is necessary for revival of non-farm sector and rural jobs, the instruments required are not adequate to cover the uncertainties in a globalized context.

Dedicated Investment in Storage Capacities

With farmers resorting to a more lucrative but risky perishable horticulture and cash crops, government needs to invest in better and bigger storage capacities.

Improved Transportation Network, Farming Technology and Infrastructure

What is needed is not only better integration of farmers with markets and price intervention strategies for non-food crops, but also large investments in agriculture. These are essential for creating better marketing infrastructure, storage capacities, transportation network, farming technology, research for new crop varieties, extension services and above all irrigation.

Focus on Agricultural Research

R & D capacities are required to be pumped up in the field of agriculture. Also, norms of usage of GM (Genetically Modified) crops can be reconsidered and looked upon from a more liberal perspective.

While the government may offer a temporary solution to India’s Agriculture Problem by offering farm loan waivers, the crisis is not going away. The government should rather dedicate resources to step up investment in agricultural infrastructure and price support. Not only will it revive agriculture, it will also generate employment in the rural economy.

Read More on Product Strategies in Rural Market

SAB TV New Brand Identity Talks Only Comedy


Sony’s SAB TV has gained a following of its own through the years of its existence in India. The channel not only carved a distinctive image but also has a loyal audience for it shows. In a recent move, SAB TV has rolled out a new campaign focussing on comedy as the sole proposition of the channel. SAB TV’s new brand identity talks pure comedy and promises ‘Haste Raho India’ (keep laughing India) through a jingle.

SAB TV’s New Brand Identity

The New Brand Identity has been supported by new shows which will be focus only on comedy. To distinguish from the primary Sony Television, which features the most popular comedy show (The Kapil Sharma Show), the new brand identity talk about laughing ‘everyday’. The Kapil Sharma Show is aired only weekends on the parent Sony Entertainment Television. The film has been conceptualised by Everest Brand Solutions and has roped in Varun Dhawan to communicate the proposition.

Varun Dhawan has been roped in to impart the much needed energy to the channel which was gradually loosing the youth attention. With Varun Dhawan talking about SAB and its new brand identity will certainly pull some youngsters to tune in.

New Brand TVC

SAB has released 2 brand TVCs coupled with full page ads in national dailies to spread the word. The logo also undergoes a revamp and looks more youthful. Check out the new TVCs below:



Client: Sab TV; Agency: Everest Brand Solutions; President: Dhunji S. Wadia; Chief creative officer: Rahul Jauhari; Chief strategy officer: Navonil Chatterjee; Executive creative director: Pramod Sharma; Vice president: Aradhana Rai Bhushan; Creative head: Samir Chonkar; Creative director: Ashish Verma; Art: Rajaram K Kavatkar Mayura Ajgaonkar Bankesh Gohil; Client servicing– Harish Suvarna Nirav Dave; Account planner: Tanvi Mishra  Films chief: Harish Mishra; Production house: Elements; Brand film director: Vivek Daschaudhary; Producer: Barkha Sawhney Diwan; DOP: Vikas Sivaraman

Read More on Defining Brand Identity – Aaker Model

Flipkart buying Snapdeal! Logic behind the mega acquisition


With most of the e-commerce players running into losses, its time for the industry to churn out some numbers for the investors and prove that their net worth is not just a number but their real value. For those who can not bring cheer to the investors are set to perish in an over estimated Indian e-commerce market. Few players have already shut shop. PepperTap is one example and its time to witness some further consolidation in the industry with Flipkart buying Snapdeal.

Once among the top 3 e-commerce player of India, Snapdeal, is having a tough time to impress its investors and especially Softbank, its biggest stakeholder. The company which was couple of years ago valued at $6.5 bn is today struggling to prove even one sixth of its valuation. In a latest development, sources state, that Flipkart is buying Snapdeal operations to take on rival Amazon in India.

Why is Flipkart buying Snapdeal?

However, the question arises, why will Flipkart be interested in a venture which has been making losses? Why will a company spend heavily to nurture two brands especially after the failed effort of Snapdeal’s biggest campaign – Unbox Zindagi. If we take a closer look at both the companies we find stark difference which actually complement each other to take on the bigger rival – Amazon. Below are few points which might have excited Flipkart to take over Snapdeal:

  1. Flipkart is holding around $50-60 mn in its kitty in addition to the recent funding of Rs 1.5 bn (Flipkart set to raise up to $1.5 billion amid talks to buy Snapdeal) With Flipkart buying Snapdeal, they not only eradicate one competition but also put their cash to good use.
  2. Flipkart is particularly strong in the the Western and Southern part of India in terms of reach and logistics where as on the other hand North and East India have been a focus market for Snapdeal. To take on a giant like Amazon, Snapdeal acquisition will give Flipkart a uniform Pan India presence.
  3. Unlike Flipkart, Snapdeal has unparalleled reach to tier II and tier III cities supported by a robust logistics arm.
  4. Vulcan Express, Snapdeal’s fully-owned logistics arm that not only functions as the primary delivery mechanism between sellers and customers and vice-versa for the marketplace but has an external client list as well, would most likely be part of the merger.
  5. Snapdeal’s Vulcan Express is about the reach profitability numbers compared to Flipkart’s e-kart which posted a loss of Rs 810 cr. The logistics of the e-commerce giant will certainly pump up.
  6. Snapdeal currently has 300,000 sellers compared to Flipkart’s 100,000 sellers. Additionally a majority of these Snapdeal sellers are in the sale in the unorganised sector where as Flipkart has always been more skewed towards the organised sector.
  7. Last but not the least, Flipkart will get Softbank on board as a stakeholder and chances of further funding coming from Softbank can not be ruled out.

One thing is clear for sure, that the fortune of companies have moved from their founders to the stakeholders (Snapdeal’s co-founders hint firm’s fate not in their hands) and its now time that the investors take charge and aim at getting the right ROI.

More on Flipkart – Flipkart Big Billion Day Sales Figures 2016

The Republic of Din – Republic TV hits small screen


The cacophony king, the logic assailant, the treble raiser trailblazer, our sanctimonious saint of South Bombay is back ! Last week, the Arnab shaped hole on our television screens finally filled up with the newly launched Republic TV. Think of all the dull nights spent flipping TV channels looking for masala content, some entertainment to end the exhausting workday with. Well, think no more. Republic TV, however, will need to go beyond the initial fanfare if it is to make a dent in the Rs 3,500-crore, hyper-competitive Indian news broadcasting market. Republic TV, being launched by ARG Outlier Media sometime over the next four-five weeks, will join over 390-odd news channels broadcasting in India, the world’s most over-served news market.

While the arrival of Arnab was marked with an unhealthy mixture of panic and desperation in the offices of AAP and Congress, it brought about something completely different for the average viewer-pure, unadulterated joy. Arnab has perfected the outrage news model- 8 to 9 “guests” scream at each other over nothing in particular and finally Arnab, with his congenital loudspeaker, out screams them all. The masses lap it up. Great show.

The only problem though, is that this circus masquerades as news. As Abhinandan Sekhri of Newslaundry once pointed out, content cannot be news, and news cannot be content. For Republic and our news channels, the difference between the two is not only blurry; it is as non-existent as a moment of silence on Arnab’s show.

Admittedly, this screaming and daily jingoism is great content. It appeals to our basest instincts, it’s a great indulgent watch. But where do we go when we need actual news? News is what keeps us informed, shapes our opinions, and decides our discourse. Most of us complain about a lowering level of discourse in our country. Republic, and similar news outlets, is the reason why.

Can this be fixed? Honestly, the chances are slim. Historically, especially in the last two decades, content pandering to our base instincts has managed to generate commercial revenue. This revenue validates the creator and nudges him to keep repeating his success. The only conceivable solution here is the hope that people will eventually get bored. When you see someone screaming on the street, it’s interesting for a while, but eventually you move on to more important business. Maybe people will get bored of this rubbish too. Maybe they’ll  demanding real news. Maybe.

TV Viewership in India – March 2017 – BARC Broadcast India Survey


Amidst the fan fare created around digital media reach coupled with Digital India movement, BARC released some interesting TV Viewership Numbers in India. The TV viewership showed increase across all parameters when compared to a similar number in 2013.

TV Viewership in India

TV penetration in the country jumped by 10% in 2017 at 64% when compared to 2013 which was at 54%. The TV viewing universe stood at 780 mn in 2017 compared to 675 mn in 2013. TV owning home also jumped 19% and stood at 183 mn in 2017. However, the interesting point is that out of these 183 mn households 99 mn households are in rural India compared to 84 mn households in urban India. Thereby rural India TV ownership stands 17% higher than Urban India.

TV Viewership in India- March 2017

TV Advertisers stay Cautious

Though TV Viewership numbers show a growth but advertising agencies predict slower growth in ad revenues compared to previous years. GroupM, in its report, This Year Next Year states that the total ad expenditure grew 12% in 2016 and predicts a slower growth at 10% in 2017. Another report jointly published by media agency Madison and advertising magazine Pitch, however, projected TV to grow at a higher 13% in 2017. According to the Pitch-Madison report, among all media, TV still enjoys the largest share of the advertising pie at 38%.

One of the reason of increase in reach is the fact that earlier viewership was reported from the age of 4 years plus which this time has been brought down to two years plus. Clearly, increase in rural viewership will skew advertisers to create content specific towards the rural market.

All About Netflix India DTH Alliance in the Country


Netflix, one of the largest internet subscription services for television and movies worldwide, recently made a breakthrough announcement in India to reach out to mass market. As the war among OTT (Over-The-Top) content provider heats up, Netflix India decided to take an alternative route in the country by reaching out to consumers via DTH service providers.

Netflix and other OTT Player rankings in India

Off late fierce competition has kept all the OTT players on their toes. Almost all television channels now have an extended reach over their OTT app with exclusive content over the medium. Star’s Hotstar, Viacom 18’s Voot, Sony’s LIV have been striving to get majority share in a very nascent stage backing up with huge investments on the platform as well as marketing. However, few new players have disrupted the plans. Global giants like Amazon Prime and Netflix have joined the bandwagon along with home grown Jio TV and Jio Cinema. Below is how the  of the OTT players stack up in rankings. Netflix just manages to make it to the list.

Netflix India - OTT app rankings India

Netflix India Strategy

Netflix has always been a premium player in all the countries wherever it has a presence. With high quality exclusive content curated for a TG skewed towards higher NCCS (New Consumer Classification System) in India, Netflix India pricing too demands a premium. Even the basic pricing, without an access to HD streaming, costs Rs 500/month which is almost double the ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) of DTH subscriptions (ARPU for the biggest player Dish TV stands near Rs 175 as in FY 16). Besides this, there always is a data cost associated whenever you fire the Netflix app.

Netflix India Pricing







Netflix clearly stated during their launch in India that their target is the wealthier lot with high disposable income and an interest towards english entertainment. To be more specific Netflix in India targets people in the age group of 25-35 yrs and preferable holding an international credit card or an iTunes account. Netflix targets wealthy Indian viewers – Warc

Netflix India Issue

Though there has been a multi fold growth for almost all the OTT players including Netflix, but Netflix India numbers active user numbers seems to stagnate over couple of months. Also, the total time spent viewing has almost been stagnant right from the month of launch and is currently on a decline. Other OTT players might afford experimenting as their platform is an extension of a well established channel on television. However, in case of Netflix its imperative to increase reach. Thereby company’s move to provide content over DTH providers is not a surprise.

Netflix India - Market Share of OTT players in India



Netflix India DTH Alliance with Airtel & Videocon

Netflix India has roped in Airtel Digital TV and Videocon D2H for reaching out to the masses. Both Dish TV, the biggest player in the market and Tata Sky with a better TG fitment, have been left out. Though the tie up will definitely enable Netflix to reach Indian household but when considering revenues certainly Tata Sky would have been a better fit. Tata Sky’s ARPU is easily estimated to be in excess of Rs 300 currently (was Rs 270 in 2010). The ARPU of Airtel Digital TV and Videocon D2H stand at Rs 233 and Rs 219 respectively as in Jan 2017. With all premium channels on Tata Sky – Le Plex HD, Star Movies Select etc- it is a no brainer that it would have been a better fitment.

Netflix, on the other hand and very unlikely, might be focusing solely on increasing reach and rake in the moolah from advertisers. Though we do not come across ads on Netflix as on Hotstar or Voot but you never know what may be in store for a price sensitive market like India. Also, there is a possibility that Tata Sky might have not entertained the alliance as they themselves focus on making revenue with their own paid subscriptions – Showcase Movies and Video on Demand Services.

We just hope that Netflix decision makes them stay in India for longer so that we have our uninterrupted dose of entertainment.

Alpenliebe Gold India TVC Campaign – Feb 2017


Perfetti Van Melle India launches a new campaign for Alpenliebe Gold celebrating smaller joys of life with an Estimated Budget of 10 crores. Agency: McCann India

Brand differentiation using service promise – Ford and Samsung Example


Brand differentiation is one of the key parameters to brainstorm in the life of a brand manager. The brand ethos of he product flow seamlessly into various media vehicles say TV, Print, Radio and Digital. However, in most of the cases the market stays cluttered with multiple brand trying to compete for consumers’ share of mind. Brand differentiation therefore becomes to drive home the message.

Brands may differentiate on the basis of:

  1. Product Features: Features of a product very much defines that expectation off consumers from the product. e.g. Everyone expects a technology rich device from Apple. If the brand doesn’t deliver that the product fails. One drawback with this is that product features can be replicated by competitors quickly so solely relying on this is not the best bet for brands
  2. Product Experience: Experience of consumers with the product directly influences the brand. Unlike product features, experience is difficult to replicate by competitors.
  3. Product Pricing: The product can either be made available at a discount or by charging a premium. The pricing and other parameters need to go hand in hand. A brand can command a premium only when the product features and experience are superior.
  4. Service Promise: As the difference between product features and pricing amongst competing Product service is a critical consumer touch point and needs to be dealt withthe same brand promise as the product. e.g. Apple service centers are located at prime locations and pamper the customer while his/her product gets fixed.


Example of Brand Differentiation via Service Promise

Ford differentiates brand promising cheaper service cost

Ford in India was suffering from the misconception that the service cost of their cars is high when compared to rivals like Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai. The company launched a 360 degree campaign talking about the misconceptions around their service cost. The campaign as mainly driven by a series of ads featuring the villains of Bollywood and Indian television in an act which makes the viewer think of the obvious from them. However, it turns out to be a false perception. Prior to Ford, Maruti Suzuki in the auto industry had already done a extensive campaign on service promise ‘No matter where you go, you’ll find a Maruti service station’ in early 90s.

Samsung follows the service communication route to cut the cluttered telecom space

In the same year as Ford, Samsung also jumped in to the service promise bandwagon to differentiate in the cluttered consumer durable space. When rivals like Sony, LG, Whirlpool, Panasonic, Oppo, Vivo, Gionee etc were boosting one product feature over the other, Samsung quietly took the service promise route to break the clutter. This campaign didn’t only take over the customers emotionally but also provided comfort with the brand Samsung after major goof ups with the Samsung Galaxy Note where the product had to be recalled on a global scale because of battery issues in the same year. US formally recalls Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphone