Google+ Consumer Psyche: July 2009


Friday, July 31, 2009

Be real

Headstrong pride, feet slippery envy,

Unjust hatred, unholy anger;

No, no such sinful trait

Can love ever contemplate;

Brotherly love is divine seed-

So let's love in word and deed!

Mount your Everest

From Robin...

1. Staying within your comfort zone-whether on a mountain or within a life-is sort of a waste of time. Why? Because though you're not frightened, you're also not growing and improving.

2. Don't let your mind keep you small. As I climbed closer to the peak and the air got thinner, my mental chatter grew louder. "What if you fall off this mountain?" "Maybe you're not good enough to ski this." "You could be in trouble up here." I just switched it off and got down to business. Just focused on getting to where I needed to go. Most fears are just a bunch of lies you've sold yourself anyway. So I refused to buy them.

3. We each have our own Everests. Maybe you're facing a business challenge. Maybe you're going through some really hard personal time. Maybe you're just in a place where nothing seems to work. Don't back down from your Everests because climbing them will take you to your next level of leadership and humanity. They are such precious gifts. Embrace them.

4. Reward the Win. I'm trying to eat at peak. But when I got down, I scored myself a "Mountain Chocolate Muffin". Sure, it may not have been the best thing for my body. But it definitely was the best thing for my soul. As I ate it, while sitting out on the deck overlooking more peaks, I celebrated my win. That reward anchored me to the positivity of tackling hard things. So now I'm ready for the next one.

Few things feel as good as doing something that challenged you deeply versus running back to comfort. I beat some fear this morning, bumped up my ski game and can't wait for the next opportunity. To stretch, reach and grow.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Listen to YOU!

In this ever pushing pressurizing life we tend to think-feel-do according to what others tell us to do. The need to agree weighs heavily upon us. There are many who tell us what we should do how we should behave and what to decide. It may be our friends, relatives, situations, etc. Sometimes we end up doing things that we don't want to do given a choice. Many sacrifices are made to ensure your family, children, parents get that extra advantage. I am not saying this is wrong but don't let that spirit inside you die out. Don't suppress what you always waited to do.

Sometimes what you wanted might be extremely difficult to achieve with all the things that tie you down. But find an outlet that would give you some personal satisfaction. Go for that singing concert, watch that movie, buy that dress, have a nice holiday, learn playing the instrument you always anted to. Do something what your heart tells you to do. You just need sometime alone so that you get that time to listen to you. Are you listening?

If you don't now may be you wouldn't get a next chance. So go listen to the most important person who knows you best... You!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Psyche in trading

I found Pooja from has a piece of advice which is relevant...

One of the most important skills for a successful trader is separating emotions from trading. In order to succeed, a trader must be abstract in their trading. For example, if you are trading your Profit and Loss balance instead of your chart, you will panic during typical price fluctuations, causing you to exit your trades early -- only to watch as the market then resumes its original path. Why? Because you are emotionally vested with your money. You are watching your Profit ticks up and then you are watching as your profit ticks down, against you, resulting in a negative balance. Emotionally, you have created the perfect roller coaster ride in favor of the markets. Although, you know, intuitively that markets will not go straight up, you have don't like losing money and, therefore, with the trade against you, you will exit if you can just "break even".

During your trading, remember these simple guidelines:

  • Every trade cannot be a winner. Negatives trades are inevitable
  • The closer you are to the market the more negative trades you will have
  • Always start your trading day with a clear slate. What happened yesterday is past. Today is a new day
  • If you have had several consecutive negative days, take a break from trading
  • Having a trading plan instills confidence in you, your indicators, and your trading. Don't trade without one
  • Know at any given moment what the potential risk is. If you cannot tolerate the risk, then do not enter the trade
  • Remember, trading is nothing more than probabilities. Ask yourself what is the probability that this trade will work out?
  • Keep a trading journal so that you can mistakes and correct them
  • Trade what you see on your chart -- not the opinions of newscasters, friends, newsletters, or your own

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Dream On Dream On Dream On

Aerosmith steals my thoughts....
Every time I look in the mirror
All these lines on my face getting clearer
The past is gone
It goes by, like dusk to dawn
Isn't that the way
Everybody's got their dues in life to pay

Yeah, I know nobody knows
where it comes and where it goes
I know it's everybody's sin
You got to lose to know how to win

Half my life
is in books' written pages
Lived and learned from fools and
from sages
You know it's true
All the things come back to you

Sing with me, sing for the year
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tears
Sing with me, if it's just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good lord will take you away

Yeah, sing with me, sing for the year
sing for the laughter, sing for the tear
sing with me, if it's just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good Lord will take you away

Dream On Dream On Dream On
Dream until your dreams come true
Dream On Dream On Dream On
Dream until your dream comes through
Dream On Dream On Dream On
Dream On Dream On
Dream On Dream On

Sing with me, sing for the year
sing for the laughter, sing for the tear
sing with me, if it's just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good Lord will take you away
Sing with me, sing for the year
sing for the laughter, sing for the tear
Sing with me, if it's just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good Lord will take you away......

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Aamir psyche

Interesting na?
He may be one of the richest men in the world, but that's not enough for Lakshmi N Mittal. For the past month, the 58-year-old CEO of Arcelor Mittal (a company worth $ 19.3 billion) has spent two hours everyday sweating and toiling in rigorous workout sessions.

Why? Because the business tycoon now wants to look like Aamir Khan. Or more specifically, like Aamir Khan in his Ghajini avatar.

Inspired by Aamir's look, Mittal traced Satyajit Chaurassia aka Satya, the celebrity trainer who was behind Aamir's eight packs and brought him on board for a month. "He wanted to know how Aamir managed to develop such physique at the age of 44," says Satya.

Once Mittal saw the video of Aamir's workout session and discussed diet plans and fitness regime, he asked the trainer to stay back in London and train him. Mittal was so committed to the end-goal that he asked his manager to re-work his schedule to fit two hours everyday for the workout.

In a month Mittal managed to achieve 15 per cent of his target, which, says Satya, is exceptional. He adds that Mittal was so impressed by his work that he is helping Satya open a branch of his gym, Barbarian, in London.

Here comes the sun...

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
and I say it's all right

Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
and I say it's all right

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
and I say it's all right

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes...

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been clear
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun,
and I say it's all right
It's all right

Books, You should try :) Best seller list... You should try :)

Hardcover Fiction

Top 5
  1. BLACK HILLS, by Nora Roberts
  2. SWIMSUIT, by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
  3. FINGER LICKIN’ FIFTEEN, by Janet Evanovich
  4. THE DEVIL’S PUNCHBOWL, by Greg Iles
  5. THE APOSTLE, by Brad Thor
Hardcover Nonfiction

Top 5
  1. OUTLIERS, by Malcolm Gladwell
  2. LIBERTY AND TYRANNY, by Mark R. Levin
  3. CATASTROPHE, by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann
  4. HORSE SOLDIERS, by Doug Stanton
  5. THE END OF OVEREATING, by David A. Kessler
Paperback Trade Fiction

Top 5
  1. THE SHACK, by William P. Young
  4. THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE, by Audrey Niffenegger
  5. MY SISTER’S KEEPER, by Jodi Picoult
Paperback Mass-Market Fiction

Top 5
  1. MY SISTER’S KEEPER, by Jodi Picoult
  2. TAILSPIN, by Catherine Coulter
  3. HIDDEN CURRENTS, by Christine Feehan
  4. FEARLESS FOURTEEN, by Janet Evanovich
  5. WHAT HAPPENS IN LONDON, by Julia Quinn
Paperback Nonfiction

Top 5
  1. GLENN BECK’S ‘COMMON SENSE’, by Glenn Beck
  2. MICHAEL JACKSON, edited by Joe Funk
  3. THREE CUPS OF TEA, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
  5. JULIE & JULIA, by Julie Powell
Children's Books

Top 5
  1. GOLDILICIOUS, written and illustrated by Victoria Kann
  2. GALLOP!, written and illustrated by Rufus Butler Seder
  3. TEA PARTIES, by Jane O’‘Connor
  5. THE CURIOUS GARDEN, written and illustrated by Peter Brown

Friday, July 24, 2009

Its about me

Most of the times I visit any website its mostly about what they do, how they are going to make money out of me. What I want to read is what I would get out of the website/blog that would change the way I think or help me in making better decisions in life. Its NOT about you. Its about ME, the consumer.

So here is the secret to have a great blog. Blog about what the reader would be able to learn, change after visiting your blog. Unless you give me any takeaway I don't care. If you think I would be interested in what you do... you better be a superstar or a film actor and blog for your fans.

Everyone's hawking something, and if you can stand out as someone who is more interested in helping others address their needs and goals, you will inevitably make more views and bring in more interest.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Why me?

Not to the strong is the battle, not to the swift is the race;
Yet to the true and the faithful victory is promised thro' grace!
--- (S. Martin)

Keep faith and hang on.

Whats selling @ Food Bazaar

Recent sales data obtained from Food Bazaar - Supermarket chain of 158+ stores, Morgan Stanley has analyzed the top performing brands. Here is an excerpt from the study.
The winners and Losers are decided by Top Sales Data.

Top 5 Food Brands in Food Bazaar are,
  • Britannia
  • Maggi - Nestle
  • Parle
  • Kellogs
  • Horlicks - Glaxo Smithkline
Red Label was the biggest gainer, and Cadbury's chocolate was the biggest loser in the top 15 Food Brands over last year.

Top 5 Non-Food Brands are,
  • Surf
  • Tide
  • Rin
  • Colgate
  • Dove
HUL's Pears was the biggest gainer, and P&G's Whisper was the biggest loser in top 15 Food Brands over last year.

Top 5 Gainers w.r.t their performance in previous year,
  • Godrej Tea
  • Nilons
  • Quaker
  • Lalaji - Bikanear Namkeen
  • Lehar
Interestingly, five of the 15 biggest up movers in food brands doing well were beverage brands, with Coca Cola being the biggest beneficiary.

Top 5 Losers are,
  • Dukes
  • Appy Fizz
  • Safal
  • Top Ramen
  • FreshGold
ITC's Bingo, which was one largest gainers in food last year, surprisingly was one of the biggest losers in this year's MT, slipping seven ranks.

The rule of patience

Internet marketing is a business like any other. So it needs to be started and grown with sound business principles if you want to succeed. When you compare the number who have had such wild success, with all the businesses who have failed or never really taken flight online, you will find that the “overnight” millionaires are not the standard of what internet marketing is. The key to successful internet marketing is Search Engine Optimization or "SEO". It's obvious why Internet marketing is so popular, and will only continue to grow in the future. Internet Marketing is not the get-rich-quick scheme some may say it is. It requires a lot of hard work, patience, consistency.

So don't be depressed if no one visits your blog, website and comments on it daily. It would take much more time and exposure to reach the state of successful blogs. They have passed through the same path. But they didn't give up. Neither should you. You must understand that effective marketing is not something that is going to happen overnight. So keep posting, updating and building.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Touch it

How beautiful a day can be
When kindness touches it!
~George Elliston

Can you make someone's day beautiful? Today?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

U help me?

Entrepreneurs look to consumers to guide business models. Check this post on how consumer psyche plays into making a final product offering.

Tapping into the consumer psyche to influence business decisions has its benefits and drawbacks, the Journal noted. Asking for public opinion is likely the cheapest way to get business advice, and increases the chances that the resulting business will be tailored to clients' needs and wishes. However, there is no guarantee that the advising consumers will end up being the buying consumers, making the latter benefit irrelevant.

Monday, July 20, 2009


You must have read this already but worth a reread.

An atheist was taking a walk through the woods "What majestic trees! What powerful rivers! What beautiful animals!" he said to himself. As he continued walking alongside the river he heard a rustling in the bushes. Turning to look, he saw a 7 foot grizzly charging towards him. He ran as fast as he could up the path. Looking over his shoulder he saw that the bear was closing in on him. His heart was pumping frantically and he tried to run even faster.

He tripped and fell on the ground. He rolled over to pick himself up but saw the bear raising his paw to take a swipe at him. At that instant the atheist cried out: "Oh my God..."

Time stopped. The bear froze. The forest was silent.

It was then that a bright light shone down upon the man and a voice came out of the sky saying: "You deny my existence for all of these years, teach others I don't exist, and even credit creation to a cosmic accident. Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer?"

The atheist looked directly into the light, "It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a Christian now, but perhaps, could you make the bear a Christian?"

"Very well," said the voice. The light went out. And the sounds of the forest resumed.

Then the bear lowered his paw, bowed his head and spoke: "Lord, bless this food which I am about to receive and for which I am truly thankful. Amen."

Be liked...

If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.

--- Margaret Thatcher

How true! Being liked is a necessity to some. It is a nice feeling and thought but shouldn't be a hindrance to what you are set out to achieve. Compromise is a sinking ship. You better be away from it.

Keep running

Few things of importance come easy. Noah Webster worked 36 years on his dictionary, while Gibbon labored 26 years on his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. When Milton was writing Paradise Lost, he rose at 4:00 every morning to begin work. Plato wrote the first sentence of the Republic nine times before it was acceptable to him.

Never give up. Keep running.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Can but won't

I have a higher and grander standard of principle than George Washington. He could not lie; I can, but I won't.

--- Mark Twain

Friday, July 17, 2009

Stats & Lamp posts

I have been hearing a lot of statistics recently. This always is the case. You ask a question and expect a logical answer and what you get to hear is tons and tons of stats being pushed into your head which make the talk look more learnt and qualitative. If you thing I am buying this.. give me a break.

Statistics give a scope, an aerial view, to understand and know what is happening around but that itself doesn't determine anything unless you use it to leverage your brand/product/service. use statistics to help you win that extra customer, win the contract, make your brand more relevant. Or else the whole purpose is ruined. So when you talk to me in statistical tones better tell me how and why should I know them/use them. Ever heard this?

'He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts.. . for support rather than illumination.'
- Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I go online. How abt u?

I just saw this ad on my yahoo page. Internet has seeped well into the suburbs and is gaining land all the time. It wouldn't be an understatement that soon we will find online payments happening from the so called godforsaken places too. This is a good sign as it saves time, money and effort. We are going online to check my bills, clear them, book my tickets and what not. The point is I am online and so are many of my friends.

This is a good sign for the marketer to push your brand presence online and ensure your availability when I browse. May be I will shop. May be I will recognize your brand when I walk into a store. You better be there.

Unless you want to be a touch me, feel me, get me product.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Effective marketing

How do you create a more effective marketing program?
Here are a few steps that you need to work on.
  • Position yourself
  • Experiment
  • Look inward
  • Reach out to clients
  • Embrace change
This would make sure you get your basics right, move along and achieve success. Stay alert to trends and effectively use the new tools will reap the benefits of being a leader.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Two wolves

Got this as a forward... Loved it...

An old Grandfather said to his grandson, who came to him with anger at a friend who had done him an injustice... "Let me tell you a story."

"I too, at times, have felt great hate for those who have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do. But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It's like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times. "

"It is as if there are two wolves inside me; one is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way."

"But...the other wolf... Ah! The littlest thing will send him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all of the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger, for his anger will change nothing."

"Sometimes it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit."

The boy looked intently into his Grandfather's eyes and asked, "Which one wins, Grandfather ?"

The Grandfather smiled and quietly said, "The one I feed."

Sunday, July 12, 2009

L'amour est bleu

"L'amour est bleu" ("Love Is Blue") is a song whose music was composed by André Popp, and whose lyrics were written by Pierre Cour, in 1967. 42 years later it is still a popular tune adapted in many languages and forms. The lyrics are as follows...

Love Is Blue, Blue, blue, my world is blue, blue is my world now I’m without you
Gray, gray, my life is gray, cold is my heart since you went away
Red, red, my eyes are red, crying for you alone in my bed
Green, green, my jealous heart, I doubted you and now we’re apart
When we met how the bright sun shone
Then love died, now the rainbow is gone
Black, black, the nights I’ve known, longing for you so lost and alone

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Marketing Jackson

Jackson was a perfectionist with a keen sense of protecting his image, said marketing executive Jay Coleman, who used Jackson's star power to sell soda in Pepsi ads in the 1980s.

"When we would present storyboards to him from Pepsi, he got very involved," said Coleman, the founder and chief executive of Entertainment Marketing and Communications Inc. "He wanted to make sure that everything was done to the highest production values. He was that kind of guy."

After his mega-hit album "Thriller" in 1982, Jackson was in high demand for endorsements. While Pepsi was ecstatic to get Jackson's endorsement, the pop star had a non-negotiable demand: His face could not appear in the commercial for more than three seconds.

"Initially we were, like, shocked," Coleman recalled. "We were paying $5 million to a star to be in an ad campaign, and he comes to you and he says, 'You can only show my face for three seconds.' Really?"

Instead of Jackson's face, the commercials showed him moonwalking and pictured his famous glove before showing a brief shot of his face.

"Michael had this thing about not wanting to be overexposed, and he convinced us that less was more," Coleman said. "It was a struggle in the beginning, but those commercials worked so brilliantly in part because of his input."


Omron smile 100%

First seen @ Buyer Behaviour

Friday, July 10, 2009

Brand connect

Advertising built on cultural insights forges strong brand connect with its consumers. Madhukar Sabnavis explains in this article.

An NRI family was coming home to visit siblings in India. My friend couldn’t resist noticing that instead of mixing with their local relatives, the NRI family stuck to each other. It made him remark, “Through the visit, my brother’s family stuck to each other like Fevicol.” A brand and its advertising had suddenly become a part of everyday language usage. My friend was far removed from advertising and marketing.

When India recaptured part of Kargil heights from the enemy in 1999, one of the brave soldiers led the cheers by shouting, “Yeh dil maange more,” repeating a line from the then-running Pepsi campaign. Somewhere a base line, a set of words in a popular advertisement had left such an impact that in the chilling zone of Kargil, the soldier couldn’t resist expressing his desires using brand language.

Brands which manage to seep so effortlessly into consumer psyche are the best sold ones as they represent something about the consumer and his attitude. This is usually backed by making the consumer realize the lack of something otherwise called a need and then going on to explain how to fulfill it. Backed by advertising, branding and effective persuasion it makes the brand name or mantra a usable substitute for language.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Plagiarism, Jai Ho!

Imitation is the best form of plagiarism. But no body has time to think and check. The bad part is that the plagiarized, bought works get the highest numbers, accolades. But you know what I think? I am OK with that. All my life I have seen people get away cheating, copying, passing out claiming things they couldn't without getting caught. I am not talking only about academics, but over all people cheat people, break trust for momentary gains, pleasures and positions. Back stabbing is a mastered art for many. I guess it is a survival instinct but it beats all other feelings, emotions and principles. And I have seen them being rewarded, gain a lot, but that is purely temporary.

I think this is dumb. I would prefer to be genuine in my work than be a cheat. Ever thought about conscience? Numbers don't count all the time. Integrity does. Honesty does. People may applaud you now but 10 years they look at you and remember you as a cheat. Even if you don't care, I don't understand how people go to bed without having peace in their souls. My conscience should be clear at the end of the day. Just think about it.

Google Chrome OS

As Google prepares to unveil its own operating system, based on its Chrome browser, all eyes are on its intensifying competition with the software giant Microsoft. Google’s new operating system, which would ship in the low-cost computers called Netbooks by next year, is likely to create more questions for regulators looking into Google’s relationship with Apple. What was welcomed across internet in blogs, comments and forums is that Google declaring this openly on its blog.

Apple and Google already compete in mobile phones (Apple’s iPhone vs. Google’s Android software), Web browsers (Safari vs. Chrome), online media (iTunes vs. YouTube) and other services, such as photo editing tools. Google says it will offer the Chrome operating system free to Netbook makers under an open-source license. That would be likely to push more people to Google’s lucrative search engine, and perhaps allow them to search the Web faster, but it would be difficult to determine the direct financial impact. This is a sensitive area Google is treading and plays with a lot of factors from egos to market share. This makes the whole concept of OS exciting and worth watching. Google's strategy might pay or otherwise but this definitely would change how players operate in the OS environment.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Man In The Mirror

I'm Gonna Make A Change,
For Once In My Life
It's Gonna Feel Real Good,
Gonna Make A Difference
Gonna Make It Right . . .

As I, Turn Up The Collar On My
Favourite Winter Coat
This Wind Is Blowin' My Mind
I See The Kids In The Street,
With Not Enough To Eat
Who Am I, To Be Blind?
Pretending Not To See
Their Needs
A Summer's Disregard,
A Broken Bottle Top
And A One Man's Soul
They Follow Each Other On
The Wind Ya' Know
'Cause They Got Nowhere
To Go
That's Why I Want You To

I'm Starting With The Man In
The Mirror
I'm Asking Him To Change
His Ways
And No Message Could Have
Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World
A Better Place
(If You Wanna Make The
World A Better Place)
Take A Look At Yourself, And
Then Make A Change
(Take A Look At Yourself, And
Then Make A Change)
(Na Na Na, Na Na Na, Na Na,
Na Nah)

I've Been A Victim Of A Selfish
Kind Of Love
It's Time That I Realize
That There Are Some With No
Home, Not A Nickel To Loan
Could It Be Really Me,
Pretending That They're Not

A Willow Deeply Scarred,
Somebody's Broken Heart
And A Washed-Out Dream
(Washed-Out Dream)
They Follow The Pattern Of
The Wind, Ya' See
Cause They Got No Place
To Be
That's Why I'm Starting With
(Starting With Me!)

I'm Starting With The Man In
The Mirror
I'm Asking Him To Change
His Ways
And No Message Could Have
Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World
A Better Place
(If You Wanna Make The
World A Better Place)
Take A Look At Yourself And
Then Make A Change
(Take A Look At Yourself And
Then Make A Change)

I'm Starting With The Man In
The Mirror

Online marketing going North

Just read some statistics about online media. Despite the fact that the global advertising industry will see an 8.5 percent decrease in spending by the end of this year, online marketing will rise 10.1 percent. That's the findings of a recent report from ZenithOptimedia which predicts that online marketing will be the only bright spot in an overall dull marketing picture.

  • Television predicted to fall 7.1 percent
  • Online marketing continue to swell up to 15.1 percent of all marketing by 2011
  • Search will see a 20 percent increase by the end of this year compared to only 1.8 percent for classifieds
So work on your online marketing and branding. You don't want to lose on this opportunity, do you?

Policy Analysis of Robert McNamara

Robert McNamara passed away on 06th July, 2009. He developed Policy Analysis which can be defined as "determining which of various alternative policies will most achieve a given set of goals in light of the relations between the policies and the goals".

Policy Analysis is six easy steps which are relevant in the modern business and marketing too. Lets see what they are...
  1. Verify, define and detail the problem
  2. Establish evaluation criteria
  3. Identify alternative policies
  4. Evaluate alternative policies
  5. Display and distinguish among alternative policies
  6. Monitor the implemented policy
That's simple and concise. Applies to most tested method of approaching any problem. Two more can be added...

7. Implementation
8. Evaluation

RIP Robert.

Don't be a copy cat

Copycats are trying to make a lot of money, fast. They are not interested in offering great follow-up care to their customers; nor do they offer higher-end products to customers who want more. The fakes die out fast as they are built on faking and cheating. The problem is that this whole industry is based on fad cycles and they adapt quickly to fads on the streets.

You, on the other hand, don’t make those mistakes, so your customers are loyal. Business success is built on loyalty repetitive purchase and long term good will. This is what you should concentrate if you want me, the consumer, to pay attention to you at all. Consumer is always looking for great follow up care. I understand that sometimes things get bad, products fail, designs flop but will you back it up with a great care is what matter. If you can then the mess could actually help in strengthening my value beliefs about your brand. This is a great opportunity to build on. So aim long term and follow up.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Brainstuck blogging

Anshul draws doodles which are simple, direct and funny. In this particular one see how blogging wins over 'normal' geniuses.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Monday blues: Mundane monday

Is it a mundane Monday? Or is it a making Monday? Why are Mondays so boring? Why can't HRs make Mondays exciting and turn them to something people look forward to? Or is it just fine or strategically important for Mondays to be so bad and Fridays so good to yearn for?

Well I think people rejoice being able to curse Mondays as that reminds them or a lot of work and pressure. It also reminds them of not being able to stay free like Sundays. This leads to double impact and worsens the situation even more.

I have seen people who look at Mondays like a gunshot that lets them zip off towards their goal ahead of others. These are the same people who party and enjoy their weekend like there is no tomorrow. But these people get up on a weekday planning and yearning to go out and do what they do. Guess what they are very good performers, some of the best.

Important elements like trust, morale, satisfaction and sense of achievement and pride are what drives employee's zeal to perform. Try building that in your team. As an individual, do great things at work. Party hard but work harder. Good luck.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Promotion vs commotion

I’ve been following these promos a few brands have been doing. First ball ka captain, star of the match and what not. It all sounds blasphemous to me. I firmly believe some things are sacrosanct and cannot be tampered with. You can’t get to stand in the field amidst national and international players just because you use a product. That privilege has to be earned through sheer hard work. Obviously the marketing managers think otherwise.

I’m wondering what else this world will come to.

One day Tendulkar will call home, “What’s for dinner, honey.”

“Baigan ka bharta, sweetie.”

“But you know I’m allergic to baigan, loved one. Or do you like me better with a zillion blisters all over?”

“I know, silly. But Kishen Khubchandani likes baigan ka bharta. So that’s what we’re gonna eat.”

“Kishen who?”

“The winner of Visa Visit Sachin contest. He’s coming tonight remember?”

“Never mind. Have you brought the kids from school?”

“No. But they’re on their way.”


“Don’t be silly, lord and master-blaster. Gurpreet Gill is bringing them.”


“The winner of the Chevrolet Drive Your Favourite Cricketer’s Kids Home From School contest.”

I wonder what other sacrosanct areas consumers will pollute...

  • Use Castrol Motor Fuel and drive the Chandrayaan 2. If ‘drive’ is the right word
  • Google search users get to head CBI for a day
  • Hindustan Times readers get to sit through the ballot counting
  • Thums up drinkers get to present the Param Vir Chakra
  • Ford drivers get to drive one of the tankers in the republic day parade
  • Zippo users get to ride with the firemen when they’re on the job
  • Saffola users get to attend a bypass. And maybe insert the first vein flow in the patient
Courtesy: Mads Rants

Disclaimer: All the names and brands mentioned above have simply been put because they came to my mind. None of them has anything to do with me or this post. However I have no objection to any of them using these ideas for promos.

Wimbledon, The beauty contest

Wimbledon, of course, is not a beauty contest. But All England Club spokesman Johnny Perkins has admitted that good looks are a factor in scheduling Centre Court matches, adding "it's not a coincidence that those (on Centre Court) are attractive." The howls of outrage that have followed ignore that the attractiveness of players does have a role to play in winning fans for the game. And it's viewership that brings in the money that enables contests like Wimbledon to be held. Scheduling Centre Court matches is a small matter; it isn't as if competent players are being kept out of the tournament on the basis of their looks.

As a BBC spokesperson pointed out, "Our preference would be a Brit or a babe as this always delivers high viewing ratings." Looks have had a prominent role to play in women's tennis since the days of Chris Evert. Or does anyone truly believe that Anna Kournikova was popular because of the astounding skills that saw her win, well, not a single Grand Slam? Many of the players themselves have made no secret about the importance they attach to their glamour quotient. Why the indignation when the organisers decide to do the same?

The logic, in fact, should be extended to men's tennis as well. Physical attractiveness has had a role to play there as well, from Bjorn Borg to Boris Becker to Roger Federer. Little wonder that Andre Agassi had acquired cult status in his first, flamboyant avatar even though the quality of his tennis was far superior in the latter stages of his career. Let the Wimbledon organisers factor this in while scheduling their matches; what is sound business for women's tennis is sound business for men's.

It is hardly as if the issue of looks is taking over the tournament. Perkins added later that 'box-office appeal' was just one of the 28 factors considered while scheduling matches. And the winner at the end of the day will still be the player with the stronger game.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Heal the world

Heal The World
Make It A Better Place
For You And For Me
And The Entire Human Race
There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

There Are People Dying
If You Care Enough
For The Living
Make A Better Place
For You And For Me

Get full lyrics here.

Mumbai attacks real story

The untold story of 2008's terrorist attack on Mumbai last year, in the words of its victims and the gunmen. While most behaviour of media was unacceptably cheap to gain publicity and TRPs, some were good too. This programme contains graphic images and descriptions of the atrocity which may upset some viewers. Produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker Dan Reed, Terror in Mumbai tells the story of what happened when 10 gunmen held one of the world's busiest cities hostage; killing and wounding hundreds of people while holding India's crack security forces at bay.

Featuring footage of the attacks and interviews with senior police officers and hostages, including the testimony from Kasab - the sole surviving gunman, Dispatches reveals what happened, hour by hour, from the perspective of the security forces, the terrorists, their masterminds and the victims.

While it may be chilling and horrific it is reality. Damn the religion, race, nation, hatred. How can anyone do such a thing? Indian Government's response was calculative and decisive but not as strong as people expected it to be. While there is a lot of need to build up strength and scale up measures the question of why us still remains unanswered by the innocent victims and their families. Hope some sanity dawns on them.

Check the complete video here.

The entrepreneurial touch

Receding hair lines, some bald heads, whitened hair, slightly overweight, protruding bellies and a group of forty somethings were all around the room. If you are thinking of a group of old men having a gala time at a party in the evening, its true. This group has a difference. This wasn't a meeting after a golf thought it could have been. The happy eager and bright faces said it all. These were men and women who had dreamt to be different from others in life and achieved it.

Click on the image to enlarge

They were entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, executives with the common thread being achievement. IIM Alumni, IIM B and CIIE gathered to celebrate the hundred thousand'th copy of Stay Hungry Stay Foolish by Rashmi Bansal. The event also saw the launch of the Kannada version of the book. CIIE initiative mentorship program Mentor Edge was launched.

The event was Celebrating the Spirit of Entrepreneurship at Royal Orchid Hotels, Bangalore with nice snacks thrown in. It was amazing time with many experienced people willing to share their thoughts and ideas. I am not going to talk about the book because either you have read it or heard about it. If you haven't then go grab your copy today. What I liked at the event was that the room was filled with energy, spirit and success. Thanks to Rashmi I was a part of it, got her autograph on my copy bought last year when it released.

Read Rashmi's views on the event at Youth curry and see a few pics I managed to click. I got my first IIM A card too :) Hopefully will not be the last.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Jackson rehearsal two days before he passed away

Michael Jackson's rehearsal two days before his untimely death has hit internet just now and is bring watched by millions of fans all over the world. This is hitting like wild fire. God... what a come back it would have been! Micheal we miss you. Does he look like he is 50 yrs old? He looks so hale and hearty, energetic enthusiastic.

What do you think?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

'Bing'ing ahead

Microsoft want to spread Bing to beat Google and they are working deeply and in correct way to make this real. Starting today Bing is going to throw up results of Twitter messages for search queries. Let me explain how. If you search for 'A R Rahman', you would find @arrahman tweet messages as well! Brings out more realistic and live information online. This is very exciting because there are numerous companies who are trying to build and design widgets which would broadcast Tweets to personal mail boxes, blogs and websites. Now Bing wins it all and throws them into oblivion.

This is really one step ahead of Google but there might be few problems. Consumers expect more intrusion and the privacy factor is at stake and most celebrities would opt out and the search results might be more cluttered and irrelevant. Google is waiting and watching. For now Microsoft has 1 point more then Google. The game has begun.

You can follow me on Twitter at @Vamshiavk. Search for Vamshiavk and you get all my tweets!

Coke, Freestyle

Coca-Cola doesn't think its customers have enough drink choices. So starting this summer, diners at some California, Georgia, and Utah fast-food joints will get to try a self-serve drink dispenser that pours more than 100 varieties of sodas, juices, teas, and flavored waters.

Coke plans to roll out the Freestyle drink dispenser nationwide, eventually putting tens of thousands of them in places such as McDonald's, Burger King, and Willy's Mexican Grill. And while the machine is taking the concept of customer choice to new heights, the most interesting aspect is the technology it's built on. Freestyle will become Coke's front-line robotic army for business intelligence, sending massive amounts of consumption data back to the beverage company's Atlanta headquarters.

Pic and the full article.

Go green

“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” John Swift

What an excellent art this is! So many small patterns and subtle colors used by a master painter!

Check this for a closer look.

Alas! it isn't so. This is trash collected at a place. Mainly constituted of plastic covers, water bottles and other trash. STOP USING PLASTIC. Go Green.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Petrol and Diesel prices hiked

This is just in. Indian Government has hiked the prices of Petrol and Diesel today. Consumer Psyche had predicted this hike and suggested to refuel your vehicles before the hike yesterday. Now are you going to buy that atta and rice?

3rd party reviewing

Companies looking to increase their marketing and sales efforts should turn their efforts to social media tools like Twitter, Orkut, blogging and Facebook, but there is still nothing like word-of-mouth - or in the internet age, the online review. While many companies are putting time and effort into the newest marketing efforts, it's the product review that often gives them the most accurate feedback for companies big and small. Whatever you are buying, especially if it is a high involvement purchase, the review is what makes me buy it. All your marketing efforts go to the bin as I suspect foul play to fool me or trick me. This is the attitude of the consumer. A positive review has more influence than hundreds of dollars spent on advertising.

And while there is a dearth of websites devoted to reviews, many companies choose to allow consumers to review products on their own site - something that allows them to not only get positive feedback, but to quickly change course if a product is getting poor reviews i.e. the rectification part. I believe this is a good phenomenon but I would like to get a review from a 3rd party blog which I expect to be honest and direct.

This is bad news for the firm if it is ignoring these 3rd party, independent reviewers because they influence your sales and marketing. Put together a cross-functional team that cuts across product development, merchandising, sourcing, inventory, e-commerce, creative and quality which reads these reviews and ensure all complaints are solved and there is a happy ending in each and every story.

What should a consumer do before going for a high involvement purchase? Check for these blogs, twitter, Orkut, Facebook, etc. for a review and then buy!

Top of mind

What is critical for brands is to stay top-of-mind among various options. It means there is a chance to get picked up. Once you are in this evoke/preferred set you get to be the second best or third best purchase choice. What makes you stay top-of-mind is what your preference should be. Well they can be simple or complex, consisting of a basic sequence of timed communications to ensure proactive communication triggered by specific and chosen responses, behaviors or prior contacts that influence the consumer. This can also be done drip by drip in engaging the consumer's order of choice. Studying what consumer wants to keep your brand in the top 3 or four choices helps you acquire those qualities and raise your rank.

It’s important that all your messages clearly address consumer’s greatest needs or challenges, so give them an opportunity he might pick your brand. To get there make sure to include a message that contains about your targets’ specific needs; then base subsequent messages build on it.

What happens if you are not in the top-of-mind set? Choose a niche in the same market and stick to it. The profits may not be so good but you can have a dedicated set of consumers buying your brand and happy with it. What if you are not OK with these volumes? Get out and find another sector or come back to me with a better brand and product.

Lessons from Chanakya: Part II

Chanakya/kautilya/Vishnu Sharma/Vishnugupta has many pearls of wisdom relevant even after 2200 yrs. Some are given below... This is two part series. Read Part I here.

  • In a state where the ruler lives like a common man, the citizens live like kings do. And in the state where the ruler lives like a king, the citizens live like beggars do
  • Jealousy is another name for failure
  • Never go on a long journey alone
  • Never make friends with people who are above or below you in status. Such friendships will never give you any happiness
  • Once you start working on something, don't be afraid of failure and don't abandon it. People who work sincerely are the happiest
  • One who is in search of knowledge should give up the search of pleasure and the one who is in search of pleasure should give up the search of knowledge
  • The biggest guru-mantra is: Never share your secrets with anybody. It will destroy you
  • The four greatest enemies of a man are - the father who has taken a loan, the characterless mother, the beautiful but promiscuous wife and the stupid child
  • The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of a person spreads in all directions
  • The world's biggest power is the youth and beauty of a woman
  • There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth
  • A woman is four times as shy, six times as brave and eight times as lusty as a man
  • An egoist can be won over by being respected, a crazy person can be won over by allowing him to behave in an insane manner and a wise person can be won over by truth
  • As centesimal droppings will fill a pot so also are knowledge, virtue and wealth gradually obtained
  • As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it
  • Avoid him who talks sweetly before you but tries to ruin you behind your back, for he is like a pitcher of poison with milk on top