Google+ Consumer Psyche: August 2009


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Online noise and teens

Today's teens inhabit a "digital marketing ecosystem" where their identities and interactions are virtually inseparable from the logos stamped all over them, new research suggests.

"It becomes a part of how they communicate with their friends," says Kathryn Montgomery, a communications professor at American University in Washington, D.C. "If they're incorporating brands into their profiles and communicating those with their friends, if the companies are inserting the products into the games young people play, if they're part of the use of mobile technology so there's a brand presence that follows their every move — that is creating a new kind of intimacy."

The brain doesn't reach full maturity until the early 20s and one of the puzzle pieces missing in adolescence is impulse control — a fact that will come as no surprise to any parent of a teen, she says.

"We're known for as long as branded communication has been around that you can't just shout at people, you have to interest and engage and entertain them," Cubbon says. "Most advertising online is still pretty much an announcement, it's noise."

Read full article here.

Friday, August 21, 2009

As a matter of fact

Harsha sent me this... I do not know how far this is true but it has a lesson or two.

An ingenious example of speech and politics occurred recently in the United Nations Assembly that made the world community smile.

A representative from India began: 'Before beginning my talk I want to tell you something about Rishi Kashyap of Kashmir, after whom Kashmir is named. When he struck a rock and it brought forth water, he thought, 'What a good opportunity to have a bath.' He removed his clothes, put them aside on the rock and entered the water. When he got out and wanted to dress, his clothes had vanished. A Pakistani had stolen them.'

The Pakistani representative jumped up furiously and shouted, 'What are you talking about? The Pakistanis weren't there then.'

The Indian representative smiled and said, 'And now that we have made that clear, I will begin my speech. 'And they say Kashmir belongs to them

+ & -

The close link between one's mood and choice of music stretches with the rise and fall of the notes. It is as simple as + and -. Last few days I was listening to Amy Grant and Hillsong and Michael non-stop and it has been peaceful. You must have felt this too. Happy and music that carries a zig is favored when you are in a party mood and when your thoughts pull the strings in your heart some saxophone or Rafi would fill in. Now if you can just reverse this order and try to kick start your mood with the music, yes it is possible, wouldn't it work wonders. Now I am not considering the canned music kind who wouldn't care what is playing as long as his glass is full and there is smoke in the room.

The same logic applies to the kind of people you want to be with. The +ve people are the ones you always want to stick around with as they make you feel comfortable and recharge you, take you along and make you be happy. The -ve kind of people are the ones you run away from as they drain you out. It is surprising how these birds flock together. Unfortunately here a - and - doesn't make a +. It gets worse. SO you know whom to stick around with.

This has a loophole though. What if the -ve guy/gal is what you think he is and is actually +. Then you need to look into yourself and search for an answer. Are you running away from him because (s)he points to your mistakes, is critical and pointy? Is there something you can change? Then why not change? Running away is not the final solution. May be you are running away from yourself?

+ & - is there in your dressing, the way you talk, approach yourself, friends, family, children, pets and what not. Let me tell you something. You can be a -ve person and get what you want or be a +ve person and still get what you want. The difference is in the effort, charm and warmth you put in what you do and who you are.

So what are you? + or -?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Detaining the King? You got to pay.

I seriously do not understand why there is a lot of fuss when someone gets checked at the airport. Dr. Kalam graciously brushed the topic aside and so should SRK. Sharukh might be the king of bollywood but instead of creating a buzz around him being checked and questioned he should make it an example and cooperate. To an extent I have to agree what SRK is decent enough. In his shoes I would have made a lot more noise. But you should also remember that many less illustrious individuals with similar last names go through much more without any fuss.

On the other hand US or for that matter any airport officials should be considerate and check who is a threat and who is not. It is not the short term benefit but the long term relationships that is at stake. Lack of information in a country like US about SRK and Kalam is depressing and stupid. Like Farah said they should at least have Googled him. May be not everytime you check some one but when some one claims he is a VIP. Better they should come up with a list of whom to check and whom not to. You are not dealing with people but with sentiments here. A little more caution and warmth, as SRK put it, would have avoided the situation. They could have turned it to a delight had they recognized him and ushered him out.

"What is the purpose of your visit to US?
What is your name again? Hmmm your passport show you are a frequent visitor!
Wait a minute... I know you... HEY ITS SHARUKH!"

This would have made SRK's day and brought in many roses instead of brickbats they are facing now. What an example they would have set and PR! What an opportunity missed!

Deconstructing the Market and the Consumer Psyche

Murali of BL reports... “Markets are shaped by both consumers and companies — now is the opportunity for responsible marketing, for delivery of better value to consumers,” independent market strategy consultant Rama Bijapurkar said at the Tenth CII Annual Marketing Summit today.

Addressing the Summit session on ‘Deconstructing the Market and the Consumer Psyche’, Ms. Bijapurkar added: “I think we’ve had no recession, we’ve not had a meltdown, but we now have the opportunity to deliver value to the consumer.”

The Summit, which is being held over August 18 and 19 in New Delhi, examines the impact strategy for the Indian market, while providing expert insight and practical strategies for Indian firms to sustain growth in an economically-straitened environment.

Commenting on why India seems to have survived the meltdown better than most countries, Ms. Bijapurkar said: “There are mini Indias within India and these are increasing in number. I think a key reason why we survived better than others is this existence of these mini Indias.” Further, she opined that most of India is yet to begin its consumption journey and that marketers should tap the many island markets that India offers.

On the way ahead, Ms. Bijapurkar, India's leading market strategist and expert in consumer behaviour, said: “Steady, modest income growth will continue and consumption desire would continue to be strong.” She stressed that the evolution of the Indian consumer would depend on how suppliers/companies evolve the various consumer segments.

Ms. Bijapurkar, author of Winning in the Indian Market and We Are Like That Only, also said that the global slowdown had not impacted the Indian consumer and that “marketers should now go where no man has gone before — deeper and deeper into the hinterland”.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday blues: Mundane Monday

Another Monday! What an opportunity to crib, complain and curse!

My work sucks, I hate going to office, no body cares what I do, my potential is not being utilized, I am not getting paid enough, my team doesn't perform!

You can go on like this or get out there with a smile on your face, be a performer and motivator to others. You needn't be a motivator to a hundred people. Just motivating one might make all the difference. Do these and you might feel the difference... dress your best, sing your favorite song,eat your favorite food, start early and exercise. Do whatever it takes to make you feel the adrenalin rush.

Winners never crib, they go and change what is there. Rewrite records by their performance and establish new standards. Are you a winner? Well SHOW ME!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

15'th August

It's the occasion of Indian Independence. Consumer psyche salutes all the warriors who sacrificed their freedom so that we keep ours and all the soldiers who guard us 24*7.

Happy Independence day.

Damn recession! My price just went down

How can I not call it a selfish act on the part of the company when they want to get “much more for much-Much less!”.

And especially today when the term “RECESSION” is being thrown around like the spit on an Indian gully. The idea of desperate measures is being sold like hot cakes.

For example: I get a call for an interview… 1000s of questions are asked, insights gained, skills, abilities and personalities assessed over a series of innumerable interview sessions. Then there is one specific meeting where I am highly praised and fawned upon. I am termed as the biggest asset that the company can ever possess. It is then that the long awaited yet, ironically, the most dreaded question is asked, “What is your salary expectation?”. The answer comes as 20-25K in hand per month (this thanks to the spit(e)ful Recession, otherwise it would have been much more and acceptable). Spat! The atmosphere changes! I should not have such high demands/hopes during these dire situations, these are times when I should grab any opportunity that comes my way since the market is in a bad condition. I should not show arrogance in my abilities. The maximum they can offer is 8 or 10 or 12 K. And it would be better for me to accept it.

These are the lines from my friend Swetha's blog. This is not just her feeling but what all the graduates, post graduates, parents are thinking about the firms. This is the best time to invest in HR potential of the companies and hence they are expanding. But what are looking for? Great brains? I frankly think no. Many firms are looking for what they can get for peanuts. You know what comes for peanuts. Don't you.

I can totally understand that the company is hit financially and is looking for a cut in costs but offering salaries that demean a person's stature, ridicule his/her capacity is not fair. At least come to me and speak to me with a decent offer in future which would rise as you pick up your stuff and start walking on the recovery path. HRs are supposed to hire the best talent in the lot for their respective firms but very few actually make an extra attempt to rein in a candidate with 'potential'.

This is no market where if you don't get a drumstick long enough for the price you want buy two small ones and still cook the soup. Ever heard of the term long term investment? You might succeed in bringing my price down... but my value? It is going North.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Boppa's song says it all

No words can explain the sense of independence except feeling it. Listen to my friend Boppa render this beautiful song. For all those who suffered for making us free and independent... we salute you today.

Fight swine flu with Tulsi

Yahoo News: Ayurveda, the traditional 'science of life', has a remedy for diseases when every other stream of medicine fails. Now, at a time when swine flu is spreading like wildfire across the world, Ayurveda has the remedy in the form of the miraculous herb, the basil leaves commonly known as Tulsi.

Tulsi, the purest and most sublime plant, has been known and worshipped in India for more than five millennia for its remarkable healing properties. Considered as an 'Elixir of Life', this wonder herb has now been claimed to keep the deadly swine flu at bay and help fast recovery in afflicted persons.

"The anti-flu property of Tulsi has been discovered by medical experts across the world quite recently. Tulsi improves the body's overall defence mechanism including its ability to fight viral diseases. It was successfully used in combating Japanese Encephalitis and the same theory applies to swine flu," Dr U K Tiwari, a herbal medicine practitioner says.

Apart from acting as a preventive medicine in case of swine flu, Tulsi can help the patient recover faster.

"Even when a person has already contracted swine flu, Tulsi can help in speeding up the recovery process and also help in strengthening the immune system of the body," he claims.

Dr Bhupesh Patel, a lecturer at Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar is also of the view that Tulsi can play an important role in controlling swine flu.

"Tulsi can control swine flu and it should be taken in fresh form. Juice or paste of at least 20-25 medium sized leaves should be consumed twice a day on an empty stomach." This increases the resistance of the body and, thereby, reduces the chances of inviting swine flu," believes Patel.

As its name suggests, Tulsi has again proved to be the 'the incomparable' medicine - this time, in the prevention and cure of swine flu.

The symptoms of the H1N1 flu virus in people are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A significant number of people who have been infected with novel H1N1 flu virus also have reported diarrhea and vomiting. The high risk groups for novel H1N1 flu are not known at this time, but it's possible that they may be the same as for seasonal influenza. However, Please consult a practitioner in case of any such symptoms. Doctors have strictly advised against self medication.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A complete life

I was out, for long, from blogging and here I am... back. For the last 2 weeks I was busy and could come online much as I was shifting base from Bangalore to Kozhikode, Kerala where I am working now. New place, people and work dominated my preferences and availability. Now that everything is almost in order I can spend sometime here too. My posts might not be that frequent as they used to be but I promise my contribution will be on the rise as it always was.

Life gives us many opportunities to change, mould, reinvent ourselves to be better than what we were. These are usually seen as challenges, hurdles and bumps on our smooth road of life. We hate God for bringing all these 'troubles' to our otherwise calm life. We get upset and start complaining all the time. I guess we need to relax and let things go and work towards making them work. When you dive deeper into the ocean and swim up the thrust would be more powerful and hence the distance covered is extremely good too. So just keep your calm and tell ourself that this is an opportunity that you have been waiting for and try to do your best... to win.
For life's an experience God's children go through
That's made up of gladness and much sadness too...
But we have to know both the bitter and the sweet
If we want a good life that is full and complete!
--- (H.S. Rice)

Coming back to life at Kozhikode few things you might like...
  • It rains... all the time. Umbrella is an accessory
  • It is very hot (I am missing Bangalore already)
  • Beach is great (yet to see a sunset there)
  • Food is *&#$... yes $ means expensive! Have to get used to the coconut oil though
  • For once I felt top of the food chain (More in my next post)
  • People are friendly
  • Autos are cheap(Yes I am comparing to Bangalore, Hyderabad & Chennai)
  • Work is great :)
Well that's all for now. Good luck and wish me some too.