Google+ Consumer Psyche: 2010


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Shouldn't we follow it?

Courtesy: FFO

Crazy Love

Van Morrison sings on my iPod... Love the song.

I can hear her heartbeat from a thousand miles.
And the heaven's open every time she smiles.
And when I come to her, that's where I belong.
Yeah, I run into her like a river song.

She give me love, love, love, love: Crazy Love
She give me love, love, love, love: Crazy Love

She's got a fine sense of humour when I'm feeling lowdown.
And when I come to her when the sun goes down:
Take away my sorrow, take away my grief,
Take away my heartache in the night like a theif.

She give me love, love, love, love: Crazy Love
She give me love, love, love, love: Crazy Love

And I need her in the daytime.
And I want her in the night.
And I long to throw my arms around her:
Kiss and hug her, kiss and hug her tight.

And when I'm returning from so far away,
She give me some sweet loving – brighten up my day.
And she make me righteous, and she make me whole,
And she make me mellow way down in my soul.

She give me love, love, love, love: Crazy Love
She give me love, love, love, love: Crazy Love

Monday, November 29, 2010

Consumer Psyche: Welcome!

Here is a poster I designed for the Feed an orphan initiative for Consumer Psyche on Facebook.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Beauty Care Market India

Virginia Lee, Senior Research Analyst at Euromonitor International, gives a detailed overview of the beauty and personal care industry in India. Lee explains that by 2050, India is expected to become the most populous country in the world with a population of 1.75 billion. India's economy has been boosted by:
  • Strong foreign direct investment
  • Rising urbanization
  • Rising incomes
However, India also faces its fair share of challenges: 
  • Poor infrastructure
  • Limits on foreign investment
  • Weak educational system
India's beauty and personal care industry is steadily growing, with a period growth of 12% in 2009, much higher than the overall global industry which was 4% in 2009. Due to lower income levels, Indian consumers are spending more on basics in beauty and personal care, such as: 
  • Bar soap
  • Oral care products 
India's beauty and personal care market is expected to grow by 50% from 2009-2014. This is due to:
  • Rising affluence
  • Greater awareness of personal image & hygiene

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Talent or team?

Michael Jordon, the iconic basketball player says... "Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships".

I agree to an extent. It is necessary to depend on talent and the team together. Each individual should be able to delve into his/her experience and pool of individual talent to be of use at a certain part of the whole process.

Blessed is a manager who has the resources (s)he can count on in times of need. Though I support this view of the team supporting and winning championships together, I also believe that it is important to have few aces to shoot those crucial baskets needed to have things change. When you have aces like that, don't let them fight the whole battle for you. Coaches have done this in far too many games and army generals have done this in battlefields. The war is the championship but the decisive strikes and kills come from few aces who are the heros and rule the day. They deserve much more than the team-like treatment, a cult like status, a hero like worship. This is more of a responsibility than a title, but a well deserved one at that. So if you are planning your team, ensure you have those aces in place.

Monday, November 8, 2010

What costs?

The three biggest expenses of most endeavors (the energy to make it, the people who create it and the marketing that spreads the idea).

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Are You in Danger of Burning Out?

Got this as a forward.

If you feel that you are in danger of burning out, the suggestions below can help you correct the situation:
  • Re-evaluate your goals and prioritize them
  • Evaluate the demands placed on you and see how they fit in with your goals
  • Identify your ability to comfortably meet these demands.
  • If people demand too much emotional energy, become more unapproachable and less sympathetic. Involve other people in a supportive role. Acknowledge your own humanity: remember that you have a right to pleasure and a right to relaxation
  • Learn stress management skills
  • Identify stressors in your life, such as work, or family. Get the support of your friends, family and even counseling in reducing stress
  • Develop alternative activities such as a relaxing hobby to take your mind off problems
  • Ensure that you are following a healthy lifestyle:
1. Get adequate sleep and rest to maintain your energy levels
2. Ensure that you are eating a healthy, balanced diet—bad diet can make you ill or feel bad. Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake
3. Try to recognize your spiritual needs that may have been buried under the mires of worldly pursuits

Monday, November 1, 2010

Got a blog?

Get one. Now.

Blogging Blackmail

Monday Blues: Choose well

Few days back Sarah sent me this for Monday Blues.

"Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In those choices lie our growth and our happiness." – Stephen Covey, The 8th Habit

You must have read this already, spoke about it too. The best part is no one waits at choice. The choice is a chasm, a very deep one at that. People just skip the chasm & jump to response. It makes a lot of difference to lot of people. I won't tell you to meditate on your choice and wait before you make it, as I expect you to do it by default. I want you to be responsible and stay committed to your response and its outcome. Leaders make sure their choice is well thought of and ensure it ends well. These choices make your future, make you a better person, make you happy and earn your respect. This Monday, choose well!

Pic courtesy: Stumble upon.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Google Saree

Satya Pauls's creation. Guess Google is dominating our lives most of the time. Pic is from here.

Push mediocrity

Here is why you should question if your professor isn't up to the mark. Seth's post on Pushing back on mediocre professors

College costs a fortune. It takes a lot of time and it takes a lot of money.

When a professor assigns you to send a blogger a list of vague and inane interview questions ("1. How did you get started in this field? 2. What type of training (education) does this field require? 3. What do you like best about your job? 4. what do you like least about your job?") I think you have an obligation to say, "Sir, I'm going to be in debt for ten years because of this degree. Perhaps you could give us an assignment that actually pushes us to solve interesting problems, overcome our fear or learn something that I could learn in no other way..."

When a professor spends hours in class going over concepts that are clearly covered in the textbook, I think you have an obligation to repeat the part about the debt and say, "perhaps you could assign this as homework and we could have an actual conversation in class..."

When you discover that one class after another has so many people in a giant room watching a tenured professor far far in the distance, perhaps you could mention the debt part to the dean and ask if the class could be on video so you could spend your money on interactions that actually changed your life.

The vast majority of email I get from college students is filled with disgust, disdain and frustration at how backwards the system is. Professors who neither read nor write blogs or current books in their field. Professors who rely on marketing textbooks that are advertising-based, despite the fact that virtually no professional marketers build their careers solely around advertising any longer. And most of all, about professors who treat new ideas or innovative ways of teaching with contempt.

"This is costing me a fortune, prof! Push us! Push yourself!"

Put a shark in there

Got this as a forward in year 2k and makes a great lesson.

The Japanese have a great liking for fresh fish. But the waters close to Japan have not held many fish for decades. So, to feed the Japanese population, fishing boats got bigger and went farther than ever. The farther the fishermen went, the longer it took to bring back the fish. The longer it took them to bring back the fish, the staler they grew. The fish were not fresh and the Japanese did not like the taste. To solve this problem, fishing companies installed freezers on their boats. They would catch the fish and freeze them at sea. Freezers allowed the boats to go farther and stay longer. However, the Japanese could taste the difference between fresh and frozen fish. And they did not like the taste of frozen fish. The frozen fish brought a lower price. So, fishing companies installed fish tanks. They would catch the fish and stuff them in the tanks, fin to fin. After a little hashing around, the fish stopped moving. They were tired and dull, but alive.

Unfortunately, the Japanese could still taste the difference. Because the fish did not move for days, they lost their fresh-fish taste. The Japanese preferred the lively taste of fresh fish, not sluggish fish. The fishing industry faced an impending crisis! But today, it has got over that crisis and has emerged as one of the most important trades in that country! How did Japanese fishing companies solve this problem? How do they get fresh-tasting fish to Japan?

To keep the fish tasting fresh, the Japanese fishing companies still put the fish in the tanks. But now they add a small shark to each tank. The shark eats a few fish, but most of the fish arrive in a very lively state. The fish are challenged and hence are constantly on the move. And they survive and arrive in a healthy state! They command a higher price and are most sought-after. The challenge they face keeps them fresh!

Humans are no different. L. Ron Hubbard observed in the early 1950’s: “Man thrives, oddly enough, only in the presence of a challenging environment.” George Bernard Shaw said: “Satisfaction is death!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Human behaviour

"Among other things, you'll find that you're not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You're by no means alone on that score, you'll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You'll learn from them--if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn't education. It's history. It's poetry."

                ---- J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The psychology behind Off-by-one pricing

A common practice among retailers is to price products at 199 or 999 instead of rounding the price up to 200 or 1,000. Cognitive psychologists often refer to this as the left-digit effect and it is the one of most prevalent pricing strategies in the world.

Aleem Bawany explains the psychology behind off-by-one pricing here.

Indian Design Trends

Indian design - be it in films, furniture or accessories - may be high on style, but it is drifting away from its rich heritage in the zeal to imitate global trends, says Design Indaba, the design bible that has launched a collector's issue on India.

The magazine, published by Interactive Africa from South Africa, was launched in 2001.

"Designers in India should hunt for new aesthetic idioms from within the country's rich heritage. After independence, we lost the old aesthetic awareness because of lack of government support," said Ravi Naidoo, founder and managing editor of Interactive Africa.

"Design talent abounds in India but lack of design education in the country puts them at a disadvantage when compared to the rest of the world. We do not have art schools in the country which have global standards."

Read more: Indian design moving way from heritage - The Times of India

Non violent mission

Here is the first reference to a non-violent struggle which influenced Gandhi.

The Masque of Anarchy by Shelly
"Stand ye calm and resolute,
Like a forest close and mute,
With folded arms and looks which are
Weapons of unvanquished war.

And if then the tyrants dare,
Let them ride among you there,
Slash, and stab, and maim and hew,
What they like, that let them do.

With folded arms and steady eyes,
And little fear, and less surprise
Look upon them as they slay
Till their rage has died away

Then they will return with shame
To the place from which they came,
And the blood thus shed will speak
In hot blushes on their cheek.

Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number,
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you-
Ye are many — they are few" [1]

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Better than original

Ever felt that your talent is not being utilized and felt you can do a better job? See what Thomas did. He had a crazy idea when watching the trailer of Clash of the Titans and mixed scenes from the Telugu hit Magadheera and the result is as you see above. Guess what happened? His video got picked up by Allu Sirish and he got an invite to synergize. One of the advantages of the new technologies and reduced distances. Showcase your talent in someway and you never know what can happen.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Last Interaction

Last week I happened to watch parts of Once upon a time in Mumbai. Ajay Devgan wants to gift something to Kangana and buys one Amrud for Indian rupee 400 against a price of Indian rupee 0.40.

The logic used is what if this is the last piece with you? The price goes up to 4. What if this is the last piece in Mumbai? The price goes up to 40 bucks. What if this is the last piece on the planet? The price goes up to 400 bucks.

There is a lesson in sales. Every sale you make is different if you have a choice of making another sale. Every interaction is different when you know there is another chance. If you know there is another chance to impress, sell, convince, win over then your effort isn't as heartful.

When you know this is the last chance, the last opportunity, your approach, passion is very different. When closing a sale or interaction, either business or personal, just pause and think if you would want to be remembered like this? It takes your attitude to another level. A level where leaders operate. That's the stuff you should be doing, aiming at. Try and see. Your success rate goes North. Each interaction would be awesome.

UnKind Joy!

Parents crib when they hear their child ask for 'Kinder Joy'. 'It is not worth the price we pay but what to do?' Prema said when I smiled looking at her pay 35 bucks grudgingly. The little girl was in her own world ripping open the chocolate. I wonder what makes the kid love the chocolate so much.

It tastes Choo good you know! She says without flinching a bit or taking her gaze off her chocolate. Prema & Dristi are my co-passengers on the way to Vijayawada.

I am more interested in the kid's loyalty for the brand. Drishti is in UKG and already has a collection of toys from all the recognizable brands. She recollects all her toys and who got them for her. Her US aunt had promised her a new toy when she would come for Diwali this year.

The marketing presence of the brand isn't too much either. There is comparatively lesser number of advertisements and promos but the in-store presence or Orchard Marketing, is very high. The color of the stand and the way the product is shaped makes a lot of difference in catching the eye.

Within a few minutes we get to be good friends and Drishti tells me about her collection of Kinder Joy toys and how they exchange if they get similar ones. Forget the taste and the toy, it is the sense of ownership and branding that excites her. That's where Kinder Joy scores much to the discomfort of the parents. That's smart.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The buying brain

Your brain -- and your customers’ – is 100,000 years old. Its basic skills and functions are the same ones it developed to survive on the plains of Africa so many millennia ago. As such, the “modern” brain is occasionally at odds with 21st century life.

As it navigates through that life, your brain is like an iceberg. Most of its decisions occur below the water line. Your conscious mind contributes to making only about 5% of your decisions. The subconscious mind makes the other 95%.

For most of our evolution, gathering food and fuel have been primary objectives. That’s partly why shopping is, at its heart, a primal activity. Here are some examples of how the subconscious mind functions when shopping.

1) Your brain gets scared in some stores. Your conscious mind doesn’t know it, of course, but your subconscious mind views sharp corners as a threat. Every time you push a shopping cart around the end of an aisle, your subconscious mind winces. The cringe dates back to the earliest days of the modern brain, when humans still roamed the Serenghetti. Think about it: you don’t see many sharp angles in nature. When your subconscious mind comes across straight lines and sharp angles, it’s hard-wired to perceive them as a threat and prompts you to avoid them. Smart retailers will learn to curve and soften their sharp corners better to invite the buying brain in.

2) Too much of one thing can make your brain go blind. “Repetition blindness” sets in when we see too many of the same objects. Think about a wall of toothpaste boxes, all approximately the same size and many sharing similar colors and graphics. Confronted with this much “sameness,” your brain looks for differences. When it can’t find enough variations, it blends everything together, becoming “blind” to the individual packages themselves. This is why we sometimes can’t see the trees for the forest. In a sea of sameness, smart manufacturers will find a way for their packaging to “pop” at the shelf.

3) Men and women are hard-wired to shop differently. Men shop by looking for targets; women shop by looking for landmarks. Women explore their territory; men make maps.

4) Origin is important. The brain likes to see the source of the product inside the package. It appreciates cows on milk cartons, for instance, and grapes on bottles of wine.

5) Faces and eye contact fascinate the brain. The brain needs to see faces to determine intent. Are you friend or foe? But the brain also prefers ambiguous expressions on faces. It likes to figure out the puzzle. What is s/he thinking or feeling? The Mona Lisa is a perfect example of the power of ambiguity. Closer to home, ambiguous faces on packaging and promotions are like magnets to the shopping brain.

Read more @ A. K. Pradeep's new book, The Buying Brain: Secrets for Selling to the Subconscious Mind

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday Blues: Add More

What is wrong in appreciating? What is wrong in being more? What is wrong in being enthusiastic? Well, nothing. Then why don't we do that? More enthusiastic.

This Monday, change the way you interact with others, customers, colleagues, team, the valet who parks your car, the bell boy in your lift, the guy who brings you coffee. Change the way you respond to day. Be more. Add more. Add life.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Dignified. Tolerant and dignified

That is what I felt about Indians walking down the street a few hours after the Ayodhya verdict was announced and people were resilent and calm in the street. This was new to the whole world. A new message sent out very strongly to all the audeince who were expecting emotions to run high and riots on the street. The whole country, especially Bangalore, saw the whole batallions descend to maintain the calm and serenity of the people. Offices were close, shops downed their shutters, people rushed home and we all waited.

The result was smart and was especially hit well to the audience. No gain no loss strategy. I should appreciate all the political parties and religious groups for appealing calm and peace. Proud to be Indian.

Monday, September 27, 2010

The smell of desperation

Don't throw away that hard earned trust by sounding desperate. It won't do any good for you or your brand. Desperation makes you feel down, makes me, the consumer, re-evaluate your brand value, your worth and question your intentions, may be even loathe you! Let me explain.

Watching India's got talent Khoj 2, I almost fell off my couch laughing at Tata Docomo's effort. After Diwakar and Sonia performed their act (they were good enough to win the competition), they were given a chance to make a call which was sponsored by Docomo. The whole effort looked forced and the name of the sponsors was mentioned on the call. I have had a really good opinion about Tata Docomo till now due to their innovative plans ranging from the one paisa per sms to the ISD calls at the same price. I also loved the way their ads were. In fact Docomo ads appeal to me more than Vodafone's Zoo Zoo's do. But this particular effort was pointless. It defies the cardinal logic of marketing in many ways. Let's see what went wrong.
  1. It interrupted the whole proceeding: the act and my train of thought.
  2. It was unsolicited, disturbing. Your loyal customers don't need you reminding their brand name. Your critics don't just care. So if you are looking at doing the new choose your target when you do it.
  3. Sounded out of place. Could have been orchestrated in a better way. Sonia (the caller) was too excited about making it to the final. Sonia's mother, who was on the other end of the call, didn't seem to have a clue about Docomo facilitating the call. The whole message was lost on both the players and the audience.
  4. It was completely unnecessary, so I not only chose to ignore but got -ve feeling about the brand.
  5. Nothing new or usage point (which would've made more sense). I don't need to be reminded of the brand name. My utility in the game, yes.
Guess what, this act by Docomo put a dent in my idea and perception on what I feel. I smell desperation.When a customer smells desperation, that isn't good for your brand. Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?

Monday Blues: Create your own world

Wayne Thiebaud said... An artist creates his own world. Be your own artist and create your own world. Guess what, make it beautiful. No, make it awesome.

Wayne transformed the way food is looked at. His painting is displayed as Google Doodle on its 12'th birthday.

PS. Wayne's pic is from here.

Monday Blues: Yes, You Can

Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged men who kept on working. Keep working at what you are and try to improve. Every day.

How do you improve? Read a book/article on your area of expertise. Update yourself on the changes in the field, best practices, read a blog on the topic, start a Google alert on the topic to have the latest updates delivered to your mail, change from good to great.

Once you start transforming, share it with others. Post it on your blog, send a mail to the people you think will care. If it is too good and worth it, make a concise article and pin it to your department notice board. Does it sound too much? Na... I don't think so.

This Monday, remember... Yes, you can.

Ps. The photo is by Julyssa Schenk. She has an amazing talent. Check out her blog here.

A healthy heart

On the occasion of World Heart Day, here are 10 ways to keep your heart healthy listed @ TOI.
  1. Avoid smoking
  2. Cut down on salt
  3. Watch your diet
  4. Monitor your alcohol
  5. Get active
  6. Monitor your BP, blood sugar and cholesterol levels
  7. Manage your waist
  8. Manage your stress level
  9. Check your family history
  10. Laughter is the best therapy
Tips courtesy: Dr Kushagra Katariya

Friday, September 24, 2010

Why MasterChef Australia is a good product offering

MasterChef Australia is one of the few excellent product offerings in the recent times. Let me tell you why.

I don't like programs that expect me to park my brains outside and try to sell me sub-standard stuff. A combination of reality show, game, talent quest and cuisine, it has all the elements of at least three programs put together. It teaches things that I would otherwise not learn. It has the excitement, challenge and suspense that make the viewer think, sympathize and decide. Moreover, it includes the viewer in the whole chain, learn something while having fun. Passive, learning.

It takes the grueling, usually unthankful, ruthless work of a Chef to a level where his/her skill is put to test and has a chance of being evaluated by the one that matters most - the customer! It changes your attitude and approach not just towards food but towards work on the whole. The viewer can relate the show to their daily work which makes it more identifiable.

Some takeaways are...
  • Any one can cook a marvel dish given three hours, the recipe and all the ingredients, but can one cook the same thing in a stipulated time frame, limited options in terms of the no.of ingredients and in a pressure situation? Which job in the present world has the leisure to take three hours?
  • Can work be fun? Guess it is. MC makes it look like fun while working;
  • Appreciation or rejection is straight forward and instant feedback is awesome. The fact that the contestants are under constant scrutiny makes it more edgy and practical;
  • Creativity is encouraged while teams and individuals are egged to work on different dishes and churn out dazzlers to surprise the judges;
  • Working in a team while contributing individually makes it a sight to watch;
  • Accentuates physical + psychological effort;
  • Scent of failure at every step;
  • Need to improvise;
  • Keeps non-critical things simple. Like the teams are named red and blue;
  • Demonstrates the need for leadership, mentoring and high performance.
I can go on and add more to the list above. I am sure you can too. What I like about the program is that it is well structured, has all the elements I need in a show and best of all, I don't need to park my brains outside. In all it is an offering that is simple yet diverse, enthusiastic, entertaining, accepting, well-packed, practical, emotional, direct and pretty smart. There is your near perfect product offering.

Pic is from Kusut-blogs.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Another Waka Waka?

There is a lot of hullaballo about Rahman's theme song for CWG. I understand it is not as peppy as what he churned out for Slumdog Millionnaire or Taal. Obviously, we would expect more from the man who turned out tunes like Jai Ho. Looking at the theme song it is no where near to what was expected. Can it be pepped up? Yes. A lot of things to be made to make it better. Like all other things that are going wrong with the CWG, theme song seems to follow.

Comparing it to Shakira's Waka Waka is ridiculous. You can't make any song or product have a cult following just like that. You cannot repeat the same again. Rahman might turn out something better but not another Waka Waka. But cult following cannot be orchestrated so easily. Cult following is based on several factors that garner special attention at different levels in different spaces at the same time. In Shakira's song, for example, it had a mass appeal addressing a sport that has worldwide acceptance and most importantly hit the chord right away.

Rahman seems to have a different idea altogether in what a theme song should sound like. Check BSF theme song he composed recently. His music needs to be marinated to get to your nerves. Unfortunately, no one at the CWG have the time or patience to do so. Nor does the audience.

Asking Rahman to reconsider and pep up the song is a right decision as it makes me a consumer, someone who is paying for the song and then if I am not satisfied, I have the right to send your product back if I am not satisfied. Knowing that there cannot be another Waka Waka, I expect the tune to be catchy and hep. AR... do your magic.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

We are the Blackberry Boys

Just after staging a stand out with the Government about the messenger, Blackberry manages to be on the positive side when it tries to gather huge support from the untapped prepaid segment. I think this is a brilliant move for two reasons.

One, there is a huge potential in the prepaid segment that is usually out of reach. This should get enough people to move in to the otherwise office stable. This also means that the superior product aimed at a niche audience will move to the masses. Would that change my attitude and make me look at the product as anything lesser? I don't think so. I am more interested in what my mobile would give me more to make things easier. Translated retaining the existing crowd while tapping the masses.

Two would be the huge profits from the masses you capture plus better applications and more involvement and lots of excitement. When you have a huge following, with more vibrant crowd that demands more from you, you tend to make more to your team. This is also the reason why you got to challenge yourself. This is what makes life better. A bold step by Blackberry.

On the con side, the perception associated with the brand might change. The exclusivity and niche you want to project might wear off. I would look for something else to move on.

Interesting move, but is it smart enough? I doubt. Good PR move? I say, yes.

Pure? Think again

TOI reports: Despite loud promises that these gadgets suck out disease-causing bugs from drinking water, most purifiers sold across India do not completely eliminate water-borne viruses like Hepatitis E, says Pune-based National Institute of Virology.

A study by the government-funded body that conducts research on communicable diseases and viruses evaluated eight domestic water purifier brands. It found only two - one equipped with a hollow fibre membrane and the other with a gravity-fed filter - could completely remove the viruses.

The study also found no standards existed for virological evaluation of water purification devices in India and called for well-defined parameters.

The NIV relied on the United States Environment Protection Agency's (USEPA) guide, standard and protocol benchmark for testing microbial purifiers.

The study was conducted by senior deputy director and head of the NIV's hepatitis division, Vidya Arankalle, and scientist Vikram Verma. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), ministry of health and family welfare, government of India, extended financial support to the study conducted by the NIV scientists.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sensory branding

Prof. Ramesh Kumar writes about sensory branding: When a consumer bites into a Bournville dark chocolate, does he think about the Rs 75 spent on the product? Do the expensive and exquisitely-crafted Mont Blanc pen make the buyer think of the premium price?

Youngsters at Coffee Day are busy with fun and frolic completely immersed in the experiential plane of their relationships. Millions of songs are downloaded at itunes to gratify music lovers. Marketers in the recent times have become aware of the need to market to the sensory organs that gets translated into sensual pleasure. Given the price of a brand within the plausible price range associated with the target segment, sensual quotient could work in a manner that even makes the consumer raise over the price sensitivity threshold very much associated with the Indian consumer.

Sensory branding

Primarily sensory branding starts with the appreciation of sensual pleasure orientation. Krackjack the biscuit with the dual taste of sweet and salt in one is probably one of the earliest examples of sensory branding in the Indian context (which was followed by 50:50 from Britannia). While significant stimuli a consumer faces (stimuli means sensory information directed to any aspect of the senses) is visual in nature, marketers can tap other senses towards creative branding .

Certain brands of TVs have introduced high output devises . Liril ‘s advertising campaign during the recent times highlights the sensual aspect of touch. Tropicana ‘s pure fruit juice proposition at a premium though generally associated with the health platform also moves the consumer towards the sensory appreciation of taste.

The visual aspect of sensory perception has been translated into a stereotype (projecting an image or a picture that is widely held by the consumer in general) by a number of brands in the cosmetic and personal care fields. Fair&Lovely and Parachute are examples.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday Blues: Never be sorry

How easy it is to sit and think you have been wronged and how you could have been better. How easy it is to blame all your misfortune on something else.

D H Lawrence, one of my favorite poets, writes...

I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself.

This Monday make a promise to yourself. Don't let any opportunity pass to show your love and being good. Don't let any opportunity pass to be better, to improve, to learn, to teach, to guide, to change from good to great.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Love you Dad

Though I have been driving over a decade, each time my dad sees me drive away, I see the anxiety in his eyes. Especially if it is a car. I know he waits for my call, to know I reached safe. He never calls unless my call doesn't come in the stipulated time, lest he disturbs me while driving. I try and tell him that I would be fine but the message doesn't hit the spot.

'You will know one day, when you get to be a dad' is his quip. May be, I will. Look at this video I found at Anxiety Index and you would know why your parents behave the way they do. Loved the ad. Love you Dad.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Harp the negatives

Harp the negative and you might end up attracting quite a few. The trick here is not just being different and standing out of the crowd, but to be able to let your customers speak about what happened and be frank is a brave thing to do. Most companies and marketing managers would think twice before doing that. The need to be direct and allowing your consumers to hear bad things, negatives is a good marketing strategy.

Indiblogger is organizing a meet up on 3rd October this year at IIM B. Are you coming?

Using a Blackberry?

I am using Blackberry for almost an year now and am super happy with it. Have you ever heard the cut about RIM's baby? Once you go Black, you never go back. True it is...

Here are some interesting facts about the usage and consumer trends about how Blackberry users check email:
  • 83% on vacation
  • 59% the second it arrives
  • 53% in the bathroom
  • 59% in bed
  • 37% while driving
  • 12% while in Church
Courtesy: Shiv's blog

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lessons from Komaram Puli

Komaram Puli is Pawan Kalyan's recent release after a lot of gap and his fans were waiting with bated breath. Backed with the team that made Kushi, which was a superhit, Komaram Puli had huge expectations. One of the die hard fans of Pawan, tells me that it is a dud. Reasons? Several. You would find some here.

I have few takeaways for you.
  • Any brand or communication fails when it tries to build your expectations to insane level
  • Too much delay in arriving at the threshold(3 years in this case), too much hype(I happened to watch the promos) might cause your audience, read customers, to expect a lot and nothing that is offered is acceptable
  • The solution can be to hold back on the expectations and maintain a minimum level of curiosity and pitch when your customer expects it
  • Holding back too much in your hand, in haze, makes me lose interest and when the actual thing happens, it hardly matters to me anymore

Shubh Aarambh

In an otherwise stale environment lacking fresh ideas, Cadbury manages to hit the chord by bringing the theme: Shubh Aarambh.

One of the ads shows a guy pick up a girl with 'Maa kehti hai' line and in another the same line is used to chide a jeans clad lady to step out of the house. Simple message conveyed brilliantly to the audience across all ages. I have to agree that the brand manages to stand out in its communication. Not that it needs to. Dairy Milk wins the race by a mile when it comes to the key factors like brand recognition and beckoning. The platter is wide enough for different people to choose for different occasions and still the way these ads have come online, it is amazing. Well, would I remember the brand when I pick up a chocolate next? I am sure I would. How about you?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Here, use my debit card

'Let me use my debit card. Why do you wan to swipe it? I would anyways pay it before the due date. I have cash.'

This is the usual response whenever I take my credit card out. Incidentally I have noticed that people carry debit cards and shop more often using that rather than use their credit cards. RBI has come up with an interesting study on this.

Numbers released by the Reserve Bank of India have belied any such projections far from growing at a blistering pace, credit card usage amongst India's consumers is actually falling. Use of plastic money, instead of cash, is seen by economists as a sign of confidence of the ordinary consumer in the economy.

Read it here: Debit's in.

Monday Blues: Skip the door

This Monday, uncomplicate and know things that are unknown. Unlock the doors that hinder learning and learn something new, something that you didn't know.

Monday Blues: Extinguish the resistance

Everyone starts with good ideas and intentions. But there is a resistance in your head that holds you back. Holds you back from asking questions, making changes, improving. Resistance makes you agree to everything, makes you agree with your boss, agree with your team mates, makes you fear force and makes you comply to a process when you are sure you can change and make it better than the way it is being done.

Resistance makes you second rate, makes you sloppy, makes you an idiot. Extinguish the resistance today, this Monday. Not blow it, hide it, wait for it to simmer out but EXTINGUISH it. Move on to the best possible way of doing it. Raise your hand and get things done in your way. Volunteer for extra work if the need be. Kick those blues away and get moving. Let's change the way things are done around here.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Vanity Waist Sizing

Next time you go to buy a pair of jeans or skirt, don't feel happy that you have reduced your waist size if you fit into something less than your actual size. Disguised as a perfect fit, brands are trying to lure your buy based on your appeal to lose weight and slim down.

According to Esquire Magazine, many retailers are lying to consumers about waist sizes in order to make them feel thinner and more likely to buy their clothes. The worst offenders? A pair of Old Navy pants labeled as size 36 were in fact 41 inches, a pair of size 36 Dockers were actually 39.5 inches, and Haggar and Gap were both selling 39 inch pants as size 36. CBS Sunday Morning featured a story today about the trend towards "vanity waist sizing."

Courtesy: Carpe Diem.


Heard about the controversy about the theme song for Common Wealth Games? Here is the song video. You can download it from here.

Will it build up on you like his other compositions? Would it be a forgettable experience? Can it beat Shakira's Waka Waka?

I personally feel the controversy is just a stunt while the song seems a bit slow. I would have preferred something like Jai Ho to carry the CWG theme. Knowing Rahman and his magic, this should do too. Waiting to see the result. Fingers crossed.

Kannadadalli Maataadi

Lovely idea isn't it? The picture speaks for itself. A little extra discount always helps. Here is how you get it.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The problem with choice

Ever found a kid staring at the many flavors of ice creams trying to pick up one? Ever wondered why he takes so long to make up his mind? I guess the problem is that you have a choice. Do kids alone do this? Or are we prone to this too? Let me explain.

Walking through Bangalore Central trying to pick up few dresses for a friend who is carrying, we found it really difficult to select one dress. Walking past long aisles of dresses neatly arranged in different colors, sizes and prices, we found none that matched our need and expectation. This purchase was a specially long one as it wasn't for my friend. The fact that there could be a better choice and the constant doubt that if you have already made one and later realize that it could've been better is what makes you think twice before you made that decision. you don't want to pick the wrong dress. You want to get the choice right. You don't want to regret the decision later as you know that you could have chosen better. The satisfaction you get out of making the right choice is always lesser when you have a lot of choice to choose from. The choice at central was too overwhelming and none matched our expectations. May be there was one but we could wheel it from our hook.

At Total today, we managed to pick up several things that we wanted including the kurtas. There were very few brands that we could choose from. The fabric was good, price was a bit high but we didn't have much choice. So we just picked up. Coming back we actually found it worth for my money and time. One of the reasons for picking up the kurta at Total is that the choice was lesser and the thinking process we had to spend was smaller too. The other reason, or the obvious reason is that the offering was better but I would rate my first reason higher.

Next time try this. When you go to an ice cream shop with a kid, ask him which flavor he could like. Look at the time he takes to decide and the number of times he changes his decision. Once he finalizes the order, you pick something he hasn't and see if he would trade it with yours. Most probably he would.

Try this too... Offer the kid just two choices, Vanilla or Chocolate. See how fast the choice is.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Monday Blues: Wear your attitude

One of the best pics I have ever seen. Love the attitude. Don't let anyone, I repeat, anyone ruin your day. Wear your attitude and make your day. Make sure you make someone's day different too. Spread cheers all around and it will go a long way.

More about the pic above(Dunno where I got it from). Some people are like the guy with the paint brush. They cherish in making your life miserable. Some like like all the guys in the line. they just let others ruin your happiness. These are the majority. But you can choose to be the fourth guy from the right and not let someone else dictate your happiness. What do you want to be? What can you be?

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

About me

Hi... Thanks for visiting. I am Dr. Vamshi. I am currently the Vice President, Community Connect at Estate.ONE, a new-age prop-tech firm. At Estate.ONE we are building one of a kind tech platform to help in seamless interaction of home-buyers, builders, partners who can work together, online & offline.

I live and breath branding, content and communication and have been involved in many startup brands, products. I run a series of posts on positive psychology and self help that has been a hit. I have an active audience of close to 1 lakh people who follow my content and thoughts.

I won many awards including Rising Star Marketer of the year @ National Business and Service Leaders Summit 2015 and the Social Media Leader of the Year 2015 at the National Awards for Excellence in Digital Marketing & Social Media 2015.

College saw me graduate with a Post Graduate Program in Marketing Management from Alliance Business School, Bangalore,  Masters of Arts in English Literature, Master of Arts in History, Master of Arts in Sociology. Thanks to these, I am listed in the Limca Book of Records for having the highest number of Post Graduate degrees at the youngest age in India. I completed 3 Ph. Ds in Christianity (Leadership lessons for the marketplace)have done another Masters in Business Economics, Masters in Theology, Masters in Divinity (religious studies) and I am presently working on a doctoral thesis in counselling.

My biography is listed in the prestigious ‘Marquis Who is Who in the World twice in 2010 and 2012 editions. I am also the recipient of the prestigious 'Prathiba Award' by State Government (AP, India) & 'Meritorious Student award' by Board of Higher Education (AP, India) among several other accolades.

I walked the streets as a salesman, interacted widely from fan followers to irate customers(turning the later to the former), distributors to resellers, manufacturers to CEOs, sold a variety of products & services... software to insurance, credit cards to sexual supplements. The diversity in my knowledge and experience makes growth my passion. In my career spanning one and a half decades, I was associated with brands like Samskruti Builders, Herbz International, The Indian Partner, Don't Bite Me patch, Pukka Herbs, Solepads, Sparklehearts,  DHL, ICICI Bank and Veekay Computers. In each of these roles, I was hands on with branding, marketing, strategy and influencing their online, offline marketing and sales.

I can sit and do anything I like for hours without getting bored. I love traveling, reading books, mags, old literature, writing articles (both here and research articles), poems, listening to music and photography (Yes, multitasking is in my blood). All this only when I am not sleeping or trying to play Dad to my little angels.

Reach me @
If you like what I post, please comment & TELL others.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday blues: Get online

Use the best weapon that is available to the best use. Unfortunately, we tend to use it for all the wrong or at least for purposes that aren't worthy. Check the time you spend online and see how much you waste. Can we be more productive?

"The fantastic thing about the web is that anyone with a computer and an Internet connection can tap into a global market from day one."
--- Dan Cobley

Monday Blues: PMS

Mondays have been dreaded. Mondays should be the days when you learn, grow and plan.

Monday should be a day of passion, motivation and structuring.

  • Tap your passion. Motivate yourself to reach out to that passion. Structure your work and life to meet the only goal: your passion. Make your priorities on a hard day even more harder. Stick to the to-do list. Make no changes unless something really pressing comes up. Make sure you spend less time contemplating what to do and concentrate on doing it. Remind yourself about what you are set to do and keep at it. Fix a time slot for other things and handle them then.
  • Motivate yourself to make the best out of the whole fixture. Tell yourself that this is easy and you can do it. Anything so tough can be that only till you start it. And then it is cake walk. Reminding yourself about the passion is a good option.
  • Structuring your work to make the best out of the whole situation is very good as long as it does show a gleam of light. Keep your plan free from clutter, junk and irrelevant things that you usually do on a normal day.
If you are an individual who is handling PMS, think about how well you can do it. If you are a manager with your team member or colleague facing this problem, what can you do to make it easier?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Add a memory III

Lovely anklets! Silver lined stone-embedded and not so glittery that go with any dress, more of casual, I-don't-give-a-damn anklets. She reaches out and is toying with them while sipping piping hot coffee we bought from the station platform.

'Society is a mean judge. You get ranked based on how you look rather than what you are. Work places are a microcosm of this evil. I usually prefer dressing in casuals and match everything to what I wear and carry but these days no one bothers in my team and being the tough girl I am, no one dares to comment. So I wear whatever I want.'

Shravya seemed to speak to herself more than me.

'The dress should look costly; Branded ones manage to get respect. I don't need to look for anything. Lifestyle does not determine who I am. I am past that stage and more matured now. Life teaches many things you see.'

I nodded in agreement. Agreeing only to the last part of her theory.

'Most men can't face the fact that I earn more than them and look at this as a snob. Even if a girl deserves to be promoted, there are rumor mills working overtime to show that there was some illicit advantage for the girl!'

'This is not just confined to men,' I chip in, 'Mostly the discussion starts from a women and men build on it. There is nothing particular only for men. It is how human psyche is built. Being jealous is the first thing taught at school when you compare grades and performances and limit the child's ability to a mere number.'

'Agreed. The way society teaches you to mould yourself and be nice isn't any good. In fact you end up wanting to step over to the other side. All the capability and talent is ignored just because you are a woman and people murmur behind you. This is bad. Do you even know how much a woman sacrifices when she steps out of her comfort and comes to work? Do you know how many male egos she has to encounter and satisfy to lead a normal life? From her husband to father-in-law, neighbors to relatives, team mates to managers, cab driver to security and it goes on. People all over have mean attitudes and are always ready to scoop something from you as you work. After all this we never complain about work pressure and are expected to stay calm and work at home as if nothing happened.'

My coffee is done and I crush the cup. The train slows down and she looks at me waiting for a comment. I refuse to divulge my feelings in my expression. She remains silent.

'Don't you feel people look up to you? You seem to be pretty successful at work. I guess people should be behind you for advice and stuff?'

'Yes they do. This is even more tiresome as the question is about the amount of work I do. Apart from being dumped on for all the work I am expected to do, people just dump things on me as I am the most efficient in the group! This is the negative side of being professionally sound. I can't say no because I know anyone else in handling that would mess it up.'

'Well! I know how you feel. I have been there and know the feeling. What I do is teach someone else to do the same job, add a professional touch and let it pass on.' She doesn't seem to like my idea.

'You must have a lot of coercing and counseling to do to get the stuff right. I end up spending most of my time on that and hence prefer to do it myself, to retain the quality. That is not the point of discussion. We are talking about the differences in the psyche and how people play it to hit back. Men have egos higher than a mountain and try to shove their ideas and beliefs down our throat. This isn't fair. We have our way of doing things and are good at it. If we managed to do well all these years, we should be able to do that in the time to come. We don't need a daddy at work too. After all why are we being paid if you think we don't have any talent on our own?"

She flicks the tea cup out of the moving train and looks at me as if I need to move my pawn down the chess board. I change my balance and look at her.

'That is a pretty bold statement when you say men handhold you. We just try and make sure you are comfortable in what you are doing. True. You are being paid for your talent, but does it really hurt if we try and help you out? Just to make things simpler.'

She doesn't agree. 'That is not required! If you can make things simpler or help us out, don't dump all your silly things on us! Make sure you do a good job. Let me give you an example. Do you cook?'

I nod in approval.

'Good! Did you ever see the kitchen table, dishes and all the mess you create once you are done? You can be of help but never ever perfect what we are good at. Men are made for a purpose. The point is you take too long to figure it out. Some never do. Some get lost in the way. But one thing is common in all. At every corner or speed breaker in this path, you feel this is it and stick to stay there for ever and expect us to travel all along with you. Women are not like that. We are very practical. We know what we want, when we want and why we want. We go get things done. Period. No nonsense discussions and elaborate plans for life. WE make things simpler. You make all the mess. We don't mind that too. We start minding only when you try and prove that we made the mess and are expected to clear it up!'

I look out nonchalantly out. The train slows down and picks up slowly. The rhythm could easily set to Chaiyya chaiyya! I should have slept and not spoken to her. Here I am defending all the men who are happily sleeping against a woman who wants to rip off all men and justify her statement men are boring. Damn Sharukh and your silly movies. Why don't you play the Don stories or Chak De roles? After all those stories why should you play the all-down-for-you Surinder? And how is it practically possible for a guy working in electricity department to do all that? But how will I convince your female fans? You twist their docile minds and they expect us to be. Damn Sharukh!

We approach a station. I come back from my thoughts and she is still arguing, sincerely.

'You want everything to be as you like it. What about our individuality? We don't want to change, can't. You think it is easy to change but it never is. You should learn to live with that fact. Let me put it better. Even two men cannot be in sync with each other. It reflects in the way you drive too.'

"You want to grab some coffee?" I say as I stand up. We reach a station. The station wakes up for the train and vendors jump down their carts. The number of interested hawkers is low.

I get her some chips and coffee. I stand as the train eases out of the station and settle down. She cups the glass in both hands for warmth and gives that I-know-you glee.

I shrug gesturing what.

'You are like Pradhyumn. You know when to change. I know that you are being chivalorous but you wanted to skip the conversation.'

'No. I just wanted to get some coffee. I don't agree what you said. Let's start about the driving bit. But before that who is Pradhyumn?'

She smiles. For the first time in all the night I see a girl in her.

'Come on! Who is Pradhyumn? You got to tell me more about this.'

She opens the chips packet and settles down.

Who is Pradhyumn? Well, that is another story.

Read Add a memory Part I and Part II.

Get efficient

Got a car? Ever thought you could be the reason for the low efficiency? Here is what I found online. Covers the following points and was an interesting read.
  • Check Tyre Pressure
  • Lighten Your Load
  • S-L-O-W D-O-W-N
  • Do Fuel Quality/Types/Additives Help Mileage?
  • Tune Your Engine
  • Clean the Air Filters Regularly
  • Keep the Windows Closed
  • Clean Spark Plugs
  • Don’t Be a Clutch-Driver
  • Keep the Car in Showroom Condition

Love until it hurts

Two of my favorite quotes from Mother Teresa.
  1. I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love
  2. I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much
Wish you were here celebrating your 100th birthday.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hush Apollo! Halt

Strike Thy wings, hush Apollo! Halt!
Let the noon creep really slow,
White, soft, calm and low,
My Angel's hurrying things, to give salt!

Let the moon's vague light,
Prowl with unhallowed slumber deep;
Keep your golden haze robbing sleep,
Push far long away the night.

Let the sunshine cling,
Lay the shadows short;
Longer should Thou court,
Before you kiss earth's sling.

Hark my words Apollo, Halt!
Till my Angel triumphs,
Gleaming from the dust with hymns,
Praising the Lord in Exalt!

Pic courtesy nethugs

Monday, August 23, 2010

Happy Onam

Happy Onam and God bless you all with lots of prosperity. Missing all celebrations, food and fun from Kerala.

Monday Blues: The deliberate no-ball!

In keeping the Monday Blues thoughts on, today let's see 'The deliberate no-ball!'

If you aren't familiar to the universe of cricket, Sehwag was denied a well deserved century by the Lankans when they had a no-ball bowled deliberately and stranded him on 99 when India won the match. The best part is Sehwag raised it in the press conference and pointed it as a repeat mistake inviting the public ire and discontent towards the team and cricket as a whole. Everyone acted as if this is quite new to the gentleman's game!

It happens all the while in life and at work. Yes, you would find such people in your area of work too. What makes someone do that?

When you ought to be promoted and someone doesn't do that. When your file needs to move but doesn't. When an appreciation is due but never comes. When there is a mistake and it is definitely mentioned. When the world wakes up to your achievement but your boss chooses to ignore or vice versa. When you don't do the needed and delay.

The list can go on but I hope you got my point. When you delay things don't ever feel they are not going to happen. You cant stop a star from shining by closing your eyes or holding a palm against the light.

This Monday, don't bowl the deliberate no-ball. Don't be a Randiv. Be a proactive leader. You don't need appreciation or title or designation to be one. Lead not push back. Go do the extra bit to make things happen.

Can an eclipse stop the sun from shining?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

On the right track

Even if you are on the right track, you will be run over if you just sit.

Stop being a snail and get to work.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Spamming away?

Tired of spam mails offering you everything you didn't want? We usually delete them. Few go the long way. Baby did just that. Read on.

Click on the image to enlarge.