Google+ Consumer Psyche: March 2011


Thursday, March 31, 2011

Remember your roots

"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of those." 

                             --- George Washington Carver

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My cocaine pill

On nippy March evenings, you can also use a little sweat if you can gain fitness. It can brighten the comforting face and savory shape that our chilled bodies still crave. 

Every time I tie my shoe laces, I find myself asking this question. Do I really need to run, jog and slog to get a figure that I always wanted to? Ain't I enough handsome? Why don't I skip the run for today and watch cricket instead? Sipping a can of chilled Coke with popcorn, or grilled chicken can be a cool combination. 

After a long day's work, I am totally strained and drained. Running would just make it worse and my body, sorer! But the satisfaction in sweating makes me have fun. Jogging a few rounds with friends chatting about non-related topics like the new item song, an ad in the paper, new offers online, different kinds of fish and stuff in the park helps me unwind the tension that is built up and cool my senses. I have given up on the iPod as it makes me feel bound, literally. I reach home, take a warm & cold shower; relieved and untoxicated.

Finding a hobby that relaxes my mind, helps me cope with the work pressures is awesome and has made me a better person. All this jogging helps me gorge on the chicken, sweets and whatever I want with ease for longer periods of time.

Jogging is my cocaine pill. What is yours? The warm bright summer is coming. And I am loving it!

Lessons from Cricket

Its things we internalize that become part of us. Part of our lives. Cricket in India runs on such lines. Its embedded into the Indian psyche. As they say, its almost religion. Now the marketing lesson in it is, cricket's become what brands want to be. Brands want consumers to make them part of their lives. Part of their identity. Iconic brands are those that have achieved what's cricket's done. They have wormed their way into consumer lives. So much that consumers draw part of their identity from them. Of course, this doesn't come easy. In fact it materializes only if consumers are willing to connect with brands at a psychological level.

The way cricket has. In India.

Pic is from here & article from BBB.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Eat less yet be full

Ever since I lost 48 lbs with just diet and exercise, I keep getting queries and doubts about what should be eaten and what shouldn't. Eventually they keep coming back to discuss and argue about what they found from someone else. Here is what I suggest you to do. Check if the person you are talking to has lost weight or not. If yes, then you can assume his advice works. Google about the product, check authentic resources to see if the claim is right.

One of the best ways is to keep your diet plan simple and follow-able. This will help you not lose interest and keeps the diet thing exiting. 

 Here are the top three ways to eat less and yet be full.
  • Eat disgusting food: Eat the most utterly disgusting food you can find. Can you? Na. I can't. What I do is to keep the salt a little less than normal so that the food would taste simple and bland making me eat lesser food. It would be wise to use less salt. Salt sometimes makes you crave more food and water.  
  • Eat your veggies first: Annoy your appetite away with high fiber foods first. Eating your veggies first would kick start food processing in the stomach making you eat less. Eating veggies have many other advantages including essential vitamins, lowers the risk of certain cancers, heart disease and other chronic diseases and conditions. Hate eating vegetables? Who is the strongest cartoon superhero?
  • Eat slowly: Worse come to worse, your stomach only has a 30 minute hunger cycle. Even if you are starving, in 30 minutes, you'll lose your appetite and stop eating. I see this happen with most people, especially when you have lunch with friends or colleagues or when you are in a hurry. You forget what your teeth are designed for - Chewing! Chew your food long enough to make it easy for your stomach to digest it. Also chewing your food helps you enjoy what you are eating and saves you from constipation.
Well there are the three ways to start your path to weight loss and good diet. Have a nice day.

Pic is from here.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Blues: Wear your smile

What really makes you smile? You know, the quick, joyful grin, and maybe a chuckle or two, that lights up your face when you do something, see something?

Well, that’s the question, isn't it? What makes you smile?

For me, it’s fleeting and unpredictable. At the moment, it’s the morning sun lighting up the golden rays lighting up. This Monday, keep your smile on. Make sure the people around you smile too. A happy team is a performing team and vice versa.

Happy Monday folks!

Pic is from here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday Blues: Stop the buck

After a lot of travel, I get ready to work today and am reminded it's Monday. The Monday Blues article is pending. I have a lot of mails to be answered and loads of work pending. I can do all that or keep it pending. 

Harry Truman had a wooden plaque on his White House desk which read "the buck stops here". Should you have such a plaque on your desk. Can you hold your responsibility and do a good job? Well, if you are doing it, nothing like it. If you aren't, Monday is a good time to start.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What you shouldn't remember, but you do.

There are a hundred good things you can remember about a person but the ones you remember are all the bad ones. Very few have the capability to remember the good experiences and memories. Years of being good is swept under the mat with just one bad experience. Is that wrong? No. I think the human brain is built to remember what effects you most and this is precisely what you do. No wonder you remember the bad things.

This is the problem with consumers too. You walk past the counter, buy a lot of stuff, sometimes not shopping at all and walk right out without any bad experiences. Sometimes, occasionally a good experience which you chose to smile about and ignore. But there comes a bad experience, a slightly out of the ordinary, may be a tired clerk, salesgirl who fails to understand why you need to check for 10 trails and still not pick one and is a bit restless with you, you jump to the conclusion and talk about consumer rights and all the stuff that puts the poor chap in defense. You call the manager, shout, yell and do everything possible to prove you have a better knowledge of the English language and more elaborate vocabulary and out him in defense too. If the case is going against you, you pool in support from a bunch of similar minded, usually jobless, customers who keep nodding in your support and say you want to report to their CEO about it. This seems funny, most of the times you don't send a mail or call about it. People who have an outlet like blogging will post about it, again in rare circumstances or post as a status in Facebook or tweet about it.

This is even more interesting. The moment you post something bad about a brand or firm, it triggers a churning process of recollection in the reader's brain searching for all the bad experiences they have had or heard from someone else they know and you get a lot of responses.

Why can't the consumer think in a positive way and be calm? Why do you choose to select the few bad experiences you have and make a fuss about it? It is in the consumer psyche like we started with saying you tend to remember experiences you let to effect you more. I am not against reporting insults and bad experiences but am strictly against strutting your ego on someone lower just because you can. The best way is to not allow the bad experiences to effect you. Grow out of it. It will help you more than anything. Applies to relationships too.

The challenge to marketers is to make sure the experience is not just good but delighting. Cut down on the bad experiences and be more flexible. If there is a bad experience, how can you make the customer forget it.

As a consumer think before you start making a scene. The fact that there are around 100 more people shopping comfortably around you and you are the only person having a problem. Let's say you are still right, the statistics say this is a rarity and exception. Should you really spoil the scene just because you can? Just a thought, but worth thinking. 

Picture is from here.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Keep it up, not South!

The first time I walked into Up South, a new restaurant, which opened after a lot of buzz at Jayanagar, Bangalore, I was happy to see well made South Indian dishes at a reasonable price. Here was an air-conditioned option with much better quality and easily available. I remember walking in thinking this is cool. The second thought was when will it get adulterated. Well, it didn't take wrong. With in a month of my first experience I was shocked. The quality remains the same and so does the price. But the problem comes with the size of the offering. The dosas, idlies, poories and wadas have become lilliputian and so small that you find yourself searching for the same in your plate. Innocent or ignorant? I don't know. But the reality is that this is not acceptable and leaves a really bad feeling about the place. The fact that I have recommended this place to many pains me even more. Word of mouth, especially a good one, is hard to get. Don't ruin it.

This is the problem with many brands, be it a product or service. You bend over backwards to impress me and beg me to come and spend my precious dollars in your store and the moment you have a steady line of customers at your door, you tend to take it light. The quality goes down, the smiles disappear and the whole concept of service is swept under the mat. Will the customer stay back? I don't think so. There are a million other options I have to go and spend my money. Also there are numerous doors where I will be treated as a king and I get the value for money as I envision.

Callousness isn't pardonable. Never let it creep into your system or it will eat you inside out. In order to make sure you cash registers keep ringing, you need to keep your quality and service the same. Or the line outside your door is going to get thin.

Try keeping your service as promised and as it should be: Up. 

Monday Blues: Open doors

This Monday be a game changer. Open doors. What kind of doors? Doors leading to?
Open doors to
  • Your creativity
  • Thinking
  • Change
  • Movement
  • Closets of pending files
  • Unreplied mails
  • Unsent reports
  • Pending appraisals, reviews, feedbacks
Set your week and plan what you should be doing this week and how you are going to reach where you want to.

Picture is from Shania's blog.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Few stats about women

The Week's latest issue has done a nice cover story about women. Here are a few stats... 
  • 70% of 1.3 billion people living in poverty around the world are female
  • Women do 66% of the world's work & produce 50% of the food but earn 10% of the income & own 1% of the property
  • Every 26 minutes a women in India is molested (National Crime Records Bureau)