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Showing posts from May, 2011

Online Buyer Behaviour

Key findings from a survey on consumers, and how the use of digital media has affected shopping habits by Yahoo & Universal McCann -


The Internet is a trusted and informative source.
Shoppers are less impulsive.
Shopping is social.
Its cool to find good deals.Read the results of the survey here.

Love and its lack in giving

What we fear most among other things is abandonment. Of being forsaken and not being loved. Which explains why a lot of us enjoy receiving gifts. Because getting something means we are cared for, maybe even loved.

Giving can be an act of love. It can be otherwise too. When we give out of love we know its the act that counts. Ditto for the receiver. What get's given doesn't matter to one who gets. Its the act of love that holds centerstage. The joy that follows the act is a shared one that envelops the giver and the receiver.

The giving act sans love, has what is 'given' taking center-stage. Its the 'thing' in question that's of utmost importance. The giver chooses with care knowing he can't afford to go wrong with what's being given. The receiver measures the act on the monetary value of the gift. The steeper the cost, the greater the pleasure derived.

The noble giver is one who gives, and asks nothing in return. The greatest is one who gives his life …

Tree of Life

'It’s entirely proper, and refreshingly unusual, for a filmmaker to try to use the majesty of cinema to make us feel the majesty of God. Though The Tree of Life is often vague to the point where different viewers may come away with very different ideas about what it all means, Malick has created a mesmerizing work centered on a deep wellspring of respect for the omnipotent.'

- John Boot, 'Terence Malick's Mystical Tree of Life'.

Spotlight

Because we can't accept it, we shouldn't dish it?

If you bring a current professor of an IIT, an alumnus, and a current PhD student at an IIT to a TV show and ask them what they think of JairamRamesh'sremark, guess what the response would be? Thankfully you don't need to either teach, or have graduated from either of these institutions to know the answer to that.

Guess what, Jairam is right. Neither of these institutions have anything to show when it comes to research. Oh sure, this lack of world-class research may be true to other teaching-learning institutions too, but guess what, if there were institutions that could have produced research, it had to be the IITs and IIMs.

Why?

Simple. There are no others institutions in India where faculty enjoy as much job-security or are given as much time so they can engage in research. The truth is, the IITs and the IIMs are great examples of institutions (just like Indian business firms) that have thrived under a scenario of artificial scarcity, and have had the good fortune of being pro…

What's dumber, listening to 'Friday' or Russell Brand?

Honestly, I'd never heard of Rebecca Black. Until I stumbled on her song 'Friday' on Youtube. I thought the song was nice with a catchy beat. A tune that could grow on you, I felt. And then I did a search on the singer and guess what I found? Other than the fact that she was a 13 year old, that 'Friday' was being branded as the 'worst ever' song, and that Katy Perry had mocked the song by singing it out of tune at a Melbourne concert.

Well what can I say, welcome to the stupidity of crowds (read, herd mentality). In marketing parlance that means the influence of 'reference groups'. Tell you what, after reading the news stories, I started to admit maybe the song was annoying. The thought was planted in my mind via all that I read. If the world had an opinion, guess I must play along is what my subconscious mind told me. But thankfully I stopped before all the opinion got to dictating mine. As I heard the song again, I thought it had a groove to it tha…

The marketer in Drudge

Why is Matt Drudge a personal hero?

1.He isn't bothered about being liberal. Damn right he's conservative, plus wears it on his sleeve unabashedly.

2.He's stuck to what he did for years. In business lingo that means he stayed with his business model despite Internet wisdom like the 'wisdom of crowds'.

3.He's what marketing's about. Brilliant segmenting and targeting. Brilliant value proposition. In marketing lingo that means he crafted an 'aggregated news' proposition for his set of readers that included yours truly. Plus he got the stories right and their presentation (read, headline) dead right!

4.He didn't go after the kind of readers that traipse up and down Facebook. After all, they have HuffPo giving them what they want.

5.He keeps a low profile.

6.And Finally he's truly an inspiration to all who think they can't make it. Drudge made it despite having been placed in psychiatric treatment, and having suffered the recommendation that he be…

The Trust deficit

Brooklyn took to the pool different from Jaden. All of eight months, Brooklyn cooed in delight and flapped her li'l hands and legs as she hit the water supported by her Grandad's palms. Jaden on the other hand wasn't about to wade in with anyone. He got in on his own and cautiously tread the pool's blue not allowing anyone to draw him in. I wasn't surprised. At four and a half, Jaden's been conditioned to what's safe and what isn't. Also he's learnt to trust, and not to. He knew the pool had a deep end where he could drown. He also wasn't about to trust anyone to keep him safe. He had to look out for himself. or so he thought and believed.

Like Jaden, consumers too are conditioned to marketers and their wily ways. So they aren't about to take marketer propositions at face value. Sure, consumers can be duped at rare times. But at all other times, consumers are wary of what marketers promise. If the risk associated with a purchase is high, cons…

Decimating & Constructing a Brand

There's a difference between defaming a brand and decimating it. Defaming is done on purpose, is spiteful and is engineered via bad publicity. Media houses do it, often at times, sparsely at other times to get at someone who isn't liked. The often-time act is well illustrated by how the liberal media went after a personal hero of mine, George Bush. They couldn't say one good thing about him, though they sung and continue to sing praises to his successor. Note, this despite the fact that Bush's successor continued almost all of the former President's policies.

The act of decimation is a masterful one. It involves destructing a brand by breaking it down piece by piece. The brand that's currently going down is Brand Osama. And the perpetrator behind the act is the American Intelligence agency. Killing Osama wasn't and isn't as important as decimating his image. The latter is what buries a brand forver by forcing it either out of memory, or ensuring if recal…

Why no research in Business Schools?

'Kumar and Puranam make a case for academic management research as the hallmark of superior management schools. They vouch for theoretical practice, dismissing the popular notion that it is of scant applicability to “real life”. They offer three reasons why such research constitutes the “backbone” that “supports the pedagogical mission”. The first is the introduction into the real world of concepts such as ‘core competence' that strategists and financiers cannot do without today; alternatively, such scholarship debunks the corporate world's “best practices”, for instance, by showing poor returns for investors from acquisitions. The second is the value it contributes to teaching consulting and “writing for practitioners”. And the third, the value it adds to the institution's efforts at attracting the best faculty.'

Point taken, Prof. Kumar and Puranam.

But then there's another point that's not being considered. What about asking the question on the emphasis o…

Supermove by Superman

Superman must be dumb.

In fact anyone who threatens what Supey's threatening must be daft in the head. Daft means you'll probably end up like Sean Penn. Who likes Chavez and Venezuela. Oh, and socialism too because he believes its all peace and harmony in socialist lands.

Government can't go wrong with making us happy, right?

Wait a minute. Supey may not be as dumb after all. And maybe he isn't rooting for a Venezuelan citizenship. Its more to do with righting the problem of 'out of sight, out of mind'. Think about it, when did you last think of good ol' Supey? Bet not in a long time. Well, move over Clark, The Hulk and Ironman's doing better on screen. So is the Bat! Plus Manga's a rage on paper. Supey on the other hand fizzled out on screen. Paper too. I bet Supey's sinking. So what do Supey'screaters do? Come up with the citizenship stunt. Will it revive Supey? I don't think so. Supey's boring for the times we live in. Nothing dark a…