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Showing posts from September, 2016

Consumption and breaking consumer habit

Habitual buys happen out of inertia or brand loyalty. What characterizes habitual buys is the lack of cognitive effort, meaning the consumption is a ‘thoughtless’ one. The reason as to why this happens is ‘cos consumers are buying repeatedly a brand that has delivered on value.
A week ago, I renewed my car insurance and two wheeler insurance. Until now the act was one that I repeated without much thought. I mean I just went back to my insurer and got the insurance renewed. However this year was different. I give the marketer credit for making me think about something that I was habituated to. How do that happen? I mean, why did I start thinking about renewing my car and two wheeler insurance, something I never did in the past? Here’s why. The marketer interrupted my habituated repeat buy with a proposition of ‘better value’. The marketer stepped in and said, ‘Wait a minute. You can get more than what you are currently getting from the service provider. So take a moment, do some think…

Breakfast toast & the curse of culture.

I make a request for toast at a breakfast buffet and the guy behind the counter reaches for the loaf with his hands. I am not happy. I don’t want him touching anything I’ll be eating. However the thing is, it ain’t his fault. Despite probably all the teaching and training, reaching for the loaf with their fingers is what comes naturally to most people this part of the world. Yeah, even in the food business. In fact that’s default behaviour, courtesy culture.
In the Indian subcontinent eating with your hands is the norm. It’s part of culture. No one bothers having a second thought about the practice as it part of our unquestioned everyday life. If hands are used to eat, they will be issued to make and serve. It doesn’t matter that the time and place is a commercial breakfast buffet. Now these kinds of unconsciously extended behaviour is true for all cultures. If you think about the effect of culture long enough, you’ll see that much of people’s thoughtless everyday acts are prompted b…

A Purchase Story & a Lesson for Flipkart & Yours truly.

Dear Flipkart,
It’s been a while since we’ve been mulling over whether we need to get our son Jaden a mobile phone to himself. We finally decided we will since he is soon turning 10. We weren’t sure if 10 was the right age, but we decided to take the plunge. After a bit of scouting I thought I found the ‘right deal’ listed at Flipkart. You see, we wanted a phone that was ‘good’ enough (‘cos Jaden frequently cuts videos for his YouTube channel and posts pictures on his Instagram account) and would be priced right (meaning we wouldn’t have to worry about the ‘hole in our pocket’ once the phone got into Jaden’s hands).
I ordered the phone yesterday, and informed Jaden he was getting his phone today. Needless to say he was over the moon. However early this morning (0105 hours to be exact), I get a message saying the phone has been cancelled at my request. I was taken aback. Once I was up a few hours later I called Flipkart to check. I was informed the purchase had been cancelled by Flip…

What the film 'Raw' can teach experiential brands

Take a bow, Julia Ducournau. With 'Raw' you've done what most 'experiential brands' dream of pulling off. You've provided compelling evidence via your first set of consumers/viewers how shockingly scary your movie can be. The poor sods who fainted during your movie's midnight screening have done you the biggest favor ever. They've told us, the rest, volumes about your film without uttering a word!

Way to go, Julia!

So here's the 'raw' lesson. For experiential brands to work (or for that matter other brands too), the first set of consumers must go gaga (or 'pass out') and do the 'talking'. They must 'tell' of their experiences so the 'masses' are convinced about the promise made by the brand. Julia and her marketing team didn't tell me a word about 'Raw'. The Toronto film goers did, via the media. Now I am thinking of going when the movie hits Bangalore.

I'm just hoping I don't go the Toron…

Should Mocambo worry about Zomato rating & the social media storm?

Now that Mocambo's rating on Zomato has nosedived, should the restaurant worry? What about negative publicity and the storm on social media? Should Mocambo change its ways, and that too with a public statement?


On the brand's patrons. If current Mocambo goers and potential ones turn away from the restaurant, then the brand must worry. Else it can carry on as usual. Whatever anyone may think, a brand should only heed its current/loyal and potential customers. Other opinions and attitudes don't matter. If you ask me, I am doubtful whether this particular incident will affect Mocambo's patrons in any way. In fact me thinks there may even be patrons who agree with what Mocambo did. Being cautious about jumping to conclusions, I'd venture to say what may seem like class discrimination may in fact have been an attempt to preserve a brand's image. The refusal of entry may be in keeping with a policy that seeks to ensure Mocambo remains a premium dining place…

Life & about taking risks

The reason why dare-devilry of the kind that Moscow-based model-photographer Angela Nikolau practices (including taking selfies atop skyscrapers ) catches our attention is 'cos of the risk involved. Plus the fact that we won’t ever take such risks makes such spectacles even more alluring. Risk prone behaviors have been the subject to studies by researchers for long. One such recently commissioned study at Brock University will try and figure what goes on in the heads of young people when they engage in risky behavior, including drinking, taking drugs, and even physical inactivity and poor nutrition which are generally not associated with risk.
The ability to balance between taking and mitigating risks is essential for an interesting wholesome life. Marketers on their part are benefited both by consumers taking risks and doing what is necessary to mitigate it. When innovative products are introduced into the marketplace, theory tells us it is the innovators who move first to buy. …

A city's image & what Mother Teresa did

Aroup Chatterjee's opinionated rant against Mother Teresa in the ET (the guy has written a book on the subject it seems) has less to do with what Mother did while she was alive. In fact the raving is probably more representative of the anger Aroup is harboring. Anger at what Mother did and how that has sullied the 'image' of (I am assuming) the beloved city, Kolkata. Thanks (or no thanks) to Mother and Missionaries of Charity, Kolkata for long will be associated with poverty and misery (unfairly, I admit).

Aroup, I believe resents that. Therefore the rant.

Aroup's rant is a lesson to marketers. One that should teach you that a brand won't always end up being perceived the way you want it to be. That what will matter in the end will only be what consumers see and say about your brand. Its the dumb marketer who blames others for lousy perceptions the brand gets saddled with in a marketplace. The smart one knows how to craft the 'right image' using available …