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Showing posts from August, 2017

Can an assessment of our buying habits be a peep into our state of mental well-being?

Institutional contexts present us with our best opportunities for psychological growth. On the flip-side, it’s within institutions that we may suffer the gravest of damage to our emotional health. Institutions embedded with bureaucracies and hierarchies, where power plays are rife are places where we are most susceptible to damage. Again, such places if navigated well, pose enormous opportunities for emotional growth. When I say institutions, I include the whole lot, meaning the family, places of worship where religion is practiced, schools, colleges, business firms where we work, and so on. Of course, some of those are places where we are subject to normative influences and therefore have a greater power over our psychological makeup, like the family for example.
It’s also important to note that as we rise up the hierarchy in these institutions, our ability to either grow or inflict damage on others too is enhanced.
To make an assessment of our emotional well-being, it would help i…

Here’s what the Federal Bank Ad can teach you about your goals.

The folks at Federal Bank think their Ad cuts through the clutter because its ‘youthful, light-veined, and cheeky’. That may be true, but what really sets the Ad apart is the way it presents the playing out of people’s goals at ‘multiple levels’ with superb clarity. I don’t know if Ogilvy & Mather incorporated the goal angle in the story-line by design, or if it’s just plain good luck; whatever, here’s why the Ad scores and shines through the clutter and noise marketers bombard buyers with.
To figure why the Ad’s a winner, you have to get to the heart of human goals and how they are pursued. You see, the goals we go after operate at three levels, namely, the ‘subordinate’, ‘focal’, and ‘super-ordinate’. What’s most apparent, and that drives our motives is the focal goal. Yet what most people fail to recognise or realise is that, it’s the super-ordinate goal (that’s more psychogenic in nature), that’s at the heart of most human drives. Let me explain this in the context of the Feder…

Here’s the test Sarahah passed to get more than a million downloads.

In their book, ‘Groundswell’, Charlene Li & Josh Bernoff talk about why ‘enabling relationships’ trumps ‘glitzy technology’ when it comes to user adoption in the virtual social sphere. Apps, tools, and technologies that make it big on virtual platforms are those that enable ‘new relationships’ in ‘new ways’.
To decipher Sarahah’s success, you’ve got to know about the ‘Groundswell Technology Test’ Charlene & Josh designed, and that Sarahah passed with flying colours!
So here’s the test Sarahah aced.
Q1. Does the App Sarahah enable people to connect with each other in new ways? YES!
Q2. Is the App Sarahah, effortless to sign up for? YES!
Q3. Does the App Sarahah shift power from institutions to people? YES! You bet it does!
Q4. Does the Sarahah community generate enough content to sustain itself? YES!
Q5. Is the Sarahah App an open platform that invites partnerships? YES!
Sarahah’s five ‘Yes’ answers are among the reasons why it’s being adopted at an exponential rate by users

The Advertising feats of Udar Arogya & Sweat Slim Belt, & why it doesn’t matter.

Turning on the idiot box for my daily dose of news means starting with the D2H home channel. That in turn means 15 seconds of exposure to, at times, the old man waxing eloquent about an herbal concoction that can do the 'toilet trick'. Then there’s people demonstrating how a belt fastened around your midriff can make you either a chick-magnet or get you into clothes SuperGirl can.
A year of those 15 seconds of exposure and this is the outcome. I can now remember and recall that ‘Udar Arogya’ can get you through your morning blushes without an incident, and ‘Sweat Slim Belt’ can up your social acceptance numbers. In information processing parlance this is how you should see it. The advertising stimuli presented by the brands first got into the sensory store in my head, then moved into the short term one, and finally lodged themselves firmly in my long term memory. What’s aided this movement into a territory that allows me to recall and retrieve, is the constant repetition of s…

How Flipkart can stop wasting money on ‘cute stuff’, and instead delight buyers.

Make no mistake. The kids featured in the Flipkart TV commercial look cute in their adult avatars. They act superbly well to make us go awwww. The brand message they convey stays long enough for us to remember that Flipkart is a great place to shop at. That’s until we have conversations like the one I had with a friend. He narrated to me the harrowing time he had trying to get the online retailer to replace an 18000 bucks faulty phone that was delivered. He couldn’t get through to customer care easily and when he did, he was at the mercy of service personnel who just didn’t seem to care. Call escalations didn’t seem to work. Finally what paid off were a few tweets directed right at the man on the top.
Now I’ve got a question for you. Who do you think influences me enough to form an opinion about shopping at Flipkart? The cute kids on TV, or my friend’s disturbing story?
It’s time brands figured the world of communiques has altered dramatically in the digital age. Access to ‘credible’ bu…

The Marketing lesson in how Jet Airways got me to buy Josy’s book.

Since the time I’ve known about Josy Joseph’s book, ‘A Feast of Vultures’, I’ve been meaning to buy and read it. I didn’t do the buying for a while as I was immersed in Simonsen & Rosen’s brilliant book ‘Absolute Value’. Then the Jet Airways lawsuit happened. I decided it was time to buy Josy’s book. If the book had got a corporate house to go to court, it’s gotta be a must-read. A neat discount at an online retailer sealed the buying click.
I don’t know if Josy should thank Jet for getting me to buy his book, but tell you what, the airline’s lawsuit was the trigger. It sealed my decision to buy and got the ‘buying click’ done. So here’s how you should see my buying act and here’s what you can learn from it. Until Jet’s pushback on Josy, I was inclined positively to the prospect of buying the book. In behavioural parlance that means two of the three components that make up attitude, namely the cognitive (belief element) and the affective (feel element) were aligned firmly in favour…

Why Alphy is making wine, & why we do or buy.

For a while I’ve been trying to convince Alphy about foraying into the world of homemade wines. I wasn’t able to make much progress until recently. What did the trick was her coming across a news article that claimed drinking wines is good to keep one’s weight in check. I don’t know how far that’s true, but I ain’t complaining. No Sir! We now have a bunch of grapes snoozing in a jar with other stuff. It will be there for another 21 days (at least that’s what the recipe said), and we then hope to partake on what is the nectar of Gods. Alphy I guess on her part is looking forward to that ‘lighter feeling’.
The wine lesson I learnt? You see, people do stuff only when there’s something in it for them. Ditto for consumers. Brands can persuade only when they can convince their buyers on what’s in it for them if they buy! Such convincing is not easy. Especially when you have to construct a message that both catches buyer attention and delivers on a message of superior value delivery (vis-à-vi…