Sunday, July 31, 2011

Want to buy an innovative gift? Start walking

Life is moving at really fast pace. High powered cars help us travel between places at a much lesser time than before. Access to information is just a click away. Facebook, twitter, gmail, google etc have mad(e) sure that information is no longer scare. One cannot take pride for long about being fast at something.. Someday, somebody,for sure, will catch up. But this blog is not about how to be faster than somebody or something.. On the contrary it is about something that all of us are longing for in this fast paced world.

Walk with joy
Peace.. Rather Inner peace

Think about what happens when a few old friends meet up... After all the fun and laugh, the conversation gets a little philosophical. One of them group is bound to say "we were much more happy when we had less luxury during our childhood days". The talk gets everybody nostalgic. The theme of the conversation would be  focused on peaceful life and the route for that would be " Back to Basics".

One such " Back to Basics" item is our daily walk. A walk down the memory lane, one can recollect that all the daily errands were achieved with no transport...On the contrary , today,even the smallest of errands demands us taking our cars or any form of vehicle. Our kids get picked up right outside our house and dropped just outside school. Call it luxury or laziness..Walk is becoming a thing of the past.

I decided to break this routine and started walking for all my regular errands. It is during these walks that I realized how much I have missed in this busy life. As I started walking, I realized that there are many interesting people,shops and activities in and around my neighborhood. All these years I missed seeing an interesting art gallery,couple of restaurants, gift shops, hardware store, car mechanic to name a  few.Till this realization happened, I have spent many hours travelling for each of these items.. This break from routine in the form of a walk  will give you fresh breath which inturn will give your Inner Peace.

Next time you want to buy an innovative gift for you spouse or friend, starting walking.A word of caution: do not be wired in any form ( mobile, iPods)..

Happy walking.....

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Brand positioning - " Be what your are"

We come across many a brands in our day-day life... Each brand attempts to position itself in the mind of the consumer. Jack Trout coined this term positioning...

Brand Positioning - Be what you are...
 But what does it mean to a common man?

When marketers try to position their products they are actually  trying to create an image or personality about the brand.The purpose of positioning is differentiate the brand from competition. Volvo stands for safe cars, Walmart for lowest prices...While the definition is simple, it is certainly an arduous task for the marketers given the fact that the human mind is very complex to decipher their opinions,interests, needs, prejudices.

The intent of this blog is not to detail out the process or the steps taken by the marketers to position their products.. On the other hand, I have a different take on Positioning based on some of the assumptions made by marketers. To explain that , lets go back to the definition... Positioning is the process of creating an image in the mind of the consumer.. It is important to own a position in the mind of consumers that provides differentiation for the brand.

It is at this stage marketers make a big mistake. Marketers tend to look only at the consumers side to come up with their positioning statement so as to appeal to them. But the primal mistake is to  not realize the company's fabric.What is the company all about? Its values systems, employee opinions etc. Why is this important? Marketer cannot afford to create an image about the company in certain direction and have values,  employees opinions in the opposite direction. This mismatch will eventually show up in day-day interaction for the consumers and will eventually lead to dissonance between the image created and the service delivered. For ex: Lets say the marketers have positioned its product as a sophisticated brand keeping in mind the target audience's opinions and needs. On the other hand the employees who act as touch points with consumers are conservative middle class people. Their opinions based on their background will dominate and will show during customer interactions. To avoid this embarrassing situation, its important to take it in account not just the consumers side by the company's basic fabric before finalizing the positioning.

Be what you are in front of a customer is far more easier that the desire to be somebody which you are actually not...

Keep it simple..

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