All around me I have Brands trying to woo me, in numerous ways, trying to reach me in every way possible, trying to communicate to me through different mediums… So a pizza delivery chain will not just let me order through an app but will also help me track as and when the pizza is ready, leaves the outlet, is on the way and is outside my door… A bakery not just communicates with me through what’s app but also keeps innovating to keep my taste buds ticking and wanting more….
But what warms my heart really, is when a Brand without these outwards shows of affection, just does something that not just makes my life easy but instantly communicates to me that it cares like no other.
I stumbled upon this particular Brand of Bread that offers sandwich bread… Slices of bread with their borders/corners cut off… how much thought must that have required? But what does this gesture do to me as a Consumer? (I know you will know and relate to me especially if you are a home-maker like me :))
It hooks me to the Brand… because not only does it subsequently reduce negative labour, it prevents me from feeling guilty about wasting those cut borders. Of course, I can put it to various good uses… Which also means that I have to make something right? Which also means I need to have the time?
As consumers, we really don’t expect or ask the Brand to turn our world upside down (in a good way) or to make magnanimous changes… all we expect is for the Brand to just hear the unsaid things and surprise us!
Beyond the Harvards, Standfords, INSEADs and IIMs, there exist another place that teaches you important lessons in the art of marketing like no other. It is to be found in the Bazaars of India, in every little shop that sells you something. It is no wonder then that in spite of Global companies setting up shops here and Indian companies that ape the western way of marketing are still unable to understand why the common Indian still prefers his/her Bazaars any day to going to these stores.
We will here specifically discuss Sari and the art of selling it as understood by the local shopkeeper and why we will never see the local sari shop go out of business. The shopkeeper understands his customers well and he will do all in his power to woo her and which woman doesn’t like being persuaded like that? (winking)
He understands women. Well! Enough of what is needed to sell her a sari. He knows she won’t be satisfied with this or that. She needs to see this, that, that and “bhaiya who bhi”. And when she likes a particular pattern, she wants to see the various colours and all the shades, tints and hues within that, which he can offer. So if he has shown her a leaf green, an olive green, a fluorescent green, a grass green, a sea green, a green that matches her purse, she will yet inevitably ask him for a “mehendi green hain?”
He offers undivided attention. Whether you are buying one sari or a dozen, he will give you all the attention you could ask for. He is in no hurry and he knows you are in no hurry too. He will never show his displeasure if you are taking time or if you are unsure even after a hundred saris have been shown to you. He will not just offer you time, but unlimited supply of coffee/tea or snacks. He knows selecting a sari is a big thing and can get very exhausting.
He is your companion not a seller. If you like a sari, he will spontaneously get up, drape the sari around himself; he will stretch his hand forward and let the pallu fall so you get a better view of the pallu design; he will take a 360 turn for you to show you how the sari would look from every angle. He will take on the journey with you, for you. He knows you as a customer wouldn’t want to keep draping every sari (how tiring would that be?” yet he knows you needs to know how it would look like when draped. He will compliment you on your complexion and tell you how much the sari would suit you. He will give you all the time to contemplate.
He has patience, like no one else. So you might as a customer feel guilty that you’ve have not liked anything in spite of he having you shown so many, but his enthusiasm won’t drop. On the contrary, he will make it very clear that you are worth every yard and he is going to ensure you get a sari of your choice.
Would you then as a customer have the heart to walk out of his shop empty handed?
Who doesn’t mind compliments, jaw-dropping moments and a little paparazzi? We all want to look good and most importantly want to be told so. Ninety nine per cent of people, who claim they dress up for themselves, lie.
And that’s where these social networking sites, especially Facebook play such a critical role in shaping our perceptions about ourselves, largely through the other people’s lens.
These sites are a great platform to learn, experiment, flaunt and bask.
The biggest transformation that the social media has brought about though, is that they have made FASHION democratic, easily accessible to one and all… It is no longer a thing reserved only for a particular section of the uber-good looking and moneyed home sapiens. There are Brands all over the web trying to woo you… The whole tone is indulgent, conversational; more like “Come let me show you how to do it” rather than “Are you sure, you’ll be able to carry it off?”… So if you want a “Really-in” nail art done, here’s a step-by-step tutorial.
It has removed the “fear” and “intimidation” attached to fashion. It has opened a world where everyone has the right to look good and it necessarily needn’t come at a cost.
People are visibly more comfortable in their skins now than ever before and the constant validation (by likes, super likes, emoticons ad comments) by people whose opinion matter to them, only re-affirms it.
However, there is a big ‘however’ attached to it. These sites often reflect a pseudo positive reality of your image. How many times have you heard anyone write on your selfie “hey this outfit doesn’t suit you at all” or “Look at your dark circles. Why don’t you do something about them?” or “Did you dress up in your sleep? lol”
How many of us just click a selfie and post online without going through a painfully laborious process of filtering and re-filtering till we hit upon THE photograph.
We are so excited about looking good that for most of us our obsession borders around narcissism and that could mean a very worrisome situation.
So as long as one has their feet firmly grounded, head firmly placed above the shoulders, an open mind enough to be willing to learn yet a maturity to know the difference between myth and reality, indulgence and obsession, real and virtual, one would be able to stay away from the web of illusions that social media unintentionally aids in creating.
When people leave, they take away a part of you and that part of you could be as significant as the “name” they lovingly called you by…September 4th, 2013
I had always been fascinated and awed by the TAJ MAHAL. So when a trip to Agra was planned, the joy was almost overwhelming and unbearable. The day finally arrived.
I stood before the TAJ MAHAL and Lo! Nothing happened. I thought it would sweep me off my feet, that I would stand there bewitched with my jaws dropped, that it would be a London-statue moment. But nothing like that happened. In my fear of being ridiculed by the TAJ MAHAL FANATICS, I shall limit my feelings by saying it looked â€œnothing spectacularâ€. It was at that moment that I realized that TAJ MAHAL is photogenic and it was precisely then that the diplomacy of that word struck me. Since then I have consciously been aware of that word â€˜photogenicâ€™ and all such words which might be used as a compliment but which might potentially be just a polite way of defaming.
Iâ€™ll give you an example. I was going through a wedding album, with a few relatives, of one of our cousins. There was a particular picture in which I looked â€˜ahem ahemâ€™ awesome â˜º I was not even done admiring myself when one of the relatives broke the spell â€œYou are so photogenic, arenâ€™t you? See how good you are looking here.â€ (â€œWhat are you trying to say? I wanted to scream. Do I look horrible otherwise?â€) But I simply smiled and quickly flipped the page.
There are enough such words and sentences, which we throw at people every now and then not realizing it leaves people confused and doubting themselves. How do you decide what the word intends to say? If only words could speak for themselves â˜º