Event: Branding building in the age of cognitive overload

Since Professor Richard Thaler has got Nobel in Economics for his theory about “Exuberance is Rational,” it is sort of introspection for me to sit and re-look the concepts of marketing I know. I always perceived myself as an irrational customer, that’s why I was reluctant to pay the maintenance fee for 1 year at CR7 CRUNCH when I am about to use it for 9 months. Yes, Eli (MRCB Partner in crime) found it weird, and I kept my point explaining the concept of rationality.

Prof Thomas Ramsoy did answer my question in a beautiful way that how important it is for managers and academicians to collaborate and work to achieve the purpose of grabbing “attention” of customers in the times of cognitive overload.

Neuromarketing is indeed a beautiful invention of cutting-edge technology to analyze what a consumer never shares. It indeed tells us how a consumer “behaves” in a particular situation without even consciously intended to. Learning about the brain always makes me inquisitive that how capable it is, thanks to my association to positive psychology.

It was an informative session from an eminent professor, who is also the founder of Neurons Inc, revealing the exciting facts about brain and how it is targeted in the world of marketing. In a race of seizing the pie of a customer’s market-share, how brands end up without even getting noticed.

There is no tunnel with a single way, while the time is limited and the customer is impatient. It is the matter of a couple of seconds, in which customer makes its purchasing decisions. Challenge is to focus on direct emotions, not just liking.

Nevertheless, there is a lot to learn for marketers from Neuroscience, and it is the time to “re-search” the subconscious!

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Tough Love

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If continued working with Asian Paints, today I would have completed 6 years of professional journey. It is wonderful to be at IE and starting a new adventure with hugely talented & phenomenally diverse bunch of people on earth. Sometimes, I can’t even believe that it is happening and yes, it is profoundly happening now.

Starting the first day at Segovia, a World Heritage Site by UNESCO,  is famous for its cathedral, alcázar castle and its aqueduct. It is also renowned for its Romanesque art and many other outstanding buildings, including monasteries and convents. One of these convents, the Convent of Santa Cruz la Real, is currently the headquarters of IE University campus just outside the city walls in the Eresma River valley. A 12th-century building which was personally commissioned by Queen Isabella, whose figure sculpted in wood appears praying together with her husband.

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The Dean, Mr. Lee Newman commenced his powerful speech about IE’s believe in dynamic learning in a continuously changing world, and infusion of “Change is attitude” DNA among its students. To “TOUGH LOVE,” and strive to bring out the best possible; (H)umanly, (S)ocially and (T)echnologically. It was already quite clear that it is going to be a tough year ahead. To challenge the limits and GO BEYOND.

IE is not traditional, and it is never going to be, it is the Business School of today!

It is the place where technology and humanity meet to create remarkable scientifically proven facts. It is amongst few places on earth where women outnumber men, where the student to faculty ratio is unbelievable, where the whole world studies in a country.

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Precisely, IE School of Human Sciences and Technology is the home of 357 meticulously chosen students from 67 nationalities, who can speak 32 languages, who represent the world’s best organizations and possess the capability to become the future ambassadors.

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IE demands better than the best! You work after you are done with your work. Every day begins with a challenge to give the best shot. I heard that people start in nice suits and end up in Jeans and T-Shirts. That’s TOUGH LOVE!

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…..till the next BLINK, proud MRCBian! 🙂

 

 

 

How “Market-ing” is Evolving in Digital Era

As the market-ing entered into the digital era and thus continuously evolving its concepts. Marketers have to re-look and re-arrange the strategical inputs to co-create the whole thing. Unsurprisingly, marketing has adopted the process of digitalization at its best to understand and connect the customers, thereby creating the superior value propositions.

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In the digital world, communities are the new segments & brand-advocacy is the new customer-loyalty. Customers are socially connected and they find themselves in a better position to believe the recommendation of a stranger rather than organizations. Such communities serve as a medium of the noiseless decision-making process and refrain from falling into the trap of luring advertisements. Today, consistently communicating and maximising touch points do not necessarily translated into the desired results. On the other hand, a calculated attempt of winning a customer can result in a better return. With increasing mobility and connectivity, this is the challenge that marketers have to come up with.

In the era of traditional marketing, customer loyalty was somehow considered as customers retention and “word of mouth” was restricted within a group or area. The term is now evolved as “Brand Advocacy,” to let the customer endorse a product or service in a better-connected world and this is crucial to the success and failure of the product or service. Its importance increases with increasing trends of communities and especially when it is unlikely to influence the decision-making process of today’s customer.

It brings a change to the earliest and widely used framework to describe the customer buying process is AIDA (attention, interest, desire, action). Derek Rucker has proposed a modification of AIDA that he calls the four A’s: aware, attitude, act and act again. Four A’s further modified by Philip Kotler: aware, appeal, ask, act and advocate, to make them more relevant in connectivity era. The terms, “act again” & “advocate,” clearly signify the target area of marketers.

 

Young & Productive: Focus in Social Disruption

Speaking to young minds is an exceptional experience, fiercely energetic and eager to learn. They unusually figure out the directive path with steak eye & always curious to question. It happened to be at Lovely Professional University last month while speaking to around 400 grad students.

Today the world is evolving in an entirely different way. While it is modified to interact socially with the personification of digital, emotions are reshaping. Bombardment of over-information has kept people busy and ignorant to what really needed to learn and what should be avoided entirely. Just feeding our mind with overload doesn’t mean to be a worth of knowledge. It is the biggest challenge for gen-next how to organize the information and filter it as per its significance. Posting on Facebook about changing the world doesn’t help, apart from ‘virtual contentment,’ which is a new kind of disguise.

To push forward and challenging the status quo needs conventional but intelligent approach, books are still brilliant regarding information dissemination and logically reason the process of thinking. The Internet is helping disastrously, not because it is bad, but it has made to engage people smartly in a useless way and to make money out of it. I, somehow, find it better to disengage uniquely by uninstalling social media apps and login via laptop only. Just to keep a smartphone nearby, decreases the efficiency of a human brain by 10%.

There is a lot more needed to change the world, and the good news is we, all, are blessed with the ability to do so. Figure out, what is really important and how should it can be achieved & how really it is going to contribute to making a difference. Start it with a random act of kindness and develop the ideas of future, involve everyone without distinguishing, read WHY NATIONS FAIL by Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson.

Relying on others fail people more frequently than to get up and take the baton of responsibility, to put more than required and constantly. There is no innovation yet so effective, to make a human more capable against his willingness to dream and work hard to achieve.

P.S. Blog is not aligned to my core profession but human-factor is the basis of existence.

Depressed? Go, Exercise!

 

People talk about physical benefits of exercise but it is as good for mental health & emotional stability. Whenever I feel over-burdened and depress, I prefer to rush to gym, it is an antidote to fatigue & miraculously helps to stay happy & cheered-up. While we are so busy in our lives with lot of work & life related stress, it is highly recommended to spare at-least 40 minutes for exercise. Whatever we may do; whosoever we are, it’s great to exercise.

Exercise is good for mental health 

Exercise changes the structure and function of the brain, improves blood flow to the brain, feeding the growth of new blood vessels and even new brain cells, thanks to the protein BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor). BDNF triggers the growth of new neurons and helps repair and protect brain cells from degeneration. It may also help people focus, according to recent research. It’s linked to less depression, better memory and quicker learning.

Exercise makes us happy 

Countless studies show that many types of exercise make people feel better and can even relieve symptoms of depression. Exercise triggers the release of chemicals in the brain—serotonin, norepinephrine, endorphins, dopamine—that dull pain, lighten mood and relieve stress.

Recovery from a major illness

People with different chronic conditions, from Type 2 diabetes to heart failure, should excercise. That’s new thinking, because for decades, people with certain diseases were advised not to exercise. Now scientists know that far more people can and should exercise. A recent analysis of more than 300 clinical trials discovered that for people recovering from a stroke, exercise was even more effective at helping them rehabilitate.

 

Exercise should be like bathing, if you can hardly skip it any day.

 

 

Note: The blog-post is based on an article published in TIMES Magazine

 

How Sugar Industry Dodged Its Social Responsibility

To mark profits is preponderant task of survival for any industry. Many times it gets obliterated, in silence, the concept Social Responsibility and left unnoticed for decades. Success of an industry depends upon its offering and how ‘sweetly’ people perceive it. In marketing terms, how well the behavioral changes are induced to attain the favorable disposition.

The sugar industry of America had an idea for its people, if persuaded, to shift dietary habits towards low fat. To remain healthy fat would have needed to be replaced with something else. Thus, an opportunity to spearhead a paradigm shift of three folds in per-capita sugar consumption.

The biggest threat that sugar leads to obesity and it had to keep in check by manipulating the facts. To derail the discussion, the sugar industry paid scientists in the 1960s to play down the link between obesity and heart-diseases and promote saturated fat as culprit instead. The internal sugar industry documents, recently discovered by a researcher, at UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA suggests that the dietary habits and recommendations were largely overshadowed by the sugar industry for last five decades. It ultimately became public opinion and consumers dutifully obeyed. The documents reveal that the sugar association paid three Harvard scientists to publish the malfeasance study that minimize the link between sugar and heart disease.

People replaced steak and sausages with pasta and rice, butter with margarine and vegetable oils, eggs with muesli, and milk with low-fat milk. But instead of becoming healthier, they grew fatter and sicker. In 1950s, just 12% Americans were obese whereas in 2000, it surged to 35%. In case of UK, it is even more terrible. Only 6% Britons were obese in 1980, today, two-third of Britons are either obese or overweight.

The conspiracy of projecting the different angle is widespread. Many organizations are indulged to makeover the grime as gold. In 2015, the New York Times obtained emails revealing Coca-Cola’s sponsored researches aimed at minimizing the effects of sugary drinks on obesity. Recently, the associated press obtained emails showing how a candy trade association funded and influenced studies to show that children who eat sweets have healthier body weight than others.

Five Major Challenges That India Continue To Face This Year

Every passing year rewriting the glory of India; as a nation of great potential, a young, vibrant and emerging economy, a source of human resources to the world. Since 1991, though unhurriedly, India has moved far ahead but a lot is yet to be done,. Right from social evils to natural resources, India is still not in ideal position to call itself a prosper nation. To mark 2016 as a year of marvellous success and to continue efforts towards the goal of establishing itself among developed & peaceful nations, I believe that the following five major concerns are needed to be addressed at a greater pace.

Quality of Education and Unemployment: India has evolved a significant change in terms of ‘quantity’ of education. “Since 2000, when countries committed themselves to the global education goals, India has reduced its out of school children by over 90% and Universal Primary Education has been achieved.” according to UNESCO.

But the ‘quality’ of education lags far behind, about 69 percent of unemployed Indians are educated but lack adequate skills, according to the Confederation of Indian Industry. As per to Pearson Voice of Teacher Survey, 75% teachers have called for restructuring of course curriculum in collaboration with industry to provide better employment opportunities to students. Outdated learning and teaching practices, lack of career planning and exposure results into the education without actual learning of how to get things done, without complex problem-solving skills, without knowing how to put their theoretical education into practice.

Gender Inequality and Rapes:  Gender discrimination continues to be an enormous problem within Indian society. Gender inequality persists in India despite of economic growth and modernisation. In 2014, India ranked 127 out of 146 countries in UNDP’s Gender Inequality Index with a value of 0.563. Though PM Modi led government has launched several commendable schemes to save and educate the girl child but that would not work unless people stop treating girl-child as inferior.

The situation is worsening due to increase in number of rape cases every year. As per National Crime Records Bureau, there is an increase of 900% registered rape cases in India over the past 40 years. In every 20 minutes, a woman is raped. One out every three victims is under 18 & one out of every ten victims is under 14. There is a higher probability that only one out of 100 rapes is reported.

Health & Infrastructure: India owes 21% of the world’s disease burden and unacceptably high rates of maternal and infant mortality.  It is horribly worsened by the burden of infectious diseases and a dramatic rise in non-communicable diseases like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and chronic respiratory conditions. It accounts approximately more than half of all deaths. It is estimated that over 63 million Indians are affected by these diseases in 2012 alone. India also lacks in adequate infrastructure, according to WHO recommendations there should be at least 3.5 beds for 1000 people, but there are only 1.3 beds in India for a population of that size and just one doctor per 1700 people. According to a study conducted by WEF in collaboration with the Harvard School of Public Health, India stands to lose $6.15 trillion due to non-communicable diseases and mental disorders by 2030.

Poverty and Rising Social Inequality: India is home of a third of the world’s poor and hungry. One in four people in India is hungry and every second child is suffering from malnutrition. The 2010 Multidimensional Poverty Index indicated that eight Indian states account for more poor people than in the 26 poorest African countries combined. In 2011, India was ranked 73rd out of 88 countries listed in the annual Global Hunger Index, six places down from the previous year.

On the other hand, India also houses the second largest number of affluent people in the world, with three million households having over $100,000 of investable funds. The gap between rich and poor is continuously widening. Adequate efforts are not made to uplift poor population, and this is worsening by inflation and corruption. If judged by the median developing country poverty line of two dollars a day on purchasing power parity, more than 80 per cent rural and just below 70 per cent urban inhabitants in India continue to be poor

 

Water Scarcity and Increasing Pollution:  Natural resources in India are strained by its continuously increasing population. It has only 1,000 cubic meters of water per person which is far below to the ‘water-stress’ mark of 1,700 cubic meters per person.

According to a report of WHO, 97 million people in India lack access to clean water. The World Bank estimates that 21% of communicable diseases in India are related to unsafe water, and it causes more than 1,600 deaths every day.

It is followed by pollution as 13 out of top 20 most polluted cities are in India. Air pollution slashes life expectancy by 3.2 years for the 660 million Indians who live in cities, including Delhi. The impact of rising toxins in the air is clearly visible as air pollution ranked sixth in top reasons that cause death in India, according to a Lancet study.

7 Remarkable Ways to Lead a Better Life.

Life is nothing a big deal to be hedged in useless traps of complexities. I find an ant happiest among us, just because it has an ability to keep things simple. No matter how hard we blow it away, it toils hard to overcome every obstruction. Amidst the glittering world, we often find ourselves dark inside. This darkness becomes eternal in our personalities and we lose faith, hope & courage in life. There is no particular way, though, to head for a better life. Yet it’s on us, how far we can see out of nothing. Here are a few things that I feel about:

  • Acceptance: I had horrible dream last night, my dentist mistakenly plucked out a wrong teeth out of my jaws. Traumatised of pain and anger, I yelled on him furiously. Finally he decided to glue it back on my jaw, and off-course he couldn’t able to. It filled me up with utter disturbance and consternation. At last, I decided to consult another doctor and he was able to convince me that no one can put the teeth back. As soon as I have accepted the verdict, I got a new horizon to think how to deal better with it. Whether I should go for a implant and I should stop chewing from that side. Accept what life has to offer, overcome every fear, be courageous to deal with worst of life.

Never get down on knees, held your head high.
Shoot down the difficult, straight in the eye. 

  • Befriend Your Body: The function of our body is not just to carry our brain around but to keep it healthy and wise. Our body is only the physical existence of ours, it also can project confidence or timidity, power or weakness. Research shows that up to 93 percent of communication is non-verbal. Be good with your body, and learn how to best project it to outer world. Exercise and meditate everyday to keep your body and mind healthy. A weak body and thoughtless mind is evil.
  • You’re Already Naked: External expectations, pride, and fear of embarrassment or failure all drop away in the face of death. Be spiritually enlighten and dwell with the foremost truth of life i.e. death. There is no moment next and may be there is no next life too. “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.” Steve Jobs quoted. Do whatever you want to do, live as if it is the last day of your life. Because….

I saw death knocking at my door-step
Asking me to get up & live the fullest

  • Let It Go: To discover your true self, let go of who you think you are. Let go of labels, the limiting beliefs, the ego & resistance, and the things you can’t control. Just let go. Let go everything that makes you worry and discourage you to grow in life. Be like a beggar in abundance and a king in destitution.
  • Be Kind: An act of kindness never goes wasted. Every single good-deed heals our broken side. Kindness is a food of soul, it is our subconscious purpose of existence, on earth, as a human-being. That’s how Emily Dickinson describe it:

“If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain”

  • Be Truthful, Loyal & Gentle: Character of a man is best adjudged when no one is actually looking at him, except his own consciousness. Staying loyal towards others is the true strength of character, and a weak character is death of a worthy existence. Be gentle to others, love them, have no grudges, overlook small things, stay warm & share big smiles.
  • Dream, Dream & Dream: Dream your best dreams and then dedicate yourself to making them real. Give your heart and life to your dreams. Build them for greater good, more than your own sake. Never let time to slip out of your vicinity. As Steve Jobs once said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.” When we pursue our dreams, we can see and express who we really are.