What is branding?

No, I am not going to write yet another post on a topic for which more than 10,000 books &  8,000,000,000+ google search results exist. Even though millions of resources exist but there are only a few that catch your attention and this post is about that :).

I recently shared a personal anecdote on how brand influences action. What I bought was just another drugstore brand but why I bought it, had some correlation between brand and buyer behavior. The why of my buying behavior resonated with fellow professionals in some of the marketing and startup groups that I am a part of. While I received much positive feedback about the post but it also ignited a discussion on what is branding? Not surprisingly, everyone had an opinion, but not a consistent one. These groups have a mix of professionals from marketing, product, design, and entrepreneurship background and all these roles require an understanding of branding, albeit of a different scale. So, it was interesting to listen to different perspectives, especially from designers and marketers. 

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Little things you wish would continue post-COVID too: Lockdown Diaries

Last weekend, we went to a public park nearby after lockdown of more than 75 days, and what a refreshing change it was! To see the greenery, to breathe the fresh air, to feel the wind, it was all so beautiful. Perhaps more so, because we were experiencing it after long.

That’s the thing about humans, we hardly appreciate things whose lack we haven’t experienced. With the infrastructure to reach anywhere across the globe anytime, and with the possibility to even travel to space now, none of us would have ever imagined that there will be days in our lives when stepping out of our home would become a luxury, something worth celebrating and cherishing. 

Such is the power of scarcity, we run after abundance but it’s often the scarcity that makes us appreciate.

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The value of Brand in the time of uncertainty

A couple of weeks back, I was in urgent need of a moisturizer and everything was closed due to lockdown except for essential services. To add to that, I have relocated to a different country recently and I am hardly familiar with my surroundings yet. I went to a shop nearby that had slots allotted to us hoping I will find one of the known brands there. I had a few minutes to browse the store and pick up something before the slot was over. With most of the labels here being in either German or Hungarian, I generally rely on Google translator for help but even that was giving trouble due to flaky connection. I couldn’t spot any familiar product on the shelf. I kept on trying to read different product descriptions with the help of the translator until I spotted this:

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Coping up with the new normal

Yesterday the internet was flooded with pictures of schools reopening in China.

These photos give me hope, hope for tomorrow, hope for normalcy but these pictures also tell me that the normal tomorrow won’t be the same as the normal earlier. 

There is going to be a clear difference in life for many of us.

The product person in me looks at these cute, beautiful hats and says – ingenious! 

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Working, parenting and everything in between – The Lockdown Diaries

That tempting coffee challenge

Those gorgeous dress-up posts

That try a new hobby drive

Those Netflix marathons

That energetic, upbeat feeling

Those read, relax, and rejuvenate slogans

If you’re not able to relate to one or any of these, you’re not alone.

If you’re a parent, working from home, trying to manage your time between work, homeschooling, household chores and keeping your child away from the screen, I hear you. I hear you saying – am I the only one who is not able to be productive?

Am I the only one who is not able to manage it all?

Like you, even I have read those how-to-be-productive-while-wfh posts, registered for multiple webinars and have prepared long to-do lists.

But let me be very honest, I haven’t attended even a single webinar till now, I haven’t counted the pending items on my to-do list but I won’t be surprised if it has reached a count of million, and those productivity tips from hundreds of experts look like written in interstellar language meant for aliens from another planet.

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Communication during the time of crisis

Be helpful, be informative, be transparent – and if you can’t be any of these, then be silent.

That’s what is expected from most of us during this time of crisis, be it brands or individuals.

This post has to be straight without any frill. The last thing that we want to see right now is non-contextual advertisements, automated messages and communication for the sake of communication! Sounds basic, isn’t it? But many aren’t following it still.

My one simple expectation from myself and everyone around me right now –

Be Human, communicate like a human.

Additionally, if possible, let’s try to –

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Digital etiquettes during the state of emergency

At times like these, you wish social media was not this widespread. 

Considering my profession, I am all in favor of digital and social, in fact, I have been an evangelist of the medium ever since digital was only about website.

But in this age of data deluge and information overload, at times I wish we knew less.

As the coronavirus is spreading across the world, so is the misinformation about it. Despite many practical and aggressive efforts by prominent social media channels, the speed at which the information and misinformation are spreading is unimaginable. 

From baseless magic cures to erroneous statistics, the virtual world is flooded with coronavirus updates from many unauthorized sources. 

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Change is never easy but possible

While sitting by the window on this cold winter morning in a very different part of the world, I can’t help myself but notice the changes that have happened in my life in the last couple of years.

It’s dark outside but about to be bright soon. The surroundings are so new and unknown but the view is oh so breathtakingly gorgeous.

What is it that’s keeping me awake at this hour? Is it Xenophobia? No, but definitely a bit of anxiety.

Anxiety for the unknown, anxiety for the new journey, anxiety for the change.

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When Brand Storytelling Works

Spotted these Amazon Storyboxes at a mall recently and they instantly made me curious to browse more. Beautiful stories presented in a beautiful way, loved this new initiative by Amazon India. Good storytelling works always, isn’t it? 

And not just storytelling, the Amazon Storybox is yet another brilliant example of the importance of packaging in marketing. Packaging changes perception, packaging reinforces the brand value and packaging sells. 

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