Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Finance and Service Brands. Have you checked the Influencer Rating?

The thought came up over the morning breakfast tea.
But I have stolen it with pride as I feel it is hugely relevant for the world of brands today.

Most of the organisations, especially financial and service brands, have credit rating tools .
That de-layer the prospective  consumer to a point where she stands exposed to the core.
Every possible and imaginable form of data  are asked for and supplied.
Attested. Registered. Signed. Sealed. Stamped. In triplicate.

And there is absolutely no denying the fact that this is necessary.
No wants numbers in red at the year end.

However, how many of these brands have also looked at the Influencer Rating of a person, while analysing the Credit Rating?
Who is this consumer? A faceless signature on an excel sheet?
Just five minutes of Google is all one needs.
In fact, I am sure that there can be apps and tools designed around this that can work as precisely as a Credit rating. And does not need Googling.

Everyone is an Influencer. In one way or the other.
But some are stronger than others.
Those who are vociferous on social media and have a considerable set of fans and followers.
Those who seem to have a professional or entrepreneurial standing that is recognised and applauded.
High awareness of social good and social progress.
Actively engaged in such discussions.
A face that Google images picks up from across sites and does not confuse with similar sounding names from the third image itself.
And quite a few other parameters.

Such consumers are a very strong source of advocacy.
Brand Advocacy.
Both good and not so good facets.
Experience is everything.

A strong Influencer can spark off a stronger domino effect from a brand experience, either ways, than all advertising put together.
Because they have something a lot of us don't.
It matters.

Monday, March 11, 2013

#TheJoyOfReading: Power of an Idea

The Economist campaign on The Joy of Reading has really set me thinking.

I played it over and over on youtube.
Remembered my mother teaching me my first words from a book.
There was a wooden bed ( called Khaat) in our kitchen those days and I would be perched there with a Nursery Rhyme book repeating "Jack and Jill" after my mother as she hovered and fussed over the kitchen fire.
I remembered daddy and the Enid Blytons he would buy me from Digboi Stores.
Never said No.

For a moment the years dissolved and I was a little girl again.

Such is the power of an idea that engages.

We don't need to rely on celebrities and models and dramatic metaphors  all the time to create impact.
All we need is an understanding of what really engages us and what is it in the brand that can spark this off.

This is as real as can be.
An engagement on film.
Candid shots.
No exaggerations.
No dramatic music scores.
Simple execution.

But touched a chord.
The flood of conversation around it on social media shows this.

I will definitely remember #TheJoyOfReading and the Economist.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Write a brief for the Blue Bird

Creative briefs.
The age old debate continues.

How long.
How much.
How less.
What to include. And exclude.

Agencies have come up with patented formats.
The ACD brief. The Postcard brief. The elevator brief. The 123 brief.

The Blue Bird tweeting every morning has inspired me to create briefs which are a tweet long.

Simplify, cut, slice, dice till we have the length of a tweet.
Can even #hashtag a unique term or promise that we believe has currency for creative inspiration.

Worth a try.
Even if it is for ourselves.

Maybe we template it as The Blue Bird Brief.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

See the Passion

Passion shows.

It shows in our work.
In our relationships.
Both external and internal.

Have we wondered why sometimes, the same dish we have cooked a thousand times before, lacks that sparkle?
It's not always because the mix was not right. Or the vegetables were not fresh.
It's likely that our mind was so caught up  in other things, that there was no channel left for our passion to permeate into that dish.

Conflicts are healthy, so long as they remain as conflicts over issues.
Unfortunately our minds do not always draw a firm line between the two.
We start disliking the very person or people we interact it.
We take our jobs and lives as something we are saddled up with, and cannot give up.

And it shows.
That is why, with all boxes ticked, some lives seem  fuller than others.
Some work appear to have a soul, we can see the passion and honest efforts in it.
The energy focussed on it gleams out and makes that difference between good and great.
Or acceptable and fantastic.

So yes, passion does show.
In everything we do and say.