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Monday, 11 January 2021

Fitness is relative, not absolute

 Ion Tiriac, one time Olympian and owner of the Madrid Open, has criticised Serena Williams for continuing to play tennis, saying, "At this age and the weight she is now, she does not move as easily as she did 15 years ago. Serena was a sensational player. If she had a little decency, she would retire."

This is a problematic statement, at so many levels.

Serena is a 23 time Grand Slam singles winner. She has opened our minds to the possibility that people (and especially women) from different races, communities, and geographical regions, with different genetics, can have non-conformist body type, weight, and shape - and still enjoy fantastic levels of health and fitness.

This is important, when there is is immense cultural pressure on us today to look thin and lose weight. And we are encouraged to confuse this with health and fitness.

It's also high time brands and endorsers start promoting the message that fitness is relative and not absolute. Do Serena, or Federer, really need to prove their fitness by defeating people who are half their age? Isn't there a personal standard, for each of us to apsire for?

In a new age, inclusionary society, we need to liberate fitness from unidimensional standards.
#Marketing #Culture

Friday, 10 January 2020

The writing is on the wall - dynastic superiority is ending

The writing is on the wall. Even in traditionally hierarchial societies, we are moving away from dynastic superiority. 'Who I am' and 'what I do' will define and shape identities in the future, not 'where I am from' and 'which family I belong to'
In India, we have seen dynastic right of succession is being challenged - from politics, to Bollywood to business. Being a star son was never a guarantee of success. Now, the public is also critical of unfair advantage given to them, instead of accepting it as a default. Rather our sympathy and support is with the people who came from nowhere, armed with their self belief.
Now, Harry and Meghan's annoucement has created shockwaves in the British Monarchy.
It's a small step towards a truly equal society, but a significant one.
Older people cling to a familiar social structure. It's young people, who seek to liberate themselves from it.
In a world where dynasty and pedigree matter less, the onus (and burden) of freedom is to shape their own destiny. And for the entitled ones, they are expected to earn their entitlement. Ultimately, this change will redefine the societies we live in, who we look up to and most importantly - who we become.
Meghan and Harry step back from royal duties

Thursday, 21 November 2019

When we talk about Millenials vs Gen Z, we are all aware of our tendancy to typecast and over simplify. Here is a great and well thought out article that explains why - inappropriate attribution of cause.
For example, if you say Gen Z is narcissistic, the same may be true of a younger generation 30 years ago. This is age effect, not generation effect.
If you say young people are more nationalistic today, the truth may be that EVERYONE is more nationalistic today. That's period effect, not generation effect. It's quite hard to pin down what are true generational effects.
Also, even though we live in a more homogenous world, young people can be as diverse as older people in their personality and thinking :) No easy or pat answers. But as with any segment, if you need to target them, understand them well, in all their complexity, and you will be rewarded. Source : The Slate Magazine : The Evidence Behind Generations is lacking
hashtagCustomerSegmentation hashtagYouthMarketing hashtagMillenials hashtagGenZ hashtagYouthInsight

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Is Net Promoter Score (NPS) an effective measure of customer loyalty?

Is Net Promoter Score (NPS) an effective measure of loyalty, or should we re-examine its utility?
Every time I service my car, I get not one but two panic stricken calls – one from the service advisor and one from the customer service head – both exhorting me to give them ’10 on 10’ when I get a call from the company asking me to rate their services.
Each time I give a rating of 8 (which in my subjective opinion, is a good rating), I get pleading calls asking ‘what is wrong’ and why have I lowered their score.This irriates me. Why should my score not be kept private?
NPS has become a gun that the automobile company holds on the head of the franchisee – and that service advisors hold on my head.
If a company really wants loyalty, they should ask me each time – what were the things we did wrong? What should we improve?
For example NEVER have I been asked, if the service center recommended unnecessary and expensive procedures – which they always do – to get additional revenue. Why skirt the main issue that would actually make me give a low score?
Genuinely understanding areas of improvement vs blindly extracting a score. Which would lead to customer loyalty in the long run?

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Instead of payday loans, lets promote saving

After many years of fintech research, let me say this - I am uncomfortable about payday loans, and automatic credit lines extended at high rates of interest. I am not even too happy about credit cards.
Just as sugar, alcohol and tobacco rely on  catchin' em young, so to does the fintech industry. Being  habituated to debt at a young age, can be disastrous for long term financial health.
People who want money to serve real needs - my maid who wants to buy a house, a friend who faces years of expensive treatment for blood cancer - cannot get credit. But any one who cannot live within their means, can get a payday loan easily.
As a culture, we have always been oriented to saving vs spending, and it would be good to see that behaviour being encouraged more, through more products/schemes and accompanying tax relief. I am unable to understand how credit at extortionate interest enriches anyone's life. It only enriches the companies providing it. Source : Engadget
FinTech hashtagpaydayloans hashtagmoney2020 hashtagloans hashtagsavings hashtagmobileapps hashtagplaystore hashtagGoogle

Friday, 26 July 2019

Why the retweet button has killed social media

Veteran developer Chris Weatherell built the retweet button for Twitter, which was later copied as the ‘share’ feature on Facebook, and ‘forward’ on whatsapp. Today, he regrets creating it.
Initially, the retweet was meant to be a way to quickly share information about emergencies or to quote Weatherell, ‘to be used in situations which were positive, and showed humanity in its best light’.
But this idealistic thinking has withered, and the retweet is not just about putting power for good in people’s hands. It is about putting the gun in the hands of a mob.
The question we need to ask is ‘what is being shared?’ Very often, it is content fueled by hate, propaganda or spreading of misinformation.
Sharing or retweeting absolves us of the responsibility of composing and sending out something in our own name. It can be done mindlessly, and we can share something libelous because we don’t like the person being addressed. It also encourages extreme, polarizing content from the fringe, from people who want to be amplified. For example, it leads to spread of fake news.
What is the answer? Some solutions being explored include – curation of audiences, retweet limit, and forcing people to comment when retweeting. But the fact remains – social media platforms have little power to curate. Algorithms will win, and when algorithms favor the beast of popularity, popularity will win, even over sanity and reason.