Samaritan Wins – Unsaid Branding

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Where brand managers and marketing consultants are their burning midnight oil to make a significant difference to customer experience, there are a few Samaritans who are winning over customers by just extending a good deed to make sure the customer’s convenience is met.

Just a little while ago when stranded in Wakad, Pune waiting for my bus and making repeated attempts to understand the pronunciations of the locals, I felt it was time to take a bite and was guided to Spice Curry hotel by a passerby with the assurance that its hygienic. That was enough to build my first impression. And so it was.

On walking in one of the attendants showed me a seat and also the washroom to wash my tired hands and face off the grime. Second impression built.

The waiter, who I was talking to in Kannada, comfortably assuming he understood the language as the restaurant was run by a Shetty, heard me patiently and then confessed he did not know the language. Here it was the patience that paid off.

Then was my order of Curd Rice without green chillies, which they willingly accommodated against their regular recipe. Fourth impression built.

The last one was the best. The manager Shashi Shetty understood that I was having a tough time figuring the place and offered to drop me to my bus boarding point, which I willingly accepted.

Did the respective people have to take those less expected efforts? Not really.
However, what it did was leave a very positive impact on a casual customer like me that got me to blog about them immediately. Certainly worth the selfless initiatives. What say?

A Serious Privacy Threat – Affluence.org

Affluence.org invited me to join using my friend’s name:

from Affluence.org <support@affluence.org>
sender-time Sent at 1:40 PM (GMT-06:00). Current time there: 9:11 PM. ✆
to
date Tue, Dec 14, 2010 at 1:40 PM
subject You have received an invitation to join Affluence.org.
hide details Dec 14 (1 day ago)
Hello,You have been invited by Kashyap Vyas to apply for membership in Affluence.org. Affluence.org is an exclusive community of affluent people dedicated to making life better for both themselves and others.

As a member of Affluence.org you will have the ability to find and interact with other affluent people from around the world, evaluate and contribute to your favorite charities, and gain access to exclusive lifestyle guides to luxury living, travel and the latest trends.

To accept the invitation to our exclusive network, please follow the link below.

http://www.affluence.org/signup.php?signup_referer=kashyapventurecapital

Message:

Best Regards,
Affluence.org
support@affluence.org

—————————————-
This message was sent by Affluence Corporation, 2100 W. Butterfield Rd, Downers Grove, IL 60515.

and like a curious networker, I went to sign up. I have the habit of checking the Terms, Conditions and Privacy detailed while accepting forms. And I was shocked to see that page blank.

No TOC and Privacy text at all at Affluence.org spotted by BrandbullNo TOC and Privacy text at all at Affluence.org spotted by Brandbull [Source: http://affluence.org/help_tos.php ]

Would this mean we are agreeing to anything that may be put there tomorrow?

And mailed them :

Hi Affluence Support,

The mail below introduced me to Affluence.org. And when I followed it to sign up, I checked the Terms and Condition (attached as  affluence_org_terms_and_conditions_blank_spotted_by_brandbull.png (220KB).

The Terms and Conditions page seems to be blank and for those who fail to go there, they are probably agreeing to whatever that may be put hence, which is a serious offence of misleading the public and threat to privacy; certainly not acceptable under any lenience or condition.

Kindly react to it fast and apologize with the users signed up such. I would be posting this on my blog by the same name at http://brandbull.wordpress.com, where you could render your public apologies.

How many of us check the TOS when we sign up for something? Isn’t not knowing a serious Privacy Threat?

Who is Raj?

All the box offices have a few hits and a few misses. And behind it all are a humongous number of artists and workmanship. Sometime streamlined and sometimes all over the place. Whatever it be, all of it has creativity to some degree or the other. Yet there are thousands of these movies that never make it to the screens. There are ten times more artists who, however good, struggle and lose hope, waiting for someone to show the light at the end of the tunnel. Can we do it?  If you think the answer is a loud “YES” with a Big Smile on your face, then read on.  Cos, Raj is your motivator.

While your enthusiasm is live and smiling, I would love to alert you, it ‘ain’t gonna be a cakewalk’. How do I know that? Thanks to Rubia and Kranthi of Metro Brava Films, who made “The Successor – Private & Confidential”, a MOCUMENTRY, as they call it. Or is it a Movement?

Using the opportunity Digital Technology has for everyone, they believe its as easy for anyone to pick up a camera, film something, edit it, create animations, visual effects, mix sound and market it instantly. And all this for a very low cost or nothing at all. And they did just that. From Hoardings all over the city to easy and economical marketing ways to even tying up with Inox, all this in just about 5 lakhs.

All started with the question “Who is Raj?”  And guess what, right from the star cricketer Sreesanth to our own fashion guru Prasad Bidappa, all seem to know Raj. And when I stepped in a bit late to the PR launch of the film to find out who Raj was, every seat said “Raj was here”. Damn, did I miss him?

Capitalizing on Typos

While most businesses are striving away and spending sums of money on getting people to come to their website once, there are an intelligent few who capitalize on our typing errors.

It all started when I missed the second “s” in WordPress.com. I suddenly find myself seeing a Sexual Dating website and it was absolutely unintentional. Yes, “wordpres.com” leads you to “fatebook.com” an adult dating website.

 

Wordpres.com leads to Sexual Match making website
Wordpres.com leads to Sexual Match making website [ Website Screenshort: fatebook.com ]

While Yahoo was smart to redirect “Yaho.com” to Yahoo.com and Google has covered its base registering “Gogle.com” and “Gooogle.com”, Gamil Design, Inc. encashed on the traffic thanks to typos by people wanting to reach Gmail.com (created 1995), by registering “Gamil.com” way back in 1998.

 

Gamil cashes on the traffic coming from GMail typos spotted by BrandBull

I checked if “ggle.com” also lead to the Google Search home page, and smiled on seeing a charitable interest is providing information about how to achieve wellness through good nutrition, i.e. healthy eating. Seems like another of the HerbalLifes, Kellogs and Horlicks of the world, marketing their Food Supplements in the guise of healthier food. Cant help not believing these efforts as stealth promotions, thanks to overuse of such tactics by even the big brands.

ggle.com is used for promoting the "charitable" cause of heath and nutrition - spotted by brandbull

Have you noticed other such websites banking on getting traffic from typing errors? Do let me on in the Comments.

 

iPad and its Challengers

The Probable Apple iPad 2.0 and Steve Jobs spotted by BrandBull

Apple iPad 2.0 on the wishlist of many [Photo Courtesy: aibal.com

However much we try, we cannot push away the fact that Apple is one of the most innovative companies that gives trends and not products to the consumer society.

Take the iPad for that matter. Although there were Digital Pads that existed even before it, when the iPad come into the market, the entire Industry woke up to compete. Right from Binatone launching its “Home Surf Touch Tablet” priced at Rs.9000 for India to Blackberry’s “PlayBook”, the name of the game is ‘Beat iPad‘.

BlackBerry‑PlayBook‑Tablet‑PC

RIM BlackBerry Playbook - the Business Pad [Photo Courtesy: gstatic.com


Where Apple is almost ready with its new iPad 2.0 , the likes of LG, Samsung and many others are stacking their Pads with features unseen. While LG’s Optimus ditched its waiting eyes by delaying its launch, Samsung has already added a star to its Galaxy and named it Galaxy Tab and Microsoft is all set to launch its MPad with Windows 7 on it.  The actual gusto into the Tablet market is all thanks to new entrants making their foray into this space. Not long ago, first timers DELL and Cisco unveiled their DELL Streak and Cius tablet respectively and Nokia its N800 Internet Tablet. Not to forget the India’s first 3G Android Tablet, Olive Pad, which runs the Android OS.

 

Olivepad‑VT100‑Indias‑First‑3G‑Tablet pasted by Brandbull

Olivepad VT100 India's First 3G Tablet [Photo Courtesy: gstatic.com


One fact we may notice is, in spite of Samsung having its flagship Bada OS, Nokia testing a MeeGo for Tablets and Motorola planning its own operating platform, and despite Google admitting its latest Android 2.2 “Froyo” is not built for Tablets, the most preferred platform seems to be Android.

 

While we are bound to get all our questions answered, we have some more rolling in our minds.

Is the Tablet, there to last?
While we are just about coping up with Laptops, the Tablets have arrived, what next?
In this jungle of devices and operating systems, are we as users gaining options or losing time?

If you have the answers already, kindly write in the Comments and I would be privileged to discuss  and learn.

“] Samsung Galaxy Tab spotted by Brandbull

The latest Samsung Galaxy Tab with Android OS [Photo Courtesy: pocket-lint.com

 

P.S> The other links (apart from those intext) I referred to write this article are:
http://gadgetophilia.com/olive-pad-landing-in-india/
http://www.electricpig.co.uk/2010/09/09/google-says-android-froyo-is-not-for-tablets-is-there-a-tablet-os-on-its-way/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_770_Internet_Tablet
http://www.pcworld.com/article/200004/cisco_tablet_a_reality_running_on_android.html
http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/29/cisco-unveils-cius-android-tablet-with-hd-video-capabilities/
http://www.9to5mac.com/28526/ipad-2-0-camera-mini-usb-ships-q2-2011-goldmans
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/5_reasons_to_wait_for_ipad_20.php
http://www.dazeinfo.com/2010/07/06/lg-to-launch-android-powered-tablet/

How important is ideation?

While there are quite a few platforms to share and trash out new venture ideas with like minded people or seasoned mentors, there are very few ideas that transform into Ventures.

Most enthusiastic wannabe entrepreneurs think a Big New Idea will change their lives and make them the Ace Businessmen they always wanted to be. Its good to be optimistic, however, if all that was ever needed was just a brilliant thought, there would be more rich men than rodents.

Ideation does involve thinking about new ideas, agreed, however it does not stop at that. The ideation phase starts at identifying a need, and moves onto thinking of inaccessible solutions, ways of achieving the same, working out the stages of implementation, chalking out the phases of development, enlisting the logistical requirements, planning the go-to-market strategies and define all thinkable revenue models. Post this comes sharing the thoughts with close friends and striking off or considering the most logically viable options.

While there is nothing bad in being optimistic about his idea’s success, the owner of the idea should also be prepared to scrap the idea and start from the scratch if and when seen less viable.

Where ideation is an integral part of innovation, it does not stop at just that.

Do leave a Comment and share your thoughts on ideation and its importance to you.

Very Obviously Fake

While one part of the world is creating the buzz about Social Media Marketing, the other is betting all its money on just the mention of the word. With money in their budgets and practically no knowledge about Social Media Marketing, corporate firms are plunging into the SMM sea and being taken advantage of.

I found a clearly obvious example of fake profiles created on Facebook by either pranksters or more likely by Social Media Marketing companies armed with incorrect knowledge wooing clueless clients with big promises.

some very obviously fake facebook profiles spotted by brandbull

Obviously Fake on FaceBook (spotted by BrandBull)

Wish they realized before they damaged their brand!

Facebook Long Button – Error or Feature?

Facebook Long Button - Error or Feature by BrandBull

Facebook Long Button - Error or Feature? (by BrandBull)

All of a sudden all the buttons on Facebook started showing longer. The Attach tools sometimes overlap the Comment and the Share buttons, and for no fault of theirs. For an end user its a eyesore and a confusion unless he/she is precise.

More so, the inconvenience is higher with some options hidden under the drop down and the Share Button is highlighted as your hover over it.

Have all of you faced this issue?

Kindly state in Comment and will publish if unique.