Ranveer learns to knit…

Did you read the title and wonder if you read it wrong? If yes, then please read this article. If not then this article might not be for you…

As the latest trend goes we have this nice what’s app group of class mommies to keep up with what’s happening in school, reminding each other off school events and of course educating each other about kids related activities happening around. So the other day a mom posted as advertisement for crochet classes conducted during summer vacations. Now this harmless advertisement triggered quite an interesting conversation or rather debate in the usually quite group.

Reading this advertisement, one of the mommies instantly said that she has boys else she would have loved to send her kids to this. Now usually I hate to get into controversial conversations but I could not help but comment that what book said that boys should not learn to crochet. Now this lead to a nice and healthy debate.

But it really made me realize that how deeply and subconsciously these gender bias run in our society. Other day my son carried a pink tiffin and he came back in tears saying mom girls carry pink and everyone teased me- he is just in grade 1. When did we start associating colours with genders? Why should a guy always like football or some physical sport? Does it make a guy less masucline if he likes to play kitchen? And these boys grow up into men thinking kitchen and other such things are women’s responsibility.

Aren’t we responsible for building our society with so many biases? Even educated mom’s unknowningly act on these biases. Then how can we expect gender equality or neutrality if we nurture such biases in our society.

Encouraging girls to play sports or asking boys to work in kitchen is not enough- we need to work at ensuring that these tasks are for everyone and it’s not a novelty when one gender does it.

What other gender biases can you think of? Will be interesting to hear views of everyone on this.

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“Shopper Marketing” new kid on the block

A couple days ago I was a party and someone asked me what was I into. I replied back saying I worked as a part of Shopper Insight team with XX Company. And prompt reply I get was…”Oh it’s one of those new age things which you research guys keep spinning off”.This response really got me thinking …it’s true how little peopleĀ  know about Shopper Marketing. First question I get asked normally is…what is so different between shopper marketing and consumer marketing…aren’t they really the same.

So let me start by answering the most basic question- “What is the difference between shopper & consumer?”. Consumer is typically the “user ” of the product whereas shopper is the “buyer” simply put. Are they both same always? Maybe or maybe not. Kids might be consuming milk additives or milk food drinks but parents/mom is the one who typically buys it. Sometimes the consumer and the shopper could be the same person as well. Like in case of cigarettes where consumer and shopper are same. And who is important- whom do we need to understand? Both- because my perceptions and experiences as a user impact my purchases and vice a versa. Though different sides of the same coin both shopper and consumer are critical to ensuring success of a brand/product.

Now coming to the difference between Shopper Marketing & Consumer Marketing….and need to cover both of them.Let me again start with the very basic….

Shopper marketing cares about what happens inside the store and anything that is immediately related to it. For e.g. reason for choosing a particular store, reasons for making a shopping trips or anything to do with what, how and why people spend their money on while buying.

Consumer marketing on the other hand is more focusedĀ  on brand/product experience no matter where it happens. It is more about understanding the needs and consumption of category and perceptions about different brand in the category.

Both have different applications – shopper marketing allows you to work in tandem with retailers and sales team to ensure that companies optimize their in-store spends whereas consumer marketing allows you to understand how to target and position your brand and optimize your advertising budgets.

Shopper marketing is closely tied with company’s sales functions allowing you to improve your sales through optimization of SKU’s and in-store activation. Companies are becoming increasingly aware about importance of influencing “consumers” while they are shopping. Consumer marketing in contrast is more closely linked with brand teams in an organization. It goes beyond purchase and looks at broader category and brand trends to have products and messaging aligned to consumer needs.

Shopper marketing focuses on “pushing” the products either through right placement or through right point of sales offers and messaging. It is tailored to understand how to please a shopper and get him to buy more or to get more shoppers within the store and to either get them to buy with more frequency. But on the other hand consumer marketing is more about creating a “pull” . The key goal would be to create an offering or messaging aimed to create consumer demand so that they go and ask for the brand/product in-store.

However what we as marketers need to realize is that both these functions do not work in silos but go hand in hand.Our experience as a consumer can define what we purchase and our experience as a shopper can influence what we consume. Understanding both in tandem can really help improving the product and shopping experience and thereby achieve organizational objectives.

I hope this helps explain the difference and nuances between these two streams well. Please drop in a comment if you have any additional points. Would love to hear your thoughts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All in a cab ride…

Every time I used to read an interesting story about a cab journey, I always wondered to myself if such things really happened in ‘ real life’ or were they figments of imagination. Never in my life have I ever experienced anything or anybody remotely interesting while travelling either by cab, train, bus or plane. But today was different …as usual I booked Uber to go to office.

The driver arrived right on time …after exchanging a brisk good morning and confirming the destination, I got busy with my mobile. Usually travel time is my “me time ” when I pen down my thoughts but just as I was about to start my friend called. We were organizing a dance for one of our society functions and we needed a dance instructor to teach us a traditional Maharashtrian dance form. We spend about 10 odd minutes debating and discussing options – and finally decided to connect again in the evening.

As I hung up, suddenly the Uber driver turned around and asked me , ” Are you looking out for a choreographer?” . I looked at him angrily – was a little miffed at him overhearing my conversation and said- yeah, seems like you have ears right here, hope your eyes are on the road. He said, ” sorry didn’t meant to overhear but I am a dance teacher”. My first reaction was disbelief and I almost instantly said, and why are you driving an Uber? To which he replied very politely, because school has vacations and I am a part timer and need money. I felt instantly sorry about my meanness …I started talking to him about his work and I could see him talking passionately about dance.

His eye were shining as he told me stories about kids he had trained and performances he had given. He was clearly passionate about dancing…..but should I take a leap of faith and call him to train us?

Before getting down I noted his number and promised to let him know the details…later in the evening when I narrated this incident to my friends – they were skeptical- after all he was just a cab driver. But may be our desperacy or maybe just an instinct…we called him over for a meeting …..

Today he is our dance teacher and has managed to train a bunch of non dancers to give a wonderful performance. ..moreover he is a wonderful person. Glad we decided to take that leap of faith…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something missing…

I have been invited today for high tea
Scampering about I am a busy bee

I have to dress and look my best
My charm can take care of the rest
But as I leave my house I think something is amiss
Wonder if it’s a crisis or should I ignore this
I remember wearing my shoes and socks
I even remember taking my key and putting a lock
I remember wearing my best shirt and tie
As i left I wonder if my maid was laughing or was it a cry
So I enter the venue and in front of mirror I stand
Only to realize that I have forgotten to wear my pant

By preeta sanjith

 

 

All work no play….

Work they say never made anyone die
But I don’t think I want to even try
We are naturally meant to be at rest
When we don’t do a thing we are at our best
Every morning as I lay in my bed
Thought of working fills me with dread
Eat , drink and sleep like our ancestors did
Occasionally an odd job did the trick
Advancement seems to have a downside
Now there are these huge offices worldwide
Work work work we do all the time
Then spend money to destress and unwind
Humans I am sure were never meant to work
The concept was invented by a total jerk
As I lay in my bed happy in my thoughts
Time to go to work reminds my alarm clock
By preeta sanjith

Frog Prince

On a diet of fairy tales I grew
I dreamt of my perfect prince too
Prince charming on white horse to rescue
In warmth of his arms I won’t feel blue
This prince fights dragons and scales towers
His kiss of love has some magical powers
Our happily ever after will cause envy
If not a horse we will elope in a Bentley
I was told that u need to kiss a frog to find your prince
I am trying to find the right frog ever since
But now that I am all grown and old
Mark my words and print them in gold
Sometimes prince can also turn in to frog
Leaves you wondering if you were better off with a dog
By preeta sanjith

Frog Prince

On a diet of fairy tales I grew
I dreamt of my perfect prince too
Prince charming on white horse to rescue
In warmth of his arms I won’t feel blue
This prince fights dragons and scales towers
His kiss of love has some magical powers
Our happily ever after will cause envy
If not a horse we will elope in a Bentley
I was told that u need to kiss a frog to find your prince
I am trying to find the right frog ever since
But now that I am all grown and old
Mark my words and print them in gold
Sometimes prince can also turn in to frog
Leaves you wondering if you were better off with a dog
By preeta sanjith