Stories about consumer

Mommy tips: How to raise a mini activist

When we hear the word “activist”, we immediately think of khadi clad, jhola carrying men and women braving water cannons and lathi charges. But an activist is one who campaigns for social change of any kind, someone who identifies the rot in society and speaks about it. There are various degrees of activism and similarly various ways of showing dissent. Thomas Jefferson said, “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism” and any thriving society needs such voices. Such conscientious persons are not born but raised. One might feel that preteens are too young to grapple the socio-political dynamics of a complex society, ...

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6 steps to becoming (more) successful brand builders in Pakistan

For this particular blog, I just want to focus on talent in Pakistan and its impact on brand building. Brands have become ubiquitous in Pakistan. Our ability to promote brands on TV, mobiles, hoardings, talk show coffee cups and so on has allowed organisations to simplify the process of building brand awareness, as long as you are willing to spend the cash. And there is clearly no dearth of advertisement cash in Pakistan. But whether you drive down Shahrah-e-Faisal or Lahore Defence Boulevard, after a mile of watching hoarding after hoarding with beautiful women staring down at you, the brand message gets easily lost. In fact, ...

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TV commercials: Inform, remind and persuade!

While I was watching the news the other night, a newscaster said, “Stay tuned, we’ll be right back after a short commercial break,” making me immediately think, “Oh god! Not again.” The musical rollercoaster of advertisements began – a five minute ride that I seriously did not enjoy. What I learnt in my O-level commerce class was that there are three categories of advertisements – ‘reminder advertisement’ that reminds consumers of the products available in the market; ‘informative advertisement’ that keeps the consumer informed and ‘persuasive advertisement’ which persuades consumers through various techniques to buy the product. And these apply ...

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The customer is always right…but is he happy?

During uncertain times, the customer becomes the lifeblood of any business. But today the brand team is struggling with which existing and prospective customers to target with their current offers via multiple channels of interaction. Many established corporations are aligning their resources towards BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China, for growth opportunities and are aiming to hone in on the rise in disposable income within these economies – notably China, whose new five-year plan aims at a growth strategy fuelled by domestic consumption instead of the trillion-dollar generating strategy of exports maximisation. What they are finding is the difficulty to ...

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Private airlines: A show of poor customer care

What’s worse than having a flight repeatedly delayed? Is it that you might be delayed by up to twenty four hours? No. Is it the annoyance at the added wait with a dash of inconvenience at having to locate the next possible flight? No, not even close. Perhaps its the irritation you feel at having to hold the line, while the delayed airlines’ operators finish laughing at your misery. No. Close. The worst thing about a delayed flight is customer service. There is nothing worse than when you’ve been clutching the phone receiver to your ear, breathlessly waiting for a voice on the other end to shine a ...

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Money 101: A beginner’s guide to saving

We are living in times of great economic distress and unless you have spent the better part of the past three years living under a rock I am sure you have felt the pinch starting from petrol to sugar prices. As a nation we are renowned for our hospitality, our generosity – in fact most of us use are likely to tell a cautious spender “Stop being kanjoos!” More often than not the butt of most overspending and monetary mis-management jokes is the fairer sex. At the work place you are likely to hear comments such as “she is only ...

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Can you afford to say ‘qabool hai’

October brings with it not just a change in the weather, but also the impending super-busy wedding season. Weddings can be a lot of fun. Some people enjoy the “rounak shounak” of mehndis, others like a chance to eat korma every single day for a month and some just appreciate an occasion to bond with friends and family if it’s a close someone tying the knot. All good things come with a price tag attached and “shaadi ka ladoo” is not free. Having talked to a variety of people about their thoughts and reactions (because talking is what I do ...

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Are you being robbed one rupee at a time?

As I asked for one rupee in change from the cashier a fellow customer on the next billing counter took a whole 180 degree turn and looked at me as if I was an insect. To add to my embarrassment the cashier rolled his eyes and took out a five rupee note and said “you can keep this instead.” He made me feel like a beggar for asking for my own money. Obviously, I did not keep it but amused and astonished I moved away. The next day I discussed the incident with my friends. Most of them seemed to have ...

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The untold story of the milk that we drink

When packaged milk was first introduced in Pakistan in 1981, the idea wasn’t welcome. In general, people thought packaged milk was not as healthy as loose fresh milk. An aggressive campaign was needed to change people’s minds. How many of you remember the documentary aired on national television showing how free from germs and bacteria Tetra Pak milk is? Today, I can say the campaigns succeeded. Lots of people have converted from traditional, loose, fresh milk provided by dairy farms. The packaged milk industry has evolved and there are many players in the industry. But while the industry matured, did any of these companies evolve ethically as well? What ...

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Brands can save the country

In a country of unfulfilled promises where politicians are continuously unable to deliver, I strongly believe that brands do a better job in serving the needs of the people.  We all ‘elect’ brands to help improve our lives every day.  So in a way this means that the entities governing us are not really the people sitting in the constitutional offices in Islamabad, but what is on the retail shelf.  So why not really give them a chance to form a government of sorts and serve our people? My Big Idea That’s how the idea for ‘brand elections’ was born ...

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