Science of choosing better brand names (Luxury/Rich brands)

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Make it long.
Difficult to pronounce.
Must have silent letters.
Being able to pronounce the brand name correctly should itself become a mark of status and knowledge. 

Science of choosing better brand names (web)

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Summary- 2 syllable or two word brand names are easier for conversations.

I have been studying the names of some of the top websites for past few months and one thing i noticed is mostly all of them are either 2 syllable or a 2 words combined as one. Some examples - FaceBook(2 words), Google(2 syllable). MSN is 3 syllable and could never beat Yahoo(2 syllable). Asklaila(2), Justdial(2), Onyomo is 3 syllabe and is still to make a mark.

Infact, according to what brand names i can think of, anything that is pronounced in 2 parts, it could be 2 known words combined as 1 or 1 word of 2 syllables, is easier to promote and people tend to remember and have an ease in mentioning in oral communication. For written communication people will use acronym rather, even if it is a 2 syllable name because most readers are aware of the context and hence can guess out the full name even if the acronym is not intelligent or popular. People like to mention wikipedia as wiki, just for the ease of communication. Infosys(3 sylable) becomes Infy but Wipro(2 syllable) is not changed.

I suppose this is only true for web and not for offline brands.

Not that a good name will make you a big hit but it helps in conversation.

Neutral vs Positive New Customer

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In my last post i ended with the line "You get a positive customer to begin with, not at neutral or below."
I thought deep whether it is good or bad to have a new customer who already has heard so much good things about you and carries a positive mindset for you or your service. When a customer is positive towards you, he is expecting better than usual and now its a pressure upon you to stand upto his expectations. It depends whether you think like Sachin Tendulkar and believe pressure to be a privilege. But it is not your business to deliver better than usual at the same usual price. But than isn't this one of the differentiators.

One point where i can really think it to be a benefit is that suppose if you or your team/subordinates screw the service for him, there are good chances that you still have a 50% success rate for him. He will believe that this was the only time where you screwed up, otherwise you deliver better than usual as that is what the customer's recommendee had experienced. In this case, the customers opinion about you would really depend on where or whom the recommendation came from. If he has a positive outlook for the recommendee than probably he would leave with a neutral mindset.

Mathematically speaking:

((+ve mindset about recommendee) * (+ve experience of recommendee) )+ (-ve experience of self) = almost neutral mindset about the service

You can similarly try other mathematical expressions to see what will this referred customer think. Human brain doesn't comply with mathematics but this is the closest you can get.

Good vs. Sounding Good

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Fruits in breakfast and lunch. Dessert in dinner. Unlimited milk and curd, paneer and ice-cream on Sundays.
This is the menu of my college mess. Sounds tempting! Above average for an Indian college mess. But nobody mentioned the bad quality of these stuff and basically the quality of chapati and rice(the essentials). So basically you have a lot of add-on or extra features but you missed to serve the basics good.

90% of my college campus is WiFi enabled. The remaining 10% is where the students need it, the hostels.

All these features help my college attract many new students but they don't realise that they are actually creating or graduating many unsatisfied customers who are only going to create a bad WoM for the college. My college made a bad choice in this case as they saw the short term gains only. The students do not have a choice because one can only talk about quality once they have experienced it. By then it is too late to change college or switch your service provider. As a result by the time student passes out he is so frustrated he is only going to talk bad about the service and even the good things will be over shadowed.

You must choose between giving your customers features that sound good and features that are good.No harm if you can give both but what if you have to make a choice.

Features that sound good help when you are seeking a one time customer like a tea vendor on a railway station. I remember one tea vendor on New Delhi station who gave 4 slices of fruit cake free with tea, served tea in cup and saucer that looked different from other vendors who served in a disposable glass(i would prefer this for hygiene) all for the same price of Rs. 5 but his tea tasted awful. Almost no milk, bad quality tea leaves, less sugar... basically awful. He doesn't need to worry because probably i wouldn't recognize him next time i visit the place and in this case any kind of WoM is hardly going to make much difference.

Some examples:
Telecom company - Bad network but allows mobile payment, ticket booking etc
Local search - outdated, unauthenticated data but allows forwarding of address through SMS
Free web to SMS - too delayed service but supports email to SMS.

If you are any of the above you probably know the reason why your business isn't picking up. Giving good service may mean a narrow operating margin and may be a less number of customers who come to you asking about your features but it surely help you gain a lot of positive WoM. The customer wont come to you asking whether you really offer certain feature but he would come to you expecting that you will offer it better than anyone else at the same price. You get a positive customer to begin with, not at neutral or below.

Alchemist-lesson 1- Never promise what you dont have

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The Alchemist, is the most influencing book i have read, yet. The lessons from this master piece has changed the way i think, the way i take my life and the way i deal with people.

One of the important lessons that i learnt was "Never promise something that you dont have".
Say, you are a web startup and offer activity points to your users and these points can be redeemed with your redemption partners for goodies. You have just thought about this promotion campaign and not thought about the redemption partners yet. You believe you will drive traffic to their site and in return they will redeem those points for your users.

It was all your expectation and you promised the deal to your users. As a result your users never believed you because you could never tell them the exact deal. In turn, the users did not turn up as expected and you couldn't drive enough traffic to your partners. So as expected, the partners, who were yet to be your partners, never became your partners.

Had you talked to your partners earlier and given a lesser attractive deal to your users, atleast you wouldn't have lost your integrity and credibility. Now nobody in the tribe wants to write about your new deals, your new website, your new features; just because you hurt the credibility of the tribe.

Same goes with hiring people. You might find it safe to say, "I am expecting a million $ in profits and as CTO you will get 10 % of it". Now as the owner, you expect to get a work worth $ 100 thousand from your CTO but you never realised that you did not promise him that amount. You know your company will do only as good as your CTO but now your CTO will do only as good as you company. So it would have been better if you had set standards for atleast one of them. This way there would be a sense of responsibility and obligation amongst the parties in the deal. You will get only as much as you can give. If you promise to give an expectation, you will get only an expectation of success.

You might argue that Obama also promised a dream and became successful. You are wrong. He is not successful yet. He has been given a chance to be successful. The tribe is with him now but just wait and watch his destiny if he cannot deliver what he promised. By not fulfilling promises you are actually destroying the credibility of your tribe. If the tribe kicks you out, no one will accept you.

Purposeful mistakes to attaract attention

I remember my first year of college when i was new to the world of presentations, seminars, reports , viva etc. I was always afraid of the query round. Mostly because i did not want to fall prey to some top brain who knows all about the topic. I started using this trick that i had learned by mistake.
I started making purposeful, noticeable silly mistakes just hoping to attract attention. Once the mistake caught eyeballs or vice versa, i felt relaxed. I could now eat up the query time explaining or justifying the mistake. Like if i wanted the jury to ask me more about slide 1 than slide 2, i used to make a simple mistake on slide 1.
It is more likely that people will point to your mistake in such a situation than your so called correct points. The mistake can be anything like spelling mistakes, data error etc.
But when i really made a mistake by mistake, i would just say that it was a purposeful mistake, just to find out whether anybody reads these long reports or not.

In professional world you can do purposeful mistakes and gain from it. Just be thankful to the person who pointed out the mistake and then build a relation from there. Its like making a relation from an error. To start a relation you should have some bond and this error just worked as that bond; you made it, he noticed it.

blog blogger blogging

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Blogging generally attracts 3 generations of people.

1. Who know something through a lot of sources and actually want to share it with people. They have long term goals. You will never know when that person actually sold you something. Like seth godin,

2. They want to blog only for short term gains. They believe in releasing as many posts as possible no matter how dumb or useful. These bloggers go on to read other blogs so that they have something to blog about. Like and

3. These people blog because everyone else they know online is a blogger. They do start a blog but then are confused about what style to carry. They are not sure whether to write long posts like techcrunch and watblog that people will not bother to read after the first 2 sentences or short ones like Godin and These people actually stop updating there blogs after the first few posts.

I hope you fall in one of the three categories.

Shoe the Neta

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Back in Kathmandu, i had a friend who had this very disobedient dog. My friend expected him to fetch the mails and newspaper but the dog never did that. The dog never understood the word "newspaper" "mails" etc. So each time the master, my friend, wanted the dog to work, he had to throw his slippers towards the main gate of his house. The dog then went running after the slippers and fetch both the newspaper and the slippers.
With recent shoe attack on PC it makes me feel whether the Indian netas are like that dog. Just read this on "Sonia to Tytler: Withdraw your candidature" and "If Congress party wants, I will quit: Tytler"

Moral: Don't wait for the user to report bugs else he might put it on your face. Prevention is better than cure.

shifting focus vs loosing focus

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There is a thin line between the two. The line is of success and accomplishment.

1. When you have completed product A, and without making much efforts to gain from it, started making product B you are actually loosing focus. It is likely that you will do the same with product B also. What you end up with is a huge portfolio of obscure products. Then just to satisfy your ego you put up a set of links at the bottom of your homepage saying "Our Network Sites".

2. When you start product B after product A has reached a milestone development mark but still continue to work on product A as well, you are not loosing focus but actually shifting focus. Remember that when you shift focus you don't kill your earlier product, you just hit a pause button not a stop button.

3. If you cannot relate your new product to your old one then you are actually loosing focus. The new product is a new field with new customers and new dynamics you might want a newer one after some time.