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  • How Amazon disrupted the book industry with the Kindle: a lesson in handling digital disruption

    In the early 2000s, many believed that Apple’s iTunes had threatened Amazon’s CD sales. In response, they created their own new technology which became the Kindle. The new product/technology helped them to dominate online book sales across the globe. This is a lesson in handling digitization and technology by inventing instead of copying. Photo by from Pexels In the book, Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, the famous American behavioral design expert Nir Eyal evaluates why do some products make us addicted whereas others are quickly left behind? Nir Eyal has mentioned four critical aspects of making consumers get stick to a product and keep coming back. 1. Trigger - A trigger is the actuator of behavior. 2. Action - Following the trigger comes the action: the behavior is done in anticipation of a reward. 3. Reward - What distinguishes the Hook Model from a plain vanilla feedback loop is the hook's ability to create a craving. 4. Investment of time / connects / contacts etc. In other words, a key component of user engagement is triggering the user's desire to act, followed by making them act, providing rewards, and ensuring that they invest their time and effort. User reliance on products is formed by following these four steps. The book Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon, by Colin Bryar and Bill Carr, tells the story of how Amazon figured out what to do. The Apple store made it possible for users to purchase audio tracks on a per-song basis, instead of purchasing whole albums. It allowed people to easily preview an entire album before buying it and purchasing individual songs was cheaper than buying whole albums. For example, if you have one song that you want from an album then you only have to buy that one track rather than the entire album. This had some great benefits for both consumers and the companies producing the music as it increased sales of songs without worrying about lowering profits on full albums. iTunes was originally created for Mac computers, but in 2003 Apple made a version of iTunes for Windows. The original iTunes could only be used on Macs at the time, which left 90% of the computer-using population out in the cold. Now with iTunes for Windows, everyone could enjoy their favorite albums, movies, and TV shows. Apple's decision to create a Windows version of iTunes had far-reaching consequences. It had fundamentally changed the way we buy and access music today. On the other hand, digital media was also seen as a threat by Amazon. Even though Amazon faced pressure to enter the music business, they decided to focus on the ebook business: they invented rather than copy. Amazon Kindle disrupted the book industry because it changed the way people read books. Before, people would have to go to a bookstore, find a book they wanted to read, and then purchase it. Then, they would have to take it home and read it. With Kindle, people can find what they want to read, buy it, and then read it right away. It also allows people to buy books without having them shipped to their houses. The book Working Backwards: Insights, Stories, and Secrets from Inside Amazon tells how Amazon built an equivalent of iTunes and the iPod for books—the Kindle app and e-reader. It took years and a lot of experimentation to get it right, but they managed to create a product that changed the world. Jeff Bezos's interest in history reminded him that if a company did not or could not change and adapt to meet shifting consumer needs, it would fail. He once said that you don't want to turn into Kodak, referring to the once-mighty company that missed the transition from film to digital. During his six-month research of the digital media landscape, Bezos and his team learned a few key things. As piracy has rapidly killed off the CD business and Apple was selling millions of songs on iTunes to millions of iPod users, record companies were eager for Amazon to enter to ensure they had more retailers to deal with, other than just Apple. The second problem was that there was an existing e-book market, but the market was small, publishers didn't invest, and they released a small catalog of e-books that were priced the same as hardcovers. Lastly, digital movies and TV: Content creators were reluctant to partner with digital service providers like Amazon. By 2005, Amazon realized that the Kindle project was taking much longer than anticipated and was consuming a lot more money than it had expected. As part of one finance review, a heated discussion was held about unexpected expenses. Sometime during the debate, someone asked Jeff, “How much more money are you willing to invest in Kindle?” According to Colin Bryar and Bill Carr, Jeff looked to Tom Szkutak (CFO) and asked, “How much money do we have?” It was a way for him to signal the strategic importance of Kindle to the team and to assure the team that the investment was not at risk. He believed it was too early to drop the project. The rest is history. The book industry is a good example of how a product transformed the whole industry. In the past, the publishing industry was dominated by a few large publishers. This changed when Amazon released its Kindle e-reader in 2007 and allowed anyone to self-publish their work for sale.

  • Learn how to use the Five Forces Model to analyze industries and companies with an example

    Michael Porter is considered one of the most influential scholars in business. He has written extensively on competitive strategy and has helped numerous companies formulate their strategies. Over years, companies and academics have used the five forces model to analyze the industry attractiveness and to understand the forces that shape competition within an industry. Porter’s Five Forces model provides an in-depth understanding of a firm’s current competitiveness and highlights ways to improve competitiveness. Michael Porter outlines five forces for competitive analysis: 1) Threat of New Entrants Consider the ease with which new companies can enter the market. Many factors need to be considered, such as barriers to entry (patents and high set-up costs), the profitability of the business, and the brand's reputation. 2) Threat of Substitute products Analyze how easily your products can be substituted with others. It will depend on factors such as its relative price, accessibility, and quality. All alternatives should be considered, not just similar products. As an example, airlines compete not just with other airlines, but with train and bus operators as well. 3) Bargaining Power of Buyers Analyze your buyers' strengths. Do buyers have the upper hand in this market? Can buyers easily switch brands? Could some of your customers be in such a strong position to make you vulnerable? What impact will it have on your company if you're dealing with businesses with low-profit margins? 4) Bargaining Power of Suppliers Know how strong your suppliers are. Is there a supplier you are dependent upon? Is there anything you can do to reduce this? What are the chances that the supplier would be able to sell directly to your customers if it did not depend on your business? Is there an alternative product or method you could use to reduce your vulnerability? 5) Rivalry among Existing Competitors. In industry analysis, it is important to understand who your competitors are and how you compare to them. From the outside looking in, it may seem that everyone is a competitor. However, take a closer look and you will find that there are both direct and indirect competitors depending on the industry. For example, the direct competitor for Netflix is Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, etc but its indirect competition in games such as PUBG, Fortnite, etc. Ask these questions to understand the competition: Do they pose a threat? How do they compare in terms of strengths and weaknesses? Would you be able to survive a price war or other aggressive strategies? Do they demonstrate innovation? Is it easy for customers to switch companies? What is the number of competitors? Are there any strong companies? Are there any newcomers in your market that will take your products by storm or replace them with others? Analysis of the airline industry It's no secret that the airline industry has been one of the least profitable over the past decade. Airlines have been struggling with various challenges such as fluctuating fuel prices, inexpensive tickets, high maintenance, terrorism, taxes, and an unfavorable exchange rate. Although there have been some short-term profits, most airlines have been losing money for a long time. According to the author Joan Magretta, despite having billions in revenue, these companies are chronically bad businesses. Understanding Porter's five forces will help you understand why major airlines are consistently unprofitable. The five forces analysis is a framework for industry analysis and business strategy development. Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels Michael Porter explained the model using the airline industry. This article discusses how Michael Porter’s Five Forces model is used to analyze the global airline industry. 1) Bargaining power of Suppliers: A handful of aircraft manufacturers. The airplane manufacturing industry is very different from other industries because the majority of aircraft are made by just three companies. The labor union, which can take on many different forms, bargains for the rights of its workers. As the union works to improve the employment situation for its workers, it often negotiates with airline companies to make sure that they are paid handsomely. 2) Bargaining power of Buyers: A study revealed that buyers are price sensitive and will jump on the opportunity to buy a ticket at a lower cost. Also, buyers have low switching costs and search for better prices on the internet. This means that if a company wants to keep customers, they need to offer competitive prices. In general, buyers aren't interested in high-end features such as more comfortable seating or a better customer experience. Partly, this was caused by the airline industry - they practice yield management i.e. determining the price of the same seat dependent on when a ticket was bought. Although this may have seemed like an effective way to segment prices, it actually taught customers to shop around. 3) Rivalry among Competitors There is fierce competition among airlines and it has resulted in lower prices and lower profits. In the airline industry, every seat that is vacant is like a perishable item. Thus, competitive pricing ensures maximum occupied seats on planes. 4) Threat of New Entrants In the past, it was very complicated and expensive to start an airline. One had to buy a plane, get approval from the authorities, hire pilots and crew members. However, new entrants into the market can now start an airline by simply leasing a plane from a major airline for a lower cost. Leasing is a business arrangement between two parties in which one party, the lessor, transfers ownership of an asset (for a specific period), such as an aircraft, to another party, the lessee. Failed airlines have extra planes leading to excess capacity. 5) Threat of Substitutes Air travel has become more expensive in recent years, especially for short trips. On the other hand, technology is making it easier to substitute air travel for other forms of transportation. This causes prices for tickets to either go down or stay the same. For example, train tickets are more affordable than they have been in years because trains are cheaper to operate than airplanes. By reviewing all five factors, you can determine the company's strengths and weaknesses as well as its direction in terms of competitiveness. However, one of the weaknesses of the five forces model is that it only focuses on external issues, so his approach is often used alongside complementary models that produce better insights into the internal factors that affect a company's competitiveness.

  • How to use your LinkedIn account as a CRM with LeadDelta

    LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network on the internet. It has over 774+ million members in over 200 countries and territories, including professionals from more than 200 occupations and industries. You can use LinkedIn to find the right job or internship, connect and strengthen professional relationships, and learn the skills for your next career move. Through an active LinkedIn profile, you can display your unique professional story by showcasing skills, qualifications, and experiences. Here are some of the benefits LinkedIn has to offer: Create a professional profile and establish credibility. Enhance visibility of your personal brand. Connect with professionals who share similar interests. Share your skills and expertise online. Leverage LinkedIn’s features to find new employees or jobs. Get recommendations from your connections. Generate quality leads. Problem with LinkedIn LinkedIn is a great platform for connecting, sharing, learning, and finding opportunities. BUT there are a few things that LinkedIn lacks. One of the biggest downsides of LinkedIn is that you can’t use it as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. Here’s a common scenario on LinkedIn Accepting the connection request. It then turns into a handshake to pitch. The number of connections keeps growing. You can't organize your connections in a meaningful way and grow the network sustainably while maintaining a good relationship. There is an overwhelming amount of clutter. Basically, you can't leverage the full potential of this incredible social media platform. The solution to this problem is LeadDelta. LeadDelta is a service that allows users to use their personal LinkedIn account as a CRM. It’s a start-up led by Vedran Rasic (CEO & Co-Founder) and based in Toronto, Canada. As of September 2021, there are over +2,000 active users that are benefiting from this incredible tool. LeadDelta is among the top 3, top-rated LinkedIn Apps on Chrome Web Store and has been the #1 product of the day on ProductHunt. LeadDelta is a platform that turns your LinkedIn account into a powerful CRM, enabling you to organize your network, send mass to customize messages at scale. It is a tool for organizing and strengthening the relationship with your prospects. The functionalities of LeadDelta are designed to help you with the following: View connections as a CRM list-view Send personalized messages at scale. Use the Message Templates to send personalized messages with just a few clicks. Selectively follow or unfollow specific connections with one click. LeadDelta will also keep you up-to-date on their latest activities so you don't miss anything important. Create automated filters to stay updated with the people you follow on LinkedIn. Manage all connections from one place with Tags & Notes, Filters, Sorting & Searching features Disconnect or Hide connections in bulk. Synchronize your latest connections. Visualize & export your data (CSV). The following integrations are available: LinkedIn, Gmail, Zapier, and Pabbly (more to be added) It's never been easier to maintain a reliable pipeline of prospects until now. Thanks to LeadDelta, prospecting and managing pipelines can be managed more efficiently and effectively. Lead management made simple With LeadDelta, all you have to do is follow these 3 simple steps: 1) Connect Linkedin to LeadDelta 2) Make relevant tags 3) Start adding tags to your connections. Before using LeadDelta After using LeadDelta Who should use LeadDelta? Sales reps Recruiters Entrepreneurs CXO’s Creators Freelancers Academics Any professional who would like to leverage his/her connections. Here’s a short demo of LeadDelta by Vedran Rasic Before you start using LeadDelta, here are a few things you need to have: Any browser built on the Chromium platform: Chrome, Edge, Brave, Vivaldi... You have to have an active LinkedIn profile (paid or not it doesn’t matter) What I like about LeadDelta: CRM-view Tags Data Disconnect in bulk Follow/unfollow in bulk You can read reviews by other users here. I highly recommend this tool, if you are someone who spends a lot of time on LinkedIn. The best part is, LeadDelta is offering a lifetime deal for a short period. After 15 October 2021, it will adopt a subscription model. If you are interested in availing of this lifetime deal, you need to click on this link and use this coupon code WPLTD4TM to gain a 10% discount. The current price for the lifetime offer is USD 149 and after the discount, it will be USD 134.1/lifetime. This coupon CODE will only work on the link (provided above). You need to purchase through the link provided and then apply the auto-generated code (sent to your email) after successful payment inside the app. Benefits of a lifetime deal: UNLIMITED LIFETIME ACCESS 🚀 Get unlimited lifetime access to LeadDelta and use it for as long as you like! Unlimited means all the features and functionalities, and it gets better, much better... ACCESS TO FUTURE UPDATES 🔮 This limited lifetime deal includes all the features LeadDelta has to offer, and guaranteed access to all the upcoming features, too. I told you it gets better. PAY ONCE USE FOREVER 🏆 All it takes is one invoice, one early believer, and one feedback, and it's all yours. Forget about subscriptions. With this plan, you only pay once and get all the features that our tool offers. SUPPORT CREATORS EARLY ON 🎗 You invest and support a brand NEW product. On behalf of the entire LeadDelta team, we thank you, and we shall do so with every future LeadDelta update. ACCESS TO FOUNDERS as an early customer you have the potential to influence the trajectory and the roadmap. I look at this product as an investment in myself. Over the years, LinkedIn has helped me immensely and with LeadDelta I now see it becoming even more valuable. For more updates on tools and applications, subscribe to ScroogeMarketer.

  • How the Slow Living Movement Trend is Becoming a Way of Life

    The world has become a never-ending hustle and bustle of activities. The 24/7 society has led to people becoming more exhausted, stressed, and disconnected from their natural surroundings. In the wake of the COVID pandemic, we have noticed a marked slowdown in the pace of our lives that helped a bit to simplify our fast-paced lifestyle. One of the most profound changes has been a slower pace of life that is being embraced by many consumers. We have entered a new era of “slow living.” What is Slow Living? "Slow living is a lifestyle that emphasizes simplicity, mindfulness, and an appreciation of the natural world." Slow living is a philosophy that focuses on the importance of minimizing one’s environmental impact. The term was first coined by Jackie Jarvis in his book "In Pursuit of Slow". Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels What is the Slow Living Movement? The slow living movement is not about deprivation or poverty. It's about making deliberate choices about how we spend our time, energy, and money so that we can enjoy the things that bring us joy and peace in life. Both, slow living and minimalism are active and growing movements. Meditation videos are a new trend in the world of self-care. From time to time, people need to take a step back from their lives and take care of themselves. These videos are an excellent way for individuals to unwind, decompress, and get in touch with their inner selves. Content creators often use these videos as an opportunity to teach viewers about different slow living techniques. Photo by Samuel Theo Manat Silitonga from Pexels This trend of "slow living" has been growing exponentially on YouTube along with the idea of living simply and minimalistically. It appears that many have taken up hobbies and explored interests that were previously considered too time-consuming. Often, these videos are long and feature relaxing music. In some cases, videos are even silent. There is a meditative quality to the videos because of the gentle pace. The attention creators and viewers pay to details is what gives meaning to their work. The actions seem focused and deliberate. Here are a few examples of slow living videos on YouTube 1) Liziqi 李子柒 2) Slow Living "Jane " 3) The Small Workshop With more people finding themselves with time on their hands, the "Maker Movement" is expanding to different industries. DIY posts are becoming popular on blogs, websites, and social media. Many of the posts are focused on tasks and hobbies, like gardening, upcycling furniture, and making a proper cup of coffee. Slow Living Benefits Individuals Many people are living a fast-paced lifestyle, always on the go and never taking time to relax. This constant movement can take a toll on an individual’s health and well-being. A slow lifestyle offers many benefits to individuals, such as slowing downtime, improving overall health, and reducing stress levels. The benefits of slow living are limitless. It could be as simple as solving mental health problems like anxiety and depression. It could also be more impactful like improving relationships, family life, or even creativity or productivity at work. A slow life gives us the freedom to put ourselves first and appreciate what we have, instead of always focusing on what we don't have. It forces us to find our own way and be content with it, rather than constantly trying to keep up with everyone else's lifestyle choices or societal expectations. Slow living is the act of taking time out of our day for ourselves, putting our children first, investing in ourselves, and having more control over our environment. Taking time to slow down will help us to appreciate the little things that are often overlooked during busy days. Additionally, slow living benefits well-being, health, happiness, fitness, creativity, and more importantly allows us to spend quality time with loved ones. What makes slow living appealing? Escapism, aspiration, and achievement Aspiration and escapism: There may not be gardens or coffee machines in everyone's homes, but watching this content lets us escape into a different mindset and world. Achievement: Once the viewers have completed these activities and followed the video instructions, they experience a sense of accomplishment. Moreover, when we feel in control of our tasks, despite so much uncertainty around us, it gives us a sense of satisfaction. Concluding thoughts on slow living consumer trend The interests and hobbies of these individuals relate to a nostalgic lifestyle, an attempt to relive "the good old days". It is funny how digital culture is able to tap into nostalgia for analog times. The trend of slowing down and doing things at a more leisurely pace is not new to history. It has been in the past and we can see it today. The slow living trend is not just about the way people live their lives, but also how they consume products. Slow living can be seen as a reaction to the fast-paced society that most of us live in today. By adopting this lifestyle, consumers are able to take back control of their lives and enjoy things at a slower pace. As more people adopt this way of life, brands are starting to take notice and are beginning to offer products that align with these beliefs.

  • How the pandemic forced the expensive luxury brands to justify the value

    The COVID-19 pandemic had a huge effect on everyone’s lives. During this period, when countries were under lockdown, streaming services came to the rescue and helped people to maintain their sanity. However, streaming content has overwhelmed so many people during the pandemic that brands struggled to connect. In particular, this was applicable to the marketing of expensive luxury goods such as Brioni, Audemars Piguet, Bugaboo, Patek Philippe, and more. People are drawn to items that they can show off. This phenomenon in economics is termed “conspicuous consumption.” Due to the pandemic, the rich missed out on parties and cultural events where the wealthy could show off and be seen by others. The article discusses the concept of conspicuous consumption and how it relates to the spending habits of rich people. This article covers: 1) What is Conspicuous Consumption? 2) Evolution Of Conspicuous Consumption 3) How has the pandemic impacted luxury brands? 4) Will consumers change their conspicuous consumption behavior? What is Conspicuous Consumption? Conspicuous consumption is the act of buying goods in order to display wealth or status. This can be done in order to impress other people, or even to impress oneself. This type of consumption can come in many forms, including jewelry, cars, clothes, cosmetics, and more. It is generally done by people who have excess disposable income. The term was coined by sociologist and economist, Thorstein Veblen. It refers to the practice of purchasing goods and services for the purpose of displaying wealth or earning social status. In many ways, conspicuous consumption acts as a social currency. The more expensive something is, the higher status it has. This phenomenon is especially apparent within the rich and the ultra-rich class where there is a lot of competition and where members must keep up with one another with regards to their lifestyles and social statuses. Conspicuous consumption can be seen as a consequence of rational choice theory because people buy goods to make themselves feel better about themselves rather than for any functional use they may have. The Evolution Of Conspicuous Consumption: From Rome To Today's World! Conspicuous consumption goes back centuries and is evident in many cultures around the world. The Romans were the first to adopt this type of behavior when they started wearing clothes embroidered with pearls and precious stones. They did this in order to make sure that everyone knew who was rich and who wasn't, but also they wanted their adversaries to know what was coming for them if they attacked. As the digital age progresses, conspicuous consumption is increasingly found on social media, online streaming services, and video games. Furthermore, conspicuous consumption has become increasingly prevalent in marketing messages for advertisers who want to sell products that are expensive or otherwise out of reach for most people. Impact of COVID-19 on sales of expensive luxury goods Chris Olshan, global chief executive of the Luxury Marketing Council, quoted “Why do I put on a $200,000 timepiece if I have a clock on my microwave and haven’t left my house in four months?” Photo by Pixabay from Pexels According to him, brands are being forced to explain why a new product is worth their attention and money. Taking an expensive watch as an example, he mentioned, "It has to be something more than just another Swiss watch. Even if you tell your customer that you can get rescued off an island if you press a button on the watch, the customers don't care. A product's value must be supported by something more." The Swiss luxury watchmaker Audemars Piguet, that had plans to launch a $161,000 watch linked to a Marvel character in 2020, decided to try something it had not done before. To reveal the character, the company staged a virtual event. This trend raises a question: “what's the need for $30,000 watches or $5000 handbags when you are a small thumbnail on zoom? Source: Bain & Company Will consumers change conspicuous consumption behavior? Consumers might not change their consumption behavior as conspicuous consumption has been a part of the human lifestyle for centuries. The main question for marketers trying to sell a luxury product is whether or not people will change their conspicuous consumption behavior. It’s an important question because, if people do change their behavior, it would hurt the luxury market. For example, the market could suffer from higher demand for lower-priced goods and services, or people could focus on status through other means such as paying off student loans or donating to animal charities while spending less on clothes and accessories. According to Mckinsey's (2020) report, luxury brands need to navigate the crisis by transforming the value proposition and business model for the future. Concluding thoughts Due to COVID-19, the world has experienced an economic slowdown, but there are ways to make the most of the situation. As of 2021, brands are emerging from this crisis stronger by remembering lessons in resilience learned in the dark days of 2020. This crisis may have transformed the luxury industry, but it will continue to grow.

  • The Who, What, and How of Strategy

    What is a Strategy and Why is It Important? A strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a specific goal. In business, a strategy can determine the long-term direction of the company. A good strategy will answer questions such as "What are we trying to accomplish?" and "How are we going to do it?" Strategies are often created through an analysis of your organization's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Organizations may also develop strategies based on their analysis of the latest industry trends and changes in customer expectations. Photo by Pixabay from Pexels Sometimes developing a successful strategy can be a time-consuming process. It's important to think about where you are currently, what your goals are, and how you want to get there. What Makes a Good Strategy? Business strategies are the driving force of a company's success. They are the main blueprint for every business. Without a strategy, a business will not be able to succeed in any endeavor. A good strategy is one that is tested and proven to work, both in theory and in practice. It has to be versatile and able to adapt to market changes and trends. It also needs to be simple and clear so that it can be easily communicated and implemented by all levels of management and employees of the company, as well as any other stakeholders that might need to know about it. The notion of strategy The strategy has three essential elements: development, implementation, and selling. One of the most important elements in a strategy for a company is to choose a 'position' on three key dimensions: Whom to target as customers (and whom to avoid targeting) What products to offer How to undertake related activities efficiently. Remember, a strategy is not what your customers want, it's what your competitors allow you. - Rajiv Bajaj, MD Bajaj Auto In practice Strategy is an art. It takes more than just having a good idea to be successful. It's about making tough decisions on who, what, and how to do something. It means deciding who you will target and not target, what your business will provide and how to provide it most effectively Note that strategy is not just about money or power, it's about using your strengths to achieve your goals. A successful strategy involves not only choosing which products to offer but also what features to emphasize. You have to know what your product or service is and what your customer needs. It means picking the right activities you'll use when trying to sell these products to the targeted customers. Key points to focus on to ensure successful strategy Develop a unique strategy to create a distinct position. The key to this is to focus on who your customers are, the value proposition you offer them, and how you can efficiently do this. Take bold, hard decisions. For a strategy to be distinctive and meaningful, hard choices must be made and then these choices must be combined in a system of activities that are self-reinforcing. The most common errors are: allowing incentives in the system that allow people to ignore choices; seeking growth in a way that obstructs the formulation of strategy, causing analysis paralysis. Values and incentives are key factors. Specifically, your organization's behaviors are rooted in the underlying environment. The underlying environment is determined by the organization's culture and values, measurement and incentives, people, structure, and processes. Ensure people are emotionally committed to the strategy. A strategy must have an emotional commitment from those involved. Leaders can make a difference in how people feel about a strategy. They can do this by going on the front line and showing their own commitment. The key to successful strategy implementation is not simply developing a strategy and telling people what to do, but engaging their emotional commitment. People will be emotionally committed if they believe that the plan is relevant, has high personal significance, and they have significant input into its success. Don't confuse understanding with communicating. Describe why the strategy matters to the organization and to the individual. There is a wide knowledge-practice gap in the professional world. People have a tendency to do what is urgent and not what is important. Though this may be human nature, it can result in being less successful than one might be otherwise. Do not believe that 'strategic' means important. The word is often incorrectly used to describe or explain an important idea. Another mistaken view is that only top management can develop the strategy. Everybody can contribute an idea, anytime, anywhere. Flexibility is key. The usefulness of an idea is limited - not eternal. Be sure to answer the 'who-what-how' questions. The strategy does not have to be changed too often, but sometimes it will need to be adjusted to suit external circumstances. You should give your employees the freedom to respond and to adjust without needing permission or instructions. Here are 4 examples of successful strategies implemented by Rajiv Bajaj for Bajaj Auto Refer to this article: Strategic Management Lessons that we all can learn from Rajiv Bajaj Less is more, narrow your focus A market challenger should adopt an offensive strategy by doing the opposite of the market leader. A market leader has to only defend the position by simply raising the bar. Improve your analysis by examining external factors before looking at internal ones. Concluding thoughts on Strategy To conclude - Strategic thinkers are not born, they are made. A strategic thinker is an individual who can see the bigger picture and make decisions accordingly. A strategic thinker has a set of skills that can be developed by anyone who is willing to work on it. Some of these skills include: Awareness - The ability to detect and analyze new trends and opportunities as they arise Creativity - The ability to think of new ideas or different ways of doing things Decision-making - The ability to come up with possible solutions for a problem

  • Brandwash: A Strategy Brands Use to Influence Consumer Behavior

    Marketers go to great lengths to try and manipulate us into buying things. They do this with sneaky techniques like using visual tricks, playing on emotions and even tinkering with our thoughts. This is the reason why people often feel manipulated by ads. These ads often end up making us buy things we don't want or need. Until two decades back, it was enough for them to bombard us with ads on billboards, TV, radio, or the internet. However, today they want to sneak in their messages earlier and more often. This is how they're able to grab our attention before we're even conscious of it happening - through clever tactics like brand-washing. Martin Lindstrom is the author of the international bestsellers Brandwashed and Buyology. He is an internationally renowned marketing expert, speaker, and consultant with over 20 years of experience helping companies of all shapes and sizes improve their marketing performance. In his book Brandwashed, Martin sets out to give us a clear understanding of how marketing works in order to empower us as a consumer. He explains the many common (and not-so-common) tricks of contemporary marketing, and he provides a handy guide of what to look for in order to make rational buying decisions. What is Brand-Washing? Brand-washing is a marketing strategy that aims to make a company's products and services more appealing to consumers by adopting techniques that make them seem more connected to the customer. For example, the smacking sound when we unscrew some jars and containers was created and patented. It conveys the impression that what’s inside is fresh and clean. To understand brandwash better, we need first understand brand addiction. What is brand addiction? The concept of addiction can be defined as a psychological and physiological dependence on a substance or behavior that results in negative consequences. Similarly, brand addiction is the state of being attached to a certain brand. Moreover, brand addiction can also be a result of marketing tactics that use people's emotions as weapons against them, such as fear tactics. Research shows that the millennial generation has shown to have a higher tendency towards being addicted to brands because they have grown up in an age of mass customization and hyper-connectivity enabled by technology. There are two stages of brand addiction: The first stage is the 'routine stage,' when certain brands or products become part of a consumer's daily habits, such as shaving with a Gillette razor or using Pantene shampoo. The second stage is the 'dream stage,' where consumers do not buy products based solely on their practicalities, but because the brand or product makes them feel good, and they long for it. In his book Brandwashed, Martin Lindstrom describes how everyday brands try to convince us to buy their goods. As a result, we can also see how advertisers design their advertising to exploit our psychological weak spots so that before we are conscious of it, we are actually being guided towards certain products. “Brand Addiction” is a subset of “Shopping Addiction.” - Martin Lindstrom In his book, Martin argues: How bestseller lists work to activate behavior in people, How fear influences buying decisions, Reasons lip-gloss is so addictive, and How some of your product choices as adults are formed in the womb. When do we become brand-washed? Marketers have been known for their use of branding strategies to influence consumers. They use these strategies to make brands attractive and convince consumers that the products they sell are the best. According to a report, "Studies show that a brand can increase its odds of a sale by as much as 400% simply by changing its name but with the same packaging." Branded products are often portrayed as being more high-quality, exclusive, and desirable than non-branded products. With this in mind, it’s no wonder why marketing tactics such as brandwashing have been used in recent times. The fact is that marketing starts as soon as we're born and we're bombarded with commercialism before we even know what our likes and dislikes are. How could this be possible? Didn't we then just exist as a mass of cells? Researchers have found that embryos develop sensory and tactile functions in Week 10. Around Week 20, it starts responding to sounds. In Week 30, a fetus' auditory, gustatory, olfactory, and visual systems are fully functional, and it can hear the heartbeat of the mother and external sounds. At this point, the pregnant woman's eating habits will have a profound effect on her unborn child. Additionally, it will have an effect on a baby's later habits. As a result, brand marketing begins even before we're born. For instance, when a pregnant woman listens to a particular singer's music, the rhythms may last in the baby's memory for years. Childhood experiences can affect a person's adult life in significant ways. It is likely that many brands will seize this opportunity to create the next generation of consumers. Consider the example of Kopiko coffee candy. Source: Carrefour UAE Kopiko was preparing to launch their new product, coffee in the form of candy-flavored coffee. Several obstetricians, gynecologists, and pediatricians received the coffee-flavored candies from the distributors. Interestingly enough, the moment candy-flavored Kopiko coffee hit the shelves, its popularity was phenomenal, especially among children. Kids, who usually wouldn't go near that stuff, turned out to love the flavor of Kopiko coffee. This happened because the obstetricians, gynecologists, and pediatricians would give a screaming infant/toddler a dose of Kopiko coffee and it would instantly, and magically, calm these babies down. What are the strategies that companies use to brandwash us? By taking advantage of consumer's psychological cues, brand marketers use three sets of strategies: 1) Brandwash strategy: fear-mongering marketing. Fear sells. That's why marketers are constantly playing on consumer's fears to make them buy their products. Sometimes it can be as simple as a few words in an ad, like "If you don't buy our product, your loved ones will die." Various scientific studies have found that fear can also be contagious. You will eventually feel similarly if you see another person who is worried about something, and more and more people seem to be worried about the same thing. Companies use a combination of fear and guilt to make advertisements more effective. This is because when people feel guilty and afraid, they're more likely to act on their fears. In addition, firms play on people's fears of becoming something they don't want to be. For example, individuals suffering from obesity, constantly seek ways to overcome it. Consequently, companies advertise products that make problems appear worse. Another example is of hotels, placing a paper lid on the rim of the glasses, or a seal is placed on the toilet seat. This trick creates an illusion that the toilet, or glass, has never been used or drank from by anyone else. Source: HDFC Life 2) Brandwash strategy: nostalgia marketing. As we age, our longing for the good old days becomes more intense. It has been found that our brains are wired to keep and amplify positive memories. A lousy experience, however, is usually wiped out. In using this method of information processing, we are able to recall an experience in a far more gratifying way than when we were in that very moment. As a result, we tend to look back fondly on our past. Photo by Dmitry Demidov from Pexels Nostalgia marketing is a strategy to attract consumers who are looking for nostalgic memories. It can also be used as an effective way to reconnect with your customers. It generates emotional triggers that make people remember the good old days or why they liked your product or service in the first place. This link will take you to an article I wrote about nostalgia marketing. 3) Brandwash strategy: sex in advertising. Have you ever wondered why a lot of high-end car manufacturers design their cars with smooth lines and long curves? They are meant to create a seductive, sensual appearance. In fact, according to Martin, they even incorporated them into the car's steering wheel, gearstick, and door handles. Many brands that have long catered to and been associated with women are now targeting the appearance and beauty-conscious male market. Obviously, brands will focus on finding the perfect balance between masculinity and femininity. Who are the people who brandwash us? The effect of others on our shopping is both obvious and important. Almost every person has experienced the power of their peers to shape their opinions, but there are other types of people that have a significant impact on our choices. Besides our own psyche, who influences us when we shop? Martin points out in his book that we are heavily influenced by others when making shopping decisions. This phenomenon is known as peer pressure. For instance, most of us check online customer reviews before deciding whether to purchase something. Bestseller lists also prove that other people's preference and purchase influences our decisions. As an online bookseller, Amazon actually emails its customers to inform them that other shoppers bought items they might also enjoy. However, our family and friends are the most persuasive persuaders, especially those we trust and admire. Having what they have and living like them are things we all long for. In this case, word-of-mouth marketing is more effective than any advertisement. In addition, celebrities also influence our shopping habits. Many of us aspire to be like celebrities because they represent many desirable attributes. It could be in the form of beauty, charisma, musicianship, or athleticism. Marketers won't simply slap the faces of celebs on a package when advertising. Through the products they endorse, they strategically project their attributes. Through a process so seamless, we subconsciously perceive that we are buying a celebrity's image when we purchase a product. Some celebrities stand for professionalism, like experts or professionals. Most of the time, we trust what the doctors prescribe, such as what to eat, what to use, and what to watch for. That is why the beauty industry is filled with medical professionals. Consumers are involuntarily reassured of the safety of using products that have stamps that say "Doctor-Recommended" and "Dermatologist-Approved". Concluding thoughts on brandwash This blog article is not intended to make you distrust brands or stop buying them. But if we understand just how today's newest hidden persuaders are influencing our consumer behavior, we should be more logical when we shop. With this information, we will have the capability to make more informed, sensible, and smarter purchases in the future.

  • Bookey: The Book Summary App that Will Help You Build up Knowledge

    Reading is one of the most important ways to learn new things. It is possible to learn a lot from books, but it can also be difficult and exhausting. Many people struggle with reading because they do not have time to read all the books that they want to. This makes it hard for them to increase their knowledge. Wouldn’t it be great if we could read a lot of books and retain knowledge from them? Finally, we have an app just for that. With Bookey, your mind can get more out of the books, by reading the summary of the book that gets to the heart of what really matters. What Is Bookey? Bookey is an app that summarizes the key points of best-selling nonfiction books in 30-minute audio and transcripts. Every book includes a mind map that details the essence of the book so users are able to grasp the gist of the text at a glance. Source: Bookey App There is a good chance that you won't be able to read or listen to all books or podcasts on your list right now - not even those that will benefit your career. Moreover, a lot of people these days are either busy or don't have time to read every book that catches their eye. Book summaries are an appealing idea because they can provide insight into complex books without the need for commitment. The app contains bestselling titles in 12 categories ranging from business to personal development, and from biographies to parenting. You can even set up a 21-day challenge to grow personally with your friends. Source: Bookey App Highlights of the Bookey app Smart learning without limits Unlimited time to enjoy one bestseller! Bookey provides the complete summary of a book in 30 minutes in audio and text format. With Bookey, you can read more books and learn more about new topics. New books every week The app always has new books coming out every week from the most popular authors in nonfiction so that you never run out of content! Get inspired with friends Share insights with friends and challenge your knowledge and discover new perspectives. A new way to learn The app doesn't just provide summaries - it also gives you insights from the book, as well as their key themes and points of view. How much does Bookey cost? An annual Bookey Premium subscription costs about $62 (AED 277.23) or $5 (AED 18.36) a month. Moreover, it provides a free trial for seven days, so be sure to cancel before the trial ends if you do not intend to purchase the subscription. Note: Blinkist ( similar application) Premium subscriptions cost $16 a month or $100 a year. How does the Premium Bookey subscription work? Those who choose to become members of Bookey's Premium plan have unlimited access to its nonfiction titles, quizzes, audio learning, and other upgrades like the ability to download titles, offline access, highlight text, and take notes. USP of Bookey By installing the app and signing up, you will receive one free book each day as well as an editor's pick every month. As an example, the free book I received today is "The Undercover Economist" by Tim Harford. Source: Bookey App And the key insights are shown in a mind-map Source: Bookey App Additionally, the monthly top collection in my app currently has What are you looking at?, by Will Gompertz Source: Bookey App Followed by the key insights of the book. Source: Bookey App Lastly, if you would like to earn free premium days, you can share the unique referral link from the app with your friends. For each sign-up, you will get 20 premium days. You can read more here. I highly recommend the Bookey app to all my students and readers to enhance learning on the go. If you would like to give it a try, you can use my referral link.

  • The Madness of Fast Fashion and Why We Should Care About Sustainable Fashion

    What is Fast Fashion & Why It's Time for a Reset Fast fashion is a global phenomenon rooted in the disposable culture of modern society. It is a design, manufacturing, and marketing method focused on rapidly producing high volumes of clothing. It’s a concept that has been praised for its speed and efficiency, but it comes at a cost. Photo by Ksenia Chernaya from Pexels Fast fashion is not sustainable! Our current economic system measures success through the means of economics, which explains why fashion can be an extremely profitable industry. However, the fashion industry is one that is known to be one of the world's worst polluters. As its impact on the environment grows, it's time to reset the fast fashion industry by encouraging brands to promote sustainable practices and move away from mass production materials towards natural and organic materials. How Does Fast Fashion Harm the Environment? The rapid output of new designs and the low-cost production line have led to a gradual depletion of resources and a pollution-filled world. The global footprint of fast fashion is huge. It accounts for over $1 trillion annually just in the United States alone, according to Bloomberg data. And that’s not even taking into account any other countries where this trend is on the rise - China, India, Spain, and many others. The fast fashion industry has an immeasurable impact on the environment. According to a report by McKinsey & Company, manufacturing one t-shirt consumes more water than flushing one toilet for an entire year. Moreover, the amount of water, energy, and chemicals used in producing each garment has increased significantly over time, and there is little thought given during production to minimize how much it releases into the air or land as waste. Few companies are now taking a more proactive approach to this issue by introducing sustainable practices into their supply chain as well as their product offerings - but it’s not always easy. By reducing our buying habits, we can slow or stop this harmful impact on the environment. Why Should We Care About Sustainable Fashion? Sustainable fashion is a term that refers to the production of clothing with minimal environmental impact. Sustainable fashion has become popular because people are becoming aware of its importance and want products that align with their values. However, there are many challenges faced by the industry towards adoption, one of which is commoditization - when a consumer becomes accustomed to consuming a certain product without consideration for its social and environmental value. Photo by Sam Lion from Pexels Companies adopting sustainable fashion can show their customers that they care about sustainability by using a socially conscious business model or by partnering with other brands that share similar values. The long-term benefits of sustainable fashion are numerous. As consumers, we should at least consider an alternative to unsustainable clothing when purchasing as it provides the below benefits: Reduce your carbon footprint Protect the environment Helps to save water Reduces consumerism What Makes a Sustainable Brand Truly Sustainable? The sustainability of a company is not only about how much money they are making but also about how they make the world a better place. A brand’s sustainability starts with its product and business practices. It also includes environmental and social aspects as well as a company’s work with labor, rights, and community development In order for a brand to be more sustainable, they must understand their audience and challenge themselves to make a positive impact on the world around them. When it comes to sustainable clothing brands, they are often defined by their material, production method, and consumption. For example, clothes made from organic cotton might be more sustainable than those that are made with synthetic fibers. Similarly, garments that use less water during manufacturing might be more sustainable than those that use a lot of water. Fashion brands can create a sustainable brand image for themselves by following these general guidelines: Sustainable materials - use of eco-friendly fabrics, organic cotton, recycled materials as much as possible. Ethics - being aware of the ethical practices in the supply chain and ensuring that the brand doesn’t contribute to environmental degradation. Examples of sustainable strategies that helped brands grow their bottom lines The good news is that brands can implement sustainable strategies that still enable them to retain their bottom line. As an example, MUD Jeans offers a membership service, in which the customer gets a new pair of jeans every year, while the old pair is recycled for new jeans. Innovative startup brands are driving major changes in consumer behavior and driving social change with their business models. A good example is TOMS, an online shoe store that donates a pair of shoes for each pair purchased. Likewise, Renting the Runway (US) and Aircloset (Japan) offer customers clothing for rent on a subscription basis. It allows consumers to wear new items every week without committing to buying them. Source: Green Market Oracle Apart from the mentioned brands, Patagonia is a company that uses its manufacturing process to be environmentally conscious and produces clothing that is recyclable and uses certified organic cotton. Patagonia has a whole website dedicated to its sustainability principles. They have a unique approach to business and they care about what their customers think. In addition, they have taken care of their employees’ wellness by providing them with free healthcare and life insurance while providing an employee-owned co-op for employees who want to buy into it. Concluding thoughts on sustainable fashion The state of fashion today is unsustainable. Luckily, the future of sustainable fashion is bright. Companies are increasingly looking for ways to ensure that their products are eco-friendly and less toxic, and consumers are more aware than ever of the impact their choices have on the world. Sustainable fashion is not just about using organic materials in clothing; it is also about using renewable energy in production, recycling, and designing for the future. Many companies have shown a shift towards being more sustainable by pledging to support environmental causes with their advertising campaigns or by pioneering innovative methods like 3D printing that will reduce waste in the long term.

  • 3 Tools to Study the Market - SWOT, PESTLE, and Five Forces

    Market studies help small businesses and startups understand the macro-level trends in their industry. They can also be used to identify potential competitors and opportunities. Furthermore, market research is of value for any business, no matter how big or small. They are used for many reasons, including product development, developing marketing strategy, and finding out more about the market that your business is entering. Photo by Pixabay from Pexels Marketing is one of the vital components of any successful business. Hasty marketing tactics can often end in failure at best and missing out on a big opportunity at worst. It's crucial to study your market before you launch as well as get some advice from professionals so you can spend 100% of your time working towards a better product. There are many free tools that can guide you through the process. Incorporating these three tools into your market study plan would help you identify the key competitors in a market. They would allow you to understand what makes your brand distinct from competitors and create a focused strategy for differentiating yourself. 1. PESTLE framework The PESTLE (Political, Economic, Social, Technology, Legal, and Environmental) model is a tool used as a framework for understanding an industry or market. It is designed to help leaders in the field of business and government make decisions by considering the political, economic, social, technology, legal, and environmental aspects of an issue. When thinking about a business strategy or product launch, for example, companies should consider how each of these factors affects them and what their options are. The PESTLE analysis will help you take a more strategic approach when planning for your product or service launch. 2. SWOT model SWOT analysis is an effective tool for businesses and organizations to understand the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of their current situation or the opportunities for them in the future. It provides valuable insight into how a business might succeed or fail in its current competitive environment. Image Source: CFI Strengths: While your ability to work hard, your passion, determination, and enthusiasm are all great strengths to bring to the table, competitive strengths are the advantageous skills, resources, capital, network, or value that distinguishes your brand from all others. They are why consumers want you and you alone. Weaknesses: Your strengths are the areas where you beat your competitors at. Take a look at your weaknesses - the areas that you fall short in comparison to your competition. Hopefully, they can provide hints of things that need improvement, or opportunities for growth! Opportunities: This is where you leverage your strengths to exploit openings such as growth niches, competitor prices, seasonal changes, or consumer trends. In other words, opportunities represent chances for growth in a field or industry where the business operates. Threats: The external factors that can affect your business are many. Economic instability, political instability, social media trends, and even changes in the weather can all have a significant effect on your company's bottom line. Examining the threats you face can help reveal where you are ill-prepared and reveal what needs to change in order to be successful. The value of a SWOT analysis is in its ability to help you maximize your strengths and minimize any threats. To take full advantage, however, be sure to put each strength up against the corresponding opportunity and use the result as leverage for greater potential. The weakness side can also be used by some companies as opportunities for risk mitigation and defense points. This way, weaknesses will not worsen and strengths become stronger based on the emerging opportunities. 3. Porter's Five Forces Porter's Five Forces model provides a deeper understanding of a firm's cur- rent competitiveness and highlights options to improve competitiveness. Michael Porter outlines five forces for competitive analysis: 1) Threat of New Entrant Ask yourself how easy it is for new companies to enter the market. There are many factors to consider, including barriers to entry (such as patents and high set-up costs), the attractiveness of profit margins, and the strength of your brand. 2) Threat of Substitutes Assess how easy it is for your products to be substituted by other products. This includes all alternatives - not just similar products. For example, air- lines compete with train and coach companies, not just other airlines. 3) Bargaining Power of Buyers Review how strong your buyers are. Is it a buyers' market? Can buyers switch to competitors easily? Are some of your customers in such a strong position that this leaves you vulnerable? If your business-to-business buyers are operating at low-profit margins, what impact will this have on your company? 4) Bargaining Power of Suppliers Assess the strength of your suppliers. Are you dependent on a particular supplier - and how can this be mitigated? Does the supplier rely on your custom or could it easily take its operating capacity to other companies or sell directly to your customers? Could you use alternative products or methods to reduce your vulnerability? 5) Existing competitors Understand your competitors and how you compare to them. What threat do they pose? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Could there be a price war or other aggressive strategies - and would you be able to survive such tactics? Are they innovative? Are customers able to move to other companies easily? How many competitors are there? Which companies are the strongest? Are there any newcomers ready to take the market by storm or render your products redundant? Assessing competitiveness through all five forces will help you to deter- mine how the company is performing, its strengths and weaknesses and the the direction it is heading in. However, Porter's model focuses only on external issues, hence it is often used alongside complementary models that are better at revealing the internal issues that impact a company's competitiveness. Developing a market analysis structure Market analysis is a quantitative and qualitative assessment of a market. This type of analysis helps companies better understand the target market and the overall structure of the market. Market analysis can be done on various levels such as global, country, sector, customer segment, or product. In order to structure the market analysis you can use the following example structure: 1. Demographics and segmentation Segmentation is the process of dividing consumers into different groups based on their demographic characteristics such as age, gender, location, and more. Demographics are categories based on population attributes such as age, education level, or ethnic background. 2. Target market The target market is the group of people or companies with whom a business seeks to serve. A company's target market will be different depending on what type of product or service they provide, how many employees they have, and other factors that determine their revenue stream. Identifying your target market by getting to know them through research and understanding their specifics can help you improve your marketing efforts. To better understand your customers’ needs within your niche, it is important to consider which demographic groups represent them so that you can develop creative marketing strategies for those groups. 3. Market need In order to make the most out of your time, investors will demand enough information about your market. One way to do this is to show them a potential market need. For instance, if you are launching a makeup product, you would want to highlight a need that your product could fulfill. In this case, the needs for greater self-confidence and confidence in public spaces would be valid targets for your company 4. Competition This section aims to present a fair picture of your competitors. Analyze your competitors' positioning and points of strength and weakness in order to formulate a comprehensive plan for success. 5. Barriers to entry Oftentimes, barriers are external. However, some of them are internal as well such as not having enough time or the need to teach yourself all the skills that you would need to enter that particular industry. 6. Regulatory environment The last step in market analysis, your regulatory environment, depends on any applicable laws in your market and geographical area. What is your company's compliance plan in regards to regulatory requirements? This is one of the last steps in market analysis, but a crucial step. It's important for a company to do its due diligence and understand what its legal obligations are. Companies need to take into consideration the legal obligations that they are subject to. This is especially important in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where there are a variety of laws and regulations that businesses must adhere to. Concluding thoughts on market study A market study is a vital part of investing in any company or project. One of the main reasons for conducting market research is to find out the potential demand and availability of products, which helps in determining the cost of sales and marketing. While conducting market research, it’s important to identify your target audience. It’s also essential to do research on competitors in order to know what you have to offer and what you need to work on so that your product or service can stand out from the crowd. Without market research, companies make decisions without understanding their competition or customers’ needs. This leads us back to the idea that if we want a rewarding experience, then we need to understand our customers as well as our competition.

  • Buyer's Remorse: How to Avoid It and How to Deal

    What is a Buyer's Remorse? Buyer's remorse is when a buyer regrets buying a product or service after it has been purchased. This regret can come from the buyer for the purchase they made, or they can regret that they were suckered into making a more expensive purchase than it actually needed to be. Photo by Bianca Lucas on Unsplash In marketing, buyers’ remorse is when a customer regrets purchasing an item or service after making the purchase. It can happen because of dissatisfied customers who feel they were tricked into purchasing something more expensive than it needed to be, or because they are unhappy with their purchase. Most often, buyers feel regretful because there was not enough time to think about whether they were making the right decision for themselves and their family's needs. Why Do People Experience Buyer's Remorse? On average, buyer's remorse affects 25% of consumers who make purchases online or in-store. It is also common for consumers to experience buyer's remorse when they buy new products due to a lack of knowledge on what kind of product they are actually buying, which often leads to dissatisfaction. There are many reasons why people experience buyer's remorse such as feeling pressured by friends or family members into making a purchase, not knowing enough about the product, not wanting to appear foolish for not spending enough money or being disappointed in a product that did not turn out to their liking. How to Avoid Buyer's Remorse with These 4 Steps Educate yourself before you buy "must-have" items and compare them to your finances. Exercise price comparison by reading reviews online, going out for a test drive, or asking your family and friends for their opinion on the item first before you buy it. Ask yourself why you want the product. Consider what happens when the product breaks and how that would affect your lifestyle. 6 Types of Buyers' Remorse There are six different types of buyer's remorse and each of these has a different cause and consequence. These include: Wishing you hadn't bought it. Regretting the decision you made. Resentment for the price you paid. Feeling guilty for buying it at a discounted price. Feeling self-conscious about your purchase. Feeling satisfied with your purchase, but knowing there are better options available. Use These 4 Tips to Stop Feeling Like You're Regretting Your Purchase It is important to understand how to use these four tips to stop feeling regret over your purchase. Make a list of the reasons you decided that this purchase was worth it. Writing them down will help you realize that your decision was justified. Think about what the end goal is for this purchase. If you're trying to save money, make sure you have a plan in place before making the purchase. If it's something more than just saving money, then think about why it's worth buying and what it will enable for you in the future. Write down your success story when using this product or service so far. This will help put things into perspective and show the benefits of purchasing it in the first place. Ask yourself what did you get out of it? Concluding thoughts on buyer’s remorse In the era of social media, nearly everyone has experienced buyer’s remorse at one point or another. In fact, it is estimated that nearly 40% of all shoppers experience some level of buyer’s remorse after making a purchase. Despite knowing the buyer’s remorse is inevitable, it can be difficult to know what to do about it. There are a few things a person can do so they don't regret their purchase. This includes asking the seller questions about the product before purchasing it, researching similar items, and looking for reviews on the product.

  • Bank of Starbucks? The Coffee Brand Becoming More Like a Bank

    Some may be surprised to hear that McDonald's, which is known for its fast-food menu, is in the real estate business. You might also be a bit confused when you find out that Harvard and Stanford are more Hedge Funds than Universities. These organizations have ventured into these businesses in different ways. Like these companies, Starbucks, the popular coffee chain is becoming more like a bank. You read that right, a bank, where you keep your money. However, Starbucks has never explicitly mentioned any plans to become a bank. Starbucks has been able to grow its market share exponentially by appealing to a wider range of consumers and providing an experience that is more in line with the customer's lifestyle as well as competitive pricing. Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, is one of the most successful businessmen in the world. He decided to transition to chairman in 2000 and Orin Smith was appointed as CEO. When Howard Schultz left Starbucks, it had around 3000 stores and Orin Smith set a new course for the company towards faster growth. Starbucks has become a household name and part of the American culture. From 2000 to 2007, Starbucks grew more than four times and over the course of those 7 years, Starbucks opened around 1,500 new stores a year. In 2007, the company had its best sales year with 6 billion cups sold. Over the years, Starbucks has grown so much that it has resulted in a phenomenon called the “Frappuccino Effect” where real estate prices increase significantly when a Starbucks is nearby. This phenomenon has been noticed in many cities worldwide. Source: David Perell on Twitter More than a cup of coffee. Starbucks is leading the industry with its innovation and foresight. Starbucks hired its first chief technology officer, former Adobe Systems Inc. executive Gerri Martin-Flickinger to lead its technology team and launched the Starbucks loyalty card. The company has been at the forefront of technology since the beginning and is now focusing on digital because it is a more efficient way to make and sell coffee. To ensure that its digital vision is properly executed, Starbucks has put in a lot of effort to develop its own app. Since 2015, this app has been responsible for a remarkable 30% of the company’s total sales. The restaurant and food industry has been transformed by the popularity of loyalty apps. They allow people to enjoy rewards without any major work - just by simply using their phones! Starbucks is transforming the way consumers pay for coffee. They now offer a more convenient alternative to cash and credit cards with their app that lets users add money to their Starbucks account, which allows consumers to redeem free drinks. It may not be the most genius way to ensure that your customers keep coming back but Starbucks is one of the most popular reward apps in the industry. Source: Starbucks Considering Starbucks is a large company with a loyal following, it motivates customers to keep some of their money in Starbucks accounts, knowing they will use it someday. A total of 41% of U.S. and Canadian Starbucks cardholders make purchases with their cards. User balances stood at $1.5 billion at the end of 2019. Even though 1.5 billion dollars isn't a large amount, it represents a significant amount when you realize that more than 3,900 banks across the US and Canada have less than $1 billion in assets. MarketWatch looked into the data and found that Starbucks customers had around $1.2 billion in cards and apps at the end of 2017. This is higher than the deposits held by Customers Bank ($780 million) and the Green Dot Corporation ($560 million) by the end of 2017. Source: MarketWatch Starbucks has generated $1.5 billion in new revenue from customers who have unknowingly provided the coffee chain with a 1.5 billion dollar loan, at 0% interest. In order to earn free profits, Starbucks can invest that money in the market or spend it on expanding into new markets. There is actually more to it than it seems. It is estimated that 10% of this money will be forgotten or lost and never be used - referred to as breakage. Its annual report shows that in FY 2019, 2018, and 2017 respectively, Starbucks earned $125 million, $155.9 million, and $104.6 million in breakage income. Starbucks itself has never explicitly stated that it wants to become a bank. When you consider how well the company is doing with its prepaid card program and its mobile app, the idea that you can one day open a bank account while ordering your Pumpkin Spice Latte becomes less bizarre. Starbucks, on the verge of change? Korean bankers are worried that Starbucks will indeed launch into financial services in a few years, according to a recent report from The Korea Times. Korean banks have expressed concerns that if Starbucks does enter the financial industry, it will be too big of a threat to them and they will not be able to compete. According to them, the cash the coffee chain has brought in is what concerns them most. Industry experts see Starbucks becoming involved in asset management by way of its prepaid cards, along with currency exchange, loans, and insurance. Bankers might also have been concerned about recent strategic moves. In 2020, Starbucks partnered with cryptocurrency trading platform Bakkt to create a global consumer app that lets customers and merchants buy, sell, store, and spend digital assets. The app, according to Bakkt, will allow merchants to 'free up capital' as well as build direct relationships with their customers. Concluding thoughts on Starbucks as a bank Large corporations are not just looking to make a profit; they are also looking to change the way consumers interact with their financial services. If Starbucks officially ventures into banking, the world of banking would be completely different in the future. This will greatly affect the financial landscape, and it will be interesting to see how this coffee chain changes banking for banks and other financial institutions.

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