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  • 6 Tips To Rock Your Presentation

    Here’s the truth: presentations can become boring at times. But there is no doubt if it's done in the right way, it can leave a lasting impression on the audience. If you are a student, you are expected to work on a presentation in every subject or module. Hence, it’s even crucial to know what makes an awesome presentation. 6 Tips To Rock Your Presentation 1. Let your creative juices flow Don’t restrict yourself to the Microsoft Powerpoint tool. No doubt, it's a great tool but if it doesn’t bring out creativity you may consider other presentation tools like Keynote, Google Slides, or Canva. Any presentation tool you want to use should have beautiful templates that fit well with the story that you wish to share with the audience. 2. Zero it down to one idea When you start working on your presentation you will be flooded with ideas in your brain. It’s a good habit if you make a cloud tag of all the ideas that cross your mind. Have a bird’s eye view of all the ideas that you have collected. Now, ask yourself what is the one idea that is unique and can help in storytelling? Focus on that idea and start elaborating on it. Try to keep between 6-8 words on each screen. 3. Use the 10/15/20 rule As a thumb rule, stick to 10 slides that take 15 minutes or less and have a 20 point font. With this, you have a higher chance of retention from your audience. 4. Be a storyteller Every presentation needs to have a story. No matter if you are giving a presentation on the topic of statistics, it still needs to have a story to have an impact. Take your audience on a narrative journey like a movie director but start with the key problem that you are addressing and then slowly uncover the solution that you want to share. 5. Engage with the audience No way you should read directly from the slide. While presenting, consider reading directly from the slide as a cardinal sin (pun intended). Ask your audience questions related to the topic to gauge their attention towards you. That’s how the audience will retain your presentation. 6. Look out for friendly faces One final tip - in the audience, look out for friendly and nodding faces to interact during the presentation. This will boost your confidence and will reduce any nervousness you may have.

  • Developing Influence and Assertive Leadership

    Assertive leadership is characterized by a leader who creates a sense of power, progress, and purpose in the group. It can be both inspiring and motivating for subordinates. Assertive leaders are not necessarily all about aggression - rather they create an authoritative atmosphere that is empowering while also promoting team spirit. They make sure that the team enjoys working with them and feels good about taking risks together. If you are an HR practitioner or a management student, you would have come across Thomas‐Kilmann's Conflict Management Modes (CMM). This matrix is designed to measure a person's behavior in conflict situations. Many times students don't understand the true meaning of the word conflict. The "Conflict situations" are those in which the concerns of two people appear to be incompatible. In such situations, the matrix describes an individual's behavior along two dimensions: (1) assertiveness, the extent to which the person attempts to satisfy his own concerns, and (2) cooperativeness, the extent to which the person attempts to satisfy the other person's concerns. The above infographic gives you an overview of the model. #MBA

  • Samsung makes you emotional with Bixby Voice Assistant (Sorry Siri)

    We all have our personal preferences when it comes to brands, especially when it comes to tech brands. It's a constant war between consumers that support Samsung vs Apple. Recently, Samsung India launched a new campaign that showcases its voice assistant application called Bixby. This voice-powered digital assistant has an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system that is designed to make device interaction easier and specifically to avoid the complexity of increasingly fully-featured devices. The ad is inspired by a real story of a mother suffering from MND (Motor Neuron Disease) that lost her ability to communicate and move. An NGO by the name of Asha Ek Hope foundation reached to Samsung with a unique request to integrate the patient's voice that can be used by the voice assistant Bixby. The team at Samsung recorded the patient's voice, synthesized it, and converted her voice into the voice of Bixby on a Samsung Smartphone. You can watch the advert here. The ad has an emotional connection that will leave you to look out for tissues.

  • Coca Cola invests in BodyArmor - The health drink backed by Kobe Bryant

    If you are new to my blog, you should check out my post on Coca-Cola’s strategy to enter the health drink segment. For the last 3-4 years, both Coke and Pepsi have been under tremendous pressure from investors due to the abysmal growth in the aerated drinks. The primary reason for the slow/stagnant growth is mainly due to the change in consumer behavior. With the rise in cases of diabetes and other health issues, consumers are now considering healthier options such as health drinks. Coca-Cola had gauged this change early and is now working on bringing new products into the health drink segment. As part of its strategy, Coca-Cola has made some investments in the recent past. This includes the acquisition of 50% equity in Bahrain-based Aujan Industries’ beverage business for close to $1billion in 2012, brands of which include Rani Float juice and Barbican malt beverage. At the time of the acquisition of Aujan, one of the largest independent beverage companies in the Middle East, the US beverage maker had said the deal allows it to expand its portfolio in the juice sector and drive long-term value for shareholders. In 2017, Coca-Cola acquired AdeS soy drink brand from Unilever at a whopping price of $575 million. (Shoup, 2017). Coca-Cola also re-branded its Diet Coke drink in 2018 for the North American market as part of its strategic planning. In the recent move, Coca-Cola Co. bought a minority stake in a health drink Bodyarmor, backed by former basketball player Kobe Bryant. With this stake, Coke has become the second-largest shareholder in the company founded by Mike Repole. With Bodyarmor, Coke is targeting Pepsico-owned Gatorade drink. This Bodyarmor drink is infused with coconut water, vitamins, and potassium, the key ingredients athletes consuming as part of fitness. (Image Source: Last month, Coca-Cola posted a profit that beat analyst's estimates, thanks to the success of Diet Coke re-branding (Kaplan, 2018). It will be interesting to see how the new acquisition fares for Coca-Cola in 2019. References: Economic Times 2018. As juices race past fizzy drinks, Coca-Cola launches Rani Float [Online] Available at: Adage 2018. Coca-Cola buys stake in sports drink backed by Kobe Bryant [Online] Available at: Bloomberg 2018. Coca-Cola's Focus on Healthier Drinks Pays Off [Online] Available at: Shoup, M.E. 2017. Coca-Cola acquires AdeS soy drink brand from Unilever [Online] Available at: #Marketing #Brands

  • P&G's brand VICKS will make you emotional with Touch Of Care campaign

    There are a handful of brands that have created a bond with its users and one such iconic brand is VICKS from the house of Procter & Gamble (P&G). In 2017, two of P&G's flagship brands, Ariel & Pampers stood out with its award-winning campaign #ShareTheLoad and #ItTakes2 how can a 50-year-old iconic brand like Vicks stay behind? Vicks launched a campaign #TouchOfCare in India that showed Motherhood has no gender. The idea was not only bold & powerful but also heartening and humbling. Vicks - Generations of Care As per Nithin Darbari (Marketing Director Asia, Middle East, and Africa) “Vicks has always been about the gentle touch of a mother’s care, as she caresses and gives relief to her child. With the #TouchOfCare campaign we are going a step further and expounding the importance of care beyond just the traditional perception of family. The campaign shows how people who, though not connected by blood, end up being family through care itself”. The ad is created by Publicis Singapore and it depicts the real-life story of an orphan, Gayatri and her transgender mother Gauri Sawant, a social worker. The ad was aired on 30th march got viral with netizens in India with hours of its release. An official response from P&G says, "We want consumers to recognize that everyone has a right to a family. Wherever there is care, that bond is a family." Currently, the ad has got over 116 Million impressions, 39.6 Million video views and $2.96 Million earned media and appreciation from celebrities, influencers, and activist. (Source: Did this ad strike a chord with you? Share your views in the comment section. #Marketing #Brands #Advertising

  • SWOO - the live broadcasting app that’s disrupting the Education industry in collaboration with ALEF

    What happens when two of the most innovative tech startups join hands? The outcome is a sheer disruption in the industry. The GCC region has been making a lot of buzz with recent happenings in the startup ecosystem. Two companies that are on the path to disrupt the education industry are SWOO and ALEF Education. SWOO is the first Emirati based live broadcasting application from the UAE to the world that’s actively used by celebrities, social media influencers, and thought leaders. With SWOO, the audience can get a chance to peek into the lives of their idols and influencers on a daily basis. On its launch, SWOO categorized its offering into 13 channels ranging from the magazine, tech, money, etc and now the most recent one to be added is the education channel. ALEF Education, the strategic partner of SWOO with its innovative transformational technology-enabled education solution in the UAE’s education sector, will act as a catalyst in enhancing the classroom experience. As part of their strategic partnership, the first offering to the education sector is a communication tool that provides the means for remote interaction between teachers and students. With this new offering from SWOO and ALEF Education, students and teachers are not just restricted to a classroom but the learning continues beyond the four walls. The educators can go live at any point in time if they wish to share some knowledge with their pupils. Here’s a scenario for you that will help you understand the uniqueness of this product. With Swoo’s education channel, a physics educator can explain the concept of Distance in relation to Speed and Time by showcasing himself driving a car from one place to another. With SWOO, the broadcasters such as the educators can plan and arrange their content as lesson plans of a class. Even the school can become a broadcaster and use it to make announcements, plan out virtual parent’s meet to discuss certain topics, can arrange one to one parents & teacher meeting (PTM), and last but not the least to showcase all the cool happenings in the school like events, performances, competitions, etc. The possibilities are endless with this unique offering from SWOO. With over 2.8 million installs worldwide, you too can be a part of the community of your interest. If you are an educator or a content producer, how do you plan to use it? #UAE #ProductLaunch #Brands

  • WhatsApp Verified Business App Will Be A Game Changer For Small Businesses

    Back in October 2014, when Facebook had acquired WhatsApp for a whopping $19 Billion it had created a lot of buzz in the tech industry. Last week, Facebook announced its new version of the messaging app called as "WhatsApp Business" for verified accounts. Here are few statistics on WhatsApp Often, students asked me a question "How will Facebook monetize Whatsapp?" and my reply used to be "With a Facebook Business like App for Whatsapp." Globally, small businesses will benefit from it as it will help businesses communicate with customers easily. Also, it would be an affordable tool in their marketing resources replacing the likes of MailChimp, Third Party Apps, etc. To me, the newly launched WhatsApp for Business application is WhatsApp version of a Facebook page. Related: How to turn customers into brand advocates with Google Business Listings In 2017, the app started rolling out the beta version that verified and assigned Green check marks to business contacts. Starting today, SME's and large corporations can sign up with a business profile with the app. With over 1.3 billion users, marketers can enhance communication with their target customers. Over the period of time, I am hoping to see it more as a Customer Service tool and Promotional app (similar to Twitter and MailChimp). With WhatsApp Business account, companies can set-up automatic greetings (Chat Bots), analytics (impressions, clicks, conversions, etc) and payment gateway. With this, Facebook will finally start monetizing on WhatsApp. Now, that my friend is how Facebook works (pun intended). According to a report from TechCrunch, over 80% of small businesses in India and Brazil said that WhatsApp helps them communicate with customers and grow their businesses. If you have separate business and personal phone numbers, you can have both WhatsApp Business and WhatsApp personal messenger installed on the same phone, and register them with different numbers. Here is a glimpse of how WhatsApp for Businesses will work: In addition to all existing features of WhatsApp messenger such as the ability to send multimedia, free calls*, free international messaging*, group chat, offline messages, and much more, businesses can now use WhatsApp Web to efficiently respond to customers As a marketing faculty and a marketer for my college, I am thrilled and super excited about this news. Do share your thoughts on the same in the comments. #WhatsApp #WhatsappBusiness #Facebook #Business #Marketing #Advertising

  • Diet Coke Opts For Rebranding To Target Millennials

    Both Coke and Pepsi have realized the fact that their consumers are now concerned about their health than ever before. The aerated drink has a huge content of sugar which is the primary cause of diabetes and the millennials are not falling for that. Keeping this insight in mind, both Coke and Pepsi had launched their diet version of cola: Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi. Recently, Coca-Cola underwent re-branding exercise for its diet coke. In the coming weeks, the consumers will find Diet Coke in Ginger Lime, Feisty Cherry, Zesty Blood Orange, and Twisted Mango. Now, if you are wondering to whom these new flavors are targeted? Millennials. The new flavors are not the only new thing that coca-cola has uncovered but the overall packaging of the can has witnessed a make-over. The slim silver can sport a bold center stripe whose colors correspond to four new flavors. In a release, Coca-Cola mentioned it spent two years on the relaunch and says it asked more than 10,000 people for their feedback on flavors and design. Coca-Cola isn't changing the classic diet coke formula, which will still be available in 12-ounce cans. Coke has been struggling with its revenues in the past few quarters. Only in the last quarter, the company reported earnings that topped the forecast. Both, Pepsi and Coca-Cola have been under pressure with their revenues. I feel, both the soft drink giants should focus on sparkling water instead of new diet drinks. LaCroix Sparkling Water, a brand of National Beverage Corporation reported its sales with a 43% hike in 2017 as compared to Diet Coke sales that witnessed a dip of 4%, and Diet Pepsi with a dip of 8%. What do you think? Will the new Diet Coke flavors and packaging help Coca-Cola improve its revenues? Diet Coke sales fell by 4% and Diet Pepsi by 8%.

  • Turn Your Customer into Advocates with Google Business Listings Reviews

    What is word-of-mouth marketing? Recently, Google launched a new service called #SmallThanks Hub for small businesses in the US. With this service, small businesses will get free, customized marcom (marketing & communication) materials to boost their online presence. Currently, this service is only available in the US. If you can avail, all you need to do is search your company name on the site and Google will automatically create awesome posters, social media posts, window clings, danglers, stickers and more - all based on the "REVIEWS" from your customers on Google Business Listing. The only prerequisite to avail this service is your business needs to be a verified listing on google. The small businesses can reach new prospective customers with positive reviews from their existing customers. Your reviews are like digital thank you notes on the web, and they are one of the first things people will notice in the search results. A study at Google reveals that around 71% of consumers believe that positive reviews in search have an impact on their purchase and listing with positive reviews on google see around 360% higher clicks to the site. Pro tip: If you have a store/outlet, show why your customers love you with posters and posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Since this service is only available in the US, you can't request the print but you can still use the idea for your local business. Here are few tips on how to use customers reviews to gain new customers and turn existing customers into advocates: 1) Personalize your assets Based on your brand guidelines, you can add a color theme to the posters with funky and casual fonts. 2) Show what makes your product/service better than competitors Print the customized posters and hang them in the stores around the places like at the entrance, billing counter, reception, lounge, etc with clear visibility. 3) Use your own branded #tags (Hashtags) You can add your very own branded hashtags to take the conversation on social media. For example, PieDays (a young brand in Saudi Arabia that sells scrumptious pies) can use their own branded hashtag like #CravingForPieDays to take the conversation on social media to reach a larger audience. 4) Reward your customers for reviews You can incentivize your walk-in customers with discounts & reward points if they write a review for your company on the Google listing. For example, PieDays can have a dedicated place in the store that can be called as the "Selfie Wall" where the customers can take a selfie and upload it to their social channels with the same #CravingFoPieDays. 5) Remind people to search for you on Google As an SEO strategy, you can post the "Find us on Google" stickers in the outlet. When your customers search your brand name on google, it will improve your rankings. Implement these ideas and let your small business grow with Google. Do share your ideas in the comment.

  • Miniature KFC - world's smallest KFC outlet

    In the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) brand list, KFC is bound to be on your top list. The Kentucky based fried chicken brand is known for its unique taste and also for it's out of box creative ad campaigns. In 2017, KFC launched its first ever Miniature KFC in Portland, Oregon. The idea behind the miniature outlet was to promote its $5 Fill-Up Boxes menu. The customers got a free miniature box, but that wasn't the thing most customers cared. People on the street were curious about the demonstration showcased by the brand. Here is the preview for you. KFC's advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy posted an Instagram story showing off the location. The same was shared by KFC on its official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Currently, it has got over 1.4 million views on the video. In the QSR category, it's all about differentiation and KFC nails it every single time. With this miniature outlet, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) brings wow experience to its customers with cuteness at its center. #KFC #brand #QSR #Agency #Branding #Advertising

  • How colleges can benefit from G Suite for Education

    Almost a decade back, Google rolled out Google for Education with a vision to bring innovative learning in the classroom. Since its implementation, it has come a long way with new apps and features working seamlessly with other Google apps. Over the years, Google has added products like Classroom, Hangouts, Calendar, etc which has changed the classroom dynamics by leaps and bounds. In 2016, Google Apps for Education was renamed as G Suite for Education as it reflects the collaborative power of these tools. G Suite for Education comprises of the same set of apps that you and I use on a daily basis and love it - Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Hangouts, Keep and more. So what's the difference between G Suite and G Suite for Education? All the apps are slightly tweaked in the education suite with new intelligent features that bring teachers and students on the same platform by means of collaboration. G Suite for Education is FREE for schools and colleges. This doesn't end here. If you register your school or college under g Suite for Education you institution gets unlimited space in google drive. If you are someone like me who stores all the data, lesson plan, presentations in the cloud, you will understand that this is close to hitting a home run. In the regular g Suite, the user gets around 30 GB drive space and a free version of Google Drive offers 15 GB space. Most schools, colleges & universities around the world are unaided. With a free tool like G Suite for Education institutions find it easy to enroll and enhance their overall productivity. Google Apps for Education aka GAFE (now renamed as G Suite for Education) is available on any smart device like mobile, tablet, Chromebook, laptops, etc. In a college, this increases the potential for lecturers and students to check in and get to work at any time using any device they own. For example, if a student is working on an assignment in Google Docs, he/she can work along with the faculty to improvise the content. I encourage all my students to work on their assignments in google docs. Since it is a cloud-based application no more excuses for "my laptop crashed" (pun intended). How Google Apps for Education can benefit college classroom 1) Google Docs Before these awesome Google apps came into my life, I was a Microsoft user all through my life. Microsoft Word was one program that helped me pass through my colleges and even helped me during my MBA days. But things have changed rapidly, for good. Now, it's all about being fast and smart. Google Docs is an exceptional alternative to Microsoft Word. With Google Docs, you can collaborate with the student or a teammate in real-time. Students can collaborate on a group activity in a classroom. Have a look at the screenshot below. At the top right corner, you can see I have shared the doc with another user (with pink outline) and that user can now type his part in the document. In the above image, it shows me the other person who has got the access to the document. Now, we both can collaborate on this assignment/article. Another feature that I recommend is the "Explore in Google Docs". Wouldn't it be great if you get images, content, etc straight from your doc? With the explore feature, you can get content from the web without leaving your doc's tab. Images used through Google Explore functionality comply with Safe Search and are allowed for use with Creative Commons. So you don't have to worry about copyright infringement. Google Explore feature is available in Docs, Sheets, and Slides. 2) Google Sheets Spreadsheets are very handy when it's all about numbers. Many of us (including me) struggle with a spreadsheet-like excel due to its complex UI. Even to get a simple SUM or an Average, we might find it difficult. But not anymore. Google Sheets will make life easier for students and educators. In google sheets, if you want to get the sum of cells, you simply select the range and click on explore feature. With artificial intelligence, the explore feature will suggest to me what formula do I want to use? How cool is that? Have a look at this snapshot. Since collaboration is at the center of all G Suite for Education apps, you can collaborate with students in real-time. For instance, the accounting faculty can collaborate with a group of students to analyze the Balance Sheet or P&L of a company. 3) Google Slides Often, my students and fellow faculties tell me that they like my slides. Simple and yet engaging. Since, the time I made the switch from Microsoft PowerPoint to Google Slides, I have never looked at another content presentation program. For college students, making a presentation can be a daunting task as many ideas cross to the mind but need to be streamlined the creative juices. Often, students spend more time formatting slides than working on the content. With Google Slides, students can focus on the content and can even collaborate with their team. One feature that's handy is adding YouTube videos directly to the slides. The last innovative feature in the list that students and educators can make use of is the presenter view. When you click on presenter view, you will have two options. When you click on "Start New" you will be promoted with a short link, that can be shared with the audience. With this link, the audience can ask their questions straight to the presenter without the use of a mic. 4) Google Keep With all the amazing apps from Google, the one app that has become my "Go-To" app is the KEEP app. Google Keep, for me, is like a Swiss knife. This lightweight app can become a life savior. For students & faculties, it can be used for writing classroom notes, saving images with annotations, saving voice clips and handwritten notes with a help of a stylus (in case of smartphones and few Chromebooks). Consider Google Keep as a digital sticky note for all your ideas & thoughts. If you are like me, who likes to have access to things when it is needed, then you have to get KEEP on your phone, tablet or laptop. With keep, you can even include checklists and photos to keep a track record. Faculties can use it to make checklists of the things to be covered in the classroom, lesson plans, links to great articles, etc. Notes made in Google keep are synced to all your devices so you can access when you need. In my next post, I will share the benefits of other G Suite for Education applications and how they can be used in the classroom.

  • Celebrating 20 years of "Life's Good" in the Indian market

    It takes a long journey for a brand to become a household name. Today, I will be sharing my thoughts on a similar brand that has become a household name in the Indian market. It is non-other than LG. 2017, marked 20 years for the global giant LG in the Indian consumer market. In India, LG operates in three verticals - Home Entertainment, Mobile Communications, Home Appliance & Air Solution. To celebrate these glorious 20 years for the brand, they recently launched a story commercial with a central idea of "achieving dreams". Have a look at the commercial here. The ad showcases a journey of a single mother raising her daughter with difficulties, to achieve her dreams. The brand is well integrated with the storyline that depicts LG's journey in India. The ad has an emotional quotient that retains the viewer's attention for 3:50 secs. Currently, the ad has crossed over 104 million views on YouTube. LG has also launched several promotional offers to celebrate its 20 years in the Indian market. #LG #Brand #WhiteGoods #Brands #Advertising

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