Brand Loyalty

I was reading this article about Gamification on Mashable and it got me thinking about How brands (I am using the term loosely here) use different things to attract and retain customers. The concept of brand loyalty is not new, but there is a debate about whether it exists or not.

Here is my take on it. Take friends for instance. You stick with them because you know them and you are comfortable with them, you don’t really change your friends if they are not available when you want them to be. But brands can be friends too. However, you can change brands when one is not available or when it stops satisfying you or disappoints you. I would like to stick with one thing and not change. I want to build a relationship. But I can’t be the only one; the brand also needs to want me to build a relationship with itself. From grocery shops and restaurants to individual products like soaps, shampoos, clothing, juices, etc. I have no attachment to any brand, even though I might be using several for a number of years. And since there is no attachment, I switch easily when I get a better choice.

So why don’t brands want to make friends?

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The Reason I like Books

It feels good to read.

I like to read. And I like to write as well. I dont get to do the latter often; I try to though. Now ask anyone and they will tell you that in order to write better you should read a lot. Well that’s what I do, but I do have one flaw. I cannot read non-fiction. and I cannot read or rather fininsh self help books; or any kind of book that is trying to teach you something or explaining a concept. I start reading and then at some point I lose interest and the book remians unread. That is part of the reason why I did not do so well in school. Although I read all the books, I just couldn’t concentrate long enough to understand what was being said in thoses books. Having a short attention span did not help and I just stumbled through school and college and finally University. I did reasonably well in University mostly because other things like presentations, reports and assignments had weightage in the overall grade as well as the standard exam.

But given all that, I still like books; and I will continue to like books. It’s because books are the easiest form of entertainment and relaxation. Plus you can use your imagination to interpret the writer’s words in anyway you want. You can’t do that in movies and you can’t do that in most video/computer games.

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Winter Angst

A road in Karachi under Foggy conditions

It winter time here in Karachi. And it’s getting cold. And I mean really cold. Temperature has already dropped to below 10 C once or twice. That might not be much for some, but for us Karachiites it’s a lot.

Although winter is not a long season in this city, it still exists and that is where the argument starts. A lot of people living in Karachi, feel, no believe that it does not get cold. They don’t wear winter clothing. They turn on the fan or air conditioner in their offices and generally ridicule those people who are actually normal and feel cold, thereby dressing accordingly.

I hate those people with all my heart.

They will show up at a party or event in just a shirt and pant. Or if the event is in the day, they will wear a t-shirt with nothing else on top. These are the people that spend most of their time in air conditioned rooms. their office has it, their car has it, their home has it. when they go out, they go to air conditioned restaurants.

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A Trip to the Dentist

Nothing makes a grown man cry quite like the thought of dental surgery; except maybe a kick to the baby maker. And it doesn’t really help when you are sitting in the waiting area and you hear all sorts of drilling sounds. Then they take you to the room, with the fancy chair and all sorts or “torture instruments”.  And you are waiting and waiting… and you can’t help but look around. And then you see some instrument that scares the hell out of you. Well it happened to me.

I hate going to the dentist and only do so when there is no other alternative. So when the pain became unbearable and eating became difficult, I had to go. There I was sitting on the special chair waiting for the dentist and what do I see. A small box like thing with wires protruding and a nasty looking metal thingy sitting smugly in its holster. but that wasn’t shocking. what was shocking was the name written on the box… ready for it. Woodpecker. Yeah that’s right Woodpecker. apparently there is company by the name of Woodpecker Medical Instruments. What kind of an idiot names a dental instrument woodpecker or puts that name in such bold letters. They really didn’t go to the dentist or they don’t really know what exactly a woodpecker does.

Imagine sitting in the chair and the dentist sees you mouth and says, “Yeah I am afraid we have to use the woodpecker for this one.” I’d be so scared that I would probably bolt right out of there.

Thankfully, the dentist didn’t use that woodpecker thingy, but what ever he did use, well I think it was made by Jackhammer Incorporated. Cuz it was paaiiiinfulll!!!

Although there was no surgery, just some extraction of whatever food particle was stuck in my moral, I’d hate to think what would have happened had there been. I almost cried as is and don’t think I would have stayed dry eyed.

Now I am gonna be doped up on medication for a few days and hopefully the swelling will go down and I can get back to my wanton eating ways.

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My Socks stay on my Feet for Long

Not the most creative title, but one that conveys the meaning very clearly. We all have to wear socks, well there are some that don’t but the majority does. And I have come to know that some people wear a different pair every day. That’s perfectly OK; especially if you sweat a lot. I on the other hand change my socks every week instead of every day. So I wear a pair for 5 days and then change. Laundry is done almost everyday and I have plenty of pairs, but it just seems a waste to wear the socks just once and then through them in the wash. Plus we get hard water, so more wash means the clothes don’t last as long as they normally would. They don’t smell very bad even after five days; but that could be because its not so not hot these days.

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Religion of Peace

I am truly saddened by the perception of, what is now a growing majority of people who think that Islam advocates violence. Consider the paragraph below:

I’m tired of being told that Islam is a “Religion of Peace,” when every day I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and daughters for their family “honor”; of Muslims rioting over some slight offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren’t “believers”; of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for “adultery”; of Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur’an and Shari’a law tells them to.  

It is sad but all that is written above is true. This is all happening in the muslim world and because on the media spotlight, it is projected to everyone who will listen. I once read that you can’t really change people’s mindsets, because they believe what they want to believe and ignore the rest. So if a certain news story conforms to your existing world view, you accept it; if it doesn’t, then you don’t.

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I Save Best for Last

I have a little quirk, I suppose you could call it that, when I am eating. Among food that I like and don’t like, I eat the one I don’t like first and the one I like last, so the best taste is in my mouth last. it holds true for all food items.

You would wonder why I even eat something I don’t like. Well sometimes there is no choice and by ‘don’t like’ I don’t necessarily mean that I will not touch the stuff. So e.g. if I am having mixed vegetables, qeema (minced meat) and say chicken curry. I don’t really like veggies apart from a select few, so I will finish them first along with chicken curry, and then eat the qeema last. Cuz qeema is my favourite.

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