The Mating Ritual

Universally I think there is an SOP for the mating ritual and it cuts across human beings and animals and birds and bees…

And I don’t think it is something that needs to be taught… comes naturally… But enough about this lest this post gets censored or is it censured? or both maybe.

But simple observation… we play the game of mating rituals almost everyday and not necessarily in the manner that most dirty minds are thinking of!

Marketing, selling, giving interview, taking interview, politician asking for vote and eh.. public obliging… that big contract… agencies pitching for clients… everything is about mating ritual

We succeed, we fail and we try again… and again.. till a strong relationship is formed… hopefully a permanent one.

But in this day and age, we are getting flirtatious. While relationship between two individuals still have seeming permanency, its in the other areas that we are constantly seeking a change… the only relationship probably that becomes lifelong is the relationship of a smoker to his brand of nicotine stick or to a brand of tipple… rest everything is up for grabs…

Brands are wooing consumers like never before… Brands are thinking new ways of seduction to keep the existing relationships alive…

Ever wondered why the perfume andcosmetic counters are right up front when you enter a departmental store?

Some are subtle and some are very overt… just like mating between two individuals… The signals that you transmit…

But the problem is that, like in life, more often than not the signals get mixed… Subtlety is completely missed out because the consumer doesn’t decode the signal and sometimes those all powerful cliches used in aggressive “sell sell sell” communication actually put people off…

To take the analogy further… or is it a metaphor (I keep getting confused)… overt aggressive behaviour of a brand is symbolic of wanting quick result (you know what i mean 😉 ) … but subtle brands are smooth operators and more likely to form long lasting relationships… They work their way deep into the mind of the consumer… The objective for these brands  is life time value and not just one sale… Apple to me is perhaps one brand which has constantly found the ‘erogenous zones’ for their target audience.

Many product categories or rather most of them work on the principle that only the selling-buying process is all about selling… period… There will be only certain time periods when they communicate (the mating season) and then they disappear… to come back again in the season. Educational Institutions typical do this, grab the low hanging fruit of students who have not got admission in the desired institute… They are the ones who are desperate… they are the ones who are gullible… Its all about getting those 60 or 120 students.. or for that matter all the soft drinks that get advertised during summers… how many consumers got seduced by those thirst quenching qualities or that really chilled bottle coming out of the freezer (lot of post production)

And then there some brands who are in your face 24X7…. telecom to be more specific… I had wondered about their communication in earlier post too.. I just don’t get it… Seduction for new users surely has a limit..

Shouting from roof top “hey look… am so good!” would attract only a few because like someone had told me long ago… a comedian cannot make people laugh by just saying he is a comedian… The right stimulus (overture) is required for the right response.

Also organizations and their employees… Why is retention such a problem? or for that matter why cant employees stick around longer… Organizations believe that fat pay cheques and bonuses would keep the employee happy forgetting that money talks and everyone walks and we  have perpetuate this tendency. How about some seriously effective HR practices which keep the relationship alive… Knowing the strengths of the people and either sharpening them further or giving them experience in cross functional areas… An employee doesn’t stop performing… the reasons are much deeper and nobody has time to find them out. Interviewing potential employees too is about the employer and employee getting it all wrong most of the time… because everything is dicated by structured formats… Buying awards for best HR practices doesnt mean anything if employees don’t believe that themselves.

However, all said and done, I believe all of us need introspection… to understand how to make relationships work… for a longer time… a marriage has its ups and downs but relationships survive… same should hold true for relationship between brand and consumer… between employee and employer… between seller and buyer… Its never ever about the next big thing or the next big consumer segment… It is about holding on to what you have and make it more meaningful..

But ultimately it boils down to who you wanna be… the brash flirtatious person or the strong and silent types…

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