Friday, November 29, 2013

What does winning mean?

When you work in a company, it is important that you understand what does ‘winning’ mean in the company. Of course, the easy answer is money. Or profits. But beyond that how does the company defines winning? Or how it views itself as being successful? Match the answer to your values or what you value. This will lessen your cognitive dissonance of joining a company that stifles you.

It will also help you play the game in such a way that you win by helping the company win. Think about it. Unless you know what winning means in the company, how can you contribute positively?

What does it take to win?

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

How do you find balance?

Balance is a very “in” word. It especially likes to be banded around work and life.
I am not sure if there is a formula to finding balance. But I can suggest an inspiration for finding the balance that may lead you to tipping to the right balance.

The answer may lie in our daily experiences – hunger and fullness, tiredness and alertness, being active and inert, boisterous and subdued. How do you find the balance? When you are mindful, you adjust. When you are not and you tilt over to either side, there are consequences. These consequences make you rethink and you adjust.

You can call it “Go with the flow”, you can name it “Being mindful.” Whatever it is, balance is achieved by doing. Not talking.

Who’s the scale?

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Who wants to win?

Contests are great for creating excitement. Might even attract some new users. But sometimes it can attract the wrong crowd. You get contest hunters or professional contest participants instead of genuine users to participate.

One way to neutralize these professional participants is to make the contest so exciting that genuine users will want to take part. It takes a lot to move the real users. It takes even more to move the potential users. So work harder on your contest mechanics and yes, prizes too. Don’t bother if it is too small or too low in quantity. When you get a mass of people taking part in your contest it will drown out the professional contest participants.

Professional participants as they are will always be attracted by prizes no matter how small. They hunt down contests. They feed their Brobdingnagian greed with even the most Lilliputian of prizes.

Who loses in your contests?

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Who does your consumer want to be?

Your consumer may not want to be the person you want them to be. Or do the thing you want them to do. Now everyone can be Ronaldo doesn’t mean everyone wants to be Ronaldo – some people love to be Ronaldinho.

When digging for the holy grail of insight, you need to truly understand what your tribe wants and needs? Its aspirations and fears. You start with them and if that’s what they want and it can really position you uniquely in their minds; then take that position.

Taglines don’t come out from thin air. It starts with your tribe, taking into consideration your competitors and what your brand can truly deliver.

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Monday, November 25, 2013

How hard can you hit?

Worth another watch even if you have seen it before. I suppose, what Rocky says works for people as well as for brands.

“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are. It will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! Now if you know what you're worth then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain't you! You're better than that!” – Rocky Balboa (2006)

How much can you get hit?

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Who defines your company?

Is it the board of the company who have big discussions about brand direction every financial quarter, or is it the aunties who gossip about whether your claims of no artificial flavourings, no added MSG and no whatever is true?

Get real. Get relevant. Speak to your consumers now and then. Get to know them - not in your sterile rooms but on the dirt of the wet markets. The image you want may not be the ingredient they care.

How is your company defined?

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Are you the only one who cares?

Is your company so ingrained into culture, that it would be a big shock to consumers if it one day went bankrupt? Or would it be forgotten and it's just another article in the newspaper?

Striving to be ingrained into the community’s culture is one way to create an enduring brand. You will need to work hard to build trust via great quality. Staying relevant to your users. And being loyal to your consumers and not your cash.

Does your consumer care if your company goes down? 

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

How does your competitor contribute to the industry?

You rarely think about this – how does your competitor contribute to the industry?

To answer this, you need to see where their positions are in the industry. Yours as well.

Where do you sit in relation to each other? Once you know this, you can better answer the role each will play to expand the industry. How would you position yourself against them? What would you echo together with them?

If you are the category leader, what should you champion? And thereby benefit the industry but benefiting yourself more.

How do you contribute to the industry?

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What brings results?

Consistency – that’s what brings results. 

Some say it is the difference between failure and success.

Think about all the things that needs long term commitment to see results and the reoccurring theme is consistency.

Unless you are consistent, you can hardly benchmark it well. Comparing a onetime event with another does not give you very rich data to work on.

In a campaign, consistency gives the brand a chance to gain traction and build on the previous campaign. It keeps your message and communication relevant to the people you are talking to.

Whether you are courting your dream partner or building muscles, consistency is key. So is your branding campaign. 

How strong is your commitment?

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Did you stop questioning?

When you question everything you think you know, you learn things you didn’t know, you didn’t know. 

Will you start questioning yourself?

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Friday, November 15, 2013

How do you end it?

There is no need to win every argument. Or have the last word in every discussion. “You are right. That’s one way of looking at it.” Unless your ego is blocking your vocal cord, it’s easy to say. It’s easy to end a draggy discussion that is going nowhere.

Can you say it?

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

How good is your scholarship?

I think marketers should add this as something to worry about - “How good is my knowledge of marketing acquired through study and practice when compared to my peers?”

I suppose this doesn’t just apply to marketers, does it?

I shouldn’t have to tell you why you should worry about it. If you don’t care enough then it’s pointless to convince you. 

How good are you at your job?

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Have you done your homework?

People who have not done their homework for the plans they propose hate questions. They especially hate “why” and “how” questions. These two categories of question can only be answered well when they have done their homework. “Answered well” means not using management and marketing sound bites but clearly thought through logic.

Even the most well intentioned, properly phrased “why” and “how” questions put forward in the most docile tone and manner will make those who did not do their homework fumble. 

How do you plan to answer this?

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

What is your contribution?

Perhaps the question you need to answer for yourself is - what can you contribute? It may lead you to narrow the field and inch you closer to what you may love to do. Don’t just blindly believe in “do what you love.”   

You can do what you love but if you cannot contribute something of value consistently, eventually it fizzles out. 

Your contribution must match your love. 

What can you contribute?

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Monday, November 11, 2013

What does customization means to you?

Customization doesn’t mean saying “yes” to everything. 

Customization means making sure the solution fits your customer. Making sure the solution fits your customer may mean saying “no” to her.

People in the business of mass are go out of their way to say the most “yes” to the most people. 

Which business are you in?

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Friday, November 8, 2013

Is the boy doing a soldier’s job?

Basics. But worth repeating.

Every medium is good at doing one thing well - newspapers, magazines, billboards, brochures, radio, TV, poster, postcard, shelf talkers, wobblers, whatever.

Use it for its primary strength in relation to your objective. 

If you want to get on TV and say what you want to say in your brochure, use an infomercial. Not a 30 seconds TV commercial. 

Don’t put on a billboard what you should be putting in your press ad.

You wouldn't use a pen knife to chop a tree. Nor a needle to nail a wall. Mediums are like our tools. Use properly it saves you time and meets your objectives.

Think clearly what do you want to say? Where is the best place to say it?

What’s the bare minimum you should know?

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

What do you want to challenge?

If you want to make things better and improve, you should use less of these phrases in your company - “If it ain’t broken don’t fix it” and “Don’t reinvent the wheel.”

Every invention was created because someone thought the existing ‘whatever’ was broken. Maybe not broken to a lot of people but ‘broken’ by their standards. So they went on and fixed it.

Can you not challenge the status quo and still be better?

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Why get upset?

Know this - everyone can criticize your job without knowing everything about your job. Doesn’t mean that they are right or they have the right. It’s just that they can. They don’t need anyone’s permission in order to do that.

Then it boils down to how much credibility you give to people who are criticizing you. How answerable you are to yourself. And what do you want to do with the criticism.

Get better. Don’t get upset. Immensely more difficult. But immensely better.

How happy can you be?

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Friday, November 1, 2013

How attached are you to your answers?

The answers that we are most attached to are the ones we have invested the most. The more investment of time, money and effort the more we are attached to it, the more we believe it is the right answer. The answer takes a life of its own. It answers to no one. Not even the original question.

The relationship of a question and its many answers should last as long as it is the solution. When it is no longer the solution, the answer should abdicate itself as the answer.

You as the decision maker need to isolate yourself from this tricky relationship. Stand away and if you have to, peel the answer away from the question.

Put a new answer there.

Does your question deserve a new answer?

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