Thursday, May 7, 2009

Ballz!!! and some thoughts



Hm. I've been so busy but how are so many things on my mind? All these things are just dancing in my mind and it would feel better to verbalize them.

The first thing that's on my mind is the concept of perception. In human interaction and particularly Marketing, I've become increasingly aware of how much perception plays a role. You don't necessarily have to be the best, have the best product or service, as long as you seem to be the best. I'll start off with Marketing, even though I listed it second and my English teachers would wave a finger at me but this is a blog so who cares!

In Marketing, brand strategy and image is important. When you think of Coke, you think red, American, every body's drink. When you think Pepsi, you think trendy, blue, and modern. In a friend's blog that I've read, she mentioned how her boyfriend selects a certain cola because it makes him feel a certain way and he associates himself with the image. If you really think about it, Coke and Pepsi are just sodas. They are dark, carbonated, water that's loaded with sugar. However, it's the perception you have of these drinks that make them everything that their tangibility is not. Drinking a Coke opposed to a Pepsi does not make you anymore American and drinking a Pepsi does not make you any more modern. It's not about these specific qualities of the products that matter, but the image people associate it with and the perceptions people hold.

Brand perception is a global phenomenon. In Global Marketing, we learned about different branding strategies and how different companies would change their brand image to fit certain cultures. For example, when you think McDonald's you think family and fast. In China, McDonald's is considered more trendy. So all over the world, the way people perceive your brand can affect how successful it is.

Ok, so you may argue that brand perception is only a factor, but another factor is the taste. Coke just tastes better and that's why you prefer it. In taste tests, people can hardly tell colas apart. HEB has done a great job at almost duplicating Coke's taste. Even after rating certain cola's higher, when respondants are offered a free cola at the end, most all would migrate toward their preferred brand even though in the taste test they clearly preferred something else.

So how does this play out in human interaction? Since ABSA elections is tomorrow, this week has been filled with political dilemmas and issues. In talking with people and listening to their opinions about the candidates, some will say "well, I don't know if I can see _____ up there as an officer." So I suppose, it's not what qualities or skills you may possess that are assessed first but if you can be perceived as an officer. If you can represent and be the figurehead. I know I may be at fault for this too, but a lot of people make judgements on others on shallow evidence. People underestimate people because they perceive them to not be consistent with the image they believe an officer should be. Especially in a few particular candidates. Even though some has shown strong dedication, skill, and passion those that are merely perceived as so without any concrete evidence are gaining stronger support than those who do possess the skill but may not show their achievements on their sleeve.

1 comment:

Thu said...

Very interesting. We were discussing an article in one of my classes, I forgot the source, but it was about perception and marketing with relation to Starbucks in China. It quoted some guy in China who talked about how he liked to drink Starbucks for the sense of sophistication even though a cup of coffee often costs a weeks worth of wage.