What Were They Thinking?

They say that choosing the right brand name for a product or service is crucial for its success. It’s not an easy and a simple task. This one decision will have significant branding consequences for years. After all, it’s an organization’s entire story, distilled down to one or two words.

When one is developing a name for a business, a product or a service, there are a number of different branding routes one can take.

  • Use the founder or inventor’s name (Hewlett-Packard)
  • Describe what you do (Southwest Airlines)
  • Describe an experience or image (Sprint)
  • Take a word out of context (Apple)
  • Make up a word (Google)

While traveling last week in train, my co-passenger had this brand of mineral water bottle.

2014-10-17 20.43.30

Water Balls!! Water is ok but why Balls? Let us try to understand this brand name by focusing on how both the words identify with a mineral water brand. Water is not available in pellets or balls. Nor is this is packaged in a ball like container. Water-balls are water toys that are played on the water surface, but then how is it related to packaged drinking water? So, these interpretations don’t make any sense with reference to the brand in focus.

Let us now deconstruct the two words in the brand name separately and understand the rationale of this unique brand name. Water is clear to us. Balls could have different meanings. Let’s try and understand what could it mean with reference to packaged drinking water.

  1. Ball – Spherical object or entity – Nope, water is not a spherical entity so the brand manager could not possibly mean this.
  2. Balls - Any of various rounded, movable objects used in various athletic activities and games – Again, a package drinking water and a playing ball are far from related.
  3. Balls –Vulgar slang – I am sure nobody in their right mind would use this for their brand of water.
  4. Balls – Testicles – This is out-rightly ruled out too.
  5. Balls – Courage, especially when reckless – Do we need reckless courage to drink this water?
  6. Balls – An exclamation of strong disagreement, contempt, annoyance, etc – Really?!

How did this company come up with this brand name. Wonder, what would be the story behind this brand name! For the life of me, I can’t figure this branding strategy for a packaged drinking water. Can you?

Colour My Garden

They say, gardens are enclosed areas in which plants and arts meet. They form ‘cultures’ in an uncompromised sense of the word. A garden isn’t meant to be useful. It’s for joy.

A garden should make you feel you’ve entered privileged space — a place not just set apart but reverberant — and it seems to me that, to achieve this, the gardener must put some kind of twist on the existing landscape, turn its prose into something nearer poetry.

Now you create beautiful poetry and can greet spring anytime in your garden. Yes, it’s easier than ever to transform your outdoor space into an expression of your personal style, making it truly a joyful place.

Colour My Garden is a new initiative from my sisters, Aashima and Sheetal. They, at Colour My Garden offer a wide and vibrant range of Metal & Terracotta planters to help create unique and colourful balconies and/or gardens.

Using these peppy and gorgeous outdoor planters is the perfect way to create beautiful container gardens for your porch, veranda, courtyard or any outdoor space. Planters and garden pots allow for creativity and flexibility when designing a garden that fits the specific needs of you and your home. Colour My Garden offers a huge selection of planters in different colours, shapes and sizes.

Visit Colour My Garden now for all your colourful garden needs and add a dash of your style to beautify and electrify your balconies and gardens today!

Women’s Clothing and Gender Inequality

BAD'14I am participating in Blog Action Day. Blog Action Day is a free annual event, that is organised since 2007. Its aim is to unite the bloggers from all over the world, by posting about the same issue, on the same day, in order to raise awareness and trigger a positive global discussion around an important issue that impacts us all.  Past topics have included Water, Climate Change, Poverty, Food, Power of We and Human Rights, with over 25,000 blogs taking part since 2007. Blogs from 111 countries are taking part in Blog Action Day 2014 over the next few days. This year, the focus is on Inequality.

Gender equality is, first and foremost, a human right. Measures of gender equality include access to basic education, health and life expectancy, equality of economic opportunity, social and political empowerment. But this very basic human right is denied to most women.

Although there has been evident progress, many alarming issues regarding gender discrimination still prevail today.

In 2001 a militant group demanded that Muslim women in Kashmir wear burqas, head to toe garments that cover their clothes, or risk being attacked. Men threw acid in the faces of two women for not covering up in public. The group also demanded that Hindu and Sikh women dress so as to identify themselves: they said that Hindu women should wear a bindi (the traditional colored dot) on their foreheads, and Sikh women should cover their heads with saffron-colored cloth.

Cut to October 2014, veteran singer K J Yesudas suggested that women ‘should not trouble others by wearing jeans.’ Imagine, a public figure like him blames women’s clothes for sexual crimes! Statistics reveal that majority of the sexual crimes are committed by men. However, our society believes that it is women and their clothing that is responsible for this and it is up to the women to stop these sexual assaults.

So right from childhood, we have been taught that wearing short clothes, going alone at night, talking to strangers lead to sexual assault. It is implied that if a woman drinks or flirts or is sexually active, she is available and/or asking for it.

Is it that only skimpily clad women are assaulted? No, women have been assaulted even if they are covered from head to toe whether in a burqua, sari, salwar-suit and/or jeans. Women are raped not only in a deserted by-lane but even at homes or a place swarming with people. So, it is not a woman’s clothing that leads to her rape. By using the woman’s clothing as an excuse for a sexual assault, we are overtly stating that the man was a victim and he is not responsible for his actions.

It is a woman’s fundamental right to choose what she wants to wears and that should not be dictated by the rules preached by some men of the society.

So, my question to you today is “What will help reduce this gender inequality which violates a woman’s freedom to dress the way she wants ?”

Also linking this to 7 Days of Rediscovering Your Blogging GrooveDay 6 : Ask a Question

Block Annoying Posts on Facebook

Facebook has become an integral part of our lives. Most of us virtually live our lives on this social media platform. No exaggeration! I am sure, we all have experienced irritation at thefb_icon_325x325 things some people, actually our ‘friends’, do on Facebook . This annoyance is so much so that we can write blog posts or long status updates and garner support from a lot of like-minded people, oops ‘friends’ I mean.  It is kind of funny that despite using Facebook day in and day out, most of us do not know that there are simpler ways of blocking these irritants.

Today, let me share some tips to block annoying posts on Facebook so that your hatred for some of your ‘friends’ does not increase manifold and you have a perfectly happy and satisfying Facebook experience.

  • Getting Rid of Unwanted Notifications : You congratulate a newly wed couple on their post and soon you are bombarded with 148 notifications. ‘X and A commented on the post you are following. P liked your comment. H mentioned you in a comment….’. Agree, this can irritate the hell out of you. Now, instead of ranting and spitting fire at these notifications, all you have to do is the following.

To stop the notifications for the posts that you like or comment on, there’s a downward-pointing arrow located in the top-right corner of every post, click on that and select ‘Turn Off Notifications‘.

  • Banning those Candy Crush Saga Requests : Aah! This one is special. Please_Stop_Candy_Crush_SagaNo game in the history of Facebook Gaming must have received so much of adulation and hatred at the same time. I think the number of Candy Crush lovers (I just checked some statistics and there are 93 million people who play Candy Crush DAILY!! Whoa!!) would be equivalent to Candy Crush haters. Now, haters, (of Candy Crush, I mean) why cant we practice the policy of ‘Live and Let Live’. Let the poor souls increase the pleasure chemical Dopamine in their bodies which is helping them to learn and training them to continue performing better. I think, they have a right to do that!

Now, just do the following and let the gamers play in peace. To block the unwanted game requests, Go to Settings → Blocking → Block Apps → Type the name of the app to be blocked!!

  • Pruning your Home Wall of Annoying Apps : Ok, Facebook is really crazily working overtime and releasing newer apps and there are suckers for these too. Yes, people play many games other than Candy Crush and use apps like Love Percentage of the Day or How attractive you are or who watched your profile etc etc. And such posts bring out the worst in you…

Simply click the downward-pointing arrow located in the top-right corner of that annoying post and choose ‘I don’t want to see this’ or click ‘Unfollow XYZ’.

  • Banning those Toxic People from your Life Wall : We all have those friends and relatives who believe in making our life miserable not only in the real world but also in the virtual world. You cant unfriend them on Facebook, as that would lead to another controversy. And then you have ‘friends’ who post at least a dozen selfies a day and share a score of ‘Like if you hate cancer. Like and share if you want to be blessed…’ And you really don’t care about such silly things and you don’t want any more drama in your life…

Just click on that Toxic person’s profile. You will see ‘Following’ icon, click on that and it will change to ‘Follow’. In other words you have ‘Unfollowed’ your friend and he/she will never know, and you won’t have to deal with his or her irritating posts anymore. If you don’t want them to see your posts, click on the lock icon on extreme right side of your Facebook wall, a drop down menu of Privacy Shortcuts will appear. Click on Who can see my stuff and then select Custom. A new window will pop out and Type that person’s name in the box for ‘Dont share this with’. Easy isnt’ it?

  • Amend your typo errors : Oh, we all make mistakes, (typing errors of course!) and then the T9 dictionary or predictive text can be pretty annoying too. resume-typoAnd to make matters worse, we all proof read best after hitting the Post button. So, instead of correcting the word or the sentence in the next comment with a ‘Sorry :P Typo or Damn this auto-correct’.

Click on the downward-pointing arrow located in the top-right corner, if it is your status update and the pencil icon on the right if it is your comment and select Edit. Voilà , you have a error free status or a comment.

There are a lot of things we can do to have a rant-irritation-free Facebook experience, all we have to do is explore a bit.

What annoying things have you come across on Facebook and how do you handle it?

 Linking this to 7 Days of Rediscovering Your Blogging GrooveDay 5 : Write a Tip Post

Funny Relationship Quotes

Love and Relationships! Oh, there are wonderful things, there are bad things and then there are crazy things about them too. How about looking at relationships from a playful and humorous point of view. Sharing some fun and funny relationship quotes which not only guarantee some smiles and laughs but also helps us to see love and relationships in a different perspective.

  • The most important thing in a relationship between a man and a woman is that one of them be good at taking orders. Linda Festa
  • Marriage is like a 5,000- piece jigsaw of the sky. Cathy Ladman

flirtantionship

  • To be happy with a man you must understand him a lot and love him a little. To be happy with a woman you must love her a lot and try not to understand her at all. Helen Rowland
  • Discovering all the dirty little secrets about each other is some of what a successful relationship is all about. Learning to live with those secrets is the rest. Mark Morrow
  • It’s been said a thousand ways by hundreds of different people through the years, but is still as true as ever. If mamma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. Yellow H.
  • Most couples have not had hundreds of arguments; they’ve had the same argument hundreds of times. Gay Hendricks
  • Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight. Phyllis Diller

status relationship

  • Love is a lot like a backache, it doesn’t show up on X-rays, but you know it’s there. George Burns
  • Love is grand; divorce is a hundred grand. Unknown
  • Marry a man your own age; as your beauty fades, so will his eyesight. Phyllis Diller

Today's relationship

Which one made you go LOL? Share some funny relationship quotes that you have come across.

Linking this to 7 Days of Rediscovering Your Blogging GrooveDay 4 : Write a Link Post

Cosette’s Tribe

Title: Cosette’s TribeCosette's Tribe
Author: Leah Griffith
Publisher: Nonpareil Press
ISBN-13: 978-0985306625
Number of Pages: 298
Price [INR]: 247 (Kindle Edition)
Genre: Fiction

Inspired by a photograph of a happy tribe of Indians, young Cosette decides to start a tribe of her own by playing matchmaker for her divorced mother. Unaware of the repercussions her meddling will bring, Cosette triggers a series of dark events, which isolate her from her family, forcing her to deal with the life-shattering consequences of her actions on her own. With an unshakable sense of hope and humor, Cosette navigates through the Hippy culture of the mid-1960s, facing off with life and death, while stumbling upon things both terrifying and beautiful.

Nine year-old Cosette lives with her mother and two elder sisters. Even though they live on welfare cheques but life is happy for them. Cosette misses the fatherly presence in their home. One day, she meets Ken, a handsome man who works for the Air Force, at her friend’s house. Ken talks to them like grown-ups and shares some good stories too and that impresses Cosette. She plays cupid for her mother and includes Ken in her tribe. This act of hers alters the course of life for all of them as Ken shows his true dark colors and makes life miserable for all of them and more so for Cosette.

Cosette’s Tribe is a story written from the point of view of little Cosette. It is a sad and heart-breaking journey of a smart, curious, wise girl with a great sense of humour. Circumstances force her to grow up and mature beyond her years. She deals with the trials and tribulations of her life boldly and with grit, even though they scar her soul. This goes on to show that how resilient children can be and how blind we adults can be to the things right under our nose.

I admire Leah’s voice in this book which is powerful enough to make you cry and feel sad and angry for Cosette. While reading the book, I wished that happiness should now come her way and I desperately wanted to hug that little child and shake some of the adults in the book. Yes, the book affected me that deeply.

A remarkably well written story that is a must read for all. Even though Cosette’s Tribe is not a cheery and a happy kind of book, but this is one book that I will definitely re-read again.

Rating : 4.5 Stars

Linking this to 7 Days of Rediscovering Your Blogging GrooveDay 3 : Write a Review!

Emotionally Toxic People

what has been draining your happiness

… The Emotionally Toxic People.

Yes, the people who under the garb of friends and relatives suck the life out of you.  A chat or a meeting with them leave you drained and add so much of stress in your life.

  • These are the people who are constantly complaining about everything.
  • Their compliments somehow also take you a step down.
  • They are fiercely competitive and are always trying to one up you.
  • They are judgmental
  • Giving unsolicited advice is their birth right.
  • They can make you feel bad about anything.
  • They gossip with you and then about you with others.

I sometimes wonder if they are our friends or enemies? Of course, they are not out rightly toxic, as they are subtly draining you and dragging you down. The truth is that all these unhealthy relationships do add stress, anxiety, hurt and even guilt in our life. They rob us of our happiness. And yes, negativity is contagious.

Removing them from our life is the best solution but somehow it is not possible always. But yes, limiting our interaction with such toxic people is in our hands. While we need people in our life, we certainly don’t need all of them. We need to let these emotionally toxic people go from our life, without feeling guilty.

We deserve to surround ourselves with people who accept us unconditionally, support us, encourage our ambitions and dreams, and make us feel happier simply being around them.

We deserve to be happy.

Dont let negative people

What are your experiences with emotionally toxic people?  How do you cope with their behavior?

Linking this to 7 Days of Rediscovering Your Blogging GrooveDay 2 : Answer a Question!

Why I Love Lists

My father is very meticulous in everything he does. I remember seeing him making lists as a child. While I saw him making grocery lists, expenses list, things to buy list etc. I have gone a step further and become a compulsive list maker. I make lists for everything… things to pack for a trip, list of friends to invite for dinner over the next few months, the dinner menu for a get-together, things to do for diwali cleaning, gifts ideas, ideas for blog posts, bills to pay, list of eateries to explore… then there are wish-lists for books, gadgets… I even have bucket lists and am in process of making an anti-bucket list too. My notepads on my bedside table,  a pocket diary in my bag and my smartphone has lists of all these things and much more.

Today, let me list the reasons why I love (obsessed is a better word) making lists…2013-10-17 16.21.43

  • Lists help me to organize better. Listing the task into smaller do-able parts makes the daunting task less intimidating and everything happens smoothly as I know what needs to be done and when. For example, Diwali Cleaning usually gives us heebie jeebies, initially. But with a list like this, (this is my last year’s Diwali Cleaning list), the task appears simpler and less overwhelming.
  • Lists keep me focussed. With a list in hand, I can review from time to time the important stuff that needs to be finished first. It keeps me on track and focussed in case I stray away.
  • Lists are time savers. Since I have already planned and/or thought about the task in advance, I can finish the job easily on time and without any last minute rush.
  • Lists eliminate stress. Needless to say, with better planning and better time management, I am free from unwanted stress.
  • Lists acts as great reminders. They help me to remember what I have already done and what is still pending. And with writing a list I am usually not forgetting any important thing.
  • Lists increase the happiness and satisfaction quotient. Nothing is more rewarding and satisfying than seeing the tick against the tasks that you have accomplished.
  • Lists evoke nostalgia. Lists are actually the chronicles of your life. If you are writing the various lists you generate in a notebook, you can get an account of your life during a particular period. For example, the list below is for the things that we needed after marriage, to make our home. And this list always takes me back in time… how we planned, the discussions we had about the curtain colour (how I was stuck on ‘mera wala green!), the shops we scoured between Borivili and Andheri…  And today, when I saw this notepad again, I am smiling on noting that one thing has still not made its entry in our home from this list. Yes, even after 17 years! It’s the ironing board, which is still unchecked and I am smiling at why it is so. This notepad has the list of 14 friends we had invited for our first house-warming…. the names have took my heart to a time travel… it’s been ages we spoke to so many of them and only with one we are in regular touch…

2014-10-11 00.28.48

Are you a list person like me? Do share the lists that you usually maintain.

Linking this to 7 Days of Rediscovering Your Blogging Groove – Day 1 : Write a List!

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