What the Bali hospitality Industry learnt from a humble Indian family this month…

Atithi Devo Bhava! the slogan of the Indian tourism industry resounds in each one of us. We welcome friends, family and even extended acquaintances to our home, where along with an India acclimatisation guide, we offer them the best of our home’s culinary options.

So when this week, an Indian family who popped up on every whats app group , every instagram account, every facebook timeline reached a Bali resort for a holiday, they decided to give the famous line  ‘su casa, mi casa’   a different twist! The big happy family of over 10 members enjoyed their vacation, and loved their hosts so much , that they wanted a souvenir…. or SOME souvenir’s to remember them by.  And so every vase, hair dryer, towel, decoration piece, bedsheet and lamp was carefully packed to replicate their Bali resort room back home.

As creative teams of several brands stepped in to have fun by releasing memes and videos, here’s my advice for all you lovely souls managing hospitality chains-  Travellers may take a while to understand Do’s & Dont’s but here’s what you can do to safeguard your properties!

 

INVEST IN LOCK-ABLE CURTAINS

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RFID CHIP’S ON TOWELS & BEDDING

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HIDE MY PLUG

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DRILL ME DOWN 

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And despite all this if you’re missing an ironing board or bathroom fitting, calmly repeat ShahRukhKhan’s famous words

‘Don’t worry Senorita, bade bade deshon main, aisi chhoti chhoti baatein hoti rehti hain!’

-Mansi MehtaScreenshot 2019-07-30 at 10.12.51 PM

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RIP: Collaborations that disappoint

10 years ago Brand Marketing teams got a new breath of life with Designer collaborations seeping into store collections. New loyal buyers, increased PR, and enhanced brand recall -what’s there not to like about the partnership game?

So in recent months, we saw LV cashing in on the youth with Ski brand Supreme, H&M glitzing it up with Moschino & Burberry going uber chic with Vivienne Westwood.

From travel pouches in Red with Supreme plastered all over, to Moschino’s oversized blingy gold earrings for H&M the theme was consistent- established brands looking to capture the attention of the millennial who likes to buy relatable brands with a purpose.

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In India too, we saw super associations- Pankaj & Nidhi for Koovs, Masaba Gupta for Clinique and many more explosive collections that you couldn’t wait to own.

And that’s why when Kama Ayurveda tied up with Manish Arora for the Valentines gift box, we couldn’t wait to open the box to see what two fantastic brands brought to my dressing table.

 

Manish’s burst of color, psychedelic prints and stunning designs married with Kama’s pure, essential ayurvedic hacks for that ethereal beautilicious look had all the right elements to storm the beauty market.

As I entered the venue, the creators did not disappoint- heavy with the smell of fresh roses, the sweet smell of romance hit the air, making the wait even more unbearable. After all #loveislove was themed to perfection in the month of Cupid,  with heart shaped floral bunches adorning tables,  balloons and even rose petals strewn on the floor. After exploring the gorgeous DIY setup that took me through all the steps of facial hygiene, I was ready to embrace the new range of products that would greet me.

And that’s when my brand loving heart broke! While I was expecting a merging of brand strengths with a new line of products unmatched by any other in the market, I was greeted by a repackaged Rose water and Rose oil both an existing product from the Kama Ayurveda range, along with Manish’s signature zardozi work heart shaped brooches.

Earlier, consumers would have bought into such tactics easily, but in a competitive marketplace where brands create products and associations to create stronger consumer loyalty, limp associations like this can lead to a break up for brand loyalists like me.

 

Mansi Mehta


 

#kama #ayurveda #skin #beauty #care #brands #love #february #collaboration #marketing #cupid #valentines

BATTLE OF THE PRICES 1947 vs 2018

While I could draw up a comparison list of 1947 items and their pricing from Independence to present day, I decided to use the cinematic survival guide of Roti, Kapda, Makaan.

But when you think 2018, the definition of essential survival products is very different. Its not the price of grain, clothes or housing that determines our life, Instead its the lifestyle itself! So here’s what you would have paid for the current lifestyle in 1947!

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THE GOLDEN ERA MEANS YOU CAN EVEN TASTE GOLD, SPRINKLED AS  GOLD DUST ON YOUR DESSERT!
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IF AVIATION MAJORS THINK THEY ARE IN LOSSES TODAY, IMAGINE WHAT THE KING OF GOOD TIMES WOULD HAVE DONE THEN? 
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AAJA MERI GAADI MAIN BETH JA WAS A TAD CHEAPER FOR OUR GRAND PARENTS
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A LUXURY IN NEWLY INDEPENDENT INDIA, TODAY CARS ARE HOME AWAY FROM HOME FOR MOST OF US!
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THERE’S NEVER A BETTER WAY OF ESCAPING REAL LIFE THAN A LITTLE SONG N DANCE…

72 years gone, despite over 2000% appreciation on some items, we still make most of the above purchases without batting an eyelid.  What a time to be ALIVE!

Mansi Mehta

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Hey Girl, Are you killing yourself ?

TL, CYB, IMHO, BRB – Our life, is fully governed by anything and everything that can help save those teeny weeny extra minutes in the day, so that in our daily fight with time, some day we can celebrate a win.

Recently as part of a research, I was to interview women from age 20 to 55 about their daily struggles. By the time, I finished my 15th call, I didn’t need to write- my pages looked like carbon copies of each other.

 

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From some I got the cutest answers –

Can you turn my nagging husband into a more co-operative one?

Can you get my children to respond to my texts instead of calling me in the middle of my meetings to ask if they are allowed eat ice cream?

And my favourite- I want a clone, to cover for me at places I can’t be.

Most women I spoke to, start their day supervising kitchen duties, aiming to whip up the most nutritious, fresh meal for every family member just like Jamie Oliver, a tall task in itself, it doesn’t end there.  Support Staff absenteeism,  Chores undertaken en route to work and parental supervision all gets checked in the first half of the day.   At work, multiple calls, texts, whats apps to ensure kids have eaten their meal, their after school itinerary is moving like clock work, maintaining the ever failing equilibrium between support staff, dictating the evenings dinner menu, all in a single 18 hour cycle.

Women are dying under the pressure of getting an A+ on their Mother/ Wife / Daughter in law Report Cards. The beauty is, this pressure is self inflicted!

Why?

Why must you excel in all 10 spheres of your life? Isn’t excellence a virtue of mastery in a single field?

Every young mother I know, teaches her children ( girls & boys) to experience life, take up hobbies that free their mind, learn what they desire, ignite their passion and most importantly arms them with all the tools for – Self Survival.

So why is it that these same mothers have forgotten to apply the same tool to themselves.

Here is where things get interesting, as I was talking to the better half regarding my conversations and repeating the heroic acts of these Multi-tasking Super Women, he asks me-

‘ Do you think women understand multi-tasking ?’

‘Ofcourse! Look at how many things all these women are doing in the course of a day’

That’s where you are mistaken he says, Muti-tasking is a product of Delegation. Women don’t delegate, they effectively like to do each thing, to be involved in each thing, to be able to control each thing. That’s not multi- tasking , thats Multi-doing.

As I recover from this statement, I realise how we have set ourselves up for failure on multiple accounts. Most importantly failure to make ourselves priority.

Like men, why are we unable to dis-associate emotional and practical, work and home?

I wonder if in our bid to own the personal and professional front, have we taken more than we can chew?

Will this guilt of being responsible for everything, always be felt by women?

 

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Marketeer’s guide to Gandhiji’s 3 wise monkey’s 2.0

How many times have you sat behind your desk and let a marketing docket go without reading through it, signed on a marketing alliance without reading the fine print? It’s so easy difficult to envision the repercussions of your actions in your concrete facing cabin.

I feel something similar happened at Yauatcha this week.  It’s one of my favourite places- The dimsum heaven, stir fry lamb haven, and the place you can always go to and it never disappoints, except this time.

I recently saw a digital campaign about their anniversary celebrations, the promise of a great menu at a super affordable price. So off we went on Monday night . So as I was given an option between the Taste of Yauatcha special 5 course meal and the Anniversary menu,I  realised other than the inclusion of a glass of sparkling wine the menus were 85% same. How could that be? Why would a Michelin star restaurant not have enough to differentiate the two menus? There was no answer. But that got me thinking of how the lack of vision, and part disinterest in one’s team can lead to destructive marketing.

 

As Marketeers there has to be a version of Gandhiji’s three monkey rule that must be adhered to

Screen Shot 2016-11-15 at 3.44.11 PM.pngKeep your eyes open. blind. You have to know that each marketing activity has a different reaction, but don’t insult the customers intelligence. EVER

Screen Shot 2016-11-15 at 3.44.03 PM.pngKeep your ears open. I have seen companies spend millions of dollars in research. Research of what the consumer wants. Ironically, if you think about it, we are given that information first hand everyday, we just have to have the right mechanism to internally share that data

 

Screen Shot 2016-11-15 at 3.44.18 PM.pngOpen your mouthBe vocal. Interacting with the real customer on the shop floor is the best way to know if your marketing is working. On Paper and in reality the trademarks of a successful campaign are very different.

When the Indian dream changed from Roti, Kapda aur Makaan…

From the day I started my Internship at a radio channel as an 18 year old, the only wisdom my dad imparted to me was- Know your finances, Make investments and Spend wisely. After all, that’s how he- a college student from Udaipur, came to Delhi and made a life. So, even before I turned 25, I had PPF, LIC , EPF, Mutual funds and shares but no liquidity for Holidays, Night-outs and flashy mobiles.

But as my profile kept getting bigger and the designations kept getting sharper, I realised that’s not how my teams and even peers looked at life. The 20 something’s in the team changed their phones faster than their partners, happily went out clubbing mid week, short mid week, weekends and any other day that demanded it and still managed to buy fancier wheels than what I could afford!

If I was broke on the 5th of the month paying EMI’s for the properties I invested in, car loans and the SIP’s ( Systematic Investment Plan) my younger counterparts, were broke on the 7th of the month on account of credit card payments, new 3M coating on the car for a new look and the introduction of new lines at fashion stores!

Two different approaches to Life and Money and yet both resulted in empty wallets month on month.

What did I miss? When did life’s philosophy change? How had the wheels of fun passed me by? 

The motto of ‘Save for a rainy day’ gave way to YOLO

( You only Live Once)

‘Don’t spend beyond your means’ gave way to FOMO

( Fear of Missing Out)

Life, had ceased to be the painful existence of a penniless working life, where pay check after pay check was parked away for a secure old age.

Instead, Gen Z and some of the rebellious millennials gave the old retirement savings deposit a kick and shouted Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara from rooftop bars!

And here it is, a whole generation of corporates who chooses to use their home instalment money for exploratory holidays, give up savings plans to fund their tech cravings, even dipping into the unused marriage fund for that special set of wheels.

The unusual spending creates a huge shift in the consumer patterns, disposable income and spending habits. A recent report of the 6th annual emerging markets consumer survey by Credit Suisse shows Indian consumers top the scoreboard amongst their emerging market peers, with fast growth in consumption across a gamut of products- with spend on smartphones showing a sharp incline.  ( Credit: www.credit-suisse.com)  Another Goldman Sachs report goes on to say that India’s consumer story promises to be one of the world’s most compelling stories for the next 20 years.

In a world where terrorism, exhausted economies and political unrest is eroding consumer sentiments, all eyes are on the economy that seems to be on a shopping high. So while its nice to see urban India’s basic needs are fulfilled, lets hope Roti Kapda aur Makaan version 2.0, doesn’t crash and burn!

-Mansi Mehta

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Insights from Linkedin Brand Connect Delhi

Marketing sessions have the tendency to be super boring. Usually countless cups of coffees, numerous Facebook updates and even inane chats with long lost friends through the process can’t guarantee an attentive mind. And that’s why for me Linkedin gets an A+.

3 sessions of 35 minutes each.

Each session talking about a  different facet of Marketing.

Most importantly, putting across a new mindset for today’s marketeer.

TRANSFORMING ROLE OF MARKETING 

In this session Hugh Burkitt, ex CEO of Marketing Society, UK touched on key issues that marketeers should keep in mind. His favourite three point mantra-

Future -Create a shared vision for the future and backtrack.

Engage-Don’t forget your biggest critic and end user- the customer

Deliver– Execution is the name of the game. All those amazing plans on paper are zero till executed.

TRANSFORMING THE NATION’S BRAND

Akshay Kothari, Country Head, Linkedin, India in conversation with Amitabh Kant, CEO NITI Aayog was a great insight into how the current government devised the Skill India, Made in India and Start Ups India programmes, the bureaucratic web that his team and he had to cut through to execute plans into action.  Optimism is the key to helping transform India, he said.

So while we all sit in our air conditioned offices and crib about India and how its never going to change, it was nice to hear that there are those in the South Block offices who are actually working towards a new future.

Specifically Kant’s work in changing the murky backwaters of Kerela into the much sought after travel destination it is today, gave us an insight on how long it takes for the effects to show. Kerela will always be thankful to him for their second name- God’s Own Country.

 

TRANSFORMING THE WAY THE WORLD WORKS

As always the best was saved for the last, as Shannon Stubo, CMO, Linkedin grilled Jeff Weiner, CEO, Linkedin on the complex relationships between CEO’s and CMO’s, the power of communication in ensuring sustainable growth and why top management should – DIVE IN to social media.

The best take away for me in context to Indian companies was how he believes that Marketing should be involved with Product during the development stage. Its not a baton from product to marketing , and marketing to sales, he says.

Product is king, but the best product can tank if its not in sync with the marketing team’s communication.

 

With ample food for thought after this session, looking forward to the next one Team Linkedin .

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#LIBrandConnect

 

 

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