Losing hurts more than the joy of winning- Product and Brand Management

B2B, ego, Human Brain, losing, Marketing, Product Management, winning

I had written two posts on my practical experience the other day on how not getting one packet out of the two I had ordered….made me feel bad while getting a complementary gift from the company which was roughly 8 times more in terms of value did not cause me as much joy.

This has a lot of implications for us marketing folks, whether you’re in product management or brand management etc.

Once people have experienced your product or service, then they would not like to try another brand. This is especially true for high value items. Since most B2B procurement tends to be high value, there’s an even bigger inertia to change. No one wants to feel or be seen as a fool who took a wrong decision.

Since our brain feels the loss more acutely, if something goes wrong with a decision to take a new vendor, the manager who took the decision will lose face. They may have taken a lot of right decisions but one wrong decision will keep haunting them. So they would rather go with the tried and tested vendor even if the technology they have is old or product is not as good as yours.

As a product manager , you need to figure out how you will find those companies who have a management which is willing to take risks with your new offerings, if you are coming for the first time in the market. On the other hand if you already have customers, you should always take your new offerings to them to try out. Since they know you they might be willing to experiment with your new offerings.

We will continue on this topic further in tomorrow’s post.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Time is a relative term – Good or Bad

arrogance, ego, Karma, Time

I think it was Einstein who spoke about time being short or long depending on the relative situation. If you were with you “girlfriend” it would seem shorter and if you were sitting on a hot stove, it would feel so long before you could switch off the stove.

I have a different take on time. Not to contradict Einstein. But thinking of time in a totally different way. After spending more than 50 years on earth, I have realised life goes through different phases like the weather. And they happen to everyone, like the weather.

When things go wrong with us, we tend to blame others for some trigger or the other. Suddenly the people who caused that trigger to happen, become “BAD” people. My take is most people are not bad. Its the specific “time” of our life which is good or bad. And times change, like weather changes.

The other way of also looking at this is that, when we like to transfer the blame of something, anything, to someone else….it means that we don’t have faith in ourselves. And till you don’t have faith in yourself, you will never learn the lesson which life teaches you. And life will keep giving you those lessons till you learn the lesson. The more arrogant you are about things, or bigger the ego, the more difficult it is to handle these things.

As Dan Sullivan says, till you learn the lesson, the “bad” thing which happened to you, the brain will keep relieving the issue and cause you more and more pain depending on the circumstance you are in. Once you decide to see what was the learning and how you will utilise the learning, the pain goes away.

NLP Professionals and Tony Robbins etc. have a different way of handling this issue. Some of it ], I have used and has worked. However Dan Sullivan’s rational explanation appeals most to my brain and therefore I have tried to utilise it more and more.

So “first lesson ” – Most people are good – times are good or bad and second, you can make BAD times – not so bad – if you get the learning out of the whole experience. Since times will change, anyway, its best to be equanimous in whatever situation you are and get the best out of it and bid for the time to change. As part of the Karmic cycle, I believe, when you do “good” even during these “bad” times the suffering is lesser and the change is faster.

Till next time.

Carpe Diem!!!

Games – constraints – enjoyment

constraints, ego, Energy, problem solving

As children we love playing games. If we don’t have any games to play, we even create our own. Even when we create our own games, we tell the others about the “rules” of playing the games. You can’t have any game without rules because then the children won’t know how to play.

However within the rules, the children have so much fun and so much creativity. Even professional sports have well defined rules , but each player playing the game, is different in the way she plays. We love sports simply because we see how players use their talent to win against the competition.

However when we are faced with challenges in our work life, we end up thinking of all the constraints because of which we are not able to achieve our dreams and goals.

If we were to think of problems and constraints as rules of the games that we are supposed to play , wouldn’t life become much more enjoyable and fun. We would be at our creative best in trying to find a way out of the situation.

Children don’t have a fear of losing therefore they find different ways to win within the situation. If they lose, they dust it off within minutes and are ready to play the next game.

Our problem is that our ego comes in the way and we adopt a fixed mindset. This ego creates fear, which in turn stops us from trying out different things.

If you have been reading my blog posts, then you will know that fear is a way that our brain plays games with us so that it can conserve energy.

As with games, the more you practice the game, the better you become. Similarly the more problems/constraints you work on the better you become at solving them. Go at them with ferocity

Till next time then…enjoy life

Carpe Diem!!!

Rethinking your goals….small consistent steps

compounding, ego, Energy, Goals, Human Brain

In my post of 10th Sept this year I had written about how big goals actually get me scared and I don’t move forward. I would rather think in terms of small incremental but consistent goals, keeping myself focussed on taking one step at a time. I had also written about the research and data from Steven Kotler’s book “The Art of Impossible…” where he has shown evidence that a 4% incremental is something that the brain does not show resistance to.

Exactly a month later, I will talk about a book by the famous author Seth Godin- Linchpin. While he’s not only talking about the resistance that the brain offers on very large goals, he is indicating in the same direction. His take is more broader that if you take on massive goals because you have to silence the critics or because you want to change people’s minds, chances are that you won’t be able to hit it.

After you have accepted the huge goal, your brain will throw up all the reasons, why you should not and cannot achieve the goal. And because our brain has pre-dominantly negative bias on things, it will provide you with evidence of all the negative things that can happen, how all the people will laugh at you ,if you decide to go in for the massive goal and don’t achieve it.

Since the brain does not want to put in the hard work , to conserve its energy, it will put up all the resistance and if you decide to give up, it will be the happiest.

I have faced this many times in my career, because my bosses wanted to “shore-up” their numbers and my ego was bloated, I would take a very high target, then not be able to achieve and then feel miserable. But I now realise the challenges which my brain throws up and am trying to become wiser. Ego is something which can be manipulated easily and I have become more and more conscious of it as I have grown older.

So now I try to look for shorter term, smaller targets to hit. Achieve those and then move forward. As Steven mentions, if you can keep at a consistent increment of just around 4%, for the long term, you will actually be able to achieve massively because the law of compounding will come into play

On the other hand if you are a BIG THINKER and DOER, Good for You. Then you should be actually looking out for doing some dramatic things.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!