Novelties

Energy, Flow, Focus, Happiness, Human Brain, travel

I love wide open spaces, I  love man-made unique architectures and I  love to watch scenic places with wild life.

So going to Interlaken in Switzerland and watching the snow clad mountains or going to the Niagara falls and watch the water fall while drinking hot coffee from Tim Hortons or taking a cruise on the Seine River or watching theĀ  aeroplanes land and take off from Delhi Airport, are things which fascinate me and make me feel happy and enlightened. After a visit to these kind of places I feel rejuvenated and more in flow with life and better focused.

Some of these kind of sights I have not had an opportunity to go and see for myself , especially since the last 18 months. So I watch videos on YouTube. I still get a similar pleasure.

So why should you bother about it.

I used to think that the pleasure of seeing these kind of sights is my personal taste.

However it seems the brain has a special network which is tuned to pick up novelty and unpredictable situations. Its called the salience network. While the definition of novelty could vary between person to person, the fact that this network exists -as per Steven Kotler- and is the cause of the rush of dopamine, is good news. If you read his book The Art of Impossible, you will realize dopamine is one of the most potent neuro chemicals.

It means that when you are feeling low or the whole world seems to be sitting on your shoulders, you can change your mood by looking for things which are novel to you.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Precision like the Swiss – how to use it in your marketing

Marketing, messaging, Methodologies

When we were kids, we were always told about how precise the Swiss were in terms of their engineering and how a Swiss watch would be accurate for years to come….those were the days of the mechanical watches. As you roamed the streets of Geneva during those days , you could see shops where there were people with magnifying glasses on their eyes, putting in the various gears of the watch.

Now I went back to Geneva after a very very long time about two years back. Those watchmakers are gone. I wanted to showcase those watchmakers to my wife and son but couldn’t.

However what has not changed is the precision that the Swiss follow in all walks of their life. As usual, I had made Geneva my base and bought the Swiss Travel Pass which allowed us the use of all their train, bus and boats. If you are short on time and want to visit multiple places, the travel pass is the most convenient thing.

Everyone knows how beautiful Switzerland is and how safe it is etc. etc.

I am not sure however if anyone knows or speaks about, how synchronised the whole transit transport system in Switzerland is. You get only 3-4 minutes between interchanges, but you can be sure that you will catch all your linking transport. And this is not only about trains or only buses, but all the trains, boats and buses.

One day we decided to go to Interlaken from Geneva. After reaching Interlaken and admiring all the beauty from the land level we took the …..to the restaurant on the highest point. After having our lunch over there we decided to take a boat ride on the lake – all three of us love boat rides. When we reached the boat station, the next boat was not until about 3:30 PM ( I don’t remember the exact times now). The whole tour would take about 2 hours. So I was worried that we would not be able to take the train back to Geneva via Berne from Interlaken. We then started thinking in terms of avoiding the boat ride because otherwise we would reach Geneva past midnight. While Geneva is very safe, I generally have a fear of being so late in a foreign land.

Now this is where the drama comes. The steward at the boat was extremely friendly. Before he started boarding I got talking to him, sharing my dilemma. Once I told him the final destination he made out a itinerary for me, so that we would get a ride on the boat as well as not reach Interlaken at midnight.

So we got on the boat. After about 25 minutes of a boat ride in a chilly winter afternoon in Interlaken, at the second stop he asked us to get down. Right opposite the docking area was a small station. The challenge with the small station was that there was very little English so we were not sure if the train that was coming us would take us. But the steward had given us the train number and the destination.

So exactly in 12 minutes or so the train arrived. We sat in the train to reach the mainline station where would catch the train coming from Interlaken. The challenge – there was only a 3 minute gap and the platforms where the two trains were going to park were quite a walk. But our train reached there exactly as promised. We moved at a brisk pace to reach the other platform and to our surprise, the train we had to catch was just entering the platform as we reached.

I haven’t seen such precision, such attention to minute details across different transport systems in different cities like I saw it there.

Its things like these which make Switzerland such a “hot” tourist destination.

Why all this story – because if you can anticipate in advance how will each of your marketing pieces work and what will be the next steps and who will do what, when the prospect takes which step, then your whole system will work smoothly to get customers into your funnel and pass them on.

If on the other hand if any of the pieces are mis-aligned, then , there will be friction in your marketing which the customer will sense and you will delay his buying.

Till next time see how precisely you can match all the moving parts.

Carpe Diem!!!