Day One FGBC

Hi friends!

I am currently sitting in a cute cafe in Malaysia called Flingstones (haha!). I have come here to write my first post as part of Alex Beadon’s Feel Good Blogging Challenge. I am finding it hard to answer day one’s prompts as I don’t know what I really want to do with my blogging.

Flingstones, Subang Jaya, Malaysia

Flingstones, Subang Jaya, Malaysia

For all of you new to my blog, My name is Tegan and I am studying business and communications at the University of Wollongong, Australia. I am currently in Malaysia for a month, for an internship with GE! Such a cool opportunity eh?! I am loving it here.

I have been using my blog so far as part of my university studies for assignments and other tasks, but I am interested in turning it into a thriving business!

As I dig deeper into what I want this space to be, eventually, I would like to offer marketing, life and travel  advice to people wanting to learn more things and enhance their lives. I know these are broad categories, but i’ll eventually find my niche!

I keep waiting and waiting (like i’m talking years!)  until the right time to start blogging, I keep saying; when I’m smarter, when I have more money, when I have something to say, blah, blah! I have come to the conclusion ENOUGH! -there is no time like the present. If something has been in my mind to do for years I think it is about time to take action!  In the next month I am going to transition to a proper bog i.e. not a .wordpress but .com! I am excited!

In saying this, my ideal tribe, today, would be people who want to open their mind and stay inspired through travel, business and lifestyle advice and stories. I also was thinking of integrating my Snapchat in here daily, does this mean this will become a daily vlog hub (add me @teganfrances to see my travels!).? I DON’T KNOW. As you can see I have no idea what I am trying to offer – BUT YOU GOTTA START SOMEWHERE RIGHT!?

What makes me an expert on business and travel? What makes anyone an expert on anything? I think passion, and the courage to try something, fail, document it, learn and try again. I am studying business and I love it! I love to incorporate soul  into business and try and shake up the jaded industry and add some love to it.

I also love to travel and have been all over the world in many different ways, such as backpacking to more luxe trips! Along the way I have learnt so much and love sharing the world with others.

The one message I hope people take away from my blog is that if you have an idea you can make it into a reality through hard work and persistence and that travel is the best thing you can do for yourself!

Can’t wait hear from you!

-T

xx

Travelling in your own country

When we plan our travels, they always seem to be to some foreign land across the ocean (or border) and never in our country or part of the world. We dream of seeing far flung places and immersing ourselves in the history and culture of these unfamiliar places. Why don’t we ever make the time to take a trip in our own country and learn more about the history and culture of the place we call home?

I just finished a trip in my own country (Australia) and I have learnt many things. I posed the question as to why they didn’t travel their own country to my friends and the most common answers were: ‘it will always be here’, ‘i’ll explore it when i’m older’ and ‘I don’t really have any desire to see it’. These same answers rang true for me.

A beautiful Australian sunrise

A beautiful Australian sunrise

I think there are many things we can learn from travelling in our own country and I have listed some below;

You learn about the culture and history of the place you call home

Travelling around your own country teaches you about the past and the struggles and highlights of your ancestors. I found that what I was taught in school is only a 1/8 of the reality that made Australia what it was today and that some information I was told was incorrect. Remember this: history you are taught is/was always written by the winners.

You meet fellow Australians (or Country of Origin) 

Meeting people who share the same ‘home’ as you makes you realise how diverse the people

You appreciate what makes your country, your country more

The little nuances and culture such as saying ‘no worries’, being easy-going and the food!

You gain a greater understanding of how politics and laws affect your country

Different laws for different states, I never really appreciated or understood this until I was confronted with the alcohol laws in the Northern Territory.

You see just how diverse your country really is

I mean, desert, rain-forests, concrete jungles, oceans, white sand, gorges and the wildlife!

It is interesting to hear what others think of your country

My mind was open and beleifs about my own country were challenged. I learnt so much about the place I call home and didn’t realise actually how beautiful Australia is and how the indigenous culture shapes our identity.

Uluru in the Northern Territory, Australia

Uluru in the Northern Territory, Australia

Next time I plan a trip, I am going to think more about my own neck of the woods and places I haven’t been yet.

Have you taken a recent trip in your country?

What are your thoughts on travelling in your own country?

I would love to hear about it in the comments!

Hugs,

Teg.

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Stay posted for my trip to the Northern Territory, Australia.

Cross-Cultural Chaos

As the world market becomes increasingly competitive (Popovici 2011), it is now imperative that companies market their products to other cultures as well as within their original homeland. There has been a shift in focus from local to global marketing efforts as corporations attempt to become multinational (Schiffman et al 2014). Consumers are becoming more and more assimilated with the rise of globalization, however there is still an inherent need to tailor products and marketing to specific cultures. This requires extensive research and a holistic understanding of what factors influence consumer buying behaviour in other countries.

Marketers need to take into account the numerous cultural characteristics of a country and in most cases, customize products and marketing to suit that particular country’s consumers tastes and needs. These cultural characteristics include language, customs, values and religion. The country of origin can also have a direct effect on the consumer’s willingness to buy the product (Len 2001). To do this successfully, marketers should conduct a cross-cultural analysis to identify how consumers differ and the implication this will have on their strategic marketing plan (Schiffman et al 2014).

As you would expect, a number of corporation’s failure to understand cultural differences have results in some embarrassing marketing mistakes. Companies need to take into account product modifications (to meet local customs and tastes), customized promotion as well as tailor pricing and distribution techniques “to meet local and economic conditions and customs” (Schiffman et al 2014). There are an abundance of company failures to take into account these important cultural factors, particularly when translating company slogans across different cultures. Below are some examples:

-The Dairy Association’s successful ‘Got Milk?’ campaign encouraged the company to expand to Mexico, however the slogan translated to ‘Are you lactating?’ (Qualman 2011)

-KFC’s slogan ‘Finger-lickin’ good’ translated to ‘Eat your finger off’ in Chinese (Fromowitz 2011)

-Pepsi’s slogan ‘Pepsi brings you back to life’ translated in Chinese to ‘Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave’ (Qualman 2011)

-Scandinavian vacuum cleaner designer Electrolux, used the tag-line ‘Nothing sucks like an Electrolux’ in the US campaign (Qualman, 2011)

-A Schweppes tonic water campaign translated the product name into ‘Schweppes toilet water’ (Fromowitz 2013)

To see more like these, go to:

http://www.campaignasia.com/BlogEntry/359532,Cultural+blunders+Brands+gone+wrong.aspx

http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/2036234/marketing-translation-mistakes-learn

These examples reiterate the importance of research when marketing to other cultures, particularly when translating slogans which may not work across different cultures.

Although this is quite humorous, as Tian (2010) cautions our first step in cross-cultural consumer behaviour is to recognize that no one culture is superior to any other. He says very elegantly, “It is important for the marketers know that there is no room for ethnocentrism in the 21st Century marketing practice.

Two theories about cultural differences often referenced are those drawn from the models of Geert Hofstede and Edward T. Hall. These theories are nearly three decades old, but their categories for considering differences are still valid. They discuss cultural differences within the framework of “Uncertainity Avoidance,” Individualism vs. Collectivism and “low-context” vs. “high-context” communication.

Although standardized promotion can be more cost-effective, unless countries are extremely cultural similar (for example America and Australia), it is better to customize products and marketing to avoid embarrassing mistakes and loss of revenue.

References:

Fromowitz, M 2013, ‘Cultural Blunders: Brand gone wrong’, Campaign Asia-Pacific (online), 7 October, viewed 3 June 2014,http://www.campaignasia.com/BlogEntry/359532,Cultural+blunders+Brands+gone+wrong.aspx

Len, T.W. 2001, ‘Cross-cultural marketing’, Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 19, no. 6, pp. 527Popovici, S 2011, ‘What do we know about cross-cultural marketing?’, Bulletin of the Transilvania University of Brasov. Economic Series. Series V, vol. 4, iss. 2, pp. 57-64

Schiffman, L, O’Cass, A, Paladino, A & Carlson, J 2014, Consumer Behaviour, 6th edn, Pearson Australia, Frenchs Forest, Australia

Qualman, E 2011, ’13 Marketing Translation Mistakes to Learn from’, ClickZ(online), 30 March, viewed 3 June 2014,http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/2036234/marketing-translation-mistakes-learn

Tian, R.G. & Wang, C.H. 2010, ‘Cross-Cultural Customer Satisfaction at a Chinese Restaurant: The Implications to China Foodservice Marketing’, International Journal of China Marketing, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 60-72.

Consumer Research: don’t think you can get out of it!

It is 2015 (if you did not know) and I don’t understand why companies still think it is okay to make new products or change existing products – especially fast moving consumer goods (things people use everyday!) – without conducting some research on the target market first and seeing if they will actually like the change or new product?

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Today’s managers cannot afford to make decisions based solely on intuition and guesswork. There are too many factors in today’s dynamic environment that make it imperative for organisations large and small, to learn how to manage the constant flow of information.

Consumer research, by its very nature is looking at how individuals make decisions to spend their resources (time, money, effort) (Schiffman et al 2001), can provide information that is used to set objectives, control direction, evaluate courses of action and and make an exhaustive search for, and study of facts relevant to any problem in the field of marketing. Banerjee & Soberman (2013) stress that research is a key management tool because it presents an accurate and critical objective investigation of a problem or idea.

Let us look at a very recent case of Glad Wrap; The Australian household staple decided to change the design of their clingwrap cutting tool, where the company changed the sides of the metal cutter from the bottom to the top. The big move sparked a furore in ktchens across the country!

The ‘modification’ was a part of a few changes to the ClingWrap, said Glad. More clingy that ever. Safer than ever. You have to now rip up.

The ‘modification’ was a part of a few changes to the ClingWrap, said Glad. More clingy that ever. Safer than ever. You have to now rip up.

This unexpected change got people all over Australia taking there complaints to social media and talk-back radio. People demanding Glad to change it back to the way it was!

from facebook.com/gladaustralia

from facebook.com/gladaustralia

Glad Australia responded, saying almost two-thirds of the consumers who trialed the changes actually preferred the new pack. Interesting. Alas people power has prevailed over the clingwrap battle. Glad Wrap has announced the original cutter will be making its way back to the base of the box in coming months.  Glad Australia marketing director Phil James told The Herald Sun “We have heard the message loud and clear. We are working through this with urgency and our objective is to get the product back as soon as humanly possible”. It is expected it is going to cost the company hundreds of thoushands of dollars to go back!

OH THE ANGER!!! imgae via http://tinyurl.com/lntjtj2

There are so many lessons is as to why consumer research is so important, even though Glad indicated they did conduct ‘extensive in home research’, it clearly was not done effectively resulting in exorbitant costs and negative brand reputations.

Of course effective and thorough research does not guarantee correct decision making but it considerably improves the chances of this happening.

Glad could have benefited from more qualitative research methods such as focus groups, in depth interviews. This would have identified the varied feelings, knowledge and behaviors of the consumers about the product change. Furthermore, as Gummesson (2007) suggests observational because it highlights the in-depth understanding about the consumer and the product, especially how they use it!

A quantitative study may then be conducted to corroborate this data found and give it the numerical proof, a way to profile and report the findings. Alternatively, Glad could have conducted more research into the actual advertising and promotion of the new product and try and get the change to appeal to more people.

Consumer researchers need a thorough understanding of the entire market picture before they can start to not only design the research, especially in regards to repackaging fast moving consumer goods (Rampier 2012).

What are your favourite brand fails caused by inadequate market research?

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Reference List

Banerjee, S & Soberman, D 2013, ‘Product development capability and marketing strategy for new durable products’, International Journal of Research in Marketing, vol.30, no.3, pp. 276-291.

Gummesson, E 2007, ‘Access to reality: observations on observational methods’, Qualitative Market Research, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 130-134.

Rampier, M 2012, ‘SALES PROMOTION OF FAST MOVING CONSUMER GOODS’, International Journal of Logistics & Supply Chain Management Perspectives, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 59-63.

Schiffman, L 2001, Consumer Behaviour, Prentice Hall, Australia

Same same but different

When I visited the supermarket last week, I was very impressed by the way marketers confuse consumers with new products that look like the leading competitor. According to Schiffman et al, (2011, p. 205) stimulus generalisation, a marketing application of classical conditioning, is making the same response to slightly different stimuli. It demonstrates why manufacturers of private brands make their packaging so similar to national brand leaders. If a product and brand has positive connotations and associations with the general public, private brands will aim to use stimulus generalisation to imitate their product and get the same connotations and associations.

Image

‘Herbals’ copying the market leader ‘Herbal Essences’

For example, Aldi’s ‘Herbals’ imitating ‘Herbal Essences’ packaging with the same shape, logo, placement text and colour to attract customers who want quality shampoo and conditioner (or the smell!), but might not want to pay the price. Being such an established hair care product in the market for many years, ‘Herbals’ hopes that consumers confuse themselves and purchase their brand. You won’t fool me ‘Herbals’!

An example of stimulus generalisation. Woolworths vs Aldi.

This underpins a lot of Aldi’s marketing strategy. Instead of having Rice ‘Bubbles’ they sell Rice ‘Pops’, with a similar look and feel to the category leader. It has the same kind of packaging, colour and so consumers will respond similarly and have the same associations to their pack design.

Image

Me-too products at Aldi

To explain stimulus generalisation within classical conditioning, a good anecdotal example is when John Watson and Rosalie conditioned a 9-month old baby Albert to be afraid of a white rat by pairing the rat with a loud and erratic noise. After conditioning this to Albert, he was not only just afraid of the rat but of a range of similar stimuli, including Watson’s hair, fur coats, rabbits and cotton balls (Domjan, 1993). According to the Psychology and Marketing Journal, (Till, B.D & Priluck R.N, 2000) researchers in the area of marketing believe that classical conditioning is an easy, non cognitive method of low-involvement learning or low-involvement ad message processing.  It is applied to marketing through the product line, form and category extensions, family branding, licensing and generalizing usage situations. It also includes me-too brands- such as the Aldi examples above.

the blue bottles of bottled water– all look the same

I think these brands using stimulus generalisation are encouraged by the short term benefits of such easy success, and these, blind them from the possible legal implications which may include lawsuits, forced re-branding, or corporate embarrassment. How do you guys feel about buying these  brands? I personally tend to steer clear — I think it is a trust thing!

Reference list

Domjan, M, 1993, The Principles of learning and behavior. Brooks/Cole, Pacific Grove, CA. n.a, 2013, How do they get away with this?, Image, WordPress, viewed 19th May 2015 <https://thedancingduck.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/copycats-and-representativeness/&gt;

Schiffman L, O’Cass A, Paladino, A, Carlson, J, 2013, Consumer Behaviour, 6thedn, Pearson Australia Group, NSW.

Till, B.D, Priluck, R.L, 2000, ‘Stimulus Generalization in classical conditioning: An Initial Investigation and Extension’, Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 55-72.

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Update

I did a little recon at Aldi and look what I found!

Just Divine copying Arnott's Tim Tam

Just Divine copying Arnott’s Tim Tam

Mint Creams vs. Mint Slice

The original and the best

Paw Paw Ointment anyone?

Paw Paw Ointment anyone?

The Category Leader

Digital Stories and Diasporas: Why is everything still white?

Media space is a widely contested space where diasporic groups are mostly excluded due to the fact that they are less directly involved in the production of media content (Georgio, 2003). This is why Diasporic Media is essential, as the perspectives and stories of minority groups not only need to be heard, but they need to be told by the people themselves.

In a post-globalised world, diaspora has become a broad definition for the dislocations of groups of people, one such group being that of asylum seekers, which is a perpetually heated topic in Australia.

It is important for asylum seekers to be represented in the correct way, since they are regularly dehumanised in Australian media, such as this example on 7‘s Today TonightThis report created uproar with its misleading statistics and information on how ‘boat people’ are living luxuriously in Australia.

As a media and communications student, I completely understand that the information told to us through current affair programs like Today Tonight is not only sensationalised but falsified, but I need to also realise that there is a majority of Australians who watch these programs and believe every word they hear.

So do programs like SBS’s Go Back To Where You Came From (video above) help fight this representation? Well, not really. SBS’s reality TV show took five ‘average Australians’ overseas to show them the reality of asylum seekers. Over the three-part series you see the individuals change their perspectives and become more empathetic. This is all the show really does, by offering a humane perspective (Thornley, 2011).

However, even in this series statistics are misleading, being shaped to create an empathetic reaction.One opinion piece criticises the series by saying it “has real people in real places, but it remains an exercise in manipulation for everyone involved” (Sheehan, 2011).

What we need is truths to be told about the diasporic groups. And the easiest way to get these truths is by enabling minorities to represent themselves. Which seems obvious but “they never offer the ownership of the means and process of communication to those who experience displacement are seeking refuge in another place” (Salazar, 2012).

The issue here is- they are representing themselves – but no one is watching, or listeinging or caring. There are countless videos on YouTube, movements like Minority Box and Facebook pages, that never seem to gain mainstream attraction.

Although, digital stories like these created by Cambodian and African migrant youth from Fairfield and Blacktown areas allow them to tell their stories. I still do believe however, instead of trying to create representations for these diasporic groups, we need to enable them to tell their own stories. We need to give it time for these stories to enter the mainstream realm as we are so entrenched in our commercial, white-bred ways. We need to give minorities the opportunity to create their own identities and enable them to do it in their own way (Rodriguez, 2001).

 

REFERENCES

Salazar, J F 2012, ‘Digital Stories and emerging citizens’ media practices by migrant youth in Western Sydney’, Journal of Community, Citizen’s and Third Sector Media and Communication, vol.1, no.7, < http://web.a.ebscohost.com.ezpr oxy.uow.edu.au/ehost/detail?vid= 3&sid=c5373eb0-b85c-44ea- b3e5- cc2e901acc61%40sessionmgr40 03&hid=4201&bdata=JnNpdGU 9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db= ufh&AN=79551905 >

Georgiou, M 2003, ‘Mapping Diasporic Media across the EU: Addresing Cultural Exclusion’, Key Deliverable: The European Media and Technology in Everyday Life Network, < http://www.lse.ac.uk/media@lse/ research/EMTEL/reports/georgiou_2003_emtel.pdf. >

Rodriguez, C 2001, Fissures in the Mediascape: An International Study of Citizen’s Media, New Jersey, Hampton Press.

Thornley J 2011, ‘Go back to where you came from: Reality TV encounters the refugee crisis’, weblog post, The Conversation, 21 June, viewed 12 May 2015, < http://theconversation.com/go-back-to-where-you-came-from-reality-tv-encounters-the-refugee-crisis-1905 >

Sheehan P 2011, ‘You call this even-handed? Refugee series is strictly for the gullibe’, 23 June, viewed 12 May 2015, < http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/you-call-this-evenhanded-refugee-series-is-strictly-for-the-gullible-20110622-1gfav.html >

Teg’s List// April 2015

As I look past on previous lists, I see how some things have changed and how some things have not. Do you find autumn to be a time of reflection? I am reminded that nature’s cycles are mirrored in our lives. Autumn is a time for letting go and releasing things that have been a burden. Although activity thrives during the autumn and winter, too, there’s a different aura present. One can think about her endeavors — why she attempted them, and where they’ve brought us.
READING: I just finished reading Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl and it served as a powerful reminder, that us women are all different and we each have our own personal struggles and that we shouldn’t judge or dis-empower each other, but instead, lift each other up. It also made me laugh HARD! A great lesson in the fact that we are all so weird, which was refreshing.
WRITING: A report on recruitment and selection for my Human Resource subject at university. I go here.

LISTENING: I am absolutely digging Purity Ring, anything and everything they release is pure, pure gold. Give them a listen. Oh darling, begin again, begin again, begin again!

THINKING: I need to start buying some winter clothes. Every year I am always asking myself the same question: How did I ever survive last winter clothes wise!?

SMELLING: My oil burner, tonight I have pure sage oil burning, Warming and refreshing!

WISHING: I would start eating more healthy and listen to my body.

HOPING: No-body died in the Kathmandu earthquake!!

WEARING: These babies: jeans, top, coat and socks! Cosy and cute!

WANTING: I would like a never ending cup of tea please and thank you.

CONSIDERING: What to wear tonight?
MAKING: plans for dinner. Drinks and dinner with my sister! YAY!

EATING: I’m currently loving corn fritters like these with poached eggs! Cheap and yummy!

DRINKING: STILL DRINKING: Green Tea. Green Tea. Green Tea. Healthy and warm.

WASTING: as per usual, time.

ENJOYING: getting shit done!

WAITING: for my friend from the USA to visit! So excited! We are off to Uluru, on an awesome adventure!

REGRETTING: holding my tongue.
PLANNING: My trip to Malaysia (more on that later!). I m so lucky to be able to escape the winter for a month!

FEELING: A little empty? I don’t know what is missing, on the inside.
KNOWING: I need to put in more effort to my university work and that I HAVE to move my body more.

LOVING: my family. They are always there for me.NEEDING: to SPEAK UP for myself.

Something i’m starting to bring as a parameter of doing things in my life is that I am asking if the certain thing will add value to my life. If so, (and it feels right), I will proceed, if not, I will retreat.

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