Archive for the ‘Daily Waffle’ Category
“You’re not that special. Just one of many.”
(image by TSBAGO…and HI!)
Undoubtedly if you’re a job seeker, you’d have heard many rejection excuses that in the end boil down to those few words – just less harsh.
The Darwinian efforts of brands struggling for consumers’ attention and products for shelf space closely mirror what’s going in the world today. Too many job seekers, not enough jobs. And where there are jobs going ‘round, there aren’t enough trained people to do them, creating a major imbalance.
Whether you’re a brand or a job seeker, you’re going to need that something extra special and the clichéd extra factor. I often hear people ask – either directly to me or anywhere else: “How do you stand out? Is there a set formula?”
Unfortunately, for both brands and job seekers there aren’t. Like many things, there are several underlying rules, but one “formula” that works cannot be applied to everything else as-is.
How job seekers are like brands
Brands need to be flexible especially in times face adversity, but this is a gargantuan task. Along its lifespan, a brand gets to become known for one thing and to be described by adjectives that are vaguely similar to each other – comfort, speed, taste and so forth – and so do employees. As they advance through their career path, the more specialised they become – social media marketer, pop star, real estate broker, divorce lawyers.
However, there are those who transcend organizational borders fluidly, much like there are brands that can cater to almost anyone. For example, some people drink Coca-cola almost anywhere (ironically, I have yet to meet a marketer who has not used Coke as an example in their entire career span). Then there are those who would drink it on special occasions and some only with whiskey. There are also those who use it to cook and some use it as a medicine (which isn’t that far-fetched, since its original recipe was used as a medicine).
Another brand that does well in this is Virgin.
It boils down to the core; the heart; the DNA (this proliferation of terms is proof that branding can become a victim of its own making. Note that I did not use the original version of that quite). Call it what you want, I call it brand positioning.
Virgin’s core offering is a well known brand that will give you better value than the market leaders (and a sprinkle of edge). The point here to remember is that value means different things depending on who you ask. Cash-strapped people will define value in monetary terms whilst those are time-starved often quote time-saving as value, as can be seen in the rise of online grocery shopping. There are those who like the convenience of using the one brand to fit in with lifestyle. If you use a Sony VAIO, you can hook it up to your Sony Bravia to watch the videos and photos taken with your Sony Handycam and Sony Cybershot. If anything goes wrong with either of them, you only need to go to one place: a Sony shop. If you need a cable for the Handycam and a new battery for the Cybershot, you go to one place: the Sony shop. That might cost more than, say Maplin or Circuit City, but almost certainly saves you times.
Fluid positioning allows brand to move horizontally across industries and subsectors. Car brands are “engineering experts” and no longer “the best car your money can buy” and this allows them to produce anything related to engines and motors: from cars to lawn mowers to food blenders. Tech companies, similarly, are repositioning themselves not as technology experts, but future-proof entities. “Making tomorrow better” is expansive and might allow them to capitalise on their own environmental technologies. Mobile operators are now “better, connected” and “sharing” and have moved into fixed lines and internet services. In theory, they could try and move into “connectedness” and “sharing” subsectors. For example, Virgin could start an online dating site. Though the name could cause a controversy or four. Then again, what do you think their underwear line was called?
Similarly, mid career job seekers are half way through their chosen careers and moving on up. It’s not easy to leave that and pick a new career, or move into less related areas. And assuming they’ve weighed in on the consequences and took the jump, they’d still have to compete with others who are experienced in that area and those who are already in that industry who are looking for less pay just to get a job. If Coca-cola found a market gap – where the consumers wanting red and white clothing and that’s all they wear – and moved into that arena, the giant beverage maker might find themselves up against the (emerging) market leaders in that segment.
Coca-cola might have a few dollars to spend and a huge brand (incidentally the most valuable brand and second most utter word in the world – please tell me I don’t need to paste a link for this!), but they are still known for drinks, not t-shirts.
Consequently, an accountant who plays drums at weekends who lost his job recently might find it hard to be invited to play at a club when the local band is more in demand.
Unless he does it for free, which might help him to move things along a bit? But what if the club doesn’t even have space for him? Many graduates are being urged to do internships and “get new skills” (despite already spending loads on the newly obtained “skill” at university). So these newly fired up ants apply to the companies they want to work for. Remember that this is the entire newly economically workforce that we’re talking about. Employers then get inundated with emails and letters and Game Boys and get pissed off. Ants then get responses such as “We’re sorry but we do not have the resources to manage interns”. As a result, perhaps less than 10% (rough guess) of the graduates get internships and the rest get to work on ships (or at the checkout counter)
Perhaps the question to ask now is not “How can we reverse this”, but “how QUICKLY can we reverse this”.
NB. Just remember to NOT say these things.
These are your favourite links this month at TWOM. Images link to post.
In no particular order they are:
(UPDATE: Dead links sorted out. Sorry!)
Today’s Daily Waffle is dedicated to the latter, which we’re sure you’d agree makes a more interesting read.
- If anyone is feeling charitable, please buy this guy a Robbing for Idiots book.
- This woman gives new meaning to the word upskirt.
- You’d think that a criminal wouldn’t be stupid enough to run into a police station to get his cuffs removed. But you’d be wrong.
- Of course, not all kidnappers have money ransom on their mind.
let friends laugh with you
The title may sound serious, but believe us, it’s anything but
Recently we posted an entry about what not to say when applying for a job, so to follow up, here some stuff themed around working and office life.
- “Call centre manager” is boring and not attention catching, “chatty zombie pack leader” is. More classic job descriptions.
- “Dear Sir: with reference to the above, please refer to my below…”. Amuse your boss, get a holiday.
- Don’t you wish you could get those people who keep stealing borrowing your pens to return them just so you can jam it in their palms as a reminder to return that freaking pen? Well with these pens you won’t need to. They’ll always be returned, if borrowed at all.
- The other thing about office communicating apart from the fake “Hey, how’s it going” and awkward silences is corporate speak! If you are one of those that uses phrases like “we are still optimistic things will feed through the sales and delivery pipeline”, STOP IT! Or read this. Then these “live” additions from around the globe.
- Otherwise, you’re going to find yourself a victim of these pranks.
So more news from Singapore. First we spotted the affordable slut (ironically, I thought they were free), then the armpit sniffing psycho who is now in the sing-sing, and now we’ve discovered perhaps the first ever Batman-Suparman hybrid ever. We have reasons to believe this joker may be an imposter. He has no underwear on his head and he cant prove that he’s wearing it down there. But one thing is clear. If this is a clever ploy to throw us of so that the new Joker-Lex Luther hybrid (that would be shit-in-my-pants scary!) then it’s working very well. Even the name is original!
Another theory that emerged:
The “bin” is not something you put rubbish in. In Muslim communities, it means “son of”. So if this is true, we’re looking at a huge cover-up, one that no one saw coming: Batman is actually Superman’s son! That would mean Lois Lane gave birth to the Dark Knight. Could Joker actually Lex Luther then?! WOAH!
This is a real, undoctored photograph of a unicorn discovered in Italy.
Ahem. This, is a real undoctored photograph of a deer born in Italy with weird genetic mutation, leaving it with only one horn when its twin has two, Like all normal deer. This fella has been nicknamed ‘Unicorn’.
It is unsure how many of such cases there are, but we’re pretty sure PETA and RSPCA are going to get reports of some sick bastard hailing this news as a propchecy and setting chickens on fire, screaming “THE PHOENIX RISES, SHE RISES!”. Stop that shit!
amuse your friends
What do you get when you cross watermelons, sex, eggs and lawsuits? You get to today’s Daily Waffle!
- Watermelon sells for more Y650,000/£3,000/$6,000. It’d better be seedless!
- How British are you in bed? Apparently, I’m Swedish and I have no inhibitions. Take the quiz and let us know how you fared. There’s a marketing case study for new product launches in there somewhere.
- Microsoft’s Eggboy predicts the end of printed media. Someone should have told him about the the prediction that the internet would eradicate TV and books. By the way, if you have been living under a rock, this is how he got the name. And you have to play this game.
- Los Angeles sues TimeWarner for crap internet service. Move the residents here and they’ll know what crap is.
Spread the weekend fun!
It took me a while to realise this, but I have only discovered that blogging need not be as time-consuming as it was for me. I enjoy posting things up because, looking at my stats, I know that the few people who do read my blog actually enjoy the variety of stuff I post and regularly click on the links that I post.
So this is a new addition to TWOM. Interesting stuff I read on over the internet will be re-iterated as is, complete with the link. That way, my dear readers can still count on me for interesting mish mash from around the double-u double-u, double-u and I can still be lazy have a life.
Here’s the first ever Daily Waffle. Links open in new window
- Buy one house, get another free
- Ann Summers to lose raunchy image, eyes posh
- New Apple OSX coming out next year?
- Internet dating is unreal
- The undisputed real difference between marketing, , advertising, PR and branding
Wannabes are great.
There can only be so many trendsetters in the world. Given that there is approximately 10 trendsetters for every million people and there are six billion Earthlings, my math teacher would say that there can only be 60,000 trendsetters. That would mean that there are still almost five and a half billion (I said almost!) followers.
Massive potential right?
If you sell an item for $1,000 to a trendsetter, you stand to make $60,000,000.
If you then sold the same item to all the followers for $100, a tenth of the original price, you’d make A LOT MORE!
So, are wannabes great or not?
Pass it on
I think males already do spend more time in front of the mirror and more money on cosmetics than women nowadays. But thanks to this mirror, I shall outdo my partner, with great ease, in the spending-time-in-front-mirror event.
Do you even remember Atari?
Thanks to Gearfuse
dazzle your friends