Living a Life without the Pakistani Alarm Clock

I have to admit that I never fully appreciated my husband’s blog post titled “Silver Lining: The Electric Alarm Clock that is Pakistan” till I started living in Australia. alarm-clock-1193291_960_720

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For the love of Coffee

Brewing coffee in the French press is the absolute best way to start the day in my opinion. The fact that a cup comes packed with benefits, makes me just love this beverage and consume some more. Coffee is a complex drink with an interesting aroma which totally arouses my curiosity about the beverage and life.

Coffee
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Homemade (DIY) Rustic Dining Table

Table EdgeI am intrigued by how taken I am by the idea of a dining table. Perhaps the fact that I grew up in a house with a formal along with an informal dining table has to add to my love for dining tables. We are presently living in a villa which took over a year to build and over 2 years to plan. The dining area is the central facet of the open plan living area. Inspired by industrial design, our new home had to reflect a little bit of us and what we like – tons of whim, a rustic and eclectic appeal, and absolutely no gloss. (more…)

The “One Day I Will” Trap

Heard this phrase too often “one day I will…” What stops us from living that one day (which seems so far away) today? One day I will live in a gorgeous little studio apartment overlooking a beach. One day I will find time to read that book which has been catching dust in my study. One day when I will have enough in my savings, I’ll take my family on a dream vacation. One day when I am old enough I will make my own decisions even if everyone hates me. One day I will write the article that I have written in my head a hundred times. One day I will be an entrepreneur and be my own boss. As dreamy as this notion of doing everything important or meaningful on this “one day” sounds, it makes a boring life. Why not make that one day today? Why are you not living the life you want to live? Why are you not the person you want to be? Why can you not find the right words to say to the person that means that world to you today?

Life is worth living when you are closer to that one day or when you are actually living and loving that day. Make the distance to that one day shorter. One doesn’t have to be rich, stable, and old to be living in that perfect place that you would like to call home. Many things worth doing are more fun when we are young – romance, love, money, vacations, a place you call home, kids, spirituality, giving, work, fitness – so why wait for that one day when you should be living life to the fullest today. So read that book, smile some more, do a little something that brings you realistically closer to that one perfect day dream. Its easy to throw the burden around and make the challenge appear bigger than it really is … “If I didn’t have my parents to take care of”, “If I had some more money,” “If I wasn’t so scared”, “If my spouse supported me more”, “If my boss wasn’t a maniac”, “If my kids didn’t drive me up the wall”, “If I was born in America”, “If I had more guts”, the list goes on.

Most of the time the only person standing between you and your one day dream is your own self, your inner demons and boogiemen. There is something so innately empowering about living your dream life without complains, unnecessary drama, and a perfect plan for the future that makes your life so miserable today. Some of us are diehard masochists who enjoy a bit of misery. Gosh I don’t deserve to be living the dream. How dare I? What will people think? After all I am so inspired by all those heroes in history who shined like diamonds after hard times. I deserve to live through those miserable years too. Well maybe you can live a happier life today. Maybe tragedy just sounds glamorous and something worth writing a book about but it makes getting out of the bed every morning difficult for you. Living a happy life today requires giving up a few wrong romantic notions that we might have. Maybe you will never be that rich, or that thin, or that famous, or maybe you will be. Living a happy and meaningful life will help you in achieving your goals faster and more effectively and the journey to shangrilla just might be less painful too.

A letter to Evania Ahmed on her First Day to School

Today we have set you on a journey where you will discover yourself and the world around you. You are now free to make your own path in life on your own terms. (more…)

Purpose brands: A Likely Cure for Marketing Malpractice

Purpose brands create powerful means of differentiation in the minds of customers as they are tightly associated to the job for which customers hire them. Advertising and WoM communication play a vital role in building awareness for the purpose brands and creating positive and strong brand associations, which result in brand equity. Brand equity is the added value a brand name brings to a product or service besides the functional benefits. Brand equity in case of purpose brands is built when the product does the job and people talk about it. High brand equity implies that customers perceive that the brand is of high quality, have positive and strong associations related to the brand, and are loyal to the brand.

The in-depth interviews conducted in my research revealed that the purpose brands in the selected product categories of Search Engines and Portable Digital Media Players were closely tied to the job for which customers hired these brands, and they were primarily built on WoM communication. The findings of the online questionnaires suggested that the two purpose brands had relatively higher mean scores, and enjoyed significant differences in mean scores in terms of the three core dimensions of brand equity (brand awareness / associations, perceived quality and brand loyalty), compared to the relatively more generic brands. It was concluded that there is a difference in the influence of purpose brands, compared to relatively more generic brands, on brand equity, and the influence seems to be positive.

The purpose brand approach has significant implications for marketing communications. Job-specific brands create meaningful differentiation in the customers’ minds, which could imply that marketers may need to spend less on overall advertising, other than the occasions of creating brand awareness when the product is launched and for reminder advertising. This in turn could improve the profitability of the companies. Purpose brands should be able to create a strong ‘pull’ for a brand and in this event, Internet marketing becomes a powerful tool for information dissemination. The limitations of the research were that the brand selection could be refined to enable selection of more combinations of purpose brands and relatively generic brands, and the sample could include more than just student samples.

Glossary

Advertising

Any paid form of nonpersonal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods, or services by an identified sponsor

Brand awareness

The ability for a buyer to recognize or recall that a brand is a member of a certain product category

Brand associations

Anything linked in memory to a brand

Brand equity

The added value a ‘brand name’ brings to a product or service besides the functional benefits

Brand loyalty

Tendency to be loyal to a brand, which is demonstrated by the intention to buy the brand as a primary choice

Perceived quality

The consumer’s [subjective] judgement about a product’s overall excellence and superiority

Purpose Brand

The brand of a product that is tightly associated with the job for which it is meant to be hired

WoM communication

Oral, person-to-person communication between a perceived non-commercial communicator and a receiver regarding a brand, a product, or a service