Sunday, October 14, 2007

Slogans and their Retail value

Did you know that many of our beloved brands are heavy advertisers of their own products? It's a little rhethorical but yes, companies don't just make products for the fun of it, they want to make profits!(Who doesn't want to make money nowadays?)

I love observing examples of a person's daily life, filled with slogan after slogan. "Just do it, Nothing is impossible" are just examples of what people are facing everyday.

But are these things more than a slogan? More than that, are they just very smart marketing tactics? Do they
have the power to influence someone to buy or at least promote their products?

Nike. Everyone loves have a pair of sneakers from there. Well, it may be a personal choice, but I do not really like Nike sneakers. It's overrated. The important point, however, is to realise Nike's amazing marketing skills. They have had the slogan "Just Do It" for centuries now, it's so cliche and boring. So typical and predictable. You might think this way. But before Nike was born, no one dared to put slogans on and enforce them to such an extent.

Nike really emphasize their point when they have used the slogan to the point of negative impact. The "just do it, live today" craze probably came to the surface after Nike released their campaign. Nike's clear stand was against it, but when they saw that people were endorsing throwing away their money in return for possessions, Nike got pretty happy, and wealthy too. The side effects of this "revolution" of "live now, spend now than spend it for your funeral" mindset has placed an extremely high tension environment in our modern society, one where every man is for himself, one where selfishness and greed proclaim their authority.

No matter what happens, people will be this way. People are creatures of habit and their habits will not die down so easily. Unless, they are properly alerted to the situation. Unless someone makes a stand and says, "This is enough!". Nothing will change unless we, the makers of our own rise and fall, decide to change.

Our very decisions hang in the balance of whether society will continue to live in this very age, the age of greed and pride. The very Singaporean way to say this is that we will always remain "kiam siap" and "kia su" and obviously, "kia si". It's not official, but Singapore has become a prime example of a society based on habit. The old cultures, traditions and thoughts are kept in a way that sometimes calls for violence, political tension and much to our despair, internal meltdown. The latter of the situations may not be that imminent but trust me, if we decide not to change society, we will experience it one day.

What do I mean by the people keeping old cultures etc.? This is so very typical, especially from a Singaporean."Must be Multi-racial!, Must uphold Racial Harmony!". Let me rebuke this matter. What can I say about this?

The economy is very largely based on the Western countries. More recently, China and India have emerged as the bull market's leaders. The wealth is coming to Asia. But the thing that saddens me is that most of the time, Westerners prefer not to trade with the whole of Asia but only to a certain few "partners" that they have. How did they get these partners you might ask? This is a good example of being able to adapt to any situation. No doubt, China and India have strong cultural backgrounds. Their ideas and philosophies have a long, deep ancestry. But look at them today? China and India have broken into the American market by the very things they swore not to do, according to their cultural beliefs and religions. China is opening up large amounts of land, agriculture, mass media and so on and so forth to America. This is an act that you'll never see Mao or any of his followers do. This is an extreme cultural change that many Chinese reject, until they see the benefits of the American "power".

India, on the other hand, have always been very reluctant to open up trades in fear of the West breaking their religious roots. This day, however, Hollywood has indian-born film stars as well as a thriving trade business with India. No matter how you see it, there is no denying the economic growth they have enjoyed.

However, some laws should clearly be set. Boundaries must be made to ensure that the party involved in the trade does not get bullied and disrespected. America has been very careful so far as not to go and insult the Chinese or Indians in a way that will affect their economic ties. This is also a very good idea as this will strengthen diplomatic ties within the trading nations.

Clearly, nobody wants to see a failing economy. Nobody wants to live in poverty and suffering. So, if we must change society in Singapore to experience great growth as a nation, I believe that we should go all out to change it, making sure that everyone's welfare is not compromised due to disrespect. The supposedly insulted parties should also understand the other party's seemingly disrespectful views if the views can change the very situation they are in.

Therefore, we must strive to seek a balance in life and understand what and why something is said.

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