Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Brand Fatigue in Relationships

This is dedicated to my dear friend – Arjun – Thanks pal

"It's like [being] a freighter at sea - it takes a little while to know that you're in trouble and then to turn the beast around." So says Karl Moore, professor of marketing strategy at the Faculty of Management, McGill University
Hold on for a minute! Brand fatigue is a Marketing / Strategy term, what has it got to do with ‘Relationships?”. Well let me take you through the “brand” ride.

What exactly is Brand Fatigue? – blah..blah..blah.. and the answer I remember copying from who ever sitting before me in my Marketing Exam (oh, I was the first guy in the row ..whatever) – everyone has some brand that they cherish, wanted to always sport or own the brand, use it so long, and irrespective of the fact that there is no other to replace, you just get tired and.. voila you switch brands.

How close does this come to us, looking at relationships!There is that one special person you cherish, admire so much, that you end up spending all the possible time with him/her, not necessarily in physical proximity, but they can take up a BIG lion’s share of your mind - that’s what it really matters – a Mind Share !

Over a period of time, we eventually get used (meaning accustomed) to our “dear relationship brand”, and assume that it always has been there ever since the beginning of time, and will be ever so remaining till all the ages to come – doesn’t it sound like an extract out of a fairy tale – Exactly – Life ain’t a fairy tale, so some where, a sense of boredom or ‘brand fatigue’ sets in - and naturally – our cerebellum starts craving for change – and yes- that’s when the relationship starts rocking (pun intended).

I am not saying that spice is bad in one’s life, but life ain’t like a product I suppose – that we can just switch a brand, and come back – there are emotions that get ruptured, and I suppose the path to switch back to the relationship-brand we cherished all along is really as hard as capturing an extremely saturated market space.

Some of the Signs that a Relationship Brand Fatigue is setting in: (for obvious reasons, I am not speaking about married couples – I have only theory and Zero Practical experience)
  1. There is this one fella/felle that you can’t but have to talk 5 times a day, but once you start talking – don’t know what to talk – or get bored - or see the elapsed time on your cell. (Ya there was a time when you thought what is elapsed time?)
  2. You see the number flashing on your cell and you immediately process a million possible conversations –and have made answers ready – and will be surprised to know that- it was a guessable conversation
  3. You go out for a coffee / dinner, and then you start speaking about all the good times you have had a few light years ago - come on… what the hell.. I am still here.. I am not extinct – you get the message
  4. Then it dawns on you, may be I should just take some time off – not call for sometime – and suddenly you dial the number and have a Long conversations like:

    You : Hello
    Other Person: Oh! …………………. Hi!... uhmmmmm…..ya.. Hello…..

    You: ………………….Uh!...nothing….generally called…..so tell me wassup?
    Other Person: Good!... tell me whats happening?

    You: ….so? aur kya ? how things going?
    Other Person: You tell me…………….loooooooooooooooong time…..

    An suddenly your lil head knocks on you saying – Idiot – both of you are asking questions only –not really answering any of them – and ….processing possibilities..

    You: …………..

    And depending on who got the better processing speed…says:

    Hey, you know what, I am kinda lil tied up, you know…like… (They are writing their next blog..or fantasizing about they being the role cast in the next Spielberg film)….. let’s meeeeeet up sometime… coffee …dinner….. pukka… Bye..

Now that’s quite a beating to take. I guess some of the remedies to the possible Relationship Brand Fatigue are:

  1. Speak out openly to your dear friend – Hey you know what, I am feeling like this – what do you think we should do?
  2. Indulge in some fun activities with each other – Go out for a holiday – You always have some undiscovered facet in your mate - and that will kindle a new interest – Keep discovering!
  3. Stay away from each other – from the traditional forms of communicating (if you were always using a phone to speak, or always meeting in person) try something different – Write a snail mail – Send a Bouquet…do something that is not the norm
  4. Go – hug your friend, give a lil peck on the cheek and say – how much you mean to them
  5. Send a small surprise Gift – remember – no costly BIG grand things – something that really means to them- EX: If your friend has a broken lace, and never found time to buy a new one – just send a nicely packed lace – it will make such a difference
  6. Tell your mate of the things you no longer cherish - maybe the same wicked PJ no more makes you laugh
  7. Last of all – Trust yourself and trust your friend – The greater you delay – The greater will be the rift.

There is nothing like “We drifted apart” – There is always a cause!

All the above seven points are standard mechanisms – marketing wizards adopt to regain “Brand Footing”. .. need more? – read up any good marketing book –a s much as my books are concerned - they were shredded 12 hours before the exam.

I end on the same note:"It's like [being] a freighter at sea - it takes a little while to know that you're in trouble and then to turn the beast around."


Anonymous said...

booo... johnny baba - which girl dumped you ?

kidding :)nice stuff; quite a lot to think

Arjun said...

Dear John.

Your dedication to the title, this blog and this whole blog to me has left me completely speechless!!!

Your views are quite a top-hat-full at the very least..

Yes - a lot of food for thought - I daresay issues related to this blog will cross my mind for a few nights.
Then again - I have only to wait till Saturday - and you'll be here - so then i'd like to partake of this wisdom from the horse's mouth :-)

neeta said...

I really liked your views and i agree to that.....spice in da relationship is a must ,to make it longlastin,interesting and exciting......moreover i dont believe in breaking relationships..thats not your car gear which you change quite often...you live & die with it and for that we need to work on it....and time to time shud share your treasure of feelings with your loved ones. So better start the moment you realize that something is missing in ur relationship and there is no point in cribbing for the past which is lost to you forever and da future isn't yet yours. So now is the only time which you have........

Intimate Thoughts said...

Sure Arjun..look forward to meeting you