Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Dear People of the World Essay This letter should be read by someone thirty years from now, in the year 2014. It is currently 1984, I am a citizen of Oceania a place run by Big Brother and his people. We are treated like zoo animals, everything is controlled. I hope that you are reading this in a free world, a world where there is no Big Brother or Thought Police, a world where newspeak is considered old speak, a world where a tele screen is something that is used for entertainment and not surveillance, a world where you can say what you want and not what you must, a world where the only thoughtcrime is keeping your thoughts bottled up like we have to do. This world has been artificially created for us and we cant stand it anymore, something needs to be done; but we are constantly being watched from above and controlled we cant do anything about it. I often dream about a world where people can say what they want, where everything is green and nobody is prisoner of this lie anymore, I hope that your world is like that. Right now I am in danger, I could be being watched right now and it would be just a matter of time until the thought police come, kick the door down and take me. In this world you cant say anything without being questioned or accused of thought crime, I have lost many friends just because they said what they thought. They tell us that Ã¢â¬Å"WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTHÃ¢â¬ here we dont have peace, we have everything but peace. We are not free we are slaves of a system that does not work. Ignorance will never be strength, ignorant people are weak they believe everything that they are told. Thats why I say that Ã¢â¬Å"WAR IS WAR, FREEDOM IS FREEDOM, IGNORANCE IS IGNORANCEÃ¢â¬ There is just a small group of people that think like I do, there is just a small group of people that have knowledge of the truth. But this group is getting smaller and smaller and there is nothing we can do about it because we are all bering heard and we are all being watched. I believe that the future wont be like this anymore, it will be free, people will be able to go where they want when they want, they wont need to report every morning and every night, they will eat where they want to eat and love who they want to love. I know I am not the only one that is trying to change this world, letters like this will be found by many different people, because they need to know about their past. If the world where you live in is the same as mine it means that it still too early, leave this letter and carry on, because someday this will end.
Monday, January 20, 2020
I Didn't Choose Home Schooling I didn't choose to be taught at home; my parents decided for me. I was four, and my toddler priorities lay elsewhere. Little did I know that I was volunteering for an educational experiment. Every September my parents and I had our annual discussion about continuing home schooling versus sending me to "regular" school. I don't know if I thought school would be a bit boring or if I was afraid of change, but I always chose to stay home. I did go to school for a few classes and for violin lessons, but much of my time there was spent explaining my sporadic attendance to teachers and classmates. I grew accustomed to giving both rote and wry answers to questions like, "Do you watch TV all day?" The rote answer was "No, of course not. I do the same things you do in school." The wry answer was "Yes, from nine to noon," watching their faces form into expressions of disbelief. I didn't tell them I was watching Massachusetts Educational Television on PBS. When discussing home schooling with strangers or skeptical parents, the first question usually concerns "socialization", often posed bluntly as "Do you have any friends?" Sports and orchestra brought me into contact with kids my age, but even then it was a common interest rather than a common age that drew us together. Over the years, I found wonderful friends in Mendelssohn, O. Henry, a German woman on my paper route who was a World War II refugee, Newsweek, a paralyzed basketball coach who couldn't walk but still coached me as if he could, history books, and a range of musical instruments from viola to tinwhistle. People are always relieved to discover that I'm not a hermit. Home schooling gave me the freedom to explore and experiment. We Traded houses with an Irish family and lived in Galway for a month. I was never given actual lessons on "how to write a sentence"; I learned as I wrote history essays. Few schools would have allowed me to research the sinking of the Titanic, but my parents let me read about it, build models of it and learn about watertight bulkheads. (I even managed to finish my math book that year, too.) As I got older, people started to ask if being taught at home was going to hinder me in college.
Sunday, January 12, 2020
Packaging is considered to be an integral part of the product and is the first point of contact with the brand for a consumer product. So, most of the companies that do business internationally redesign their packages for each market. The principle reason is that expectations and utilizations of consumers vary across cultures. The worldÃ¢â¬â¢s two leading industrial powers, U. S. and Japan have almost opposite approaches to packaging. Packaging is recognized as an expression of culture in Japan and designed to be appreciated, whereas in America cultural aspect is largely ignored and packaging is calculated to be accepted. Foods that only Japanese eat have beautiful, traditionally designed wrappings that resemble handmade paper or leaves and accommodate scan able bar codes. Such products look Japanese and are intended to do so. Products that are foreign, such as coffee, look foreign even to the point of having only Roman lettering on the can. We speak of global villages and international markets, but packages reveal some unexpected cultural boundaries. Few examples of such cultural implication of packaging are- Canadians prefer to drink milk out of flexible plastic pouches that fit into reusable plastic holders while Americans are believed to be so resistant to the idea that they have not been given the opportunity to do so, Japanese consumers prefer packages that contain two tennis balls and view the standard U. S. package of three as cheap and undesirable, Germans insist on highly detailed technical specifications on packages of videotapes, while Americans donÃ¢â¬â¢t, Swedes consider blue Colour of packaging as masculine whereas Dutch consider it to be feminine and so on. (Eric, J. A. et al. , 2004, p. 298) Culture & Packaging Colour Schmitt and Simpson (1997) states, Colour is one of the many marketing tools that global managers use to create, maintain, and modify brand images in customersÃ¢â¬â¢ minds while Schmitt and Pan (1994) discovers, Colour is also an important component of many corporate and brand-building cues, such as logos, packages, and displays. It is a commonality reflecting in the views of both the authors that- Colour is one of the major element which affects consumer perception regarding a brand. The research results show cross-cultural patterns of both similarity and dissimilarity in Colour preferences and Colour meaning associations. Colour used in packaging is equally important in determining a productÃ¢â¬â¢s desirability. Ã¢â¬Å"James Mandle, a Colour consultant, changed the Colour of Ty-D-BolÃ¢â¬â¢s toilet bowl cleanser bottle from light and green to stark white letters on a dark background. He believed that the original Colours were Ã¢â¬Å"too wimpyÃ¢â¬ and that the new, bolder Colours would connote strength and cleanliness. In an 18 month period following the change of Colour, sales of Ty-D-Bol jumped 40% (Lane 1991). Ã¢â¬ (Thomas, J. M. et al. , 2000, p. 91) Packaging is not about Colour only there are various other factors involved in it. Factors like design shape of the package, text on the package and other factors of the packaging. But it is true that Colour is the most important attribute in terms of attracting the attention of the consumer. Packaging is not only made up of a single Colour but combination of Colours to create a brand image. So preferences in regard to combination of Colours also vary across cultures. Few examples of such combinations are of pairing Colours with green and red. The Colour best paired with green is yellow in Canada, Hong Kong, China, and Taiwan, blue in Columbia, and white in Austria. Only the Chinese and Taiwanese pair green with red as red is a potent Colour in China. In Brazil and the US people pair red with black, whereas in Canada, and China, the preferred combination with red is yellow. ( Mooij and Marieke K. de, 2004) Culture & Packaging Information Packaging not only protects and contains a product but also provide the consumer with loads of information about the product such as its composition, correct use etc. For instance, packaging of foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals provides information regarding the name of the product, manufacturer, country of origin, Ã¢â¬Å"best beforeÃ¢â¬ date and expiry date, ingredients and additives or composition of drug along with quantity and price. Since packaging is subject to country-specific legislation so ear of legal action has made many companies in the US and the UK includes all sorts of warnings on label instructions on consumer goods. On bar of Dial soap: Ã¢â¬Å"Directions: Use like regular soap. Ã¢â¬ On a Sears hairdryer: Ã¢â¬Å"Do not use while sleeping. Ã¢â¬ On packaging for a Rowenta iron: Ã¢â¬Å"Do not iron clothes on body. Ã¢â¬ On Nytol sleep aid: Ã¢â¬Å"Warning: May cause drowsiness. Ã¢â¬ On a childÃ¢â¬â¢s Superman costume: Ã¢â¬Å"Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly. Ã¢â¬ On SainsburyÃ¢â¬â¢s peanuts: Ã¢â¬Å"Warning: contains nuts. Ã¢â¬ On Marks & Spencer bread pudding: Ã¢â¬Å"Product will be hot after heating. Ã¢â¬ On BootÃ¢â¬â¢s childÃ¢â¬â¢s cough medicine:Ã¢â¬ Do not drive a car or operate machinery after taking this medication. Ã¢â¬ ( Mooij and Marieke K. de, 2004, p. 265) In the present scenario various countries have included packaging waste into hazardous matter to contribute in pollution. This led the government to adopt some policies to restrict the use of non recyclable products as a packaging material where it is not required. These have also posed challenge among business organizations to try and find out recyclable materials and present themselves as a responsible corporate citizen among the stakeholders. This is also one aspect of culture which leads to this kind of environmental concern approach. Culture & Packaging Images/Pictures Imagery is an important element of packaging, as it enhances the accessibility of packaging information. As said by Bolen (1984), visual information in advertisements generally attracted more attention and was noticed before verbal advertising content. While Alesandrini (1982) declared, visual information may serve to attract consumerÃ¢â¬â¢s attention and set expectations for the contents of the verbal elements; the visual information thus serving as an Ã¢â¬Å"advance organizerÃ¢â¬ for the verbal elements of packaging. (Underwood et al. , 2001) Different culture recognizes various symbols differently with different meanings altogether. Picture that is very meaningful for people in one culture as it expresses important values of that culture can be completely meaningless to the people of the other culture. For instance, a box of pineapple cookies sold in Singapore has an image of a lion, as in Singapore lion is considered to be a symbol of royalty. Hence, if the similar box of cookies is launched in UK it wonÃ¢â¬â¢t be given equivalent importance as in Singapore due to the differences lying in culture. Culture & Packaging Communication Customer or prospect judges the products on the basis of its name as well. Language used on the product package including its brand or product name creates impression among consumers. Consumer interprets the information selectively on the basis of his culture and his own personal factors. Different aspects of marketing communications like corporate identity, brand name, package design, and advertising styles impacts consumer in certain ways. Marketing communications styles are interrelated with personal communication styles. Chinese-speaking consumers tend to judge a brand name based on its visual appeal whereas English speakers judge brand name based on whether the name sounds appealing. In Asia, visual symbolism is a key aspect of a firmÃ¢â¬â¢s corporate identity. A comparative study of package design across seven countries found that packages differ both in three-dimensional design and in the way they communicate through graphical design and vary in the use of textual information; use of Colour, shape, and symbolism; and degree of structure and detail in the package design. All the above differences are highly influenced by culture. Even the product category is influenced by the packaging design, for example Deodorant is communicated differently from cigarettes, and that is reflected in its design of the packaging. ( Mooij and Marieke K. de, 2004, p. 213) Why it is important to understand culture & differences in cultures? It is always very important for a marketer to understand the culture of his target market place. Many good products have failed in the market only due to ignorance of socio- cultural aspects. There are underlying components that influence culture such as religion, family, customs, politics, weather, etc, which must be taken into account when marketing products on an international basis. Consequently, it is important for marketers to be aware of the 25% of cultural differences in the world market to promote their product properly. Therefore, it is of great importance to understand similarities and differences in culture which also affects the consumer purchasing behaviours across the cultures. (Weber, J. M. et al. , 2002, p. 396) Tastes and preferences of consumers vary in different part of world. In the European continent itself consumer preferences and taste varies so much that retailers Marks & Spencer had to made different advertising campaigns for each country. Initially Marks & Spencer has a single uniform advertising for the whole of Europe in 2001. Later it recognized its weakness and immediately changed the advertising campaign according to the taste and preference of different parts of European continent at the end of 2001. ToyotaÃ¢â¬â¢s model Ã¢â¬ËCamryÃ¢â¬ was a huge success in US which it tried to launch in UK market in 2000. It was a huge failure due to difference in the lifestyle and cultural set up of these two countries. Toyota re-launched it later with changes in the model according to the European culture and it was a huge success. Companies have to estimate the strength of their products along with the market they are trying to trap irrespective of their own brand name and value. One of the mistakes by the snacks giant KelloggÃ¢â¬â¢s is Indian market was with its breakfast cereals. Within Indian culture people tend to eat heavy breakfast in the morning. In such market breakfast cereals as a healthier alternative to the heavy Indian breakfast was unattractive offer to the Indians. Later on company improved its communication strategies and compared it with traditional chapattis (Indian breads). Even in that case KelloggÃ¢â¬â¢s could sell to a Westernized niche market only. So it is quite clear from the above examples that thorough understanding of the culture as well as its differences across cultures is very important to survive in todayÃ¢â¬â¢s competitive environment. There are some other companies which have done very well in understanding various markets on socio-cultural dimensions like Disney, Pizza hut, dominos, Mc-DonaldÃ¢â¬â¢s and others. Success pf these brands was result of their conscious effort to keep the significance of culture in their minds. These companies went local irrespective of their global operations for each and every market for them. One such example is Mc-DonaldÃ¢â¬â¢s. The reasons behind success of Mc-DonaldÃ¢â¬â¢s in foreign markets apart from a strong brand image and consistent service a standard around the world is, its advertising which is local and its product offer has a local touch. Examples are the Kiwi burger in New Zealand; the Maharaja Mac in India; the Prosperity burger in Malaysia; the Teriyaki burger in Japan; the McKorket in the Netherlands; McLaks, a grilled salmon burger, in Norway; and the Croque McDo in France that refers to the popular French Ã¢â¬Å"Croque MonseiurÃ¢â¬ , a hot ham and cheese sandwich. Advertising by McDonaldÃ¢â¬â¢s in France tied into local habits and symbols. In 2001, for example, advertising for McDonald in France tied into Ã¢â¬Å"Asterix and Obelisk,Ã¢â¬ the most famous historical cartoon of the nation. Hence, localization makes it increasingly important for marketing and advertising people to understand the influence of culture. ( Mooij and Marieke K. de, 2004, p. 18) Importance of Colours can not be ignored in the case of international markets. Colours are associated with different cultural beliefs, moods and meanings. Understanding of these aspects of Colour, culture and society helps the organization to develop appropriate strategy. As said by (Kirmani 1997: Schmitt and Pan 1994), one marketing cue that global managers can use regardless of location is Colour. The effects of culture on the meaning associated with Colours are very critical for international marketing purposes. Ã¢â¬Å"Wagner, the creator of the Wagner Colour Research Institute, contends that Colours are associated with certain images (Lane 1991). For example, Blue is associated with wealth, trust, and security: Gray is associated with strength, exclusively, and success: and orange denotes cheapness. These associations may explain why banks are more likely to Colour their logos and collateral using Blue or Gray rather than orange ( Seitel 1993). It is cultural background due to which Colour has a strong effect on choice of a customer. It is important to understand which Colours are preferred by people in different cultures. It will help to create, maintain, or modify brand images in consumersÃ¢â¬â¢ minds. The associated with Colours and combination of Colours are important to understand for any marketer. Ã¢â¬Å"Colour combinations are considered culturally bound with certain ideologies and traditions (Geboy 1996). For example, black on red signifies happiness to Chinese people and is commonly used for wedding invitations while a combination of red over white represents celebration and signifies the life force to the Japanese ( Tektronix 1998). (Thomas, J. M. et al. , 2000) After Colour it is cultural beliefs which have impact on the consumer minds. It is important to understand the beliefs related to target product category within the target market place. For instance in India people feel that ancient herbal methods are good choices over the cosmetic options available today. This led various cosmetics company in India to launch their promotional programs comparing their product with traditional methods or showing the products equivalent to the traditional benefits. In these leading brands like Lux, Fair & Lovely and many others are present. Success of a fair and lovely brand due to the fact that Indians believe fairness is beautiful. Vicco turmeric cream is another example which positioned itself as a cream that would be useful for would-be brides to enhance their complexions, as applying turmeric for skin care is a part of the Indian tradition. These types of behaviour which are associated with a specific culture or belief can also be associated with different product categories such as, for instance, the bindi worn in most parts of India. It is important that the brand name selected for such a product category should have an ethnic-sounding name whereas a Western name is prone to be counter-productive. (S Ramesh Kumar, 2003) Another product category is food where the role of mother and grand mother is considered important. This is the reason all spices, traditional quick meals and cooking oil etc contain some or more of the motherÃ¢â¬â¢s recipe kind of concept. Not only that change in the societal socio-cultural structure can also be seen as some of the advertisement in India show modern man helping their women in their work as well like washing clothes or taking care of child. There is a strong need to understand and consider the culture which constitutes of the values, beliefs and habits of consumers which show a discrepancy across the nations. The other aspect of the changing cultural environment and upcoming trends are also important to understand.