Sunday 4 January 2015

You Retain My Interest ; Building rapport, Using a mood board & A $260 bar of chocolate

When you walk into a place, wether it be a friend's house, a new workplace, or even a restaurant, do you get what I call a 'yes or no' feeling? In effect, it's literally a 'vibe' of the situation or scenario you're entering into. Now if you're very sensitive, you can even pick up on the mood of the people in and around the place, which has a lot of advantages and a few disadvantages too.

But I digress. What I'm refering to, is the ability to walk into a situation where the people and sometimes even the location are completely new, and be able to acclimatize yourself and get comfortable. As obvious as this sounds, it's an essential life skill for all kinds of situations. Especially in a business related context :-

How to Build Rapport and Embrace Differences

I've occasionally found myself in particularly challenging situations with people within various organisations, which in themselves aren't deal breakers as that's a part and parcel of business, per se. However,  dealing with people in the physical world isn't what I'm refering to, but more to do on the internet and particularly on social media.

The expressiveness spectrum is harder to assimilate on a faster paced style of abbreviated communication system, such as twitter for example, where everyone is hurtling along at a rapid pace. The one thing I have learned with regards using social media is that you have to slow yourself down to a pace where you're comfortable with the information presented. That requires dedication, focus and persistance. In effect, you must know quickly what, whom, and why you are there.

It does pay off, though. More so when whatever it is that you are communicating is honest, and less prone to sidewinding or 'waffling'. After all, if everyone else is 'pedal to the metal' on the internet, then you have to be pretty punchy and memorable, in order to make your point. That takes practice as it involves listening, observing and tenacity, together with refining your communication style to a tee without losing your voice.

It's a lifelong skill and I'm up for the challenge; in fact I always have been. You have to be humble enough to accept the good and the not so good, in terms of feedback, without dwelling on the less vibrant responses and becoming too forlorn or downwardly moody.

All things said, there's little chance of becoming (or feeling) melancholic, when doing this :-

How (and when) to design a mood board

It's been a while since I've participated in making a mood board. It was in new york and it started with some very large sheets of paper on the floor, cut out bits from magazines, coloured pens, and bits of string. Red string at that, along with an assortment of blue-tac and drawing pins. There was myself and two others doing it , one of whom was an illustrator and the other person was a marketing maverick.

Mood boards are fun and this was in fact done with a hypothetical remit to tackle, during a creative workshop. I came away from the whole thing feeling a lot more fired up and ready for others challenges, which in itself was an absolute reward.

There is something about the process that fires off the synapses like nothing else , bar full-on and more intense creativity such as writing, music, painting etc. There are plenty of positives and if you can make a mood board with a bunch of other people, whilst enjoying yourself in the process, you'll have a team of sorts assembled there for future use too, if you so wish.

If you're stuck in a moment and unable to move forward with a concept or project, I'd wholeheartedly recommend the process. It can be time consuming, but it takes you out of yourself, which is what can be sorely needed when your creative impetus is running dry.

Here's a man (and his girlfriend), who did something completely different, in order to solve an age old problem :-

This Chocolate Bar Costs $260. Here’s Why Anybody Would Pay That Much

Now that takes a lot of self-belief, tenacity and just the courage to 'go for it'. Chocolate, whilst having various tiers and niches in price and quality, with the swiss made brands arguably presented as being the best all round, is something where there is a ceiling of sorts, due to it's readily availble nature.

In the U.K. we have Cadbury's, whom in my opinion make some of the finest chocolate in the world. The beauty being that nearly every one of their products to my knowledge, are available at street price level. So it's not about the price being the premium indicator, but the percieved quality and value you feel it brings you, when consuming. That's a beautiful blend of the alchemic art of product placement and the marketing strategies used. The blue velvet colour of the wrapper of a bar of Dairy Milk, for example, signifies a feeling of royalty and imbues a special experience BEFORE you've opened the wrapper and had a taste of the contents.

I'd love a taste of this bar of toak chocolate, which I'm hopeful someone will give me as a present.

Or I'll eventually just buy a bar, when I'm in the right place mentally and emotionally to do so. It looks special and so I'm assuming it will taste exceptional too.

The next time you're out and about, have a look into the nearest shop window and see if you can spot something that makes you feel 'warm and fuzzy'. What is it about the object that brings on that vibe? Because the team behind it has already gathered that you'd feel that way, and quite rapidly to boot.

What's changed is that the consumer has now become harder to convert from a lead to a sale. And that's what generating, sustaining and retaining the interest is all about. We're all now consuming, advertising and marketing, so the game has become more exciting and challenging.

So here's to innovation, change, growth and ultimately, invention and the new.

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