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Hello, I blog!

I write with no particular theme in mind, because I am random like that.

19 2011

Salespeople, your attitude matters.

So, I was patronizing a particular store on level 3 at Bugis Street this evening when I chanced upon a series of button-on collars. I knew that I was definitely getting one, though was still quite undecided on the colour. So I told the salesgirl that I’d think about it first and return later.

Her response left me dumbstruck.

“If you walk out of the store and come back later, the price will not be $10 any more, it’ll be $15,” the salesgirl informed me in a snooty tone.

“Wow, really?! Then I’m NOT coming back,” said I, and strode out immediately.

(She spoke in Mandarin, and what I’ve just quoted was a rough translation to English. Apparently – according to her – $15 was the original price of the collar, while she decided to quote me $10 out of niceness … which everyone could see by now, had a huge caveat attached to it.)

I was experiencing a lot of indignation after that. Though I really wanted the collar, I hated her attitude so badly that I simply refused to give her any form of business (or commission, for that matter). She sure as heck didn’t deserve it.

Luck was on my side, though.

I chanced upon another store selling the same collars at $15. After a bit of haggling, I managed to bargain the price down to $10, while the salesgirl even offered 20% on all her apparel if I bought the collar (the last bit was on her own accord).

I ended up buying two collars. (But no apparel.)

Button-on collars
Button-on collars in yellow and green.

I #win.

The salesgirl was also full of #win. She remained friendly throughout the entire transaction, even when I was showing signs of indecisiveness. No trace of snootiness anywhere. I like.

Salespeople out there, your attitude and sincerity matters. If you don’t have it, I’m going to your competitors.

25 2011

I’m glad you’re safe.

People should just learn to stop fucking judging.

Are you in that person’s shoes? Do you know what the person is going through? Do you know what it means to have depressive disorder (or any other major illness, for that matter)? Do you know how it feels to be subject to something that is totally beyond your control?

Do you know how it’s like to experience the anger, the frustration, the hurt and dejection as you continuously crawl your way back to normalcy but keep falling?

You don’t? Then shut up.

It’s so easy to simply stand out there and watch, blame and accuse. This is what the human race has degenerated into – a bunch of cold-blooded people with a complete lack of empathy.

I’m extremely relieved you’re still alive, Elaine.

And please stay alive. People love you.

12 2011

What’s in a brand? It’s beyond just a name.

The following snippet from a random conversation got me thinking.

“That’s a nice watch. Where did you get that watch from?”

“It’s from Swatch,” says I.

“Really? Are you sure? I don’t see the word ‘Swatch’ anywhere leh!”

Swatch is a brand that’s pretty well known for their pop, funky watch designs. In fact, I personally believe they are one of the few watch brands with a clear identity. They’ve established their branding so well that any watches they create are distinctively Swatch.

Such is the beauty of good branding where brands are recognized by the identity they create or the personality they exude.

Unfortunately, it still seems that people still recognize the value of a possession primarily by the presence of a brand name on it, which is pretty sad. The unsung heroes behind a company with a good branding (usually the designers and branding managers) are not given the recognition they deserve.

This may not be representative of the general population but based on my own experience in a predominantly Asian country and surrounded by materialistic people. A Coach bag is not a Coach bag unless it has the Coach logo on it. A Louis Vuitton Bag is not a Louis Vuitton bag unless it’s emblazoned all over with the LV logo. “Don’t buy that bag, it doesn’t have the Coach logo on it. No one will know it’s a Coach bag!”

I’ve encountered the above conversation snippet more often than I can count on both hands and I can’t help but feel indignant for the designers behind the brands involved.

I understand people love to associate themselves with brands as it feels prestigious. I’ve no argument against that. We’re a status-obsessed society anyway.

But surely, there’s a better way to associate oneself with a brand other than having a fixation on the actual presence of the brand name or logo on one’s physical possessions.

At the most simple level, how about an appreciation for the design instead? Does it suit your needs? Is it nice?

What kind of personality does the brand exude? (An executive feel? A youthful, funky feel? A contemporary feel with an emphasis on simplicity?) Does the it reflect you? Some people love to associate themselves with brands that are in-line with their beliefs (i.e. philanthropy or a brand’s viewpoint and action towards issues such as ‘against animal testing’) or whose designs represent who they are.

That’s so much better than being fixated on a mere logo or name.

My name is Brenda. But, must I walk around with my name plastered on my chest for my friends to know it’s me? True proponents of a brand see beyond a name.

Just like how individuals are recognized based on a whole bunch of other characteristics such as behaviour, personality, ability, family background and looks by the people they matter to most.

Not the name on their identity card.


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