HW 5

The definition of branding that makes most sense to me comes from the textbook. A brand makes a promise by portraying the product’s personality, which is reflected on the people who buy it. It’s a shorthand for all the product’s attributes, which can either be good or bad. It’s all the emotions, thoughts, images, history, possibilities and gossip that exist in the marketplace about a certain company. 

Companies that are competing on price means their branding strategy isn’t sufficient, and work needs to be done. If price competition is the only way your company is keeping sales then they have shied away from what brand strategy truly consists of. The company has forgotten about the products position, personality and promise to its customers. In such a situation, customer loyalty will become an issue at an alarming rate. At this point, the company needs to start thinking of ways to differentiate their brand and stay ahead of the competition.

There are all kinds of companies that don’t need to spend a bunch of money on branding. One that specifically pops in my head would be a generic brand. Such a company isn’t going to out-beat their non-generic competitors, so why spend a bunch of money to brand your company. Generic brands know their place in the marketplace, and so do the consumers who buy their products. 

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Strategy

Jack Welch does a sufficient job providing his readers with insight of strategic planning. A quote that caught my eye while reading was that strategy entails”any long term plan which will be the product of the art of conduction a campaign and maneuvering an army.” Throughout the article, Welch keeps bring up the “long-term,” which is an important tactic of strategy. In strategic advertising one needs to ponder their target audience, demographics, price points, and location to name a few. While thinking of those, the long-term should be embedded in the back of the strategist head at all times, and “the challenge is to pierce the fog of uncertainty and develop great foresight into the whereabouts of tomorrow.” No one knows what will unfold tomorrow, so it’s the strategic planners job to use various tools and instinct to accomplish a valid foresight into the future, and ultimately convey a successful advertisement to the consumers.

Extra Credit

The “Occupy” movements have been handled downright wrong and unfairly these past couple months. In Naomi Wolf’s article “The Shocking Truth about the Crackdown on Occupy” she goes in depth about how such innocent protesters who are practicing nothing more than nonviolent resistence are being wrongfully treated. It’s ludacris that reporters with credentials who are simply covering the “Occupy” story were “penned far from the site in which the news was unfolding” (Wolf). Cops said it’s illegal to take pictures on the sidewalk. Innocent women were dragged by their hair and even pepper sprayed in the mouth for taking a stand on their individual freedoms. The true controversy of  whether Congress and the DHS were involved  is discussed in Wolf’s article. She believes such a scenario to be overly true. On the other side of the spectrum, a more right wing thinker, believes Wolf’s assumptions are false.

In Joshua Holland’s article  “Shocking Truth about the ‘Occupy Crackdowns’ Offers Anything but the Truth” he does nothing more than try to prove Wolf’s thoughts to be invalid. For example, Wolf says,

In other words, for the DHS to be on a call with mayors, the logic of              its chain of command and accountability implies that congressional overseers, with the blessing of the White House, told the DHS to authorise mayors to order their police forces – pumped up with millions of dollars of hardware and training from the DHS – to make war on peaceful citizens.

Holland analyzes the quote and describes how police protesters is a local matter and how no mayor in any county requires authorization of any kind to tarnish a protest in their county. It’s difficult for normal citizens to know whether the “Occupy” movement was brought to a Federal level, or if such a protest was carried out by local authorities.

Both articles seem biased, with little to no factual evidence. For example, in Wolf’s article, she says “The picture darkened still further when Wonkette and Washingtonsblog.com reported that the Mayor of Oakland acknowledged that the Department of Homeland Security had participated in an 18-city mayor conference call advising mayors on “how to suppress” Occupy protests.” First of all, Wonkette is a left leaning American online magazine of topical satire and political gossip. It’s extremely liberal, and simply promotes public welfare on a high scale. Washingtonsblog.com is a blog forum in which anyone can post and view various threads. No one knows what’s a true fact and what’s complete and utter bologna. Everyday citizens can read multiple articles and articulate an opinion, but as of now, there’s little well-known facts. Citizens need to wait until actual evidence is produced into society on such a complex matter before claiming various “facts.”

“Occupy”

occupy-uc-davis.jpg

Such a photo is related to the “Occupy” movement at UC Berkeley that we viewed as a class on Monday afternoon. This particular picture captures the police brutality that was thoroughly practiced throughout the nonviolent resistance protest. Thousands upon thousands of viewers have already seen such a picture, and are beyond disgusted with the way such a scenario ultimately played out. With the increased amount of technology out there today, people from all across the globe can view and respond to a protest like this. Many believe the police were in the complete wrong by pepper spraying innocent students who were simply fighting for their right of freedom of speech. The protesters were also complaining about the heavily increased tuition of 82% in the near future. It’s redeeming to think that nonviolent resistance can be so successful. The students didn’t curse or retaliate at the police force one time, yet at the end the police were the ones who left the scene. We’ve seen this throughout history, especially with African American freedoms and how not fighting back can be more successful than retaliating. The use of photos makes the viewers see actual proof of various happenings. Words can only go so far, but with technological innovation comes videos and physical proof for the rest of the world to see. Hopefully pictures like this make regular everyday people want to go out into the world and make a change. It’s amazing how simply the click of a camera button can change people’s stance on a difficult decision.

Blog Post #2

In the documentary “Frontline:Digital Nation,” many questions at issue are presented to the viewers. Is multitasking an efficient way to go about various tasks at hand? When should consumers begin using such a powerful tool called the Internet? Is it moral to have war gaming centers for any aged kid? All these questions will have a diverse group of responses, which makes them all important questions at issue.

With the innovation of technology, multitasking has become a part of our everyday lives. The kids at MIT who were interviewed said they are constantly multitasking, and believe it’s the best way to go about things. The interviewees said they would write a paragraph, then go on Facebook or check their emails. They constantly have multiple tabs up on their computers, which is hurting their performance in school. An experiment performed by a University looked at the biggest multitaskers in the school, and attempted to decipher whether or not this is the best strategy. The results showed that the people who thought they were good multitaskers, actually were not. One can use their brain a lot more efficiently when staying focused on one thing at a time.

A hard question to grasp is whether or not young children should be using the Internet. In the documentary, thousands of kids had to be sent to camps because of their addiction to video games on the computer. Kids were loosing sleep and performing poorly in school because of this scenario. Overseas, children are taught about “netiquette” and how to use the Internet correctly. It’s good for kids to learn how to use technology to gain knowledge, but the problem is that kids are abusing such a tool and using it for sheer entertainment, which leads to addiction and a lot of wasted time.

It’s a disgusting strategy performed by the US Army to set up gaming centers for kids of all ages. Technology makes games like Call of Duty or Battlefield feel so realistic to the player.Obviously, such games are enjoyed by kids and adults, but it gives the false perception of what war is really like. In the documentary, kids were sitting in virtual tanks and using what looked to be real guns to shoot down their opponents. Because such gaming centers are enjoyed, multiple kids who don’t know any better, enlist into the army. The sole reason why the US Army have these gaming centers is to get teenagers to join the army, which is a disturbing trend. No one wants to know what it feels like to shoot someone and with the technology readily available today, kids think that war and gore is fun.

With the amount of technology out there today, one needs to be cautious about their use. Everyone should reap all the benefits of such a powerful tool, but at the same time be an informed consumer by knowing limits.

Blog Post

In such a noisy society today, privacy is hard to come by and many would argue nonexistent. Privacy threats are seen everyday worldwide. When consumers decide to add their bank or credit card information on various websites, identity theft is always a possibility. Even from personal experience, this happens quite frequently. My mother put down her credit card information on eBay and a couple days later realized that over five hundreds dollars was deducted from her account. Such a task at hand is becoming too easy for the people of society.

When consumers are sitting on their computers surfing the web, multiple companies are actually hired to watch the sites one visits and send advertisements to the user based on their browsing history. Because of such a scenario, consumers receive unwanted junk mail in their mailboxes. The whole conversation of HTTP cookies and how consumers are constantly being monitored is a relevant topic as well. When one logs out of Facebook, are they actually “logged off?”

Everyday people get pictures taken of himself or herself perhaps with no intention of anyone else seeing it, but such a situation is nearly impossible during this day in age. It’s too easy of a task for consumers to upload a photo to a social network site, a blog or whatever else. The person taking the picture should have to get permission in writing to share a picture, because once it’s added to a site like Facebook, virtually the rest of the world can see.

Security cameras use to only be seen in high security areas such as a bank or a jail, but now they are entering every public place possible, which invades one’s privacy and freedom. They’re prominent in malls, stadiums and even street corners.  Obviously, surveillance videos help solve crimes and various other negative and positive things, but technology isn’t perfect by an means and one should have the privilege to walk to any desired place without constantly being watched.

Us human beings are being treated, in a way, like the lepers were during the plague in the seventeenth century. Michel Foucault states in “Discipline and Punishment”: “He is seen but he does not see, he is the object of information, never the subject in communication.” Bentham’s Penopticon functioning role was to “induce in the inmate a state of conscience and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power.” Both quotes from Foucault are relevant to society today. Privacy should be viewed as a fundamental human right. As a human being living in the United States, privacy is more than an essential component for a Democracy to work and thrive.

Multitasking

After playing the multitasking game, it was clear that Richard Restak’s insights on such a subject were evident and clear. Every time I performed the various functions associated with the game, a multitude of thoughts ran through my brain. As Rustak states, “Thanks to technology, each of us exist simultaneously in not just one here, but in several” (Rustak 342). Literally every second, I was thinking about how i was supposed to connect the game with Rustak’s thoughts, or what other homework assignments I have due this week, which greatly impaired my playing ability of the game. After such a scenario played out for a few rounds of the game, I decided to look at Rustak’s counter-argument in which he talked briefly about how the brain is able to deal with more than one thing at a time, and the some-what aides in multitasking. For example, I decided to listen to music, which Rustak actually brings up as concrete evidence against his original argument of how multitasking is not the ideal way of going about various things, and how the brain isn’t made to function in such a way. I put on some music while playing the game and my scores increased dramatically. At the end of this exercise, I kept delving into the question that Rustak proposes: “A penalty is almost always paid when two activities are carried out simultaneously rather than separately” (Rustak 344).