Pleasure and Pain: (Facebook is useful for something)

Well, there are cat pictures and GIFS that endlessly loop someone's #fail.

And there are the endless quotes. I hate those quotes. If I wanted a quote, I know where to find them.

So, what do I do? I add to the stream of quotes. But at least I add something original. It may not be in the same league as Oscar Wilde or Winston Churchill's gems - but original nevertheless.

I predicted the demise of Facebook some time ago and my personal account is inactive. But I still maintain a little bit of activity on a few company pages and groups.

My most recent post there was this image.

I put some thought into my quotes. It is difficult to distill a big idea into one or two lines. It takes time to find the images that convey the essence of the idea...

So, what may appear as a few words aspiring to be quote-worthy, is actually a lot of hard work.

In the above example for instance, I communicate a kernel of truth about human behaviour. It is based on the insight that people are more strongly motivated by pain than they are by pleasure. There is a lot of research on this topic and many books written on it.

And you get all of that in one line.

If you care to think about the implications for your business. How do you sell your product or service? Is it about promising heaven or is it about pointing out the hell that ensues if they don't use it? THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE!

The image conveys the idea that pain is painful (a contorted body) and we are a little bit ashamed of our fear of it (faceless person) and yet we strangely still reach out it to it.

We don't have to really understand why people behave this way, just that they do. And then we can choose to use that knowledge wisely - or not.

If you visit and like the GANADOR Facebook Page (or click the image) you will get nuggets of wisdom every now and then once or twice fortnight at best - so we won't clutter your feed - but worth looking out for.

The (not so) secret elements of retail success

Regular readers will remember my recent post on the non-existing silver bullet, addressing society’s blind faith in simplistic solutions. (And in the charlatan purveyors of those misconceptions.)

Regular readers will also know I am constantly exploring the notion of success, and what it takes to be successful.

Those posts above link to the challenges of success and focuses on what it is not. I have been searching for an analogy to explain in a simple way what success IS; AND how complicated it is to achieve success that is true and relevant to all types of retailers.

And I realised the traditional periodic table is a good starting point.

Most of us will have been exposed the periodic table of chemical elements in school. The accompanying image will remind you of what it looked like.

All things known to man is contained on the periodic table. In fact YOU and I are not much more than buckets of chemical soup. The latte you had this morning is just chemicals, the computer screen you are looking at right now is comprised of the elements reflected in that periodic table.

Let’s say you want to make a milkshake, it would be (hypothetically) comprised of elements 1, 2 and 3. The same ingredients can be turned into a thick shake, and of course it can be offered in dozens of sizes and dozens of containers. And with the addition of element 4 (a flavour element) you can now create another dozen varieties of the same thing.

With just a few elements, you can literally create hundreds of variations of the same thing.

Achieving success in your retail business is very similar to the mad scientist mixing together elements to create that new milkshake.

The ingredients are known to all, but we all know that not all milkshakes are created equal. And the same goes for you and your business: There are NO SECRETS.

But this is what you should know:

There are a number of different elements to consider. In fact, on this table you must consider ALL of them.

It is the same for everybody in retail, whether you sell shoes or kebabs. What you have to do is to mix those same elements (that everyone has access to) in such a way that you create a milkshake that everyone wants.

It helps to know how people like their milkshakes, what they are prepared to pay for one and then to deliver that consistently. And that is no secret.

Have fun


Ganador: Trainers to the Stars

Forces affecting shopping centres in growth markets (presentation)

I thought I'd share the presentation I did for Property Council in WA last year (2013).

The ideas was to explore how marketing would be changing in the growth market conditions that characterised WA at the time.

Let me know what you think.

Actually, it is just the opposite of what you think


From the hashtag intro you can guess that the mission to serve & protect our clients from the bullshit that swirls around the world continues.

The presentation below is by Bob Hoffman, debunking the myth surrounding social media marketing.

Marketing is education is marketing


Marketing to customers is the same as educating them

Marketing is LIKE education:

1.      At its heart it is a form of gentle leading.

2.      It’s people-centric: about the recipient, not the ‘sender’.

3.      You remember the great experiences.

4.      It is sustained. (It is a life-long journey)

5.      It is sustainable.

6.      It is sustaining.

7.      Technology is an enabler, not a substitute.

8.      It is rewarding (everybody benefits).

9.      It is authentic.

10.   It is a form of conversation.

11.   The fundamentals never change (and it will survive the buzzwords).

12.   The best system creates a virtuous circle of beneficiaries.

13.   The benefits last forever.

14.   You can share, expose, challenge, inform, teach – but you cannot MAKE anyone love it.

15.   You can’t fake it (the ‘kids’ will catch you out in a blink)

Given these similarities, this raises the question: might it be that Marketing IS Education?

At Ganador we believe it is. When education is at the heart of your marketing philosophy, then you truly have the customers’ interests at heart.

The revealing power of knowledge and truth will reveal the heart of the brand.

If you genuinely believe your brand is the right solution then you will seek and embrace this exposure. Instead of ‘influencing’ the customer to buy, they become driven to buy because they know the product/brand is the best fit for them.

That is the most powerful outcome for any brand AND the most ideal result for the consumer.

Marketing as education requires a mind-set change as well as a new set of tools and strategies. Some activities may appear superficially the same as those previously executed – but just like a philosophy lecture and class-room show and tell may ‘look the same’ and appear in the same setting and involve one-to-many communication exercise, they are in effect very different.

A marketing activity may LOOK like a training workshop, but it is not.

It may look like a consulting gig, but it may be an engagement exercise.

It really just depends on intent – and the philosophy behind the execution; but good marketing is education is marketing.

Marketing’s Addiction


Marketing has traditionally relied on PUSH strategies to achieve its goals to build brands and sell products.

  • Personal selling
  • Advertising
  • Sales promotions
  • Coupons

Previously I have wondered if retailers are not possibly similar to drug pushers.

These methods remain valid of course, but there are now also alternative PULL approaches which promise a lot – but to perfectly frank, typically does not deliver. Marketers are attracted to these newer pull strategies – based on the somewhat idealised notion of ‘conversations’ that brand are having with consumers.

I can understand the attraction of PULL:

  1. It makes logical sense because we all recognise that the balance of power has shifted towards the consumer in the purchase decision-making process.
  2. It promises to be cheaper
  3. It promises to reveal a trove of data that the weak/insecure will be able to rely on to make the decisions for them and cover their arses in the future.


I have wondered about marketing’s addiction to push strategies.

  • Is it fear of change?
  • Is it an addiction to the control they once had which enable them to sway and influence consumer behaviour en masse?
  • Is it purely habit?
  • Or is it because the newer marketing strategies are not yet proven?

I suspect the truth is somewhere in between all of those layers of emotions.

Some commentators think we will never reach the tipping point and ridicule the new age marketers mercilessly.

Right now this commentator has the weight of results on his side, but that does not mean that it won’t eventually change.

But what I know for sure that it will only change (if it does) if marketers can overcome their addiction to being in control.

I will know that marketers are moving away when they abandon the notion of 'brand management - and all its associated terms and practices.


Ganador Blog is about #thinkdifferent. We cover topic of business- and personal development aimed at entrepreneurial marketers. (c)Applies. Posts authored by Dr Dennis Price.

Gary Vaynerchuck - a frank conversation

If you ask me if I would rather have lunch with Queen of England or Dick Smith, I would pick Dic. Hugh Jackman or Gary Vaynerchuck? Gary by a long shot.

Gary is the quintessential entrepreneur: part innovator, part shyster. I love his work...

He may crash and burn one day, but the beauty is that he will never NOT come back for more.

If you are in Marketing and Advertising you will be fascinated


If you cannot see the video, please visit the blog posting on the site and watch it. You may have to save it for the weekend - but is fascinating insight into the old and new of advertising.

It is an HOUR - but well-spent. Stop what you are doing and do this...

Ganador Blog is about #thinkdifferent. We cover topic of business- and personal development aimed at entrepreneurial marketers. (c)Applies. Posts authored by Dr Dennis Price.

The critical thinking SKILL and how it applies to Schapelle Corby and CEOs

#thinkdifferent - -

In the previous post we explored how successful people manage to better balance the tension between two diametrically opposite requirements or outcomes in order to navigate a more successful course.

Learning this skill is possible, and this little bit of brain gymnastics as your first exercise:

Most countries are facing a crisis of drug abuse. Using drugs is a dangerous and addictive activity that almost invariably causes health and social issues. On balance by most reasonable criteria drug abuse is a bad thing for the individual and their community.

What is the first and obvious response to this scenario?

PAUSE – and think about that.


The typical response is to remove the cause of the problem = drugs.


What is the opposite (maybe even counter-intuitive) response to this scenario?

PAUSE – and think about that.


The opposite response is to make access to drugs easier


Which one is right?

And if your answer is neither/both, you will begin to appreciate the ability that successful people have. You will begin to understand that becoming successful is about resolving and balancing the tension between two opposite course of action.

It is estimated that decriminalisation of drugs would save the US economy alone in excess of $40Bn

Despite having the most stringent rules w.r.t. drug trafficking, the countries of the golden triangle (including Indonesia where Schapelle Corby was convicted for drug trafficking) this is what the Asian Sentinel says:

The government, however, is beginning to learn that massive drug seizures and the threat of capital punishment for trafficking are no more effective in Indonesia than anywhere else in the world.  A study in 10 major cities found four million Indonesians had used illegal drugs, and the country's drug trade was valued at nearly US$4 billion a year, with drugs readily available in schools, karaoke lounges, bars, cafes, discotheques, nightclubs and even in remote villages. More than 15,000 deaths every year are attributed to drug abuse.

So if there is evidence that a punitive does not work anyway AND there is evidence that we will save money going with decriminalisation, does it mean that is a better option?

The answer that you will come up with is hopefully that ‘it depends’. You have to compare legalisation with the impact of increased availability and the extent to which increased availability may impact on the community.

As usual you have the hawkish approach to punish it out of existence and the softer approach to decriminalise.

The Indonesian found that Schapelle attempted to smuggle drugs into the country.

AFP Photo: Sonny Tumbelaka

AFP Photo: Sonny Tumbelaka

The benefit to the Indonesian society was that 4kg of marijuana was NOT smoked. (Statistically it did not deter other smugglers, so that cannot be accrued in the benefits column).

The cost to the Indonesian society was a decade of internment of one prisoner, numerous court cases, reputational damage and (seemingly) serious mental health issues for Schapelle that may well last a lifetime.

The right answer is somewhere in between.

It always does – including those big decisions that you battle with in your company.

Companies fall victim to poor leadership – for example - when they adopt this binary approach to strategy. Corporations seem to perpetually oscillate between centralisation and decentralisation; or between diversification and focussing on the core business.

When a Chief Executive gets booted out, the replacement simply follows the diametrically opposite strategy. He or she lasts a few years, only to be succeeded by someone who reverts to the previous approach – usually with a new label, but the same old strategy nevertheless.

But allow me to give you a practical example.

Marketing departments often follow a strategy of spending money on branding campaigns OR on sales activities. What is more important? What is their job? Is about brand (long-term) or is it about sales (short-term)?

By now you will know the answer: it is about BOTH. You have to deliver sales campaigns that build and strengthen the brand. It is about AND not OR. That is the fundamental tension to resolve for marketers and it is not hard once you practice thinking inclusively as opposed exclusively.

SA vs AUS: Which ad is better? (Both are better than any superbowl ad.)

#thinkdifferent --

A marketer, I have a geeky interest in advertising.

Being an ex-South African, I cannot help compare the advertisements in quality and style.

Being an outsider, I cannot judge the efficacy if either, so this is a matter of pure speculation.

I really liked the Australian-made Doritos ad because I think it captured the essence of the product in a cultureally meaningful way.

This advertisement for Bell's whiskey does the same - different product,m different culture but does it with great style.

On the whole (even allowing for some historical, cultural bias) I think South African advertising is better. Good ads, like the Doritos one above, are too rare. South Africans ads of similar quality are more common, IMHO. 

To prove the point, explore the YouTube Channel for BMW South Africa. It is a brand that we all know and can relate to to see what I mean - and if you agree.

Turning problems into opportunity - a case study


The luxury goods market has to deal with the pervasive issue of fakes and knock-offs. Here is an example of a guy that turned that problem into an opportunity. I won't give it all away - watch the video.

And afterwards, tell me you don't want one of what he makes...:)

The questions we have ask ourselves is of course how it applies to us and which problem(s) we can turn into opportunities.

The dark side of social media


If we at Ganador are nothing else, we are early adopters. (e.g. first 1% of Twitter users.) I like technology. I am a big fan of the transformative powers of the internet – and I don’t think we have scratched the surface of it.

One of the internet products that has exploded as we all know, is social media. Whilst there is nothing wrong with social media in principle, it has enabled and magnified some human behaviours which really did not need to be so enhanced. Much like handguns and rifles are not responsible for schoolyard massacres, the fact that is freely available enables and empowers people who really shouldn’t be so empowered.

Some of those behaviours originate from the dark side of social media I can really, really do without them.


Unnaturally Nice

Twitter is awash with perfect strangers being so excessively polite it can only be described as preternatural. I don’t advocate rudeness, but where ‘liking’ and ‘following’ and ‘endorsement’ is the measure of success, there is a natural disincentive to disagree. Not re-tweeting something is the passive-aggressive (de facto) response to every tweet. If you were honest, how often do you find yourself disagreeing vigorously with someone, but not voicing that difference of opinion? Even if you convince yourself that you don’t have the time to argue with everyone, the real reason you don’t is because you are afraid of the consequences.

The social media playbook instructs authenticity; warts-and-all, but you try to find someone with their warts on display.

Ingrates and Self-servants

I observe how people pick opinion leaders and influencers to follow and then go about bombarding them with obsequious RTs, little LOLs and other notes of encouragement. I suspect there is a thesis in there somewhere for someone to identify the new terms of endearment for the social world.

I use social media to expose some of my work to ‘the world’. I do that by posting something or expressing an opinion. It is pretty blatant – you can recognise it for what it is. I am definitely doing it wrong because, truth be told, social media itself provides hardly any traffic to my website. There is something honourable about an advertisement though; it does not pretend to be anything but an advertisement.

The behaviours that I see are (despite claims of authenticity) really just a bunch of people pretending to be nice and ingratiating themselves with some perceived circle of influence in order to achieve that same self-promotional goal without admitting to it. I prefer someone to be self-serving and honest about it than someone who pretends it does not matter, when it is all that really matters.

At one stage I thought about blocking everyone who RTs a tweet that mentions them – especially if it said something nice – but realised quickly that I then would soon have no one left. How is this practice any different

All about show

‘Slacktivism’ is symptomatic of the culture perpetuated by social media. It is important to be seen to do ‘good’. It is easy and no harm can come from endlessly re-tweeting causes. And it is true that no harm is done to the cause, but it is an indictment to your own shallow self if that is all you do when doing ‘good’ is no longer a means to an end but the end itself.

One of the greatest attributes of the Australian culture (for me) is the strong culture of volunteering. It is powerful and pervasive and a genuine. And it is very unlike my home country. Whilst Census Data reports an increase in volunteer numbers, the reality is the many organisations dependent on volunteering are reporting declining numbers. And non-English speaking households (i.e. immigrants are amongst the lowest in participation rates in volunteering activities, coupled with population growth being driven largely by immigration), it only stands to reason that there is a decline in the ACT of volunteering.

This is in no small part hastened by simple RTs of a good cause which has become a handy substitute for action yet effectively assuages some guilty feelings.

Inanity, Sweetness and Boredom

I abandoned Facebook (with almost no personal use in the 8 months.)  The sheer mindlessness of it all overwhelmed me. Inane quotes, repetitive memes (usually discovered a week late by ‘friends’ who have never heard of Mashable or Upworthy) and meaningless family updates crushed all social graces that I had and I had to get out.

The life people represent on Facebook is not the life they live. It is a distorted highlights reel of everyday life. And really, eventually, no matter how much I like you, I do not want to see another picture of a grandchild, watch another sunset or see another bit of food porn on your plate. I don’t think it is just my friends, but most people are just so freaking uninteresting, so compliant and so eager to please that it is like dining on meringue for three meals a day. There is only so much you sweetness I can take.

But the issue is not boring friends – it is the unrealistic portrait that it paints; as if life is one long holiday. Your life by comparison is boring and it is now proven that this unrealistic expectation excessive Facebook usage actually causes depression. I don’t subscribe to the simple causal link between FB and depression as a theory, but I just find it depressing in the same sense as ‘not uplifting’. Anything that wants you not to think and just passively consume will do that for you.

Everyone is a publisher without an editor

(Yes, irony noted)

Social media platforms don’t have filters. There is no way of stopping people from being stupid, saying stupid things and doing stupid things. I don’t define stupid as the things that I disagree with either, I mean really stupid as in illogical and irrational. (And the sad thing is some smart people can do this too.) Especially people who have found a new religion in ‘scientism’ and share stories they only half understand judging by populist but flawed arguments in comments and updates.

And you know what else I hate about this era of everyone’s a publisher? They can’t spell.


Last – and probably most – is the wave of self-righteous that rule the waves. On social media everyone seems to be a follower. Judging by the millions of post providing the seven steps to success in [fill in the blank] the online world is desperate for guidance. The internet will tell you how to do anything. And there is a right way for everything. And it is their way.

The time-honoured traditions of freedom of speech have largely been destroyed. Only one valid worldview remains: Pro Gay Rights, Pro Abortion, Atheism, Anti War, Pro Climate Change et al have amalgamated into worldview that tolerates no dissent and accepts no nuances. Its adherents are more dogmatic about the ‘rightness’ of their position than an ambitious 13th century novitiate.

The recent saga of Justine Sacco illustrates the point. One unfunny tweet cost her career. Holly Rosen Fink Culture Mom wrote a nice balanced piece on that.

Sadly, the only counterbalance to this insanity is trolls. Trolls are vilified almost universally. I think they may actually save us from disappearing up our own bottoms. I hope they stick around and hold people accountable to the reality that allows and includes a difference of opinion. Trolls may not always be classy and they are certainly not always right, but very often they are simply holding up a mirror to pretentious and self-righteous they find unflattering.

In sum

As much as this is a rant about the dark side of social media, I am not suggesting we all abandon every social media platform. For better or worse SM is here to stay, and I would like to make it better.

  • I want to raise awareness about the unintended consequences of favouring ‘being liked’ over ‘being right’.
  • I want to cast a light on the pervasive inauthenticity that flourishes when we favour conformity.
  • I want to warn against the intellectual stifling that will happen when we favour compliance over originality.

If you think that none of the above applies to you because you are paragon of tolerance who are impervious to the social pressure to conform, conduct this little test:

Take your last tweet. Imagine someone RTs it, by adding this epithet to it: ‘This is so freakin’ stupid’. How would you react? Or, alternatively, are you brave enough to do that someone?

I am guessing here, but the vast majority of people would struggle with either of those outcomes, so we may not be as immune as we think we are FONBL – fear of not being liked.

That fear, like many if not most fears, can put a brake on more extreme behaviours which is necessary, but like any brake, if applied firmly, the vehicle does not go anywhere. The price we pay is lack of innovation and change, less experimentation and much less honesty.

Is it worth it?

The thing that everybody does


This is the secret recipe for creating regional centres that should dominate their trade area:

  1. Add a town square
  2. Create a community hub
  3. Consolidate mainstream fashion
  4. Introduce international fast fashion (at any price)
  5. Strengthen youth fashion
  6. Create an authentic fresh food market
  7. Add a supermarket
  8. Extend the cinemas
  9. Expand fast food (multi-cultural)
  10. Create casual dining destination (near the cinemas)
  11. Improve parking
  12. Improve signage
  13. Enhance the ambience
  14. And get me JB HiFi on the line now…

This post is not about shopping centres or landlords nor is it about lack of innovation. I use shopping malls merely to make a point, and because most retailers can relate to this scenario.

When shopping centres fall victim to the ‘sameness’ syndrome it is because they follow what everyone else is doing.  When retailers start ‘doing what everyone else is doing’ they also become the same as everyone else. You are what you do: nothing can be more logical than that.

When ‘THE THING EVERYBODY DOES’ becomes the default strategy, bland SIMILARITY is the result.

For a long time geographic differentiation was the saviour of mediocre retail. That is, you were the only XYZ shop in that centre or the only corner shop in that particular suburb and if anyone wanted what you had, they had to get it from you.

The mobile phone changed that because the consumer has every conceivable option in their pocket. Geography is now rarely a competitive advantage.

Since you have lost that advantage, you must redefine and execute a new point of DIFFERENCE – not because the strategy text books demand so, but because THAT is the reason why customers visit you.

The things everybody does’ as strategy will result in mediocrity at best and failure at worst. You must find your own way.

The good news is that there are dozens of ways in which you can differentiate yourself meaningfully and successfully.

(This 2min video powerfully illustrates the power of conformity and group think which is a different but related topic.)

Go make 2014 a winning year…


GANADOR (Google the meaning :-))

Win-win results in business-to-business relationships between retailers and all suppliers/partners.


What is more important than making money this Christmas period?

Most retailers are traditionally busier over Christmas.

Most will rub their hands together.

Most will constantly check their takings and compare it with last year.

If it is worse, they will whinge. If it is better they will rub their hands in glee.

In both instances they will have missed the boat.

Christmas, including the post-Christmas period of returning unwanted gifts) is a great opportunity to:

1.      Showcase your fantastic, beyond anything previously experienced customer service

2.      Learn more about what sells and what doesn’t and related customer insights

3.      To leverage the higher traffic into a bigger database

And these three things are tomorrow’s money, which is just as important - if not more -  as today’s money.

The holy grail of advertising


Instead of reading the proverbial 1000 words, spend the same amount of time thinking about this picture.


HolyGrail of Advertising.PNG

From this thinking, I hope you will conclude the following.

  • There is a natural line of progression for the evolution of advertising.
  • This natural progression has one benefit (engagement) but the price is very high (deception).
  • This natural progression is actually taking us further away from the real Holy Grail.

My philosophy about advertising has always been that the harder you have to advertise, the more problems you have with your product and your brand.

Advertising is nothing more than the commercial entity attempting to control the natural message.  It is a bit like fuel injection in a car. It is true that it makes the car faster and more economical, but the advantage lasts only until the competition catches up.

The stock response by my esteemed marketing colleagues has been to develop ever more deceptive ways of advertising. Consumers recognise that and advertisements are actually actively resisted because it is recognised as (a) an unwanted attempt to influence and (b) a low risk way for consumers to reduce the noise we are exposed to.

As we speak, content marketing is the buzzword du jour.

I honestly believe it is killing the internet. Or at the very least it is doing to the internet what spam did to email – and consumers will find ever-increasing sophisticated ways to ‘put up the firewalls’ to deal with the deluge of ‘content’.

It is clear to me that content marketing is not the answer because no matter how you disguise it, the intention of the content marketer is always to extract a sale, no matter how unobtrusively they believe it is and how much they believe they are simply providing content for content’s sake. ULTIMATELY there is a catch and there is a call to action – even if it is simply a reminder to the consumer (of content) to contact you if there are any enquiries.

There is an answer.

That answer is ironically not to have NO advertising but to make everything an advertisement. This is the foundation of–iCommerce (Immersive Commerce).

Yes I coined a term for it, although it has been used before in slightly different contexts. The key point to note here is that the [i] refers to a verb (an action word) relating to the consumer. Unlike terms like fCommerce or sCommerce or mCommerce, the first letter does not reference a platform or anything that the advertiser does.

And this shift in perspective is indicative of the fundamentally different philosophy that underpins iCommerce. In fact I would argue that it is a case of marketing returning to its real roots of giving the customer what they want.

Traditionally advertising has always been about capturing the eyeballs as they pass through. The challenge has been to make it more effective and a science has developed around the creation of ad – from colour theory to placement; simply to do everything possible to capture the eyeball that is not really there for the advertisement but for something else.

With iCommerce the philosophy is that if you have to create a funnel you have failed.

I know I am not being completely clear about what iCommerce exactly is – but that is because I am hoping to work with a client on developing this up as a viable and, if I say so myself, a game-changing way of doing business in this brave new world.


If you can you do what he did, you are more likely to succeed

Can you imagine moving to Japan?

Can you imagine walking down the main street, and seeing a little vacant shop.

There are posters in the window which you presume is advertising the shop for lease. The phone number is represented in digits you recognise.

You don’t speak much Japanese. You are limited to:  ‘Konichiwa. Watashi no namae wa Dennis desu.‘

But you have a friend who is a bit better and you get them to enquire about the vacant shop.

You end up not being to sure about the deal, but it is hard to compare since you know so few people and in the end you decide to give it a go.

Here are my questions for you:

  • What will you sell?
  • How will you sell it?
  • How will you present it?
  • How will you promote it?

Here is an example of someone who did it in reverse.

(Sorry Melbourne Central (@melbcentral) , hope you don’t mind me taking a photograph in your centre.)

Have a look at some pics on Urban Spoon.

More importantly download their menu and have a look at the products, prices etc.

I am willing to bet a lot of money that back in Japan you won’t find ‘Hot Nutella Custard’ as a menu option.

But what you have here is a classic example of an entrepreneur who figures out that it is NOT about them and it is not about their tastes or preferences. The store is in Australia. They figured out that Nutella is a much loved product in Australia. (The product originated in Italy, and as far as I can tell, it is unlikely to be popular in Asia and does not seem to be available.)

This is the first lesson of all marketing, including retailing: Figure out what the customer wants and give it to them.

Chinese Trader.jpg



Ganador Blog is about #thinkdifferent. We cover topic of business- and personal development aimed at entrepreneurial marketers. (c)Applies. Posts authored by Dr Dennis Price.

170 ways in which you screw yourself regularly, and one way to fix it

As human beings we suffer from the need to rely on decision-making heuristics (shortcuts) to function in this world. You cannot avoid it, and it is not a matter of how smart or experienced you are.

These heuristics are often classified into three different categories: social-, memory error- and decision making biases. (See the list below – beautifully summarised from Wikipedia, where you can no doubt find out more if you are interested in any individual one. In a few days I will post a blog focused #108 – The Lake Wobegon Effect.)


  • Each of these effects are potentially useful strategies for your marketing.  Think about each - don't merely scan it and forget it.

  • Recently there was a new website launched with the ideal of helping people think more clearly. They offer free online training in thinking skills. Go for it – just one of the services we offer here is to point people in the right direction.

Decision-making, belief, and behavioural biases

1.      Ambiguity effect – the tendency to avoid options for which missing information makes the probability seem "unknown."

2.      Anchoring or focalism – the tendency to rely too heavily, or "anchor," on one trait or piece of information when making decisions.

3.      Attentional bias – the tendency to pay attention to emotionally dominant stimuli in one's environment and to neglect relevant data when making judgments of a correlation or association.

4.      Availability heuristic – the tendency to overestimate the likelihood of events with greater "availability" in memory, which can be influenced by how recent the memories are or how unusual or emotionally charged they may be.

5.      Availability cascade – a self-reinforcing process in which a collective belief gains more and more plausibility through its increasing repetition in public discourse (or "repeat something long enough and it will become true")

6.      Backfire effect – when people react to disconfirming evidence by strengthening their beliefs.

7.      Bandwagon effect – the tendency to do (or believe) things because many other people do (or believe) the same. Related to groupthink and herd behavior.

8.      Base rate fallacy or base rate neglect – the tendency to base judgments on specifics, ignoring general statistical information.

9.      Belief bias – an effect where someone's evaluation of the logical strength of an argument is biased by the believability of the conclusion.

10.   Bias blind spot – the tendency to see one self as less biased than other people, or to be able to identify more cognitive biases in others than in one self.

11.   Choice-supportive bias – the tendency to remember one's choices as better than they actually were.

12.   Clustering illusion – the tendency to over-expect small runs, streaks, or clusters in large samples of random data (that is, seeing phantom patterns).

13.   Confirmation bias – the tendency to search for or interpret information or memories in a way that confirms one's preconceptions.

14.   Congruence bias – the tendency to test hypotheses exclusively through direct testing, instead of testing possible alternative hypotheses.

15.   Conjunction fallacy – the tendency to assume that specific conditions are more probable than general ones.

16.   Conservatism or regressive bias – the tendency to underestimate high values and high likelihoods while overestimating low ones.

17.   Conservatism (Bayesian) – the tendency to insufficiently revise one's belief when presented with new evidence.

18.   Contrast effect – the enhancement or reduction of a certain perception's weight when compared with a recently observed, contrasting object.

19.   Curse of knowledge – when knowledge of a topic diminishes one's ability to think about it from a less-informed (but more neutral) perspective.

20.   Decoy effect – preferences change when there is a third option that is asymmetrically dominated

21.   Denomination effect – the tendency to spend more money when it is denominated in small amounts (e.g. coins) rather than large amounts (e.g. bills).

22.   Distinction bias – the tendency to view two options as more dissimilar when evaluating them simultaneously than when evaluating them separately.

23.   Duration neglect – the neglect of the duration of an episode in determining its value

24.   Empathy gap – the tendency to underestimate the influence or strength of feelings, in either oneself or others.

25.   Endowment effect – the fact that people often demand much more to give up an object than they would be willing to pay to acquire it.

26.   Essentialism – categorizing people and things according to their essential nature, in spite of variations.

27.   Exaggerated expectation – based on the estimates, real-world evidence turns out to be less extreme than our expectations (conditionally inverse of the conservatism bias).

28.   Experimenter's or expectation bias – the tendency for experimenters to believe, certify, and publish data that agree with their expectations for the outcome of an experiment, and to disbelieve, discard, or downgrade the corresponding weightings for data that appear to conflict with those expectations.

29.   False-consensus effect – the tendency of a person to overestimate how much other people agree with him or her.

30.   Functional fixedness – limits a person to using an object only in the way it is traditionally used

31.   Focusing effect – the tendency to place too much importance on one aspect of an event; causes error in accurately predicting the utility of a future outcome.

32. Barnum Effect (See #101)

33.   Frequency illusion – the illusion in which a word, a name or other thing that has recently come to one's attention suddenly seems to appear with improbable frequency shortly afterwards. (see also recency illusion).

34.   Gambler's fallacy – the tendency to think that future probabilities are altered by past events, when in reality they are unchanged. Results from an erroneous conceptualization of the law of large numbers. For example, "I've flipped heads with this coin five times consecutively, so the chance of tails coming out on the sixth flip is much greater than heads."

35.   Hard-easy effect – Based on a specific level of task difficulty, the confidence in judgments is too conservative and not extreme enough

36.   Hindsight bias – sometimes called the "I-knew-it-all-along" effect, the tendency to see past events as being predictable at the time those events happened.

37.   Hostile media effect – the tendency to see a media report as being biased, owing to one's own strong partisan views.

38.   Hot-hand fallacy – The "hot-hand fallacy" (also known as the "hot hand phenomenon" or "hot hand") is the fallacious belief that a person who has experienced success has a greater chance of further success in additional attempts

39.   Hyperbolic discounting – the tendency for people to have a stronger preference for more immediate payoffs relative to later payoffs, where the tendency increases the closer to the present both payoffs are.

40.   Identifiable victim effect - the tendency to respond more strongly to a single identified person at risk than to a large group of people at risk.

41.   Illusion of control – the tendency to overestimate one's degree of influence over other external events.

42.   Illusion of validity – when consistent but predictively weak data leads to confident predictions

43.   Illusory correlation – inaccurately perceiving a relationship between two unrelated events.

44.   Impact bias – the tendency to overestimate the length or the intensity of the impact of future feeling states.

45.   Information bias – the tendency to seek information even when it cannot affect action.

46.   Insensitivity to sample size – the tendency to under-expect variation in small samples

47.   Irrational escalation – the phenomenon where people justify increased investment in a decision, based on the cumulative prior investment, despite new evidence suggesting that the decision was probably wrong.

48.   Just-world hypothesis – the tendency for people to want to believe that the world is fundamentally just, causing them to rationalize an otherwise inexplicable injustice as deserved by the victim(s).

49.   Less-is-better effect – a preference reversal where a dominated smaller set is preferred to a larger set

50.   Loss aversion – "the disutility of giving up an object is greater than the utility associated with acquiring it".

51.   Ludic fallacy – the misuse of games to model real-life situations.

52.   Mere exposure effect – the tendency to express undue liking for things merely because of familiarity with them.

53.   Mirror-imaging – the analysts' assumption that the people being studied think like the analysts themselves.

54.   Money illusion – the tendency to concentrate on the nominal (face value) of money rather than its value in terms of purchasing power.

55.   Moral credential effect – the tendency of a track record of non-prejudice to increase subsequent prejudice.

56.   Negativity bias – the tendency to pay more attention and give more weight to negative than positive experiences or other kinds of information.

57.   Neglect of probability – the tendency to completely disregard probability when making a decision under uncertainty.

58.   Normalcy bias – the refusal to plan for, or react to, a disaster which has never happened before.

59.   Observation selection bias – the effect of suddenly noticing things that were not noticed previously – and as a result wrongly assuming that the frequency has increased.

60.   Observer-expectancy effect – when a researcher expects a given result and therefore unconsciously manipulates an experiment or misinterprets data in order to find it (see also subject-expectancy effect).

61.   Omission bias – the tendency to judge harmful actions as worse, or less moral, than equally harmful omissions (inactions).

62.   Optimism bias – the tendency to be over-optimistic, overestimating favorable and pleasing outcomes (see also wishful thinking, valence effect, positive outcome bias).

63.   Ostrich effect – ignoring an obvious (negative) situation.

64.   Outcome bias – the tendency to judge a decision by its eventual outcome instead of based on the quality of the decision at the time it was made.

65.   Overconfidence effect – excessive confidence in one's own answers to questions. For example, for certain types of questions, answers that people rate as "99% certain" turn out to be wrong 40% of the time.

66.   Pareidolia – a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) is perceived as significant, e.g., seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon, and hearing non-existent hidden messages on records played in reverse.

67.   Pessimism bias – the tendency for some people, especially those suffering from depression, to overestimate the likelihood of negative things happening to them.

68.   Planning fallacy – the tendency to underestimate task-completion times.

69.   Post-purchase rationalization – the tendency to persuade oneself through rational argument that a purchase was a good value.

70.   Pro-innovation bias – the tendency to reflect a personal bias towards an invention/innovation, while often failing to identify limitations and weaknesses or address the possibility of failure.

71.   Pseudocertainty effect – the tendency to make risk-averse choices if the expected outcome is positive, but make risk-seeking choices to avoid negative outcomes.

72.   Reactance – the urge to do the opposite of what someone wants you to do out of a need to resist a perceived attempt to constrain your freedom of choice (see also Reverse psychology).

73.  Reactive devaluation  devaluing proposals that are no longer hypothetical or purportedly originated with an adversary.

74.   Recency bias – a cognitive bias that results from disproportionate salience attributed to recent stimuli or observations – the tendency to weigh recent events more than earlier events (see also peak-end rule, recency effect).

75.   Recency illusion – the illusion that a phenomenon, typically a word or language usage, that one has just begun to notice is a recent innovation (see also frequency illusion).

76.   Restraint bias – the tendency to overestimate one's ability to show restraint in the face of temptation.

77.   Rhyme as reason effect – rhyming statements are perceived as more truthful. A famous example being used in the O.J Simpson trial with the defense's use of the phrase "If the gloves don't fit, then you must acquit."

78.   Risk compensation / Peltzman effect – the tendency to take greater risks when perceived safety increases.

79.   Selective perception – the tendency for expectations to affect perception.

80.   Semmelweis reflex – the tendency to reject new evidence that contradicts a paradigm.

81.   Selection bias – the distortion of a statistical analysis, resulting from the method of collecting samples. If the selection bias is not taken into account then certain conclusions drawn may be wrong.

82.   Social comparison bias – the tendency, when making hiring decisions, to favour potential candidates who don't compete with one's own particular strengths.

83.   Social desirability bias – the tendency to over-report socially desirable characteristics or behaviours and under-report socially undesirable characteristics or behaviours.

84.   Status quo bias – the tendency to like things to stay relatively the same (see also loss aversion, endowment effect, and system justification).

85.   Stereotyping – expecting a member of a group to have certain characteristics without having actual information about that individual.

86.   Subadditivity effect – the tendency to estimate that the likelihood of an event is less than the sum of its (more than two) mutually exclusive components.

87.   Subjective validation – perception that something is true if a subject's belief demands it to be true. Also assigns perceived connections between coincidences.

88.   Survivorship bias – concentrating on the people or things that "survived" some process and inadvertently overlooking those that didn't because of their lack of visibility.

89.   Texas sharpshooter fallacy – pieces of information that have no relationship to one another are called out for their similarities, and that similarity is used for claiming the existence of a pattern.

90.   Time-saving bias – underestimations of the time that could be saved (or lost) when increasing (or decreasing) from a relatively low speed and overestimations of the time that could be saved (or lost) when increasing (or decreasing) from a relatively high speed.

91.   Unit bias – the tendency to want to finish a given unit of a task or an item. Strong effects on the consumption of food in particular.

92.   Well travelled road effect – underestimation of the duration taken to traverse oft-traveled routes and overestimation of the duration taken to traverse less familiar routes.

93.   Zero-risk bias – preference for reducing a small risk to zero over a greater reduction in a larger risk.

94.   Zero-sum heuristic – intuitively judging a situation to be zero-sum (i.e., that gains and losses are correlated). Derives from the zero-sum game in game theory, where wins and losses sum to zero. The frequency with which this bias occurs may be related to the social dominance orientation personality factor.

Social biases

Most of these biases are labelled as attributional biases.

95.   Actor-observer bias – the tendency for explanations of other individuals' behaviours to overemphasize the influence of their personality and underemphasize the influence of their situation (see also Fundamental attribution error), and for explanations of one's own behaviours to do the opposite (that is, to overemphasize the influence of our situation and underemphasize the influence of our own personality).

96.   Defensive attribution hypothesis – defensive attributions are made when individuals witness or learn of a mishap happening to another person. In these situations, attributions of responsibility to the victim or harm-doer for the mishap will depend upon the severity of the outcomes of the mishap and the level of personal and situational similarity between the individual and victim. More responsibility will be attributed to the harm-doer as the outcome becomes more severe, and as personal or situational similarity decreases.

97.   Dunning–Kruger effect an effect in which incompetent people fail to realise they are incompetent because they lack the skill to distinguish between competence and incompetence.

98.   Egocentric bias – occurs when people claim more responsibility for themselves for the results of a joint action than an outside observer would credit them.

99.   Extrinsic incentives bias – an exception to the fundamental attribution error, when people view others as having (situational) extrinsic motivations and (dispositional) intrinsic motivations for oneself

100.                    False consensus effect – the tendency for people to overestimate the degree to which others agree with them.

101.                    Forer effect (aka Barnum effect) – the tendency to give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that supposedly are tailored specifically for them, but are in fact vague and general enough to apply to a wide range of people. For example, horoscopes.

102.                    Fundamental attribution error – the tendency for people to over-emphasize personality-based explanations for behaviours observed in others while under-emphasizing the role and power of situational influences on the same behaviour (see also actor-observer bias, group attribution error, positivity effect, and negativity effect).

103.                    Group attribution error – the tendency to assume that group decision outcomes reflect the preferences of group members, even when information is available that clearly suggests otherwise.

104.                    Halo effect – the tendency for a person's positive or negative traits to "spill over" from one personality area to another in others' perceptions of them (see also physical attractiveness stereotype).

105.                    Illusion of asymmetric insight – people perceive their knowledge of their peers to surpass their peers' knowledge of them.

106.                    Illusion of external agency – when people view self-generated preferences as instead being caused by insightful, effective and benevolent agents

107.                    Illusion of transparency – people overestimate others' ability to know them, and they also overestimate their ability to know others.

108.                    Illusory superiority – overestimating one's desirable qualities, and underestimating undesirable qualities, relative to other people. (Also known as "Lake Wobegon effect," "better-than-average effect," or "superiority bias").

109.                    Ingroup bias – the tendency for people to give preferential treatment to others they perceive to be members of their own groups.

110.                    Just-world phenomenon – the tendency for people to believe that the world is just and therefore people "get what they deserve."

111.                    Moral luck – the tendency for people to ascribe greater or lesser moral standing based on the outcome of an event rather than the intention

112.                    Naive cynicism – expecting more egocentric bias in others than in oneself

113.                    Outgroup homogeneity bias – individuals see members of their own group as being relatively more varied than members of other groups.

114.                    Projection bias – the tendency to unconsciously assume that others (or one's future selves) share one's current emotional states, thoughts and values.

115.                    Self-serving bias – the tendency to claim more responsibility for successes than failures. It may also manifest itself as a tendency for people to evaluate ambiguous information in a way beneficial to their interests (see also group-serving bias).

116.                    Spiral of silence – the process by which one opinion becomes dominant as those who perceive their opinion to be in the minority do not speak up because society threatens individuals with fear of isolation. The assessment of one's social environment may not always be correct with reality.

117.                    System justification – the tendency to defend and bolster the status quo. Existing social, economic, and political arrangements tend to be preferred, and alternatives disparaged sometimes even at the expense of individual and collective self-interest. (See also status quo bias.)

118.                     Trait ascription bias – the tendency for people to view themselves as relatively variable in terms of personality, behavior, and mood while viewing others as much more predictable.

119.                    Ultimate attribution error – similar to the fundamental attribution error, in this error a person is likely to make an internal attribution to an entire group instead of the individuals within the group.

120.                    Worse-than-average effect – a tendency to believe ourselves to be worse than others at tasks which are difficult

Memory errors and biases

121.                    Bizarreness effect – bizarre, or uncommon material, is better remembered than common material

122.                    Choice-supportive bias – remembering chosen options as having been better than rejected options

123.                    Change bias – after an investment of effort in producing change, remembering one's past performance as more difficult than it actually was

124.                    Childhood amnesia – the retention of few memories from before the age of four

125.                    Conservatism or Regressive Bias – tendency to remember high values and high likelihoods/probabilities/frequencies lower than they actually were and low ones higher than they actually were. Based on the evidence, memories are not extreme enough

126.                    Consistency bias – incorrectly remembering one's past attitudes and behaviour as resembling present attitudes and behaviour.

127.                    Context effect – that cognition and memory are dependent on context, such that out-of-context memories are more difficult to retrieve than in-context memories (e.g., recall time and accuracy for a work-related memory will be lower at home, and vice versa)

128.                    Cross-race effect – the tendency for people of one race to have difficulty identifying members of a race other than their own

129.                    Cryptomnesia – a form of misattribution where a memory is mistaken for imagination, because there is no subjective experience of it being a memory.

130.                    Egocentric bias – recalling the past in a self-serving manner, e.g., remembering one's exam grades as being better than they were, or remembering a caught fish as bigger than it really was

131.                    Fading affect bias – a bias in which the emotion associated with unpleasant memories fades more quickly than the emotion associated with positive events.

132.                    False memory – a form of misattribution where imagination is mistaken for a memory.

133.                    Generation effect (Self-generation effect) – that self-generated information is remembered best. For instance, people are better able to recall memories of statements that they have generated than similar statements generated by others.

134.                    Google effect – the tendency to forget information that can be easily found online.

135.                    Hindsight bias – the inclination to see past events as being predictable; also called the "I-knew-it-all-along" effect.

136.                    Humour effect – that humorous items are more easily remembered than non-humorous ones, which might be explained by the distinctiveness of humour, the increased cognitive processing time to understand the humour, or the emotional arousal caused by the humour.

137.                    Illusion-of-truth effect – that people are more likely to identify as true statements those they have previously heard (even if they cannot consciously remember having heard them), regardless of the actual validity of the statement. In other words, a person is more likely to believe a familiar statement than an unfamiliar one.

138.                    Illusory correlation – inaccurately remembering a relationship between two events.

139.                    Levelling and Sharpening – memory distortions introduced by the loss of details in a recollection over time, often concurrent with sharpening or selective recollection of certain details that take on exaggerated significance in relation to the details or aspects of the experience lost through leveling. Both biases may be reinforced over time, and by repeated recollection or re-telling of a memory.[84]

140.                    Levels-of-processing effect – that different methods of encoding information into memory have different levels of effectiveness

141.                    List-length effect – a smaller percentage of items are remembered in a longer list, but as the length of the list increases, the absolute number of items remembered increases as well.

142.                    Misinformation effect – that misinformation affects people's reports of their own memory.

143.                    Misattribution – when information is retained in memory but the source of the memory is forgotten. One of Schacter's (1999) Seven Sins of Memory, Misattribution was divided into Source Confusion, Cryptomnesia and False Recall/False Recognition.

144.                    Modality effect – that memory recall is higher for the last items of a list when the list items were received via speech than when they were received via writing.

145.                    Mood-congruent memory bias – the improved recall of information congruent with one's current mood.

146.                    Next-in-line effect – that a person in a group has diminished recall for the words of others who spoke immediately before or after this person.

147.                    Osborn effect – that being intoxicated with a mind-altering substance makes it harder to retrieve motor patterns from the Basal Ganglion.

148.                    Part-list cueing effect – that being shown some items from a list makes it harder to retrieve the other items

149.                    Peak-end rule – that people seem to perceive not the sum of an experience but the average of how it was at its peak (e.g. pleasant or unpleasant) and how it ended.

150.                    Persistence – the unwanted recurrence of memories of a traumatic event.

151.                    Picture superiority effect – that concepts are much more likely to be remembered experientially if they are presented in picture form than if they are presented in word form.

152.                    Placement bias – tendency of people to remember themselves as better than others at tasks at which they rate themselves above average (also Illusory superiority or Better-than-average effect) and tendency to remember themselves as worse than others at tasks at which they rate themselves below average (also Worse-than-average effect

153.                    Positivity effect – that older adults favor positive over negative information in their memories.

154.                    Primacy effect, Recency effect & Serial position effect – that items near the end of a list are the easiest to recall, followed by the items at the beginning of a list; items in the middle are the least likely to be remembered.

155.                    Processing difficulty effect

156.                    Reminiscence bump – the recalling of more personal events from adolescence and early adulthood than personal events from other lifetime periods

157.                    Rosy retrospection – the remembering of the past as having been better than it really was.

158.                    Self-relevance effect – that memories relating to the self are better recalled than similar information relating to others.

159.                    Self-serving bias – perceiving oneself responsible for desirable outcomes but not responsible for undesirable ones.

160.                    Source Confusion – misattributing the source of a memory, e.g. misremembering that one saw an event personally when actually it was seen on television.

161.                    Spacing effect – that information is better recalled if exposure to it is repeated over a longer span of time.

162.                    Stereotypical bias – memory distorted towards stereotypes (e.g. racial or gender), e.g. "black-sounding" names being misremembered as names of criminals.

163.                    Suffix effect – the weakening of the recency effect in the case that an item is appended to the list that the subject is not required to recall

164.                    Suggestibility – a form of misattribution where ideas suggested by a questioner are mistaken for memory.

165.                    Subadditivity effect – the tendency to estimate that the likelihood of a remembered event is less than the sum of its (more than two) mutually exclusive components.

166.                    Telescoping effect – the tendency to displace recent events backward in time and remote events forward in time, so that recent events appear more remote, and remote events, more recent.

167.                    Testing effect – that frequent testing of material that has been committed to memory improves memory recall.

168.                    Tip of the tongue phenomenon – when a subject is able to recall parts of an item, or related information, but is frustratingly unable to recall the whole item. This is thought an instance of "blocking" where multiple similar memories are being recalled and interfere with each other.[81]

169.                    Verbatim effect – that the "gist" of what someone has said is better remembered than the verbatim wording

170.                    Von Restorff effect – that an item that sticks out is more likely to be remembered than other items

171.                    Zeigarnik effect – that uncompleted or interrupted tasks are remembered better than completed ones.

Have Fun




© 2014 Ganador Management Solutions (Pty) Ltd PO Box 243 Kiama, NSW, 2533 Australia Tel: (+61)2-4237 7168