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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Razing Awareness: Conclusion

The reason I so devioiusly titled this series "Razing Awareness" is that I have a serious problem with the whole having to advertise sans support from the company whose brand it really is. The franchisor has left its franchisees in the lurch and is trying to play a game of distract-the-customers-from-the-real-issue. What do I mean? Apparently, and this has been going on for a while now -- it started long before I joined my current company -- they only give us things we don't ask for. Or, we have to ask them for it for months on end before they use it to surprise us by providing it to us once we've forgotten about it, or our throats have gone hoarse asking, pleading, making it seem like a miracle out of the blue. WTF?!? I mean, are they seriously that naive to think no one notices when they do nonsense like this? I've got to post about the bull that we've experienced, and I think I have plenty saved up for another, separate post. But man, it really gets my goat when so called "members of the same team", albeit on the franchisor end, give us the indirect finger. Ever since joining this place, I've taken the direct route. No reading between the lines from anything that I've said. ;-)

Typical of the franchisor-franchisee relationship the Head Office folks are located in Gurgaon, the bustling BPO/ITES capital in the north of India, and are always unreachable by phone. So, the representatives we have to deal with, based out of Bangalore, the hotly-disputed equivalent of Gurgaon in South India, end up running the show and giving us the run-around. Out-and-out morons the people we have to deal with. Seriously, and not to say that they're not nice guys or anything, but the way they sell training programs I'm surprised that people don't call the cops on them. It's like highway robbery! Ask for a mile, and they'll give you an inch. But they'll charge you a mile. No wait, I can be more sarcastic than that. Ask for a mile, and they'll give you a kilometre while charging you for five. Miles or kilometers? Well, that the unwitting, potential customer has to figure out.

So, why "Razing Awareness"? Because it seemed like we were doing our best to be part of an audience that probably didn't need what we were pushing in the first place. We were destroying an image before we built it, and part of the reason, I feel, is because we looked like we were selling kitchenware or something. I mean, we were in competition with a guy who was advertising for special deals at a water park! Not to mention the fact that we keep showing up with "Spoken English" plastered all over everything we own, when Kerala has seen more than its fair share of spoken English institutes in the last fifteen years and finds itself back to square one in terms of effectively communicating in the language in spite of this.

Well, it seemed to me at this event, that the amount we spent in general was a little in vain. We partly sponsored the DCQC quiz event -- and when I say that I mean a very leeeetle bit minutely minute in terms of total sponsorship -- so we didn't get the coverage we required. Nevertheless, we annoyed all those who had come there to participate in the quiz by handing out some company literature. But, it was still the franchisee trying to keep its head above water. Couple this advertising attempt with the fact that the audience turned out in a trickle rather than in droves, and you have a mostly well-at-least-we-tried kind of consolation pat on the back. So, where's the franchisor in all this? Well, wouldn't I like to know. Blissfully unaware, that's where! Here's the rest of the series of posts for your reading interest...

Razing Awareness

  1. Part 1

  2. Part 2

  3. Part 3

  4. Part 4

  5. Part 5

  6. Part 6
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