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Predictably Irrational: Perceived value with “bottomless” “unlimited” and “cheap”

Predictably Irrationa

I’m halfway through Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely and I must say that this is my new marketing bible for observing the seemingly irrational behavior of consumers when certain buzz word concepts like “free,” “value added,” “extra” and “unlimited” are brought into the marketing copy. It’s a beautiful book — and if you’re the type who enjoyed other books like Freakonomics, The Long Tail and Tipping Point, this is another must have to your collection.

One of the chapters in Ariely’s book talks about a concept known as “anchoring.” The premise is that consumers never make choices based on a product’s price alone, but rather based on the relative price of something else. When you buy a mobile phone for instance, you always compare the affordability based on a previous phone you owned, or with the relative price of similar units. More importantly though, the book talks about how consumers’ anchor price can change. We used to pay P5.00 for a sachet of Blend 45. Now we pay P100.00 for a cup of Starbucks. Ariely explains how “perceived value” raises the anchoring price of things we buy. Starbucks’ ambiance makes you feel like you’re drinking quality coffee and marketing changed “small,” “medium,” and large to “tall,” “venti” and “grande.” It’s like stepping into a different country where the relative price of everything is different.

Sadly, anchoring of prices can work negatively as well for consumers when marketers weave in the concept of “free” “bottomless” or “unlimited” which is a very powerful word in this industry. When we see “bottomless iced tea” in the menu, we go for it, and restaurateurs know we will – that’s why they price it high even if we only finish two or three glasses – still way beyond break even price. The “Unlimited” calls and texts of SUN for instance charge P25.00 per day, which is P750.00 per month. The average prepaid usage for calls is 214 minutes per month based on consumer research and at a buck per minute for “unlimited rates,” that’s really P214.00 per month for calls. On a daily average, calls should cost P7.14 per day, not P25.00 (more less 350% higher?). There’s something that’s also not factored in – dropped call rate, which according to the NTC – SUN has the most alarming drop call rate at almost 20%.

There’s a third example – when you walk into a department store and see three LCD TV’s – a Samsung, SHARP, and a SONY in the showcase all at different prices, you tend to take a look at the weakest link (Samsung usually keeps the lowest priced ones) in comparison to the other two “higher end” and “higher priced” units. The fact is, the salesman built this arrangement on purpose so you can compare the cheaper unit side by side the other much higher priced units. Instinct tells you you’re getting a great deal on the most affordable unit, and so you buy it! The truth? That’s what the salesman wanted to push in the first place to meet his quota. He could have very well lined up the most expensive TV from the set (the SONY) alongside other cheaper or more expensive promos.

That’s why perceived value is always relative to something else. Comments?

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Congratulations Moleskine winners!

Wow, what a run! We had 122 entries for the Moleskine contest we did last week and today we announce our two winners! For the first prize, we are giving away a Moleskine notebook courtesy of Jasper Ong of Avalon.PH. Many thanks to Jasper for sponsoring this contest.

Our winners had to answer the question, “when are you most inspired to write?” in the comments section to qualify.

And the winner of the ruled Moleskine notebook is ….

Juligel
I’m excited and inspired, mostly, after waking up and having a great vivid dream.

And our second prize winner for the three cahiers (courtesy of me) is …

Wrinkle
When I’m about to sleep, when I’m with rubber duckie, OR when someone pisses me off at work. 😀

Thanks for sending in valid emails! We’ll get your moleskine notebooks in your doorstep this week! I’ll be running a second contest very soon – to score tickets this time!

Didn’t win a Moleskine notebook? You can try to win one again from November 18 to November 21 at Viloria.net, where the next contest will be held.

5130 XpressMusic: Nokia’s most affordable music phone

A few days ago I reviewed the most advanced XpressMusic phone from Nokia, the 5800 XpressMusic phone. Today, we reveal the Finn’s cheapest XpressMusic phone, the 5130 which is due on shelves early next year.

With dedicated music keys, a digital music player, FM radio and a standard 3.5 mm connector for headphones, the Nokia 5130 XpressMusic is Nokia’s most affordable music phone to date. Equipped with an integrated 2 megapixel camera, the Nokia 5130 XpressMusic also supports image sharing through Share on Ovi, as well as the Mail on Ovi email service. The Nokia 5130 XpressMusic is expected to begin shipping in the first quarter of 2009 with an estimated retail price of 90 EUR. [source]

Due out in early 2009, the Nokia 5130 XpressMusic phone comes with a new feature called Mail on Ovi. As S40 phones aren’t as powerful in terms of their software to access Share on Ovi tools, Nokia chopped some of the features and “widgetized” them to fit S40 phones (the more powerful Nseries phones use S60), thus explaining how S40 differentiates from S60 – simpler but less powerful.

G1 Android Review and Photos

Pardon me for the ugly photos. We were in low light and I didn’t have a decent camera to take photos. Then again, the blurry shots give some sort of “OMG you really held one!” aura. Heh.

So Art “no rice” Samaniego (inside joke, folks! 🙂 ) calls this the “Ugly Betty” of the mobile phone industry. It is by far the most interesting piece of technology since the iPhone because it is the first implementation of Google’s Android OS. So it is indeed curious, and thanks to Art I was able to take a few shots of the G1, which was manufactured by HTC.

More photos and extensive first impressions after the jump.

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The LOLest copywriting since…

I found this in Rustan’s Gateway Mall while waiting for the Gary V 25th anniversary concert. This product is so funny on many levels, I can’t decide which part of the copy to laugh at first!!

It’s either they got a really brilliant copywriter or it’s the worst copywriting since YC Bikini Briefs (for the man that packs a wallop).

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic Review in the Philippines

UPDATE 3: I have a review up of the new Nokia N97 — following the successful touch screen experience of the 5800.

UPDATE 2: More hands on with me playing with the phone. I talk about the touch screen in particular.

UPDATE: From Nikka Abes of Nokia Philippines:

The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic phone is selling at a preorder price of P20,000.00. To place a preorder please sign up at the Nokia Philippines website. This goes to the first 58 sign ups.

The price of the 5800 XpressMusic is pegged at about P18,000 without tax so we can estimate this to be at the early P20,000 mark when it comes out officially (nota bene: this is only speculation, btu it gives you a rough estimate how much of your Christmas money to save).

If you wish to receive more updates when I post a gadget review, click on the link below to enter your email address:

Subscribe to A Bugged Life [ the pseudo personal blog about blogging, technology and stuff ] by Email

NOKIA 5800 FIRST IMPRESSIONS

A bit of history: the XpressMusic line is Nokia’s flagship brand for anything and everything music. If the Nseries concentrates on multimedia (video mostly), the E series on corporate use, the XpressMusic line is distinct because it has two things – a separate high quality audio hardware (loud and crisp speakers) and a 3.5mm speaker jack. This is consistent throughout all the Nokia phones branded as XpressMusic.

The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic phone is Nokia’s first Nseries touch screen device as well. Nokia has had two other semi popular touch screen phones in the past – the Nokia 6708 and the Nokia 7710, released back in 2006. Here is a walk through of the various features. My first impressions were very positive as the touch screen integrates well into the device. Unlike the iPhone which is an SMS composing nightmare, the 5800 slightly vibrates each time you press a button. There are three text input modes available – full QWERTY keyboard, mini QWERTY keyboard and the traditional numerical keypad.

Photos and full feature after the jump.

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From seaweed vendor to global usability expert

“I was determined to break the cycle of poverty.”
– Ms. Myrna Padilla, Founder MYND Consulting

As this is an odd hour to blog for me, I leave you with bits of a very beautiful experience when I conducted the first of many workshops for Microsoft Tulay, a technology empowering series of seminars run by the Blas Ople Foundation and OWWA for OFW’s and their families. Last week, I conducted a “training the trainers” series for 17 instructors from different regions of the Philippines.

Although I’d rather write about my experience at another time, I leave you with an inspirational message from Ms. Myrna Padilla who was brought up pounding rice and diving for seaweed. Today she owns a global outsourcing software company called Mynd Consulting based in Davao that specializes in web development, usability, Web 2.0 solutions and many more. Her latest product is a Facebook application called OFW Watch, a news aggregator fine tuned for OFW’s.

Her inspirational opening remarks after the break.

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Apple Online Store launches in the Philippines: What happens to local distributors?

It’s no secret that the Apple Online Store has been officially launched in the Philippines. I’m excited. Now I no longer have to leave the comfort of my home to buy Apple products. A move like this points to a great future for online purchasing and delivery in the Philippines. With orders above P3,000, delivery is free.

The online store has a set of coveted features, including the highly coveted iPod engraving for ultimate personalization.

The Apple Online Store brings something else on the table – competition. Now we have a benchmark as to how much an Apple product can cost vis a vis the other official and unoffical distributors (hehe).

I have a question though – and if you work for an exclusive Apple retailer or distributor (PowerMac, The A Store, Digital Hub, Mobile1, etc), you might want to chime in. How does this affect Apple’s relationship with their established gold distributors? Will they be bringing competition to the table, or do they have some sort of partnership in this online endeavor? And here’s an example — the benefits of ordering an iPod online (free engraving!!!) outweigh retailers’ benefits, that is if you can afford to pay 100% cash. It also works if you want to heavily customize* your Macs before you buy them.

At the end of the day, retailers will be forced to come up with better promos (and freebies!) which is all good for the consumers!

* Footnote: I’m a little disappointed that DELL didn’t see the potential of the online store in the Philippines and went 100% retail. The build before you buy feature for the DELL online store in the USA made it such a winner product. We don’t have that here. Oh well. You snooze, you lose.

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Contest: Moleskine Giveaway from Avalon.PH

Jasper Ong from Avalon was generous enough to sponsor this contest. It’s part of a blog marketing campaign being done by Avalon.PH. If you’re a fan of rare collectible books (signed by authors!) as well as used tomes and other gift items, Avalon’s online store is where it’s at.

Avalon is giving away a Moleskine Ruled Notebook for this raffle as the grand prize. I’m going to up the ante and give away a second prize – which is a spare set of three Moleskine Cahiers! Isn’t that cool?!

Contest Rules

1. This contest is open to Philippine based residents only.
2. To enter the contest, you need to leave a comment on this post with a valid email address
3. In the comment section you need to answer the question, “when are you most inspired to write?”
4. You can enter the raffle contest as many times as you want but you need to leave a different answer each time you join.
5. I will be drawing the winners when the contest closes using Luck of the Draw. The contest closes at 11:59 PM GMT+8 on November 18 2008.

Left 4 Dead

The Zombie Apocalypse is best experienced with friends. November 18, 2008. I can’t wait!

Anyone else planning on getting this for the PC? We’re set to play Left 4 Dead online on Steam.

The Philippine National Anthem

This is the most moving version of Lupang Hinirang, our Philippine National Anthem. It is a slower and more solemn version of our national anthem, originally meant to be sung with a marching cadence. Watching it may move you to tears with the simple message it is trying to convey.

This rendition of Lupang Hinirang is intended for reflection. It is not meant to replace the official anthem normally played as a march.

Recently a talented and nationally known film director, Mae Paner, crafted a new and moving version of our national anthem. This unusual audio visual presentation of “Lupang Hinirang”* has been shown many times in various events and has consistently touched the hearts and minds of viewers to the point of tears of awakening and gratefulness.

Because of its consistent positive impact, PAGASA and Ehem! have decided to make this version of “Lupang Hinirang” available nationwide as a reflection piece to trigger a deeper awareness of oneself in relation to the country and encourage the emergence of positive images of the Philippine future.[source and video link]

This is a very moving advocacy and it inspires a lot of hope for crippled yet endearing nation. I urge you to pass this video on through the internet.

How to: Sync your mobile phone with iSync

Not all phones are created equal, especially when it comes to finding device drivers for the Macintosh. If you’re running a Sony Ericsson or Nokia phone you may have an easier time finding licensed plugins to sync your phone with Apple’s iSync app.

If you’re on a Nokia, all you need to do is head on over to their corporate website and download the appropriate device driver that unpacks to iSync depending on your phone’s brand. It’s really easy to install. If the phone isn’t listed, you will need to wait a few days. Nokia always releases a new update whenever a new phone is released.

However if you own other brands and want to use a third party sync tool, you can check out Mactomster. This iSync plugin also supports a number of S40 phones from Nokia. Here is a list of devices they support, taken from their site:

Nokia iSync-PlugIns for 10.4 Tiger & 10.5 Leopard

* N-Series: N75, N76, N77, N78, N81, N81 8GB, N82, N92, N93i, N95, N95 8GB, N96
* E-Series: E50, E51, E60, E61i, E65, E66, E70, E71, E90
* Series40: 2600 Classic, 2630, 2760, 3109 Classic, 3110 Classic, 3120 Classic, 3500 Classic, 5000, 5200, 5220 XpressMusic, 5300, 5310 XpressMusic, 5610 XpressMusic, 6085, 6125, 6151, 6233, 6234, 6263, 6288, 6300, 6300i, 6301, 6500 Classic, 6500 Slide, 6555, 6555d, 7280, 7373, 7390, 7500 Prism, 7710, 7900 Prism, 8600 Luna, 8800 Arte, 8800 Sapphire Arte
* Series60: 3250, 5320 XpressMusic, 5500, 5700, 6110 Navigator, 6120 classic, 6220 Classic, 6290
* Series80: 9300, 9500 Communicator

SonyEricsson iSync-PlugIns for 10.4 Tiger & 10.5 Leopard

* C-Series: C702, C902, C905
* F-Series: F305
* G-Series: G502
* K-Series: K320i, K330i, K510i, K530i, K550i, K630i, K660i, K770i, K810i, K850i
* P-Series: P1i
* S-Series: S302i, S500i
* T-Series: T650
* V-Series: V630i, V640i
* W-Series: W310i, W350i, W380i, W580i, W610i, W660i, W700i, W710i, W880i, W890i, W910i, W960i (!), W980i
* Z-Series: Z310i, Z550i, Z555i, Z710i, Z770i, Z780i

Samsung iSync-PlugIns 10.5 Leopard

* D-Serie: SGH-D520, SGH-D520, SGH-D800, SGH-D820, SGH-D830, SGH-D840, SGH-D880, SGH-D900i
* E-Serie: SGH-250, SGH-E390, SGH-E530, SGH-E620, SGH-E720, SGH-E730, SGH-E770, SGH-E900
* F-Serie: SGH-F300, SGH-F480, SGH-F490 (V)
* G-Serie: SGH-G800
* i-Serie: SGH-i520, SGH-i550, SGH-i560
* P-Serie: SGH-P300, SGH-P310
* U-Serie: SGH-U700, SGH-U900
* X-Serie: SGH-X700, SGH-X800 Serene, SGH-X828, SGH-X830
* Z-Serie: SGH-Z150, SGH-Z370, SGH-Z630

Windows 7 Taskbar “Superbar” brings Hope to Microsoft

Obama inspired Hope to America, and a litttle bit of that Hope is rubbing off Microsoft’s new Windows 7. It’s no secret that PDC copies are already out for developers. Rafael Rivera and Ed Bott discussed about the new “super taskbar” that highlights Windows 7’s new GUI.

From what I’ve been hearing, the new Superbar draws a lot of inspiration from the Mac OS X dashboard launcher with a little bit of the Google Chrome shortcut icon feature. The new Taskbar isn’t just a launcher but serves the purpose of adding and remembering sub windows within applications. In other words, what used to take five clicks to get to now only takes two.

I’m excited for Windows 7. Id like to believe it’s a second wind for Microsoft.

[image credit taken from Ed’s ZDNet blog]

Verzio Envii on Windows Mobile 6.1 Review

Verzio Envii

So I recently got myself a SUN prepaid kit. I had to. Let’s just say that a number of factors led to me finally spending P70.00 for a new SIM by recommendation of Kenna — figures she works for SUN — I had to get one for my blog to make it easier for people to contact me, whom I didn’t know personally.

The two three motivators were a series of seminars to be conducted for a non-profit group this coming Friday, a small social experiment with Jonas Diego, Fritz, Marcelle, Jeff and a few more bloggers for Axe (yes! the deodorant!). It’s a viral campaign they’re doing and I’m pretty hyped about it – the schedule is fit for a rockstar: invading three bars from 9 PM to 4 AM on Friday. I hope I can keep up with THE Fritz. And yeah, I opted to get a second SIM for this purpose, more for security reasons. Hyuk! My number is here.

Oh and yeah, the last motivator is really to find a SIM for my spare review phones. For the past couple of months I’ve been using my uMobile SIM for spare units. I mean why not, right? It’s the proper way to review telecommunications products without the hassle of swapping my SMART SIM (I’m on a BlackBerry consumer plan but the BlackBerry Pearl is still somewhere in Canada for repairs).

Confession time: I lost my uMobile SIM. Yep. Misplaced. Got blown away by the wind. Got sucked by the vacuum cleaner. Oh well. So I’m on SUN again (used to have a SUN SIM back in 2006 and boy the service was bad). I think everyone deserves second chances, albeit first impressions were not that happy – there’s no signal in my room. Between Globe, SMART and SUN, the latter has the weakest signal – no signal at all! On the upside it allowed me to do something really geeky and connect my phone via Bluetooth to the desktop and use the desktop SMS function that wirelessly transmits the message to the phone outside the room. Really unnecessary. But geeky though.

I’m reposting the Verzio Envii review I wrote a couple of months ago for MANUAL. Credit goes to MANUAL Magazine, July 2008 Issue. And might I add, it’s silly that I’m running my secondary line on a more advanced phone! Review after the break.

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Two new blog ideas that will make you famous

Here are some blog ideas boiling about and I’d like to share them with you. I’d have wanted to do these myself but, well, I have a lot to eat with a full plate in front of me. Here they are:

Idea 1. Back in 2005 the company I worked for had already launched a consumer shopping magazine that specialized in doing honest to God product comparisons. Like we’d have 5 of the best sisig in town and compare them. Or six of the most packed burgers. Or they can be as mundane as comparing the total resistance of five brands of tissue paper or the chicken gravy from the top three fast foods.

That magazine was called The Reviewer and it would be cool if a group of people took off and did that again. It would be easier in the sense that you don’t need to have advertising to support you since it’s something you’d have to do by yourself to avoid any biases. The blog won’t review restaurants or establishments. It reviews products in contrast to other products and you’d need to be a very sensitive consumer to see through the marketing. It sounds easy but believe me, it isn’t.

Idea 2. Are you a photographer, talent manager or make up artist? It would be fun to produce a site showcasing the beauty industry with one catch: zero use of Photoshop or any photo manipulating tool (with the exception of crop and B&W conversion). Real photography. Real models. And I mean REAL MODELS. You know how anyone can be a model these days? Well, a blog like this will definitely showcase raw talent from photographers, make up artists, stylists – and yes, bringing back the super models! It’s easy to get shocked when browsing through a magazine and you find out that the model was not photoshopped – you tend to ask for the name of the model and photographer in the credits!

Again, I think this concept would look better as a glossy industry mag but a blog should work just fine.

Any takers? If you do borrow these ideas, tell me. I’d gladly help promote them! 🙂

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