Thursday, 20 April 2017

5 Ways to Beat the Post-Holiday Blues

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a nice long weekend! We couldn’t have asked for more perfect weather to enjoy the Easter holiday break. But now, for many it’s time to go back to work and buckle down for exams. Life might seem bleak right now, but don’t despair! It’s probably just the post-holiday blues.

Take this quick quiz to see if this sounds like you.

1. You can’t sleep at night and can’t get up in the morning.

2. You have no interest in anything after holiday

3. You want to quit your job and lie on the beach everyday

4. You can’t find the will to exercise

5. You have no focus for the things you need to work on

6. You have become addicted to shopping, surfing the internet or playing video games

If you answered yes to three or more of these questions, congratulations! You may just have the post-holiday blues (otherwise known as PHB). Welcome back to reality! Keep reading to find out how you can motivate yourself to open your lecture notes and get back into the swing of things. 


What are the post-holiday blues?


Different countries and regions have different names for it. Some call it post-travel depression. In other places you may know it as post-holiday syndrome. Essentially this disorder is a type of psychological shift that occurs after coming home and returning to a normal routine after a relaxing vacation. PHB sufferers realise how boring or mundane his or her normal life is in comparison with the excitement of travel and adventure. 

Whether it’s tiredness, lack of appetite or energy or extreme drowsiness, PHB affects everyone in different ways. But the most important thing to get you through the darkness is the fact that you had an amazing holiday with your family/ friends and now you are re-energised to resume your regular life again. 

Ok, so how can we cope with the post-holiday blues?

Unfortunately there is no treatment for PHB. Old routines may feel heavier than the force of gravity after days of weightlessness- a familiar burden that suddenly feels harder to bear. But with a bit of effort and determination, you may find that your batteries have been recharged and in a few days you will feel full of energy to continue your life journey. 

If you are still feeling glum, here are some tips to help you bounce back even faster.

1. Start planning your next holiday in advance.

Look forward to your next trip and avoid the stress of planning last minute. Proper planning can help you and your family to enjoy your moments together and save time and MONEY.

2, Immerse yourself in culture.

Instead of travelling far away, tiring yourself out from driving or hiking, why not just take advantage of Sydney’s cultural scene. You could hang around in the street and explore the most talented buskers, go to a museum or attend a classical concert at the Opera House wearing your most elegant dress/suit.

3. Treat yourself to a spa day.

Daily pressure and fatigue results in low levels of blood flow, which could influence the metabolism of epidermal cells. So, indulging in a spa treatment or a massage are great options to take care of your skin after days of lounging under the torrid sun.

4. Confide in someone.

It’s not good to keep things bottled up. Confiding in someone you trust whether it be your father or mother can help you get issues off your chest. Besides, parents love drama. Apart from regaling them with anecdotes about your life, they should be glad for your company and are probably happy to hear about your life.

5. Stay at home.

Don’t feel guilty about not having the energy to leave the house. Sometimes the perfect cure is pyjamas, popcorn and a good series. It’s good to be a couch potato once in a while. As long as sooner or later you get back to work on the things that matter.


One last thing before I go. It’s not important how you suffer from post-holiday blues or how you cope with the fallout. You can always remember the enjoyable moments you shared with the people you love. Just let those joyful memories light up the road in front of you. You can do this! Open those study notes today!

Hazel Chen
Current student from the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Hungry for Health

How Consumers’ Power Can Influence an Industry

You may or may not have noticed, but here in Australia, we are a nation of fitness freaks. Think that I’m wrong? I’d wager that at around half the people reading this article would have some form of vitamin or dietary supplement in their home.

A study performed in 2015 by Roy Morgan Research shows that 8.1 million Aussies 14+ (or 42% of the population) bought vitamins, minerals and/or supplements in any given six-month period — a substantial increase on the 6.6 million consumers (36%) who bought them in the year to June 2011.

In Australia, the consumer health market has reached $6.5bn. Within the consumer health market the increase in health related issues has seen the consumer health market skyrocket worldwide. This is a rapid growing trend that is sure to only grow in the coming years.


Purchased vitamins in the last 6 months: men vs women. Source: Roy Morgan Research, Checking the health of Australia’s vitamin market, September 22 2015

What are the key drivers?

It may surprise you, but according to a 2016 Euromonitor Report the vitamins and dietary supplements market segment has gained a value growth of 6% in 2016, driven by booming Chinese demand for Australian-made vitamins and dietary supplements products. 

The insatiable demand from the Chinese market.

With increasing household incomes, raising concerns of the pollution of the local environment, and the growing need for better quality health products, Chinese consumers start to look at the broader market, and make their purchase overseas. 

So where better to shop than next door, in Australia? With our optimal environment and strict quality control over pharmaceutical manufacturing, Australia has become one of the key destinations for Chinese consumers to shop for their dietary needs. 

And so the Health Industry reacts…

In acknowledgement of this lucrative business opportunity, the health industry in Australia has actively changed their strategies to embrace this consumer trend.

Swisse, one of the largest vitamin and supplement manufacturers in Australia, has grabbed the so-called bull by the horns, setting up a Chinese language version of their official website, with clear segment drives traffic to a Chinese e-commerce platform and Chinese social media. 


Furthermore, clear and well-organised displays can be observed in Australian stores, with detailed product information in the Chinese language in order to provide a better understanding of the products for Chinese consumers. 


What are the retailers’ approaches towards the trend?

Amcal, one of the largest pharmacy chains in Australia, is attempting to meet the Chinese appetite for Australian-made products. Going so far as to launch a new version of their e-commerce platform in Mandarin Chinese language.

What was their aim? To break the culture and language barriers between Australian pharmaceutical companies and their target market- Chinese consumers, with the added bonus of offering the convenience of direct shipping to China.


The end-users transition to acting as distributors.

With record growing numbers of social media users in China, students have started to interact in the health community to play the part of Daigou. Daigou are influencers who sell products through their personal network, some making such killing, they often ship a staggering thirty to fifty orders per week to China. Many have been so profitable they have even quit their day job to make this as their principal form of business.

Consumers hold the power.

These days we are witnessing a growing trend of consumers influencing entire industries. The subtle marketing relationships between these interwoven segments means that if the demand from one of these segments changes then a domino effect could see the entire market shift. 

Now that’s what I call influential.

Bowie Chen
Current student from the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.
Bowie has several years’ experience working in FMCG marketing, media, and consulting field.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

The Five Golden No-No's of Personal Branding

Chances are, when you're looking for a job, you're probably going to want to try and impress whoever it is that's reading your resume.

As Master of Marketing students, we have a pretty good idea of what to do when it comes to personal branding, but how many of us know what not to do? It might seems tempting, but it’s important not to fall into the trap of branding yourself as ‘the best USYD alum, Disrupter, Content Marketer/ Relationship Manager/Office Administrator/ Professional/ Part-time Surfer in Sydney’.

Forbes writer, Liz Ryan, maintains that, 'Praising yourself is beneath you. Let other people praise you. That's not your job! (read the original article here). Keep reading to find out about some of the personal branding choices to avoid before you end up branding yourself as a moron.



1. Branding yourself as a "guru", "mogul" or "expert"

Honestly, it's best to just stay humble. Using praising adjectives like "savvy", "strategic" or "visionary" isn't going to impress anybody. In face, besides landing your CV in the bin, all it's doing is wasting space where you could have written something meaningful. It's much more compelling if you describe yourself in a down to earth manner and not with an inflated view of yourself.

So what if saving you are an expert get you an interview? As soon as you open your mouth, the interviewer will either think you are full of yourself or wonder who wrote your resume. Confidence is great, but unless you really are a guru, mogul or expert, you are just going to look like a phony.


2. Overusing corporate jargon

‘Results-driven Marketing Specialist skilled at evaluating data, making strategic decisions, leading cross-functional teams, driving revenue and adding value by developing game changing marketing initiatives.'

What are you? Are you a human being or a robot?

Using corporate and institutional language is boring. And more importantly, it's very impersonal. Stand out from the crowd and tell your own story with your own words, not a generic template.


3. Boasting

'Elite USYD graduate and alum of McKinsey, PwC and Deloitte.'

Roll out the red carpet! Now you've made it clear that you are elite enough to get into the University of Sydney and work for three big league consulting firms, is that all you amount to?

What's more impressive is to explain how you added value to each of these organisations. What did you contribute and what can you now bring to the table?


4. Blowing your own horn

'I'm the best, the one, the only.'


Calling yourself the 'Best Digital Marketer in Sydney’ or the 'Greatest Marketing Specialist in the Southern Hemisphere’ is a pretty amateur way of branding yourself.
And let's face it, just a little obnoxious too.

The problem with touting yourself as the best is that it shows that you lack the confidence and originality to talk about your career accomplishments in human-speak.


5. Listing everything

It also puts people off from wanting to work with you. Remember, there is no 'I' in team.
I really like lists. But listing all your skills and accomplishments isn’t really the ideal way to describe yourself. It may be a common branding choice, but that doesn’t mean you should do it! Do you really want to brand yourself based solely on the tasks you can perform?

Take this for example:
"Communications, Marketing, Relationship Management, Office Administration Professional Seeking New Challenge."

Yawn.
Besides the fact that there are a few organisations that post jobs of this description, this brand is extremely poorly positioned. Someone who brands themselves in this way is telling the world that they still don’t know what they want to do with their life so they're just putting it all out there.

Who are you? I mean who are you really, what do you want and where do you fit in the market?

Personal branding is easy when you just be you. And with that I'm going to leave you with a quote from the wise author and philosopher, Dr Seuss, "Today you are you, that's truer than true. There's no one alive who is truer than you." Wiser words have never been spoken.


Alyce Brierley
Current student from the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.


The Beauty of the Bottle

How do you like to start your morning?

A kiss? Sun streaming through your window? An espresso?




Don't answer that question just yet. Stretch with me first!

Do you hear that fizzing sound? Chances are, somewhere right now someone is probably opening a bottle of Coke, juice or water.

Does that sound like a great start to your day?


Do you ever think about what a single bottle could deliver to you, apart from the contents?

Around 80% of the amount of money we pay for each normal PET plastic beverage bottle only covers the cost of packaging. So the next time we purchase something to quench our thirst, maybe we should eat the bottle instead of drinking the beverage? Ok, that was a joke. However, it's really important to note that in the future, packaging will be essential when working in the FMCG industry.

According to Karine, a Senior Packaging Analyst,

'Beverage packaging enjoys a healthy outlook, with retail volume sales set to reach 1.3 billion units by 2018 on the back of a 3% CAGR. Emerging regions will, to a large extent, fuel this global growth, with Asia Pacific accounting for 64% of additional unit volumes. PET and liquid cartons will see strong volume growth in soft drinks, while glass and metal will expand in beer and carbonates. And yet, against a challenging economic backdrop, brand owners will need to work harder still together with their packaging suppliers to innovate in order to meet consumer demand for good value and convenience, as well as stand out on crowded shelves.' (Dussimon, 2014)

A prestigious worldwide competition, called Pentawards, was founded to help brand owners be more creative and to stand out from the crowd. Pentawards, which is exclusively devoted to packaging design in all its forms, was created in January 2007 to increase the stature of packaging design, designers and to improve the overall customer experience.

Each year, in different cities in Europe, Asia, or the Americas, an official ceremony is held to host hundreds of designers from around the world. The goal? To provide a unique opportunity to meet, exchange ideas, and to strengthen the reputation of their professions. (Pentawards, n.d.)


Several Pentaward recipients


How do we understand the product at a glance?

We even don’t need to understand the language on the label. But we are able to interact with the product directly by the image that is presented to us. That’s the beauty of the bottle and the art of design.

It sounds simple, right? Umm, well actually a lot of collaboration was necessary to conceive 'the bottle'. As an example, take the above orange juice from Orangina, a French beverage producer.
This is a limited edition drink for the summer season. The full sleeve label design is on trend for premium juices in the market. Why? Well, to avoid suspended solids being found by customers while purchasing from the shelf. The 'sweating peeling' label and 'orange shape' bottle represent the purity and freshness of the product.  Such innovative design inspiration had originated from customer feedback, brand owners' expectations and the design agency's experience. They all serve as stakeholders, driving this product successfully.

As to what we learnt thus far from the Internal Marketing course:

“Co-creation offers firms and their network of actors significant opportunities for innovation, as each actor offers access to new resources through a process of resource integration.” (Frow, Nenonen, Payne, Storbacka, 2015)

It is all about collaboration to enhance the value of the brand and to improve the perspective of shareholders themselves.


So finally, what gets you going in the morning?

Maybe just a simple word on the label of a bottle.




Hazel Chen
Current student from the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.