This mantra is all over the social media today. The young as well as the young at heart swear by it… and believe me, it isn’t just the virtual space that is impregnated and incepted with these words, one sees them reflected in real life as well. Cool and smart is all over. Not just besieged, but invaded by the forces from the cool and smart ideation.
What does being cool and smart really mean?
Is it being able to haggle well with the offline vendors that make one cool and smart? Or is it wearing the right smile for bad and ugly moments that matters? Is it buying the right stuff? Or is it using intelligently what you’ve bought? Is it spending more to get the best or is it spending less to be with more? Pertinent questions and the answers point to one vital trait: Know your life well, smile, and take the right steps to keep it that way.
As I was writing these paragraphs, Specky, my wife ambled in and stood by me in our Study. She read the paragraphs and said, ‘I guess, you mean most of us should be like that Murthy in the Voltas ad, right?’
I thought for a while, remembered that endearing fellow in the ad who convinced me that being smart was all about adopting smart technology and not shying away from it all. I mean, after all, he did have a Voltas All Weather Smart AC that gave him the advantage of a smart remote that converted his mobile into a remote, he loved the smart inverter that saved power, and found the smart weather sensor that suggested the best mode simply unbeatable. Well, I found the ad campaign simply fascinating and had even suggested that we go for the AC that Murthy had.
Specky said, ‘That’s rather smart! I’m glad you aren’t like the other 50-somethings.’
Well, if Murthy is smart, Arvind is smarter you see. It is almost as if the ‘magic mantra’ of being smart-n-cool, is to know the Voltas all-weather smart app that allows better control of the AC with intuitive features besides keeping tabs on power consumption. So there you are… even economising isn’t as villainous as it is made out to be by so many people all the time.
So as an answer to ‘Specky’s’ query, I nodded my head and said, ‘I guess Murthy is correct. One not only needs to have the best, but must also know how to use it all to one’s advantage.’ I mean, had Murthy not decided to read and convert his smartphone into a remote, he couldn’t really have been the cool-n-smart one in the ad. It is fine if you go ahead and buy the Voltas All Weather Smart AC, but you need to understand its intrinsic traits to use it optimally. It isn’t enough to say you’re cool and smart… you need to prove to the world by the way you ride every moment! Only then can you be who you want to be. At any age.
Keep your cool and bring on the heat every time
Yes, this is the secret really. You know, smartness isn’t being cool all the time. You need to blow hot and blow cold, as the movie title seems to suggest and you’ll probably walk off with all the charmers in tow!
Specky was again by my side after spending a few minutes in the kitchen and she asked, ‘Because you opted for Voltas AC’s as the example to prove your point, can you do it again for this one?’ I love challenges and I asked her to just give me a few minutes… and much before those minutes rushed by, I was ready with my answer.
I said, ‘I’m sure you know that brands aren’t trusted brands, until they have proven that they have the strength of indigenous design and cutting-edge technology.’ I showed her statistics that talked about Voltas having ‘introduced products that help maximise savings with tangible returns through the Inverter range, offering 63% power savings.’ In simpler language I explained that a company needs to bother about the varied preferences of the consumer, and that Voltas did it all in terms of new technology, star rating, features, design, and quality. This is why Murthy is a happy man… and this is precisely why we have a Voltas AC in each of our rooms at home.
Well, the point is that if you want to be someone you need to understand the way the world is moving before the others get a whiff of it. This is what I call an intuitive ambush of time! Almost like a chess player… think ahead and you’ll know when to discard your Modi jacket, if I may pull an example from the political world. But discarding an idea, a habit, a thought or a perception isn’t enough… you also need to zero in on what the future will need. I guess Voltas knew that blowing hot in the winters and blowing cold in the summers is what the consumer will want and this is precisely what they gave.
So to be a cool-n-smart dude, you need to step into the future and be ready with your new approach when the time comes.
Be a boom boom shake the room sort
Before you joyfully announce, ‘I know this trait and I am an expert in it’ remember that this is more difficult than it seems. You cannot afford to shake the room one evening and be kicked out the next day… what you need is a constant reinforcement of the belief that you are good. Have you ever seen a DJ or a stand-up comedian do the same routine every day and survive in the top position? Not possible.
For instance, even Voltas has been able to remain in its enviable position because of its marketing prowess, large repertoire of products, and an ever expanding distribution footprint. Only a myopic view will let you assume, that creating a single flutter on the social media will keep getting you a standing ovation forever. This never happens. Yes, you need to be a ‘boom boom shake the room’ sort, but you need to keep rediscovering yourself by knowing the way and the speed at which the rest of the world is moving. You need to keep doing something new all the time and with all the focus that you can manage, to remain at the top. The applause then, I can assure you, will never lessen.
The final word
Just remember that you are you and not your clone. This is important because being a clone can destroy people and products and so they need to remain original. A copy can, at best, be a copy and nothing more. Like Voltas, I’d venture to say, you need to think on your feet, move into your discover-something-new mode, remain relevant to what the world needs and your job is done.
01 July 2015