I was very concerned about today’s meeting where we’ll present the results of the marketing campaign for Purigy, a brand for beauty and health through organic products, most of it is for women. Our company is responsible for developing and managing its branding. This was the first time where potential customers were divided into segments according to their psychological characteristics, and today’s meeting is the first meeting attended by decision makers in the company “Purigy” after the launch of its marketing campaign. I went out of my office and was preparing a glass of green tea when Farida, the project manager, entered. Farida is a loyal, committed and dependable, intelligent, logical and a fan of numbers, a rare category in marketing that combined academic work with practice Operation in the field of branding.
-” Good Morning, Farida.”
– “Morning, Professor Ahmed.”
-” How are your children?”
– “The ones here or at home?” ,She said smiling. Farida serves as a mother to all employees of the company, trusted and leaned on by everyone in all matters and personal problems.
-“The children at home:”
-“They are well, thank God.”
-“And the ones here? How are they doing? are they preparing for the meeting?”
-“All good, all praise be to God.”
Farida’s response bothered me, and despite the words she spoke, her eyes and body language indicated that there was something wrong.
In the course of the conversation,Mai entered the room. She is responsible for branding content on social networks. She had a gift of social intelligence, as well as an ability to embrace the qualities of any brand; creating a fun way of communication with the potential targetted customers through creative posts on social networking. Despite this social intelligence , she does not implement it with her colleagues; she resents the community, rebels against regulations and laws, always tries to show that she is not interested and has never been on time since she started working in the company; she comes at whatever time she wants and leaves whenever she wants. Still, we are leanient because of her creativity and revolutionary new ideas.
Three months ago, Mai got engaged to our colleague Khaled. Khaled is fun, an athlete, always smiling, sincere, a free spirit and is a smooth talker. Khaled and Mai became a great duo, they never stop laughing, making jokes and ridiculing everyone, even themselves. Mai was never this happy before her association with Khaled.
Mai passed by as if she didn’t see us heading to make a drink for herself.
– Mai: “I can’t go a day without Nescafe.”
– Farida: ‘How are you my love?”
– Mai: “Good Morning Ms Farida, Good Morning Mr. Ahmed.
-Me: “Good morning, Mai, what’s up?”
HThen, Khaled entered turning everyone’s eyes towards him, Farida was the first person he saw and then spoke to.
Khaled:”Good morning to the best Farida.”
– Farida:”yes the prettiest Farida too”
– Khaled ,looking at Mai:” No… No… No… Pretties is exclusive to Mai, The Princess.”
-Mai: “Is anyone as pretty as miss Farida though? or as gentle hearted?”.
-Me: “Wow , such compliments!”
– Khaled: “Prince Ahmed … I have the feeling that today’s meeting will be awesome … really AWESOME … and that there’s a special reward to whoever inspires the brand”
– Mai addressed her words to Khaled: “did you do anything?
-Khalid: C’mon … it’s enough you separated the brand’s character from mine … it’s a well bred personality … a prince…a gentleman…to be loved at first sight. Why do you think people engage so much with your posts?”
-Mai smiling to Khaled: “Such arrogance. I see we are not needed then.”
In developing the brand identity for Purigy and creating it for the brand – we used Khalid’s character, taking on his personal and emotional traits to build the brand;Based on the frameworks developed by (Jennifer Acker) scientist marketing psychology,Developed by scientists after that, even the cartoon character that was developed to talk about the brand used the voice of Khalid and has many of his features.
-Me: By God’s willing, there will be in a respectable reward for all. You are all respectable workers
Then I went onto laught: “But you two are one and you will get only one reward.”
– Khaled: “Great… and of course it’ll be in my name.”
-Mai: “And why is that ?!”
– Khalid: “Oh calm down… I’m kidding… Laugh !”
As usual, Khalid and Mai fill any gathering with fun and happiness. Khaled and Mai left, and Farida’s gaze trailed after them full of regret and sadness, and then I became sure there is something disturbing Farida; Should I ask now?Or wait after the meeting?
Just then Farida looked over at me and said:” I need to talk to you about something”
Me:”Now or after the meeting?”
Farida:”Now! it has to be before the meeting”
Without saying a word, I went to my office, and I pointed it out to her and kindly gestured for her to go in.
As soon as she sat down, she said:” I don’t know what to say.. It is possible that the subject is absurd, and that is pointless, but I know that you will undersand.”
-Me:” God, Farida, you worry me.”
– Farida:”You know that in branding we do not rely solely on showing the advantages and characteristics of the brand, but we work on developing the emotional connection between the brand and the customers.
– Me:”Yes!Of course, this is our job. “
– Farida:”I know of course you understand, but I want to clarify the subject at first.”
– Me:”Ok, Go ahead.”
– “And you know that a lot of academic studies have showed the phenomenon that customers’ sense of the brand is similar to their sense of human characters, but not only that, all marketers of big brands use this in their marketing messages, this is why in branding “Purigy” ae’re trying to create an emotional connection between Brand and customers, not only because of the benefits and physical advantages provided by the brand, but because there is a compatibility and attraction between the character of the brand and the personality of the customer.
– “very true”
– “Here at “Purigy” when we developed the brand’s character we used Khalid’s .
– “And when it came to dividing the brand’s customers and identifying the ideal buyers persona, the division was based on Lifestyle and psychological features, and we used the character Mai as one of the ideal customers for the brand.”
– “And it was an excellent move in which there was excellent interaction between the public and the brand, and when we laughed at Mai’s Posts in the name of the brand and we were saying this is what she want to do with Khaled.”
– “Exactly! there is a strong and clear attraction between the brand’s personality aka Khalid and the Buyer Persona which is Mai. Which is why it is such a success”
– “Great… then what is the problem?”
– “Ok… It is clear that the personality of Khalid and personality Mai are made for each other. “
– “And this is confirmed in numbers and interaction studies. “
– “The problem is that there were more than one ideal Buyer Persona for brand customers, it was ideal for the brand customers who are Mai while she’s single, and another one which was also Mai But as a married person.
– “This is true, in addition to other characters. But the most attracted one is the personality of Mai.”
– No… The personality of Single Mai is the most attracted to the character of Khalid, but the personality of the married Mai had a strong dissonance between her and the character of Khalid; The married personality of Mai was the worst of the ideal buyers in terms of attraction to the character of Khalid, clearly shown by numbers.
– I understand from your words that statistically the emotional relationship between Single Mai and Khalid is excellent and wonderful, but with married Mai it is the opposite.
– “Exactly that’s what I mean.”
– “And you’re trying to say that it’s possible there are other personalities that are better suited for Khalid.”
– “Exactly, but the problem for me is Mai, our society is still not kind to the divorced girl.”
-“Hold on… One second, we’re talking about divorce now?”
– “Regrettably, this is the mos”t likely situation.”
– “Professor Farida, this is a marriage based on love,not an arranged one.”
– “Last year there were 185 thousand divorces in the country. You don’t think all of them were arranged do you?!! Quite the opposite.”
– “First of all, Khalid might change or Mai might. It may lead to some tepidity,but not divorce!”
– “I’ve studying the methodology of this topic for two weeks now. I studied the campaign numbers for each customer segment and the reactions of each segment of the audience. I did a careful analysis of each category, and I forgot that one of the ideal characters for the brand was divorced Mai, so I talked to that divorced segment and I saw her in many of them.”
-“Well, What are we going to do?”
-“Mai and Khalid need to break up”
– “Not possible, what are you sayin !!! They’re an excellent couple, the whole company and all those around them are happy with them, they radiate happiness in any gathering where they are. “
– “Or that Mai changes or Khaled changes, and this is very unlikely.”
– “Do you comprehend what you’re asking and why ?!!”
At that moment, the decision-makers arrived from the company “Purigy”, I received them absent-minded, I was surprised and confused… I firmly believe in the science of statistics, and branding, but does their power get to determine who marries who ??”
The meeting started and Farida presented the pre-rehearsal that we had worked on before, but that time it was different to me. On the screen, a picture and a name for each perfect brand of Brander customers were used. A segment of customers placed a number reflecting the interaction with the brand, specifying the largest and lowest percentage of interaction in green and red, and at the explanation used the word attraction and repulsion instead of the word interaction and less interaction, and very professionally and through wordplay sent hidden messages to Mai and Khaled who were at the meeting.
Farida’s message reached Khalid and Mai, and shock was clear on their faces. Khalid was sitting idly by, indicating his rejection of what is being said, contrary to Mai’s keen interest and focus on Farida’s words.
The meeting ended and I walked the clients out. I then went back to the meeting room again only to see Mai, Khalid and Farida in a very heated conversatiob.I was hesitated but Khaled said to me: “If you you may mr Ahmed, Please join us, we need you in this disussion.”
Khaled addressed his words to Farida: “Jusy because I like to joke around and have fun, and you based the personality of the Brand on me,and make branding posts that aren’t liked by a certain category of people-which are a divorced Mai- and those people ridicule the brand, and their feedback on it is rubbish, it doesn’t mean that I am not suitable for Mai!”
-Mai,Looking from Khaled to Farida: “It’s true; First of all, Khaled will change after marriage and the way he talks is sure to change, secondly, with time and responsibilities all the jokes will decrease.
Farida looked at Mai and said:” You know very well that those posts were only the first stage, and lasted only a week. We didn’t continue the same way that category of client. Second of all, the brand had a lot of details, ranging from life style to psychological qualities like ambition, vanity, self-control, conscience, cooperation, helping others, susceptibility to stress, trust in others, and good treatment, all of which we used to create the brand’s personality. And all of it was represented in the posts.
Me: “I want to remind you guys, that we discussed it a lot in the beginnning, do we give the character of the brand neutral characteristics without psychological details, one that does not express itself in all matters transparently, and therefore the psychological qualities of the personality are visible to the public. Ultimately we made the decision that the posters and messages of the brand reflect its character with its psychological qualities, and we agreed that this will cost us part of the audience, but the rest of the audience will have a strong bond of friendship and feelings that we can build on.
Farida: “If you remember, Khaled and Mai, we have done a psychological analysis for you, Khaled; because you are loved by everyone, and your opinions and thoughts on almost the same consensus of most of the target audience, and this was one of the first marketing studies that we did.
-Khaled:”So I’m bascially a lab rat, and now you want to end me.”
Me:”Khaled, If you remeber ,in the beginning, I sat with you and told you that the Big Five test for psychological porfiling has a lot of potential problems, and you said ,and I quote, that you’re 100% transparent and have nothing to hide. And that you are proud of all your qualities, even your flaws, you’re proud of them too.”
-Khaled:” That’s right, but not to the point where I’m tolld that my future in marraige is not suitable for Mai. that’s what I won’t accept. Miss Farida, you’re basically a peace pigeon that everyone goes to for help. Every couple has its problems, and they come to you and get them to make up.Mai and I get along very well, and then you come and tell us this!! “
-Farida:”Ok, but can you let me explain the problem and it’s proposed solution a bit more?”
-Khaled:”Miss Farida, You know how much I respect and appreciate you.But you’re meddling in personal matters between us and I don’t like anyone-“
-Mai, interrupting Khaled:”Khaled, maybe we can try to listen to Farida a bit more and understand the subject”
-Khaled:”Understand what! I don’t get what you’re saying Mai, I don’t belive a word she’s saying. Are we still going to talk about whether we’re suitable for each other or not?” Khaled’s voice had become sharp and loud.
–Mai: “Khaled, that’s not the way to talk!”
-Khaled: “Exactly, I do not want to have a conversation on this topic; this our life and ours alone to discuss if there was anything to discuss in the first place.”
Mai: “And I am not ok with you imposing your opinion in this way ..”
I cut off Mai and Khaled saying:” no, can we just calm down guys and listen to Farida’s point of view .You know very well that Farida wants what’s good for you “Khaled: ” good? what’s good for us is to break up?”
-Me, directing my words to Farida: “you told them everything you said to me ”
-Farida: “I told them what I said to you but Khaled is not letting me finish”
-Khaled, sarcastically:” Sure,miss , go ahead Is there anymore to say?!”
-Farida:”God knows how much I’m worried about you”
-Khaled:”enter I have no doubt. But still you guys want to turn love and feelings into a bunch of numbers”
-Mai:”Clearly you don’t understand anything this is science”
-Khaled:”sure you’re the only one who knows about science”
-Mai, her face clearly showing intense displeasure from Khaled:” can you just stop up.I have just seen a new side of you and I really can’t take it anymore”
-Khaled’s face darkened and he said to Farida :”Are you happy now is this what you wanted?”
-Me,talking to Khaled:” can we please just took alone in the balcony”
-He left with me and we talked for over an hour. My aim was to make the conversation more calm and logical, only because of Mai’s desire to listen to Farida. During our conversation Mai and Farida entered.
-Me:”It’s better to talk here. The weather is great.”
-Mai, laughing:” This is clearly a conspircy to deprive us of the reward by Mr Ahmed.”
-Me:”I swear it is the best reward. I have a one of a kind trip planned to Dahab.”
-Mai:”Then can we listen to what Fairda has to say”
-Khaled:”Go ahead. I’m sorry but this is not easy. It’s not easy to have someone tell me that the best thing in my life is not suitable for me.” he said it and his voice had gotten constricted and his eyes got teary.
-Farida:”Can you just listen to me til the end”
-Khaled:”Of course, go ahead”
-Farida:”Let’s disregard what I said, I don’t want to interfer in anyone’s life. You, Khaled know everything I have done for you to be with Mai.”
-Mai:”That’s true.” then she said laughing:”It’s all your fault”
-Khaled, with a cunning smile:”Great! Let’s disregard everything you said.”
-Fairda:”I have a list of duties and responsibilities that make a good family. And a list of the problems that lead to divorce, which I got form my conversations with the divorced women that resemble Mai.”
Me, trying to lighten the mood:”Now you’ve turned marriage into a project”
-Mai:”it really is a project”
-Khaled:”And what is required of us?”
-Farida:”All I want is for each one of you to nkow what you’re getting into and what responsibilities you’ll have to take on, what problems you’re going to face.Or let’s not say ‘problems’ let’s say the challenges you’re going to face. Talk to each other and decide what your life is going to be like”
-Khaled:”And I agree.Not just no that, i also want you to be with us while we discuss these things.”
-Me:”Oh really? Weren’t you just talking about privacy?”
-Khaled”No, now it’s different. Miss Farida will be the judge.”
-Mai:”And I approve. I would love for Farida to be,not just the judge, but also a mentor and advisor to us”
-ME:”Oh really? Weren’t you just talking about privacy?”
-Khaled:”No, now it’s different . Ms Farida will be the judge”
-Mai:”And I agree. I would love for Farida to not only be the judge, but also a mentor and advisor to us.”
-Farida:”Thank you for your trust. I hope to God all goes well”
A moment of silence while everyone waited for Farida’s next words.
Farida:”I have a lot of topics we need to discuss, the first of them is when you get married who will be the leader? Let us say otherwise if you disagree on a subject who will have the last word?
-Me,jokingly:”Now the engagement is over”
-Farida, seriously:”Better now than later. Even if there is a disagreement, they need to know and find out how they will deal with it”
I meant by interruption to give Khaled and Mai some time to think; It’s a huge matter and they shouldn’t be hasty.
-Khaled:”The subject, for me, is clear and there is no question. I am the man. Mai is in my heart and I would never hurt her, but in the end I am the decision maker.”
-Mai:”And why exactly are you the decision maker?Why not me?”
-Khaled:”By God’s will there won’t be any disagreements. And you know very how well how much I give up to make you happy.”
-Mai:”So I get from what you’re saying that every time you agreed with me you were giving up your happiness?”
-Khaled:”And you don’t like that? Me fearing your unhappiness angers you?”
-Mai:That’s not what I’m talking about. Why do you even think you should be the decision maker? why not me?”
-Khaled:”Because I am the man.”
-Mai:”Oh really? So being a man make you more understanding and makes you make the best decisions and I’m just here to say yes whatever you want sir.”
Khaled, trying to regain his composure:”What I mean is we will have an understanding and I will never hurt you.But if we happen to reach a dead end someone has to have the final word between the two of us.Or do you want us to get a third party?”
-Farida:”Let’s agree that you should discuss every decision together until you reach an agreement. Should you reach a dead end; then certain subjects one of you gets to make the final decision”
A moment of silence from Mai and Khaled as their faces looked grim and full of dissatisfaction with what Farida said.
Me:”I will leave you to it. Clearly the matter is huge and I got married at a different time. I wish you good luck”
After about four hours Mai,Khaled and Farida all came into my office and they were all smiling. so I said:
“Thank God, seems everything worked out”
Khaled:”Yes thank God, boss. All’s good” thne he said laughing:”I left Mai, or she left me, or Fairda broke us up.Whatever it was what matters is I am happy.”
Despite the humor and smile on his face I felt bitterness in his voice.
Mai:”We talked a lot and discussed a lot of things.It’s weird that this was the first time we discuss these things. Although it’s our lives and our future. There was in a big difference in our conviction and even in our beliefs, we spoke rationally. With each question Farida asked us who willing to change themself because each one of us is sure they are right and things should go their way; So we reached a conclusion that in some matters neither is willing to change because we both believe we are correct. I don’t know how to thank you and Farida.”
Khaled,begrudgingly :”Me neither”
-Me:”Honestly,guys,maybe this is for the best who knows.”
Everyone was silent, and despite the smile Khaled was trying to put on his face, he was absent-minded from the shock, unlike Mai, who looked at the subject logically. Everyone came out of my office to end a busy business day that I will not forget and will not be forgotten by the world of digital marketing.
It was a very hard day; when I put my head on the pillow, I couldn’t sleep. Was today a dream or a reality? I got up to review the results of the campaigns, but this time I analyzed the content and messages it contained. Mai is known for her professionalism and social intellignece and how to formulate messages to suit each customer segment. Was there some intent in some of the targeted publications to be less attractive, but particularly alienating to this category of clients similar to married Mai’s personality ? Did Mai’s knowledge of Khaled’s psychological traits make her retreat from marrying Khaled? Did she manipulate Farida ,Khaled and I? Is it possible that the subconscious mind of Mai may have created all of this? I couldn’t reach the truth.
In the end, Khaled and Mai split up happily.Each one wishing the other builds a successful family with a new partner.
Farida and her digital tools became the mother that no one would dare to marry until her blessing was given from the digital world.