Wednesday, June 30, 2010

You can run, you can hide, but you can’t escape it!

We have been celebrating “Innovation” the world over, and speaking volumes on the possible benefits, dangers of ignorance, and more. Businesses, nations, thinkers have been writing and speaking meaningful words of wisdom on the “why” and the “wherefore” of it.

While all of us have been ‘immersed’ in this, we have also tried to align, everything we do to this ‘way of thinking’!

Innovation is ubiquitous- be it introducing new ways to serve our customers (some prefer to call it ‘butlering’), finding novel nuances to ‘engage’ them, or spawning an entirely never-seen-or-heard-before service. Each time we serendipitously bump into something this world has not known before, or purposefully build upon an ingenuous idea, we innovate.

As I welcome any such insightful ideas, sources, stories from all of you, I pick a topic that not many are comfortable discussing. Death, it is.

I remember working on an assignment on ‘funeral services’ as a student- defining the elements of the ‘service’ involved. The idea of ‘repeat customers’ for such services was quite out-of-the-box I thought at that time, only to read in the papers an article titled “Different Jobs”, that there are positions/roles of a ‘funeral director’ who manages such services. While this was an augmentation to what I had learnt during that assignment, what I learnt a few days back was quite a different mix altogether.

Services that let one ‘insure’ her information send ‘last words’ and ‘unspeakable secrets’ to her close friends and family, and more. They come with by-lines that coax you to do what you usually don’t.

Pause, and take a look.

Bridging Mortality and Who would know if something happened to you? are some such sample taglines. Make you ‘think’, even if for just a minute.

They have quite rational services on offer:

- Information insurance
- Last words and secrets
- Passwords: accounts, email, web accounts, and more
- Directions, advice and more
- Send messages to your friends, online acquaintances/friends (much sought after owing to increasing interest levels in FB and the likes! Friends we have not even me.
- Intimation at the time of crisis, eventuality or death

These are “not” legal death notification or will services, mind you. What is interesting about them is that they tap you at the right places. They tap the very ‘need’ of people like us who have found themselves in the midst of an information revolution, only to be boggled by more of technology and evolutionary communication possibilities that hit us at lightning speed. Like traditional insurance sellers they educate us about the ‘need’ and then suggest ways to pre-empt the unforeseen, in what little ways we can.

This to me is intelligent marketing and an innovative way of not only basic information security, but is also an offshoot of the Internet/Information/ICT revolution.

You can run, you can hide, but you can’t escape it!


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