Today we have with us Ankur Ashta who is the author of Heart, Mind and Wallet. The book looks really interesting so please go ahead and read the interview. There is also a super cool giveaway at the end. :)
Consumer insight, though a potent possession, is not a magical agent that transpires from years of scrutiny and soul-searching. All it takes is a basic understanding of what enhances the pleasure for human beings and what reduces their pain. We all have, for example, used the ATM to withdraw cash, sometime or the other. Consider a situation where a person visiting the ATM doesn't have to bother to key-in the amount he needs; the ATM recognizes him and hands him the money basis his identified needs. "Heart, Mind & Wallet" aims to highlight the handiness of insights, while - at the same time - capturing their potential, bringing into focus, in the context, how certain thought-leaders have used them to create winning stories.Consider a company leveraging expiry date for pillows to increase the sales of the product by more than 300%. Also, consider a company bridging the gap between ice-cream parlours and consumers and re-writing the way, ice-cream is consumed in India. This well-researched book throws light on some innate human factors, which - while being ridiculously entertaining - are also capable of defining success or failure of a brand. The book has been written in a fairly easy to understand language and, explains everything with loads of exciting stories and marketing examples (largely in Indian context).
Buy the book:
1. Tell us a little bit about your book, Heart, Mind & Wallet.
Heart, Mind and Wallet is a book about human behaviour and how we, human beings, interact with brands and marketing. It is about motivational forces behind our actions, thoughts and behaviour. It also talks about how different advertisers/companies have leveraged these motivational forces to script envious success stories. The book also talks about interesting human idiosyncrasies that we all indulge in, yet don’t know unless someone tells us.
2. What inspired you to write Heart, Mind & Wallet?
I have always been a keen observer of human behaviour. My job and the fact that I like reading led me to work on something, which talks about human behaviour and how it follows certain patterns and how these patterns can be used to make interesting product innovations/advertising campaigns.
3. What made you so interested in the Indian market and its consumers?
India is a very peculiar market and it needs to be treated differently from the rest of the world. There are companies which have made peace with this fact and are benefitting out of it. For example, Audi – for India- makes different horns than what it makes globally. This is because the horns that it makes globally will not work beyond two weeks, given the vigorous use Indians put horns to. These kinds of examples are my inspiration to deep dive into the Indian mindset.
4. Why do you think readers should pick up your book?
For a simple reason: there aren’t too many books on the topic which explain the subject without getting esoteric. In fact, I have already started getting feedback on the book and people are appreciating that it is such an easy book to read. Also, the book aims to highlight, to the ‘non-marketing’ background people, on why they should take interest in marketing and consumer insights. Your interest in understanding India is also a good enough reason for you to pick this book.
5. Which authors do you look up to for their writing style?
I like the way Malcom Gladwell writes. I am a huge fan of Dan Ariely and Sheena Iyengar.
6. What advice would you like to give for aspiring authors?
Stay focused and persistent, and read a lot. Get back to your book at least four times in a week. Also, you shouldn’t read your own thing too often and after long gaps. Since you have written it, it can’t intrigue you as much as it would intrigue someone who reads it for the first time. This lack of intrigue can affect confidence in your content.
7. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I am a practicing marketer; so the work keeps me occupied. Other than work and writing, I like to take out time for reading and observing human behaviour. I like to try my hand at cooking as well, sometimes.
8. Which is the one book you could read for the rest of your life?
I would pick two:
Cuckold by Kiran Nagarkar and Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.
9. What can we expect next from you?
I am working on a couple of things right now. One is related to human behaviour. The other one is about common mistakes we make in our usage of English, the language
10. What makes Heart, Mind & Wallet different from all the other books in the market?
Its simplicity, lot of Indian examples and the fact it has been written with the consumer at the centre. So, it is to enhance the learning of the consumer and why he/she should take interest in marketing and consumer insights. The topic might appear boring to a lot of people. The book aims to make it interesting for the reader.
Thank you so much Ankur!
Ankur has generously offered to give away TWO copies of Heart, Mind and Wallet to two lucky Indian readers.
May the odds be ever is your favor! :)