Posted on June 20, 2018
In 1954, a unique being came into this world and the branding began. The baby was a girl, the first child of first-generation Canadians, granddaughter of refugees. Her Mennonite parents spoke German and ran a fruit farm. The nurses put a pretty pink bow in her fiery red hair and delivered her back to her mom. Five siblings would follow and she would grow up to become a nurse like her mom.
Although I’m still a red-headed female, the attributes that labeled me then are very different from the brand I’ve become.
Branding is essentially a marketing term used to categorize us and convey a specific message. It’s not who we are. It’s the perception of who we are and like beauty, it’s in the eyes of the beholder. As a child, my dad told me Del Monte meant “kill the farmer.” Obviously he was feeling squeezed by a giant food producer and that has stuck with me to this day.
It’s the tangible way we reflect personal philosophies and personalities. It reflects our values, perspectives and interests. Not only do we run impressions of people and things through our own filter and assign them a brand, we also label ourselves based on those that have been assigned to us. We immediately form opinions of the motorcycle – and its rider – based on whether it’s a BMW, Yamaha, Honda, Harley-Davidson or Ducati.
Just like preconceived notions can lead us to misjudge the appropriateness of a motorcycle, so too can we misjudge others. These elements on which a motorcycle brand is created, can become judgment traps.
- Size. While there is a correlation between engine displacement (cc’s) and power output, it’s not a given. Likewise, we can’t determine a person’s capabilities or personalities by their physical size and shape.
- Color. We joke about whether a black bike is faster/nimbler/prettier/more powerful than a blue bike. In reality, color makes no difference. Just like age, skin or hair color make no difference to who we are as beings.
- Functionality, features. There are all kinds of options that can be purchased over and above the standard bike but unless they enhance safety, that they’re available doesn’t mean we need them. Likewise, we often make our lives overly complex, just because advertising has convinced us we need something.
- Accessories. There are lots of gizmos and gadgets we accumulate and granted, they can add convenience, but they don’t speak to the capabilities of the machine. Similarly, choices we make can camouflage our brand.
- Country of origin. Just because you’ve had an unfavorable experience with a Japanese/British/German bike does not mean that all things Japanese/British/German are bad. Nor does a person’s heritage necessarily reflect who that unique individual is.
- Stature. Differences in seat height, center of gravity and suspension can make an 800 pound cruiser easier to handle at slow speeds than a 500 pound dual sport bike. Individuals vary too. Don’t form an opinion based on first impression without knowing all the facts. You’ll likely be wrong.
- Heritage. Even a new motorcycle has a legacy, depending on experiences with others in its brand. The family, culture and society into which I arrived on this earth were instrumental in shaping the thoughts, attitudes and beliefs that guided my early behavior. Traditions, role models, religion, fairy tales and myths all passed down from one generation to the next, set the expectations based on cultural norms,
- Stock issue. This is what our bike is – or who we are – before people start working on us. The setting we’re born into initially establishes our brand but as we become more self aware and evolve, we come to realize that often, the branding that’s been thrust upon us by others is not who we are. Like the ugly duckling, we sense we don’t fit and at some point strike out to find the tribe where we do belong.
- Reviews, opinions of others. People base motorcycle purchases on journalists reviews and experiences of others. It’s really good to do your research, but in the end, it’s important to realize that the opinions of others percolate through their filters, their thoughts and beliefs.
Our brand is one of our most valuable assets and we control it. It’s something we create to express who we are, not something we are pigeonholed into because of an arbitrary label.
Posted on June 5, 2018
Are you one of those slightly unfortunate people living in a geographic location close to the poles? If so then you are one of those who get extremely pleased on those days of the year when there is just about a bit of sun heat around, and you spend the rest of the year thinking how to keep yourself warm yet sexy.
The biggest problem which people like you face, if they are fashion- conscious, is with their dress. In the intense cold they don’t have much of a choice when it comes to dressing. However all is not that gloomy. If you are fashion conscious and like millions of the people around want to look good then you would soon turn your warm clothes into a style statement. You see nobody made a rule that warm clothes cannot be stylist and sexy.
Talking about warm clothes the first thing which comes to anybody’s mind is leather. If you are used to wearing lambskin leather then there is nothing more left for us to tell you. However if you are unaccustomed to wearing this fine category of clothing then there is much that you have lost on. Leather is very warm and soft. It is also amazingly sexy. Yes. Leather wear is very sexy. It doesn’t matter how your shape is, when you wear leather your body automatically get a very firm and curvy shape. There is an accentuation which your body gets under leather. Added to that leather is shiny. This means that you will not look dull no matter how colorless the rest of your dresses are.
If you are having genuine leather garments then there is need for you to take care of it. Followings are few ways of doing so.
o Polish: yes, this is the most important part you need to religiously do in order to keep your leather wear in good shape. This is what most people don’t do. But you must understand that if you don’t polish your leather it will not get any moisture and lose its shine very soon!!
o Watch out: when buying the polish make sure that you are not taking a polish which has mineral or petroleum in it and above all avoid polishes with coloring agents. Polishes are important for your leather but you must choose that right one else you will only be left with patchy stains of those expensive leather wears. Also try to avoid heavy and greasy polishes since they too are not good for your leather wear.
o No wax and silicon please: this is another thing which you will have to stay away from if you want keep that leather wear of yours in good shape. Animal fats such as mink oil etc. can be used but they have their own disadvantage. What is that? Well these oils tend to clog the pores of the leather and not just that, they also make the color of the leather a lot darker. So you will find yourself flaunting new colors of the same dress everyday!!
o Stay away from moisture: like all the above mentioned things, moisture too is not good for your leather wear. So better stay away from snow and rain. And if you by chance get them on your leather then make immediate efforts to dry the dress completely unless you want ugly patches on your expensive lovely leather wear!!
Now you are quite educated about taking care of leather wear. So what are you waiting for? Better make up for the neglect you have subjected your leather wear to for all these years.
Posted on May 19, 2018
Motorcycle helmets are the most important gear for any biker, however to ensure a perfect buy, you have to consider a few tips while choosing motorcycle helmets.
Always try on the new helmets before riding on the road to make sure that you are comfortable with the new protective gear. Check out for symmetry and make sure that the helmet rests just above the brows without hampering your vision. It should be too tight that it might leave red marks once you take off the helmet.
Once you have purchased your helmet, try to store it in a level place to avoid the risk of getting it knocked off to the ground, which could spoil the helmets and could leave ugly dents and scratch marks on your pricey gear
Full face helmets are recommended for regular bike riders as these would ensure absolute protection from weather blues and dust particles that could cause allergy to eyes and skin.
Study and follow motorcycle helmet safety standards and it is better not go for a cheap brand to save a few penny as it cannot guarantee safety and protection to the wearer in the event of an accident. Always choose certified and approved helmets, so that you will remain eligible for insurance coverage too. Insurance companies can refuse accident coverage if the helmet used is not in compliance with the safety standards.
Before purchasing helmets, double check that these have undergone anti-scratch and anti-fog treatment. The visor should not come in contact with the outer shell of the helmet to keep it scratch free.
Choose a helmet that is not very heavy for your head as it could give you blurred vision and head and neck pain on prolonged use; whereas very light helmets might fall short of ensuring adequate protection.
The chinstrap should not be too long or short as it could hamper with the right fitting of the helmet. If it is too short, it will give you pain whereas long straps that need to be tucked away will spoil the aesthetic appeal of your helmet.
Choose an aerodynamic helmet with adequate vents to make it less noisy and comfortable. Poor ventilation systems could result in noisy helmets. The helmets loosen up over time, so make sure to pick up a model that gives you good fit. Last but not the least, make sure to comply the helmet law if your state to be a law abiding citizen.