Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Break Up Mix

Over the summer, to cope with the end of my last relationship, I put together a break up mix. I didn't burn it to a CD or record a mix tape; it lives on my computer as an iTunes album. Carefully crafted to acknowledge hurt and disappointment and then also incorporate a more positive outlook, I was hesitant about turning the mix into a Pandora station. But since I've had a few requests for it, I'm posting the break up mix here on Sandying.

1) Landslide, Smashing Pumpkins
2) Foundations, Kate Nash
3) Stay, Lisa Loeb
4) Nothing Better, The Postal Service
5) Blackbird, The Beatles
6) New Soul, Yael Naim
7) Irreplaceble, Beyonce
8) Don't Forget About Us, Mariah Carey
9) Standing Still, Jewel
10) Shake It Off, Mariah Carey

There were a few more songs on this list initially that I pulled off as I refined the mix because they started to get on my nerves or I thought they interrupted the flow. When I Grow Up by Garbage and A Thousand Miles by Vanessa Carlton are two that fell off the list that you may still appreciate.

If there are particular break up songs you've found to be helpful in the healing / coping process, please share them in the comments!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

From the Bookshelf: Men are from Mars

A friend of mine recommended I read this book, and lo and behold, I found it on the coffee table that very day. I like to think that I'm open to self help books and whatnot. But I know better. I learned during yoga teacher training--while reading books like Ask and It Is Given and You Can Heal Your Life--that I'm quite a skeptic. In yoga, skepticism is just another word for resistance, which keeps us from reaching our true potential.

With that background, Men Are from Mars has been a fascinating read. It's simultaneously freeing and incredibly irritating to think that in order to understand each other we must first accept that we don't understand each other. I suppose you can use that premise of understanding anywhere, but I've always found it particularly frustrating with male / female interactions. I've often found myself asking, "why can't we just communicate about these differences?"

Apparently, we humans make a lot of assumptions. Martians understand Martian, Venusians understand Venusian. We expect to communicate in our local dialect with our mate, but they use and understand their language differently. Interpersonal communication is forever complicated by the fact that when a woman says a phrase and when a man says that same phrase, the two could mean very different things. What fun!?!

I've always been an advocate for a high level of interpersonal communication with a significant other. For women, this heighten communication makes for a heightened feeling of intimacy; according to Grey, this intimacy makes men question their personal abilities and power. We communicate differently; we love differently. Now, I find myself wondering, how do you support someone if you can't relate to their needs?

Indeed, Men are from Mars. I'm about half way through the book, so I guess I'll have to keep reading to find the answer to my question.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: A Cause Bandwagon

If you're seeing pink ribbons at every corner and you're not sure why, October is breast cancer awareness month. If you didn't know it's October, I don't know what to tell you about that.

Breast cancer and I have history. Not a personal history, but family history. I was named after my grandmother; she died of breast cancer while I was still growing in my mom's tummy. This history is why I've done my fair share of relays and walks to raise money for a cure.

Noting that it's a personal issue for me and many others, I have to say that fighting breast cancer has become one of the most widely recognized charitable causes ever. Aside from the RED campaign to fight AIDs in Africa, I can't think of a more marketed charitable cause. Pink is the new black. Pink is in. Unless you're wearing a pink polo with a popped collar, that's out.

But seriously. As a marketer, I feel compelled to ask how effective is it to hop on the breast cancer bandwagon? With the exception of Yoplait and Avon, if your company is linked to the fight against breast cancer in some way, I'm not going to know about it or remember it. I'm not saying that supporting breast cancer is a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination--of course, I'm in favor of eradicating all forms of cancer. But in terms of supporting your brand, in terms of differentiating your brand, there are other ways to do cause marketing.

With international organizations, like CancerHelpUK, noting that there are over 200 different types cancers, it's tempting to suggest just picking another one. However, you could do better for your brand by choosing a charitable cause or organization that is in someway related to your business. For example, a publishing company could partner with a literacy organization to improve the reading level nationwide.

While choosing a cause that meshes with the nature of your business is important for cause marketing, I imagine the pink cause bandwagon is good for sales. How many people out there own pink shirts (or shirts with a pink ribbon) specifically in support of the breast cancer cause? Pink teddy bears? Pink-ribboned water bottles? Pink anything as a sign of solidarity with the cause?

Pictures by Flickr user Musiclver05: