Another Scar to Fulfill My Destiny

I have scars on my hands.

Scars which the world may deem ugly.

 

But to me they mean power.

They define me.

 

“How did you gain these scars?” you ask.

“It’s a long story for a very long day.

Not one for today.” I reply.

His curiosity doesn’t seem to be satisfied.

So, I add, “These scars mean only positive things for me.”

 

He seems to have accepted my response.

At least, he shows that he has.

Except his eyes speak a different language.

Is it curiosity I see in them? Or is it anxiety?

 

However, we are here,

At this ridiculous coffee shop for an interview.

Honestly, it’s all a business to me.

I reassure him, “my rough hands mean only good things.

Things you wouldn’t have never explored before.

Territories that have been unchartered till date.”

 

He says nothing; only looks.

Curiously, anxiously, nervously, eagerly.

I can’t make out.

 

I need to work on reading him better.

That’s going to be a necessity

If I work for him.

 

He has a basic list of questions.

The usual.

However, his eyes seem hungry for more.

More detailed information.

 

I tell them, ‘Not so soon, there’s still time for all that’.

Once our contract is signed,

Hunger will be thoroughly forgotten.

I beam with pride as I think that.

 

He does his part swiftly.

Signs the contract and pays the bill for our coffee.

He don’t seem very happy

Besides I don’t care for his happiness.

 

I am finally living my dream.

I have fulfilled my lifelong passion today.

A passion that has given me another new scar today.

A scar that will let me live out my destiny.

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Consumption and Self Identity

Consumer behavior is a very complicated and a very deep topic. It is the study of how a consumer behaves and what exactly influences their behavior and what enhances it. Major influences of consumer behavior as per Amna Kirmani (2009) include cultures, sub-cultures, age, geographic factors, ethnicity, gender, nationality, morality, self-image and so forth. However, the most important factor that affects consumer behaviour is identity, self identity. Consumption is the best way of expressing your identity. I like starbucks coffee instead of costa or cafe coffee day and that may express many things that may relate to my identity. The clothes I wear, the accessories I use, my make up, bags, perfumes and so forth all define my identity.

I recently decided to go for a complete makeover. The reason being me returning home with a completely new identity for myself. In the past one year I have been in the UK, I have seen myself mature from the jeans and t-shirt wearing undergraduate to a legging and tunic wearing post graduate. My identity has changed and this is clearly visible from my consumption patterns. Its not just the clothes, its my accessories and bags and make up. A year back, my identity was a youth who was clumsy, unsure of everything and someone who is completely orignal. This would be seen through my mismatched clothes, my jewellery and the things I used. My new makeover conveys class with fashion and smartness. My new clothes and accessories completely define that.

So what is self identity? Self identity aims at depicting unobservable and intangible attributes of fashion through observable and tangible attributes of like ownership of a Gucci handbag, in other words, on the basis of brands symbols and identities (Amna Kirmani, 2009). But how does this affect consumer behaviour? Consumer behavior is highly driven by how the consumers perceive themselves making consumption highly congruent to the self image of the consumer (Sameer Hosany & Drew Martin, 2011). An individual’s authentic self is composed largely of personal or social identities and how these identities are susceptible to contextual influences. Authentic identities are closely related to personal identities rather than group identities. Personal identities refer to personal traits and attributes which are unrelated to group membership like intelligence and so forth (Amna Kirmani, 2009).

According to research people like to be unique than others they like to stand out and be noticed rather than be a part of a crowd making being unique or divergent acts as a means of conveying personal identity (Jonah Berger and Chip Heath, 2007). Consumption is a tool for self expression where consumers select products/brands to portray their own self concept (Sameer Hosany & Drew Martin, 2011). It acts as a method of defining, maintaining and enhancing self concept of consumers (Sameer Hosany & Drew Martin, 2011).  Consumption of products depicts personal attributes, motivation and various social patterns reflecting the personality and lifestyle of consumers further implying social distinctions or social similarities (Sameer Hosany & Drew Martin, 2011). People have individualistic as well as collectivistic elements which they tend to sample with different probabilities and in different cultures (Sharon Shavitt et al, 2009).

Consumption is seen as the cognitive match between consumers’ self-concept consisting of the four dimensions (mentioned in fig 1, appendix) and the product/brand image, store image, destination image or user image of a given product/brand/service (Sameer Hosany & Drew Martin, 2011). Every product has a separate goal to be met thus influencing the attitude functions they endorse (Sharon Shavitt et al, 2009). Brands hint towards personal and social identities, goals or both (Amna Kirmani, 2009). For example, seeing a Mercedes Benz may create a desire for a person to work hard and earn money to buy it thus creating a goal and thus further the desire to be successful as an inference about one’s. It sure is a personal driver as I someday aim to own a BMW or a Mercedez.

Sometimes, individuals do certain activities in order to be divergent from a social group or a sect (Jonah Berger and Chip Heath, 2007). However this divergence from identities may cause non consumption of certain products or brands or services and thus may act as a threat for the product or brand or service in question (Jonah Berger and Chip Heath, 2007). An individuals’ identity may be influenced by a variety of factors and if this identity does not support a product or brand or service, then it may act as a negative implication for the product or brand or service product or brand or service (Amna Kirmani, 2009). In my example, don’t buy things like bright colours in clothes or lakme products for make up as they do not work with my identity of being fashionable and classy. My previous consumption in clothes included lots of short tshirts and jeans something I have recently discarded very happily as my previous identity included being original. I never used make up but now I cannot leave home without my make up my accessories. It is a part of my new identity. My consumption and identity are related to what I want the world to see me as.