Saturday, November 9, 2013

Slogan, slogan, and slogan...

My attention was drawn to a slogan in a full page advertisement in The Star today.

“Your Financial Provider” screams loud and clear below the advertiser MBSB’s corporate logo. The first thought that crossed my mind was: How arrogant! Whose financial provide are you? Certainly not mine!

The self-exaltation advertisement was apparently put up to celebrate its being named one of Forbes Asia’s best 200 small to midsize companies in the region. However, it was thanking its customers for making the company one of the “top” companies in the region! I am not sure if the people in MBSB understand the difference between these two sets of adjectives: “small to midsize” and “top”.

I used to know a little about MBSB during its earlier days. Indeed it was the leading provider of housing loans in the country at one time. It went listing and I cannot remember what happened next; its shares tanked. We lost some good money!

Talking about sloganeering, Firefly is another name that comes straight into my mind.

I am still doing some advisory work for a firm that operates from Singapore. I find it too tiring to commute between Melbourne and Singapore between meetings. I therefore also maintain a small apartment at Subang Saujana. Firefly is obviously the most convenient carrier for me to count on.

It styles itself as “Your Community Airline”. Frankly, I really do not know what it means by that. Which community? The community that lives around Subang Airport? (If so, it is certainly not big enough to sustain the airline!) The community that wants cheap fares? (But the fares aren’t cheap at all! I usually have to pay between MYR300 MYR500 for a one-way journey.)

Besides its bizarre slogan, I also have a few things to say about Firefly.

1.      When you go into its website to purchase tickets on-line, it would ask you to enter your Enrich Number. Do try it to see if it works.

2.      If don’t un-check the insurance and sms offers, you will find yourself “slugged” by these two additional costs.

3.      Try to make a print-out of the e-ticket it sends to you. The IT personnel there either have not attempted to do one themselves, or they are still groping to do a proper job.

4.      At the airport, you need to fork out “penalty” charges if you want to board an earlier flight, even though it might be half empty. (Common sense would dictate that you fill up these unsold seats first, wouldn’t this is be so in Business Course 101?)

Otherwise, the aircraft are reasonable comfortable and punctual.

Many love sloganeering. This is the latest from the British Airways: To Fly. To Serve. Isn’t the first part superfluous? (Or it stays in the tarmac most of the time? And you believe the second part???

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