A New Financial Year.


It’s been five months since I moved to Swan Hill, and I like my country life so far.

One change from me is that I tried to understand why the country is different from the city. For example, country music, if one lives in the city, country music does not make sense to them. But in the country, when you walk in the forest alone or run along the trail by yourself, some sheep or cows walking beside you, country music at that moment is the best way to express yourself, and it is better to sing it out. Once I saw a girl playing guitar in the park and singing, it was beautiful. Another activity called fishing – it was the most boring thing to do for me, and it still is – I once spent two hours near the river to see others fishing, trying to understand it – it is not too bad. When everything else is not moving, holding the pole still is the best way to synchronise yourself with the world – I think this is the pleasure of fishing. Just maybe, and I must say I am still on the way to understand fishing!
Sometimes I miss Melbourne, or even Beijing, especially my friends there. What I usually do is I just imagine the something here is something there, and this worked well when I was in Melbourne. I remember when I was driving on Princess Highway from Caulfield to Clayton,  I always imagined it was Baiyi Road in Beijing. Sometimes it was raining when I passed Chadstone, seeing many cars there, not sure it was illusion or what, I really thought I was driving in Beijing. In Swan Hill, there is no wide road, the high street only has two lanes, but the only McDonald can still remind me the the one at the corner of Wellington Road and Dandenong Road in Melbourne, again especially on a rainy day. The franchisees of those chain will never expect their shops can be viewed in such a way I guess.
Anyway, goods sides and bad sides, this is life as always. This financial year has just passed and a new year will start soon. You know as an accountant, I celebrate financial year as it is a big relief for us, I also celebrate calendar year as it is my longest holiday over Christmas. Additionally I have to celebrate Chinese New year, so how busy I am!

Brand, Location, or Price?


I run out of toast paste so I need go to a supermarket to buy a jar of peanut butter. Should I just buy a crunchy one of the same brand I bought last time, or just the one that can be easily picked on the shelf, or the one with a yellow tag saying half price? Well, this is a question much harder than purchasing peanut butter itself, and the result varies definitely. 
Talking about brand loyalty, it is always the least important consideration for me. Food of different brands taste the same at least for me, and everyone knows consumers have to pay more for advertisements on big brands, so the product itself means more to customers. As for the producer, they might have more impacts on the retailer and persuade them to put fewer competitors on shelf, whereas they need patience to build up long-term customer loyalty. I think about brand in rare products like Vegemite, but these examples are unique.
Between two other factors, I am surprised to know the influence of products’ location. Researchers tracked 67 subjects on shelf and found that consumers tend to focus on the objects in the middle – five seconds before they make their choice. Also,  this doesn’t mean it is in the middle of the one’s visual field, but the entire shelf layout. The research tried to explain this with the similar choice people make when choosing the middle toilet (though I don’t do that) or a middle seat at a table.
I used to think people tend to compare the price and choose a better deal, but studies showed that most consumers had no conscious awareness when they get stuff in their shopping list from the shelf – anything can happen in those 5 seconds when they pass a shelf and prepare the tick one thing, and smart producers know how to use it through its products location.
Do you have something from the supermarket but untouched? I do, and I really think I need to reconsider the reason I bought those things back next time.