In which Harish tries to answer his friends' questions - Part 2

Harish is the co-founder of Choose To Thinq, the parent company of Thinq2Win.
You can read the first part of this conversation here.

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So you get paid for asking questions to the customers of these pubs - while you are giving away free beer to them. Why?

Yes. To be more precise, we get paid for providing a memorable time to those people. See - what happens is people feel thrilled about solving these mini-challenges and when they get a reward for it, the loop is complete for them. Their brain gets a dopamine rush and as that friend of mine who also featured in the earlier post once said - if they feel happy about it and get that feeling of happiness at my pub and if we can do it repeatedly, and 'own' this association of happiness in their brains with my pub, we have solved the ultimate branding challenge.

Of course, this is easier said than done because to be able to do this, the format of the quiz has to be just right (not threatening or invasive) , the level of difficulty of the questions has to be just right (if it's too easy, you won't feel you have earned your prize), the host has to be challenging enough and not obnoxious, the clues that are sprinkled have to be just right - so it's a great example of the Goldilocks Zone. You have to get it exactly right.

There's solid science behind this - the science that tries to figure out how to get you to develop new habits!

Wow! That's cool. I never thought you guys looked at it this way.

I'll let you in on a secret. We actually don't see ourselves as a quizzing company. A quizzing company would end up restricting themselves to hosting quizzes in college festivals and schools. We have done our share of such quizzes but we look at ourselves as turning what's ordinary into a memorable moment. We have added our pixie dust to occasions as varied as anniversary parties to boring Sunday afternoons to prize distribution functions to taking notes in a notebook!

Come on! Now you are trying to pull some 'start with the why' Simon Sinek-style wool on my eyes?

Of course yes - Simon Sinek's "start with the why" is a great way of looking at your reason for existence. By looking at ourselves as the folks who turn the ordinary into a memorable moment, we do end up setting different expectations for ourselves. If we were just a quizzing company, we'd probably worry about whether our audience has already heard a question that we are asking but now we worry about what the objective of our sponsor is and if that question is helping us meet that objective or not! And this also frees us up from thinking only in terms of quiz-questions. Did you know that we have used crossword puzzles, anagrams, rebus puzzles?

What's more - do you know about IconiqIndia? IconiqIndia helps kids get closer to India. If we had thought as a quizzing company, our job would have been restricted to conducting an India quiz for kids (which we do with indiQa, by the way). But because we see it beyond quizzing, we are actually creating activities for kids and quizzes are just one of the many interesting things they do!

But all this takes time to explain to people. In fact, when someone asks me "what we do", I usually ask them to sit down (from now on, I'll point them to this post). It takes time to make people realize that we are more than a quizzing company. That's also the reason why IconiqIndia has got a separate brand identity for itself.

This is heavy-duty stuff. And there's so much going on behind the scenes!

We will soon be completing 5 years. It's longer than one full Olympic/ World Cup cycle! That translates to thousands of questions and facts, hundreds of events, dozens of formats. Yet, it's as exciting as it was on the first day - because we are trying something new with products that will turn the ordinary into the memorable. We are launching new e-mail subscriptions, e-books, apps, merchandise items. We believe we have created a new audience - we don't dumb ourselves, we show them the respect they deserve.

Wow! This is not ordinary stuff.

Thanks - that's the whole point :-)