One of the most dreaded topics that could ever be raised for discussion is sexual harassment within the workplace. The room literally drops dead silent when it is mentioned or implied. Some workers become defensive, some sweaty and nervous, while others wrap their hands round their mouth.
The reason could be because most organisations consider it too sensitive to discuss since there may be quite a number of unpleasant secrets it may reveal. Even when noticed, most workers would never dare to say a word about it; either in fear of losing their job or in an attempt to protect the reputation of those involved. Due to the hush attitude towards the subject matter, most times it ends up being swept under the carpet. Still the issue of sexual harassment continues to be a menace in the work environment.
“When you talk about sexual harassment in tech or in any other industry, it’s like dropping a nuclear bomb on your career,” said Susan Ho, cofounder of travel startup Journy, who has had her own share of harassment.
A CNN Tech article published in 2018 exposed a number of cases of women in the tech industry who have been at one point or another sexual harassed. Most of these women were initially afraid to speak up about the awkward experiences they’ve had to face. Eventually they summoned courage and shared their stories.
“We’re sitting at the Starbucks, and he grabs my face and tries to make out with me, and I push him back in surprise, and just didn’t know what to do, because he continued to try again, and was so aggressive,” Lisa Wang, cofounder of SheWorx, revealed during her interview with CNN Tech.
All too often, it has been recorded that 35% cases of sexual harassment are that of women. However following a 2018 campaign tagged Timeup and MeToo, 18% of men were added to the statistics. This invariably implies that the issue of unwanted sexual advances is no longer gender selective but a plague to both women and men, practically anyone can be a prey.
Reports of sexual harassments in the workplace could come in different forms; distasteful remarks, unwarranted touching of any part of the body, prolonged staring, nasty sex related comments, etc. Some advances could be subtle, gradually luring the prey to the trap, and may not be open or direct. Whichever form it takes, as long as it is against the will of the other person then it can be categorised as harassment.
From a Vanguard newspaper publication, still in 2018, we stumbled on a 25year old lady’s story on the issue. Here is an excerpt;
“I got a job in a private company in Surulere as an Office Secretary. My boss was generous to a fault. He was kind to me but I never knew it was for a purpose. Six months after I got the job, he mailed a letter to me telling me to consider a better position in the company if only I could be his mistress. I did not understand so I did not reply his mail. I continued with my job until one morning when I was told to move to another office that someone has taken my position and that I will be working directly with the Executive Director of the office. I still did not understand. Reluctantly, I moved my documents to the ED’s office. I was working with him until one day he asked why I did not reply his mails. I was dumbfounded. I was stammering and told him that was not my line of thought and definitely not my style of life. He then told me to quit the job if I was not ready to be his mistress. I pleaded but he told me that someone else had already taken the position. That was how I lost the job”
In some cases the boss may not be the predator but either a senior staff or a colleague in the same level could harass junior staff or interns and even go as far as threatening them to either give in or they make their work experience unbearable. In other cases, customers or clients or investors make advances at staff and even harass them while trying to offer services to them. There are also classic cases where the staff become the predator that go after clients attached to them. The scenarios are endless and unpredictable.
Frequently when cases of harassments are reported, especially those involving senior staff or a client, little or nothing is done. Some organisations might even take sides with a client rather than believe a staff who has been harassed. This simply is based on the fact that they would prefer to retain the relationship with that client who obviously pumps in money into the company.
When issues like these have become a norm in any organisation, it brings along with it a tensed atmosphere, one void of life. An uptight attitude among workers then takes over thereby making work difficult. The work environment eventually becomes unproductive and unsafe for those who have refused to bow to the pressure.
Should we continue to sweep topics like these under the carpet or could we turn around and face it? Let’s read your thoughts or experiences on this one.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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The career world sometimes, if not most times, isn’t a straight-line graph easily plotted. Our interviewee for this week on the column, Walter Aloh, is a typical example of those whose career path haven’t been straight but he’s been able to make the most of his experiences within just four years.
“I have been working for close to four (4) years now. Though I have spent close to 3 years at my current place of work (Deloitte & Touché), I must say it has been a good experience for me. Working in a BIG FOUR has tremendously improved my work rate, load capacity, exposure, confidence, professional skills and tolerance level. For instance I could be on a phone call and still multitask in between different activities. Also I wasn’t so confident speaking to people at a certain level some few years ago, but today the story is so different” Walter narrated to us.
Walter has changed jobs just once and it was as a result of a better opportunity that presented itself, in his words “I changed my job due to the promising career path I could see in a BIG 4, and the opportunity to work there, alongside the well improved pay.”
Walter is one of many Nigerians who change from their original profession and he attributed it to the Nigerian system, implying that most people in Nigeria never get the fair chance to practice what they studied in the University. He went further to expatiate his previous statement by giving a brief summary of his background from what he was trained in school to how he has been able to adjust to different roles which are to some extent worlds apart from his initial course of study,
“I was a technical/engineering student and majored in Petroleum Engineering in the university, but today I’m a forensic consultant. At my first place of work, I was a Digital marketer. So you see that they all don’t square out that way, and this ‘story’ isn’t unique to me. There is an unpopular saying out there meant for Nigerians living in Nigeria; that the university education basically helps to test if you can read, write, understand difficult concepts and still produce results. That is to say, if you attain a degree with a 1st class or 2.1, or 2.2 or acquire a Master’s degree, and you are within a certain age bracket, you can apply for jobs in Nigeria, regardless of what you studied in school, whilst some places are very specific with what you studied in school. However, I do not believe that a person’s final grade in school is a true test of their capabilities. This is Nigeria, anything to survive as long as it is moral and legal”
Despite the detour along his career path and the challenges that come with it, Walter can clearly say he has made tremendous progress in every area of his life, “well, it’s been good so far. Like I explained earlier, my knowledge and capacity base has really expanded. Promotions too has been very good, and in this environment which I’m sure is the same with other places, you constantly have to keep pulling your weight and churning out results, because it is an extremely competitive environment. The monetary growth too has been very good. One lesson I have learnt is to mind where I invest my money. If the investment company is not insured by a top insurance company, I won’t invest with them, even if they promise a million naira per week.”
He quickly emphasised the importance of having a proper career plan before one decides to make the move to whatever they may think is better, “I must add that one has to also be very strategic in terms of career plan and not be too comfortable on a job or what they have to offer. Things can change rapidly, and it’s normal to feel a bit jittery when you see how other colleagues move up, change jobs or go for more qualifications/certifications so as to get better pay or career interests, but once you start with the WHY in mind concerning your long and short term career/life goals, you will be just fine.”
On a lighter mood, Walter acknowledged that his experience so far has been quite remarkable, recalling some events that have stood out for him, “I have had a lot of good experiences. I’ve had the opportunity to work with a good number of cross-cultural colleagues from other countries, and also have developed a broader view of the world thanks to the different work related trips to other countries.”
Highlighting some life lessons he has learnt within the years he has been working, he said, “I have learnt to differentiate between friends and colleagues at work. One should be friendly and also firm in their decision making. Don’t be too trusting, and above all trust God to guide you all the way.”
As we know, regardless of the path we choose, there will always be challenges which necessarily are not meant to bring us down but could serve as check points. Walter identified some of the challenges that came with his, “There are quite a number of challenges, from daily demand to always make an impact and be valuable, to the unannounced competition with colleagues on who’s the better performer, to keeping up with part of the dress code which includes a hairy person like me having a clean shave all the time and down to satisfying client engagement objectives.”
One aspect most employees get wrong is managing their finances. Walter on the other hand seems to have become quite skilful in handling his finances. He had this to say about his financial life, “I must say that I have done my best to live within my means, live modestly and invest more in my future. I try as much as possible to assist people in need, and once in a while give myself a treat, along with family and friends. If one isn’t careful about their financial life, you’ll find that they would be living from pay check to pay check which is a disaster waiting to happen.”
Like it is often said, virtually everything has both good and bad sides to it. The work life unarguably has two sides to it. Admitting to this fact, Walter stated, “Some of the disadvantages which are not unique to me alone are; stress, very little time to spend with friends and family, average work-life choices (I won’t say balance) and little time to rest with so much to do.”
About having a side hustle, Walter indicated that there was no obvious one currently but eventually hopes that there would be one soon, “At the moment, I have no side hustle. When I say that, I actually mean it’s not reaping out value yet. In the fullness of time you will hear.”
To round up his interview, Walter had these pieces of advice to share with those about to start trailing a career path, “My first advice would be that they should trust God and not rely fully on their knowledge. Due to the expectations for new hires to immediately learn to swim in the big river and start making impact early, pressure would set in, which would potentially result in making too many mistakes on the job. Also, most work related environments are ‘perception oriented’ meaning that one’s first mistake could live with them for as long as they are within that environment or company.”
He further pointed out that patience and ability to learn will help those who want to climb the career ladder, “I always advice new entry level hires to be patient, take things easy and work with senior colleagues who they perceive to be more experienced and are good teachers on the job. I would also tell them to be fast learners, and do as much work as they can so as to make mistakes early and learn a lot in a short time. Depending on their career goals, they should invest in continuous learning and advancement so they can be relevant in their chosen career path.”
Lastly, Walter inserted, “Relationships are important, so I advice people to invest in good networks/relationships and find a mentor within the workplace who must not necessarily be a senior colleague in their department.”
From Walter Aloh’s perspective about the workplace, we can conclusively say that one’s career life is basically what they make of it. So whatever career path you have chosen, it is how you tread that matters in the end.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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DO BUSINESS BETTER
When people think of major Restaurants in Port Harcourt and Nigeria at large, the list would be incomplete if Kilimanjaro isn’t mentioned. This is so because Kilimanjaro has succeeded in creating a popular and appealing brand among quick service restaurants in Nigeria. Going from its appetizing and tasteful food packages, serene and hygienic environment as well as its endearing customer service, it has retained its position amongst the top brands sought-after by customers. Above all, the brand has remained a much focused business entity, last year alone we learnt that they made a whooping profit of 950m Naira after tax, that’s huge and very promising! You surely would love to know more about this exceptional brand.
THE BRAND HISTORY
Kilimanjaro is the thriving restaurant brand under Sundry Foods Limited, an integrated food services company that proffers hospitality solutions through a wide range of products and services involving catering, restaurants and bakeries. Specifically, the primary brands of Sundry Foods Limited are; Kilimanjaro, Nibbles bakery, SFL catering services, Pizza jungle, and KiliSharwarma. Same group also owns and operates MarketSquare, a supermarket chain under the company Sundry Markets Limited.
Sundry Foods Limited was established in 2004 by Ebele Enunwa, a chartered accountant and former Regional Manager of Stanbic IBTC bank Port Harcourt, who resigned to pursue his dream as an entrepreneur and obtained a Masters of Management in Hospitality degree from Cornell University, USA.
Recording exponential successes in acceptance and sales, Kilimanjaro stands out as the fastest growing and most successful brand of SFL. It has over 31 outlets across the country and is the leading food service provider in two major cities in Nigeria – Port Harcourt and Abuja. They offer a wide range of wholesome and tasty local, African and Intercontinental dishes as well as both corporate and home delivery services. This is done under hygienic conditions, in an attractive manner whilst patiently capturing consumers’ needs during service delivery.
Buttressing this, Kilimanjaro deliver tasty meals on time in good quality and quantity and also make payments easy by providing varied payment options for their customers through its cashless POS service. Ping-a-Meal; an online delivery service, provides customers with the opportunity to place their orders at the comfort of their homes and offices and have them delivered promptly. With Kilimanjaro you can never run out of cash because they offer CashBack services. Out of cash? Just go into any of its outlets. All these and many more has contributed in making Kilimanjaro a competitive brand, highly endearing to hearts of consumers. Little wonder some customers would argue that their meals are the best and are fascinated and really do enjoy Kilimanjaro’s Nibbles coconut, strawberry and chocolate ice-cream mix. These can only be gotten from Kilimanjaro.
THE BRAND VISION
“Better Food, Better Service, Better People”
To be the foremost integrated food services company in the country providing the complete food service solutions to a select strata of clientele.
THE BRAND MISSION
To build a world class organization worthy of association and to create exceptional value for their shareholders by:
- providing an intellectually stimulating work environment where employees can achieve job and career satisfaction,
- providing the best products and service possible in an exciting environment giving the customer an unforgettable experience, while
- positively impacting on our environment and the community at large.
THE SERVICES PROVIDED
Quick service restaurant serving both local and continental cuisines, Nibbles ice cream, shawarma, pizza, bread and confectionaries such as doughnuts, cakes, small chops, desserts, pastries; ping-a-meal service, Office and Home delivery services, industrial catering, events catering services.
THE BRAND CULTURE
Kilimanjaro has the culture of ensuring that the food needs of their customers are met by making available wholesome sumptuous and tasty meals on time and every time in good quality, quantity even at the comfort of their homes and offices. They are critical and very careful in employing staff and hire based on the brands core values of providing tasty meals and quality services to people. In their very own words,
“We know that what we offer has a direct relationship with the quality of materials we use as well as the quality of people we use to provide our services. We therefore take extra caution in hand picking our people and materials in order to ensure that we meet and exceed customer expectations on time, every time.”
Written by Rejoice Emmanuel
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Do Business Better
It started as a rumour, but months down the line, it’s the new reality and identity for these two major bank brands, Access Bank and Diamond Bank. The deal which was reportedly denied by some authorities in the banks officially went public in December 2018 when negotiations were already concluded.
Expectedly, there have been many reactions to this; while most see it as a welcome development which is significant in putting Nigeria on the map, a few remain sceptical about it. Amid the pressure from panicking customers, concerned shareholders, the interfering press and public opinions, the two banks have remained focus to what they believe would be the largest bank the African continent has ever seen.
Moving away from the noise and excitement, there is so much to glean from this seemingly great business accomplishment. Let’s see what insights we can glean.
For any business that seeks to expand, there are certain qualities it should be known for as well as structures that must be in place. To put this in a more concise way, that business must have built its capacity which isn’t built overnight, rather it is consistently developed over the years.
From its record, Access Bank, which is a top Multinational commercial bank in Nigeria, has had six successful mergers and acquisitions before now. The bank began its journey of acquisitions in 2005 with their first being Marina Bank and Capital Bank. Amongst other acquisitions after the first, one of the most memorable which placed them as one of the four largest commercial banks in Nigeria was in 2012 when it acquired Intercontinental Bank. Well there is no doubt the management team has been running with their vision which is “to be the world’s most respected African bank”.
On the other hand, Diamond Bank as a technology driven retail bank had set a high standard which gave other banks a run for their money. This has earned it an indisputable leadership position in digital and mobile banking. Diamond bank mostly leveraged on technology and continued to provide innovative solutions for financial challenges.
Another sign that this merger will be unbeatable is clearly seen in their statistics, with Access Bank having an asset of 4,555 and 1,555 for Diamond Bank. It is also going to be a massive force combining both bank’s customers, Access Bank having over 10 million customers in Nigeria and different parts of Africa, and Diamond Bank 19 million customers. This explains why successful establishments tend to acquire enterprises that will add more value to them rather than reduce their worth. The likes of Facebook who keep acquiring other business platforms to enlarge its empire will help drive this point home.
Paying a closer attention to this deal, one would understand that another reason why Access Bank and Diamond Bank took this bold step is to remain relevant first as a financial establishment, then to their customers who are faced with many options to choose from in the ever bubbling financial market. What better way can a brand attain relevance if not creating a larger platform that provides solutions to the many problems facing their many customers?
While Access Bank will leverage Diamond Bank’s leadership in digital and mobile-led retail banking, Diamond Bank will gain more visibility with Access Bank’s strong network across the continent. In the word of Herbert Wigwe, the CEO of Access Bank,
“Access has a strong track record of acquisition and integration and has a clear growth strategy. Access and Diamond have complementary operations and similar values, and a merger with Diamond, with its leadership in digital mobile-led retail banking, could accelerate our strategy as a significant corporate and retail bank in Nigeria and a Pan-African financial services champion.”
Now bearing in mind the heights both banks have climbed in the past and what they hope to achieve, we can bet that they have done their market survey and have seen the many opportunities their merger will create in both the banking sector and the society at large. Again Herbert’s words confirm this,
“We believe that this platform, together with the two banks’ shared focus on innovation, financial inclusion and sustainability, can bring benefits to Access and Diamond customers, staff and shareholders.”
Till the deal comes to a final conclusion, there remains a high hope that the combination of these two banks will give birth to an exceptional brand.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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Do Business Better
Imagine you’ve been working for an organisation for the past eight years. Within those years, you can count the number of times you have received a full salary while other times, your salary had been slashed without prior information or apologies. You are just expected to go with the flow and accept whatever comes your way. Uncertainty has become the order of the day for you as decisions are constantly taken randomly and impulsively. A change could happen in split seconds and everyone suffers for it.
If your memory serves you right, your first year was the fairest year you have experienced since you took on the role at the company. It was the only time your boss actually showed concern about your welfare. After that year, everything seemed to have changed within the flash speed of an eye blink. As time passed, you noticed your boss was the too authoritative type who never listened to other people’s opinion. Your boss could go on and on about what the company’s needs were rather than what was best for the employees. Anybody’s salary could be slashed at the slightest mistake. Everybody worked tirelessly and spoke in hush voices, not wanting to offend by speaking up against the harsh rules and unfair treatment in the organisation.
During the last meeting, you had tried speaking up about some concerns which you and some other staff had discussed some days before. Eyes grew wide and your voice trembled as you spoke. With the angry look on your boss’s face which was expected, you knew he wasn’t quite pleased by your boldness. Half way through your complaint, your boss had shut you up seeing that your opinion was entirely different. You now looked like the rebellious one for saying things that were an obvious truth.
Your anger was renewed yesterday when salaries were paid and what you feared most had happened, yours was incomplete. The HR manager had explained you were being punished for insubordination and for lack of conduct. You were amazed at her calmness while she spoke confidently about offenses you didn’t think would ever be associated to your name. You could sense your patience running out but then felt helpless as this job was your only source of income.
“What do you do next?” you continue to ask yourself…
The scenario painted above is the case of so many employees in organisations where it is a taboo to speak about wrong happenings. In places like that there are no objections only silent nods and a forced dance to the rhythm set by the boss. In such organisations, a slash in salary is seen as the perfect punishment for any staff regardless of the position. What would you say is going to be the fate of the fellow in the description?
As an employer, it is important to do a review about how you treat your employees. If your plan is to build a brand that will outlive you, then the welfare of your employees should be your priority. As it is often said, “respect is reciprocal”, so also when you put your employees’ welfare first, they will in turn put your business first.
However, this doesn’t mean you should always dance to the tune of your employees or run your business based on their decisions. Rather it is a way to say you should be more intentional about building an organisation where everyone feels secured. Remember NO TEAM, NO BRAND.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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One brand that has gained dominance as a personal grooming product in different continents of the world is Gillette. The brand’s stability and clearly defined brand proposition has added to its uniqueness. There are so many lessons to glean from this top brand.
Join us and let’s take a tour into the Gillette world…
HISTORY OF THE BRAND
In 1895, Gillette King, a successful travel sales man got irritated by the fact that his shaving blade frequently became blunt and needed regular sharpening. So, he thought of designing a new type of razor which could be quickly used and replaced regularly. He pictured a shaving stick with a handle, having a disposable double-edged blade that could be used and reused until it was dull. And so, he got to work on his idea, drawing different designs and models of safety razors for six good years afterwards.
Finally, on the 28th of September 1901, Gillette founded the American Safety Razor Company which he later changed to Gillette Safety Razor Company in July of the following year. He obtained his company’s trademark registration and began production in 1903 were he sold 51 razors and 168 blades.
Spurred by successes in sales, Gillette introduced the “new improved” Gillette razor superseding and replacing the old-style razor – the silver Brownie razor in 1921. Further witnessing a series of expansion and growth, 68 years later Gillette developed the Sensor Shaving System which had thinner blades and better features. This caused sales to rise as this brand appealed to consumers and thus the Lady Sensor followed shortly.
With further research, marketing strategy, and expansion, a major innovation was introduced in 1998 to drive sales further up. The MACH 3, so called, had a third blade and its blades were set at an angle that made shaving easier with fewer strokes giving a smoother and comfortable feel.
Surviving, three takeover attempts, the company continued to grow and expand into various brands such as the Bic pen, Duracell batteries, Oral-B and other toiletries. Finally, on October 1st 2005, Gillette and Procter & Gamble merged companies. This ended the existence of Gillette Company as a business entity but culminated in creating the biggest brand in personal grooming and house care products in the world.
THE BRAND VISION
To build total brand value by innovating to deliver consumer value and customer leadership faster, better and more completely than our competition.
THE MISSION STATEMENT
A globally focused consumer products marketer that seeks competitive advantage in quality, value-added personal car and personal use products.
Gillette offers a wide range of products such as 2,3,5- bladed disposable razors, trimmers and blades, shave preps like foams, shave gels, shave lotions, after-shave balms and personal care products which includes deodorants, anti-perspirants, and body washes.
Subsequently, the company witnessed growth in sales and expanded to different parts of the world. In 1917, Gillette had the contract of supplying safety shaving blades to American soldiers during World War I which was funded by the government. Successive years saw the company evolving through a series of leadership profiles with men like John, Giasman, Gerard, Samuel, Stampleman, Spangler Jr., Gilbert and Colman Mockler at the helm of affairs.
The brand could be said to be a male product since it is mostly used by males for different shaving purposes. One culture this brand has retained over the years is their position on grooming more responsible men. Following a recent campaign against the usual “boys will be boys” attitude that encourages the nasty behavior of some male folks, Gillette made its stand clear. They believe and are working towards instilling better manners in the males.
With all these, the brand’s growth can be linked to the quality of its product, its leadership and also strong publicity. This way they have remained in the hearts many consumers all over the world.
What’s your take away from the Gillette story? Please share in the comment section.
Written by Rejoice Emmanuel
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Right from 4000BC, advertising has been one major strategic approach used by most successful businesses to put words out to the public about their products or services. Even though ancient business people didn’t have as much options as the modern entrepreneurs do currently, they made sure they used the materials at their disposal.
Using a material called Papyrus which is similar to a thick paper, the Egyptians, ancient Greece and ancient Rome created sales messages to advertise their products. While in continents like Asia, Africa and South America, business folks utilised walls and rocks to drive home sales through wall or rock paintings.
It must have been such a relief for most companies as more forms of advertising began to spring forth from the eighteenth century when the very first advertisement appeared on an England’s weekly newspaper. Then the 1920s came jiggling with lines of adverts in homes and offices through radio. It went visual in the 1950s as businesses leveraged on commercial television advertisement. To further create more advertising ease in the 1990s, one of the best medium was born, the internet. All these have evolved to what is now known as the modern advertisement.
While the evolution took place, more attractive advertising approaches emerged as well with the likes of Thomas J. Barratt, who is referred to as the father of modern advertisement, spearheading advertising campaigns which included the use of slogans, images and catchy phrases. As usual the aim was to conceive more people about the products and services of a company but beyond that they wanted to leave a lasting image in the minds of customers.
With the rise of more modern media that has further enhanced advertising such as social media, websites, blogs and even text messages, the present day entrepreneur has a wider door of opportunities to take advantage of in order to make more sales and gain a larger customer base. It’s now left for business owners to utilise all the options in front of them. The good news is there are many options that will enable companies spread word about what they can offer through their products and services.
Whether it is words imprinted on a newspaper or magazine, or maybe a jingle blaring out from a radio speaker, or visuals showcased on the television screen, or a billboard standing firmly with persuasive words, or the more advanced social media popping up graphics designs; all can be used to communicate to prospective clients what they stand to gain when they patronise a particular brand.
Now even though the goal of advertising most of the time is to make more people patronise a company’s commodities. However, whatsoever a company’s target is, when it comes to advertising, the first thing should be to promote the brand’s qualities to their existing customers and prospective ones. In view of building a lasting brand, the aim should be to convince the minds of potential customers that certain traits which they need and have been searching for are associated with a company’s products and services.
Despite the fact that advertisement is a sure way to attracting more customers, most times companies get the concept of advertising wrong by trying to give out too many information at once and in the end fail at their attempt. So here are some tips that could help any company increase its visibility in the eyes of clients.
- Choose and deliver the most important message, resist the temptation of reeling out all your services and products
- Try to inform and educate prospective customers and even existing ones about the quality of a brand or a new product released by the brand.
- Be known for a particular word or phrase; for example Peak, “it’s in you” and Nike, “just do it”
- Use of celebrities; in our present time whatever a celebrity does or buys becomes the new trend.
There is a lot to advertising that can give any business the much awaited results they have longed for. Leverage on advertisement and begin to get the desired attention.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi Need help with drafting advert scripts? We can help you create one suitable for any type of business you do. Shoot us an email at email@example.com
Logos have always been a vital part of a brand. They gradually become the company’s identity as time goes on. Deciding on an emblem that would represent your company could be quite a daunting job and would sometimes go through several refining process before getting the final piece.
Even after the final craft is done, it continues to undergo reviews from time to time. This has been the case for the oldest drink of all time, Coca-Cola. Tag along as we take a ride through time from how the famous brand got its logo and how well it has represented the brand so far.
For a brand that has journeyed for 130years, Coca-Cola has gone beyond being a mere brand to becoming a legend. Without a doubt it has become one of the most prominent drinks accepted all over the world. Nonetheless this great brand has been through many transformations from the shape of its bottle, to its CEOs and also its logo. For the purpose of this article, we will dwell on the logo transformations.
Though the Coca-Cola brand has been recognised worldwide for its outstanding logo which is simply the combination of two words, “Coca” and “Cola”, it will be interesting to know that the logo has been modified severally. Its famous name was given to it in 8 May 1886 by Frank M. Robinson who happened to be Dr John S Pemberton’s bookkeeper.
Frank M Robinson felt the blend of the two “C”s would be good in terms of advertising the product. Robinson’s idea worked exactly as planned and the logo gradually became easily recognisable by consumers.
The Coca-Cola logo was first scripted by Frank M. Robinson in 1886. It was written in a popular writing style called Spencerian. Since then the logo has undergone series of changes and may continue to transform as the years go by.
The following year being 1887, a slight touch was added to the logo. The words “Trade Mark” were added to the tail of the first ‘C’.
Moving on to 1890, the logo was redesigned with extra swirls added which made it a bit dramatic. This little twist gave the logo a face lift.
The logo further transited in 1914 to gain a new identity. In this new logo the words “Trademark Registered” was written below.
In 1947 a red disc shape version of the logo was used to advertise the brand and afterwards became an outdoor signage. This red disc images were strategically used to decorate business places to boost advertisement.
The next form the logo took in 1958 was a fishy shape. The script was inserted in an Arciform shape which was similar to an arch. The Arciform sign is also known as the Fishtail sign. This design was used as the company’s identity and was used in copy, signage and on vending machines.
The logo took a wavy appearance in 1969. The Coca-Cola script was now underlined with a white wave design also known as Dynamic Ribbon Device.
In 1982 the logo was redesigned to a slab serif font. This happened exactly when Diet coke was introduced to the market. Also in that year slogans such as “Coke is it” was used.
2003 came with a new feel to the Dynamic Ribbon Device as some touch of yellow and some bubbles were added to the logo.
While in 2007 the logo was made simpler and bolder with just a touch of a white ribbon added to it.
To celebrate the brand’s 125years birthday in 2011, the logo was modified with bubbles bursting from the contour bottle. This was used to describe a celebration of the different seasons, past, present and future, the brand has gone through.
In 2013, to promote a campaign called “Share a Coke”, the logo was again adjusted. The Coca-Cola logo was replaced with a typeface was named “You”. This was a marketing strategy to connect with the consumers better.
It was the first time the company’s packaging changed. Gradually it evolved with different names customised on the bottles.
Finally in 2016, with the theme “Taste the Feeling”, a synergy was created for all the products of the brand. This campaign initiated “One Brand” for all Coca-Cola’s flavours from Coca-Cola Classic, Diet Coke, Coke Zero and Coke with Stevia.
The new logo design united all the flavours under the classic Red Disc and also brought about the use of the contour glass bottle. The idea behind the new design was to indicate that no matter how different the flavours may be, they are all under the main Coca-Cola brand.
The regular colours used in most of Coca-Cola’s logo and products are red and white. These two are applied to simplify the designs and appeal to the eyes of customers. There is also a welcoming feel to it.
The red colour is also used to represent the brand’s powerful marketing position. Little wonder why it has remained a giant in its field.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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There are many sides to a story; some sides generally acceptable, some generally unacceptable and some leaves us feeling indifferent. But if there is one thing experience has taught us is never to pass judgement based on one side of a story. This may be what must have prompted the TED talk titled “The Danger of a Single Story” delivered by the famous African novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
From a recent thread on Twitter that awakened the minds of many people to a different side to job recruitments, it is then safe to conclude that indeed there are many sides to a job interview. Overtime, the popular reasons given to explain why most prospective employees never get employed after an interview ranged from being badly dressed, to lack of confidence, to inexperience, to poor composure, to incompetence, to ill mannerism, and so on. Never was it told that being rich or looking seemingly rich could disqualify one from getting a job.
In a tweet which stirred the conversation, a recruiter had shared her reservations about employing a young lady. Her reason was based on the fact that the young lady appeared “too rich” for the position. On her wrist was a flashy apple wristwatch while her expensive iPhone was in her hand. The clothes on her body and the bag that dangled on her shoulders were oozing of plenty money. At the end of the interview, the recruiter watched from the window as a latest Lexus car came to pick her up. After all the speculations, the recruiter drew a conclusion that the lady had it all and doubted if she would be submissive and obedient enough for the job since she was rich.
Unfortunately this was the only side of the story that was told. We are left with several mind boggling questions such as; did the lady have the necessary skills for the position she applied for? Was she rude or ill mannered? Shouldn’t one be assessed based on their performance in an interview rather than a perception of them? Is it right to pass off a potential employee because of their look or their status? Should one dress shabbily when going for interviews? These and so many other questions remain unanswered.
Certainly recruiters are in the best position to give answers to these questions since they are the ones faced with the task of fishing from the pool of job seekers. We believe there should be a professional standard that guides recruitment processes, but can personal reservations be part of that standard? Is it an acceptable norm for recruiters to put their sentiments ahead of professionalism?
We would like to know your thoughts on this issue. What should be the acceptable and unacceptable criteria for any company’s recruitment? Are there no gains that could be derived from employing a supposedly rich looking employee?
Let’s know your perspective in the comment section below.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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One of the rarest things is seeing a young person with five years experience in a challenging field like mechanical engineering. With the effect of the rising unemployment in the country, most graduates are left handicap hoping for when the grass gets greener. But that doesn’t seem to be the case for John Jimoh.
Whether it’s a stroke of luck or a result of competence, John Jimoh didn’t have to stand in the queue of unemployed populace. He actually began to take bold steps towards his career path before he answered the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) call and continued his journey immediately after that. “I have been working for 5 years. I started before I went for NYSC and continued afterwards.”
To add to his full cap of good chances, John didn’t have to settle for any other filed asides his field of study. “I studied mechanical engineering and I currently work as a mechanical technician in a manufacturing company.”
For him working has awakened a sense of independence and has equipped him financially.
“Working has impacted my life in many ways. I must say, since I started working, I feel more responsible and independent. I’m not dependent on anyone especially for financial support. I can only mention but a few.”
Measuring his growth since he started working, John had this to say, “In terms of growth, I have really developed into a better person. In school, we were only taught theories but in the field, you handle real life situations. I have been given the opportunity to identify and solve problems. Doing this often has increased my level of commitment and confidence.”
Expressing his scepticism about promotion owing to the fact he is still finding his foot in his field, John said, “Well, promotion has to do with time and many other factors are involved. I can’t possibly say much about this.”
In the area of benefits, John believes there are several aspects of the daily work that can be categorised as benefits which may not necessarily be what most people consider to be one.
“I think the main reason we work is to earn. If you’re not earning, you’re not working. So the work and position occupied is what determine the benefits. Besides the financial benefit, the experience gathered is a benefit on its own. It’s a tool to get opportunities in the future.”
As regards, having a side hustle, here are his thoughts, “It is not advisable to put all your eggs in one basket. Having other source of income is good in order to meet every one of our needs.” From this reply you can tell that, like most employees, John is open to increasing his opportunities to earn more.
Since he has embraced his work with all diligence, John boldly indicated, “I would say every day was an adventure for me. So I can’t specify only one remarkable experience. I see work as a part of my life. It is fun. I learn every day. I always see myself as a learner and not pro. With this attitude, I have really evolved and what I used to see as problem, I now see as opportunity.”
He went further to expatiate the reason behind his appreciation for his work by identifying some qualities it has added to him so far, “for example, before solving a problem, you have to think. Thinking itself is a lot of work. You don’t jump into a problem without troubleshooting because if you get it wrong, you have to start all over again. Where I work, we work with time. If you spend too much time solving a problem, you’re probably going to be queried for it.”
One of the joys of the work life is earning and John is not left out of that excitement, “my financial life has changed greatly ever since I started working. I handle my finances with care because I know how it feels to work and earn. My needs are met and I feel independently responsible.”
Like they say, life is not a bed of roses. No matter how good a thing is, there are challenges to it. John pinpointed this about his field, “it is exhausting. I once posted on my Facebook and WhatsApp status these words, ‘Engineering is not for babies, it is for those who can chew meat; if you are not physically and mentally strong, you will fizzle out quickly or get sick regularly.”
Lastly, John gave a piece of advice to the youngster hoping to build their career, “my advice for young people is for them to identify their passion or their talent. Either of this two will pave a way for a career. Don’t choose a career that you don’t have passion for. So passion is the key to locate the right career. After identifying a career, then focus is needed in order not to deviate. You have to stay put except you are considering a career transition.”
With the above perspective from John Jimoh, we can’t help but emphasise the need for business owners to ensure that the recruit they best match for their brand.
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Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi