We have held two editions of our virtual hangout on branding, and both have been fantastic.
The first session was to be summarized into a document to serve as a refresher course but guess what happened? It turned out a sweet book that walks you through the concept of branding and how you can start positioning your business for better results with little effort!
We don’t want the participants to enjoy this goodie alone, so we have made it available to you as well, if you DESIRE to build a brand that stands out no matter your size or available resources.
It is going to be one of the best content you have ever read on the subject of branding. It is written in simple English with very relatable explanations and insights. You can get a copy at MAPEMOND BOOKS
Building a profitable and successful brand is totally in your hands now.
We hope you won’t let this giveaway pass you by.
When we took over the management of a restaurant brand, most of the staff were problematic and gave the outgoing manager headache, particularly the cleaners and cooks.
Over ten months after, the same workers are mostly well behaved and improving daily. What changed? Leadership style. We will use a story to explain what we mean.
A few years ago we had a conversation with a restaurant owner who was frustrated by the attitude of her workers. When we inquired to know the grooming process for her employees, she revealed that they were trained by an international expert. We got further information and discovered what the problem was, the workers were trained with the standard template, not bad, but not enough.
These workers live in ghettos and slums. They fight to use the bathroom every morning. They even quarrel to empty their bowels. Then drama with yard people, keke driver, bus conductor that abused them that morning, and the underlying challenges of life they grapple with.
You cannot rework their attitude without addressing the underlying influences of their background. What works in Milan, Madrid, or Copenhagen, will not work the same way in Nigeria. You must adapt to local realities.
So for our restaurant client, we paid close attention to the background and environmental influences on the workers and gradually established a new way of relating to them.
One thing that provided this insight to us was a song by Phil Collins titled “both sides of the story”. In one line of the song, a ghetto kid with a gun grabbed a passerby by the shoulder and asked “would you respect me if I didn’t have this gun?”
We’ve had very personal experiences with three ghettos and could relate to that question, it is the same mindset behind most low cadre employees in businesses. They want to be respected, they want to be heard, they want to know that they matter, they don’t want to be trampled upon, that desire for dignity in humans is also in them.
When next you feel frustrated by your workers, also do a self-evaluation on yourself.
Do you treat them with disdain or respect?
Do you let them talk or you always hush them?
Do you pay attention to where they are coming from or it doesn’t concern you?
Their presence WILL rub off on your brand, it is a guarantee!
This matter is a major hindrance to the transition of many businesses into fabulous brands. You are putting in the effort but workers are messing things up, it is a real struggle and you have to find a way around it if you want to grow. Some of these workers are set in their ways and I advise for such, you work towards easing them out of your system.
We hope these perspectives will enable you to handle your workers better.
“Opposite yet Complementary. In 1988, we challenged the idea that shoes must be identical by designing a pair where the right shoe was different than the left. Since then, TWINS has been revisited each season through new typologies, treatments, and materials that continue to play with the idea of mismatched design.”
In your effort to market your business, one of the things you can do to gain better visibility and attract your desired target audience is to have what is called a big idea.
A big idea is commonly used for marketing campaigns. Every professional marketing campaign you see has a big idea that drives it whether it is expressly communicated or not. However, a big idea is also used to engineer and drive your entire business or organization.
We all love Nike’s “JUST DO IT”, that is a big idea in itself derived from “Nike pushes your athletic boundaries beyond what you thought was possible, so you can win on your own terms”.
Unilever’s Omo and Persil ran a marketing campaign themed “DIRT IS GOOD” and it was derived from the ideology named “Modern Parenting” which submits that children learn more about their environment and things as they explore their curiosity and mess their clothes up. Therefore, let the children play and as they get dirty, Omo helps you make the clothes clean again.
Because our businesses are often set up for survival, we dismiss these things, but the foreign brands make billions with it from our own pockets. Even in survival mode, you will survive better if you sell better.
Lately, a lot of people are talking about Burna boy in relation to his positioning in the music industry beyond Nigeria. Burna boy is entrenching a strong ideology into his brand that has to do with the African narrative. It gives him access to a far wider audience and makes him hard to ignore even if you don’t enjoy his music or like his personality. Remember Wakanda? The ideology weaved into the narrative, though fictional, was magical.
Once you articulate a significant ideology into your brand – something that affects the story, existence, history, aspirations, desires, or challenges of a people (your target market), your brand immediately begins to stand out from the lot. There are so many bakers out there, not a problem, but WHY do YOU bake? What is it about your own cake business that makes it different from all others? It may not even be about cakes directly, but that thing that drives you internally each day. Capture it, articulate it, and communicate it.
Defining a simple ideology for your business will enable you to get better results with your small efforts.
Through your big idea, you craft strong messages that resonate with your target market and you grow a loyal tribe of customers.
Through your big idea, you attract team members who want more than just a monthly salary. They want to be a part of something remarkable.
Through your big idea, you become more purpose-driven.
Your vision and mission statements (if you have) will stop being fancy statements you display on your walls or wherever.
We can build amazing brands in Africa.
Let’s keep doing it from our small corners of the continent.
We can do better against all odds.
What is the market craving?
What will make the market flow like rushing waters in your direction?
One day at a time.
It may be costing you money, but consider it as an investment in ‘research and development’. You will recover the money at the snap of your fingers when you hit that spot.
Some people say that branding is for big companies with deep pockets, but there are so many big companies with little or no branding.
You can have money and still not get branding right. In fact, there are so many businesses that are making serious money but pay too little attention to branding.
If you are thinking your business is too small or you don’t have money for branding, here’s the story of a ‘poor’ roadside business that has created a good brand image and has been maintaining it since the last time we checked.
There is a bukka sited beside a fence somewhere in Trans Amadi in Port Harcourt. Many decent office workers around that axis eat at her bukka.
We nicknamed her bukka “Clean Pot” because the pots are always sparkling, the environment too and the food processing is so hygienic – she cooks in an open space where customers see everything going on in the kitchen.
This is to paint a very basic picture of someone who doesn’t even have a brand name and is not on social media.
How much does she spend in building and maintaining this brand image?
Waiting until you are big before branding is actually a big mistake. You can start now and keep upgrading as the business grows.
Imagine building on the brand “Clean Pot” and gaining steady visibility to deliver food packs to offices in Trans Amadi using logistics companies.
Imagine the ‘Clean Pot” brand expanding to other strategic locations. As that happens, the branding game goes deeper because systems would have to be in place to maintain the brand image across board.
Relate “Clean Pot” to “Starbucks” or even “Chicken Republic”, can you see the prospect for the brand as it focuses on its own strata of the market. Of course, there will be limiting factors and challenges but they are firstly cultural problems, before economic.
We can go deeper in analysing Clean Pot, but the point is that branding actually begins with your orientation and mindset regardless of your financial status.
We read a post on Facebook that got our attention. It was written by the Co-Founder of Gidi Cakes, Daniel Adeniyi.
It is about Africa’s Top 100 Brands for 2020. The study done by Brand Africa showed that majority of the dominant brands in Africa are not local brands. In fact, in 27 countries that were surveyed, only 3 as shown below had a local brand in their number one spot:
1. Zimbabwe (Econet)
2. Zambia (Trade Kings)
3. Tanzania (Azam)
The leading brands in Nigeria are not Nigerian. Like the Gidi Cakes Co-Founder rightly submitted, most Nigerian businesses are not brand conscious. The study also showed that the leading media brands in Africa are not local – BBC, CNN, and Al Jazeera. Only seven local media brands made the list of the 25 most dominant media brands in Africa.
Out of the 100 most dominant brands in Africa,
#1 to #6 are foreign brands.
#7 is the South African owned MTN.
#8 to #14 are foreign brands.
#15 is Nigerian owned Dangote (I did an unofficial corporate internship with them)
#16 to #27 are foreign brands.
#28 is Nigerian owned Globacom
#29 to #35 are foreign brands
#36 is South African owned DSTV
#37 to #45 are foreign brands
#46 is Nigerian owned Nasco (Mapemond shall be visiting them for a research project)
#47 to #49 are foreign brands
#50 is South African owned Shoprite
So 44 foreign brands and 6 African brands in the top 50 of the list. You may think that more African brands will feature in the second half of the list, but that is not the case. The second list of 50 also features 44 foreign brands and 6 African brands – Star, Tiger, Jumia (some persons argue that it is not African), Tusker, Clover, and Maltina. In conclusion, 88 foreign brands and 12 local brands in total!
You can see the list here: VIEW THE REPORT
Let’s bring it closer home. A related study of the top 25 African brands showed only 4 Nigerian brands – Dangote, Glo, Jumia, and Star.
These stats don’t surprise us one bit because in our branding and marketing work, we have loads of insights and experiences that support this survey even though there could be a variance.
There is the assertion that “Africans don’t like local”, but that is not exactly the case in our opinion. Branding is such a powerful aspect of business that is being underrated by most businesses both big and small. The businesses that take branding seriously will be at the top of the market regardless of where they originate from and as we can see, foreign brands don’t joke with branding at all.
For example, out of 100 restaurants in Nigeria, the ones that take branding in its true sense most seriously will emerge the most dominant.
If you are a fashion designer, baker, or whatever you are into, the more seriously you take branding (in its true sense beyond logo design down into strategy, culture, marketing communications, etc), the higher you will climb on the chart of leading businesses in your sector or industry. And you must not have billions to spend, it begins from being intentional and consistent.
If you would like to take a deep dive into the subject of branding, there are articles here for you: MAPEMOND BLOG
We are cooking a lot of webinars, Instagram live sessions, Facebook Room conversations, and more on the subject of branding. Leave a comment on this post if you would like to be notified when it is time.
Don’t downplay your business. At whatever level you are, consider your business as a brand and build it with that consciousness. It yields far more results than casual business and hustle.
Inspiration for you this August.
George Foreman is a legend in every sense of the word in the world of boxing. His records and history are so enormous that we don’t even know which one to write and which one to leave out. Let’s just give a summary we found on Wikipedia.
“Foreman is the oldest living world heavyweight boxing champion in history, and the second-oldest in any weight class after Bernard Hopkins (at light heavyweight). Foreman retired in 1997 at the age of 48, with a final record of 76 wins (68 knockouts) and five losses.”
Foreman at some point had health concerns related to his weight, so he opted for a lifestyle of healthy eating that yielded results for his weight loss aspirations. When he first returned from retirement before the final retirement, he posited that his victories were due to his new lifestyle of healthy eating.
It was about that time that Salton Inc. approached him to be the pitchman for their fat-reducing grill. As of 2009, the grill which was named ‘George Foreman Grill’ had sold over 100 million units.
Salton paid him $138 million in 1999, for the right to use his name. Prior to that, he was paid about 40% of the profits on each grill sold (earning him $4.5 million a month in payouts at its peak), so he has made an estimated total of over $200 million from the endorsement, substantially more than he earned as a boxer.
One of the most critical elements of branding is association; with the right associations, your brand (whether personal or business brand) will attain greater results. Whether you stand in the place of Foreman or Salton, you need the right associations to accomplish more.
You may not be a celebrity like Foreman and you may not even be interested in brand endorsements, but the point is beyond all of that. The point is that at your place of work, in your career or business aspirations, on social media, and life generally, look out for the right people and organizations and align with them.
May you succeed.
Mapemond Academy Team.
A brand name does not merely exist to reflect the idea of a business but to help in promoting and selling the brand to its target audience. If you have to keep explaining your brand name to people, you need to start thinking of another name. Your target audience should be able to connect with your brand name in some ways – pronouncing it, appeal, or nature of business.
You can use your business name as your brand name, but it is not a must. Therefore, if you have already registered your company and it is not suitable as the brand name, the company name can be different from the brand name. That is better than the continuous struggle to explain your name.
Think of the company Nestle and the brand names Milo, Nido, Goldenmorn, Purelife, Kitkat, Maggi, etc.
Think of the company Food Concept Limited and the brand name Chicken Republic.
There is the company Tech Premier Media Limited and the brand name Techpoint.ng
Think of the company Sundry Foods Limited and the brand name Kilimanjaro.
Think of the company Guaranty Trust Bank and the brand name 737.
Think of the company Transsion Limited and the brands Tecno and Infinix.
Same with Unilever and others.
Can you think of other examples? Service-based brands can also apply the same concept. It is important to mention that some companies become brands in themselves. However, our usage of the term “brand name” refers to the same thing as “trade name”, which means the name a company uses to promote itself to the market.
If your brand name is different from your registered company name, you will have to spend some money to trademark the brand name so that it belongs to you. By the way, even your company name is not really yours until you trademark it. In other words, the person who trademarks your company name has the proprietary right to the name even though the name is registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission.
Your brand name is part of your marketing, eliminate unnecessary hurdles with your naming. If you are looking at building something sustainable, get the naming of your brand right, and work towards protecting the name by all means necessary and possible.