“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.
A few weeks ago, we spent some time with the CEO of Fifi’s Food House, Onimim Fifi Karibo, at her kitchen hub in the city of Port Harcourt where she treaded us to a three-course meal. While we sat in her office, we noticed her people were at work preparing the meal. At some point, a customer called to order a meal, Fifi was still with us all the while as her people brought the message that the meal was ready. Evidently, she had taught her people how to prepare the meals the same way she does.
About a year ago, Mapemond had multiple training jobs at the same time for various clients. We delegated different team members to each of the training and they all did a great job. One of the training had about a hundred and fifty participants and it was handled by a Staff, not our principal.
Even if you are a one-man business, for now, develop the consciousness of raising others to do what you do because you cannot keep doing it all by yourself and you cannot be everywhere at the same time. Yes, some people you train will disappear without first giving value to the system that raised them, but that is not a valid excuse to not raise others at all.
Some people you train will falter and make mistakes, especially if you have the traits of a perfectionist, but be patient with the grooming process and they will become well-primed. Instead of finding reasons and justification to do it all by yourself all the time, fight those excuses and raise your army unless you are fine with being a one-man business perpetually.
If your dream is to build an amazing brand, you cannot escape building people, against all odds.
Build your people. And trust them with the work.
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.
We came across a Facebook post suggesting that certain businesses perform better when they are unstructured compared to when they are structured. The person asserted that a renowned Nigerian blogger, Linda Ikeji, is struggling ever since she became structured, but that is quite a baseless assertion without specific indices or metrics to measure the performance of her business. The argument had so many holes in it, we didn’t even know which one to address or ignore, but our take away was that many people do not understand what structure means.
Here are some insights on structuring your business:
1. Structuring does not mean leaving your product-market fit. If you were doing very well by selling food to Tricycle Drivers and then you go build a gigantic edifice with air conditioners in the name of structuring, you are just burying your business alive. The drivers won’t follow you but will switch to another option.
2. Structuring does not mean leaving what is working and going to experiment with the unknown. If Linda Ikeji leaves what has been working for her to new terrain, she may struggle before getting it right again, if she does.
3. Structuring does not mean you stop innovating. If you become relaxed simply because you got structured, you will lose out. The more structured you become, the more you have to be on your toes innovating.
4. Structuring does not mean fancy offices and glam. It is not about “I have arrived”, you will be pushed over to the sideline.
5. Structuring is about becoming BETTER ORGANIZED as the business grows gradually. When a bukka woman teaches her daughter to cook the meals as well, it is structuring. When she teaches her Son how to go buy foodstuff from the market, it is structuring. When she keeps proper inventory of the foodstuff to check them against daily sales to ensure there is no theft or unrecorded debts to customers, it is structuring. When she can take a break and business is still ongoing, it is structuring. The list goes on.
6. Structuring is about creating systems and processes, no matter how basic. You cannot seek a serious business loan with your personal account, you need to open a business bank account and that requires BVN, a registered business, Tax identification, etc.
Our investor at Mapemond asked us, “what if I die, what will happen to my investment in your company?” our answer was all around systems, processes and ultimately, structuring.
You cannot desire to be another Dangote, Otedola, Elumelu, Jason Njoku, Ibukun Awosika, and all these people and not be thinking in terms of structure over time.
Davido and WizKid will direct you to their managers if you want to do business with them, even personal brands have their own approach to structuring. That is why they create DMW, Mavin Records, and the likes.
We have to break the fetters and manacles holding us spellbound to the hustle and survival mentality while thinking that we can build a big business by staying unstructured and evading FIRS and the rest perpetually.
Global Ventures that…
All the fancy desires will not happen by mere wishes, you have to build structures diligently and consistently for several years.
If your clients’ work will be on hold because you have malaria, your business is an endangered specie.
We don’t like to think about it, but what if you die? What happens to the monies you collected from people? Pending salaries? Etc?
Please share this, let’s empower more entrepreneurs with the right knowledge.
If you think otherwise, then this post is not for you.
We wish you well in your endeavors.
Blessed are those whose business is approaching a time when sales will be made without personal posts on social media, for they shall know sustainable growth.
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.