A brand is a commodity

 

As an aspiring brand strategy or brand manager, I’ve realized that people want to build brands for their companies but they lack the fundamentals basics of building a successful brand. You can spend billions of cash trying to establish your brand but if you lack the basics your efforts will be futile not only for the organization but also the people who work for that organization. Having read much academic research in the field of branding I’ve noticed that some brand managers are missing the point when it comes building a successful brand. You probably wondering what’s this dude going to say now that is new? Well, let me not mislead you and promise you that I’m going to invent the field of branding. My argument will revolve around these concepts, branding is not marketing, what you say is not your brand but what people say, building a brand requires discipline and patience, and do not confuse your audience. See not so new after all, now you asking yourself why am I reading this then?

Read it because its written in a simple language you can share it with anyone and make a difference, read it because its written by someone who spends most of his time reading about how successful brands established themselves. Read it because its short it’s not time wasting. Read it to revise what you’ve learned as a brand or marketing manager.

Branding is not marketing

The only you can make your brand succeed in the long run is to firstly, separate the marketing and branding department. Yes, I said it organizations need to have two departments when it comes to this. Why? Firstly, to avoid a power struggle, what kind of power struggle? Marketers want to reach their targets, brand managers, on the other hand, want to establish their brands through relationship building and not customer contact. The is a difference between selling your products to customers and establishing your brand to stakeholders. In a nutshell marketing tactics will not work in a brand building they will boost sales for a short term but fail to build a strong brand in the long run.

What you say is not your brand but what the stakeholders say

We can claim we are the first to innovate certain products in a market but until the audience say so we are doomed. This point link up to that of separating a branding and marketing department. It’s the brand managers that will work with the stakeholders in terms of learning what the stakeholder thinks of our brand. Research such as ethnographic research has to be done to understand the insight into the stakeholders. We need to remember as corporate brand managers that out organization exists because of the stakeholders hence their feelings and thoughts need to be constantly researched.

Building a brand requires discipline and patience

You probably cringing when you see the words discipline and patience, but it’s the truth you can not establish something that will last for centuries without a massive investment of discipline and patience. This cover doing enough empirical research into the stakeholder’s insight. It involves working extra hours clearly defining what you are and what you do. It also involves loving the brand you building as your first child and doing all you can to nurture that child so that it becomes a success in the long run. Therefore, to achieve this you need these two words discipline and patience.

Do not confuse your audience

LOL, of course, why would people buy something that they not sure they need, why would they follow something that they don’t know its direction. Be transparent and let them see what you are what you do and why you matter to them. Don’t hit them with what scholars call hypodermic needle theory, be clear and let them decide what they think of you. If you sell food tell them why you different than the competitor. In a nutshell, make your brand exist for a valid reason people want to spend money on something that is valuable to them.

Well having said all the “obvious things” on this short writing of mine, I appeal to you @Khayadlanga, @MarketingProfs, @SbuKumalo having followed you for the past three weeks in all your social media platforms and understood your interests to offer me the chance to enhance my potential in the field of branding. I’m working on establishing my own branding coaching organization in South Africa that will one day be the best schools that every brand manager will aspire to attend. That vision of mine will only be achieved if I firstly work in the field and apply the theory learned at varsity for the past three years. And in doing my research I’ve come to the conclusion that I need you as mentors and people who can expose me to various work opportunities and internships. I believe I can be the first person that makes South Africa the “Harvard of branding in the world”, and that can only be achieved if I firstly work with top professionals like you guys.

 

 

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Dear 21st Century You Ruining My Inner Peace

Your existence gave birth to narcissists.

You’ve turned the humble person into

an empty headed arrogant beast!

Dear 21st century you’ve ousted human

interaction with costly gadgets; that

Brings nothing but gloominess

into our daily lives!

Dear 21st century you extirpate my inner peace.

 

Your attempt to make life easier has

turned the sincere human into senseless

liars; driven by the online world

to make virtual impressions.

Knowing very well that one is living

under depression; but can’t miss the

bandwagon of exhibiting a feigned reality

that will dissipate the moment the “likes”

diminish!

 

Dear 21st century you’ve pirouetted

destitute man into invalid opulent beings!

Dear 21st century I hate you!

You’ve twisted every second

into a selfie twinkle!

Dear 21st century you crumble my inner peace!

 

 

Dear 21st century you smell of despondency.

Your children are objects that scatter

the titillation of melancholia!

Dear 21st century I detest you!

Dear 21st century I abhorrence you!

Dear 21st century you ruining my inner peace!

Finding a business idea is easy: One should look at the facts.

A business idea that is sustainable in the long-run is the one that adds value to people’s lives, it’s the one that plays a role in solving people’s everyday problems. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur that is struggling to come up with that one idea that will play a role in making our lives easier this article is for you.

The human fraternity is surrounded by problems that need your intervention as an aspiring entrepreneur, all you have to do is to scan and rigorously analyse the surrounding environment and identify the one problem that you can excellently solve by providing an efficient solution that people are willing to pay for.

We often limit our imagination to what has proved to work before and that contributes to impediments in making our businesses successful in the long-run. Such obstacles include competition, capital, experience, network etc. The one mistake most aspiring entrepreneurs make is to be narrow-minded when looking for businesses opportunities. This is not only time and resource wastefulness but also contributes to failure because we look at what other entrepreneurs has created and that comes with requirements. An entrepreneur is not someone who seeks for templates in adding value to people’s lives, an entrepreneur is creative enough to come up with a unique selling proposition in business. Business ideas can be found using brainstorming, innovative thinking, looking at trends and analysing the basics of our everyday living.

Brainstorming  

The best way to find and create your own market and define your industry is to write down various business ideas without thinking about their implications. By implications, I mean that you don’t have to judge them just write the list of them as many as you can. After listing them down analyse them, this includes the process of judging them such as their feasibility of existence, their substitutes, potential customers (the people affected by the problem you are attempting to solve), potential competitors, the industry they are likely to operate in, etc. On completion, of your analysis process, the second step is the important one which is researching your chosen idea that met your criteria in terms of your capacity and capability of executing them. The process of brainstorming has proved to give birth to innovation in the business environment. All you need to do to come up with a valuable idea is to think of all the options.

Innovative thinking

When looking at the progress and success of Apple business in the technological industry one can conclude that the founders have clearly applied innovative thinking. Apple did not invent the wheel they identified that computers need to be improved so that they are user-friendly. They saw that smartphones need to be improved in order to be extraordinary. There are many products/services that the novice entrepreneur can apply innovative thinking to improve them so as make people’s lives easier. When applying innovative thinking to products that come with problems the entrepreneur gets the opportunity to solve problems that directly affect the users of that product/service. This ultimately ensures that you as an entrepreneur is successful in creating a valuable and sustainable business idea. Innovative thinking requires insight of how things work particularly in the business environment.

Looking at trends
Many values adding business ideas are relevant because of keeping up with trends. With the aid of technological development, the aspiring entrepreneur can come up with a business idea that serves many people. Facebook, for example, was created as a network that allows young people to connect and meet with each other online. Facebook saw that the internet was becoming one of the most used forms of communication that optimize time and resources.
By studying this kind of trend and its future direction as well as its implications Mr. Zuckerberg created one form of advertising that is excellent in today’s business environment that is driven by technological development by simultaneously a window of advertising and allowing people to meet with their friends and share their stories. These trends are found in many various places such as technology, food, fashion, etc. Another trend that is emerging that is created by technology is the problem of excessively using social media many people are trying to deviate from such a habit, an entrepreneur can come with a solution to that problem such as promoting book reading clubs.

Analyzing the basics of our everyday living.

Usually, we wake up with a breakfast as our first meal in the day, we watch the TV or use the internet as an escape to our boredom. We go to the gym to keep our bodies healthy, we buy beauty products to look good in the mirror so as feel about ourselves, we listen to music to entertain ourselves and so on and so on the cycle of life continues with cause and effect. It is therefore crucial that the aspiring entrepreneur analyses those factors and come up with an idea that will radically improve them, or in some instance create new products that will play a role in people’s lives.

To understand solve the problems that affect people the entrepreneur needs to analyse the fundamentals of everyday living, in that way a value-adding business idea is born and the numbers will grow exponentially when many people understand what they are paying for.

Real entrepreneurs are optimistic people who find ways to hurdle with obstacles in every angle. We often hear people whine with excuses that hinder their progress in executing their plans, and one of the excuses I was trying to address in this article is coming up with a business idea. It is advisable that the aspiring thinks of one business idea daily and spend most of their time finding ways on how to solve them.

By applying brainstorming innovations are born, by using innovative thinking the improvements of products is accelerated, identifying trends will open your mind to a host problems that need your solution as an entrepreneur. Analyzing the basics of living will help you define the value you are adding to our lives in that way a business idea is found.     

Can the leaders demonstrate the ability to conform to diversity before the so called rainbow nation become a reality.

South Africa is a diversified nation that is divided even the great Nelson Mandela can attest to that in his grave. The country is culturally segregated in a sense that differences in ideologies occurs and drag the nation from attaining a potential harmonious growth that is inclusive and peaceful everyone. No doubt the South African constitution seeks to build a democratic nation that works for everyone in this country by giving everyone the right to form and associate with any political party of their choice. However, this has created much isolation within the different ethnic groups of our country particularly the white and the black people of this nation.
The unity that everyone want to see can only take place if the different political parties especially the powerful ones such as the African National Congress and the Democratic Alliance combine and become a powerful unified party that stand to represent its people and ensure that the services are delivered impartially and without bias. In that way, we will have leaders who not only preach the unified South Africa they want to create but lead by example and become a single party that is representative of the South African people at large. Let’s see a white Minister of Water and Sanitation be deputed by a Tsonga minister present the country’s strategic goal that ensures that our people receive the quality of water service they are entitled to.
Let’s see a black minister of finance present a budget speech to the people and be supported by a coloured deputy minister in their department. In short, all departments must be representative of the South African people from the top hierarchy of the South African president to the lower level of the government. Let the different ethnic groups collaborate with each other on a strategic move that lead to poverty alleviation and decrease the level of unemployment. The leaders will no doubt influence the people to embrace the rainbow nation and accept that we can only move forward if we adjust our differences towards a common positive goal.
The ministers must be constantly rotated every year to ensure that every race and culture is included in the country’s decision making. Such a coalition will promote unity and peace for every South African and released us from this exhausting racism debates that only deteriorates our already isolated nation. We will also see the accountability that the people demand given that the leaders are diversified and want to make the needs of its people a priority. We will also waste our time discussing how to overcome the economic problems of this country such as the issue of being downgraded to junk status.
If the leaders create the rainbow nation that we all wish for not only are going to have the spirit of patriotism but we will also instil a sense of belong and pride to the diversified people of South Africa. By demonstrating that a rainbow nation is possible the leaders will create a map for the segregated people of South Africa to follow and reach the destination of creating a mutual and enjoyable rainbow country that unite the nation. We will have less problems if we unite, the introduction of policies such as the radical economic transformation will surely benefit everyone. Furthermore, if we have leaders that represent the South African people at large we will avoid having unethical leaders who use political patronage to manipulate voters to be in their favour using things such as the “race card” to influence marginalized people to vote for them because a certain party stands for a certain group of people. The rainbow nation that Tata Nelson Mandela envisioned when he became in power will materialize if the chosen leaders come together with their differences and serve the needs of the people.
In ratiocination, our nation can only become a united nation if the people at the top of the food-chain certify that a rainbow nation is possible by developing harmonious relations with their different respective cultures and races. People are likely to learn a thing or two from people of influence hence, we need the policy makes to stop acting like they are in a revolution that fights against a certain race or culture and start to act like a unified nation that can only happen if we mould our differences towards a common positive goal that benefit all. It is unfortunate that the amount of choice our constitution gives us has led to dividends within the different cultures and races of South African people but that can only change if the people at the top start to construct the rainbow nation umbrella. In that way the South African dream of a rainbow nation is feasible!

Why do I write

It goes without saying that you never know that you can pull off something until you try it. I eat humble pie admitting that I was one of those kids in school who promised no potential in any talent when growing up. In my mind I always asked myself what talent do I possess which ultimately lead to frustrations and envy that bring depression and belittling oneself.
I tried everything my peers were good at from soccer, rap, fishing, hunting, you name it, only to find out that my performance was flawed. Some of the guys used to look into my innocent face and tell the white lie in order to keep the vibe going. Because I was naive I kept believing I’m doing my best and kept on enjoying mediocrity at its best. As you grow up you begin to judge yourself and realize that you not doing the right thing in what you enjoy the most and decide to stop because it brings nothing but embarrassment to you and the people who fond for you.
I used to read sometimes not by choice, but because we were compelled at school to try and understand the common tongue. Then I realized that I can do what the authors are doing which is playing with words to produce meaning. But I have no intention of emulating the greatest writers in history, I write because I can’t conceal my thoughts and believe that writing will be an outlet to what I’m feeling inside. I write because I can only express my feelings more strongly and accurately than vocally. Writing is part of communication and using the right kinds of words to write brings connection between the author and the reader.
I write because it’s awesome and brings pleasure to play with the power of words because written words speak to the mind, I can’t help myself but share my thoughts on what is happening around me through the written word. I write because words are used to store history and where are we without our history. The written words can be used to express a command of respect and compliance, looking at the likes of the constitution and the holy bible. I write because writing is one of the abilities no one told me I’m competent at but me.
Writing is a productive hobby that not only expand your vocabulary but improve your logical reasoning and intellectual creativity. The art of writing makes my thinking visible and express the person I am.

Gender equality: Does it have to be one or the other?

Men are abusers. Men don’t take responsibility for their faults. Men don’t have the capacity to raise a child unless there’s a woman involved. In every successful man there’s a woman involved. Men always want to be superior to women. Men always want to take the lead. Men are not wise enough to create a harmonious home. A child is not in safe hands should the father win the custody case. And so on and so on all in the name of framing a man the bad guy in society.

As I type this I’m suffering from indignation from the series I recently deleted in my hard-drive after watching a couple of episodes because I knew I wouldn’t survive the other seasons of a show that has a derogation agenda towards the male gender.

It seems like we are building a society where the masculine trait is being diminished with all sorts of negative stereotypical claims with the intention of making the opposite sex appear holy, perfect, compassionate, loving, wise and heroic. I mean there’s no doubt that gender inequality exists in this world, but do we have to rob men of their native good qualities such as wisdom, caring and respectful with the cross-purpose of fighting gender inequality?

This stereotypical habit has now become a norm that even dominates the entertainment industry in such a way that one can predict what would happen to a TV show. We are now being painted as the bad guys who lack conventional consciousness in society all in the name of ensuring that we share the same opportunities with our opposite sex. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a firm believer in a world where gender inequality doesn’t exist. I also long for a world where women take as many leadership positions as men. However, it seems like we are fighting this inequality by relegating the male trait to a place they should endure the burden of negativity.

It appears we are uplifting women by degrading the males with all sorts of negative stereotypical views that derive from generalisation. Of course, some women are victims of sexual assaults, physical abuse and gender inequality is high but let’s not fight such despicable things by generalising that all men are the instigators of such crimes. We have events such as your Mother’s Day and Women’s Day celebrated every year with the intention of empowering women but men seldom share the same experience come Father’s Day. You can all call me ignorant, but I never heard of Men’s Day.

FINDING THE FRIEND WHO OPPOSE MY ARGUEMENTS CHANGED MY LIFE

 

Growing up I didn’t appreciate the idea that people have a different view of what I believe in. I would often raise a point to my peers only to find out their penny of thought contrast my arguments which made things difficult in our relationships in terms of trust and support. I use to think they hate me because I often take the roads that are less traveled and my point of views was usually not following the bandwagon. Personally, I don’t enjoy discussing something I barely understand for the sake of fitting in.

It’s typically that when you join varsity you tend to meet different people with different backgrounds, fortunately when I registered at Varsity I happened to meet my friend who sees the world as opposed to my perception. We spend most of our time discussing current issues of national interest such as your fees must fall and in our discussion we challenge each other in such a way that we end up frustrated. What really intrigued me is that we tend to ponder about our earlier discussions and later confront each other in order to determine who needs to eat the humble pie by verifying certain facts.

Constantly doing this exercise allowed me to be open minded and accept other people’s opinions. It made me realize that if you constantly doing the same thing you will never change your mindset. I’m now an open minded person who see multiple opportunities because of allowing alternative ways of doing things in my mind. It’s fair to deduce that my opposing friend gave an opportunity for the mind to transform for the better.