Thursday, 24 May 2012

Samsung VS Nokia- 5 Reasons Why Samsung always wins

Battle of Brands- The Last Combat!!
 Well just how did Samsung get to where it is today? How did they beat Nokia in the mobile handset business? What did Nokia do wrong in Africa? There's sad story of a brand called gerber;  when it started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as in the United States with a cute baby on the label. Later on they found out that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the label of what's inside because most people can't read!!This story depicts what happens to most multinationals when they come to Africa, although we are not a dark continent anymore we are still not at par with the west. As you read this blog don't count yourself as part of the "kawaida Mwananchi" you are way past that; so as you sell your service or product in the rural areas don't employ tactics the Nairobi hawkers use in Ngara,they will not work!!! My long story simply depicts that if you are going to succeed in any market, region or county then you've got to do what's right for that market!Samsung has done that better than anyone else in Kenya today! Samsung Electronics East Africa yesterday unveiled the Galaxy Pocket Smartphone which will retail at Ksh 9,999 particularly targeted at the African users who love social media and entertainment. Nokia launched their Nokia Asha series of phones a few weeks ago while Huawei have also launched Huawei Gaga priced and 8799 to compete with Samsung’s Galaxy pocket phone. The heat & stiff competition in the affordable smart phone market is huge in Kenya but somehow Samsung is winning every round in these battles with every product they launch.
All these brands face one challenge; they are all targeting the generation Y or millennials as they are commonly referred to who are people born in between 1980 to the early 90’s. We are the current youth and a key market for several of their products. We form the bulk of the informed shoppers who stick to tight budgets while still managing to stay trendy and cultured. We're looking for inexpensive versions of the items we desire and durable versions of the items we need. A good number of this group are cash strapped; so we desire products we cannot afford, however we also work tirelessly hard to get our hands on them. This means that brands should strive to communicate to this group as in a few years our income levels change drastically and can actually buy what we desired.  But just what did Samsung do right in the world, in Africa and in Kenya to have a strong brand appeal to this target market?
Here’s a five reasons why Samsung has managed to conquer this market & beat Nokia.
1.Clear Brand Positioning:
Samsung’s aim to build a clear brand positioning followed a structured approach. First, it has established a brand mission according to the overall mission of the company which reflected the core values of the brand – being close to the customer, consider customer needs and deliver innovative solutions. Secondly, Samsung developed a distinctive value proposition to foster its single brand strategy. They created one global brand and marketing strategy thus establishing a clear brand vision and brand values to leverage brand’s success across B2C and B2B businesses.
2.Design & Innovation
Samsung figured out that its only shot at moving up the value chain was to build a stronger identity; the company ditched its other brands to put all its resources behind the Samsung name. Samsung’s corporate logo also reflects the brand’s determination to become a world leader. Then it focused on building a more upscale image through better quality, design, and innovation. Samsung aimed at providing leading-edge, stylish products by establishing its brand as a brand known for the most fun and stylish models ranging from cell phones to flat-panel plasma TVs.  Nokia for example does a lot of ugly phones from the Nokia 3310, the C3 and so many other models; these are gadgets that no one wants to carry around!!
3.A Clear Brand Promise/ Communication
Samsung aimed to concentrate on a clear focus towards customer orientation and its promise to innovate best-in-class technology. Moreover, the value proposition accentuated some emotional aspects the brand wanted to communicate. The increased emotionality was then brought to life in Samsung’s image campaign. When they did the Built for Africa campaign they promised Africans that their products were tailor made for us!! The strategy managed to position the brand in the African market from a low cost and low quality image to a price premium and market leader. Has this worked for them in Africa? YES!! Nokia has lost grip of this market already!
4.Heavy Presence on Digital
Ninety five percent of the Generation Y are members of a social network, that’s our preferred media interaction. Thirty seven percent access the web from a mobile device and this completely changes the when, where and how brands need to connect and interact with this generation. Samsung actively engages its fans and followers on social media because most of the online community is dominated by the youth any way. Samsung has leveraged on all popular sites from Facebook, Twitter, Youtubeblog  to highlight on the unique and extrinsic features of the brand and build on them. Summarizing a study from L2, that Generation Y is more prone to connect to brands digitally than any previous generation before it.  Young people are more into social and digital media than older people and Samsung has a local country page and a twitter handle for every market whereas Nokia has one global page. As a social media specialist I have always advised multinationals to have country level presence because that way they can understand the local consumers better thus roll out products that meet the local demand.
5.Sponsorships & Celebrity Brand Endorsements
In 2005 Samsung signed the second biggest sponsorship deal in English football history with Premiership member Chelsea. Their five-year deal is estimated to be worth £50 million however the jersey sponsorship has given the brand a lot of brand exposure and awareness among the youths across the world. Football is the world’s most popular sport and its also a major touch point among mostly men and women. Placing the brand on such a platform gave them a major competitive advantage.Locally they got an endorsement from Wyre however I still feel to date that Samsung never utilized this deal well. Wyre is so cool, he’s so popular but they chose to put up billboards of him other than going experiential. I love his music & dancing; experiential marketing is hot these days, the youths want to interact with the brands and feel that they are part of the brands success and Samsung somehow didn't deliver that with Wyre. Billboards have become too much of an eyesore, purely visual pollution and they no longer deliver desired results for brand managers. Ladies too complained that Wyre didn’t look as 'hot' as he is on stage on the billboards. Well girls don’t really care about the features that a phone has but how stylish & cute it is. They boys too didn’t care, when I bought my Samsung chat I didn’t do so because of Wyre, we buy functionality but what we both have in common is [both the girl & boy consumer ]in the 18-30 age bracket is we all buy products that define us!  
If you have something to add on this; your comments, compliments, suggestions, complaints and reviews are very much welcome. Kindly follow me on twitter @KenyanMarketer, lets take the vibe there!





Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Lessons for Brand Managers from The National Alliance Party Launch.

It's been a great weekend for me and part of what made this one so awesome was TNA's launch-the party that Uhuru Kenyatta will use to run for presidency in the next general election. The team that handled everything from Media, PR, Experiential and digital for the pre-launch and the actual launch did a perfect job.I was handling social media for Coca-Cola Kenya during the time they launched the Billion Reasons campaign before I resigned to pursue personal business interests; we used to sit in long strategy  meetings just to ensure everything works according to plan. We had to ensure that what the PR agency fitted well with the media agency was doing; the experiential agency had to deliver exactly what I promised people on social media and what PR & media agencies had communicated to Kenyans through the print media & TV. When a launch happens flawlessly just take time to think of the people who delivered that success, pomp and colour- the sleepless nights someone had to undergo for weeks to ensure the client gets exactly what they need.
Brand Strategy-Overview
Mr Kenyatta is anchoring his campaign under the “I believe” theme that seeks to encourage Kenyans to work together to realize their aspirations using TNA as his campaign vehicle. What Uhuru Kenyatta has done perfectly is exactly what Brand Kenya board should do for this country, it is the same thing the Mkenya Daima campaign is trying to achieve and still what Coca-Cola is trying to do with their "A Billion Reasons to Believe in Africa" promo.
Uhuru refused an offer to join the Democratic Party formed by Kibaki in 1991 but now controlled by former ministers Joseph Munyao and Chris Murungaru, a move that demonstrates that Uhuru is keen on working with the masses and not the rich people or the old guard who always want to have their cake and eat it. This clearly shows his ambitions to overhaul the political environment completely by working in the present and not the past. This can be further testified by the age of TNA party officials who are in the age bracket of 30s;
The alliance has a national outlook comprising of Johnson Sakaja from Western is listed as the party's chairman, Onyango Oloo from Nyanza as the secretary general, Wambui Gichuru from Central as Treasurer, Mr. Billiaha from the Coast as Organising Secretary and Moses Kuria, who has resigned as PNU spokesman. By the way you can check out The launch in photos here.
I will demonstrate how Team Uhuru utilised Social Media, Mainstream media, digital media and experiential to deliver what went down on Sunday. I also sought the feedback from my friends on Facebook and you can check what the had to say here .Enjoy!!
Social Media
Team Uhuru has established a strong social media presence for the party and for Uhuru Kenyatta. On their facebook page facebook.com/IBelieveKenya they already have 8906 fans; the page seeks to compile your iBelieve messages . On twitter you can also share your dreams and aspirations of a better Kenya using #iBelieve on the following twitter handles @Teamuhuru  @UKenyatta  @iBelieveKenya which already has 1000 plus followers.This is a good way of engaging the youths in this country, we spend a lot of time on social media thus these platforms are so effective for communicating to the voters in the18-35 age bracket.
The guys handling social media for this campaign clearly understand these social networks. They created a major buzz online before the launch; no one knew what the I believe campaign was all about and at one point we blindly tweeted about the campaign and who probably was behind it. Guys at Coca-Cola were so lost with #iBelieve messages that were being tweeted all day, Brand Kenya board was also caught napping by what seemed to be a huge campaign which no one knew who was behind. Kudos @KeeganLarson,@PeterLang,@StylishLyme.-you are all SocialPros!
Uhuru Kenyatta's speech was also posted on Scribd for all the alliance of believers and you can read it here
Digital Media Presence
http://www.uhuru.co.ke/timeline.html- Shows Uhuru Kenyatta’s timeline; his major milestones in life in photos-Great.
www.ibelieve.co.ke 
I liked their simple website design with a screen showing the believe messages and feeds from twitter and Facebook and prompts one to join the conversation
Public Relations
Here's what I think is the PR strategy of the agency that's handling TNA's and Uhuru Kenyatta's account.
Here's a short background that leads to the goal of all the PR efforts and the objectives they want to achieve at the end of the day.
The world sees Kenya and Africa as dark & hopeless, majority of the news that come out of Kenya is negative e.g. war, hunger, poverty etc. Locally, our focus is also on negative news, as that’s what sells yet people are tired of the negativity & it’s effects  on this country. This country has a lot of positive news to offer  and because Uhuru Kenyatta knows, understands, lives and breathes Kenya, only him can influence positive attitudes amongst Kenyans by claiming his role as the icon of  happiness and the beacon of optimism. Team Uhuru seeks to position UK as the brand/individual that helps to change culture at a deeper level, a brand that celebrates the positive realities of Kenya and encourages people to refresh their optimism.  Wake up! Bad things are happening. But Uhuru Kenyatta is a brand that inspires us to see the bright side of Kenyan reality, encourages us to turn things around, and reminds us to be proud of the country we live on. 
You can also read the story Daily nation carried on the launch here & (SEE IN PICTURES: Uhuru party launch) perfect coverage by the PR agency that handle TNA's account!
Media
There was live coverage of the launch by Citizen Tv, K24 and KBC, if team uhuru paid for this coverage they could have spent millions on that. There was also heavy coverage of this launch before and after the launch which must also have been paid for by TNA.  Daily nation for example did almost fives pages on this launch which must have cost a huge chunk of cash, nobody just appears on the front page of the most read newspaper in Kenya.Team Uhuru had billboards on vantage points in Nairobi days before the official launch and this did help build the launch pre hype.
Experiential
If you have done an event in your lifetime then you know the logistics that come with these events. I always have great respect for experiential marketing agencies; the people in this industry are worth every coin they charge. The function was held at two venues — in a dome in the Comesa Grounds where about 3,000 people were present and in the KICC Courtyard, with close to 15,000 people in attendance. The dome was only accessible to those who had cards. There were 55 MPs, including Cabinet ministers, allied to Mr Kenyatta at the function. Mr Kenyatta was accompanied by his family, including his wife Margaret and mother Mama Ngina. The crowd was treated to entertainment from various artistes, among them P-Unit and Jua Cali.  The crowds at the different venues were kept updated on the happenings on the other side through big screens. Most of the activities such as the introduction of officials were shown on the screens. There was also footage from Nyeri, Garissa, Eldoret, Kisumu, Bungoma, Nakuru, Mombasa and Kakamega where parallel events on the launch were held. The speakers did not rely on printed texts in delivering their messages but were guided by teleprompters. Security, which was provided by both the police and private firms, was tight. Before entering the dome,  Mr Kenyatta and his main guest, Mr Eugene Wamalwa, were hoisted by party officials in a tent christened “The Presidential Lounge”. The above outline could seem something simple to come up with but trust me its not something easy to implement, it did cost Uhuru Kenyatta a fortune but it was worth every coin he spent. 

Lessons for Brand Managers
1.Work with the best- This sounds like a cliche, you know it but why do we at times choose to spend less on crap? A great team or talented people cost a little bit more but they deliver and give you value for your money. Just spend a little more and leave that wow effect.

2.Have a plan - Don't do an official launch just for it sake to get the product to the market; in today's competitive world where brands face fierce competition it's always good to spell out your objectives clearly, what do you want to achieve at the end of the day? Have timelines and stick to working with schedules during the pre-launch and the actual roll out.

3.Team work- A brand manager should coordinate the efforts of all the agencies and companies handling the launch. Having a great team that's very talented is one side of the coin but ensuring these different agencies work together calls for coordination to build synergies. So don't leave it to the PR agency to do just public relations on print and TV but as they do so they coordinate with lets say the digital agency for online PR and communication.

4.Establish a strong presence on Social Media and digital media- This is 2012; Kenyans are spending hours on social media daily, Kenya is also NO.4 in terms of internet usage in Africa so if you are doing a launch think of the massive platform you could tap into. The average youth no longer goes to newspapers to search for information; we Google it up!! It also good to have an online platform where people can search more information regarding your product or brand. 

5.Make it experiential- People don't remember the great products you were launching, guys always remember the Huge Turnout there was, the food they ate, the free booze the drank, or even the beautiful BA's or models you had at the launch. Security is also an issue; don't have some rough & rude bouncers to harass your guests at the entrance. Of course there are cases where they have to be tough on some idiots but these well built men should have customer/client service skills to assist and direct people around not those that chase guests away.
  
In conclusion what Uhuru did on Sunday has certainly changed the way Kenyans view the son of the first president of Kenya, the Ibelieve campaign has certainly rebranded UK and positioned him as a very strong contender for the presidency. His pending case at the ICC seems to have been forgotten by a number of Kenyans so lets wait & see where the opinion polls place Uhuru Kenyatta. All that said I still think all the multinationals have picked up a few lessons from TNA's launch; so kindly lets not see the usual launches we see in five star hotels, get creative, think outside the box and since you can afford anything that cash can buy work with a great team. Meanwhile since Uhuru Kenyatta has managed to impress me with how he did the launch I can proudly shout-Tuko pamoja Uhuru, Tunaweza! Please deliver on what you've promised me, I am already doing something for this country and all I need is a government that supports the youths, we are tired of "Kuomba Serikali"...I don't want to borrow anything from the government, I just need security, less punitive taxes and systems that work; I will sort out the rest because I am hardworking!!



Thursday, 17 May 2012

Unilever Idea Trophy-Is it a con?


A team from Unilever visited the University of Nairobi School of business on a cold Thursday afternoon to meet the students. I was in the audience listening carefully to what they had to say this time. Last time I met a team from Unilever was during the Aspire Leadership when I speaking on social media etiquette, personal branding and job search and I shared the platform with Juliet Ziswa who is the Brand Building director HPC at Unilever among others.
 Over the last three months; Unilever has come to this campus or invited students from UoN  to meet them under the “Meet Unilever” campaign done by their HR to make the company attractive to the students seeking placement after school. As students complain of lack of jobs, Unilever seems to be in a dire need of great talent to join their famous leadership programme ,what is popularly known as graduate/ management trainee programme.
Their mission in campus this time was to pitch the Idea trophy; which according their website is a Unilever on-campus youth development initiative designed to create an "out-of-the-classroom" learning experience that focuses on the development of personal and entrepreneurial competencies amongst Kenya undergraduates. It is a challenging and creative experience, where students from different universities figure out how business works in real life while developing their own skills and competencies. This is where university students figure out how business works in real life.
Sounds cool, right? I have this love-hate relationship with MNC’s; one that isn’t about to end any time soon because of what I have learnt in the last three years. Having worked in the small & medium sized Kenyan enterprises and finally ending up in a digital agency that handled some of the biggest global brands that operate in Eastern Africa I would strongly advise any young graduate out there not to rush to these big firms. On one side of the coin I love what these MNC’s pay its staff but on the other hand I hate a few things about them that I am not going to discuss here today!
Back to the Idea Trophy; this is a very noble idea but here’s my analysis;
It’s a Rip off-
The idea trophy is a con; it’s a game because no matter how hard you work to win the prize they will not give you a chance to execute your idea as a team. That is where it fails first and hence becomes a rip off. Well if as at 2012 Unilever still bets on the strategy and not the people executing it then that is okay with me because they are about to learn some tough lessons from this first edition of the trophy. If our strategies as a team are implemented poorly by the team then P&G still carries the day in the game. When Microsoft did their Imagine Cup a few a go at Crowne Plaza the winners never got just prizes and this challenge appears a con; lure students with the S.A trip and the prizes to do all your market research & come up with ideas thus saving loads of cash that would have gone to Scangroup. I am not in way trying to dissuade you from participating but I think they should respect our "intellectual property" more.
It shouldn’t be handled by the HR
This is where they fail squarely; this challenge is all about ideas and creativity to come up with strategies to breathe life to one of their brands- Rexona. The whole team that visited the campus was from their HR department and at one point they taught us how to write CV’s to get internships at Unilever during the pitch and shared their ‘testimonies’ of how working for Unilever is the best thing have happened to them!!! Well that’s okay,  you got a few first years so excited by the way!!
I had a few questions for them about the Rexona brand eg on why they chose Wahu as the brand ambassador, what are Rexona’s LSMs , who does their creative & why they chose did a whole billboard showing a not so happy diva and such. To my amazement the team that was present knew nothing about what I was asking. I didn’t expect some answers I was given because I thought these management trainees were taken through all the departments including the marketing dept in the leadership programme during the three years. 
Too Much Focus on Grades
Apparently Unilever doesn’t just want ideas from anyone; they want the participants to have an average of 60+ points. The bulk of the media, PR, Experiential and advertising agencies are made up of brilliant guys who didn’t necessarily have the good grades to join the MNC’s. Do they deliver?? YES! No one went to campus and got A’s in creativity so it’s just sad when they emphasize on grades one has. I am not a dumb guy by the way, I have managed straight A’s & a few B’s in my 3rd and 4th year in campus but my transcripts haven’t really helped me get any job or contract so far. No one asks me for them because I have a track record in anything I touch because I fill roles that match my skills not my grades!
That was really boring until someone took it to another level by telling us how grades matter. Let me tell you why I hate an education system that emphasizes on what grades one gets. Just so that you see sense in what I am saying; is it not their rejects that join the agencies + media and become creatives thus breathe life to their brands while some of their well paid but very ‘uneducated’ hires sit in their marketing department just to rubber stamp all the ideas from these agencies?
Who said that creativity comes from being book smart?? I have met very many smart guys who never cleared school or who never passed well but posses a great set of skills; this is what matters!
If you are interested in participating in this challenge go to  Ideatrophykenya.co.ke
 I will be participating so see you there!! Meanwhile you can follow me on twitter @KenyanMarketer for more analysis on this!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

7 Guidelines to Social Media Give Aways

Over the last few days I have been receiving messages on my inbox asking me to "like my comment on page X" or "kindly leave a comment on my photo on page Y". Over the last few months too I have noticed a massive exodus of fans from one page to the other simply because brand X is offering something! It's now becoming a headache to companies who want to have a loyal fan base on Facebook and maintaining the levels of engagement high in these business pages is getting tougher for administrators of these pages. Having been on both sides; one as a fan trying to win tickets to watch Avengers on Imax and on the other end as an admin so I always see the migration. It's phenomenal; more like the wildebeest migration in the Mara; it's so spectacular to watch by the way. When that happens off course and am left alone positing on the page I get innovative and come up with great ideas to hold these fans and get them to interact with the brand with no give aways.
Social Media give aways should always be about;
  • Deepening the brand – in a very subtle way, the give aways should ensure the fans understand something about the brand at the end of the challenge. Since you will be giving hampers or gifts on different days kindly ensure you do different questions to educate the fans. 
  • Deepening brand loyalty – Brand loyalty is the extent of the faithfulness of consumers to a particular brand, expressed through their repeat purchases, irrespective of the marketing pressure generated by the competing brands thus these give aways should be communicating to the fans 'that you can trust us to take care of your ABC etc etc. 
  • Deepening the experience – With a well done social effort you can connect your brand to the fans on a personal level. People will seek out a connection with you via social media . These give aways should make this relationship intimate and tighter.With that let me now give a few guidelines on giving goodies away on social media.
1. Be Random-
When you announce on Monday that you'll be giving away a phone on Friday at 10am; be sure fans will start trooping into the page at 9:50 am that day, the usual way people make it to a meeting 10 minutes before it starts! By doing that you will have high interactivity, reach and virality on Friday only. How about if you gave away the free stuff randomly or crazily during hours that fans don't expect anything? This helps hold fans onto your page for almost the whole day waiting for that hour,minute or day that you give away free stuff. It also helps you know who regularly checks your page!
2.Give Everyone a Chance to Win
Since you already know that Fan X & Y have a lot of influence on Facebook and regularly participate in challenges to win stuff on different pages; then in as much as you don't want them to win all the hampers you give away they will and share the 'loot'. So how do you do it then? It's always great when people keep coming back to your page to like comment Y by Fan X but you don't want to give away freebies to the same people over and over. How about if you gave the "1st person to comment" on an update free stuff? When fans see that they will keep checking your page. Next time make it more fun; say the 10th or 100th comment to be posted wins! That makes everyone on the page feel like they had a shot at the prize!
3.Make it Engaging/Reduce Push Marketing.
 Social media give aways should increase the warmth & interactivity on the page. If you execute a "come like my comment" kind of a challenge the people come and do just that. No more. Do challenges that encourage fan-fan interaction; making it a family. When you achieve that then fans keep coming back to the page for more fan-fan vibe! Push marketing is dangerous on social media because it kills engagement and increase the number of page un likes.
  4.Tie the rewards to the Brand
This is simple and straight to the point; If you are going to run these challenges then ensure that the rewards people get represent the brand values or communication. There's no point of giving the winners lunch vouchers to eat at joint Y while they won at Page X. By doing that you take the experience elsewhere. Say; you run the Sprite Kenya page; do not give winners shopping vouchers at Nakumatt or lunch coupons redeemable at KFC not unless the two have a B2B agreement where they mutually benefit. Give branded merchandise also for brand memorability.

5.Introduce Loyal Fans to the Brand
I picked this from Samsung Kenya's Facebook page and felt that they could have done it better. The majority of Kenyans access social media on 'normal' phones so most can't view or download apps. The majority of their loyal fans are definitely in this category; so they could have used the chance to introduce the brand to fans who Like, respect and trust the brand but can't afford it at the moment. That turns these fans into very loyal consumers and brand ambassadors.



6.Educate fans on the brand
By asking relevant questions about the brand you educate the fans about your brand. With the timeline; where you can list all the major milestones; why not ask fans to go do dig what the brand did in the 70's? When fans know more about the brand then they can talk about it; with more information then brand loyalty deepens.

7.Spell out the Terms and Conditions Clearly
There's nothing as tragic as running a challenge without clearly spelling out the terms rather well. A few fans may spot the loopholes to demand prizes but it gets worse when people do the right thing; what you had asked for and you realize that they are all eligible for the prize. Kindly spell out the T & C's so that you don't have hate posts on your wall or on the inbox ,fans un-liking the brand or worse still talking ill about it to their pals. Do you need any help with coming up a social media content plan?Then let's get social-Follow me on twitter @KenyanMarketer


Sunday, 13 May 2012

Marketers Rule the World Not Women- Part 2. Marketers & Entrepreneurs

How Marketing & Entrepreneurship can solve all the problems in the world.
Just in case you missed the Marketers Rule the World not Women Part 1  check it out and catch up with the rest. So here’s how one marketer creates problems for us in the world and it becomes another marketer’s opportunity to sell more to the world.
Charles Darwin in the evolution theory stated that it is the smartest of species that survive…we I presume you are smart enough since you are already reading this. Am I the smartest in the planet? NO however I know just a few things that could also changes the world. I cannot be Bill Gates or Steve Jobs but my contribution in the world matters to. Motivational speakers have told me that I have the potential to be whatever I want to be. YES…you heard me right….I can be anything! However for now I am a blogger, Social Media Specialist and a marketer. Not bad after all!! At least am doing something!
Back to my story, I want to show you just how one man’s poison is another man’s food.A few rich people have made billions by simply doing something to solve the problems in the world. Do they face challenges? Yes they DO! Big challenges!
When the fast food marketers created obesity in the world a whole new industry emerged; it was the wellness industry! Since somehow a good number of you have fat in all the wrong places, someone was brilliant enough to start a gym in your neighborhood. The gym gets equipment from a supplier locally who then sources them from the manufacturer. This scenario created a lot of jobs in the world just because one marketer was brave enough to tell the world that eating fast food is ‘cool’. Today we have wellness & health magazines, weight loss consultants to nutritionists all cashing in on just one industry!
When the beer marketers made alcohol look nice to consume they created a lot of problems in the world! A lot I repeat!! When you can’t stop drinking or partying every day you need to go to rehab, see a consultant! Do you pay? Yes you do! Because you need help! When your spouse can’t stand your drinking habits he/she files a divorce in court, then lawyers come in to help you sort out the mess and split what you worked tirelessly over 20 years equally! The lawyer is the happiest man here….He made loads of cash simply because one man decided to drink beer every evening after work!! Alcohol is what has lead to increase in infidelity, men not only drink alcohol till 4 am because it’s sweet!! No!! Something goes on that leads to something and lastly it gets intimate! When people start getting intimate with strangers, they need protection, thus a brilliant guy made condoms and birth control pills. Do they sell? Yes they do….a lot!! When the world wanted to enjoy sex better with their partners one guy made sex toys, porn movies and all the crazy stuff that Getrude Mungai teaches us to use and by the way she has a mammoth following on Facebook with 49000 subscribers! Got me thinking....people really want to know how to do it right in bed!! 
Does she make cash out of this? Yes because already there's a motivated market ready to pay for what she offers!
The world’s richest people are also great marketers, if they aren't they hire the most brilliant guys or agencies to push their brands. A lot of people do amazing stuff in their bedroom's, art, apps, designs or whatever you do but if you can't sell your cool stuff then you'll remain poor forever! We buy loads of fake products just because they are marketed properly! Now that’s the application of marketing to entrepreneurship.
When the car marketers sold millions of units worldwide they created traffic jams in Nairobi, global warming because cars run on fuel, the motor spares business is huge locally and thus garages, car music & audio business .etc etc. So if the car marketers didn’t sell the cars, there would be no petrol stations, no garages, no car wash, driving schools…See now? The world would be so boring! We’d all be unemployed and complaining to the government. With traffic jams everywhere in the city we marketers created jobs & businesses for city planners, engineers, contractors and suppliers!! Thika road is ongoing as you read this, some Chinese guy (Founder of China Wu Yi) in Hong kong is smiling all the way to the bank because Kenyans need roads; they can’t fit & move during the rush hour. To keep getting more business locally he will invest in Toyota or Nissan in Japan, move more units, create more traffic snarl ups in the city and thus he’ll get another contract to build new roads or repair the ones he did! That’s a bit cruel but that’s how the world works!
With global warming, Kenya has severe dry spells and floods in the rainy season. Why?  All our cars run on fuel. We just did "Kenyans for Kenya" a few months ago for Turkana resident; good news is that now they have oil and hopefully next year we won’t do it again for them!!!  As you move from point A to B you burn fuel, do you look behind to see the trail of smoke you leave? NO. It’s not your problem until your uncle in shaggz calls you asking for school fees for his son. Why? The crops failed, he didn’t harvest anything because rains were not enough. As a city dweller, your car is causing so much trouble today to the farmers. If there’s no food in the village, then we pay handsomely for meals in the hotels. The grocer in your neighbourhood doubles the price or reduces the quantity of what he or she sells to you. We complain a lot; saying "Maisha imepanda bei" (The cost of living has gone up) but how will it come down when we cause these problems ourselves? See how the problem you created has caused more problems that you can’t handle? So who helps the village? The government through extension officers (Job Creation) to help the farmers grow drought resistant crops as you cruise in the city!!
I could go on and on but the moral of this long story is; don’t complain about every small challenge there is in the country. As we agreed earlier you are TOO SMART to say on national TV that the government ‘should do something’. Since you are too cool for that, analyze the problem there is the country or in the world today, what problems have other brilliant marketers caused? The traffic jams? Right? Don’t tweet about it, the clever guy won’t encourage people to walk to work. NO. He will import motor bikes…Really cool bikes and sell convenience, time saving & mobility across the city to the frustrated Kenyans. With the bike, you can zoom past guys in nice cars stuck in traffic; make it to work in time. Can Kenyans buy bikes? Yes!
If Jeff Koinange, Peter Nduati, Bob Collymore, Mike Sonko & ministers start riding these bikes,(if there's good security in Nairobi) they'll appear cool to buy and thus a very aspirational middle class will dump their cars & buy them also! That alone will de-congest the city during certain times of the day & during the rainy season we can go to work in one car rather  than one family leaving home with 4 different cars! You just need to drop your mum & sister at work while your dad takes care of the other members of the family!
The very first guys who bought the boda boda’s are rich men in the village. The few more brilliant guys who imported the boda bodas into the country now live happily in the Runda's of today. They only watch news on TV about how the bikes they sold are killing Kenyans on the roads. Feels sad? Right?  but he made his CA$H and now scanning the market for a gap, when he’s back to the game he’ll make a killing again. Is he smart? Yes. Did he have to go to school to learn that? No. Does he have a MBA? In most cases he doesn’t. Is he rich? YES! Don’t we all love cash & all the comfort money brings? Fill the blank space----------! Remember the guy didn’t ‘eat’ NHIF or NSSF cash, he made his cash & paid taxes, so nobody bugs him. Let’s move on!
Don’t go to business to create the next Safaricom, you’ll never make it, you’ll never beat them! They’ll fry you up with their fat marketing budgets and nothing will ever be heard of you again. Think of what you can do, what problems has Safaricom has created, are there any gaps in their industry?  Think of what service you can offer to Safaricom and they’ll pay for it if it adds value to their business.
Don’t open a hotel on Waiyaki way so that the employees of Safaricom come eat at your joint; Naaaah!!! already there’s Njuguna’s and cooler places at ABC place for the well paid guys at the ‘green house’.Why should they come to your Mama Ciru café? That’s now where pro marketers come in (but this time with the help from above) to help you convince the smartly dressed executives why the should sit in a stuffed café and enjoy your food!! But then 'Mama Ciru' again cannot afford to pay a consultant and remain afloat; however she can do Cakes & Ice cream or fruits and supply them during tea breaks to the employees because someone doesn’t have to go all the way to Kangemi or Westlands market to buy just one banana. That's better now for Mama Ciru because she's getting more innovative!
The above scenario isn't  entrepreneurship but what I call ‘just being in business" and we have a lot of businessmen in Nairobi today. In fact everyone is into some kind of a side hustle in the city today! If you are "just in business" you cannot change the world, you’ll never leave a legacy behind. When Steve Jobs died the world mourned him,we all wanted to see if Apple can remain alive after he’s dead. Well it’s still there because it’s not just a ‘Business”.
You’ll make cash in the short term if you’re ‘just in business’ and when the business climate changes you’ll close down. Entrepreneurial ventures can withstand the worst economic crises in the world only if they remain innovative! You got the brains, you are unique, and you were created in God’s own image. You are superb, so awesome and you can something great for the world too.  Don’t replicate what’s being done, do something different to fill in a gap in the market and there are a lot of niches in the world today, so scan around globally and see what you can offer the world!
If you are brilliant, think of what you can do,it doesn’t have to be big, you don’t need a lot of capital to start a business. Furthermore there’s a lot of cash following great ideas, nobody will invest in a not so great idea, the banks first watch you struggle, roll it out, and if they think you can do better then they give you their cash!! However this shouldn’t be the barrier to starting a business; Apple, Virgin, Microsoft, KQ, P&G and Coca-Cola weren’t all built in a decade! So as you think BIG, remember to start SMALL and most importantly start NOW. Don’t procrastinate! Do it now.
All the best in what you are planning to do and just in case you need help from a marketer who understands Social Media & PR then holla, we’ll take it to the NEXT level in a very short time!!
Kindly use #SmartEntreprenuers to share any business success lessons you know. Let’s solve the problems in the world by sharing information with other entrepreneurs and cc me @KenyanMarketer.
 In my next article I will talk about how entrepreneurs, designers, innovators, marketers who are smart can work together and start the next Apple, Microsoft or Facebook by simply working as a team to create the world's next biggest thing. You cant do it alone, but you also don't  need loads of cash to succeed; but if you are part of a talented team then cash will flow in. People can invest in your idea if you can deliver & build what you are so passionate about. However the most important thing is; there has to be a MARKET for what you want to sell!! Think big with the customer angle in mind.
If you like this article, kindly share it on your Facebook or twitter, help me pass on this message! Lets solve our problems, lets not complain, lets work harder but in a smart way. Let's #DoitFOR254
Cheers!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Marketers Rule the World not Women Part 1

An interesting scan at the problems marketers have created in the world!
I would like to give you a few instances on how brilliant marketers have caused the serious problems we have in the world today. To a great extent your problems are caused by these same people. I want to show you how Beyonce lied to the women to sell more copies of her music when she did "Girls Run the World". Girls don't run the world, Marketers do & we don't just run it we RULE the world!! Did you read that story of the Chinese boy who sold one of his kidneys to buy an Ipad? Feels sad, right? How did he do it? He fell for Steve Jobs marketing prowess and since the boy couldn't afford the gadget he sold one of his kidneys; he's a brilliant but a 'dumb' guy too since he sells part of his body that he doesn't need!
Wikipedia defines marketing as "the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.These activities include efforts of Public relations, designers, social media specialists like me, experiential marketing agencies, advertising & Media. All these institutions and experts breathe life to a brand so they all fall under one category of people I call "Marketers". 
Secondly everyone in the world is a marketer or a promoter of his or her own personal brand .You make a living out of your skills in employment by applying for a job (Selling your expertise) to an employer. On that note I have serious issues with graduates who can't market & sell their skills to companies yet the same firms are in dire need of talent. It's a problem in Kenya, guys are so brilliant but they simply can't package themselves as 'employable'. Before you are hired to represent a brand then you got to prove that you are a good CEO of your own personal brand. Simple!! By the way you can read my articles on How to Get Hired Faster , 7 Reasons why you are unemployed yet you are so brilliant and How to Get Hired on Social Media.
That said here's how we do it!

Fast Food Marketers
How tasty do these burgers and chips look? If you could download this picture and eat it right away and get full then go ahead! Fast food marketers sell convenience, no hustles, no pressure and the fact that you shouldn't do your dishes after eating! That's cool! All you need is to buy, walk out and eat on the go. Nice! All the bachelors don't want to get married because of this industry! Kids cry if daddy doesn't take them out for Pizza over the weekends, any small achievement your daughter does at home she whines "Mummy buy me Chips". You got to buy her fries less she cries all day & hates you forever! When KFC opened in Kenya at the Nakumatt Junction the queues were longer than those at voting centres during elections, I went there too and bought that Chicken since they said it was "So Good". Yes its true,you'll love the bucket of kuku...but you can have something as tasty in the CBD and pay much lesser!
The result of this fast food craze is- 



Blame the marketer for the obese kids, If you are plus size and still eating junk blame that guy too!! If you just had 500 bob and bought lunch at Chicken Inn and walked home...don't kill the marketer, just don't pass by that street again! Did all your pals tag you along for Ice cream on a sunny afternoon and you bought it,licked it away happily, had fun, you even tweeted about how the joint so cool and the Ice cream is sweet and tasty, then later you had to ask for a soft loan the following day to get fare to school....!!!? Don't hate your buddies...damn...you know who to curse at!!
 Beer Marketers
These are the real ruthless guys now! They 'lied' to me last weekend too!
They sell the happiness, the fun, the experience, the greatness everything you'd wish to have. Some beer ads want to show us that if you take brand X you look hotter, a diva..everything you wanna be. Some of them have told men that beer makes them taller, wiser and smoother...you know...gives you better vibes,makes you look cooler.Wow...Can we all men drink to that?! The key touch points of men is sports, women, music while women love fashion etc so the beer marketers have created a brand association with almost everything you love so that you can do booze to the grave what is better known in my profession as brand loyalty!!! Recently I wrote an article on how brands are conning off women by calling them divas; you can also check it out here.
Back to beer & partying; locally in Kenya, there's the craze about Naivasha, Westlands, Coasto or wherever you love partying...but after that perfect night or weekend out what happens? A lot goes on during the 'experience' that we don't even want to talk about the next day! Let's not even talk about the impact beer of in our lives! Everyone has a story to tell, it doesn't matter if you are a teetotaler, you've seen or read somewhere about what beer does to its users!! Nyeri men are you here? Hello? "Cate", "Suzie", "Maggie"...Wassup? do you know how you got pregnant? you woke up in Lang'ata? how did you leave that joint C in Westie? You don't know!!! Don't curse your buddies for leaving you alone with a stranger, think of what led to all that!! It's purely the marketing efforts of the club owner, DJ, the stranger and the brand manager of  'King X or brand Y'  finally made it easy for one lucky or unlucky guy to have 'fun' while you were dead drunk!!! Finally if you can't breathe well, bend to touch your toes or even perform well in bed because of a beer & Nyama choma pot belly then talk to the guys who said Nyama goes well with beer...they gave you the extra carbs on the all the wrong places!!


 Car Marketers 
Car marketers sell speed, reliability, masculinity etc etc. Basically the car you drive defines who you are.  Men & women feel they deserve to drive these guzzlers to get a certain point home. Why do you feel a car make A is better than B? Broke men can argue all day about which car make is better, cooler and why they'll buy X over Y yet they won't buy that car any soon! How does that happen to them? 
One word ....It's the power of Marketing! 
We all have dream cars...Yeah! When you start dreaming of owning a Range Rover at 25 and all you have done in college is CPA,  just know that the marketer's job is already done there. All the brand is waiting for you to do is; To work terribly hard, fast, play lotteries and do anything that will get you cash to buy the machine!! Once in a while they'll advertise to keep you saving all you earn, if you can't wait, to save enough, you can walk into a bank, they'll top up your savings. Banks love savers and you'll get a loan approved in hours; with cash in your account, you are the BOSS now. You can walk into a car yard on Ngong road and off you leave with your favourite BEAST of the road!! Who pays the loan? Who will fuel it? Ask a few Omondi's who own them, our brothers from the lakeside love the Mercedes.It has to be!! Be it the doctor OJ who drives a KBR the latest S class and Omosh the hustler who drives a KXC 048 both cars have to be a Mercedes...but do we saaaay!! One sleeps hungry because he had to fuel his car to go watch a Gor Mahia game in a car while the other is in serious debt, confused & not so well paid to buy an expensive suit to match his newly found status but he will definitely never sell it off to buy a cheaper model that's easier to maintain. Why? So that the students he lectures in campus take him serious in class!! Both guys are unhappily stuck in a Mercedes!! But do they say? NO!
At this point the oil marketers take over and charge you anything they want for fuel. They are so ruthless; they work as an industry to con you off simply because if Daktari has to roll in his guzzler he needs to fuel it. With fuel in it we get global warming and thus the hunger in Kenya during the dry seasons and floods in the rainy season. Both are problems and since every every Nairobian wants a car or has one we are stuck in traffic for hours tweeting about it using #TrafficWatch. Do the car brands build more roads? No, will they keep selling? YES! Thus we blame the government and ask for more roads!! If you still feel the government should do something about it then tell the Roads minister now!!
Finally the moment someone who drives a Subaru WRX takes away your cute girlfriend away then the next thing you do is pray to God to give you money to buy any car so that you can also roll & hoot at matatus! Feels good huh! Ladies will now have you in a list of "eligible" men! That means better chances in the dating game, right?  Cool my guy! Tell us now...You got it , how does that make you a better man? do you know where to buy motor spares? can you tell when the car needs a mechanic and when it runs out of fuel? You need tint on your windows? that 'dark paper' isn't fixed for free!!At that point you'll have understood that a car needs more to move than just fuel...yeah! and if you are not financially stable that NZE will wipe you out clean!! Keep rolling and 'dropping' kina suzie at 3am for 6 months, by mid month you'll be begging the bank for an advance & the cycle repeats itself monthly! Everyone looks at you nicely, you give colleagues a lift to town after work and when you pass by the petrol station no one chips in but when you get them to safely to the CBD they bang your door with a smile and say THANKS!!! Do you feel good? NO!! Did they? YES. Why? You saved them 50 bob to town!!
The Global Economic Meltdown
The world's most brilliant but dumbest marketers with the help of greedy financial managers & the not so qualified risk analysts gave the US & thus the world the most recent economic recession, better known as the meltdown!! How did the marketers do it? Here's how we contributed to the meltdown too!
Marketers sold mortgages to a very aspirational middle class who always want instant gratification with little or no effort. Locally what's the craze about living upmarket in Runda, Lavington, Karen and Kileleshwa just to name but a few? It's because we all tend to think only the rich stay in such addresses.Well no!! We have a lot of guys in these upmarket areas who live hand to mouth just so that their 'business partners' know they lives in Kileleshwa. Right? So they struggles all month to get cash to pay the rent and tweets happily about how traffic is tight on Riverside drive in the morning? What do you do to the tweet? You give it an instant RT asap to alert others that there's traffic on route X but that guys is simply telling the world he lives somewhere in Lavington or he is heading to a 'posh office' in Riverside!! Thank the almighty God for Twitter it gave everyone a voice to project an image which in most cases isn't what's actually there!
The developers get a few other rich guys to buy land in an area, then the marketers and real estate analysts push demand of land in that area. The not so rich middle class come in droves and buy houses & land at exorbitant rates from the super rich in Kenya. They sell & exit stinking rich, the new owner is stuck with mortgage installments because he/she can't rent out the apartment for as much as the installments are. 
The marketers gave the lazy guys with jobs on average salaries credit cards whose limits were so high. What will one do with a credit card? Go spend! Get into a plane, go to S.A and shop everything you can carry out of a mall. Feels good..right? You got all the designer labels in your wardrobe now? Cool. Come back to Kenya or wherever you live now; The bank calls you because you aren't paying back, what happens next? You are rocking a Gucci suit, Prada shoes and driving a Prado.....Wow! but on the downside you are stuck in debt. So stressed, then it gets into depression, blood pressure yet you look so 'rich' in the eyes of your buddies. The bank can't kill you to get their money back so they downsize, a few hardworking employees  lose their jobs, see how you cause more problems in the world? If you don't pay your mortgage installments then the house is repossessed by the bank, you are then left homeless and with the depression already in, you get blood pressure and as the Nigerian comedian Basket Mouth said last in his signature comedy act YOU DIE!
Just before you leave so annoyed about me, I have some good news for you. The same marketers who have caused all these problems in the world have also SOLVED all of them somehow. It's an ecosystem, one man's poison is another man's food! Kindly check my blog on Monday morning and I will give you a part two of this story. Follow me on twitter @KenyanMarketer and share some of the problems you face that you think are caused by marketers! Lets take the vibe there!!  
Have a great weekend...Go party...Go chill out...Its so cool! We can roll together by the way!!! In as much I am a marketer I need a life. I too suffer from the brutal brilliance of my learned friends (Marketers) in the beer & fun industry!