BRAND: It’s Business…and very Personal

The news is awash with the sale of WhatsApp to Facebook. For some, it signals impending doom, as they believe our privacy will be compromised. Others see it as a conspiracy theory by the NSA to further probe into the lives of the global publics. iChoose to see the human element of it; Brian Acton. Together with Jack Koum, they have become the newest billionaires in town, according to Forbes. The classic story of rejection ,from shame to fame;  from ashy to classy, as the Notorious B.I.G. told us eons ago rings true. He was denied a position at both Facebook, and Twitter. Four years later, $19 billion is proof of his tenacity, ingenuity, and fruit of his labor. Where am i going with this?

Too often, we have been told the infamous adage, ‘It’s not personal, it’s just business’.  this usually happens when you are getting the sack, or being let down ‘gently’. ibeg to differ. The business of Brand is very emotive. It is extremely personal, why? As we said previously , or wrote last time; the consumer decision-making behavior is largely driven by perceptions, which emanate from feelings. It is purely an experiential process, after which the informed consumer makes rational decision on the product/ service purchased. What the heart wants, it wants. There are no two ways about it. Try prying away from a lady’s hand a pair of shoes that ‘were just  made for her’. Or from a man a gadget that simply calls out  to him. iSpeak from experience. There is small, square music device known as The Music Angel. The first time a colleague showed it to me, iHad no idea how it worked. So after fiddling with this device, instead of reading the manual (all men don’t! Who reads those things anyway?), iWas in love. Let’s just say we are now celebrating our 2nd month anniversary. In order to maintain proper relationships with you-know-who, a plan was hatched to get her a pink one. Crisis averted.

Aha, back to topic. Business is personal. The passion that drove the formation of any enterprise, the big WHY?, the reason for existence; is derived from an innate desire to solve a prevailing need, a core purpose. Let no one lie to you that the purpose of business is to make profit. Such ventures are the fads that disappear like Usain Bolt, here today, gone tomorrow. Were Acton et al not passionate about his vision, talents,  and put his sweat where his mouth was; we would not even know about him today. The reason we have countless tales of pathetic customer service permeating all industries in Kenya, is the lack of heart in the owners, translated to the employees. The actualization of the triple bottom line of Planet, people, and Profit, is the reason we have the newsmakers, and lack of is why we vumilia the noisemakers (another story for another day, hehe).

Anyone who has played sports competitively knows that even a practice session is a dress rehearsal to the weekend game; and it is very easy to pick out the joy riders from the focused. iHave had, and heard three stories of the appalling cases of lack of decorum by  makangas (touts). A pal was nearly drugged, another almost accosted; and iAlmost had fist conversation with a member of this league of extraordinary gentlemen. Sadly, they are just a reflection of what we have condoned as normal behavior and standard of service; from people we actually pay a premium for shoddy services rendered. The public sector is rife with mismanagement of time, and infrastructure simply because of lack of passion for the job, resulting in disgruntled, foul-mouthed public servants who deem it fit to share their frustrations with those who pay them, the general public. iStill blame their leadership, they are a reflection of their superiors, a spitting image.

Branson said, “iRun all my homes like businesses, and all my businesses like homes”. He says this is because both have to be shared, and neither one works as well if one tries to go it alone. You want a solution to the lack of of decorum by product/ service providers? Look at the leadership. Change begins with you and me (story for another day). Simply put to all intrapreneurs, and budding entrepreneurs, your WHY? Should be the most compelling reason you wake up each morning. You have to be in love with what you do (remember Love and Brand?), and grind it out, regardless of present circumstances; for you to live to your full potential in business, and life. Acton has reinforced the ideology of Mvumilivu hula Mbivu, do your part, and let God do his bit.

iAm passionate about what iDo, are you? It is your business to be offended by poor service, and to break the cycle by offering the best of you in whatever you do, to your target audience. It’s not personal…it’s personal to business, and life.Image


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