Posts Tagged country branding
It has been a longtime since we interacted. Memes, GIFs, and Trends have come and gone, but Brand Strategy foundations are still the same. The world of marketing and communications changes like the weather and if you are not careful, you will be blown away literally when caught standing on this fast lane. Traditional marketing has met with digital marketing, and the field is as lively as we Brand lovers dream of!
This was the most popular meme last week and some companies hit it spot-on to their core values, while others blundered themselves through the razzmatazz. We are having awesome adverts on telly this first quarter, and some which make one squirm as it passes by. Awesome local and international shows have come through, in both theatre and movies. Songs have been made which make you laugh, or cry. We will discuss anything that is something in our daily life because you know what? Your life is a brand, and is surrounded by brands….and that is why we love this BrandLyf to the fullest…sisi tuko ndani…ndani…. ndaaani…! We love this Country, our Brands, our People, and our life. We will discuss country brand, corporate brand, personal brand, and whatever makes us passionate, as Brand Strategy is supposed to!
We were quite shocked to find ourselves labelled as Millennial, is there really an exact definition, and does it really matter? Most products coming out are for this bracket, and why not? They comprise over 51% of the population. Some companies are pulling it so well, makes us wish we are the intended client. BOYB Tv Show hats off to you, we learn so much from each show, even us who linger on the periphery of your target audience. We all have our opinions on these topics, and that is the beauty of freedom of expression. Unemployment is only gonna go down through such initiatives. Like someone said, the government job is to create the environment, for the private sector to thrive and solve this giant load on our backs. Lions’ den had a different strategy, still effective in getting both sides benefit from such a partnership. We will discuss these powerful brand initiatives as we walk through this BrandLyf lane.
Has anyone noticed the 90’s is back! Shows, events, personalities that we looked up to when growing up can now be observed by hindsight lenses and understood. They look like fiction now, the likes of Pablo Escobar’s, OJ Simpson’s Series and The New Edition Story, to name but just a few. Tupac Shakur’s movie is out soon also. A quick question, where are our Kenyan stories? Who is writing, and producing such Brand Kenya memories that those who are not there will get to experience them in books, and hopefully plays and movies? We would love to see Wangari Maathai’s biography as a movie. She is a Legend in this world, and our next generation needs to made aware that she changed the world in her own way; by standing firm for her beliefs. The 60’s was a time of upheaval, and movies like Hidden Figures remind us how ladies succeeded in the weirdest environments, and shone for their talents. The likes of Jackie, Selma gave us glimpses of the lives of people who changed the world at certain points in time. We have our Kenyan stories, and we need to tell them. How will our generation be remembered?
We pray that the Arts are given the importance they deserve, as this is where the majority of youth will get opportunities for a livelihood. The informal sector is huge, through guys hustling in one way or another in crafts that they are good at. The sciences really come through for us. To have the best doctors, engineers, scientists on one side changing the world, and musicians, sports people, poets showing you the soul of the world, in its beauty and horror; giving you memories that take you back to a certain period of your life, when that is all that you have to cling to at certain periods of time. That is the best cocktail of professionals we should claim, and let us learn to love our own. We shall go through Unemployment, and how we can relate industries to this issue; as we inform, look for solutions and brand the SME sector holders to optimize their talents.
It is encouraging that we have 8 full buses going to Uganda over this weekend to support our biggest Brand Ambassadors, the athletes. Harambee Stars is playing at Machakos a friendly match against Uganda. That is local sports tourism right there. What are we doing to optimize such events and package them to have long-term effects? Kabaddii is in Mauritius representing us after a tale to tell of begging for funds. We will engage in Sports Branding, and how we can raise our brands to the levels they so deserve.
Do you have a squad? We will discuss the best social and brand squads we would love to have. An awesome social brand squad is like that of Billy Graham, with his two best friends, over 50 years of friendship…through life in its way as it always is. We will engage in such personal brands, and what they have taught us. We need Kenyan stories to tell too, we will get them and celebrate them.
We have touched on a lot of stuff today, but we will sift through topical issues as we wind down with the first quarter of this year. Have you met your personal KPIs by the way? Analyze yourself and begin again later in April after Fools’ Day…au sio?
Remember at the end of the day…. all these topics are through Brand Strategists’ eyes…. let us engage…learn…laugh…and impact our generations. We are Wale Wasee that make your dreams actualize, because we walk through them together, and provide the best brains to implement and change Brands. Let’s do this thing…
I had the honor to bump into our very hardworking ‘Kanjo’ the other day. Now, kanjo is the local slang for the men (and women) of our city council. Here we were in Industrial Area for a client meeting, parked outside their gate, and asked the guard at the gate whether it was in order for us to leave some cash in case they ‘yellow boys’ came. He insisted that it was safe, and these guys were a rare occurrence anyway. Assured of our vehicle’s safety, we strolled in to the meeting. That was mistake number one.
After an intense three hours, we were politely interrupted by the news that our car was in the process of being clamped. We literally sprinted to the scene, to find some two fellaz who looked older than my old man. So, with all due respect, I enquired as to the nature of their ‘visit’. They were quick to inform me that we had no parking ticket, thus, they had to lay down the Law by ticketing us with a fine of Kshs. 2 100. Due to their advanced age, I politely informed them that we had followed all due protocol required, of which the guard at the gate was witness of. We requested to pay the standard parking charge, seeing that they were not there when we first arrived. They would hear none of that, and promptly ripped the ticket, and stuffed it at the windshield.
Okay, there was still room to salvage this. Since the deed had already been done, we asked whether we could pay right there and get it done with. Again, we were met with the nonchalance so typical of our public service, “Endeni kwa ofisi mlipe, kisha mtutafute”. Question, where and how do we get to this office, bearing in mind we were in the heartland of Inda?
So there we were, car-less on a Friday afternoon, and time was not on our side because past 3 p.m., the car would be towed away for the weekend, at an additional cost. Funny enough, this was one of those days you leave your wallet in your coat at the office, knowing that you are popping into a meeting and coming straight back to the office. For once in my life, I wished I knew People! I texted a pal and just prayed that the Vision 2030 wipes out all manner of inefficiency from our systems, for my kids’ sake.
Apparently, these guys normally hide from view, lying in wait to clamp the car as soon as one enters an office. They do not answer to anyone but themselves, are a force to reckon with, and possess the foulest mouths ever. All this despite their being senior citizens, who in my view, are the ghost workers yet to be dealt with; as they have perfected the disappearing act when most needed.
Haiya! To cut a short story even shorter, we waited for one of our own to get done with his meeting, after which he drove us to the offices to pay. The dilapidated state of the so-called HQ was a sight for sore eyes. In a corner there was a lady selling mandazis, no computer was in sight, and guys generally looked like their office. Upon payment the call was immediately made to unclamp the car, which we observed upon return. Talk of efficiency when money changes hands! Our boys in yellow had the audacity to wave at us as we passed by them, and I waved back, wishing them God’s blessings in all their endeavors as they are very hard-working members of the public service.
In a recent workshop, Dr. Nzilu Musyoki, Director of Marketing, Brand Kenya Board shared the following insights on country branding. Kenya turns 50 years old in 2013, and execution of plans should be the underlying factor as it achieves this milestone. We have done enough in developing strategies, manifestoes and the like. Country branding is meant to provide a fresh image of Kenya to its citizenry, investors and development partners. A critical mass of citizens is required to actively engage in, and believe in the structures established, so as to realize The Vision 2030.
The 5 dimensions that shape a Country Brand Index (CBI) are:
- National identity and image
- Public attitudes
- Basic services and infrastructure
According to Future Brand, Kenya is 8th in Africa and 77th in the world in fulfilling these dimensions. A sharp contrast to East African neighbor, Tanzania; who happen to be 7th and 68th, in Africa and the world respectively.
Nitakuwepo is a Brand Kenya Board initiative to rally citizens to actively participate in the development of their Towns and Cities, and the Nation ultimately. A study done recently revealed that negativity and cynicism about the country permeated through the fabric of the citizens. Is it a question of misinformation or promises broken continuously by those in authority? After my experience with these venerated members of the public service, I ask another question, what is the role of the Public Service, and is anyone holding them accountable as they harass hardworking Kenyans?
A whole two and a half hours was wasted on ineptitude, ignorance, incompetence, innuendo and all other ‘ins’. My belief in BrandKenya is that we are slowly, but surely, wiping off the spirit of mediocrity from our systems, and to quote Victor Hugo, no army on earth can withstand the strength of an idea whose time has come. We have a clear roadmap spelt out in the Vision 2030. This is our country, our Brand, let’s claim it, and give it the respect it deserves.