Brilliant Branding, the 3 Do’s

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Gaining strong brand equity is an important goal for every brand. If you want to make your brand as successful as it can be, it is important to understand your brand’s personality, its position in the marketplace and its potential for moving into new areas. These questions can be tricky to answer, even using market research. It requires an approach that is completely individual to your brand and a clear understanding of what you are trying to achieve. There are however three key areas that market research should focus on to fully understand your current positioning, potentials and limitations:

Brand Identity

This refers to the personality of your brand, the nature of its products and what values you want people to associate with your brand. There is probably some visual imagery associated with your brand, and you should get your brand to strongly own this imagery. This is tremendously important, as your imagery can lead customers to feel positively about your brand, induce feelings of familiarity and communicate concepts that are desirable to you, such as quality and affordability. All of this can lead to strong brand equity. It is also important that your brand manages to differentiate itself from its competitors. Asking people how they feel about your brand can provide a good starting point, but you should not stop there: It is (arguably even more) important to find out how people truly and subconsciously feel about your brand, which imagery and messages are essential to your brand and which ones are not making people feel more positively about it.

Brand Space

Your brand does not exist in isolation, and you know this. To improve your brand, it is absolutely essential to understand where exactly it lies within its category and marketplace, and what sets it apart from competitors. People need to easily identify your brand as part of the category, but also see it as different enough to understand why they should buy your products, and not the competitors’. Understanding your positioning is essential when you are thinking of growing and expanding your brand, perhaps taking over new categories, or even if you just want to make people feel more positively about your brand and associate it with the right values. How people feel about your brand is largely driven by their subconscious, and measuring these subconscious feelings can help you carve out a unique space in the market and really stand out from the crowd.

Brand Behavior

Apart from understanding your brand’s personality and its space in the market, you might also want to find out how flexible your brand is. You don’t want your brand to stagnate, but at the same time know it should stay true to its personality. How flexible your brand is will largely depend on its products and categories, but understanding its possibilities and limitations is essential to make your brand as successful as it can be. For addressing potential brand behavior, an individually tailored approach is needed. It is important to assess how consumers will react to changes to your brand; reaching into new categories, creating new products, changing brand personality, or changing the focus of brand communications. It is also important to find out what consumers really want; are the planned changes to the brand, products or communications desirable to the consumer? At this stage, it is also worth taking your competitors into account. Can your brand react to your competitor’s changes quickly and efficiently? The way this is tested is similar to testing your brand identity and brand space, but you might be interested in monitoring changes over time as well. The three key areas for effective branding can of course be investigated using the traditional asking methods of market research, but this won’t paint the whole picture. A large proportion of the decisions we make is influenced by our subconscious, and it important to test how people truly feel about your brand using the most effective market research available.

Adopted from: Mindlab.

 

 

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WHO MOVED MY CHESS? Strategy in action

Chess strategy is what makes chess such an interesting game. After the memorized opening moves are played and each player starts to unfold their plan, the real chess begins to take place.

Everyone likes to study opening theories and learning end game Techniques but the middle chess game is where most games are won and lost.

Well the idea of the game is an example in the practical sense of strategic thinking. Think about it, what has really changed in thinking from the little kid you were who knew “nothing” leave alone the tiny little finger that could not even hold a single “sweet”.

The unfortunate part of this is that not much of our thinking influenced the change to who we are today. That being beside the point, however an interesting flow of thought, let’s get to strategic thinking.

Daily action by people reflect a series of thoughts, Individuals and Groups reflect a force behind a thought, Steve Jobs, the cofounder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc was once a tiny terror of third grade, who was later a college dropout and was even fired from the company he cofounded but he managed to turn his many challenges into spectacular successes.

The daily thoughts that influence our actions are very significant in the direction that we move. The thoughts of yesterday might lead to an impressive memory or not, but however much this is true, yesterday is gone and here is today, what are you thinking? Is your mind engaged on today’s results?

Strategic thinking is not about identifying “dots” weather positive or negative but the thought process starts when one starts to connect the dots, being able to see the relationship between actions and results. In fact the bond between actions and results are created in the thoughts that shape our mindset.

Though one may understand the foundation of human thinking it is critical to capture the aspect of thought as professionals. Like the game of football each and every pass is towards the goal, some passes reach the team mate some don’t, with this kind of thinking the aim is always to score.

Setting goals require strategy to actually realize them; strategic thinking connects the goals set to translate them in to actions and finally results.

Strategic thinking is not about thinking in form of Imagination but about thinking in form of actualization. In the world of thought and Psychological behavior every thought is stored either to be manifested or trigger a related thought.

Just how many times do you think and find nothing interesting to do about the thought. Strategic thoughts are followed by actions that lead to the realization of a set goal.

Strategic thinking is only strategic once the action is completed. Just like the game of Chess, strategy is in the mind; however the most important aspect of Strategy is connecting the dots, transformation of the thought in to action and for one to measure the quality of strategic thinking involved the action should be complete to reveal either if it’s a win or a loss.

Planning to win is complemented by moving towards the goal just like the game of chess Strategy is the bottom line that informs action to reach results.

Lessons To Looming Entrepreneurs

Young entrepreneurs are sometimes in a hurry to make it big quickly. Instead of focusing most attention on monetary returns, an entrepreneur should concentrate most of their energy in giving superior service to their customers. That’s the way their businesses will succeed.

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Here are 4 tips to looming entrepreneurs

Delegate:  You cannot do everything yourself. Learn to live with good enough from your team members.

Responsiveness is power: Get back to clients immediately. If you cannot meet their requirements, don’t waste their time; recommend someone else for the task.

Keep time: Don’t be late for meetings and strictly keep to delivery deadlines. This shows respect for other people. If it is unavoidable, do not give excuses; call early to alert your host.

Cushion yourself against difficult times: Have low margin consistent products that can provide cash flow during low seasons.

Take care of yourself: Eat well, drink lots of water, rest, build and sustain strong relationships over the long term.

Joanne Mwangi engages Youth at the Entrepreneurship School

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Young people are being challenged to venture into entrepreneurship instead of waiting for employment. With the high rate of youth unemployment in Kenya, renowned Kenyan entrepreneurs believe that entrepreneurship is the only way for the age group.

Joanne Mwangi, the CEO of Professional Marketing Services Group (PMS GROUP), says entrepreneurship is the future for Kenya. Speaking during the “Think Young” Entrepreneurship School at Strathmore University, Mrs Mwangi is of the opinion that a time has come for young people to think beyond the office, and become self-employed, or stay jobless forever.

“The government is doing its part, but young people no longer have the luxury of waiting on the government to create jobs for them. They need to play a more proactive role and look for other alternatives,” she says.

Her sentiments have been echoed by Kenyan business tycoon Dr Manu Chandaria, who believes that Kenya’s youth can do anything they put their minds to. He says with their creativity, they have the ability to become successful entrepreneurs.

“Everything is possible, young people can create jobs for themselves. This however requires a lot of sacrifice, hard work and a burning passion,” he says. “If you don’t have a self-drive, then that’s the end for you.”

Dr Chandaria is also advising the youth to take failure as a stepping stone to the next level.

“Many people want to quit when they fail, but this shouldn’t be so. Failure is the first stage for getting to the next level.”

Mrs Mwangi on the other hand says young people should not be in a hurry to succeed. She says entrepreneurship requires a lot of patience and hard work.

“Young entrepreneurs seem to be in a hurry to make money quickly. They shouldn’t be, and their focus shouldn’t be on the money, but on giving superior service to their customers,” she says. “That’s the way their businesses will succeed.”

Kenya’s unemployment rate currently stands at 40 per cent. 70 per cent of those unemployed in the country are between the ages of 15 and 35.

Dr Chandaria and Mrs Mwangi however say Kenyan youth have the ability to turn this around with their creativity.

The first Entrepreneurship School took place from April 4th  to 8th April 2016 at iBiz Africa, Strathmore University Student Centre. The forum was organized by Think Young, a Brussels-based think tank that focuses on young entrepreneurs.

The Entrepreneurship School takes origins from the belief that the most effective teachers and inspirers of entrepreneurship are actual entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs from all around the around the world attended Entrepreneurship School 2016.

Original source:  kbctv

Tips to Build Your Personal Brand

Shape your attitude
Your attitude is one of the most essential components of your personal brand.
An attitude is not inherently good or bad. It simply is. Your approach to shaping that attitude is extremely important for your future success.

Emphasize a few things
It is difficult to convey everything about you in a personal brand attitude. That’s why you need to pick just a few things. Portray those things you are most passionate about.

Showcase your uniqueness
You have something unique to bring to the world. Don’t shy away from being who you really are; boldness is one indispensable characteristic for creating your brand attitude. As long as you are who you are, the right people will gravitate to you.

Select your fans accordingly
other people can help you by writing testimonials about you. Choose those testimonials that you think reflect your personality adequately.

Express your opinions
Opinions are the personal feelings that you have on certain issues. These are the viewpoints that will shape your attitude. They may be based on research, experience, as well as relative beliefs.

Conclusion
Creating a personal brand is a gradual process of perfection how you want to be perceived as well as understanding how others receive your sentiments. As you focus on the major aspect of your unique individualism, your personal attitude will gradually emerge.

Original Source: How To Shape Your Personal Brand Attitude

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MEET JOANNE MWANGI: HOW SHE STEPPED OFF THE CORPORATE LADDER TO VENTURE ON HER OWN

The Queen of Marketing

Joanne Mwangi is one of Kenya’s most respected entrepreneurs, and has won numerous awards for her efforts in building and transforming a small marketing agency into a leading regional group.

Joanne Mwangi, founder of Professional Marketing Services

Mwangi’s firm, Professional Marketing Services (PMS), offers a wide range of services including advertising, public relations, event management, trade and consumer promotions, trade merchandising and marketing strategy development. The company has since grown to include four subsidiaries with a presence in Kenya, UgandaRwandaBurundi andTanzania.

In 2010, PMS Group became the first woman-owned business and the only one since to be voted number one in the Top 100 SMEs competition in Kenya. In 2009, Mwangi beat women entrepreneurs from 75 countries to win the Organisation of Women in International Trade’s Woman of the Year award.

Mwangi ventured out on her own 18 years ago after realising her ambition to climb the corporate ladder was hindered…

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10 Intriguing Questions with PMS Group Founder, Joanne Mwangi

Joanne Mwangi, founder and CEO, PMS Group (Kenya), cordially shares the nitty gritties about herself and the amazing agency that she founded.

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1. What was your first job?

My very first job was actually selling vegetables because my mother had a kiosk. She would take us to the kiosk to work after school. I must have been around seven. My father also had a little restaurant in town so during school holidays we went and served. I started working at a very young age

2. Who has had the biggest impact on your career and why?

The one person who has had a really big impact on my success is Vimal Shah [founder and CEO of Bidco Oil Refineries]. He took me under his wing. He used to sit with me and take me through management lessons and tell me what to do to grow my business. He always looks out for me, and always wants to show me how I can I do better and improve. He is always rooting [for me]. He is one person whom I have always felt has my back. I have a lot of respect for him.

3. What parts of your job keep you awake at night?

I haven’t had a chance to worry for a while. I think I worry more about my team than anything else. I am not happy when my team is not happy. I always want my team to be working at optimum. So when I realise that there is some conflict or somebody is going through an issue that bothers me. We have a very family-like culture at PMS so I always want my people’s things to go right so they can work at optimum.

4. What are the top reasons why you have been successful in business?

I think first and foremost is hard work. I am very hard working. I am very committed. When I focus on a goal, I lock target; it’s very hard for me to unlock until I have succeeded. I have that zoom factor. Once I focus, I go. I will do anything to get there.

5. What are the best things about your country, Kenya?

Kenya is just the best country in the whole world. We have got fantastic weather. I have been to many, many countries and there is no place like here. The people are friendly, happy and welcoming. Even more importantly we have got something called peace that many people take for granted. I don’t know how to explain freedom, but for me freedom is being in Kenya. Freedom is just being home. Every time I travel I am just dying to come back home.

6. And the worst?

The worst is poverty. It really pains me because I think it is something that can be dealt with. If we deal with poverty, everything else will be dealt with… from health, ignorance… It is a chicken and egg situation because how do you break out of poverty unless you give people awareness of opportunities? I also don’t think that becoming a social welfare state where people are getting handouts is a solution. It is just about getting people equipped to make the best of what they have because everybody in Kenya is walking on gold. How do we get people to mine their gold? To see these opportunities and actually seize them [and] to have faith and confidence and the belief that ‘I can do it’? I believe it will all start with our education system.

7. Your future career plans?

I want to transition PMS Group to a point where I have divested enough and I have enough investors in the business that I feel that I am not so needed. I want to get to a point where my input is needed at maximum 30%. I have always wanted to write but I haven’t done it because I keep finding excuses. I would like to set a deadline and just write. Thereafter I would want to do more around education. I always wanted to be a teacher. I love kids. I wanted to have many children [but] I only had three (laughs). I wanted many, many children. My outreach for many years has been focused on women but I am starting to branch out to children. I want to adopt one school [and] use my savings, not start some foundation, to transform it. Then I will measure the results and see if I can replicate the same elsewhere to help more children.

8. How do you relax?

I play golf but I am useless. What I really enjoy is going to the gym. It really gives me that Zen. I love music and I love dancing so I will always look for every opportunity, everywhere, to dance. I am a party girl. I am a people person [but] I don’t like crowds. I prefer small groups. In small groups I thrive, I have a fantastic time [and] I unwind. I enjoy doing these things with my kids.

9. What is your message to Africa’s young aspiring businesspeople and entrepreneurs?

I want to tell the young people Africa’s time is now. We are so lucky because we understand the landscape. Foreigners can see the opportunities but they don’t understand our landscape. We just need to see the opportunity and seize it now. Don’t wait for tomorrow. It’s going. So please, can the young people of Africa make sure they seize the opportunity and keep it in Africa.

10. How can Africa realise its full potential?

By unleashing the power of the youth. The future is in the young people. Everyone today who is 30 and under; those are the people who own Africa. It is their collective efforts that are going to change this world. These people succeeding, each one at a time, is what is going to change Africa. The first thing is to make them believe they can and that is social cultural change which is already happening. Second is having role models. Take the case of Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi who was a village boy and is now a global icon. You don’t need to meet him in person for you to be inspired. Any boy in the village can understand that [they] don’t have to have been born rich and taken to the best schools [to believe that] I am good enough and I can achieve anything.

Joanne Mwangi is the founder and CEO of PMS Group. The group has four subsidiaries which offer a wide range of agency services including advertising, public relations, event management, trade promotions, consumer promotions, trade merchandising and marketing strategy development. The group has worked with some of the leading brands in East Africa including British American Tobacco, Bidco Oil Refineries, Safaricom, Reckitt Benckiser, Uchumi Supermarket and East African Breweries.

In 2010 PMS Group became the first woman-owned business and the only one since to be voted number one in the Top 100 SMEs competition in Kenya. Mwangi beat women entrepreneurs from 75 countries in 2009 to emerge winner of the Organisation of Women in International Trade Woman of the Year award. She has received numerous other awards.

Original Source:  howwemadeitinafrica