She won’t have it! This could be a similar experience, the lies, empty promises and wasted time. She had sworn she wants something new, well not exactly new but at least different. So there she was her hand interlocked under her chin keeping eye contact with Segun from across the table.
The red wine, the guacamole she had ordered and the music playing in the room faded into the background as she listened to him tell her why he’s not like the other guys.
Trust me, having to explain to someone why you are not like the other guys are why marketing and advertising is a business. The crux of all marketing messages is telling the consumer why Brand A isn’t like Brand B even though they both manufacture cars.
What makes you different even though all shreds of evidence says you are not so unique? A lot of small businesses fail at convincing the consumer that they are different from the competing brands. Often times, today’s entrepreneurs go into business without mapping out their difference. Having a USP is crucial to business even though you take it for granted. What’s a USP, you ask?
A unique selling proposition, according to entrepreneur.com, is the factor or consideration presented by a seller as the reason that one product or service is different and better than that of the competition. It’s the Why will a customer choose me over all these other people offering the same thing. Honestly, you do not want to fall into the category of “me-too brands”. Me-too brands are brands that are so watered down that their difference is non-existent. We see them everywhere these days; that little startup that isn’t innovative or doing anything differently. Your USP births your strategy and unlocks your potential to stand out. Every business should know what market it is competing in and have a plan to compete differently than the other players.
Consider some of the leading brands of automobile. Mercedes has an instantly recognizable logo and is, in the minds of many people, a symbol of prestige and success. This doesn’t mean that a Mercedes is constructed in a fundamentally different manner than a Honda or Toyota. Yet no other brand of car has quite the same connotations. I could cite examples of the iPhone and Samsung but I choose peace instead. These days there are not so many new ideas; Standing out to consumers in an endlessly crowded market isn’t always about having a completely unique product. If you are a new business trying to find your difference here are some tried and tested ways;
Interestingly Mercedes Benz has managed to sell it’s high status ideology to a younger audience
- Look different: From your logo to your entire branding collaterals try as much as possible to look refreshingly different. Hire an expert to create your visual branding.
- Behave differently: What is the process of patronizing your business? Is it cumbersome, haphazard or seamless and hassle-free? Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and trace the customer journey.
- Be truly and unapologetically shocking: This is critical. The attention you steer your way must link to a solution and you should have that solution.
- Expand your appeal: Discover an untapped audience in your sector and, by drawing them in, intensify the sense of community around your brand and the interaction that people have with the brand
- Tell a story that defines you and is unique to you: The story may be about your motivations; how in Ojuelegba they know your story as in the personal brand of Wizkid. It could be about the value you bring to the world like Coca Cola’s Open Happiness. Or perhaps it’s the story based on your highly guarded secret- only two people in the world know Coca-Cola’s formula. Find a story and tell it well.
At this point, Segun is well over three minutes into explaining to Emily why he is not like the other guys. “I’m not a Yoruba demon”, he said laughing as he poured her another glass of red wine. I’m not like the other guys he added. He was smooth, and he laid out his points so eloquently. Emily broke a smile. Here we go again.
Handle it Africa kicks off 2018 with a build-up to the conference proper coming up sometime in April. The Corporate Engage Series is an impactful series of bite-sized lectures by Handle It Africa targeted at the digital team of big corporations/organizations. The ultimate goal is to bring these lucky digital teams up to speed with the trends in New media and how this can be used to further their corporate marketing agenda.
On the 31st of January, the Series kicked off with a session at the WEMA BANK Plc Headquarters in Marina. It was a sunny and refreshing afternoon with enough warmth to match the camaraderie at the offices of WEMA BANK Plc. After a brief moment of networking and small talk, it was time to hear Sola Obagbemi, the Communication Manager at Andela, give her lecture on the topic “Communicating Brand Proposition through New Media. The session lasted a little above an hour yet packed so much resourceful information to last quite a while. I, the Handle It Africa team and a little above twenty enthusiastic staff of Digital/social media department of WEMA bank Plc and ALAT were seated for an informative presentation.
A lot was shared at the Corporate Engage Series but here is a summary of some of the noteworthy things Sola Obagbemi Shared with us;
- A brand proposition should clearly identify the benefits that a consumer derives out of
your brand. We all do not set out to provide the same service and even if it is the same service we at least deliver these services differently. All the added value derived from your brand sums up your brand proposition.
- It also includes the Unique Selling Proposition (USP) which the buyer benefits that no other brand can provide. Your USP makes up your difference from all the other competitors in your market
- The three types of content that engage with online audiences in Nigeria are; Inspirational, Aspirational and Humourous. Contents must be tailored accordingly in order to earn some engagement with the Nigerian audience. This is evidenced by the contents of some of the most successful social media pages.
- Content helps you achieve objectives such as brand recognition, thought leadership, audience engagement, and lead generation.
- Use your content strategy as a way to tell a consistent, cohesive story about your brand. A well thought out strategy helps ensure you’ve set attainable goals, identified your audience, and are distributing your content effectively.
- Monitor constantly. Don’t just throw your content out into social media space and forget about it. Monitor the results so you can see which pieces were most successful on which networks and at which time. This will help you to fine-tune your placement in the future.
Being an exclusive event not much of the information shared is available. I have taken the time to share this with my notes just so you too can share in the experience.
Walking into a crowded room you’d most likely do one of two things. You will either join the familiar faces and form a group ( a community) or introduce yourself to the not so familiar faces with the hopes of making new friends. Familiarity, however, eases the process of making friends. In the crowded world of social media, a number of brands including yours seek to make new friends and grow a community of customers/believers. For every time you sashay into the crowded online room you look out for the familiar faces, the brands you have come to have a thing for, knowing what to expect from them.
For brands that constantly communicate with today’s short attention span audience, it has become quite important to create visual content that can generate emotions and relationships to build a long time connection. You will want the audience to spot your brand from a gamut of others, and also imbue your brand with the power to evoke certain emotional responses. Sadly many brands struggle with this. They either fail to establish a visual style or are so inconsistent that they remain unfamiliar even after meeting their audience a few times.
Nike’s Instagram page tell their brand story and shows their interests in sports and excellent performance
Visual branding is how you show the type of friend you will be. Use it to influence your audience’s perception of you. Let’s say I check out your Instagram page, and see it filled with fun, behind-the-scenes photos of your office, it may tell me that employee happiness is important to you. If I see nature images paired with inspiring quotes, I may feel that you value encouragement and motivation.
You can, and should, use visual clues to suggest abstract ideas. Are you authoritative, feminine, irreverent, acerbic, fancy, playful? Nothing answers that question quicker than a visual. When I visit your website, your color choices, the size of your text, and the mood of your design tells me exactly how to feel about your brand. This is why visual branding is so important. Whether you’re knowingly influencing it or not, your audience is defining your brand. If the visual that you’re conveying does not match your values, it will disappoint, confuse, and alienate your audience.
Gtbank Instagram is a beauty!
Visual branding has a function in marketing. It primarily sets products/brands apart and tells brand stories. Now more than ever when visuals are consumed at a high rate like waste paper, brands should seek highly skilled Art direction that can create visual content that makes a statement and is worthy of recognition, shares, and reposts. It is important to note here that the exercise of visual branding entails a lot of trial and error first, to find what works after which you reinforce through consistency. Only daring brands can take the risk of creating something refreshingly new.
Kabaal NIghtClub in Ikoyi Projects Luxury and affluence through its visuals
It will be thoughtful of you to consult a brand specialist who can help manage your brand’s visuals so that they communicate your uniqueness and all the ideas you stand for. The return on investment is worth it as the big brands like Coca Cola, Nike and Gtbank have shown us. You must remember you are telling a story and visuals help tell stories whether good, wow or bad. In subsequent posts I will be sharing tips on how to execute a remarkable visual branding.
Don’t miss it!
The exceptional creator of things, UcheUgo, has reinvented an entire experience! Fanshopa, his new creation might be turning the music industry on its head, disrupting the status quo. But how much change is Fanshopa brewing though?
There has been a major shift in the music industry landscape in recent times all of which has benefitted the celebrities immensely. Questioning the win-win system, which is rigged in favour of our idols, Uche’s genius was birthed. What if the fans got something back for all their adoration?
I poked at the man, (Uche is quite enigmatic) and his idea, it’s origins, agenda and inner workings just to see how much we have on our hands with his new invention.
WE: Since we are speaking of fans I’m a Man U fan and you?
UcheUgo: (laughs) I’m not a fan of football
WE: What/Who are you a fan of?
UcheUgo: I love Chelsea but I’m not really a die-hard fan. I only watch football when I feel like. I just recently became a fan of Chelsea, tho.
WE: This is not starting off on the right foot (laughs)
UcheUgo: I’m a fan of every creative individual out there. It’s not easy being a creative person, you know. Creative people are golden. Why did I say so? See, It’s not easy brainstorming ideas for different brands and yet, you need to be unconventional with every brand you help to bring their ideas to life. Creative people create experiences, and these experiences we create brings back the “returning customers”. I call them “believers” of your brand.
WE: I agree with this. What’s the mission statement for your brand Fanshopa? Or do you even have one?
UcheUgo: Our mission at Fanshopa is to be the number one entertainment tech company, with exciting products that would enhance the experience between fans and the celebrity. We have so much and we’re taking this a goal at a time.
WE: Did you stumble on this? Was there a eureka moment? Most of us know it has not always been Fanshopa with you.
UcheUgo: I didn’t really stumble on it. It has always been a thought idea. As a creative entrepreneur focusing on tech, brands and music, I find it a great deal adding extra value when I work with celebrities. Celebrities want to do more for their fans. Fans want more from their favorite celebrities. Delivering this solution is why we are here.
WE: What experience does Fanshopa promise the fans?
UcheUgo: We just want to say we have exciting experiences for a lot of fans out there. They should keep their fingers crossed.
WE: What influences have you brought to Fanshopa?
UcheUgo: My experience working for advertising agencies years back, creating mobile app solutions, having to work with Musicians, movie producers on their projects, working with event promoters accounts brought most of my influence on Fanshopa
WE: Did you coin the name? What does Fanshopa mean?
UcheUgo: I’ve been waiting for this. (laughs) Literally, it basically means to SHOW LOVE by doing the extraordinary as a fan or celebrity. A friend and I, Taiwo Adeyemi coined the name. Shout out to Adeyemi.
WE: Ummm, it’s all about love. What has the reception been like so far from fans and celebrities?
UcheUgo: The reception has been amazing so far. More from the celebrities though, quite a few showed love and we haven’t really started yet like being out there everywhere, but 2018 is upon us for greatness.
WE: Who is a super fan?
UcheUgo: A super fan is a person who has an extreme admiration for a person or a thing.
WE: How can I tell one from another since everyone claims to be a super fan. What are the yardsticks or limits?
UcheUgo: You can tell how much a fan someone is when they preach about their favourite celebrity everywhere they go, by doing the extraordinary things like getting a tattoo of their favourite. Sometimes, you see the fans helping to sell their market without the celebrity spending so much on marketing. There are no limits to what a fan can do. Let me explain; Fans are a leading component in the success rate of celebrities, they are the soul of the creative business. Fans are responsible for a large percentage of the industry spending. Fans are the customers, consumers and the evangelists. So, as a Celebrity, your fan is everything to you.
WE: What do you think about innovation in today’s millennial-led businesses
UcheUgo: It is really an interesting development, I must say. Innovation shapes the world. By so doing, we need thinkers, we need people with experience that can make life easier with innovative solutions.
WE: What does it take to be a part of Fanshopa and its vision?
UcheUgo: I will say your passion and love for solving problems with technology. We’re open to suggestions. As we all know, everyone is a fan of someone. Ideas are welcome.