“Avanza Extravaganza”, “Bunda”, “Vuka”, “Wahi”, “Ziki”, Niaje”, “Ponyoka”, “Sambaza”. It all started out as Kenyans becoming Kenyans and brands beginning to communicate in a language that resonated with consumers. It was even novel, probably four or five years ago. Now all these hard Kiswahili names have proliferated brand messaging to an extent that I fear they are slowly losing meaning and even the connection they once had. Brands, regardless of status or what they stand for are throwing around the “common man’s” language in what appears to be a quest to be part of the fashion. Fashions come and go but strong brands that know what they are doing do not let the fashion run away with what made them great in the first place.
Tiger Woods is back! Now even President Obama is backing him. As long as he performs on the golf course where he built his brand, his indiscretions shall be forgiven and brand Tiger can begin to rebuild. He is human after all and what we sometimes find hard to admit is that we actually hate “gods”. We relate better with fallible humans, fallible brands, because we see something of our imperfect selves in them and it reassures us that all may not be too bad after all. His fall from grace (not according to his wife of course!) may actually a blessing in disguise.
The Coffee Board of Kenya launched the Kenya Coffee Brand. Meanwhile a certain farmer Rotich in Bungoma branded his latest cow. I’m eagerly waiting to see the difference.
In strategic branding, I have learnt over the years, you can’t overestimate what time can do.