Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communication specialist, Social Media expert, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps brands(Profits and Non-profits)with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa)
Everything a brand engages in communicates. Whether brand acknowledges this or not is not important, it is afact. Brands like human often send wrong signal to its audience without knowing. We should never forget people have a right to interpret brand’s attitude based on their own perception. When a brand ignores every known and logical rule, it should expect extensive damage to its perception or public image.
For many Nigerian audience, checking out and following conversation on their darling social Network (FaceBook) is a favourite pass time. As many of them logged on to their FaceBook accounts this morning, there was a photo that has become viral. The photo has to do with the dressing and demeanour of the recently sworn in Special Adviser to the President on Inter-Governmental affairs. The online community’s comment was really not savoury.
We do not presently have the profile of this Special Adviser, but our thinking is that she must be coming into government with a great profile. Being that as it may, everyone needs to understand that brand is all encompassing and it is not all about mental alertness, strong differentiation, branding is everything including appearance, attitude and behaviour.
Brand communicators must understand the impact of every action-intended or unintended. When you have the whole nation as your potential audience, there are things that count. Aside from written laws, there are several unwritten laws to observe. While we do not preach morality, but certain actions must be deliberately avoided in order to strengthen brand acceptability. One, the environment of the swearing-in ceremony is not social gathering. It is supposed to be a formal/corporate setting. The scene can be equated with a top management lady coming to resume office for the first day. Corporate etiquette requires a proper sense of dressing for the occasion. We are not here to judge but analyse the brand implication so the assessment is basically professional.
In order not to silently destroy the brand, the following points may be essential.
Prepare and dress for the occasion: if a brand appearance contravenes every known rule in certain environment or culture, it may be accommodated but there are high tendency the negative perception will stick for a long time.
Consider the audience: Brand is not about you, it is about the target. When you forget this important factor, you may continue to please yourself and engage in pursuit of self-satisfaction to your own hurt.
Think about the impression your action may be communicating: often times, brand may not have the intention of communicating wrong impression, but a lack of proper understanding of setting, environment (market, physical) as well as the culture of the target can lead to this. We do think, exposing hands full of tattoos and a part of what is supposed to be undergarment in a corporate setting may not be a good sign for a professional at that level.
Leadership comes with a high level of responsibility: Brand top management must understand they are role models. What they do or do not do will affect the general overview of the target perception. Leadership is heavy responsibility. Brand leaders should be role models. Leaders’ attitude will dictate the culture and behaviour of the brand ambassadors. So if you are market leader, watch your back.
Do you have a case study of a misconstrue brand intention? Please share them and contribute to the dialogue.