10 April 2012 0 Comments

Brand success: Impact of time and chance

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps 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) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

Brand success, brand and timing, brand and luck factorBrand success hinges on several factors. There is strategy factor, market forces and time element.  Not to forget also, there is the key role of management and other brand stakeholders. Brand success requires a village mentality to really blossom.

While time is considered to be of great essence, can we actually say chance or what is termed luck do contribute to brand success? Someone has rightly said ‘there is nothing as forceful or potent like an idea whose time has come’. It is really clear that under normal circumstances when a brand is launched or promoted at the appropriate time, it will appear the brand is lucky to have gained acceptability. At least when compare with others struggling brands in the market. But when we consider chance or luck can we say it holds such a huge potential on what the lot of a brand is in the market?

I am presently reading the latest edition (March 2012) of Forbes-Africa version. As a lover of success stories of other people, I was fascinated by a story of leading Africans who are making outstanding success in New York. The story was written by Lola Adesioye. While the stories of these iconic individuals/personal brands really engaged my mind, one of the stories stood out for me.

This story is about a Nigerian- American named Jide zeitlin. I have taken time to read this piece over and over in the past four days and I could not but ponder on the thought of element of luck-in some cases, even if not in all events. The story of Mr Jide zeitlin started in Nigeria. He was the son of a single mother who worked as domestic help for certain American family who was on assignment in Nigeria as Journalist. Jide was initially living with relatives in Ibadan until one day he paid a visit to his mother in Lagos for a weekend holiday. His interaction with his mother’s employer’s family endeared him to the employer. One thing led to another. Jide was adopted, trained in some of the best schools in United States. These schools include Melton Academy, Harvard etc. Through sheer luck he met a top Executive in Goldman Sach who played a vital role in his successful career.

Now our point today is: does chance/luck has a role to play in a brand’s success? Before we reach a conclusion, we do see some elements in Jide zeitlin’s life which could had ‘aided’ the work of chance?

Preparation: Even if it appeared luck favoured him, Jide Zeitlin prepared himself for the opportunity. We may not be there, but for him to have interacted with his mother employer’s family- known to be American, he would have developed ability to communicate in English language at such a tender age of three. That could be a feat then when he was growing up in the late 60s in Nigeria. The question is how prepared is our brand for the opportunities?

Relationship skill development: For some people/brands, building and developing relationship skill is not a priority. Success in life is sometimes resides in brand’s ability to flow with others. Does your brand take time to build rapport and network? That can help your chances.

Determination and dedication: Jide knew what he wanted to do with his life. He wanted to build business and develop financial strength. This influenced his choice of studies. During summer holidays, he went after relevant internships. It was not easy initially as he was turned down many times by many corporations. But his dedication received attention after a long while through a vital contact he made.

Creating and mastering opportunities without been dubious: Jide Zeitlin’s internship eventually gave him a lead to work with Goldman Sach after graduation. He rose to become global Operating Officer and was later posted to India. In India, he saw opportunities in the telecoms. He talked his firm into taking the opportunity which was turned down because Goldman management felt it was not save to commit such a huge fund in India market then. Because of this he resigned, established a group which eventually invested in this opportunity. Jide never regretted this decision. A lesson here was that he did not cheat nor cunningly divert his organization’s money. He saw an opportunity and grabbed it with his ten fingers. The moral here again: what is your brand’s integrity quotient and do you act on time when opportunity comes?

Now can we say chance or luck plays a vital role in brand success? If it does, is there a role brand must play to benefit from activities of chance/luck? Please share your thought.

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