23 April 2010 14 Comments

Brand education:key to successful engagement, equity

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 engagementBrand educationI am a strong believer in the cliché which says  ‘if you think education Is expensive, try ignorance’. In many ways I have come to understand that a literate individual who is well informed can become a great advocate than someone who is misinformed or carry around wrong opinion. I am beginning to see why some brands seem to be doing well with informed advocate than those who care less about brand education.

Many brands that spend money and invested time on educating their publics will be perceived as leading, caring as well as best of its kind.  As an individual, I learn from every one, everyday teaches me a lesson. Through some acts, I become better informed and  learn a lesson in every act. I am beginning to understand why some brands are perceived as big, dependable, and formidable through certain minute steps they take towards a better understanding of their brands while other brands that waste huge funds on advertisement do not match them in terms of strength, perception, equity.

I recently attended an effective internet training organized by American Consulate in Lagos. The purpose is to enlighten professionals, business men, journalists as well as to make them better informed persons on their jobs. More importantly, the consulate through this act of benevolence uses the medium to educate the participants, who are mostly enlightened citizens of  host countries about their activities, what they stand for, the benefits they offer. They go ahead to provide other free services that they will need to be more informed. The  overall objective based on my perception  is to provide necessary tools that will make these enlightened audience appreciate the country better.

These constant interactions, trainings, small sponsorship of events are going on all around the year. I also noticed that they use the platforms to tell participants where the consulate’s corners are located around the country. The purpose of the consulate corners also is to provide relevant information, education as well as to place necessary tools that will enhance participants’ perception, understanding of this world leading national brand. Today I am well informed and will be in a better position to spread positive information than the bad one about Brand America (not just because I want to run for greener pasture or to sound patronizing)  because I am better educated now than before.

My question then is what, where are the programmes your brand is running to enhance brand’s understanding, credibility, words of mouth, and increase numbers of your brand’s advocates? Many brand custodians think along big budget advert. Interestingly, not many people are carried away by such. Have you organized meetings to help your distributors understand the product you are offering so they can help you transfer the knowledge to the end users? American consulate Lagos also organizes and co sponsor, as I was told, musical events/concerts.

I think these are off core benefits for the target audience but it goes a long way to enhance its perception. No wonder then many daily throng the embassy for visa applications. Despite the fact that many are refused , they want to go again and  again until one day ‘according to many of them’ not minding what the cost of visa application fees are.

The heavy traffic the embassy receives every day is a product of apositive  perception our people have about that country and not necessarily because the country owes the magic to their success as I want to believe. Meanwhile I must conclude with kudos to visionary leadership, brand management and excellent positioning of brand America.

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