10 June 2011 6 Comments

Brand communication: African professionals need to prepare for the future

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 communication’s landscape in Africa is changing fast. Brand communication professionals in Africa cannot afford ‘sit-down look’ attitude. Everything is changing fast. Every industry and professional need to understand this if they plan to be relevant in no distance future. Brand communication around the world is becoming dynamic. The future will belong to those who see the coming wild tides. Wise professionals will not only see the tides coming but must position to sail their ships through.Brand-communication-in-Nigeria-Brand-communication-in-Africa-Social-media-in-nigeria

Brand communicators are involved in strategy, sales, communication and marketing among other key roles. The challenge here is that buying decision and patterns are gradually changing in favour of the brand users. More than ever before, consumers are becoming empowered. This empowered consumers; target includes those in the rural community whom we assume know little to nothing. Influx of mobile telephone into the remotest part of Africa is a two-edged sword.

 A recent 2010 ‘Ogivilyone’ study showed that sales strategy as well as being a sales person will radically change in the next five years. Many respondents especially from Brazil and China strongly agree with this. Part of the strong highlight of this said study also showed many professionals complaints that their companies did not train them for this imminent change and they actually wished their companies do.

If this is true of western world, how much more can it be in Africa? What makes a unique professional stand out is ability to remain at the cutting edge. Brand communication professionals around the world and in Africa in particular cannot afford to be carefree. I am getting to know that the old strategy of creating awareness, interest, desire and action method is becoming less effective compare to brand communicators’ ability to conduct evidence-based research, increase brand education (which aid proper brand understanding), sharing and knowing what triggers surrounding events and action of the consumers.

Brand communication around the world may now thrive on more of customer insight than just the need to pass volumes of information. More than ever before brand communication professional must do the following to remain relevant:

Most old stuff will not help: there is need to stay active as a continuous learner. An effective brand communicator will have to keep an eye on industry as well as trends around the world.

Have a good grasp of content publishing and marketing: those who lack the will and proper understanding of content creation and publishing must learn fast. Offline and social media communication demography, cultural behaviours will determine how effective we can go. So it is now essential to go for more knowledge in these vital areas.

360 degree social communication: Everyone is becoming social. Even the traditional media now understand the relevance of social communication. Command structure is gradually dying a natural death. Being at home with social communication technique in both platforms will help enhance professional relevance of practitioner.

Communication is now a team work: Stop rivalry among marketing, sales, Human Resource, IT, Research and Development and Public/ corporate communication. To excel, brand communication professionals need all the knowledge and support from every department to make impactful progress. Do you have something to share? I do hope you can enrich the discourse.

6 Responses to “Brand communication: African professionals need to prepare for the future”