Building Brandwidth in an Internet Economy

In the days before Google your brand was measured by your .Com.  Today your page rank at Google says a lot, but if someone will buy your T-shirt you know you have hit the big time.  CitiBank gives its T-shirts away on college campuses, Electronic Arts sells their Shirts for $30 a piece.

 

Brand is EVERYTHING: The Big Guys:

 

In the current world, I am not sure there is any well-known African internet brand.   Our brands are always in most cases for the wrong things.

 

Some examples of the power of a brand:

 

Apple is not competing with PC’s anymore.  A PC is a tool, a Mac is a status symbol, and brandwidth is what got Apple to that designer label status. 

 

Steve Jobs was recently interviewed by Rolling Stone, is talking to Disney about a job they offered him, owns Pixar and sells more music than anyone.  Steve is an embodiment of all that it is to be a Media Geek.

 

 

Recently iTunes overtook Wal-mart as the biggest online music store… Why? The brand name is BIG… just for argument sake we decide to call Apple, iPods, iTunes something else like Mango, iKit, iMusic, iWamba etc. The dynamics will be different.

 

Apple fans just love the brand even more than the do the actual services rendered by its various pieces and incarnations.

 

Fohmo.com, Happysend.com and Mamamikes.com: African examples?

 

Africa has long been left out when it comes to the whole internet space and the creations of brands.   We are now seeing a new wave of African entrepreneurs in the process of establishing their own niche within this vast internet world.   

 

I am envision a day when you hear the name FOHMO it equates to an eCommerce empire with routes in the traditional aspects of Africans supporting each other.

 

Go visit these sites and know more about what they are about.

 

Where This Is All Going:

 

            In the very near future there will be a trend to use Social Networking to create product communities.  This will replace focus groups, and market research trends of today with direct interaction with those most likely to buy a given product.  This is the American Idol for big business.  Instead of trying to pick what the best solution is and betting the farm on it, you let the market pick a winner for you and they will already love the product before they have it.  The focus becomes on the end user.  They feel ownership in the creation of the product, and already know they want it.   Microsoft is the Simon Cowell of the software world.  They are who we love to hate, but Microsoft needs to have the lovability, boyish charm and character that Simon has.  Having sat down with Simon I can tell you that he understands more about Social Networking through media than anyone I know.  He realizes that in order for an Artist, product, or event to be popular it has to be perceived as heroic, idolized, and modest.  We get to know the stars of American Idol, we feel connected to them.  The American Idol slogan should be “make it your own” because the hosts say that so often, but it is what so much of the industry is missing.  They aren’t letting users make it their own.

 

 

 

Published Thursday, 10 Apr. 2008. 00:04

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