Friday, February 12, 2010

Designing your brand, your product, your story…

In today’s market there are so many companies fighting for the same market share, often with the same products and/or services….how do you compete, how do you attract, how do you cement that relationship with your customer?

For your share of the market you need to relook at your product and examine your customers. Dig deep to get to know them, really know them and then tailor what you are offering to appeal to them. You need to stand out and you need to deliver.

Instead of targeting the entire South African population, decide to concentrate on a smaller target group. Reinvent your product by persuading them it is a niche product which they just have to have. Once you get to know your target audience intimately you will have a valuable insight into what draws them to a certain product, what makes them purchase that product, what makes them come back for more, but most importantly what makes them tell their friends about your product?

That is the million dollar question, word-of-mouth is the number one marketing tool but yet it is the most dangerous if it goes wrong and the most powerful if it is achieved. Companies need to start designing their product as well as the communication and marketing strategy to fulfill a need within a smaller target audience. Tailor your packaging, language, advertising etc to better suit your customer. Make your customer feel like a VIP and they are guaranteed to return or better yet, tell their friends.

Public Relations can no longer be generic, we can’t go around saying…”same procedure as last year”, we need to hit that bull’s-eye. There is a lot of untapped talent and creative minds in our country and we need to start utilizing them. We are too conservative and too afraid of being wrong to take a chance on new strategies. Who out there is brave enough to take the plunge and try a new, customer designed approach to their public relations?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

An Hour Can Change Your Life...

Happiness comes in so many different forms, in the company of good friends, feeling young and alive or when you make someone’s dream come true. It’s okay to let yourself be happy, because you never know for how long that happiness will last.

Have you ever sat and wondered how long it would take you to change your life? What amount of time is enough to be life altering? Is it the four years of High School or the three years spent at University? Can your life be changed with a three week tour of Europe or a trip up the coast? Can your life be changed in a year, a month, a week or just a single moment?

When you’re young, an hour can change everything…

Everything you ask? Yes everything…think about it, you get a call with good or bad news which could change the way you feel about certain things or people. You could fall off your bike and decide to never cycle again when your destiny might have been to one day compete in the Tour de France. Impossible? Not at all, a lot can happen in an hour and not all of it is always good. Do we allow these things that cross our paths to alter who we are, how we feel and what we think? People can influence you in ways you don’t even suspect, you change your lifestyle, opinions, tastes, hobbies etc for other people to accept you, but do you accept the new you? It’s easy to just say yes, but if you really go and think about it, do you really like the person you have became because of what others are or think?

Most important is to know who you are and not care what people think of you. If you are true to yourself and who you are - people will start to see the real you and come to appreciate the real you.

Some of us can admit to trying hard to be ourselves but failing because we were afraid of looking stupid. But what very few of us realise is that by following others like little children we do in fact look stupid. Why can’t we all just have the confidence to be ourselves completely? Who ever decided what was “cool” and what was not? Who decided what opinions were right or wrong? I believe we are all entitled to our own opinions and feelings. That is what makes us all unique. How boring the world would be if we all felt, looked, dressed and thought the same?

People are going to label you, but whether you become those labels or believe you fit the label is up to you. Do you allow people to label you? And do you become those labels? Who gave anyone the authority to create a label and allocate it to a certain person? Aren’t we in charge of our own lives and personalities? So why not decide who you are and what you want to become and stick to it? Stand up for what you feel and want, become the person you will be proud of one day when you look back at your life. That’s the one ‘rule’ to live by…will I be proud of the person I have become and of the things I have done to become that person? If not, then make the change now while you’re still young. It’s never too late to change your destiny…so go out and make some history.

If you could go back in time and change just one thing about your life, would you? If you could, would that change make your life better? Would you choose an entirely different path? If we answer yes to these questions why didn’t we choose the different path from the start?

Is there a moment in your life you would like back, something you wish you had done or said to someone before it was too late? Then what stops us in that moment that makes us not say the things we want to? What makes us hold back on what we want to do or say?

My advice would be to live life so that you leave some great memories behind. Live life so that you have no regrets. Live life in a manner that will make you proud when you, in your old age, reflect back on your life.

Today, this hour, could change your life so live it wisely…

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Is Polygamy a Feminist issue?

Polygamy has been around for many centuries but it has recently been highlighted in the media compliments of our President, Jacob Zuma. In January this year, South Africa gained its third first lady when Zuma married Tobeka Madiba. The ruling party promised the South African public that they would be committed to gender equality and this has clearly been violated with Zuma's polygamy.

Could you imagine the uproar should we have had a female president with multiple husbands and dozens of children who don’t know who their father was? Polygamy is most definitely, in my mind, a violation of women’s rights and an insult.

However another question we could ask ourselves is ‘Why do women allow themselves to be involved in such marriages?’ Surely no women would choose to be someone’s second or third wife and which ‘first’ wife would want to share her husband with multiple other women. It’s a legal way for men to openly have multiple affairs and feel good about it.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I guess it's a "Welcome to Blogging" Tara...

As many of you know we have been tasked with starting our own blog for our Media 4 Class. To some this was old news and to some this was a call to cyber reality...that's me! However, I overcame my shock and well; here I am trying my hand at blogging.

I know I am not the only one who is feeling their way around this blogging world, so to you out there feeling overwhelmed or a bit not fear because you are not alone. We'll just help each other through this and pretty soon we’ll all be 'professional bloggers'.

So good luck and enjoy!