One essential ingredient of disruptive ideas is their ability to go viral. When something goes viral it means that people keep passing it on and it gains popularity and increases in momentum.
What makes something so captivating that people just can’t stop talking about it to each other until the idea or product becomes the hot topic on everyone’s lips?
To disrupt, an idea must go viral. What are the elements that make it do so?
Last week, Apple launched the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR. As always, the launch was the number one trending topic in the world.
Why does Apple have such a cult like following? What is it that generates such a following not just for Apple but indeed for anything?
Another name that elicits the same kind of cult-like following that leaves people in anticipation for days is Marvel.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe, with super hero films like Iron Man, Incredible Hulk, The Avengers series, Captain America, Guardians of the Galaxy and The Black Panther, among others, is the highest-grossing film franchise of all time, having grossed over $17.5 billion at the global box office.
Now besides the cult-like following of these companies, they also bring in huge revenues.
Apple recently became the first company in history to cross the trillion dollar mark, and Marvel continues to break box office records with each new movie.
It therefore appears to be that if we can attain a cult-like following it will show up in the bank balance.
So, the big question therefore is, how do we attain the following? How do we deliver products that become viral?
Walter Isaacson gives a hint in his book Steve Jobs. In this authorised biography of the Apple founder, Jobs is portrayed as being totally obsessed with the Apple experience and not just a product.
He wanted a phone that would not need complicated moves to get anything done or to get to any feature.
He wanted a phone that jeans-wearing geeks like him could use easily — a phone that they could slip conveniently in the pockets. He wanted to create an experience that was more than just another phone.
There is a YouTube video in which Steve Jobs speaks about the “Apple Customer Experience and Innovation.”
In the video, Jobs said that one of the biggest lessons of his life was to start with the customer experience and then work back to the technology.
“Don’t start with the technology and then figure out where to sell it,” he says.
The Apple experience did not start from a technology or finance position. It started from customer position.
Once the customer position had been established then the engineers could develop the product.
At this point the cost to the customer was no longer an issue. They would pay for it because it delivered the experience that they wanted even if they did not realise that they needed it before.
The reality of developing the right customer experience is that once the experience is guaranteed, people will pay for it.
You can buy a bottle of soda from a kiosk, or you can buy it from a five-star hotel at 10 times the price.
Once in the five star hotel no one will complain that the drink is too expensive and tell the waiter that just outside the gate of the hotel the same can be bought for a fraction of the price in the hotel.
What do people pay for in the hotel? They pay for the experience. Why did people watch The Black Panther multiple times? They were paying for an experience.
That is what creates an emotional connection with the customer. People may forget what you sell them but they will never forget how you make them feel.
Good service produces customers but a good experience creates ambassadors. For an idea or a product to go viral, it needs ambassadors.
Ambassadors are unpaid mouthpieces or amplifiers who influence others concerning the product or service.
In order to create ambassadors the single most important question is, what is the experience we are giving our customers?
Unfortunately many do not ask this question but are driven more by another question, “What is the return we want to give to our shareholders?”
Both are valid questions but history has proved it that if we get the first question right, the second will take care of itself.
A company that lacks a well-defined customer experience philosophy is on shaky ground because it will reside in the place where competition happens.
Competition happens with products and services, but not with experiences. Experiences are emotional and it takes a lot of effort to replicate an emotion. You have to create your own experience.
If the name of your company is XYZ Company then ask yourself, “What is the XYZ experience?” If you cannot answer without thinking too hard then you do not have what it takes to handle the disruption that is coming your way.
Wale Akinyemi is the chief transformation officer, PowerTalks.
Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard
Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.
However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
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Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard
President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow
Drastic life changes affecting mental health
Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.
Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.
Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.
The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.
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With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.
In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020. It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.
A study by Dr. Habil Otanga, a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.
KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.
Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.
As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.
“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”
Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.
“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.
Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.
“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”
Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.
“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.
Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.
Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.
She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.
Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.
“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added
Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.
“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and also engage in reading that would help expand their knowledge.