When we were kids, around Christmas time, there was this Coca-Cola advert that would play on TV.
It officially marked the beginning of the season for us.
The advert showed a red truck with LED lights around it passing through a silent town and then everything would light up, transforming gloomy homes into happy ones.
The last shot would be that of Santa Clause. Honestly speaking, though, my mother never reacted to that ad by sending me to the shop to buy a cold Coca-Cola, but the brand made its way into many homes.
In 2017, the firm recorded a whopping $35 billion (Sh3 trillion – more than Kenya’s entire budget) in revenue.
This got me thinking: why is Coke still so big on advertising, even in countries like Kenya where it enjoys almost 90 per cent market share?
I have been in the US for almost a month now, and I’m learning a lot, especially about marketing and maintaining a brand’s image.
Let me give you a scenario. When you start a business and it eventually takes off, do you cut down on the marketing and fund more employees, or do you look at ways of building a sustainable future for your brand?
What people don’t understand is that the consumer wave can only be prolonged if there’s a constant reminder. The consumer is subjected to thousands of other products every day.
The craziest thing is that research done recently revealed that a consumer is likely to try a new product just to get a feel of it. This ‘trial’ window is very risky to you as an entrepreneur.
The number one mistake I’ve witnessed over the years is that companies get comfortable, and since they’re riding the growth wave, they reduce their marketing budget and focus on addressing customer needs and adding staff.
However, keep in mind that business is about marketing and selling, and this should never change. Even the strongest companies have profits to maintain and beat.
I mentioned Coca-Cola when I started, but what I didn’t mention is that the $35 billion it raised wasn’t even its best year. In 2016, it registered $41 billion (Sh4.1 trillion) and in 2014, $45 billion (Sh4.5 trillion).
So, according to the numbers, it’s evident that the curve is slightly dipping. Could it be that the competition is getting more aggressive or have consumer patterns changed?
Whatever the case, what I love about this beverages company is that its advertising and marketing always grows, and every year the creativity is ramped up.
The beauty of always being the preferred brand is that you gain from the loyalty and allegiance of the consumer. Every company wants to get to this position of having an army of loyals, rather than having just consumers. This helps you shorten the duration of your low periods.
Deadlines are good in terms of getting the job done, but there’s also high pressure. I met a young CEO, a friend I’ve been mentoring for a few years now. I’m happy that his company is finally reaping what he worked so hard to sow.
But recently he hit a stagnant wave and asked for a meeting. He mentioned that two of his favourite employess had quit and it was affecting business.
I asked what the real problem was, but he couldn’t trace it. The moment he gave me the details of the story, though, I could pinpoint what had gone wrong.
He was stretching the quality of what he’d promised consumers and passed on the pressure to his employees.
Remember, as much as you’re the leader or team captain, every member is essential.
You might be the greatest striker in the world, but if your midfielder isn’t supplying you with the right balls, then your skills won’t be visible.
The ‘must-win’ vision should be shared by every employee so that there’s agreement.
There are times when the company is doing poorly, and the boss wants nothing but results or someone will get fired. If this energy is transferred to employees, the anticipated results usually don’t come out as expected.
A consistent marketing plan is essential, and sales are also very important. They go hand in hand. But generally, always make sure you’re steps ahead in marketing because new tactics are being created by young companies every day that are changing the waves for existing companies/brands.
The writer is an award-winning artiste and entrepreneur.
World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.
“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.
He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.
People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.
For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.
Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.
“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.
“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”
According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.
Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans
The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.
Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.
Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options.
This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.
The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.
The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.
The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).
The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.
The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour; Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).
The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.
Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”
He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.