Clarity and Entrepreneurship
"One hour! One hour!!"
Those were the words of the dark tall lanky man dressed in an ash kaftan as he displayed with his right hand a short thick stick with smooth sides and round ends.
On the other hand was a black Bagco sack which he clenched firmly and my prying eyes could not assess its content as he walked about trying to talk prospects into clients.
He held out the short tick stick to our view as we drove past to join the Anthony/Gbadaga express way which was already host to the shaku-shaku dancing 'Lagos traffic'.
"One hour! One hour!!"
Though faintly, I could still hear him as I turned around from the rear seat to catch every glimpse of his fading figure.
"Errm... Wetin that man dey sell sef? Why him go hol stick dey shout 'one hour'?"
I had to save my mind from drowning in curiosity.
"Ha! My brother I no know o! You for ask am na." My colleague replied with some pinch humor.
Short tick stick..."One hour!"...Bagco sack with unexposed content...Tall lanky dark man in kaftan (most likely a northerner).
My ever inquisitive mind tried connecting dots to form a line or strand of meaning.
Manpower!!! Yes, manpower!!!
Could that be it or could it be that?!
The locally made sex enhancement drug?
Was the short tick stick symbolizing an erectile penis?
"One hour!" was that the guaranteed time of erection?
Could this be the reason he seemed to prospect only to males?
Till now I don't have an absolute answer despite my reasonable perception of the situation, because I wouldn't want to make conclusions based on assumptions.
But amidst all these, I learnt a lesson.
Not clarity on my part, but on that of the vendor.
He knows his product, he knows his client and so he knows the language (slang or lexis) and style to engage for effective branding.
He wasn't out there for JJCs like me, he was there for 'people wey sabi', more like 'if you know, you know'.
Effective branding is not about everybody knowing you or your product, it's about making the right people (target audience) to be aware of your presence.
It's about pitching your tent where those that can buy your product are the ones that see it most.
Social media is a great platform, but not every business is fitted into its narrative. Not every business needs it to thrive. Not every business needs social media presence.
For instance, have you ever seen an ad for armoured tanks or military drones on your facebook or instagram? But the dealers are making millions and billions of dollars.
They have their market.
Last time I checked, there is no Mercedes Benz showroom on the Lagos mainland (unless they opened one last night); it's in the island for them rich folks (Idea customers, target audience). But the biggest collection or grand showroom of motorcycles (a.k.a okada) in same Lagos is in Mushin.
Don't ask me why!
Does it mean the Okada dealers don't have enough money to rent a space in banana island?
They do, but bros you don ever see okada for VGC or even Lekki phase 1 before?
I learnt the reason someone luxury car brands like Bugatti, Ferrari or even Maybach and Rolls Royce don't do TV ads is because those who can afford their products barely watch the telly.
But these same brands lead in auto shows around the globe where their clients come to do business and seal real deals.
How much clarity do you have of yourself or product, your market and your client? It determines how effectively you can brand.
This knowledge guilds you through the platforms, timing, colour, tunes and even language to engage as you brand.
For instance, because my target audience are basically millennials, I choose most times to use the word "folk" instead of "people".
If your product is flip-flop (Bathroom slippers), especially in a corporate setting or environment, its not ideal to sell in the morning when folks are wearing (or have already worn) their shoes to go about their day. Rather you pitch in the afternoon when some are tired of their shoes and high-heels and want something easy or convenient to wear so as to be free and reduce some stress before wearing back their shoes in the evening to look good while returning home.
And since they are already at work, they won't necessarily care about their looks (wearing blazer with flip-flops) till it's time to go home.
At that point their concern is their convenience not looks, and that is where your product comes in relevant. You won't just be selling products, but you'll be addressing a pain point.
That's why any lady on high heels with a big bag most likely has slippers in there.
If you understand that no matter how big your potential is to dominate the market or industry, you're still not called for every Ali, Kunle and Uche, you'll also understand that you can't brand or showcase everywhere, everytime for everyone in every way, else you'll be wasting the fortune of time and resources with little or no ROI (Return On Investment).
So don't stop having clarity.
"Clarity is a journey" (Peter Ochuko Kajovo), so don't stop trekking the walk.