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Date Published: 07/08/09


By Lucas TOGAN


The mind is one of the greatest assets of the human species and the ability to think is what differentiates us from lesser animals. The only thing we have absolute control over is our mind. We are responsible for the products that stem from our root thought. People should only say a man is filthy if the products from his mind are same. What the mind can conceive and believe, man can achieve. So we all read about how great minds have turned seemingly impossible or rather non-existent opportunities into the most amazing solutions. To bring about a change in ourselves, others, the society and the world at large, we have to start from within ourselves, choosing to do the right things for all the right reasons and letting our conscience be our guide.

We live in a country that has been classified at various times by different people with derogatory terms. We are the country, we are the people so whatever we habour in our minds is what is eventually projected outwards for all to see. There is no such thing as a third world country only third world minds. In pursuit of a greater country - Nigeria, it is imperative to undergo a self assessment test. One in which every individual has Nigeria registered in his consciousness. This assessment should be geared towards making our lives and actions reflect our end-goals. Believing in the brand Nigeria is, first, believing that Nigeria is a product that is attractive. How do you believe in a product, Nigeria, if you don’t understand your own brand?

What is a brand? Why do you pick one product over another? The answers are quite obvious; people only associate with successful products, movements, thought processes and actions. Why do we pick Kellogg’s over Nasco? Or Mercedesbenz over others? The answer is simple. One brand has etched itself more into our consciousness than the other. Kellogg’s, as with everything American, enjoys limitless promotion stemming from a system that strives off public and international relations (PR). Nasco does not. At best it enjoys a major share of a largely unpopular market (local champion). MercedesBenz begins to talk to you from the crest on its bonnet to the details of its finishing capped with the pristine engineering of its machinery. But that’s not why it is a better brand it is because you have seen it in a VIP convoy, the pope rides in it, Arabians enjoy it, hip-hop stars have it and most of these guys don’t have to pay for theirs; it is complementary to further brand growth.

Now let’s talk about your brand. Until you see yourself as a marketable commodity, you remain an ordinary individual. Do not be misled to thinking that only superstars have a brand to protect. We have opportunities everyday to sell the product - ME! Yes, ME!!! And how well this product sells depends on you. Michael Phelps the 8-time Beijing Olympic gold medalist recently suffered a 3month ban for a photograph of him smoking marijuana (weed). It was a blow to his brand and endorsements were subsequently cancelled. You are the chief marketing officer of the brand “ME”, the MD/CEO of “ME Incorporated”. This begs the question: how do I turn out a positive balance sheet at the end of a certain period? The first step towards positive self branding is a functional wardrobe. The way you dress determines how you are addressed. Our diction and vocabulary in English and our mother tongue should be polished. Make yourself a complementary card even if you don’t have a job - it is a better way to communicate your contact details. Be polite when you answer an unregistered number on your phone and practice good phone ethics especially in public places. “Flashing” (pseudo missed call) hurts your brand; it is a big faux-pas. Incase of an emergency it might be interpreted as another “flash”. Other general and lifestyle ethics that can improve our brand include honesty, integrity, dignity in labour, voluntary service, charity, cleanliness, obeying traffic rules, paying taxes etc. The greatest battle to change a misguided generation starts from within…

SPARK! Let’s change it


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