EXPLORING THE FOLLOWERSHIP WORTHINESS OF THE BLACK STARS BRAND :SKOBAWRITES

Far from being ungrateful for the many great and unmerited privileges that marked my week, I want to assert, without any reservation that last week, went down as one of the disappointing weeks in this year. Without doubt, the week brought me to the crossroads, where my world view on many issues, spanning religious, political and social scopes, was questioned. Perhaps, prompting me to , at least, keep  broadening  my  and horizon. Of the numerous incidence that will occasion this piece, Donald Trump’s emphatic trouncing of Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid and the black stars loss to the Pharoah’s, over the weekend, are highly remarkable.

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Having, without restraints, taken time to share my opinion on the former, I will, in this piece and in keeping with the cannon of recency theory, pay particular attention to the black stars’ defeat to the Egyptian side. At the risk of digressing, I will want to once again congratulate the good people of the United States for exhibiting great maturity and asserting their ideological independence in electing a man, whose outbursts and pronouncements pitted him against many people across the world. In fact, the stock market was not even receptive to the news of his winning. I have no doubt that once elected, the friskiness of ideological positions, which won him the presidency, will give way for calm , conciliatory and collaborative posture. Being one of the greatest economies, I have always taken a view that, whatever happens in the United States, should be of great concern to growing democracies and economies such as that of Ghana’s and from the acceptance speech, I have no shred of doubt that the fear and surprise that gripped many on hearing of Donald Trump presidency, will , in no time, be assuaged.

As I rail back to the purpose for this piece, I issue, characteristic of my writings, the caveat that, I am not a football pundit neither do I have the unalienable passion that most of my friends and family have. My only motivation for picking on this issue is my passion for brands. To this extent, I will want to apologise to my readers as they will be disappointed if they were reading this piece with the view to learning any new gist, history and tactics in football. Any time, I comment on the issue of the black stars, I have always approached it from the point view or context of branding and not the content of football and this will not be any different.

FOLLOWERSHIP WORTHINESS OF THE BRAND BLACK STARS.

Just as a country’s credit worthiness is a key indicator of the extent to which a country can access credit for its economic developments efforts, followership worthiness, I , submit, is the extent to which a brand, in this case the black stars, can position itself to merit the emotional, financial and physical support or involvement of its patronisers (Ghanaians).

If you are a keen follower of sport shows in Ghana’s media landscape, you will agree with me that the black stars’ approval rate, in recent years, following the Brazil debacle has not been very palatable. Indeed, the good will and emotional significance of black star matches, that will keep some Ghanaians in the stadium, even if that meant sacrificing a church service or cutting it midway, in order to witness a football match, has long gone. Today, many Ghanaians have become very cold and only speak of the blacks stars, perfunctorily without any positive emotional attachments.

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Without doubt, the black star brand has lost its followership worthiness and lustre. The good will has given way to callused ‘they should do it themselves if they can attitude, a posture that has denied the stars the needed spiritual and emotional support football at every level needs to develop and thrive. Worst still, some segment of the media, have also adopted this posture. Doesn’t  it come as a surprise that none of the many thriving and mushrooming Television stations, the 75 of them in Ghana, will follow up and give Ghanaians live telecast of the proceedings?

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If the team is that followership worthy, why can’t a media outlet interrupt its own programme, seek for sponsorship in order to feed Ghanaians with the privilege of live coverage? But can one blame the media? Certainly no!!!. The poor attendance that has characterised the black stars home matches, in recent years, does not provide any incentive for them to want to commit their time and energies to it. This notwithstanding, I want to congratulate the few radio stations, who gave Ghanaians the opportunity, to keep tabs with what was happening in Egypt.

What is happening to the brand black stars can be fit the parable of the salt which losses its, taste, as it is said in the bible. Like the salt, any brand that loses its followership or utility worthiness is treated with contempt and the Black Stars, in recent years, I have no shred of doubt, is equally being dealt the same fate.

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Be as its may, this current status as I describe is a direct result of the blatant disregard and the taken  took for granted the opportunity, privilege and honor of donning the national jerseys to represent  that country on  the highest stage  , the world cup. How money or financial consideration will have some Black Stars player  hold the country’s emotional pulse to ransom cannot be easily distinguished from the team’s their current poor outings. In the past, management and some players had thought that because the black stars is  a state assets, citizens will have no option than to support or follow it, however their state of performance or behaviour. This approach to managing the team’s relationship with the Ghanaian customer has unfortunately proven unsuccessful as Ghanaians have proven, in words and action, that they can neither be taken for granted nor be treated with the

 

 

THE PARADOX OF CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT

As a brand enthusiast, I can only bank my hopes on a concept on customer relations management discipline. It is called the Paradox of Customer Relations. Among other assumptions that undergird it, the concept principally assumes that a dissatisfied customer, whose problem is subsequently and satisfyingly resolved, is more likely to be loyal to a brand than a customer who has never had any issue.

Yes, to plain thinking minds, this may not make sense but beyond the fact that it is only a paradox, I have grown to understand how difficulties and crises helps people to understand themselves better and move to prevent further crisis. Indeed, this concept is logically akin to the story of how a shepherd can leave his 99 sheep in search for one missing one. Indeed, that is why I believe that brands who experience crisis and challenges are better placed to come out stronger and better than their contemporaries who are yet to taste the sour wine of crisis.

By referencing this concept, I am not assuming for once that the Black Stars should qualify if they do not merit a place in the world cup. As a progressive person, i will be the last to root for the black stars to qualify, when it is obvious that they do not merit a place in the world’s football stage. That will mean an endorsement of mediocrity and superficiality. My allusion to this theory is underpinned by my view that in this gloomy and doomy stage in the life cycle of the black star brands, management, the players and any other stakeholders, must be mindful of working to earn the trust and followership worthiness that is so required for successful campaigns.

Like how a country, seeking to boost its credit worthiness works on its macro-economic fundamentals, stakeholders of the Black Stars team must be alive to their own responsibility and role in helping to win back the followership worthiness of team as doing otherwise will relapsed Ghana in the abyss of oblivion, eroding the many gains and enviable reputation that country has built in the game, continentally and globally. They must realise that as a brand in its own right, followership worthiness must be earned and cannot be conferred on the team, just because they represent the country.

Conclusion

History is replete with examples of how many brands and companies, have recovered and gained the trust and followership worthiness of many of their customers, even when circumstances appeared to have deemed such a turn around, utopian. An entitlement mentality that will place much responsibility on the Ghanaian to accept the Black Stars, regardless of their conduct and performance, will be a bane to any hopes of winning the needed followership worthiness for the team. A clearly defined, differentiated, collaborative effort by all stakeholders, aimed at winning back this brand collateral of followership worthiness is what the Black Stars need now. With this mentality, they will be mindful of the kind of players they even call into the Black Stars team, how they will treat or respond to rumors and the level of tolerance management they need to adopt, seeking to gain the approval of all and sundry. Players, like management, will also be mindful of their attitudes and outputs levels and will deem their call as a noble opportunity to externalise their patriotism and love for a career that gives them prestige and fame. In all Ghana must win and as fans we need not also take an entrenched position and fail to recognise positive attitudes as and when it surfaces.

Your perspective on this will be much appreciated

 

Samuel Osarfo Boateng,

Researcher, Content Strategist and Blogger

(Call the team for expert writing services)

Samuelcreasta@gmail.com

(0541842198)

Follow: http://www.surfos7press.wordpress.com

 

This article is very special to me as it is written exactly two years that I was adjudged the best students in Communications and Strategic Communications at the African University College of Communications. It goes to affirm my resolve to justify these awards where ever I am, by working diligently and churning out though-provoking and intellectually stimulating articles.

Mr President, can i share a view on your debate proposal?’#Skobawrites

I read ,to my surprise, that the President is calling for a debate between himself and the leader of the largest opposition party.In his view, a debate will enable him to straighten up what he describes as the misinformation, the opposition party is churning about.
Certainly, i do not think the purpose for calling  for an opportunity to set some records straight  is problematic.At the very least, the president cannot be denied an opportunity to engage anyone on any issue as and when he deems same fitting.
This notwithstanding, i am not very sure a debate will provide the President the best forum to clearly parry away claims , he may deem as misinformation.  From where i stand, i truly do not think a  debate will provide an enabling ambiance and atmosphere, where the president can clearly hem in the loose ends in  the assertions of the opposition.
As far back as 1964, Marshall MacLuhan, told(Communication Students) that the medium is the message.Being a Communicator himself,perhaps,the president should have been guided by this evergreen but old age maxim.For the purposes of emphasis, i am very clear in my mind that a debate is not the best medium through which the president can seek a redress in this issue and  i adduce the following reasons in support of my position:
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First of all,debate, to me, has a character, demeanor and a disposition on its own. Essentially, many of the debates that i have  seen, even those one in academic cycles, are usually confrontational. People have barely varied their positions, however strong an opponent is able to articulate his/her position or the plethora of authorities that are quoted to advance an argument.I have been compelled to accept the hard truth that debates never serve any meaningful purpose in fact articulations.You can refer to the first Presidential debate involving Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, to test the veracity or otherwise of this view.The defensive and confrontational posturing of debaters, does not create a conducive atmosphere for points of view to be carried across.May be, it can serve other purposes, but i will belong to the school of thought who will invariably be skeptical about the potential of debates in shaping or altering positions in political communication.
press-3Secondly,in debates, facts and opinions usually have blur lines.However factual a person may be, he/she cannot hold autonomy over same.In most of the debates that i have witnessed, i have seen people state opinions as though they were facts.I am just imagining how the President can compel the leader of the opposition, in the heat of a debate, to accept  that the country’s debt to GDP ratio, is not same as the figures the opposition party has put out.The point is that however factual the President thinks he is on certain issues, he cannot foists same on or compel  the opposition leader  or his supporters to accepts same.This is how the President’s record setting agenda for which he is proposing a debate will stand defeated. Whiles mulling over this piece, i was hunched into a funny  scenario of what may probably happen if facts were truly deemed asuch in debates.Will the leader of opposition organize a press conference to tell his party that after the debate he now knows the real state of Ghana’s economy and that he and his party apologies to Ghanaian for churning out misinformation?I am not sure any serious mind can contemplate this happening. If a debate will not alter positions of the real targets, then why organize same in the first place?This logical  but rhetorical questions begs.
Again, will a presidential candidate with such a clout, accede to the President’s assertions in a debate without seeking to vary or question the authenticity of those claims?It will never happen that the leader of the position party, will be turned into a silent mode, on a basis that a President is supposed to be setting a record straight.At the very least, not only does he has an obligation to preserve his intellectual integrity more so, also he has it on his honour, to as a matter of principle, defend the position of his tradition and the party, which flag he bears.I therefore find it difficult to contemplate any change in opinions if indeed, he is the target of the President’s message. Can anyone point to a debate which ever  ended conclusively, with parties deciding to jilt their entrenched positions?
Having monitored, with keen interests, parliamentary debates in Ghana, i have taken a view that in political communication, debates, do not really serve any meaningful purpose.
Unlike parliamentarians, where debates are easily decided on at the drop of the speaker’s gavel, presidential candidates, don’t have the luxury of finality on the positions that take in a debate.Once they take a position on an issue, it only takes the gavel-thumb of voters to either affirm or infirm their positions.
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I have tried as much as possible to avoid getting into some of the matters that have been a subject of debate.I have done this deliberately because, as much as possible, i want to spare my readers of my political biases. Beyond this,i do not think i have the competence to discuss, in detail,the content of the subjects that have been a subjects of controversies between the ruling party and the opposition.
 Nonetheless the above,  by my training in communication, i owe it a duty to myself and the few readers who frequent my blog to  discuss context, even when i have no much or deeper knowledge in content.
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It is in the light of the above observations that i am firm in my conviction that in seeking to press home a point of fact, the  President has an avalanche of opportunities to do same without opting for a debate.Except the President has an ulterior or hidden  motives beyond the ones that he has openly communicated as being reasons for his want of a debate, i truly do not think, he has chosen the right forum.
In my view, the campaign trail, should prove useful in any record straightening agenda.Perhaps, a Lecturer or a Press Conference,  akin to  ones which has become a common place with the opposition, may be useful..Debates, without any shred of doubt, will fail symbolically and substantially.
If i were a press boy at the Presidency, i will advice  against a debate, same will i do for the leader of the opposition, were i his press boy….
Samuel Osarfo Boateng
samuelcreasta@gmail.com
Researcher/Writer/Publcist.
Whatsapp/Call:0541842198…

MY LESSON NOTES ON THE KALYPPO CRAZE…Will You Attend My Lectures???

A lot has been said over the last two weeks, regarding how a picture of Kalyppo sipping Flag bearer of a leading Presidential Candidate in the  2016 election, can turn into an unsponsored, unsolicited and yet a viral user-generated social media campaign for a Ghanaian soft drink company.

In this piece, I will not wade into the suavity or otherwise, informing the mischief for which a person may want to denigrate a Presidential candidate for sipping Kalyppo. In my view, an inquiry in this respect will not only be counter-productive to the purpose of this piece but as expectedly, same will open me up for the many vitriolic verbal attacks that have come to characterize Ghanaian politics.

In this piece, I am only driven by an intellectual instinct to share an opinion on the possible marketing lessons one can draw from this development that has seen an otherwise diabolic scheme turn into a drastic business returns, one which is not earned on a merits or by dint of any marketing investments but by a stroke of time and chance).

 Forgive me for appearing religious but I cannot but agree with an assertion in the Bible that in many instances, the race may not be for the swift(Huge Investments or Strong Marketing or Communication Strategy) but time and chance plays an invaluable role in the fate that happen to man(in this case brands). Indeed, while the company bask in the glory of having an influential person with such as clout use their product, they must be minded to render thank-giving for this rare privilege.

While I am not privy to the Marketing campaign or the Sales figures of the company since the Kalyppo craze started, I equally cannot under-value the media mileage and potential returns that the Kalyppo craze portends for the company. The unpaid  media space and spots that the company has been afforded  in the mainstream media, additionally to freewheeling power of Word-of –Mouth  in market places, churches, workplaces, campaign launches, and most importantly, an unending viral frenzy in various Social Media platforms, cannot be underestimated both in substance and symbol. At the very least, the Sales report at the end of the month, will be reflective of the good will that a singular gesture had engendered for them. For nothing at all, the voices and words of freelance bloggers, which I am proudly part, proves invaluable to the mileage that the brand Kalyppo has received.

In congratulating the company for being the greatest beneficiary of this event, I am minded to share my views on what this development teaches us about modern day marketing- (if my readers kindly deem this as anything worth drawing lessons from).

·        Time Matters: A window of opportunity or adversity is inherent in the life cycle of any brand, however its image or reputation. What matters in this regard, is not how companies moves to either leverage the opportunities that comes with time or manage the adversities that arises in the life cycle of the brand. Fortunately, for the Kalyppo brand, what it is faced with is a huge window of opportunity. Yes an opportunity not to only rake in more sales, but most importantly build affinity and enduring engagements, through content, with their existing or potential customers in order that the gains and mileage that it is currently enjoying may be sustained, post-electioneering period. Whiles they quietly cash-in on their sales, I will remind them on the need to anticipate and plan for a possible mischief that may possibly arise, in this period. Far from bustle the company’s bubbles, I recommend that an Adversity Communication Strategy must be designed, both in anticipation of any further mischief that could be hatched.(I am no prophet of doom but no one survives, underrating the possibilities of politicians in Africa).

·        Demonstration and Not Just Appearance: Having marketed on social media for some time now, I have been compelled to enrol in the school of thought that hold that viral content may not necessarily translate into sales or worse still, have any positive bearing on potential buying decision. Whatever the case or purpose may be, all those who have joined the Kalyppo craze have almost done it within the context of demonstration, thus, sipping the Kalyppo the similarly as captured in the photo of their influencer. Demonstration brings life, animates and personifies a brand. It gives brands an active voice and not just a passive presence. It comes to me as no surprise that short videos and photos are said to be highly efficient social media format than texts. Marketers may want to explore many avenues to deliver engaging contents, emotionally.

·        Influencer Marketing: I was surprised, while working on a research project for a client, to note that not much scholarly works on Influencer Marketing have been done with the African context in focus. Nevertheless, the sparse academic materials on influencer marketing, the role of influencers (which in many instances are exemplified in the use of celebrities, politicians, chiefs, academics and many opinion leaders), for the promotion of a brand or an idea, has not only exited for decades, most importantly the practice has not lost its place and relevance even in a fast-paced technologically-driven world. Influencers, by merit of the good will they carry, are able to transfer some of their existing good will onto the brands they are endorsed or influence. Indeed, what stands the Kalyppo craze from many of the influencer marketing that I have known is that fact that in this case, the influencer, was neither paid nor motivated to do same. In this case, the fact that there is no evidence of monetary incentive to the influencer means that the influencer (in this case the Flag-bearer), will not have any personal interest to want to endorse a product. This is indeed the source of credibility to the brand. I will be looking forward to many unsolicited but effective endorsements of this nature.

·        User-Generated Marketing: Since the Kalyppo craze came to noticeable attention; I have seen so many nerve-wracking photos, many of which have been shared and spread. Many young people have demonstrated immense creativity beyond that which could be anticipated by a creative team of the company. This underlies my view that creativity doesn’t end as content production ends. Essentially, Customers/ Consumers have become an inalienable part of the creative value -chain in the content production of advertisers. The fact is that customers have become both consumers and producers of content. Marketers must be alive to the fact and reality that customers want to be part of content production as it has been the case of media production, in recent history. Companies desirous of consolidating the gains in their communication and marketing efforts must realise that user-generated campaigns rewards creativity and diversity of their customers, besides forging lasting relationship with their customers.

Conclusion

Whatever becomes of this campaign, how much the company realises financially, however the goodwill the brand has enjoyed, what matters and should matter to marketers is the lessons that we need to learn and draw from this development.

Samuel Osarfo Boateng

Samuelcreasta@gmial.com

0541842198.

Researcher/ Writer/ blogger

Let’s Talk about Your Content Strategy….

Call 0541842198 if you want to Advertise your service or you want any writing services

CAPITAL BANK OPENS A PREMIUM BRANCH AT LABONE :SKOBAWRITES

I count it as a privilege, indeed, a rare one at that, to have been part of   grand opening of the Capital bank’s Labone branch, which event, though short, was gracefully executed with verve and panache: one that fit the bank’s premium status of being the leading Retail and Household Bank in the country.

Fitted with matchless facilities, the Labone branch of Capital bank is said to be one of the four branches equipped with a Priority Banking Centre geared towards bringing premium and tailor-made services and solutions to clients who demand augmented service. The branch, which joins the league of priority centres such as Spintex, Osu and the yet to be unveiled Haper Road branch, brings to Nineteen(19), Capital bank’s  total number of highly networked branches in the country.

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Designed with precision details and aimed at serving premium or priority customers of the bank’s existing or prospective customers, the classic edifice which now houses Capital Bank in Labone is not only swanky and stylish, more importantly, the facility is fitted with top-notch and environmentally friendly facilities that takes banking a notch up. Characteristic of Capital bank’s brand identity, the virtual and aesthetic appeal of the bank’s colours has a commanding presence, clearly standing out, both in style and form, from the clutter of banks that has been dotted in this area of choice. Beyond the engaging aesthetic value of the bank, the facility, which is also fitted with a Wi-Fi-area, where customers can connect to and access the internet at real-time, without doubt, lends credence to the bank’s strategic goals of becoming a tier one bank in five years period.

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Perhaps, like I was compelled to do yesterday, anyone who has  ever felt that the advancement in technology  and the continuous use of same in the financial sector will  eventually render  brick and mortar banking redundant, must necessarily revise their notes. While technology facilitates and expedite banking processes, provides safety and security capped with  real-time  response to customer demands and needs , the human face to banking that is expressed in the warmth and smiles that greet a customer can never lose its value and place of pride  in the scheme of things in Ghana’s banking sector. I am firm in my conviction that at the very least, brick and mortar banking facilities affords the African an opportunity to meeting its social needs for fraternity, warmth, and sense of belonging. As succinctly and wisely captures in an inimitable fashion words of Chinua Achebe: ‘Whiles an animal scratches its itching flank against a stone, a man’s kin does it for him/her’. This maxim proves useful as leaders in Africa’s banking sector move to cultivate its customers while forging strong and long-term working ties with them. Without doubt, an eco-friendly banking hall such as Capital bank’s Labone branch further boosts the inalienable desire of the new African to keep touch with its social norms and values, even as s/he, is treated to a first-class banking experience.

To stay and remain competitive in the financial sector, it becomes prudent that fair balance is struck between brick and mortar braches and technological facilities that expand the frontiers of branchless banking. Obviously, Capital bank appears to be fully aware of this fact and this is evident in the bank’s introduction of innovative products such as SpeedPay, which makes it possible for customers to deposit cash through their bank accounts through their mobile phones. Indeed, the enthusiasm and euphoria that was evident on the faces of customers, management and staff of the bank as they witness, at first-hand, an unveiling of the Labone edifice, speaks volume to the importance of balancing  a human interface to banking with technologically driven branchless solutions.

Having quoted an African legend above, I am compelled to note with a sense of pride that Capital bank’s Labone branch, as observed in the welcome address of Mrs. Eunice Broke, Head of Retail at the Bank, presents a world class ambiance with strong African Identity that celebrates African heroes. Fitted on the Walls of the African Heroes section of the bank are pictures and enduring words of great African heroes, namely Nelson Mandela, Mrs Ellen Sir-leaf Johnson, Julius Nyerere and Ghana’s own, Kofi Annan.

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Speaking at the event, Rev. Fitzgerald Odonkor, the Managing Director of the bank, made the bank’s commitment to balancing both branch and branchless tailor-made solutions, even clearer. He noted that aside setting in motion processes for facilitating both interbank and intra-bank funds transfer with the deployment of over 38 sophiscated ATMs, the V-man campaign, which seeks to encourage savings habits among Ghanaians by giving customers free cash vouchers, and the introduction of Priority Banking centres are among a host other strategic efforts aimed at delivering delivery superior value solutions to the new African.

For an indigenous bank, with relatively a young years of operations in Ghana’s universal banking sector, such a giant and bold expansive investments can only reaffirm the bank’s commitment to not only bringing banking closer to the door steps of its premium customers, but also, such strides and efforts attest to the bank’s believe in the huge potential and prospects that exits in Ghana’s financial sector.

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Monumental achievements and accolades, including  the Best Growing Bank, Best Bank in Savings and Deposits Awards, that has come the way of the bank, comes to me therefore as no surprise. As Ghana moves to consolidate its gains in the service sector, some of this expansion drive, that places the customer at the centre, cannot go unnoticed. Being among the first customers to sign up to a banking service at the Labone branch, I can only look forward to exciting times, ahead.

Samuel Osarfo Boateng

Researcher, Publicist and Writer.

Samuelcreasta@gmail.com

0541842198

Capital Bank’s Young Achiever Account: A Strategic and Symbolic Approach to Financial inclusion

At a short but colourful press event at the company’s plush head office in Spintex, which I was privileged to be present, Capital bank, in a strategic partnership with MBM Associates and REVO Education, launched the Young Achiever Account on September, 28, 2016.

Aimed at providing a financial buffet for parents as they move to secure a better  future for their children, Capital bank’s Young Achiever Account requires a minimum opening balance of GHC10 and an operating balance of GH100, which amount is qualified for interest  tiered at 2% above the bank’s Saving Accounts rate.

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Capital bank is certainly not the first financial institution to introduce educational trust fund into Ghana’s banking industry. Given the seemingly aggressive levels of competition among the 29 commercial banks in Ghana, one will not need a degree in Business Administration to accept the view that financial institutions, desirous of remain financially viable and profitable, will strategically be disposed to capturing different segment of the markets. Indeed, it is on this basis that saving accounts held in trust for children between ages zero to 17, will not be a new phenomenon in Ghana’s banking industry, in 2016.

 Nevertheless the above observation, one cannot equally deny or be dismissive of the fact that Capital Bank’s Young Achiever Account   is revolutionary, both in substance and symbol.

Substantially, Capital bank’s Young Achiever Account provides some exciting incentive packages, duly rewarding both parents and particularly, their kids. Not only does the accounts affords parents the opportunity to save towards their children’s education as they grow into the many uncertainties of life, better still, clients who deposits GHC 5,000 or more into the account, are given a free ilearn tablet, 10% discounts on books purchased at any Sytris Bookshop and 15% discounts on football and swimming programs at the Lizzy Sport Complex. For the purposes of emphasis, I note with excitement that, besides not requiring the use of the internet, the ilearn tablets has, installed,42 GES approved text books, Pass questions and answers, Maths Formulas and English Companion.

Symbolically, this innovative product reaffirms the bank’s unbridled commitment to providing value to its customers, however their age or other diverse demographic features. It also marks an enviable milestone in the company’s bid to becoming a tier1 bank, while lending credence to the numerous industry accolades and awards that has come the way of bank, in spite of it relatively young years in operation. Most importantly, the product also reinforces the company’s commitment to promoting inclusiveness in Ghana’s financial sector, besides inculcating the fast eroding culture of savings into Ghanaians, both young and old. The strategic partnership between the bank and MBM Associates and Revo Education, is of an immense symbolic importance as it underscores the bank’s dedication to building long term relationships, through technological innovation.

With this symbolic and substantial benefits, it did not come to me as a surprise that one of the first three winners of an ilearn tablets, Stephanie Nyira Enchill, with smiles beaming all over her face, traveled all the way from Kumasi to witness the launch.

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As Ghana continues to make efforts towards expanding and consolidating its gains in the financial sector, some of these ground-breaking innovation aimed at financial inclusion cannot go unnoticed. Given how altruistic and holistic the Young Achiever Account is, I cannot help but recommend same for any parent seeking a better and financially-secured future for their children.

Samuel Osarfo Boateng

Samuelcreasta@gmail.com

Blogger/Researcher/ Communication Strategist

0541842198

The Industry of Advertising in Ghana:My take

There is no denying the fact that Advertising industry in Ghana plays no mean role in the economic and socio-cultural development of the country. Economically, the direct income contribution of the sectors, whilst data in this respect readily exist, cannot be denied or over-emphasized.No serious economy desirous of promoting its investment credentials while consolidating its economic gains can downplay the role of advertising agencies.If for nothing at all, their financial contributions to Ghana’s economy, in terms of of corporate taxes, employment and other financial obligations, cannot be lost on us.

Indeed, the various and numerous array of rib-racking creative concepts, couched in culturally sensitive and emotionally-provoking language, has kept many faces beaming with smiles, beyond the growth potentials those creative concepts continue to open to brands and businesses.Even the crappiest of an advertising concepts have gone a long way to creating awareness for products or services, which would otherwise be in the oblivion.

 

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Just like any industry, the advertising industry is not bereft of its own share of challenges and impediments.Beyond the logistical, regulatory,technical, financial an commercial impediments that continue to beset Ghana’s Advertising industry, the seeming lack of frequent opportunities for industry players to engage, intellectually and conversationally, stands out among the myriads of factors inhibiting the growth of the industry.

While the role and efforts of the Advertising Association of Ghana in this respect is highly commended,much still needs to be done to address or stimulate conversation on most of the gnawing challenges in the industry.

Given the numerous challenges of Ghana’s fledgling advertising industry,the least that could have been anticipated, is to have a viable industry front where issues, of adverse effects to the industry, are discussed objectively and intellectually.

As it stands currently, one will cannot easily access reliable information on Ghana’s advertising industry.Hardly is our industry producing indigenous knowledge to feed young and aspiring advertisers or researchers.The least said about the social media platforms of the Association, the better.The fact that information on the platform is not up to date lives much to be desired in a fast paced industry like the Advertising industry.

Else where industry blogs play key roles in stimulating intellectual discourse among players, whatever their levels are.At the very least, people can read and acquaint themselves with developments in the industry.I am fully aware that Content writers and leading writers are contracted to provide thought-leadership contents on leading concepts and exclusive industry information and other working statistics in the industry front.

Unfortunately, same cannot be said of Ghana’s advertising industry.Information is so encrypted(for want of a better word)…Hardly can a graduate in with specialty in Advertising(like myself), lay hands on reliable industry information to inform their creative concepts and decisions.

Once, I have had to abruptly put on hold, a research i was doing for a client, because of readily available industry information.The big question is how do we develop this sector if we keep information out of reach of people may be interested in conducting studies into various topics in an ever-increasing industry like the advertising agency?How can we induce more research into the industry, if some basic information are barely accessible?How can policy makers/law makers be moved to expedite action on the Advertising Bill when the industry itself is not making information easily accessible?

While our financial contribution to Ghana’s economy is not contestable, can we say same of our intellectual contributions to Ghana’s information regime?

Proposal/Recommendations?

I will not waver in my view on the best approach to solving the challenge i have so chronicled.I will recommend, without compromise or any hesitation, an Industry blog that will among other things, provide industry articles and reviews on developments in Ghana’s Advertising Agencies. Content may consist of reviews on leading prints, digital and broadcast commercials,Advertising concepts and latest research works, leading Advertising Agencies, leading Advertisers,and News relating to major employee status of leading advertisers.This business can be modeled on that of the most renowned Adage,Content Marketing Institutions and others.

Beyond this opportunities that will be afforded industry players, industries or organizations seeking to recruit Media Agency should also have full information on some of the works and credentials of Media Agencies, which will be captured in the Media profile portal of the blog.

By the second year, this blog must be the leading industry mouthpiece, setting best industry benchmark and providing expert opinions on concepts , in line with the ethical and regulatory regime.

I am looking forward to creating a blog and other social media media platforms for this project and i look forward to other henchmen who will be part of this revolution by way of Article contribution, Advertisement, Sponsorship, and Agency Profiles.

Please do get in touch if you so wish to be part of this revolution.:

Samuel Osarfo Boateng,

Researcher/Blogger and Content Strategist

samuelcreasta@gmail.com

http://www.surfos7press.wordpress.com

0541842198//0270644157.

STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS AND GHANA’S EFFORT AT A CASHLESS SOCIETY:A (CASE OF CAPITAL BANK’S SPEED PAY).

Unlike their contemporaries in politics, manufacturing, and other sectors of the economy, players in the financial sectors do not have the luxury of waxing lyrically all the customer-oriented adjectives in their marketing or other communications efforts. Indeed, the last they can ever contemplate is to promise more than they can feasibly and measurably deliver.

Beyond the fact the regulatory regime and ethical demands of the financial sector imposes a moral and legal obligations on these institutions to be factually accurate in their promises and solutions, a fast paced knowledge/information based world, which has left the customer insatiable in their demand for comfort, convenience, safety, speed and precision, has been a key factor in deflating self-touting tendencies of any financial  player, desirous of  earning the trust and credibility of its customers, either potential or existing.

Besides the above observation, there is, indeed, no denying the fact that, given an overtly competitive financial sector, the only option that players in this arena are left with is the option of providing innovative, creative, efficient and customer-focused financial solutions that addresses the prevailing challenges of individual and corporate bodies. Without doubt, the situation where   almost 32 universal banks and other numerous tier 2 and 3 banks are left to compete for the deposits of only 30% banked population has been a key factor, prompting technologically –engineered innovation in a Ghana’s banking sector.

It is  these exigencies and given the resounding  merits of a cashlite economic order that continue to boost Ghana’s effort at attaining a cashless economic regime, one which is not only driven by the prevailing global financial demands  but most importantly  a need to meet the financial needs of customers in a safe, secured  innovative ways.

Consequently, players in the financial sector have over the years introduced pioneering financial products and services all aimed at reducing the risk associated with a cash-based economic regime.

 Of the many financial products in this respect, I have decided to profile Capital bank’s speed pay, in this piece. Without prejudice or disrespect to other products in that category, I am minded to write about SpeedPay as, in my estimation, the product is the most innovative financial solution which  promises  nothing short of safe and convenient electronically base deposit and purchasing solution. Besides, cognizance of the recent strategic partnership between Capital bank and Allied oil which is expected to widen the distribution channel for the product, I have no doubt that Speed Pay, provides a perfect case for  this piece that seeks to stress the importance of strategic partnerships in Ghana’s cashless financial regime.

WHAT IS SPEEDPAY?

 Consistent with the company’s new brand tagline of providing value and in keeping with its promise of providing innovative, safe and secured financial solutions, as part of its rebranding, Capital bank introduced Speed pay to consolidate the giant gains the company continue to make in electronic banking regime. Previously called Speed banking, Speed pay was developed in 2011 to facilitate cash deposit in Ghana, playing a pioneering role as the first product to bring branchless electronic cash deposit banking solutions in Ghana.

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With speed pay, customers can deposit cash and make payments through the internet or mobile phones, sparing them the stress and difficulty associated with brick and mortar banking. Beyond this, Speed pay affords customers an opportunity to pay bills, purchase tickets for events and shop online currently on the following platforms – M-Power, Knoxxi, Slydepay and Omanye shop and conduct many other financial transactions with ease and convenience.

To make the product easily accessible and widen the reach of the product on the market, Capital bank, at a press event on August 23, 2016, signed a strategic partnership agreement with Allied oil. By this partnership, the Speed pay product will be available in all Allied oil branches across the country, bringing to 51, the distribution channels of the product.

Speaking at the short but colourful event, the Head of Retail banking at Capital bank reiterated the company’s resolve to providing innovative solutions that excites their customers. On his part, M.D of Capital bank, Rev. Fitzgerald Odonkor, reaffirmed his company’s commitment to rolling out innovative products and financial solutions that respond to the real needs and provide real-time value to their customers.

Drawing similarities between Capital bank and Allied oil, the Managing Director of Allied oil acknowledged the shared values of innovation, creativity, and unalloyed orientation to customer satisfaction as the underpinning factors for their partnership with Capital bank.

Strategic Partnerships

As the world’s banking regime skews in favour of a cashless economic regime, players in this sector are left with no other option than to not only provide innovative product solutions but most importantly, widen the reach and access to these products. It is to this end that strategic partnerships between and among companies with shared philosophies, values systems and clientele base becomes pronounced.

In a competitive business world, the last disservice any company will do to itself is to remain isolated. I am aware that in the insurance landscape, the concept of Bancassurance, has allowed for insurance companies to expand and extend their product and services to customers of their partner banks. Indeed, strategic partnership is the new norm and companies in any sector, however their size and clout, cannot afford to underestimate same. In fact; many business gurus and writers lend credence to the need for strategic partnerships. In their book, ‘Why we want you to be rich,’ Robert Kawasaki and Donald Trump, termed it as leverage. In his inimitable book, Brandscaping: Unleashing the power of partnerships, Andrew M. Davis made profound and instructive case on the need for companies to enter into strategic partnerships.

In Conclusion

As Capital bank leaps into partnership with a key upstream player, Allied oil, I can only wish both companies all the best, aware of the fact that a successful partnership will not only boost the balance sheets of both companies but most importantly, same will enhance Ghana’s efforts at becoming a force in a cashless global economic regime.

Samuel Osarfo Boateng,

(Freelance Writer, Researcher and Communication Strategist)

samuelcreasta@gmail.com

0541842198

Answering the CEO’s rhetorical question

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I have come across the above image severally  and i think the time is ripe for me to respond.

First of all, it should be an indictment on the CFO to be thinking that employees will leave a job because they feel they are better prepared to work at their optimal level. If that is the case, then they should do a thorough audit of the HR department and check the criteria used in employing people into their company.But one cannot blame the CFO that much, most of them are trained to provide a strong financial case for every penny that appears in their books.Perhaps, the CEO is dealing with the wrong person in this matter.

If the CFO did not respond to the CEO’s rhetorical question, then i will make an attempt at it:

Mr CEO, you don’t need to be told that should you fail to train your employees one of the the following may happen.But before you delve into my prediction, be minded that i have no formal education in HR oooo…I am only a PR person with an opened curiosity on issues that are relevant for employee relations.

With the above caveat drawn, i think you can now read my prediction:

Mr CEO, please note that most of your best employees, who are not driven by the mere sizes of their salaries or fringe benefits , will not stay should you fail to give them training or any opportunity to improve on their craft. In fact, that will  feature among the  reasons that they will assign for  their exit.(Which they will never tell you, except to state in their resignation letter their decision to resign is entirely , personal).

You can also be assured that most of your employees, many of whom do not have options, will stay and strangle every efforts of new recruits who exhibit great signs of professionalism,creativity and innovation.CEO, you need not be told that those who will stay will suppress every effort at creating an atmosphere that supports  exchange of ideas and team work.

Indeed, rather than have people with experience, those who will stay will be so endowed with expirience, using  issues that have happened in the past to judge whatever will happen in the future, without any room for trial and innovation).

In fact, let them stay without training and  your return on investment will be stagnant and stale as their intellectual bank.

CEO please never engage directly with the Chief Financial officer on matters of this nature.Most of them may never understand the theoretical and pragmatic basis for improving the skills of employees.Issues of this nature are as critical as Media relations is to the PR, in times of crisis.You cannot compromise on it or afford to have it shot down.

Training and career development is strongly correlated with high performance and low turn-over.It cannot be scarified on the altar of financial exigencies.

Samuel Osarfo Boateng

0541842198

Reseacher/Publicist and Writer

samuelcreasta@gmail.com

DAMIRIFA DUE: A NETTLE WHO PROVED HIS METTLE, SKOBAWRITES

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It is with a sad disposition that I take note of your passing, Danny Nettey. The news came to me as shock, considering the fact that there were no visible sign of sickness the last time I saw you in public space. Being in the media space yourself, I do not think news about the state of health could have been easily spiked, if there were reasons for same.

While I may not have been a regular follower of your ministry, your brilliant credentials accompanying the news of your passing has brought me to terms with the clout, talent and influence  you commanded in the gospel genre, the world over. Indeed, your passing is not only a big blow to your family but most importantly, the numerous souls and lives you touched, using the microphone as your channel and the word of God as your weapon.

Reading your enviable credentials, I kept asking myself why man is not allowed some time to return after taking a breadth’s break, like it is done in a football match. Perhaps, such an opportunity will give our human race a strong reason to be honest, reflective and considerate in our actions and inactions.

But while I cannot have this wish, I take solace in the hope of resurrection and my firm believe that the death of a Christian is but a worthy transition to a heavenly destination .On this note of conviction, I will dare repeat the popular biblical refrain: Where is your sting, death?

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Musically, I can count on some arts of some gospel dynamites, many of whom I understand, you mentored and wrote songs for. At least, the likes of Francis, Mercy, and Mettle, I strongly hold, will continue to prove their mettle and raise up the standards you so dedicated your life to hoisting up.

Thanks for being part in leading a revolution in contemporary gospel music in Ghana. May be your passing is to make way for you to take another leading heavenly role.

KABSO Music can only commiserate with the family, friends and many followers of Danny Nettey and pray that God will keep him till we meet again.

 In this solemn moment, may the Lord console as all.

And strengthen as for his call,

Least we fall.

Damirifa Due!!!  Danny Nettey.

SkobaWrites

Samuelcreasta@gmail.com

0541842198

Whether god MC or Kanta, Ghana Must Win

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For some reason ,i don’t know why i have been compelled to weigh in on the current heat and jabs that has taken our music industry by storm.Whatever the reason may be, i am very certain, social media has played a key role in piquing my appetite  for  an issue which  ordinarily, will not border me. Once, again, one of the theories i learnt in my Mass Communication class has manifested and proven truthful.Yes, the repetitive pattern of a news or conversation, as per the Agenda setting Theory, is determining not what i think but what i think about.
But while i admit that social media has played a key role in making butt into this matter, i want to state clearly that i will not tow to the line, many who are discussing the issues have. Therefore, in this piece, i promise not to do two things:
Firstly, i do not intend to chronicle or provide commentary on how and who is slugging it out with who .In fact, doing same will be a repetitive , as  information in this respect has largely dominated our media, both traditional and social.Besides, why will i even pursue that line when i am fully aware that that attempt will intrinsically draw me into stating some of the unprintable jabs and punches that have gone down under the cover  of   lyrical and rhythmic  dexterity.
Secondly, I promise not to  take sides with any of the parties in this  lyrical warfare.To me, the public will be the better judge in all matters regarding who their favorite musician is.
My decision to pen this piece down   is driven my  surprise at  how all of us can be so vulnerable,allowing ourselves to be the dumping grounds for the bitterness and personal squabbles these musicians continue to pick  up with each other.Rather than use the medium of music to unite and affirm our believe in co-operation and togetherness, some of  these musicians, are entrenching the principle of division with the stand they have taken against each other.
In this precarious times of our political history, i think the worse, we should contemplate and entertain is to allow people to sow the seed of discord, what ever way or corners, same will come from.Having shown and demonstrated the need for unity through Peace-Games, i thought our musicians, would take a cue from our soccer stars.While some of these soccer stars may have issues among themselves, their ability to tame those sentiments to make way for public display of togetherness , cannot be over-emphasized.
I know some will get back at me on this.Surely some will try to trivialize the issues and justify same on the grounds that those jabs are part of the game.But much as i agree, albeit partially, with holders of this view,i am very clear in my mind that the current development in the entertainment front does not augers well for our social fabric as a people, given the important role these musicians play in shaping the realities, view points and behaviors of many.
To me, this issue goes to  confirm my long standing prejudice that some of our celebrities need to apply high level of discretion and maturity in their public outburst,being the,”Kings and Queens” they claim they are.More so, i have no doubt that disunity, which has been a major bane to the development of the Entertainment industry in Ghana is alive,derailing efforts at consolidating the gains that have been made in Ghana’s Showbiz industry.
It is in view of my reservation that i shudder to ask these questions: What  role does  MUSIGA and other regulatory  bodies and  associations,play when events such as this rear its ugly heads? Do these relevant stakeholders have a role in restoring sanity and calling for calm, at all? Can we continue to have an industry where its players act with impunity without any checks or control by anybody?What does this unfortunate development do to the image of Ghana’s entertainment industry?Does it make it attractive to corporate bodies? If any of these questions, which keeps, begging, is valid, then i will  humbly asked that these bodies act as quickly as possible….
After all, nothing will happen to Musiga, if it decide to issue statement calling for calm.May be the Ministry of Creative Art,can also,in line with its mandate of ensuing circumspection and cultural compliance,can also add its voice to my call for calm and sanity.
There is no doubt that these musicians at the center of this lyrical scrimmage have great content, reasons for which,perhaps, they have achieved the level of mileage they are enjoying.But whatever the case is, i think they must consider the broad context of the socio-political heat in the country , tap into same and help build a united and great country.Ghana will count on them for these. At least, the poor people who go all length to show their support and patronize these musicians, will demand this of them
We cannot continue on this divisive path..Ghana needs every industry to rally support, both with words and actions, as she heads to  the polls this November….#GhanaDecides. God bless our Homeland Ghana as we treat each other with respect and recognize our own contribution towards Peace, Love, and Respect
Samuel Osarfo Boateng
Research//Content Strategy.
samuelcreasta@gmail.com
0541842198
follow:@boateng_osafo