The Sauce and the Spice

DESIGN THINKING – THE INGREDIENT YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS TO KEEP UP WITH THE FAST-PACED EVOLUTION IN TODAY’S MARKET PLACE.

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The world is consistently changing and the speed can be likened to that of Arya Stark when she stealthily moved in on the Night Kind and drove a dagger through his belly in the recently concluded Game of Thrones series. Like the Night King, if businesses fail to take a hold of this speed or anticipate the next change (trend) then a dagger might be driven through its belly and put it out of business. Design Thinking is the ingredient businesses need to keep up with the pace (become agile) of customer evolution and ensure sustainability. My friend, Vin Diesel said in Riddick “if you can’t keep up, don’t step up”.

What is Design Thinking?

This is the art of adopting a process that keeps the consumer (target audience) as the focal point of your business. Many times businesses employ strategies as a result of data they dug up about their existing competitors – wrong move. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to know what your competition is doing to reach your audience but it is more important for you to watch and anticipate what your audience is doing or what they might do. This way you’ll have a more pragmatic approach to reaching them, otherwise, you’ll struggle to adopt the right strategies to reach the consumer; you’ll become reactive instead of proactive.

Design thinking makes you proactive, not reactive – it eliminates the knee jerk phenomenon.

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Why Design Thinking?

It gives your marketing communication a direction and lays emphasis on designing marketing materials on purpose – brand proposition.

Designing on purpose builds relevance and leads to a culture that will resonant with the target market. Consequently, using purposeful design will also create a connection which will broaden the impact of all brand activation programs, and brand experience. The brand that uses design thinking as a strategic advantage creates things that people have to have - Bizcommunity.

This approach really can’t be overemphasized especially in this digital age wherein everything is ‘supposed’ to be connected.

International brands like Nike, Google, Apple, and Amazon have adopted the Design Thinking strategy and it’s a no brainer how they come up with products every now and then that you and I always have to have.

Design Your Life – A Guide to Personal Branding

PEOPLE TEND TO NEGLECT THE NEED FOR PERSONAL BRANDING – WRONG MOVE. AS THE WORLD CONTINUALLY GETS SMALLER AND EVERYONE IS SEEMINGLY PUTTING OUT CONTENT, THE NEED FOR PERSONAL BRANDING BECOMES IMPERATIVE.

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What is personal branding?

Your personal brand is how you promote yourself. It is the unique combination of skills, experience, and personality that you want the world to see you. It is the telling of your story, and how it reflects your conduct, behavior, spoken and unspoken words, and attitudes – influencer’s hub.

In a nutshell, your personal branding is your identity. It is the features that exude and represents your personality. It may be in the form of colors, style of dressing, food, how you walk, choice of words, tone of voice – it is basically everything that defines you.

Why is personal branding important?

It this electronic concrete jungle in which we live in today, man is king and content is the kingmaker. Therefore, whatever content you put out must exude your personality otherwise you risk the danger of identity crisis, your audience doesn’t know who you are and worst case scenario is that you don’t know who you are.

Personal branding isn’t about living fake lives and making people believe what you are not, in fact, it is about being the best version of you and putting it out for those who care to indulge. Personal branding helps you stand out – there are over 7 billion people in the world today, trust me you don’t want to just be among the number. Don’t you want to be the modern day Achilles? So that your tale might be told for a thousand years.

Note: Personal branding requires, effort, and dedication. Like Achilles, it took him time to train, efforts in many battles, and a dedication to succeed.

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How to achieve a good personal brand in today’s modern stage?

1: Know who you are

You need to know who you are, what you love, the things you really believe, your principles, these form your character and your character translates into your brand.

2: Create your own space

You need a place from which you can interact with people as well as showcase yourself. This could be social media accounts such as YouTube, Facebook or Instagram, and a personal website.

3: Always put your best foot forward

Showcase your strengths, your unique selling proposition. Like Achilles, he never focused on his heel but his ability to win battles (skill with the sword and ability to lead).

4: Become a Subject Matter Expert (go-to-guy)

Once you know what makes you different and what your strengths are, develop it (learn as much as you can on whatever your strengths are) so that when people need someone for that reason, they’ll think of you.

6: Be consistent

Two things I’d like you to note that has already been said in this article are; remember it takes time, effort, and DEDICATION to build a personal brand – you must be willing to commit to what you are building, and remember content is the kingmaker but consistency makes the kingmaker.

Why personal branding?

The purpose of personal branding isn’t to just sell yourself or a product but to give a perception of yourself. This way you gain automatic acceptability when you walk into places that people there are familiar with your brand. It opens more opportunities to you and makes you walk under a different kind of spotlight from the other 7 billion people in the world.

Super Power or Survival Strategy

WHY DESIGNERS ARE BECOMING PHOTOGRAPHERS

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These days every African is seemingly unapologetically conscious of his or her resources especially finances and they guard it jealously. Which is why whenever they want to make a purchase, the commodity with more value for money wins the choice battle. As a result of this growing consciousness among individuals, there is, therefore, steep competition in virtually every facet of business. For the sake of this article, we will be looking into the creative industry and the new survival strategy among the ones they call “Creatives a.k.a Designers”.

Currently, the creative industry has seen more and more of its designers dabble with photography as they are compelled to go the extra mile to deliver more value on the job as such, they’ve taken on photography – talk about secret superpowers. Do you want to survive in this creative jungle? You need to bring something other than great knowledge of all the design suites, you need a great eye for colours and images, hence photography. The knowledge of light composition and style adds a different kind of spice to your work.

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In terms of delivering value;

The gaping hole between designing and having the right images

Ever tried to search for African photos online? Daunting. I thought this was a joke as the internet is supposedly an archive of photos but try searching for photos of Africans doing something specific, you’ll almost not find. As more designers venture into photography with their knowledge of the specific needs of the creative industry, I am hopeful that soon we’ll close this gap.

Images are expensive

Trying to put together a photo session or even buy an image off of some stock site can be relatively expensive. In a view to deliver value and earn more, designers may take the pictures themselves and this way they’ll seamlessly get the right kind of image they desire.

The spicy ingredient

Designers with a relatively good knowledge of photography tend to put out better work as well as photographers with a relatively good knowledge of designing. The two go hand-in-hand (a couple).

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The non-alcoholic alcohol

SAVANNA LAUNCHES THE FIRST NON-ALCOHOLIC CIDER IN SOUTH AFRICA IN A VIEW TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS OF INCREASING CONSCIOUS CONSUMPTION

Talk about breaking rules, changing status quo, and altering norms. Savanna cider is blazing a new trail in the food and drinks department with this “alcohol-less alcohol” innovation, The Savanna Lemon – really, ever heard of a non-alcoholic cider? If you are still in doubt, kindly look up the meaning of cider in your dictionary. So whether you agree or query the innovation as not being a cider, that’s still up for debate, however Savanna is using the innovation to satisfy the taste buds of the more conscious consumer – the growing health conscious African consumer. This takes away the anxiety and paranoia that comes from looking for that drink that best fits your dietary plans yet leaves with that cider taste without alcohol.

We have seen more and more people take to fitfam, organic food consumption, and restrain themselves from consuming little or too much alcohol all in a view to stay healthy and lead a long and vibrant life. All this is good but Savanna is TINKing, that there are too many things in Africa to be worried about and what you drink shouldn’t be one of them.

Source: Bizcommunity

Source: Bizcommunity

To bring this innovation to life, Savanna launched Savanna Lemon with an integrated marketing campaign where it challenges consumers to break the rules. Because when you drink alcohol, you’re confined by rules – social rules, law-enforced rules, even rules that you give yourself. And let’s face it: rules are no fun. This campaign is brought to life in the new Savanna Non-Alcoholic Lemon advert, which showcases the most unlikely characters challenging the norms of where a non-alcoholic cider should be consumed – The Bizcommunity.

“We’re constantly looking for innovative ways to corrupt the apple and bring to life products and ideas consumers will love,” says Annette Grootboom, Global Brand Development Manager for Savanna, “The great thing about Savanna Non-Alcoholic Lemon is that it tastes like cider, which allows people to make a lot more choices – and break a lot more rules.”

So if you plan to have a good time and don’t want to feel those headaches that come from a hangover best grab a bottle of Savanna Lemon.

The Future of Food

A HARD LOOK INTO THE STATE OF FOOD, CURRENT CONSUMPTION PATTERNS, AND WHERE FOOD IS HEADED IN THE NEAREST FUTURE.

Source: Diaspora Kitchen

Source: Diaspora Kitchen

Did you know, today, worldwide, for every malnourished person, there are two people who are obese or overweight? 868 million undernourished people and 1.5 billion obese or overweight people globally – according to Eating in 2030: trends and perspectives 2018 report. Guess where the highest concentration of malnourished people reside, yes your guess is obviously as good as mine. Africa remains the continent with the highest prevalence of undernourished people in the world. Affecting almost 21% of the population (more than 256 million people), South America follows immediately after with 5% in 2017, and fewer in Northern America and Europe with 2.5%, according to the state of food security and nutrition in the world 2018 report.

Did you know 36 million people die every year from lack of food and 29 million people from too much food globally? This is a perfect case of choosing your demon, would you rather die from the lack of or too much food? My answer is neither.

And did you know one-third of all food produced worldwide is made for feeding livestock? In addition, a growing share of agricultural land is used for the production of biofuel. This means we are choosing to feed both animals and automobiles instead of people (Eating in 2030: trends and perspectives 2018 report).

Also, did you know every year 1.3 billion tons of perfectly edible food is wasted, while 868 million people suffer from hunger globally? This is the state of food in the world at the moment, we are likely headed for hunger, aren’t we?

Source: Video Blocks

Source: Video Blocks

Right now there’s so much conversation about the importance of food, which is why we see an increasing number of Africans adopting health consciousness and consuming more organic food as opposed to the synthesized meals. However, following the obvious trend of emotional eating the conversation would soon shift from the importance of food to the importance of healthy eating. People are anxious with weight loss and as such take up unhealthy dietary plans that do more harm than good. The growing scale of depression and emotional ill health in Africa is causing people to find solace in food without much care of the composition of what they put in their mouths.

The future of food is seemingly bleak but the great part is, it can be salvaged. We do not have to adopt the knee jerk approach where we have to wait for the future to come before we implement measures to deal with it.

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What can we do?

  • Use the high interconnectedness that currently exists among people to disseminate information around the importance of healthy eating.

  • Institutions should promote the adoption of lifestyles and eating habits that favor the consumption of foods that contribute to a healthy diet and have less impact on the eco-system of the planet

  • The industry should focus more on promoting the purchase of healthy foods and use balanced price leverage to discourage the use of junk food

  • Strategies should be deployed to encourage people to find the space and time to devote to meals in the company of other people. This way they are motivated to eat healthier meals.

  • More so, the food industry must continue to develop new forms of convenience foods that have a high level of nutrition