Who Are You?
The Hush Puppi Paradigm
When I say Hush, you say Puppi. Laughs. There is hardly anyone who does not know that brand. Note that I said brand. A young man who has by way of his actions stamped his name famously or infamously on our minds. We shall revisit this enigma shortly.
Who Are You?
Usually this question evokes a confrontational reaction in this part of the world. Why is that so?
There is a psychological side to this. Due to the environment we live in, the sanctity of things is not revered. Sanctity of life, sanctity of nature, sanctity of values…the sanctity of the person. People tend to walk roughshod over other people. So when someone hears, “Who are you?” Their first response is one of a strong or violent reactionary action. This action in itself is a natural reaction to self-assertion. The innate desire by humans to reinforce their presence or reassert their existence in the event you might have forgotten who they are. Laughable right? Not quite.
This behavior is not peculiar to any one race of people. It is a “congenital flaw” or an evolutionary mechanism to ensure the survival of the specie. It is closely tied to the will to exist and “show presence in the cycle of life. It is what ensures we stay relevant even though we approach it differently.
Creating a Brand
In business, it is quite hard to establish presence amidst the perpetual jostling for dominance and supremacy by an array of brands. Liken it to the deep blue see with all kinds of marine life resplendent in all their glory. It only takes one silver coloured fish with gold lining along its side to take your gaze away from the multi-coloured star fish or the many tentacled octopus.
As the day goes by, new brands are sprouting at great speeds. How does one stay relevant in the midst of this melee?
The Brand Misconception
You know once the term Brand is heard, we tend to relate to corporate organizations, logo, complimentary cards and so on. However these are not what define the brand. They are what we like to refer to as brand presence. The person is the brand. Let’s look at an analogy:
I See You
In Zulu there is a popular saying which goes, “Umuntu Ngumuntu Nagabantu”. This translates to, “A person is a person because of other people”.
In one of the North African tribes there is also a popular greeting which goes: I see you
In both if these scenarios you will notice that the subject is always the person. An acknowledgement of the person’s existence and what they represent. So in essence when I see you, I see you. You in this sense implying an embodiment of all your latent talents, skills, persona, and potential. Having understood this, does it not behoove us to carry “The Brand”? Well. It is important that we have this consciousness because every day, we are selling ourselves.
- First Understand You: And the great Socrates would say, “Man, know thyself”. Most people shimmy through life without the least basic understanding of who they are. Their life is a continuous Halloween or mask party where they are trying to be something other than themselves. Accept yourself. Come to terms with who you are.
- Then Understand who you want to be: Now you don’t have to be like Dbanj or Nikki if you do not possess similar persona. Find an aspiration that fits your persona and pursue it.
- Mentally super impose yourself into the picture of the brand: When you have determined who you want to be then project mentally and start living in that reality. I don’t want to sound like your typical motivational personality but it is very important to rehearse for the play.
- Build Capacity: IF you want to excel, raise the bar. Improve yourself.
- Sell Yourself! : The mistake people always make is that they do not sell themselves enough. Usually this stems from our culture of keeping to ourselves our plans or trying not to seem boastful. However, you can sell yourself without making yourself look like Hush puppi. (Laughs) That guy sha can sell himself. Humans have an associative psyche. Whatever you identify with be it a product or persona, they associate you with. Now this can either make or mar your brand. Make it a habit to always talk about what you do or represent in the most subtle terms. For instance instead of just being forthright in a conversation and say suddenly, “Do you know I model for…” you could say, something funny happened last week while I was on a modelling stint…” Drawing away from the main point, notwithstanding, you have conveyed the message without being in their face.
Having established the above, it is therefore imperative that creating strong visibility for your brand is one of the keys to surviving the fierce onslaught of predators.
I See You