For those of you who may have had the eyes fixed on the socials this past week, you would agree with me that we witnessed the rise and rise again of the South African media personality, Bonang Matheba.
For months many postulated her whereabouts and brand activity which, in less than a space of a week saw her strategically unleashing some of her works that reminded us of her brand power and why she remains the powerhouse that she is and true to her slogan – she who reigns supreme
Channel24 announced today that Bonang Matheba has been crowned queen of the 2015 Channel24 Online Awards...
24.com 30 Nov 2015
However, this piece is not so much about the media personality than it is about her brand and the lessons we should continue to derive as marketing and brand communications enthusiasts. Because the truth is, more than we like or care to admit, there are key brand building and sustenance lessons we should observe.
Here is where it all starts.
In the week of unleashing her brand commitments and activity, one of the milestones the brand shared with us is the unveiling of the new House of Bonang MCC which is the first of its kind headlined by a black female entrepreneur.
This is the same MCC that, in less than a week of its placing on the shelves, has sold out
once and continues to see scores of consumers purchasing and posting their acquisitions across social media platforms.
Arguably, Bonang Matheba is the only South African celebrity brand, similar to that of global brands like that of Kylie Cosmetics, Rihanna’s Fenty and Toke Makinwa that has the kind of pull that it has and continues to enjoy mega success!
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With that, however, comes a great responsibility of ensuring that before anything goes out under these brand names, a great level of quality check needs to be adhered to.
This is a no brainer that I, unfortunately, had to find myself making valuable argument points for with multidisciplinary professionals and friends who were equally as invested in the trending topic that then followed the launch of the MCC brand.
Another spelling mistake
Similar to her first book, From A to B
, one consumer picked up a spelling error
in the packaging of the bottle that caused a stir between loyalists and those who just demand excellence from brands as strong as that of Bonang. Elegent vs Elegant
is what set half of the socials abuzz with many making the argument that for a product that is high priced as this one is, everything of it needed to be perfect, right from the pre-launch, launch, packaging and right down to the labelling. Nothing should have gone past her without being crossed-checked for the excellence and premium status the brand is positioned and known for.
Here is where my argument is though, whilst I fully agree that nothing with the star’s name should go out without her seeing and approving it, I am also of the view that there are teams of professionals responsible for ensuring that key protocols are observed and that a certain standard of delivery is met. This includes the team that was working on the launch of this specific product which has now seen a borage of backlash.
Whilst Bonang may be the face that carries the brand in the main, there are role players who too, need to be reminded of their part when a forepart like this is noted that further has the potential of tainting a brands reputation and dare, I say, its attitudes to its supporters.
So, what are the lessons that should be taken out of this case study?
A brand is as good as the total sum of its parts
There is a reason why there are brand managers, PR managers, strategist, copywriters and brand faces. All of these play a different role in ensuring the success and growth of any brand in the main. When one part fails to meet its delivery, it affects the entire value chain which is why an extra level of wokeness is required in the work we do.
In the case of the House of BNG, whilst the error may not have been major, and certainly did not affect that quality of the beverage itself, this does require a great level of attention to detail. After all, there is a saying that says, love is always in the detail.
Always quality over quantity
We understand that the production of this product took well over two years and consumers continue to enjoy its flavour profile. This is because a great deal of time was spent manufacturing and ensuring that it meets a certain standard. The same principle needed to have been applied when it came to the packaging and labelling of this product because as we all know, everyone judges a book by its cover.
Pricing is always informed by the brand positioning and who its target market is
Understanding the “premium” positioning should help consumers appreciate that this particular product is the bridge between the high end and lower end players whilst it aims to play right above its competitors in the category. That means it has to be attainable whilst it also continues to enjoy exclusivity and buy consumers social currency and also make profits. That is the reality of it all.
Premiumness is not only a state of mind but is entrenched in every touch point
If the brand continues its stance on being a premium brand, then it certainly needs to apply measures that will ensure it stays out of being in the spotlight for the wrong reasons. Whilst this may be a minor error which certainly does not impact the drinking occasion, it does still need to ensure premium standards of operation is felt and seen across the different touch points.
Learn from the past and avoid situations of repeated cause correcting
Whilst we can always go back to the drawing board and fix errors, we cannot and should not use that as an excuse. When you know better, you always do better and this needs to be standard practice.
Now again I ask, what is in the letter “A” that cannot be fixed anyway?