Sunday, January 10, 2010

D’banj Vs 2Face: How to Leverage Your Success

You may have heard their music at Children’s birthday parties or seen their posters on billboards across the country. And if you are young at heart would definitely have seen them strut their stuff in musical concerts locally and overseas and of course seen or heard them on musical channels such as Sound City MTV Base and your local TV or Radio stations!

Nigerian musicians have truly come of age, through dint of hard work, a culture change and a large dose of luck. Either ways Nigerian musical stars are making waves not only in Nigeria but across Africa; which got me thinking aside from the money and fame associated with this business, how have some of our stars leveraged their new found fame to better themselves or their families . In this article I wish to draw some parallel between D’Banj and 2Face (two artist that I like) as music performers in this age and to point out some of the marketing and business lessons that readily comes to mind as we follow their careers.

a. In Show Business Image is Everything: Just take D’Banj for example, this guy is truly a show biz impresario, he understands how to manage his image (or should the accolades go to his manager whichever). The guy sure knows how to entertain both on and off stage. I am not saying 2Face does not know how to entertain but come to think of it, who would you say has more brand equity? What does 2Face do? He goes about impregnating women, getting robbed or involves himself in one scrap or the other. Little wonder he gets little or no endorsement (after Guinness Smooth, what other product has he not endorsed?). It’s not like D’Banj is a saint when it comes to women but maybe he is just smoother or slicker than 2Face!

b. Promote Your Product and Brand at the Slightest Opportunity: No one does it better than the D’Banj: Even in his music, D’banj is promoting himself: “I AM the D’Banj” and how does 2Face brand himself he says “Do Baba” whatever that means… It sounds crass to moi. Could the level of education have something to do with it? See what D’Banj and Don Jazzy have done with Mo Hits and you understand what I mean.

c. Level of Education or Exposure Matters: Am not sure and I stand to be corrected, 2Face did not finish secondary school and even if he did, did not go to university but D’Banj finished from LASU. Could this have anything to do with the way they approach things? Am just asking and not insinuating anything… Filling the gaps.

d. Extend Your Brand Where Possible: This is one area you have to hand it to D’banj. This guy without a doubt is a marketing delight. D’banj has endorsed many products from Glo Mobile lines to Wristwatches (Aires – a very expensive wrist watch at that), has a show called “Koko Mansion “(even though I have never watched any episode, I have HiTV but no money to pay for subscription..Dah Dah), being a guest at Big Brother Show, name it, he has done it…. 2Face is nowhere to be found!

e. Give Yourself Various Memorable Brand Names: Remember the artist called Prince? D’Banj goes by various aliases that we can all remember: Mr. Entertainer, Kokomaster, “I AM the D'banj”. He gave us words and phrases like Kokolete, Ogbono fele fele (It’s HOT). Not that I would be found using such terminologies suffice to say he help improve our Naija vocabulary.

f. Create or Utilize a Vehicle or Platform You Can Control: This is the tricky one but it has also proved successful when are branding any product. You can even have your own fan club (thanks to social networking sites like Facebook it’s so easy now to create a fan page). Back to D’Banj and 2Face, they have also explored other platforms/vehicle they can use to connect to their fans and the one that I like the most is the music label vehicle (not a new innovation though). I don’t know whose idea it is but “Mo Hit” is by far one of the most successful record label in Nigeria boasting of artist like Wande Coal, D’Banj, IkeChukwu and of course Don Jazzy co-coordinating everything. Every single opportunity these guys have they promote” Mo Hit”. This is like what 50 Cent has tried to do with G-Unit! Terry G and Timaya are trying very hard to copy them.

Before I am accused of being a PR agent of D’Banj, let me state here that I prefer 2Face music to D’banj (even though I like both of them: now am beginning to sound like I am speaking from both sides of my mouth). I am however pained that though 2Face may have broken more grounds than any artist in recent times, have not truly leveraged this position to its full potential.

That we are actually writing and comparing Nigerian Artist is some indication of some progress. If you don’t believe our artist are making any impact, you thought wrong. Please read page 140 of “The African Report: Celebrity: Nigerian Pop Culture Revolution” and before you write off the magazine one of those magazine. The African Report is a French magazine with readership across Africa and it was the first magazine to forewarn us of the challenges being faced by the Nigerian Banks and most of the prediction and rating done by the magazine came to pass (even though a lot of people kick against it when the story about our banks came out)

Have a lovely working week ahead. Xman