o Zimbabwe’s errm man of the moment or should we say the man who has been at the pinnacle of success in the music industry Jah Prayzah has been churning out adverts after adverts and we have nothing but profound respect for what he has achieved at such a young age. However, there is something disconcerting about the man or shall we say about those who engage him for services; brand ambassadorship, campaigns, adverts, jingles you name it.
We have done a compilation of the brands that Jah Prayzah has represented over the last few months and we list these below;
Nash Paints – video advert
Securico – TVC, print ads
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Environmental Management Agency – Video advert
Telecel Zimbabwe – roadshows, print ads, jingles
ZOL – Print, Video ads
Chicken Slice – TVC
Pure Drop – TVC
What is evident is that Jah Prayzah has done work for multiple brands and does not appear to have a deliberate position on the brands whom he represents. From telecom operators to paints to cooking oil and security companies, Jah Prayzah truly embodies the Zimbabwe is open for business mantra, whichever brand is willing to feature him he’s ready! This is by no means an attempt to denigrate and chip away the brand equity he has built over time but our role is to make polite enquiries on such state of affairs in our marketing domain.
Our polite enquiries are consequently centered on these pertinent questions;
- Is the Zimbabwean market short of influencers or personalities who can be brand ambassadors?
- Is Jah Prayzah the only influencer with the biggest clout?
- Do our local marketers understand the concept of influencer marketing?
- Can we blame Jah from working with any brand that comes his way?
From where we stand, the chief marketing officer’s job is to offer advice on how brands can derive meaningful value through brand ambassadors. He’s a few thoughts;
- The need for an influencer strategy in place
Before you engage any influencer or brand ambassador to represent your brand, be crystal clear on what you intend to achieve. Why do you need an influencer, what role do they play in your marketing mix, what do you need them to do, how will you objectively measure the success of their activities? A strategy is needed which addresses the fundamental roles of any brand influencer activity.
- Alignment of brand values to the personality
It is fair to say that not every influencer or personality can represent your brand. In this social media age which creates overnight influencers, it is often easy and convenient to appoint an influencer based on the number of likes they generate per post. While this could a pre-qualifying condition, there are certain individuals whose value systems are incongruent with your brand values and might not represent it well. Not all influencers can represent and project the ideals and personality of your brand, the influencer should be aligned to the values of the brand to create a perfect match.
- Clarity is key
Marketers need to very clear on the role of a brand ambassador from the onset. Clarity pertains to how the BA activities create a strategic fit with the broader brand vision and goals. Will the BA be responsible for generating sales leads or their role is confined to brand visibility and awareness campaigns? This is key for the avoidance of conflict with the executive management who often see this as a waste of resources. Once clarity of role is defined, KPIs can be formulated upon which success can be measured against.
In conclusion on the first part of our series on influencer marketing, Zimbabwe is still growing as far as the latter is concerned. To date, most of the work being done by influencers has been ad hoc and often short term in nature without any signed agreements. For example comedians such as Comic Pastor, Bustop TV have not been officially signed on by any brands (despite doing work for them) save for Madam Boss who was unveiled as a NetOne brand ambassador. The opportunities for brands and personalities is limitless and will only continue to grow given that we are open for business! J
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