Mothball with a hint of mint

Ever wondered how moth balls taste?

Taste and smell are separate senses with their own receptor organs, yet they are intimately entwined. Tastants, chemicals in foods, are detected by taste buds, which consist of special sensory cells. When stimulated, these cells send signals to specific areas of the brain, which make us conscious of the perception of taste.

Because of this, we have often been able to perceive the taste of a lot of things that we have never tasted – because they are poisonous, unpalatable or probably because we are highly allergic to them.

This is why I had such a light bulb moment couple of chews into this gum. I tend to be the opposite of adventurous with chewing gum. I have about 4 flavors I buy depending on my mood – this day, I thought huh! Try something new… be brave. This venture led me to the first non poisoning encounter of the flavor of a moth ball. I have told the tale.

5 simple tips that will make your Vehicle Branding more effective

Vehicle branding has been around in Kenya for the longest time. From the basic vehicle branding required by Kenyan law to more extensive and sometimes over-the-top branding like politicians will start doing next year.

AKSENT has just concluded some Vehicle branding for Paramount Catering, a Nairobi based catering firm that supplies quality food to offices daily and events. There are five key lessons we drew from this project and I thought I would share them in a blog post.

We would like to see you use these tips to make your branding more effective and actually achieve the purpose for which you set out for it.

1. Focus on one detail

There is so much space and you sell so many products so we understand the temptation you might have to place your entire product range on the vehicle. Especially if it is a lorry or canter!

Do you remember meeting someone who talked a lot at a mixer or cocktail party? The conversation was all over the place, one minute it was about his investment ideas, then about parachuting and sky diving, then about phobias, then about architecture.

Even if the conversation was stimulating, you will take away one thing from that conversation and it will probably be, “what an interesting guy!” It’s very likely you will forget that he sells water to offices and why his quality is better.

The same principle applies to vehicle branding, at Aksent, we call it ‘the recall principle’ keep it simple and focus on one chunk of detail about your business. The more focused the message the better. For example, saying “we will cover all your packaging needs is very clever, but, saying “suppliers of quality water bottles” is much more effective.

Action: Settle on one very specific message you want to communicate on your vehicles.

2. Use one contact prominently

It is tempting to include all the telephone numbers you can be reached on as well as three emails for three key departments your customers could email. It would show your customers you have capacity and that you are big right?

Yes, but, at what cost? With many contacts on display, it will be confusing for someone looking at your branded vehicle moving in traffic to try to copy the numbers down, every time they look up, the vehicle has moved and so they need to locate the contacts again and then find where they were in the numbers or letters of your displayed contacts or email addresses.

Action: Keep it simple for your customers, display one contact and make it prominent so it is easy to see. You do the work internally to channel communication appropriately.


3. Make your colors bold

It is a fact that most cars spend a lot of the time parked and hidden from customers’ eyes. When customers do see them, it is likely that the branded vehicle will be at speed.

That means you must invest in a high visibility strategy. A strategy that means that people will recognize your car even before they know what company it is for. The high visibility strategy scores many points for your brand as you endeavor to build a strong and well known brand.

Action: Keep in mind your branded vehicle will likely be at speed when your target audience sees it. Make it easy to remember by using a simple message and promoting your brand colors boldly.

4. Re-apply your branding as soon as it shows any age

Imagine you had a mascot outside your shop that everyone knew and loved. After a while it got dirty and a bit beat up due to weather and time. Would you leave it as long as possible before you cleaned it up and restored it?

Better yet, wouldn’t you keep it in mint condition on a daily basis so that as a reflection of your business it was always in first class condition? Do the same for your branded vehicle, wash it with regularly and with the right soap so as to maintain the branding. When it is scratched, fix it as soon as possible.

Action: Your branded vehicle is a reflection of your business. If your vehicle drives around Nairobi looking fabulous, your target demographic will assume you will handle their business the same way.

5. Keep it simple

Your branded vehicle is not the place to provoke thought, or encourage rumination. It is the place to say what you do and say it simply. Your target demographic does not have the time to take in complex thoughts as they overtake your vehicle, or as it passes them going in the opposite direction.

You do not want to take a drivers attention away from driving, accidents happen that way. You almost only want to say “hello” with a smile and leave your target demographic with that warm feeling people get when they have interacted with good, clear and well thought out design.

Action: Decide what you want your audience to take away and keep in mind the scenario where the vehicle may be at speed. Then make it pleasant enough to take in when the vehicle is stationary, like say in traffic.

When is a poster not just a poster

More than just a poster

‘It’s just a poster, please just whip something up, we need them up in schools…’

If this is how you are thinking of approaching this very important marketing piece, please consider reading on…

Our view – each and every collateral piece is an integral part of your company’s communication and should always be developed with intent.

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How much does it cost to build a website?

This is the most common question we are asked by individuals, start-up Companies, large corporates, schools and institutions in Nairobi, Kenya and East Africa.

Our immediate answer is always geared at explaining that we do not have a standard rate card because as similar as websites may seem, they are different – subtle, overt – they may be visual, they may be functional but no website is exactly a clone of another.

In order to establish a client’s needs, our first step is always to obtain a brief. This is a clear indication of the client’s needs in order to establish the key function and purpose of the website. Briefs tend to morph after the initial briefing meeting because we ask our clients questions that give direction and meaning to the process, more often than not, questions they had not thought relevant to the project.

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History of Coca-Cola logo

5 signs you need to refresh you logo

Your logo is very important, but, if you have had it for a while it might be time to refresh it. How do you know when it is time? Here are five quick pointers:

  1. You no longer do what you did when you designed your logo

This is of note because many logos are used as euphemisms for what the company does. It stands to reason then that if you logo says steel mill and now you do diamond mining, you should change the logo.

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Importance of Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) in Selling Your Property

CGI in real estate means the production of Computer Generated Images of a property for the presentation to potential clients before its completion.

It is the application of Computer Graphics to show interior architecture, design details, lighting, atmosphere and even the property within the environment, the gardens, garage, pool and more.

Floor plans are also brought to life using renders.

Below are but a few reasons of how Computer Generated Imagery works in your favor in the sale of your property.
Firstly, Computer Generated Imagery helps in visualizing technical concepts that would be difficult to illustrate in any other way.

This gives clients the opportunity to visualize living in that particular home.

Secondly, it is a useful way to create very high quality photo-realistic illustration.
Architectural visualizations give a professional, sharp and artistic edge to any real estate commercial presentation.

Thirdly, it is inexpensive and allows a single artist to produce content without the hiring of extras for crowd scenes, expensive set pieces or props.

Fourthly, Computer Generated Imagery’s visual effects are more controllable than other more physically based processes such as constructing miniatures for effect shots because it allows the creation of images that would not be feasible using any other technology.

Lastly, unlike hand-drawn animations, Computer Generated Imagery is time efficient and believable.

With Computer Generated Imagery there is the ability to go in and out of scenes and move images or objects not wanted without distorting the background or surrounding images.

All these make CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) really important while selling property for it gives clients the possibility to consider details such as dimensions and interior design options.

Thereby you get to present to your clients with exactly what they are to receive way before the completion of the project.

– Wamuyu Kariuki

5 aspects of all a great company profiles

Company profiles are a great tool to introduce your business to other business people. Often you will be told, “send us your profile and when we have something we will call you.”

What happens next?

When your profile arrives in the prospective clients inbox the person who receives it does three key things.

The first is determine if you used MS Word or if you care enough about your business to have a professionally designed profile. By having your profile designed professionally, you show potential clients that you care about what you do and how your Company will be perceived. This shows them that you will also care about the work you do for them when the time comes.

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Masaku Sevens it can only get better

All the commentary on the Masaku Sevens made us casually look into it and see what went right and what went wrong.

The hypothesis was that it was a rugby tourney and there would be a big party afterwards. The event was sponsored by Tusker. There was to be two tonnes of free nyama choma. All were welcome.

What happened seems to us to be the following: The event was way over subscribed and too many people headed to Machakos, too many showed up. Most were headed to Machakos for the after party and not the actual rugby. A few people decided to cut loose which offended many people, including John Mututho who threatened to cancel the event.

Clearly Masaku Sevens needs a lot of polishing, but, plenty of Kenyans want to be involved and be part of it – the organisers will need to improve a lot…

For us though, the biggest most important thing that needs to be improved is the actual event branding. The event’s logo is the following:


Clearly the event relies heavily on sponsors so the logo fails on many levels, ranging from brandability to simplicity.

We spent a little while coming up with something simple that can work on uniforms and can work very well with sponsor brands as well.

Have a look:

Masaku Sevens Logo 1-01

With sponsor logos:

Masaku Sevens Logo 1-02

Masaku Sevens Logo 1-03

Masaku Sevens Logo 1-04

Masaku Sevens Logo 1-05


Compared to the old logo:

Masaku Sevens Logo 1-06

Thanks for reading.

By Job Ballard

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