How to have a more productive 2016 – understanding the workforce part I

If you have a stake in any business, your focus is always on how to grow the business. You spend time and money examining and re-examining your business model, trying to maximize on its strengths while mitigating its weaknesses at all times.

So you recruit a team to work with you in building the business because – its success means that everyone is gaining. Because you have hired skilled personnel, you imagine that it will be easy to work out the profit dynamics vs. timelines and beat the money making obstacles. You therefore hold meetings with your staff, discuss these details and come up with strategies that everyone feels that they can commit to working towards.

At the end of the month, the hours worked don’t correspond with the expected outputs and the to-do’s appear to be piling up with a client in vs. client not out ratio that is alarming. This in turn affects cash flow and everyone is unhappy especially the business owners.

This is every small business owner’s dilemma:

  1. High staff turnover – because the work is ‘too much’ , ‘too hard’, or the team is unable to self-motivate and requires a lot of supervision and micro management
  2. Unmet deadlines – poor planning and prioritizing of tasks,
  3. No team spirit – The individual staff have a ME FIRST approach to work thus there is no synergy within team to maximize efficiency and productivity by complementing one another’s efforts.
  4. Social media addiction – perpetual socializing on all social media platforms at the expense of productivity at work
  5. Lack of discipline – the list of incomplete tasks is perpetually growing

We spent time trying to understand why the items in the list were so consistent for many businesses and discovered why. You see, today’s workforce falls into four distinct categories:

  1. The Baby boomers
  2. Generation X
  3. Generation Y/ The Millennials
  4. Generation Z

Four (4) reasons big brands jumped on the Royal baby congratulations band wagon

Comparing the creative ways in which many Companies in the UK chose to jump on the welcoming of the royal baby and comparing it to the sad and characteristically similar manner in which Kenyan Companies chose to welcome President Obama during his visit to Nairobi, it was disappointing to see how little creative effort went into the Kenyan version of adverts most plainly stating their welcome as if the entire creative community was completely bi-passed in a bid to ‘save costs’ on such a ‘simple design matter’. I truly hope the same mistake will not be made by Companies hoping to make public ANY message to the Pope when he makes his visit. Engage the creatives and you will never go wrong, also, any publicity intent should be thoroughly analysed and taken full advantage of, always!

  1. To flaunt creative ideas aside of the brand guidelines

For Companies tightly bound by their brand standards dictating minute details of advert design and limiting creativity of design of various collateral, this is an opportunity to go all out and do something that even the brand guidelines could not anticipate – the birth of royalty, Obama comes to town.

British Airways


  1. For increased brand visibility

Trending topics are good for SEO and visibility because they have a high number of clicks. Audiences will normally click through as many different links to a trending topic in order to receive perspectives of as many news sources as possible. Because of this, users will “see right through” insincere attempts by brands to take advantage of a trending topic, if your brand is considering this type of marketing it must turn the “authentic and genuine gauge up a notch”

Some identified fails sound like this:

estate agents Gavelsmotors

  1. To be part of the unspoken competition between brands with consumers as the unwitting judges

This kind of creative publicity provides a platform for brands to put on their creative hats and step out and “strut their stuff” alongside each other in an unplanned competitive atmosphere that gets them judged by a larger audience than their target market. Brands that don’t have the natural affinity to the topic need to be more strategic and clever in their marketing. For instance, the birth of a second royal baby is in line with Pampers UK brand language and core product, not so much for COCA COLA.

Coca Cola Pampers

  1. A chance to be gauged outside of their core business

A larger audience due to the nature and level of appeal of the trending topic, genuine creative output has the ability to effectively create an emotional connection to your brand with a new psychographic. The ones who admire the brand for its creative innovation, they may not consume the product or service but may be quick to recommend the brand to users of similar products because they are drawn to the brand style. This creative output must of course be sustained beyond the trending hot bag.

royal toastNissanJPG

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.

Read More

Motivational Posters for Sankara’s Staff

Westlands based Sankara Hotel is a premier location for rest and business. The hotel was created to cater to visitors to Nairobi who are accustomed to the best things in life.

To keep the high level of quality up within the hotel, Sankara asked AKSENT to develop a series of posters it would use to remind staff of the lofty high standards they hope to achieve and maintain everyday.