Sunday, 20 May 2018

Engaging a Brand Ambassador for your next Fashion Campaign

Choosing a Brand Ambassador for a campaign, product or a company can be a daunting task to undertake. The success of your engagement with a brand ambassador will be measured by your overall campaign goal. Over the years, we have seen companies engage several personalities from various industries such as sports, entertainment, lifestyle and business for one campaign or the other.

It is evident that brand ambassadors play very vital roles in influencing consumer perception, promotional strategies. Studies have over 70% of brand perception by consumers is determined by the experience with an individual representative of the brand.

They are either engaged to become the face of a particular product, a campaign or a company by leveraging on their personality and following both online and offline to influence, communicate, promote or drive consumers to action. These partnerships most times are meant to increase awareness and generate consumer appeal, trust and possibly eventual purchase depending on the ultimate goal of the campaign.

In some instances, things could get out of hand with a brand ambassador which could have dire consequences on the company’s reputation and in turn affect the company’s revenue.

In avoidance of any crisis and damages, companies and brand managers need to consider the following in deciding who, why and how they should sign up that brand ambassador.

Do a thorough research

Before ever settling on who to engage for a brand ambassador role, make sure to do a thorough background check of who the person is. Know who they are, what they do, what they represent and their values. Review their history and past affiliations with other brands. Be sure the person has a good track record that will make consumers trust him or her and which will certainly be translated onto your product. Consider someone who is trust worthy and can represent your brand at all times. Your research should also answer questions such as; Does he or she appeal to your target market? Does the person have tendency to drive consumer decision to purchase? Once these are answered in the affirmative, then you are good to go.

Consider someone who is media and consumer friendly

Brand ambassadors must be media-friendly and relate to all persons across board. They must be able to answer questions about your product and speak confidently and directly about your brand to the media and also help you in achieving your entire communication and brand goal. Additionally, they should be able to properly deliver your message to the right target market. Being in a social media and technological era, it will be an added advantage to have someone who has a good following and engagement on social media.

Clearly state his or her scope of work

Once you have settled on who you want to sign up for as your brand ambassador, clearly spell out their scope of work in a written document that binds his or her deliverables, timelines, and KPI’s etc. With this done, the brand ambassador understands the magnitude and scope of the work before work commences.

Provide detailed Messaging Guide

Providing them with a messaging guide will be in place to ensure that they know what to say, when to say it and which medium they ought to say it. A messaging guide also sees to it that the right information being conveyed to your intended target market. The messaging should be relateable and done to reflect the personality’s way of doing and saying things, that way its original as possible.

Sign a Memorandum of Understanding or Contract

Having a binding document is very crucial when working with a brand ambassador for your business or product. Many a times, people do not take this aspect seriously and eventually find themselves in legal battles. The contract should clearly spell out the legal ramifications should either party default on their obligations as carried out in the binding document. Issues of exclusivity and default should all be clearly agreed upon before appending a signature onto the document. When not sure, do consult a legal practitioner to assist you on that.

Have a Crisis Communication Plan

No one expects a crisis in any business venture, but the unexpected always happens. It will be best to have a plan in place to deal with such issues rather than to be caught off guard and unprepared. A crisis communication plan will be a road map to guide you in dealing with any issue that will arise as a result of your partnership with the brand ambassador. It will direct how to manage and communicate your way out of the ‘mess’ created. A crisis management specialist can help you get a plan in place.

Photocredit: Google Image

Faith Senam Ocloo
Fashion Public Relations
Fashion I Beauty I Lifestyle I Arts

Sunday, 13 May 2018

Challenges of being in the Spotlight as a Fashion Business Owner

Just like the entertainment industry, being in the spotlight in the fashion industry comes with challenges as well. Typically in Ghana, designers are seldomly seen except during fashion shows and events. Most of them are busy working behind the scenes creating designs and even doing all other jobs.

They have hesitations about being in the spotlight. As a PR person, I have heard and worked with clients telling me how they dread being in the spotlight. Among some of the things they say include wanting people to know the product and not themselves, they feel they are not yet ready for the spotlight and all the ‘drama’ that comes with it, it comes with a lot of pressure they are not ready for.

Undoubtedly, being in the spotlight can be quite frustrating and consuming. It also means there is a lot of pressure on you to begin to look and act a certain way just because you feel everyone else is watching.

In an era where consumers are becoming more complex, there is the need to connect with your community. Consumers of your product or service don’t just want to know who is behind their favorite brand but also demand to know what they do and how they do it. They want to be able to reach out and connect with owners.

You will be wrong to think that your community doesn’t want to know you and to think that you can get by with hiding in the background while your brand thrives. Guess what, you are your brand and if you want people to connect with it and believe in it, you can’t pretend you don’t exist.

While being in the spotlight could offer opportunities to the brand such as creating visibility, being able to connect with your consumers and tapping into your spotlight and driving them into action(purchase), it can also come with some challenges if not carefully managed. You may also consider the following:

No privacy

Being in spotlight means your everyday life is being laid before the public domain for people to talk about. You should also know that people will be very much interested in your successes at the same time your losses and embarrassing moments. Your privacy is taken from you with anyone connected to the brand in any way feeling they ought to know what is happening in your life and are unapologetic about that.

Lost sense of Self

A lot of celebrities find themselves loosing their own self and their personal values by being in the spotlight. This is because they are compelled to live a certain way because of the constant thought of someone watching them. Loosing your sense of self could also be detrimental to your overall brand goals and objectives.

Imposter Syndrome

Bewildered by their fame, many celebrities begin to create a far from perfect image of themselves. Knowing that it is unrealistic, there is very little they can do to change that because they have been swamped into this whole stardom and are being led into faking what they are not. The loss of the spotlight after being at the center of attraction and attention can leave people feeling bereft of purpose and importance.

While it may be advisable to push your self out there because you want to be able to connect with your customers or fans, you should invest in managing the spotlight such that it doesn’t get you into a myriad of problems.

This article originally appeared in the Business and Financial Times Newspaper on 29/03/2018

Image Credit: Google Images

Faith Senam Ocloo
Fashion Public Relations
Fashion I Beauty I Lifestyle I Arts

Monday, 30 April 2018

In April I get to start all over again; with this year I am 'Owning My Happiness'

 In April, I get to start all over again. 

The month of April which means "to open" or blossom always has a special effect on me. For me, its another opportunity to open up to the things that thought I couldn't achieve in the last year. To take new chances and live life again because I am only alive because He kept me alive. 

To others, birthdays are simply nothing than just any regular day but for me its a special day. I wait 365 days to get to experience this day. Don't forget its not everyone who gets the chance to live another day. 

The last year had been my most challenging year yet but I did learnt some few lessons because guess what, I came out better, stronger and more content.
  • I'll please myself first 
  • I'll never to regret any decision I make no matter the circumstances
  • My happiness is a choice I must always choose to own
  • Things happen for a purpose not for nothing
  • Life isn't a race, its a journey I have already started and I will get to the intended desitination
  • That being real to myself saves me from so much stress
  • My purpose is totally different from anyone else
  • Whatever is causing me to worry or be in pain right now won't be forever. Time heals. Things change and it will pass
  • It's all about positivity
One thing I kept telling God throughout last year was not to put me to shame nor forsake me and He never did.  I'm immensely grateful for my new age because I am proud of what has become of the Faith Senam April who few years back was just a little girl with aspirations. 

Today, those aspirations are my reality, my smiles, my pain and my lessons and still my aspirations to be a better person making an impact.

This new year, I will be #OwningMyHappiness 

Thankful to all who never gave up on supporting and being there for me.

Green Gown: Zoya_233
Fascinators: YadeyJewelry
Photography: AnansePhotography
MUA: Pretty Touch_gh
Neckpiece: Egudzi 

Faith Senam Ocloo 
Fashion Public Relations 
Fashion I Beauty I Lifestyle I Arts

Saturday, 14 April 2018

When Hair Care Meets Technology with Mizani’s “Bond pHorce”

Understanding Hair Care products and the inner workings of the hair itself requires more expert guidance and direction to ensure that you are given the best care and treatment without compromise. This can be achievable if the Salon or Stylists have the necessary information and knowledge about balancing your hair and scalp with the right products.

Mizani, a professional salon-exclusive brand under L’Oréal West Africa with over 25 years of research throughout the United States and Sub-Saharan Africa has gained a unique understanding of textured hair by creating the “environment” for multiple hair transitions. Mizani, a Swahili word to mean Balance; balance of moisture for easy to maintain and strength with protein is designed as a trustworthy brand that helps women maintain their most inspirational African hairstyles.

At the launch event held at Luxury Living in Accra, Christian Nyassa, General Manager, Professional Products Division for L’Oréal, Sub-Saharan Africa explains that “we are providing healthy, easy to manage solutions for all types of hair such as relaxed hair, natural hair, weaves and braids. The idea is to elevate the profession in Ghana to make Mizani the most trustworthy brand in top Salons. We are working very hard with salons to actually build the skills.”

“Mizani is the professional authority for textured hair worldwide which provides consumers and stylists with superior and innovative salon services and product solutions to transition looks with confidence while maintaining a healthy and hair and scalp. The products are formulated with a precise balance of protein and moisture to meet the needs of all types of textured hair” press release stated.

Mizani has built a strong foundation in Africa which includes opening Mizani Institutes throughout Africa and later building a Research and Innovation Center in South Africa and a School where people get trained to become professional hairdressers with similar partnerships institutions in Nigeria.

Aimed at elevating the professional hairdresser industry in Ghana, Mizani has engaged in a series of activities since it entered the Ghanaian market approximately two years ago by creating most the trustworthy brand in salons.

One of the key introductions the brand has made is the creation of “Salon Experts” Label.  These are high standard guarantee salons trained by Mizani to offer the best services to consumers and also help them to run their businesses successfully.
Currently, there are 30 Salon Experts with plans to train more to about 60 by 2018. With the label of quality, Salons will be supervised and monitored each year to ensure that they keep up with the standard required. These Salons will be available on the Salon Locator which will provide you with the list of Salons based on your location.

Another introduction is the professional Academy which has so far trained over 400 salon professionals in product knowledge, trends and techniques to help further elevate the profession with plans underway to increase this number to 600 by end of 2018. Mizani Stylists are trained through a unique process specializing in textured hair with an emphasis on education, salon profitability and state of the art Hairdressing techniques.

The third introduction Mizani made is the Bond pHorce New Hair Care technology which was launched earlier this year. The breakthrough technology called the Bond pHorce is an innovation designed to make women aspire and realize their biggest desire which is not just to have shiny and healthy hair but also long hair.

Mizani offers a complete line of professional treatment, relaxers, shampoos, conditioners and styling products designed for all types of hair designed to meet the expanding needs to today’s global beauty consumer, and more specially the sub-Saharan consumer.

The Mizani brand and its key mission to offer professional-grade solutions without compromising the condition of hair and scalp comes in a timely fashion where many African women are still struggling to find solutions to the many hair issues being faced with especially for those of us who have completely transition from the permed hair to a complete natural hair.

Faith Senam 

This article was originally published in the Business and Financial Times Newspaper on  13/04/2018

Faith Senam Ocloo
Fashion Public Relations
Fashion I Beauty I Lifestyle I Arts

Friday, 6 April 2018

Luncheon with the ever-smiling Ghanaian Emirates Cabin Crew- Daniel Kumevor

Daniel Kumevor (Middle)
There is something captivating about Emirates Cabin Crew and their stunning and easy recognizable uniform. Being at the forefront of the airline and serving as the direct link to customers, their uniform identity has won many hearts with many desiring to have an opportunity to work there.

Daniel Kumevor is one out of over a 100 other Ghanaian working with Emirates, an award winning global airline while enjoying the best opportunities working in a multi-cultural environment and living his best lifestyle.

Currently a Supervisor In-flight Emirates, Daniel’s recounts how his remarkable journey as a Cabin Crew started off during his first flight experience with a Ghanaian Cabin Crew member in 2008 while traveling back home with 4 other colleagues from the University of Ghana on board Emirates. This lady after the boarding procedures caught up with them and encouraged them to take a chance and apply for a job on their website when they needed a job.

Two years after that encounter, Daniel decided to apply for a job with Emirates and to his amazement, he was selected among a few other Ghanaians to begin training and subsequently commence work as a Cabin Crew.

Looking all dapper in his rich chocolate color suit featuring a subtle cream and red pinstripe complemented with a cream-colored shirt and a brown tie that has diagonal red strips, Daniel shares his experience and life with fellow social media influencers and journalists over lunch at the Golden Tulip Hotel.

Daniel explains his role as a Supervisor as one that involves being well knowledgeable about all the procedures. “I always go in anytime they need help to offer assistance. Because I have been through all the ranks so I know what works and offer assistance. You are trained on the service flow and how to talk to your customers such as phrases to use for the President or a Minister and you need to be able offer them first class treatment.”

For Daniel, aside going through all the trainings on how to dress and look good at all times, his most gratifying moment is to make people happy and so he always wears a smile no matter what. Even when dealing with angry customers, all he has to do is to smile “My smile, I have never had one (in reference to angry customers), really, I always think, you don’t know what really happened to the person, he might not be smiling because maybe he had an issue at the airport or maybe had a bad day”. All he has to do is to welcome the person with a smile.

While he is flying across the entire world for mostly 22 days and only gets off for about 8 days, Daniel also finds fulfillment in supporting and working with other colleagues in making an impact in the lives of others through donation and charity events.

The Emirates experience which puts your Safety, Entertainment and Service first also compliments his natural genes as a Ghanaian identified mostly as hospitable, honest, humble and very happy people.

Myself and Laurie
Myself and Yaa Somuah

Myself and Daniel

Listening attentively while Daniel shares his life at Emirates, one thing I found really heartwarming is to see a Ghanaian really making Ghana proud and happily making an impact on peoples lives even if its just a smile because a smile is all it takes to make impact.

This post was originally published in the Business & Financial Times 6/4/2018

Faith Senam Ocloo 
Fashion Public Relations 
Fashion I Beauty I Lifestyle I Arts

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

My Natural Hair begins a New Journey with Carol’s Daughter

For some of us, starting the natural hair journey has been characterized with mixed feelings. Especially because of the texture of our hair which is locally referred to as “Kpenkpeshi”, we are always stressed out with what to do with our hair.

Recently, I chanced on the newly launched Carol’s Daughter in Ghana.

Let me gist you with a little background about Carols’ Daughter. It was started in Brooklyn in 1993 by Lisa Price who was encouraged by her mother Carol to begin making hair and body products from home. She took up the suggestion named her product Carol’s Daughter.
Carol and Lisa
Carol’s Daughter is “made with love” as an organic beauty product with natural ingredients blended with benefits that our hair needs. 

I found 2 variants that you will love too; The Hair Milk and Black Vanilla.
The Hair Milk comes in Cleansing Conditioner and Original Leave-in Moisturizer which works for those of us with the Kinks, Curls, Coils and Waves. 
The Black Vanilla also comes in Sulfate-free Shampoo, Hydrating Conditioner, Leave-in Conditioner and Hair Smoothie which works well for Dry, Dull and Brittle Hair.

The exciting thing about these product is that they have no sulfate, no parabens, no mineral oil and no artificial colors and works well for all textures and all types of hair.

I will be going for the Hair Milk and can’t wait to share my results with you.

Grab them at the Maybeline Stand at Accra Mall and also at Viva Boutique in Osu, opposite Firefly or hook me up on how to get one.

Carol’s Daughter, Born in Brooklyn, Made with Love, Now in Africa

Faith Senam Ocloo 
Fashion Public Relations 
Fashion I Beauty I Lifestyle I Arts

Friday, 2 March 2018

Your Fashion Brand Needs a Signature Style

The fashion industry globally has witnessed many famous fashion designers from major cities such as Paris, Milan, New York to London who have worked tirelessly to create distinct signature style over a period of time.

Having a signature style that comes through explicitly or in subtle ways through every piece of fashion item that your brand produces is one of the best things you can do for your fashion brand.

We can think of famous fashion brands such as Burberry, Christian Louboutin, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Nike and a host of many other designers with unique signatures that make it easy to identify them.

One thing, I stress on when interacting with emerging designers in Ghana is to invest time in understanding their brand by making sure they have fully answered out the what, who, why, where, when and how of their brand. For instance what their brand is about, why they are making these products, who they are targeting, where they will make it available, when they need to make it available and how they are going to market the brand. Once these are clear from the beginning, they can be able to work out their signature style.

I personally think a lot of designers in Ghana are mainly driven by passion and have not achieved creating unique signature styles that make them stand out.

Having a signature style for your fashion brand involves a continuous effort at creating a distinct brand look and feel over a period of time. For instance in Ghana, the late Kofi Ansah is known to pioneer modern African styles and design with his design signature which includes the unique use of quilting, embroidery and appliqués. 

Why is it important for your brand to have a signature style?

Gives you an identity

Having a signature style gives you a name, it gives you an identity. One that is easily recognizable because it makes you stand out among the crowd. Getting noticed in the fashion world is quite a tough one especially for new entrants who may have a lot of work to do to get noticed.

Being able to create a signature requires that you invest in charting a path that is unique while playing around with lots of designing elements such as colors, prints, patterns, silhouettes, embroidery etc and finally settling on what works for you. Even your own personal style could be an influence in creating your kind of style.

Helps Create Emotional Connection

When your brand is unique, you are able to attract your intended target audience. These customers over time become connected to the brand and begin to trust your brand. This trust is built by aligning with the emotional values of your audience.

 Having a signature style helps you to achieve that connection with your customers who become your tribe and work to support your journey and success.

Build a Tribe around your brand

We all know it’s not easy to break through in the fashion industry. With new talents sprouting every minute, having a signature helps you build a tribe of customers who repeatedly patronize your pieces collection after collection.
In the end, the primary function of any brand is to sell their product or services and that can only be achieved when these customers can identify themselves with the brand’s offering while adding value to their lives.

With a growing demand for fashion designers globally, the industry is always on a look out for best designers. If you want to earn a distinct place in the industry, then you have to develop a unique taste and style and pay close heed to creating your signature.

This post was originally published in the Business & Financial Times 2/3/2018

Photocredit: Fashion Forum Africa (FFG4)
Outfit: Nadrey Laurent

Important Notice: Currently ongoing is the Sunsum Sessions at Ano, 1 Lokko Road in Osu from the 17th of February to the 10th of March, 2018 which highlights and celebrates some of the works and designs of the late Kofi Ansah with Clothes lent by Fashion Forum Africa.

If you are in Accra, you may want to check out some of his amazing works at the exhibition.

Faith Senam Ocloo 
Fashion Public Relations 
Fashion I Beauty I Lifestyle I Arts