If I started this article with the word ‘endorsement’, your reaction might be, “what’s Thapelo going to market now?”
Well, if you are alive in the 21st century, here is your reality; you have been a victim of this multi-billion rand industry. I am talking about advertising-those entertaining, annoying or persuasive 30 second ads(depending on your taste) that come on when you are watching your favourite soapie.
And if how frequent they appear on television is anything to go by, then it means they must be doing something right for the advertisers-positive ROI (return on investment)
On the subject of positive ROI, Did you actually know that it cost an advertiser, on average, about R80 000 for one 30 second ad when a soapie like Generations is playing?
And before you dismiss this article as ‘directionless thus far’ or you ask yourself, “What’s Christ
gotta do with anything?” please allow me to build on what I want to talk to you about today.
I want to talk to you about a subsection of marketing called ENDORSEMENTS.
The truth is; you don’t have to be a marketing guru (which I am) to tell that companies spend millions to billions of rands on endorsement deals. A company like Nike would pay Tiger Woods millions of rands every year just to appear in public wearing Nike gear.
Familiar faces like soccer stars, Itumeleng Khune and Simphiwe Tshabalala are paid well to advertise products like KIWI and Shield deodorants.
Ladies, you would also remember Terry Pheto on the Pond’s facial product, Connie Ferguson on Ganier and many familiar faces as well…
The question is ‘why?’ Why are companies spending so much money on endorsement deals?
The answer to this million-dollar question lies in another marketing concept called Branding. A very loose definition of branding would be, “a collection of consumers’ perception about a product/service/individual et cetera”
In other words, the premise that companies have on a strategic level is that when they use people that you love-emotionally connect with to represent their product, in the long-term, your association with those characters also transcends to their product. Eventually, when you think ‘Itumeleng Khune’, you will think ‘KIWI’
Is that not so?
Let me break it down further…
When the companies have connected with you on an emotional level…when the time comes for you to need a product or service that they offer, their products or services would be the first thing that comes to your mind.
Please read the preceding paragraph again…
Note that these companies don’t force you to buy their products or services; they just brand themselves in your mind over time, until their products or services are the only things that you can think about…
HOW DOES CHRIST COME IN THIS PICTURE?
There is a lot we can learn here when we sell Christ to our friends, colleagues, business partners and family…
Christ Branding (You heard it here first)
When people greet you in the morning, especially when everyone is grumpy and you say with a big smile “Hi, I AM BLESSED and how are you?” You are planting a seed in that mind (I am about to preach now)
When everyone in the office says, “This project cannot be done in that period.” And you say
“Give me that mountain…because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
I want to tell you, to everyone who is listening to you, a native of Nazareth, Jesus Christ is
Made known to those people without you actually preaching to them.
When everyone is failing a particular subject in varsity and you getting a distinction in it, and the people ask you, “How do you do it?” and you tell them, “It’s not how I did it but it’s whose I am
that is important”, you are telling them about the solution JESUS without you actually preaching.
In business, when everyone believes that the times are tough and you can’t even break-even, and you, contrary to the prevailing anthem, confess that it is He (Christ) who gives you the ability to produce wealth, you are branding Christ to whoever is listening to you.
You are probably saying…Thapelo, what are you trying to say?
Here is what I am saying; you have infinite opportunities to brand Christ to in the minds of your friends and family. And like the companies I spoke about earlier; when the people find themselves in trouble, the first person that they will run to is the one who is branded in their minds.
I have news for you…in this era, we are not going to force the gospel into people’s hearts, but our Range Rovers will speak on our behalf. Our houses will speak on our behalf. The Armani I wear would preach that Christ is Lord. The perfume I am wearing will compel you to ask, “how do you do it?” and I will tell you, it is whose I am.