Leveraging trends as a brand: The case of Oswald’s ‘Our Day’ letter

Leveraging trends as a brand: The case of Oswald's ‘Our Day’ letter
Francis GIDIGA

Being smart enough to analyze social marketing statistics and facts to better position your brand either as a market leader or a pacesetter in your industry is always a good thing but do these stats always get you the right results? Or you believe that should be a question for the gods? That’s just by the way though.

Over the past years, many brands have been able to position themselves as market leaders and seen their market shares skyrocket by monitoring, listening and tapping into online conversations or what some experts will term as social media trends. Someone may ask if these trends were industry focused? It will amaze you to know that, majority of these social media trends are not even in any way focused on any particular industry but are highly result oriented.

While this strategy is gradually becoming a global thing, some brands still find it difficult to leverage on these trends fearing backlash from community members should it backfire, but truth be told, this strategy is not always 100% guaranteed, as it is a risk that only the bold are able to take.  Just like Helen Keller stated in The Open Door, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”

In the past week, there came a daring opportunity for brands in Ghana to have leveraged on a notable trend I will be shedding light on pretty soon to create brand awareness, and position their brands as a people centered brand, but guess what? Only a handful were bold enough to make the move.

Oswald happens to be a primary four (4) pupil who wrote a detailed letter to her mother listing all the various stuff he will be needing for his “Our Day”, oh, and by the way he requested a cake for his favorite teacher. Mrs. Appiah 😊. The mum, finding the details of the letter interesting and compelling but funny at the same time, decided to share this letter with her co-worker, (@SmylyThe3rd). https://twitter.com/smylythe3rd/status/1420725590836011014?s=21

NB: In Ghana, the final day of an academic term for pupils is usually referred to as ‘Our Day’. On this day, parents and guardians usually give the best treat to their wards to mark the end of the academic term.

The co-worker, also finding the letter interesting and funny, decided to share it on their Twitter handle. Within a matter of minutes, the letter had gone viral across various social media platforms in the country, and then, there came the bold brands that were ready and willing to take a risk that could either draw backlash or affinity.

To be sincere, I felt the gamble did pay off for these brands, as many Twitter users also decided to make a Thread and mention brands that were ready and committed to supporting Oswald to celebrate a memorable ‘Our Day’. It will amaze you to know that, the Former Minister for Education and Running Mate of John Dramani Mahama in the 2020 General Election, Prof. Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang also came to the party in style, by donating the latest iPad to Oswald and promised to visit him and his classmates soon.

Even when some musicians like KiDi, Mr. Drew, and Dope Nation saw the letter, and mentioned they were going to show up to perform for the pupils on the day, some social media users thought it was a joke, but guess what? They did.

And as the brand ambassador of a Bank, KiDi just didn’t go there to perform, but to also announce that, the bank he’s working with has decided to open an investment account worth Gh¢1,000.00 for Oswald.

Don’t get carried away yet, this is only one of the many banks that opened an investment account for Oswald on the day. KiDi also leveraged on his brand ambassadorial role with Samsung to provide Oswald a Samsung Galaxy Tablet.

At the end of the day, a tall list of brands and individuals were recorded, even some of these brands and individuals ended up trending on Twitter on the day. This kind of publicity is one of the many ways brands spend millions to achieve, yet some bold brands have been able to achieve the same just by tapping into a trend and not spending a penny.

Like American rapper and entrepreneur 50 Cent reitearated in his book “Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter” it’s either you evolve or die. The truth is, trends have come to stay and to influence consumer behavior. So as a brand manager, are you willing to step up for your brand by leveraging these trends or are you going to sit on the fence and watch these opportunities slide?

>>>The writer is a Digital Account Manager at Whoopro, Ghana’s premier influencer marketing platform which connects brands with influencers and provides real-time analytics for brands while helping influencers earn.

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