MARKET INSIGHTS: WHY THE FACEBOOK GENERATION MATTERS

Fact:24-35 year olds make the largest percentage of any age group spending time online.

Question:Are brands paying attention?

Facebook has changed market dynamics.

It has changed the way we relate to each other,it has brought people from all walks of life together .Created virtual communities around interests and brands in a way that for a person who studies trends online, is simply astounding.

Almost every business is on the online wall of fame…facebook .

You no longer have to pick groceries at the supermarket ,go shopping for clothes,cosmetics or baby essentials at a brick and mortar store.

You can do it online and with the way money transfer works in Kenya…voila ..goods delivered and you did not even have to step out of your house  or office.

This trend is replicated in many other markets across Africa and in the world.

Companies,small and medium-sized businesses are now on Facebook and many have attracted their customers to their pages with offers,discounts and many other enticing goodies and freebies.

But how many of these business are paying attention to what 24-35 year olds are doing and discussing online.

This age group spends a lot of time online.

How many have sat  their marketing teams down  and discussed or even put in place plans for  what their customers will need in five or even a years time?

How many have taken in mind the changing lifestyles of these same group in 10 years time and put in place structures that will ensure they are customers for life?

When Safaricom Limited released its first quarty report,it reported that 80 billion Kenya shillings accounted for transactions between customers on its   Mpesa money transfer service.

Did you get that…. 80 billion Kenyan shillings,a third of the country’s GDP in just 6 months.

Read more about the results here and here.

With the way things online are shaping up,the next quarter will be a fantastic one for the mobile company that controls the largest percentage of the mobile money transfer market. It has more than 15 million customers registered on the mobile money transfer business.

Why focus on this age group?

These are people on their first/second jobs.

They have money to spend.

They are at crucial  periods in their lives  where major decisions like getting life partners,starting families,settling in their careers matter .

They want great service/products and are happy to pay for them.

They are creating groups based on common interests from online businesses/entrepreneurs to mummy groups to dissatisfied customer groups.

They are sharing ideas on where to get the best deals on houses,mobile devices,great discounts and venting when they get bad service.

For brands that want to keep their customers and gain more market share it means they have to be good, really good at whatever service/product they are offering.

They have to learn to anticipate what their customers need and provide it .

They have to provide a really great customer experience .

By paying attention to the lifestyle dynamics   and interests  this  generation enjoys,brands will be able to anticipate their customer needs,meet them  and survive the market place.

Let brands start listening to the online chattering going on among online communities,put their ears to the ground(figuratively of course)…it matters and in more ways than one.

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TEACHING THE CONSTITUTION TO OUR CHILDREN:THE WAY TO STOP TRIBALISM

This Saturday on the 27th of August,how many Kenyans will be popping bottles of champagne  and celebrating one year since we passed the new Constitution?Few if any and you know why,because nothing much has changed.

Except for the fact  that we have a new CJ,more judges were sworn in after going through a very open vetting process and that they   finally   get rid of the hideous wigs and cloaks they had to wear while in session,everything else remains as it was before August 27th 2010.
Things like the way we run our politics remain the same.And with an election next year,we are carrying on like we have done in the past ,basing our politics on personalities,tribal affiliations and nothing else.
How many of us have referred to the constitution in the run up to the general election?
Much as we may talk about the benefits of the new constitution i think we need to focus on the young Kenyans who still cannot vote and are in school because i think that is where the future of this country lies.
Teaching them about the Bill of  making it part of the their studies will go along way in ensuring that the next generation of Kenyans knows exactly what their parents and grand parents  voted in-a break from the past!
We should not wait for the government to start civic education ,as parents it should start in our homes.We could start with the easy stuff like the rights and fundamental freedoms they have as Kenyans and that are enshrined in the constitution.
The right to life for example, that is an easy one,that we are all equal before the law and that all women and men have the right to equal treatment  and opportunities in political,economic and cultural spheres.
Moving on would be that, no Kenyan deserves discrimination on any basis  whatsoever whether because of their sex,race,color,tribe,marital status,religion,conscience,belief or dress code.
Add to that the rights on freedom of expression so long as they do not include propaganda for war,or advocacy for hatred that constitutes ethnic incitement or is based on any form of discrimination.And that in exercising this freedom of expression the rights and reputations of others should be respected.
Too often we have had our politicians cloud our minds with tribal vitriol and it seems at least for now Kenyans have accepted their  charades as a way of life.
Yet this need not be so.
We can start changing the fortunes of our children by preaching to them the good news the constitution brings .That irrespective of their ethnic origins or gender they each have an equal stake in this country of 582,650 square kilometers.
Only in this way will we ensure that we are grooming future Kenyans free of the tribal bag loads their parents and grand parents have carried,yet make them proud of their ethnic diversity.
It will also ensure that we are grooming future leaders who will be focused on discussing issues and not tribal alliances,who will put the issues of all Kenyans before those of their tribes.
Catching Kenyans while they are young will be the best way to ensure these national values are part of the fabric of society.Can you imagine the ripple effect this will have in lets say 100 years?
Isn’t it a beautiful thing that we are seeing more and more Kenyans marrying across tribal lines even racial lines?that can be nothing but good news because soon we will not need to watch over what our politicians  or public office holders say or do just so they do not spread tribal bigotry or loot public funds.We shall have thrown off these “monkeys” of tribalism and corruption  that have  clung to our backs since independence and we can march on to a brighter future.

DELINQUENCY IN KENYAN SCHOOLS-Are parents to blame?

Discovery world has a wonderful advert on why we keep on discovering new things because if we knew it all,what would there be to discover?But this shouldn’t be the case when it comes to our children.

As a parent i have watched with a heavy heart as news media reported an increase in the number of arson attacks in schools which are perpetuated by students themselves.It is a sad day when what is meant to be a fountain of knowledge turns into a death knell for the future generations of this country.

Having in boarding school myself i must say i had a great time and in primary we had a wonderful headmistress Mrs Njue who was like a mother to the 300 or so students that we were at the time.Listening to the students air their grievances that the school authorities are to blame for the riots is hogwash.It seems to be the students are going to school in order to call the shots instead of listening to their teachers.Kenya also must be the only country in the world where parents gang up with their children to protest against school administration.This has led me to ask where the problem lies is it the principals that are the problem or the way we are raising our children.

Nowadays parents in their quest to provide a better life for their children have left the task to nannies and television.And school holidays are no longer the care free days we knew back then,they have become periods where students are spending what should be a leisurely break from studies to cram in the hope of giving the country the best student at national examinations.While appreciating the fact that examinations cannot be avoided whats is the use of having a highly intelligent individual with no morals or respect for a fellow human being.It seems to me we are breeding little monsters in the name of geniuses in our homes,thats why they feel no remorse when they burn down a school dormitory with their fellow schoolmates inside .

I think for too long,parents have been pushing the blame on school administration but really the behavior we are now seeing on national television is as a result of the lack of discipline at home and a devil may care attitude of the parents.If you carefully watch children at play it is very easy to spot the delinquent ones because they are the one picking up fights with other children as the parents watch.It is very important for a parent to play their part.If you have ever owned a dog or love pets in general it is important to know that love and discipline go hand in hand.Dogs are very good examples of this,if you let them you will have you beloved chihuahua running circles around you,but in order for them to behave any dog trainer will tell you discipline goes hand in hand with affection.Dont try to be your child’s best friend be their parent and they will thank you for it.Draw up the lines of what you expect from them and the consequences of breaking rules and they will not disappoint you.This includes admonishing them for bad behavior,get to know whom they hang out with,be an example to them of what good behavior entails and finally balance that with the affection that we all need as humans.

Kenyan parents if you are reading this,wake up to the noble task that has been handed to you by nature and lets raise up a nation of human beings who care about their neighbor.