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Jul 24, 2014 / 1 note

#Event Moment : To Network For Your Net Worth…..

Note: This particular #Event Moment was influenced by an alarming feeling as a female entrepreneur when we consider our net worth as we build brand recognition and awareness through event creation.  Today’s conversation is coming from a women’s perspective focused on networking based on social events.  Sorry to those who are in need of conceptual and business ideas for the event industry.  I got y’all in two weeks!

As I evaluate my career and business during my mid-year review, I wondered where my brand will be in next four months.  Your visibility is an important factor in the life of a business owner/entrepreneur.  The sort of events you attend and the people you meet is critical in your survival as a brand creator.  If your business is looking for corporate brands, do you think a networking event at a strip club will offer you a positive increase towards your net worth? In my opinion, no.

For women in the business industry, we need to be careful about who we associate with and where we go. I know we make good intentions to be seen as a professional of valor and favor. But if you are at a strip club or after hours joint, you cannot expect be seen as a valuable woman of faith in business. You will be seen as a groupie with a brand.  A true woman of business wants to be seen at events that will enrich and improve her brand in manner that will create the proper long term net worth her brand needs to survive, socially and financially.

I’m not saying this to be mean especially for my younger female business owners. I speak with experience.  In the past, I tried to be an agent of change by attempting to host a quarterly networking event in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.  I felt I damaged my relationship with my younger brother when working together as Indigo7 Marketing and Design due to my attempts to create a network of associates through the event.

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 In 2011, I worked on the initial networking event to introduce my brother and myself to the Design, Marketing and Event industries in the Metroplex.  I heard the city was buzzing about the event until a person called to get the event cancelled. The person identified themselves as a staff member of the seminary I attended.  Now, the contact at the venue did not say a thing to me about the conversation nor the meeting that took place about my business and the event with the individual who called. Supposedly, the person who came representing the seminary was not the actual person. The woman was black. The staff member was a white woman. Now, you’re thinking, what the hell? I didn’t realize my business was having some sort of effect at the seminary. The event never happened.  No one would RSVP.  Really, I wished I did more research on the staff, faculty and students who attended the school.   

As an event planner/designer, I do not answer “business” emails at 2 am. I ignore events that have some sort of sexual implications. I’m 34 years old. I know better. I understand what that means.  Really, I realized recently it had a great deal to do with who I was connected to in Memphis, St. Louis, Atlanta, NYC and Dallas. Even though, I pride myself with holding myself with class and distinction, others in my former crew didn’t.

Ladies, I tell you this story to tell you be careful with who you work with, what venues you work with and go to.  Not everyone has the opportunity to enjoy my conversation. I am quiet with many people now.  Ministry is not an option anymore. All because one minor networking event…..

I will only do events for other brands not my own.  Maybe, that sounds crazy. I just don’t want the drama……You have to be able to know your network to dictate what your net worth will be.

Not all that glitters is gold…. Quality over Quantity!

Ndidi

Picture:  Gordon Anelechi Onukogu

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Jul 23, 2014

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Jul 21, 2014 / 2 notes

#Branding Moment: Nestle Wants Healthy

As everyone evaluates its brand during a year of uncertainty, Nestle, Inc has jumped on the bandwagon of brand refocus and change.  Known for its confection division, the brand wants to leave the Butterfinger and Crunch candy bars behind to focus on brands like Gerber and PureLife water.  To quote Ad Age, the goal is to change consumer perception of Nestle from a “trusted chocolate company” to a “recognized and trusted food and beverage, nutrition, health and wellness company.”

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Right now, Nestle is falling short in the chocolate industry. Due to a recent transaction of third chocolate Leader Lindt involving the purchase of Russell Stover Candies, Nestle is running towards fourth place. Hershey and Mars are the first and second leaders of the mass chocolate sector, respectively.

With those kind of numbers, why shouldn’t Nestle change focus from candies to health and wellness products? It is important to remember that Nestle has been working to transform its viewpoint for about a decade.  The nutrition bar, Powerbar was created by Nestle but has recently been sold to Post Holdings.  Currently, the brand is working to change the Nestle’s brand mission and vision domestically by presenting Gerber, Purelife, Nesquik and Sunshine in a different light to consumers.

My response:  With dismal chocolate and confection sales, I believe that Nestle is making the right move. You cannot tell your consumer that you’re for healthy living when your candies and chocolate are contributing to his or her increasing waistline. I would have kept the Powerbar line, though.  It was a strong brand for Nestle and had great consumer base. I’m not sure if it was supply chain issues or problems with promotional and marketing strategies.  My only concern would be the promotional idea of focusing on a “healthy” Nesquik. Yes, it is popular with young families but is it really something deemed “health and wellness”.

I wish Nestle the best in creating a domestic branding strategy to move its focus from chocolate to a health and wellness vision and mission. I do wonder if Nestle has been able to see a change in its consumer, globally. Something drastic would need to happen for consumers to see Nestle in a different light in North America.  In my experience in the consumer goods industry in US, customers want products that will increase their lifespan and easy to use.

Ndidi

Sources: Ad Age/Bloomberg

Picture: Google

Jul 18, 2014

#FranklyFriday: I Woke Up Like This…..

What does it mean to “Embrace Your Pretty”, really?  For women who hold the title of Entrepreneur, Executive, Community Leader and Senior Pastor, the conversation can be very deconstructive.  It dawned on me the other day after a conversation that I was deemed a certain type of woman and many wanted me to “Embrace my pretty”.  Well, folks! I have but my beauty incorporates certain qualities that you may not find appealing.  For a woman of ethics and intellect, is it not possible that we embrace those qualities first before pulling out the pretty card?

I get it. Many of you find me attractive but I don’t feel that it should be a hindrance to my position in the world.  In a conversation with a dear friend, the dialogue went like this:

Friend: People just want you to be happy for change, Ndidi.

Ndidi (Me):  I am happy.  And what the hell do you mean “for change”?  What the Fuck?!?

Friend: People are just outdone that you not wifed up and without children.

Me:  Oh, no! The world is coming to an end. My God.  Jesus Wept….

So I guess the rumor this week is Ndidiamaka “Ndidi” C. Onukogu is depressed because she doesn’t have any money, husband and kids…..damn! Get the fuck out here.  Do you know there is a war in Israel we should be concerned with? My lack as “they” call it is none of their business. So you telling me that it is because”they” don’t think I embraced my “pretty”, yet?

Friend: In their view, Ndidi, yes.  (as he laughs)

Me: I’m glad you find hilarity in it……

Friend: To be honest with you, I don’t find it funny due to the drastic attitude change that many of those who called you friend, wifey, associate, colleague and family are currently taking to make you “happy”.  You just need to keep your eyes and ears open and heart ready for any foolishness that may come your way in hopes to make you whole, as “they” say.  I have listened and been told about several who are trying to manipulate you to stop you from running your business so that you can be seen as “pretty” woman, again. They don’t have the same understanding of beauty as you and I have, Ndidi.

Me:  (silence)

Friend: I say this to you so that you don’t get dismayed about your future.  You’re on the right track even though it doesn’t appear that way.  You know what you need. “They” want to give you what you want. You have to make a decision to stand firm in your beliefs. You say that you don’t live for the world, anymore. Prove it…… Walk that walk…..

A fool will bring you the blessing not a fan.  Trust me……I have been watching.

Me: (Shaking my Damn head) Ok, I guess!  In my head, I am thinking, “Here we go again……”

My purpose of bring this conversation to you is that I realize that I am not alone in this.  It is disappointing to professional women to be told that we are not pretty because we aspire to leave legacies not empires.  We aspire to use our intelligence and expertise to compete instead using our womanly figure to make stuff happening.  Yes, I know some of you are thinking, “You, professional women, could get a little farther if you give up the p*!*y to bring revenue to the brand.”  What does that say about me in the end, though?  It is always the long term advantage that I want. Short term doesn’t fulfill me. I want to leave wealth and favor behind not trashiness and classlessness at the front door. 

I believe that you can have style and beauty as a professional woman.  I don’t feel that we have to decide to be pretty one day and then use my smarts to make due the next. We can use all of qualities, amicably. I just want be taking seriously! This is not a game. I never took any position to find a mate.  Everything that I put my hands on has been done with love and compassion for the person I was working for not to present myself “whole” to a man.

I wake up like this every day. I do this to fulfill my happiness not for the world. It is important for me to be seen equal to my male counterpart. I refused to embrace my “pretty” inappropriately to receive fame, favor and forture. My beauty is just a piece of the puzzle. A husband and child will not complete it.  What will make me complete?  Establishing a sole proprietorship that is successful and thriving because I did what I felt was right and honorable to establish my name and brand globally. 

For those complaining about my “wholeness”, here is my response:

At the end of the day, your opinions don’t mean shit, in my book. Check yourself before you wreck yourself. Pretty fades but beauty last for a lifetime….

Embracing my Beauty,

Queen Ndidi

Pictures: Google

Jul 10, 2014

#Event Moment: Pop-Up Tents

For those in the consumer goods industry, brands are coming up with new and unique ways to reach its customers by giving them opportunities to touch and feel product.  Nowadays, the concept of “the Pop-Up Shop” has become commonplace.  The Pop-Up Shop is very different from other experiential events in that the consumers get the chance to meet the brand’s designer/leadership along with purchasing product or receiving free gratis for his or her attendance.

To expand on this concept, a new idea has risen from the Pop-Up Shop called the Pop-Up Tent. The difference between the Pop-Up Shop and the Pop-Up Tent is the locale.  Most Pop-Up Shops are done indoors while Pop-Up Tents are done outdoors.  The Pop-Up Tent is really just a Pop-Up Shop underneath a tent.

In my opinion, the décor and product will be what motivates a consumer to stay for a Pop-Up Tent.  The outdoor opportunity will give you more of an advantage to set the tone for the brand’s mission and theme.  With a Pop-Up Shop, you can be limited by the décor and arrangement of the venue.   It depends on the scope of engagement wanted between the brand and consumer.  For an intimate and conversational setting, a Pop-Up Shop would be feasible.  For a more sociable and festive environment, a Pop-Up Tent would be a possibility.

With every experiential event, the budget is a factor. The bigger the event, the more money needed.  The construction of the tent may cost more due to labor costs while the venue is readily available without much need for a design change.  

This is definitely something to consider for those in retail, fashion, and beauty for a possible consumer-focused event.

Ndidi

Pictures: Pinterest

Jul 7, 2014

#Branding Moment: Four Seasons’ Extraordinary Experiences

When I’m in Event Planner/Designer mode, I always make a point to keep up with venues that I would propose to clients as event venues.  While scrolling through my personal Twitter account (@itsndidio) a few months back, I noticed a sponsored ad from the Four Seasons Hotel brand.  The tweet was engaging potential customers with the idea of coming to the hotel chain for Private Jet Journeys. This was news to me.  I was shocked. In my research, I have yet to find any other lodging brand, luxury to moderate, providing that kind of travel opportunity to consumers.   The Four Seasons brand is known for its opulence and luxury content. Why not go the extra mile and provide the consumers with a different type of travel prospect?

According to the Four Seasons website, the Private Jet Journeys are available to its customers via its Extraordinary Experiences concept. It is definitely remarkable.  The concept speaks to a demographic that is looking for more than just a vacation. He or she is looking for a travel encounter to remember.  From taking a walk through the Serengeti via the Four Seasons Safari Lodge in Tanzania to having your very own Fireworks show at the Four Seasons St. Louis, this lodging brand is attempting to leave its consumers with a moment in his or her travel history that will motivate the consumer to consider Four Seasons for all of lodging and travel needs. 

For more information about the Four Seasons Extraordinary Experiences, please visit http://www.fourseasons.com/extraordinaryexperiences

My Response: 

The Four Seasons Extraordinary Experiences is definitely a force to reckoning with in regards to other luxury lodging brands availability to travel.  Really, I have more questions than a response.  I see great things with the Extraordinary Experiences for Four Seasons.  My main concern in regards to the opportunity is the consumers’ understanding of the travel experiences through Four Seasons.  Will they see it as something that is for all of its customers or for a certain type of consumer within its clientele?  Personally, I see it for a certain group of consumers within the Four Seasons’ clientele.

The questions lingering after learning about the Extraordinary Experiences are the following:

  • How many people utilize the Four Seasons for travel and lodging, overall?
  • Due to the price of the private jet journeys ($69,000-$119,000 per person), which segment of its consumers encompass the ideal traveler for the journeys?
  • By creating the Extraordinary Experience option, is Four Seasons meeting a need that was mentioned by its consumers?

I commend Four Seasons for taking a step of out of the usual by creating experiences to help its consumers have memorable moments through travel.

Ndidi

Source: Four Seasons Hotel

Jul 4, 2014

No #FranklyFriday: Happy 4th of July

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Happy 4th of July from Indigo7 Marketing & Events! There will be no #FranklyFriday today due to the Holiday.  Be on the lookout via Tumblr for its return on Friday, July 18th.  Have a safe weekend!

Ndidi

Photo: Google 

Jul 2, 2014 / 1 note

FYI: Yahoo Contributor Network is No Longer

Good day, all! 

Below is an email that I received from Yahoo! in regards to the Yahoo! Contributor Network: 



Dear Contributors,

You made the past nine years incredible. At Yahoo, we’re focused on making daily habits more inspiring and entertaining. That means we’re constantly reviewing our products and experiences and, in some cases, we have to make tough decisions to no longer support a product. As part of our ongoing effort to sharpen our focus, on July 31, 2014,Voices.Yahoo.com will be shut down; on August 15, we will make the final Performance Payment before Contributor.Yahoo.com closes. With the exception of content you provided to Yahoo under a work for hire license, or unless Yahoo arranges differently with you, we will remove from Yahoo all content published through Yahoo Contributor Network and rights for all of your Yahoo Contributor Network content will revert to you.

We know you have a lot of questions. Please refer to this FAQ for details.

It has been such an incredible privilege to share your talents with the world over these past nine years. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.

-The Yahoo Contributor Network Team

Now, I am not sure where this leaves me right now. Earlier this year, I ceased my relationship with Yahoo! Contributor Network due to non-payment and the concept of missing and/or misplaced hits.  Apparently, the entity already removed content without discussing it with me. In the meantime, please feel free to reminisce. Go to http://contributor.yahoo.com/user/1702249/ndidiamaka_onukogu.html to read the available content. 

When one door closes, another opens. Thanks, Yahoo! 

Ndidi

Jun 26, 2014

Update: I’m on Linkedin…..

Yesterday, I receive a congratulatory email from Linkedin inviting me to publish my content on its site. I’m interested to say the least. To be very honest, I did not initiate conversation with the social media entity to publish my content nor do I know why Linkedin sent the email to me. My connections are at 72 people strong, right now.  

For the next 6 months, I will test Linkedin out to see if it will bring me more connections and/or strengthen my reputation based on my knowledge of Branding, Media and Events.

Right now, I will publish the Branding Moment and Event Moment on Linkedin and Tumblr.  Frankly Friday will exclusively be on Tumblr.  Remember, Branding Moment posts every other Monday while the Event Moment posts every other Thursday.

Here is a preview of what’s to come on Linkedin:

https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140626181334-158217052—event-moment-fish-please?published=t

 Be sure to follow me on Linkedin at http://www.linkedin.com/in/nconukogu7.

Thanks for your continued support of Indigo7 Marketing & Events!

Ndidiamaka C. Onukogu

 

Jun 26, 2014

#Event Moment: Fish, Please?

You would think the conversation of food at an event would be an easy dialogue, right? Ugh! Not so much.  It really depends on where the event planner sees themselves in the cuisine planning of the function.  There will be some who say that it is the responsibility of the client to handle while other event professionals take it as their own responsibility to handle the cuisine planning on behalf of the client.  Personally, I would like to handle food planning for the client to not confuse the venue/caterer on who is the event lead.

The dialogue between event planner, client and venue/caterer can be easier if the conversation is structured based on food and beverage availability, budget and the attendees’ dietary issues and needs. Legally, an event professional can be sued along with the client if an attendee become ill and succumb to a severe illness based on neglect from the event team.  So folks, it is important to make sure to give attendees the option to communicate with you or your client contact about his or her dietary issues.

To be honest, the dietary needs/concerns are usually:

  • Diabetic (Sugar-Free)
  • Gluten free
  • Vegan/Vegetarian
  • Kosher
  • Religious Necessity  (i.e. no pork)

It is important to sit down with your client to see what exactly they want to rely to its attendees through the cuisine presented at the event.  If it is a themed event, it would be for the sanctity of your business to provide food associated to the theme.  For formal events, think more upscale cuisine. For example, the client wants chicken give them Chicken Cordon Bleu not Fried Chicken for a formal seated dinner. There are exceptions to the rule. Remember, consider your client’s needs first then the attendees.

Besides the event décor, the food and beverage component is the second most expensive portion of a function. As the number of guests increase to attend an event; the higher the cost will be. Your budget is your guideline.

Don’t forget you will have to pay a courtesy fee for servers who help in throughout the dinner or buffet.  

It is so much more I could talk about when it comes to the cuisine planning of an event. That is just the basics. Keep in mind that communication is essential for this component to work in a successful manner for your business and client.

Ndidi

Photos: Google