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Aug 7, 2014

#Event Moment: Blood on the Dance Floor

As I was working this past Saturday night, I was multitasking while watching the season finale of Starz Network’s Power (Sidebar: If you don’t know what I am talking about, check it out on DVR).  During the finale, a brief moment of that episode bothered me as an Event Planner/Designer.  The scene begins in the midst of a Vogue Magazine party where a waitress got stabbed to death by an unknown assailant. It happened in the blink of an eye.  Then sudden chaos transpired in that particular scene.  

In reality, as an Event Planner/Designer, the conversation about the well being and security of guests has fallen to the waste side.  I know that many of you may find that scene unrealistic due to the target audience that Vogue Magazine caters to in the real world.  My response to that attitude is “Honey, snap out it!”  The one lesson that I learned as an Event Planner/Designer operating in Dallas for a time is that I don’t put anything past ANYBODY. It doesn’t matter what race/ethnicity, education level, religious belief or economic standing. Mental Health can be a killer….trust.

When I discuss security with a venue or other event professionals, my guard is up.  Many of my associates feel they know their clientele well and want to believe that conversation of danger will not arise at their events. That is a crazy thought to have.  To not involve the local cops or get enough security to subside the aspect of harm during an event is an anomaly.  I do realize the economy plays a factor.  It cost a great deal to have security on staff. In addition, there are some municipalities who charge for adding additional law enforcement to an area where a major event takes place.  In the end though,  I would rather pay upfront for the additional security then have to pay it on the back end to someone who flies a lawsuit against my brand due to injuries caused at my event.

This is how I operate my events when it comes to the security aspect of an event:

  • Event Insurance is a must. 
  • I base the number of security on the number of attendees participating in my event. 
  • I will contact law enforcement when necessary
  • People working at my door are customer service oriented. No attitudes…..
  • I’m checking everybody’s ID. No underage guests if this event is for adults only. 
  • When I use the RSVP concept for my event, I’ll only admit people who are giving me their legal given name. No stage names.
  • I will reserve my right to be selective about who can attend my events based on my requirements i.e. a style code

I want people to have fun at my events.  No one should be looking over their shoulder due to a chaotic person.   Fear and danger will not take place under my leadership.  Never. Not on my watch……

Ndidi

Photo: Starz

In an effort to present L’Atelier Indigo7 by Ndidi O. to the public, I will showcase some of my style picks associated to posts for Lucky Magazine Community.
This look is for those who are staff or faculty for any particular educational institution. Just because they are teachers or other educational leaders doesn’t mean they can’t have style…….
For more, continue at http://contributors.luckymag.com/post/fall-preview-back-to-school#.U-JexBWHzbw.twitter
Ndidi O.
Aug 6, 2014

In an effort to present L’Atelier Indigo7 by Ndidi O. to the public, I will showcase some of my style picks associated to posts for Lucky Magazine Community.

This look is for those who are staff or faculty for any particular educational institution. Just because they are teachers or other educational leaders doesn’t mean they can’t have style…….

For more, continue at http://contributors.luckymag.com/post/fall-preview-back-to-school#.U-JexBWHzbw.twitter

Ndidi O.

Aug 4, 2014

"I wake up looking this good
And I wouldn’t change it if I could
(If I could, if I, if I, could)
And you can say what you want
I’m the shit (what you want I’m the shit)
I’m the shit, I’m the shit, I’m the shit
I want everyone to feel like this…….”

BEYONCE & NICKI MINAJ | FLAWLESS REMIX

Aug 4, 2014

What?!? :Introducing L’Atelier Indigo7 by Ndidi O.

The French term, Atelier, means a workshop or studio especially for an artist or designer.  You have officially entered into the work studio of the designer, Ndidiamaka “Ndidi” C. Onukogu, MBA.  In the midst of trying to increase revenue and resolve internal issues, I came up with the concept of L’Atelier Indigo7by Ndidi O., a possible brand extension of Indigo7 Marketing and Events.  During a brainstorming moment, I realized as a Strategist I don’t have the ability to be hands on with a project like it was in the past.  As the Consultant, you give advice and counsel and the client handles the actuality of the project.

From the words of a fool, “Really, Ndi is a designer. She had been lying to y’all.”  Maybe, I have. I am not a fashion or graphic designer but I’m a Style Expert and Event Designer.  I miss getting my hands dirty while working with people so that is why I am reaching out to the consumer directly.  The mission of L’Atelier Indigo7 by Ndidi O. is to bring direct styling and design opportunities to the consumer by receiving personal bespoke moments due to his or her unique social situation. 

Now, I am particular about this trial venture. It will be available to the public from today until December 31, 2014. If all works out, it will become a brand extension of Indigo7 Marketing & Events starting February 2015.  

The services available are the following:

  • Personal Wardrobe Styling (Men’s, Women’s & Children)
  • Personal Event Planning/Design

For more information, please go to http://indigo7marketing.tumblr.com/LAtelier.

Thanks for your continued support of Indigo7 Marketing and Events!

 

Ndidiamaka C. Onukogu, MBA 

Aug 4, 2014

#Branding Moment: Celebrities vs. Regular Joe

The conversation of the celebrity influencer has always be a topic of controversy. Many brands are focused on finding the right person to vocalize and visualize its brand to a mass audience. The term, Influencer marketing is very experiential in the consumer/lifestyle goods industry.  According to experts, the concept works in a four-fold process.  The influencer cycle is based on the following movements in the branding process:

  • Recognizing influencers, and ranking them in order of importance.
  • Marketing towards influencers, to boost brand awareness of the brand within the influencer community
  • Marketing by influencers, using influencers to increase market awareness of the brand amongst target markets
  • Marketing partnerships with influencers, turning influencers into a promoter/supporter of the brand.

The reason for controversy is the conversation about the rank of importance a person may have in a community. For many consumer/lifestyle branding folks, the popularity of a person is really based on a numbers game. Focusing on social media, direct sales and other analytics, a person can become an influencer of a brand very easily.  As I play the role of devil’s advocate, what if the numbers are not accurate or organic? Is this person really an influencer?  A person can be an influencer but not a celebrity or public figure. Vice versa. When I consider using influencer marketing, I am looking at the person’s total persona publicly besides his or her social media and/or direct sales numbers.   To be honest, people draw to those who have craziness or drama in his or her life.  But does that make her the right person to present content on behalf of a brand?  We must consider how the influencer fits in the mission and vision of the brand.

 I would love to see the concept of using the “regular Joe” as a brand influencer expanded in the consumer goods arena.  Dove has a great concept going on by using “the regular Jane” to promote its products to its female consumer.  From my viewpoint, if a consumer sees a reflection of themselves in a spokesperson, the person is more willing to support and purchase the product.  Sometimes, a celebrity is gives off an unattainable aspect of a brand when chosen as the brand evangelist.

Influencer Marketing is a good concept to use but there is needs to be more objectivity used to find the right spokesperson to represent a brand.  The “Regular Joe” can hold his own with a Celebrity.

Ndidi

Photo: Google

Aug 1, 2014

#FranklyFriday: Are You Thriving, Sustaining or Reinventing?

In the midst of making major branding and business decisions, I was having a pity party.  Especially while working on the mid-year review, I just wasn’t feeling well, physically and mentally.  A question on a survey sent me over the edge with angry and frustration.  It simply asked, “What stage is your business  in its lifecycle?” I didn’t really want to answer but I ended with “reinventing” as my final answer.  I knew I wasn’t thriving financially but I really didn’t think that I was sustaining, either.  To be honest, my mind was far from thinking about where my business really was on its lifecycle.  It was focused on increasing revenue to become sustainable and thriving.

Pity, angry and frustration is not the best place to be when running a business. You can succumb to the wrong ideas and projects.  Due to my attitude, I decided to seek counsel and prayer before my deadline to complete my mid-year review.  My focus was to make resolution on what I need to do for the rest of year.  In addition, I need to find peace in a hard place.  My counsel said, “You have found a median in focusing on the financial possibilities along with created a reputable brand image. You need to ask yourself some hard questions about the continuation of the business.  What you identify to be a thriving business is not what most believes to the term? You are thriving in most eyes.  Money makes your head turn and your head isn’t turning right.  Trust me, Ndidi! The money will come. Your brand’s presentation is critical.”

As I left the session, I begin to focus on a way to generate revenue in manner that is sufficient to whom I am today. I realized that it is a reinvention of my former capacity, really.  It can be a tough ride especially when confusion is riding on the shoulders of your success.  I made a point to fully evaluate my educational path along with expertise.  It brought back memories of stuff that I forget I did and brought attention to new possibilities for Indigo7.  I overlooked that I started my marketing career on the campus of University of Missouri-Columbia.  I worked on the Missouri Students Association as a member of the Black Programming Committee and the Department of Publicity and Promotions my junior and senior year.  In addition, I was an intern with the Sports Marketing department.  I left the university with 12 hours of psychology to differentiate myself from the rest of marketing graduates by having a complete understanding on how to get the full psyche of the consumer.  A holistic perspective……

image

From another viewpoint, this is the September or October 2003 front cover of the defunct Flipside Newszine, the publication where I was a Staff Writer and Marketing Team Member.  The entire issue was discussing the publication’s first fashion show in the city of St. Louis. From my memory, the confusion that took place during this particular issue was highly unorthodox and never made sense to me. I was told later that I was the Fashion and Marketing lead on the entire issue and the fashion show. Now, on the masthead, my former “bestie” was listed as the Fashion Director and a former associate was listed as the director of Marketing and Promotions.  From a national viewpoint, everyone was singing my praises, though.  I don’t know why.

So with those thoughts back in my mainframe, I would like to introduce twp experimental concepts for Indigo7 Marketing & Events.   With the focus on Consumer/Lifestyle Brands, the concept of “Editorial Styling” will be offered to media outlets.  I will collaborate with media outlets on behalf of the client to create looks for editorial photography.

image

In addition, I would like to launch L’ Atelier Indigo7 by Ndidi O.  For the next four months (August 2014-December 2014), I will be working directly with the consumer through a trial venture that could possibly turn into a brand expansion of Indigo7 Marketing and Events in 2015. 

Its mission is to bring direct styling and design opportunities to the client by receiving personal bespoke moments due to his or her unique social situation.  Please visit http://indigo7marketing.tumblr.com/LAtelier for more information on Monday, August 4, 2014.

Until Next Time,

Ndidi

Pictures: Pinnacle Media Group/Ndidiamaka C. Onukogu

 

 

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.

 photo MPDSessionFlyer.jpg

 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