The Latest

Jun 23, 2014

#Branding Moment: Washington Redskins Trademark Cancellation

While reading an article from Sports Illustrated about the ramifications of the trademark cancellation for the Washington Redskins, I wondered how this affects the lifestyle brands who work closely with the football team and the league who produce apparel and other goods to represent the team.

To recap the situation, the Redskins are in the midst of its second trademark cancellation with the US Patent Office. The first cancellation took place in 1999 but the football team appealed the order and won in 2003.  Now, we are in 2014, the team is going through the same issue again with the federal government. 

The primary reason for the cancellation is the term; “Redskins” is believed to be hurtful to those who identify themselves as Native Americans or American Indians.   The football team’s leadership will not have exclusive right to the trademark due to the cancellation.  The exclusive trademark helps in stopping counterfeits and anyone who will manipulate the usage of the imagery to defame the entity inappropriately.  At this time, the team is losing money daily to the loss of the exclusive trademark. Now, anyone can take the creative imagery used by the Redskins and reproduce without issue.

Now, according to the writer in the Sports Illustrated article, he stated that the cancellation by the US Patent Office does not force the Washington Redskins to change its name.

My Response:

Wow!  I find that the trademark cancellation of the Washington Redskins to be odd. This is the second time as well. The cancellation does not move the football team’s leadership to change the name which I thought that was the whole point of the cancellation.  The purpose of this move by the Federal government was for the owner of the Washington Redskins to lose money.  Now, we all know, more than the owner will lose money and possibly brand positioning. It will be those who went into exclusivity with the Redskins as the specialty vendor for apparel and other merchandise.  The concern that I see for those in exclusive agreement to use the Redskins’ creative imagery is other entities who may produce the imagery at an lower rate and will enter into an agreement with a retailer ditching the exclusive vendor in the process.  It’s a dog eat dog world, these days, folks! People’s livelihoods and position are on the line. 

From a creative branding conversation, I believe that the name change will take place.  It will not be this year, though. They will go into the appeal process and drag their feet until it’s resolved in the courts.   When brands change its name, Legal, Creative Branding and logistics play a major factor for it to be done effectively and in success.  It may take up to ten years for the name change to be done in completion. How do we not know the Redskins’ leadership was not in the process of presenting its colleagues and community with the new name change?  Was someone jumping the gun at the US Patent Office?

I pray that the issue is resolved in a proper and decent manner for all those involved. 

For a more legal understanding of the Washington Redskins’ Trademark, please read, “Understanding the Cancellation of The Redskins’ Federal Trademark” by Atty. Michael McCann via Sports Illustrated

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nfl/news/20140618/washington-redskins-trademark-cancelled-uspto/

Ndidi

Source: Washington Redskins/Sports Illustrated

Jun 20, 2014

#FranklyFriday: Reality Sucks

Remember that old saying, “Fake till You Make”. What happens to the fakeness after you have made strides with your personal brand, though?  You have built your brand to exude a certain type of persona but the image isn’t really your true mission and vision.

When I was younger, I wanted to fit in and have everybody around me. Forget the fact that I’m bi-cultural. Forget the fact that I’m gifted and talented. Forget about everything that makes me different. I wanted to be seen in a certain way so I played the game until I “made” it.  My façade was better than my reality. At 24, my reality sucked.  Now at 34, my façade sucks.

The biggest challenge that I am fighting to defeat as an entrepreneur is stating my feelings clearly without regret. At 24, I was trying to please everyone but those who truly cared for me (my parents and siblings). Bypassing my people’s feelings to suit the needs of those on an agenda.  Holding my tongue when I should really speak up. Not fighting back with those in authority or influence.

Living in that sort of façade creates a dynamic of confusion. A lot of times in my early 20’s, I felt fake.  I used to get anxiety going out a lot because I didn’t feel comfortable. Most of the people that I smiled at in my past, I never really liked them. I saw a need in them and played the game. When you conform your brand to meet the needs of others instead of creating it in your true persona, you lose ground when things get rocky.  When the money and material things are gone, fans and naysayers vanish.  You may even go “ghost”.  I left St. Louis and moved to Memphis on my 27th birthday to be closer to my former beau.

I realized that my reality is a lot more refreshing then my fake persona. At 34, I realized that it is fine to be kind but objective. Speaking my mind will not end the world. People pleasing is no longer an option, now. Financially, I have to do what is right for myself and my business. I catered to a demographic that is not normally reached and I am ok with that.  Entertainment was fun but I find more enjoyment in working with Lifestyle/Consumer brands. I don’t feel bad about not speaking to people anymore. If I don’t like you, I don’t like you whether you’re a regular Joe or a person of influence.  Currently in the world I live in, I go by what my family calls me, Ndidi rather than what my former friends called me, Ndi. I am not here to make you feel comfortable. As long as I’m comfortable, I’m good.  I’m giving you the real Ndidiamaka not the fake Ndi.

For those who feel that having a fake persona helps your brand survive, keep this in mind:

 image

 

Until Next Time,

Ndidi

Source: Pinterest

 

Jun 16, 2014

Note: Availability Update

As of today, I will not be available for most mornings until the beginning of August.  Please give me 24 to 48 hours to respond to all emails and voicemails pertaining to Indigo7 or myself during this period.

 For information about Indigo7 Marketing & Events and its services, visit Tumblr at www.indigo7marketing.tumblr.com to answer initial questions.  Email indigo7marketing@outlook.com for all inquiries focused on your branding, media and event needs. Email nconukogu7@me.com for all invitations to business and social gatherings/events.  Don’t forget you can reach me by phone at 972-630-9557. With this phone number, you can either text or use the voice message option. Preferably, I would like you to just leave a voice message.

Thank you for continued support of Indigo7 Marketing & Events!

Ndidi 

Jun 12, 2014

#Event Moment: Don’t Forget the Cocktail

During a recent conversation about summer cocktails with my fellow Conde Nast Style Society contributors online, I thought about how libations are now becoming an important factor for most event planners and party promoters. Finding ways to include or exclude liquor are being presented more and more by individuals in the event planning community.  In many states like Texas, those who serve alcohol must pass a test to receive a permit to distribute which includes promotional models and event professionals.  I was not able to open bottles of wine at a sampling event due to not having a TABC permit while living in Dallas.

Everywhere I turn, whether it’s St. Louis, Los Angeles or Atlanta, there are events that are instituting some sort of dialogue with consumers in associate to a liquor brand.  Drink specials, a branded open bar or a themed/specialty drink are the norm for nightlife and entertainment events to increase sales and awareness for premium alcohol distributors.

Consider…..

  • It is important to keep up with any local or state regulations when it comes to serving and/or distributing alcohol for legality purposes.
  • Make sure your event will provide consumers with enough individuals (mixologists/bartenders) to serve alcohol properly.  I stick with the rule where for every 50-75 people, there should be at least one bartender working.
  • If your client prefers to present its consumers with a branded open bar, there will always be a 15% to 20% gratuity included to the overall staffing/venue fee. No exceptions. I have never had a venue tell me otherwise.
  • If your client considers drink specials or a themed drink concept, realize the communication between the venue, you as the event planner and the client must be clear, effective and efficient for all parties to produce a successful event. 

Don’t worry, though! Really, it is one of the easier concepts to deal with while creating an event.

Ndidi

Images: Google

 

 

Jun 9, 2014

Ask me…..

Disclaimer: I will do this segment ever so often to build brand understanding and awareness for Indigo7…….

Someone asked the following question: 

What is your philosophy in regards to cultivating business relationships? 

My response:  

It is based on the scripture of Matthew 10:12-15 (The Message Bible). 

When you knock on a door, be courteous in your greeting. If they welcome you, be gentle in your conversation. If they don’t welcome you, quietly withdraw. Don’t make a scene. Shrug your shoulders and be on your way. You can be sure that on Judgment Day they’ll be mighty sorry—but it’s no concern of yours now.

Why make a scene when you’ve done all things right and in appropriate order to grow your business? You can’t control individuals and their insecurities and hidden agendas. Move on……Trust.

Ndidi

Jun 9, 2014

Content is Everything #Branding Moment

Disclaimer: Today’s #Branding Moment is an opinion piece, again. As usual, I was not brought nor sold for my dialogue. It is strictly my opinion. :)

With any branding consultant, the ideology of content, written & visual, plays a major factor in the success of a campaign.  One aspect that I have learned to pay attention to is content that is not controlled by the brand’s team. It can be dangerous, helpful or a little bit of both. You know. The dialogue from customers, media, allies, competitors and/or naysayers. It is the commentary that can damage or improve your brand’s visibility and awareness due to the deconstructive format of how it’s presented. From social media to blogging, you cannot manipulate what these individuals say or show when it comes to your brand.

In the midst of my process of coming up with today’s topic, a person asked me the following question:

“Do you really want to stay in St. Louis?”

In the words of one, “You really don’t have anything holding you back like you think you do.” Another stated, “In all honesty, Missouri is incapable of bring in and maintain a strong base of economic enrichment.”  “They only concerned about farmers” is what I heard in passing.   I was quiet to say the least. It has been a year since my brand transitioned from Dallas County, TX to the St. Louis Metropolitan Region. Nothing has changed.  Financially, I’m still unstable.  Ultimately, that’s all that matter. Money makes the world go around and my world is only turning 90 degrees at this time.

Content plays a major factor for St. Louis and the State of Missouri to prosper in the economic development aspect of the area. The grumblings and quietness of some major lifestyle/consumer brands are affecting my business. It’s my bread and butter.  On more than one occasion, brands propose St. Louis as an option but suddenly the conversation is off the table.  Usually, it based off some negative dialogue or a media alert focused on the area.

In my opinion, the city and county needs a strong team that is determined to present the region in a manner that will entice companies and associations to look past the negative jargon and work with the government and businesses residing here.  Nothing will change if we are still speaking up the past and not looking at the region’s present in a better light.

Right now, I just don’t know. 

Just My Opinion,

Ndidi

Picture:STLEDP

 

Jun 6, 2014

The Privacy Factor #FranklyFriday

A conversation that is not usually discussed in image development is the idea of privacy vs notoriety. While watching the newest episode of MTV’s Catfish, I felt compelled to look at this idea in a new light. Actress Tracie Thoms (CBS’ Cold Case) was catfish’ed by an overzealous fanatic. Throughout the entire situation, I was alarmed. I couldn’t really put my hand on it but something about the fanatic didn’t sit well with me.  I won’t go into too much more detail about the episode because I want you to watch it yourself. 

We all know as individuals and as brands, we have to have some sort of presence in the community to gain financial rewards and awareness. But where do we draw the line to maintain our security and normalcy as we try to cultivate and maintain our brand’s public image?

I relate to Tracie’s situation in a sense.  Something similar happen to me but it was done offline. In 2011, I’m sitting at my new church in Dallas for membership orientation. Suddenly, a young African American woman named Esther came into room discussing she was from Memphis (where I used to live). In my mind, I thought it was a coincidence.  I had no idea who this woman was. But as time went on, I begin to become alarmed. Her actions were calculated but I was unsure why. The woman was expecting something from me. She got exactly what she wanted but with a price. As I got alarmed, my fear turns into unadulterated anger.  I left Esther broke, busted and disgusted.  I got the last laugh on that one……

Don’t underestimate me because of my style, grace, quietness and education. I can rumble with the best of them.  #next

There are many questions to consider when thinking about how to handle your privacy in the midst of being a public figure or entity.

But here are a few to think about…..

  • Do you want to be a public figure or entity?
    • In my mind, this is the first question to ask yourself during developing your brand’s image. You have to consider this as you move forward as a brand. If you don’t want to be a public figure, you need to find a way to promote yourself in a manner that will draw attention to benefit you as a privacy figure or entity.
  • Used social media that gives you the ability to control your privacy.
    • If privacy is what you want, make sure you act according to protect yourself online from negative situations. For example, while I was living in Dallas, I kept the privacy wall up on my personal Twitter and Instagram while maintaining a public Twitter account with my business (@indigo7mktng).
  • Make yourself clear online and offline.
    • Present the true you in everything that you do, personally and professionally.  Give just enough information that interests your fans and others. You don’t have to provide everything.  Create your content in manner that reads public but shows your private intentions.
  • When in danger, act accordingly.
    • Call the proper authorities. In my case, I didn’t have enough to contact the police. My hope for Tracie is that she eventually get a restraining order against the fanatic. 

I do understand some will say that this is just the price of fame. But what about me?  I am not a celebrity nor did I ask for the recognition.  My love for writing turned into a portion of my professional life.  I just wanted to share my content with the World Wide Web without safety concerns.

Prayers to those who going through something similar. You never alone.  As a public figure, you have right to feel safe while presenting your brand’s mission and vision to the community.

Until Next Time,

Ndidi

Source: MTV

Jun 1, 2014 / 8 notes

Some of the people appointed to give an opinion

Never do get it

I want you to come on and gobble a jimmy and….die

N9na be givin the remedy and why?

Critics are really the enemy and I

Can’t stand the way they slam today’s gifted

Effin’ incredible, get fanned away with grands to pay

This jam will lay scripted

Deaf and impeccable

Write a rhyme and I put everything in a flow

I’m the n9ne I’mma look very mean

When a foe scribe a line but he has never been at a show

By the times it’ll be better, leave it in the sto

Cause  they wrote nothin’ but lies, quotes stuck in my eyes

Amateur writer dissin’

He’s a beginner and hopes for your demise, folks I’mma despite

Never do try to listen

It’s real—I’m mad

Clueless when you scribble on your pad

How you gonna criticize now with a chisel on your nads sizzling your ad

You don’t really get why I’m so pissed? Understand this:

I’m  an artist and I’m sensitive about my shit, Yes, I’m

 —Tech N9ne

Video: “Fragile”  Tech N9Ne feat: Kendrick Lamar, !Mayday! & Kendall Morgan 

RIP Maya Angelou…..
May 29, 2014

RIP Maya Angelou…..

May 29, 2014

Q&A #Event Moment

Sometimes, when I’m out and about, people ask me questions about various aspects of event planning, management and design. Now, if only those questions could lead to some decent revenue, I would be more willing to share my expertise. Just saying……

Seriously, I wanted to take some of the questions I received and answered them from a personal and professional perspective based on my experience within the event industry.  Don’t be dismayed. I don’t mind having conversations about my expertise but I don’t want to give all my ideas and techniques away without having the individual consider my business for further strategic help. :)

Folks, I don’t work for free. Trust. It was done in the start of my business. The dialogue will never happen again.  I NEED financial stability.

In other news…….

Question 1:   What do you do when a venue declines your conversation of event furniture?

NCO: Look for a new venue. You want to use a venue that is like a “blank canvas” if the client is in definite approval of using event furniture. It allows to have a more organic environment. A venue that has a built in aesthetic will not work due to the possible complications that could occur during the event design process.

Question 2:   I’m new to the city as an event planner. What do I do to build relationships with people in the city?

NCO: To be honest, I have been in your place.  I introduced myself to the community in Dallas but didn’t get the warm and fuzzy feeling from those deemed of importance in the industry there. What I failed to do, in my opinion, was not get familiar with the event venues in the metroplex. That was more important to my business then trying to make friends.  It was a learning experience. I’m thankful for the moment.

My advice would be to get familiar with the event locations in the area. If you feel comfortable, introduce yourself to the sales staff.  Remember, the sales department of most venues is like a revolving door so don’t get too personal with the staff.  

At the end of the day, you are a competitor not an ally. Even though, you may want to be a supporter.  Think about your mission and vision first before making friends in your industry. If they want to work with you, they will come to you.

Question 3:  What does the term experiential mean? Is it necessary?

NCO: Yes, Experiential is very necessary to the survival of the event planner/designer.  An experiential event is focused on the consumer.  The brand interacts with the consumer by providing activities that will allow the consumer to speak about the brand during the event. From sampling to the use of social media, the consumer is actively involved in the marketing process of the brand.

The business to consumer events of the past were very one directional. The brand speaks and the consumer listens. Today, many consumer brands are beginning to focus on creating content that is based on a two way dialogue between the brand and its customer.  Experiential Events are one of avenue in creating that sort of conversation between brands and consumer.

Hopefully, the questions help someone in their journey as an Event Planner/Designer. Please feel free to email me indigo7marketing@outlook.com for questions and/or quote.

Ndidi