Books by Afolabi Dollars (TheVOICE)

  • Revolutionizing Entrepreneurship, 23 Kingdom Laws of Branding(brand management), Doing Business In A Global Economy(succession and sustainability in business),21st century SMEs,

Sunday, January 2, 2011



When a log of wood or tree is set ablaze,  immediately, there is an intense flames  of fire, burning immensely that when anybody passing by sees  the fire from a distance, it makes them unrest, curious and anxious;  some passers by will even stand still, trying to look and find  out the cause  of the fire.
Some spectators may not even see any flames, may be they see only the smoke because they are father away from where the fire is burning but they still have an awareness and knowledge in their minds that there is no smoke without a fire. In fact, everybody’s attention is captured by the fire and they become RESTLESS; in their curiosity and captivation, they move much closer to the fire, others trace the smoke to where the fire is burning and everybody gets there to their discovery that it is just a tree or log of wood that is causing the fire. Now, that burning tree or log of wood that captured the attention of everybody is called the “FIRE BRAND”.

Fire branding is therefore an aggressive pioneering or pace-setting act of a brand in creating or effecting restlessness, competitive strives and perpetual agitations among other brands.
I will like to say that fire branding is distinct from normal branding or let me put it in this way; a fire branded product is different from an ordinary branded product.
Carl Von Clausewitz, Pruss general and statesman said “there are very few men- and they are the exceptions- who are able to think and feel beyond the present moment”

Fire branding is been demonstrated by just a few; it’s the brand ahead of other brands in thinking, conceptualizing and delivery.
In most countries, when a particular brand in the spirit of pace-setting or trail-blazing , comes out with a business concept and/or innovation, found, tested and trusted to be working and productive in results, other existing brands quickly follow suit, creating a ‘bandwagon’  trend  along that  same line.
In Nigeria for instance, especially in the banking industry, a particular bank comes up with an idea/concept or strategy for operational improvements and peak productivity, which is mostly reflected in their publicities and advertisings; immediately, the remaining 24 banks will follow suit, threading the same line of concept/strategy.
Of course, there is nothing really wrong with that especially in a competitive market but the fact is, the brand (the bank) that pioneered or initiated the innovation is the fire brand while the other brands (banks) are ordinary “copy-cat” brands, even if they are strong or more prominent.

This is also reflected in a few other sectors like the telecoms, food & beverages, bottling companies, entertainment brands, multinational brands, oil & gas and more.
For example, a particular brand in the telecoms industry comes up with a CSR concept, reflecting in a TV game show or family shows or a musical talent show, immediately, other brands in the same industry follow suit, doing the same concept almost in exactitude or very same manner. The concept initiator is always the fire brand, while others brands following are “copytitors”.
Another example is seen in automobile industry across the world, where at different times; specific brands initiate an automobile design, pattern or assembling in manufacturing of their product, then, other automobile brands become restless and are challenged or inspired/motivated to come up with similar design in manufacturing their own products. Yet, the fact remains that the initiator that causes restlessness among competitive brands is the fire brand.

There are several examples all over the world I can illustrate about fire branding but for space and time but I say it is high time for brands, especially for business Christians to move beyond just ordinary branding to fire branding, catching the attention of the entire public and causing restlessness among your contemporaries, thereby becoming the “avant-garde”, the cynosure of the brand world.

I implore brands to move from just being brands to become fire brands, setting the pace, leading in concept and other brands following; becoming a yardstick, gauge or leverage which other brands are watching, studying and depending on before making their next  move.
Let the “smoke” of your “fire” effect an attraction, attention and a sense of competition to other brands. A fire brand is not complacent with any result or achievements; it believes that excellence is a journey and not a destination.

......culled from my  book  on 23 Kingdom Laws of Branding

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