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Rules of business evolution

By King Kaka | October 23rd 2019

Thank you for your feedback on last week’s article. If there’s a topic you want me to touch on, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Today, we’re talking about Gengetone – the music genre that has got Kenyans back onto the dance floor.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s been a huge change in Kenya’s music industry. Naturally, these changes have been met with criticism and praise in equal measure.

The return of Gengetone has seen an increased consumption of Kenyan content by Kenyans, compared to a year ago when you’d have been forgiven for thinking you had stepped into a club in Dar or Lagos while you were right in the heart of Nairobi. 

With the positive reception of Gengetone, the one question you should ask yourself as a businessperson is; “How do I capitalise on this?”

In other words, how do you take advantage of this boom and translate it into revenue?

Know your customer

First, have it at the back of your mind that your consumer controls your market.

The companies that are worth millions and billions of dollars grow from sales to consumers. This is the reason many companies invest in data collection. 

Have you ever been to a restaurant where you were given a feedback form with a set of questions to answer?

All this is in a bid to study you the customer and serve you better in this ever changing environment.

Data has been listed as a currency so powerful that peoples’ information is being sold on a global scale. Knowing your customers becomes key in developing your strategy and plan of action.

Don’t lose your values

I watched a Bill Gate’s interview a while back where he was asked if the business and consumer changes affect his business. He confidently answered in the affirmative. So did the Apple team and many other CEOs who were asked the same question.

The main pick from Bill Gate’s interview was that you should not lose your business values even as you evolve.

First-mover advantage

The TV that we watch will have different specifications in two years (they are developing a folding TV as we speak).

The phone that you are using now will have a better version in the next eight months. The question is, will you move with the times?

A product researcher at Apple explained to the media that the first-mover advantage is like sitting in the driver’s seat rather than waiting to board the bus.

Apple products almost always introduce a new feature that has not been tested on a worldwide scale. So the consumer knows that when they want something current, Apple is the way to go. 

When other phone companies jump onto the bandwagon they have no option but to improve that technology.

This is because competition is stiff and using the technology as it is would not serve the consumer.

As they play catch up, Apple has moved on to the next thing, keeping the business ahead of the pack.

Most people are afraid of creating new patterns and products due to a fear of failure. Remember, all products you see now went through failure, from the aeroplane to electricity, cars, TVs, music and even fashion. 

Don’t follow the crowd

How do you make sure you’re not left behind? One expert suggested that you don’t necessarily have to move with the entire wave, but you can move with an element of it. It’s here that you find your niche market.

I was browsing the Internet when I came across a local telecommunications company using street language as a marketing tool. As a member of the youth, I felt represented, so I surfed their pages just to see their language.

This goes to show that you don’t necessarily have to change your values to meet your market needs.

The writer is an award-winning artiste and entrepreneur.

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