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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Ama-Vandals Vs. Ama-Kip kip


Amakip-kip was and still recognised as one of the top leading clothing brands in South Africa. Because of the township style and quality of the brand that brings a sense of belonging and charisma.

This brand was founded in 2006 by Nkosana Modise, Siyabonga Ngwekazi and Ngori Takawira. The brand is endorsed by many celebrities in South Africa like Teargas (Hip Hop Group). The brand is just what I call "sky high".

When one sees Amakip-kip t-shirts you just see ikasi (township). The brand rings it in your mind that this is Africa. A lot has been incorporated to bring different design elements, like the African Continent. I’m awe of the other brands that trip and flop while trying to bring Americanism to the African culture.

One thing about this brand is brand management, knowing what's in the mind of your target market. I personally see the brand as an "I Don't Care" type of a clothing line, and that's what Kasi people want. Simply quality that brings charisma and a good value for your money. Every kasi rooted kid wants to be the proud owner of Amakip-kip (t-shirts), not because Siyabonga is one of the founders; just because of the sense of wearing and quality-style that the brand brings.

These are popular public responses from about Amakip-kip. "those tops are dope and wat makes it beta is dat its local yes not American or English straight south Africa the muthaland (sic)." the responses continued "uyazini those t-shirts are hot i wanna own one of those they seriously look hot. Big up to Nkosana!" This is just power to the brand. It also proves brand loyalty among other things.

When trying to bring/develop a brand in Mzantsi you need to let go of the coconut/Oreo mind-set and your brand shall suffice. Your brand should be both sophisticated and unsophisticated.

Talking about the Vandals and Vandy t-shirts (candy t’s I call them), first of all let's look a bit at the history of the "vandals", and according Wiki "Vandals were an East Germanic tribe that entered the late Roman empire during the 5th century..." enough said.

I'm of the opinion that vandal/Vandy t-shirts are promoted or branded with an Oreo mind-set, thus these are not seen everywhere in South Africa unlike Amakip-kip. Take this, before you brand with existing names because of the lack of flair/creativity. You seriously need to look at the "history" of the name that you are going to associate with your brand. The name will have both negative and positive impact towards your product.

Secondly making the brand too personal (Dj Sbu) chases people away, they need a sense of companionship towards the brand and the person behind the brand. Again Google have a lot of articles on "how to" that could've helped a lot. Look I’m not a connoisseur, so don’t critic me, but you welcome to do so on my writing.

Who endorses the brand? Trevor Madondo and Khabonina are among the promoters of Vandal and Vandy. The above being said ask yourself "Why am I wearing Amakip-kip and not Vandal t-shirt?" leaving that to you to decide. Moving right along, honestly the business idea of vandal is good, but the Amakip-kip’s way better, not only when compared to the Vandal but any other clothing brand in Mzantsi.

The print of the t-shirt on its own looks like a chewing gum sticker (Vandal and Vandy). Honestly, was this a competition to Amakip-kip? If so, go read something about how Mzantsi consumers/kasi people make decisions on purchasing local products. Also check their reaction towards a brand or certain names that could work as well. Don’t be lazy! Sukungxama! I have to admit I like their pink or rather water melon t-shirt.

Talking about something to die for, damn vandals are to be assassinated for (literally), Amakip-kip are to live for. One more thing I do not own any of these brands at all, but interested more on the "kip kip" side of the fence. Vandals will make me appear more like an Oreo, which takes away my sense of belonging not because of the t's colour and quality; but the "history" of the name (Vandals).

A slight view: Many brands have failed to mention just one, like the "Zola 7" takkies. I mean for real who would wear that "kayo-star" look alike thing? Geez what the f**k! You don’t just wake up and develop a brand because you famous. It does work to some, but not all.

Brand management is the key to the success-failure of any product/service rendered. For this you need to adapt the right attitude toward the people you're targeting. What are their clothing/fashion trends? Why will they buy your brand? This is just too general and you don't need to be schooled about brand management. And it's a good start.

Don't focus/personalise the brand too much on yourself, building amity is the master of all, this could be a love one between the brand and the consumers, and not much yourself and the brand. Remember you want to sell and appetise to make money. You don't want to make people aware of something they won't be interested to buy. 

Attitude measurement, brand choice, consumer attitude and seller attitude are the core things to a firm and a successful brand. Getting the above right means Amakip-kip. So my advice to anyone who wants to develop a brand, go out there and look for a role model brand and seek for advice. Sometimes it's not just about the competition/getting a point across, but just the success-failure of your product in the market...

With this advice taken, I really didn't need to go study brand management at all! See you soon, bye...

By Buchule Raba 
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