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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Ama-Vandals Vs. Ama-Kip kip

Amakip-kip was and is still recognized 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 one just sees ikasi (township). The brand rings in your mind that this is Africa. A lot has been incorporated to bring different design elements, like the African Continent. I’m in 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 clothing line, and that's what Kasi people want. Simply put, it is a quality that exudes charisma and provides good value for money. Every Kasi-rooted kid wants to be the proud owner of Amakip-kip (t-shirts), not because Siyabonga is one of the founders but just because of the sense of style and quality of style that the brand brings.

These are popular public responses from about Amakip-kip. "Those tops are dope," says the rapper, adding, "what makes it beta is that it's local, yes, not American or English, but straight from 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 ups to Nkosana! This is just power for the brand. It also proves brand loyalty, among other things.


When attempting to introduce or develop a brand in Mzansi, you must abandon the coconut/Oreo mindset, and your brand will suffice. Your brand should be both sophisticated and unsophisticated.

Talking about the Vandals and Vandy t-shirts (candy t's, as I call them), first of all, let's look a bit at the history of the "vandals." According to 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 mindset; 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 a negative and positive impact on 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 has a lot of articles on "how to" that could've helped a lot. Look, I’m not a connoisseur, so don’t criticize me, but you're welcome to do so about 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 a Vandal t-shirt?" and leave that to you to decide. Moving right along, honestly, the business idea of Vandal is good, but Amakip-kip’s way better, not only when compared to Vandal but any other clothing brand in Mzansi.

The print of the t-shirt on its own looks like a chewing gum sticker (Vandal and Vandy). Honestly, was this a competition for Amakip-kip? If so, go read something about how Mzantsi consumers or 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, watermelon, t-shirt.

Speaking of something to die for, damn vandals are to be assassinated for (literally), and Amakip-kip is to live for. One more thing: I do not own any of these brands at all, but am interested more in 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 cookie's color and quality, but because of 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're famous. It does work for some, but not all.

Brand management is the key to the success or failure of any product or service. For this, you need to adopt the right attitude toward the people you're targeting. What are their clothing and 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 put too much emphasis or personalization on yourself; building amity is the master of all; this could be a love affair between the brand and the consumers, rather than between yourself and the brand. Remember, you want to sell and appetize to make money. You don't want to make people aware of something they won't be interested in buying.  

Attitude measurement, brand choice, consumer attitude, and seller attitude are the core elements of a successful firm and brand. Obtaining the above-mentioned correct results in Amakip-kip. So, my advice to anyone who wants to develop a brand is to go out there and look for a model brand and seek advice. Sometimes it's not just about the competition or getting a point across, but just the success or 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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