Brands…

thinky-w536-h357-2x
This face is me all the time

What does it take to make a brand? This is something I’ve wondered for a long time now. I look at things like Harry Potter, WWE, and others and they are all hugely successful. There are brands out there which are less successful but still have a lot to their name but making a brand isn’t easy. I’ve never made a brand out of anything, if I’m lucky (I think this is important) then I might be able to make a one in my lifetime that will see me living good for the rest of my life. There are so many videos and pieces of advice that you can find to make a brand but at the same time, you could find countless people who have followed these steps and still failed.

In this conversation, one thing that comes up more often than not is marketing. Marketing is the way to get your name out but marketing is very vague. By making a cold call to someone you’re marketing, by spreading the name of a brand to your friends you’re marketing. I don’t know much about branding but it looks like anyone who wants to get involved has to know that they’re selling something to someone. Marketing might be easier for some than others because of factors like money and connections but with that being said what type of marketing is the best? I assume it’s hard to find the answer because the type of business and the audience most likely influence the kind of marketing. The thing is, just because two businesses are going after the same audience, it doesn’t mean that the same kind of marketing will work for both of them. From what I know, you’re supposed to be relentless in spreading your brand’s name, whatever it is you’re trying to sell, you have to find a way to make people associate it with you. There are so many things to say when it comes to marketing, so many methods and principles but the result is the most important part and the result that you’re after is never guaranteed.

Networking is another important thing. Making connections, letting people know about your brand and building that rapport so it’s easier to sell your product. It makes a lot of sense, you can’t have a brand and sell a product without having anybody to sell to. It’s also hard to do things by yourself, the larger a project becomes, the more people it’s going to need to help it take off. Just like marketing, I wonder how you get it to work. It’s easy to say that a give and take rule works, you meet someone and help them spread what they have to offer and in return they do the same for you but how do you know you’ll get that favour back? The crazy thing is that the results of networking aren’t in your control, no matter how much you try to influence it. It’s not possible to get around this one, it’s not like buying fake followers online. There has to be a genuine connection between the brand and the audience but forging it is so tricky because the way I see it, unless you have a lot of people you know that can help you network, it relies on a random person taking a chance on you and hopefully liking what you’ve offered. I can’t imagine how many situations there have been with people selling something to someone, doing everything right (or everything they read they should do) and it not working out for some reason.

I could talk about more of the things I’ve seen that are involved with building a brand but the main thing that I’d get across is how much of it you control. I feel like most of it is down to luck which is why I wonder if there’s a guaranteed way to build a brand. I said earlier in the post that if I was lucky, I’d be able to build a brand to live off forever but that’s how I feel with everybody. There are steps that can get you closer to your goal but luck plays such a huge role and there’s no way to influence luck. For me it feels like regardless of what you do, it will either happen or it won’t and whatever comes of your effort, you have to accept because that’s how life is. There are so many stories out there and the people telling them might do so with such confidence that it makes you believe they had everything under control but chances are that they weren’t sure at some points and just freestyled until things started working.

It’s not an easy question to answer. Building a brand isn’t something that’s so straightforward, I feel like there will be a way to list the right steps without dispute in the sense that a lot of future successes will have journeys that are similar. That being said, luck will still be a big factor.

Advertisements

Quick question time

thinky-w536-h357-2x
Quick question time

I always hear about the racial/cultural differences on how people get raised. As a black person, I bond with other black people when we speak about growing up and how we received beatings when we behaved badly. It sounds like a bad experience but honestly, it’s given me stories to reminisce on with other people, jokes that I can tell and other it’s character building (I can eat a punch too). It’s like that when I speak with Hispanic people as well and there’s a little joke that we all seem to know where White people can’t relate to growing up that way because of how they interact with their parents.

When it comes to white people, we hear about how they can say whatever they want to their parents and get away with it. I’d be lying if I said that I’ve never seen it before and you know what? I wondered what it’d be like to have that kind of power at one point because if I say anything bad, even at my age, I have to say it under my breath just make sure that I don’t get put in my place righteously. I know that it’s not true amongst all White people and there are a number of them who wouldn’t even dare to talk shit to their parents. That being said, I have a question to ask.

If you were trying to discipline your child and they told you to ‘Fuck Off!’ or something along those lines, how would you react? One thing I see a lot of people around my age say is that they won’t ever hit their children, which I respect because that doesn’t always work, in fact it can really fuck a child up down the line. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a slap if a child is being a little shit but unnecessarily hitting a child doesn’t achieve anything. I find it hard to imagine what to do because giving my child an angry look or a stern telling off just wouldn’t do the trick in my eyes but there needs to be a way to get the message across.

I’ve never thought to say that kind of thing to my parents because it doesn’t make any sense to me. Unless your parents do something unforgivable, they’ve always got to be shown respect which includes holding your tongue when they’re telling you off. (It took a while for me to get to the question but a little context is always good).

Why let sports fuck your feelings?

41838e1c5efa6ded7fec701e6bc9d63f
How fans act when their team loses

Every time I think about sports, there’s one thing I can’t let go and it’s the emotional attachment. One thing all sports I know about have in common are the fans who take them very seriously. I don’t know how many times I’ll blog about this, I’ll probably never stop because I can’t see myself ever understanding it. Sometimes, when I watch football and I see a team (Arsenal) lose, I watch the fan interviews that follow online and the fans don’t even try to hide how upset they are. It’s ok to be upset when a team you support loses a game but the kind of fan I’m talking about takes it to another level.

When I watch football and I see the team I support lose, I accept the loss and tell myself “next time, we go again!” but with other fans, seeing a team lose actually brings them to tears. Why? The negative emotions range so much, there’s anger, sadness, disgust and whatever else you can think of. No matter how many ways I look at it, it doesn’t make sense. The value these people place on a game is enough to send them into depression but I can’t see why it matters that much. I’ll never be able to see things from somebody else’s point of view (which might be for the best) but even if I could, I’d still be aware that the team doesn’t represent me, it doesn’t do anything for my life if they win or not (unless I bet/own a share) and it will most likely live on after I die without acknowledging my existence.

Getting wrapped up in a football match, basketball game or any other sports game is understandable, it happens to me. I get that it’s emotional, especially when your team loses, the banter starts rolling in and you don’t have the energy to brave it like a champion. The thing is that it’s up to each individual how much they allow it to affect them. It’s like people forget that they made a choice to follow a sport at a certain point in their lives and they can also make a choice to stop following it as well.

Like I said before, I can’t see life from another person’s point of view but I know that there are a lot of things in life that can really fuck you over, so much so that it makes sports irrelevant. I know that a lot of sports fans go through things like pressure to pay bills, dealing with family situations and other things that can really get you feeling down which makes it even more confusing to me as to why there is so much investment in sports.

I’ll probably keep asking about the love that people have for sports, even if I get an answer I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied. I’m someone that likes to ask a lot of questions and let people enjoy what they enjoy but this is something that’s always going to get to me.

Gimme money?! (Please)

hmm
Me looking at Paypal Requests

Every time I look on the internet and the interactions people have on it, questions come to mind. People are so brave with the things they ask and I don’t get it. It’s great to have confidence but there are a lot of weird people online and in a lot of cases, I feel that most people don’t know what these strange people are capable of. I’ve heard of people tracking down IP addresses, finding social media pages with no links and learning details that they shouldn’t have access to just to speak to someone. That being said, I want to know why people are so comfortable asking for money online.

I see a lot of people (mostly women) go online asking for random people to paypal, cashapp or send them money through some other service and the craziest part is that they get the money they ask for. Hoever somebody wants to gain money is their business, I don’t approve of all the ways but that’s another conversation all together. What I’m saying here is that it’s very sketchy to receive money from a stranger online just because. There needs to be a reason uniting people, like a tragedy or something, I don’t know how people can trust money from random strangers and not even think about the possibility of strings being attached. There’s a chance that people who send others money online are just extremely generous but there’s also a chance that they could be socially vulnerable and think that’s how to start a genuine interaction. How can someone be so sure that they’re not receiving money from the type of person who likes to powerfully sniff socks that have just been used for jogging? (If this counts as fetish shaming then it is what it is)

I’ve always seen this kind of thing as dangerous, maybe because I feel to take things from people who don’t represent organisations requires some trust. It’s easy to consider taking money from strangers online as harmless but the internet isn’t a straightforward place. People are unaware of the information they put out there, they’re also unaware of how the information gets used. One day you make a few keystrokes and the next day, you’ve got an email telling you that you’re part of a marketing plan that you didn’t sign up for.

It’s possible I could be thinking of the most extreme cases which is why it doesn’t sit well with me when I see people getting money from strangers online. Until proven otherwise, I don’t think any sane person would give a stranger money online, just because the stranger said that they want it. It doesn’t make any sense, no matter how I look at it. Money is usually hard earned or exchanged for time, so for someone to come online and say ‘hey give me money! I don’t really need it for anything but I want it and don’t want to work for it’ and expect that they’d get it from someone who’s definitely sane is stupid. I’m not trying to talk down on anyone who asks random strangers for money online for no reason other than they don’t want to work for it (although I feel I can be forgiven for calling these guys bums) and I’m not trying to talk shit on anyone who gives these strangers money (even though they probably have a few screws lose), I’m just saying that it’s something that people should really take more seriously.

Work thoughts: Doing enough

When it comes to life, there’s this weird sense of never doing enough or at least that’s how I feel about it. After school, time passed by very quickly for me and I honestly have no idea what I spent it doing. Life feels like a blur outside of education, one day you’re 16, the next you’re 21 and then it’s a crazy age which makes you ask ‘what am I doing?’ way too often.

I don’t mind the whole thing of keeping track of life and being aware of where you are at all times but it can be so scary because life does a lot to take you by surprise. There’s a pressure to achieve something good out of your life but the way it’s been presented to me makes me question how possible it is when I reach a certain age. There are lots of sayings out there which will tell you some stuff about how age doesn’t matter and when you start something is just that because only the finish matters but I can’t help but feel some kind of way about it. There are so many people out there who are known and successful and when I look at the ages that they first came to prominence it always seems to be around the mid 20’s and that leads me to believe the late 20’s are the beginning of the end and the 30’s are the end.

There seems like there’s a lot to do in 24 hours but let’s be real, it’s not straightforward at all. Everybody has their responsibilities and what not, it’s also hard to be disciplined, not to mention the amount of times you have to fight your internal thoughts just to feel like you have the confidence to start something. I think it’s great to be productive and have something to aim at but the negative things that come with it are more overwhelming than they should be.

We never know how life is going to go. Putting hours into something doesn’t necessarily mean success and there are a lot of things that could be classed as unnecessary stress that we’re aware of but it doesn’t mean that we can just stop it. I like the aspirational mindset, it’s important to have goals because as far as I know, we get this one chance to make something of life but I wonder how we can avoid the trap of pressure from not doing enough that will always end badly.

Tradition…

giphy
Tradition vs. Logic

 

Recently, I read a blog post by Prince Petty (Link here) and watched a video on bridal kidnappings in Kyrgyzstan and I’ve got to say fuck that was something I didn’t expect. It just goes to show how different each part of the world is even in the 21st century. When I think of kidnappings, usually it happens when someone is pushing drugs on the wrong turf, maybe you just want to teach someone you don’t like a lesson, or if you’re Madeleine McCann. I don’t ever think of it happening if you want to tell someone that you love them, that’s a different level of fucked up. The thing that stood out to me was that a lot of people were aware of how weird the tradition of kidnapping women and forcing them into marriage was (and is) but they accepted that it was the tradition and that made me question if tradition is so important.

Essentially, what I saw was women being kidnapped and having their futures decided for them and no matter how much they opposed, it wasn’t relevant. In the west, the idea of kidnapping someone sounds crazy! I think you can get arrested for it and because of that, I can never see it becoming a tradition around this part of the world. That’s enough on kidnapping (for now), what I want to know is if tradition is so important that it can justify anything. Even if you know something doesn’t make sense, or it’s clearly wrong, is it ok to accept it and not speak out because it’s what you’re culture has known for years. The way people raise each other is crazy, the rules that are set can play a big part on how someone views life when they grow up and it helps to form their moral compass. In the little things it’s not so bad but then with bigger things like kidnapping, or beating up people for gang initiations, there are clearly questions that have to be asked.

In the video, one person implied that she knew kidnapping was wrong but she asked what could be done given that it’s their tradition. It makes me think that people don’t speak out on some things for the sake of not disrespecting the rules but when it comes to a set of rules, there’s no way that everybody accepts them without question. Honouring tradition definitely shows a respect for the culture but with some traditions it looks like there’s no consideration for certain lives and I don’t get it. Humans come together and make communities, they also make the rules the communities live by so as time passes and people become more advanced, it only makes sense that they update the rules.

Some people hold history sacred, we look at old rules that are set in place and some look at it like it’s law so they don’t question where said rules came from. Some things make sense but I don’t think everything should be blindly followed because it doesn’t allow for growth. It’s hard to speak out against traditions, in fact I reckon in a lot of cases it might be smarter not to voice it if you’re not so fond of it (at least not on your own). I (mostly) respect how people can follow tradition through time but the case of the bridal kidnappings shows how it doesn’t benefit everybody. Tradition is tradition, it’s part of the being of a society, I know that for a lot of places it will take time before it changes and that’s just life but when looking at some things, I think that no tradition is above being reviewed.

Once again it’s crazy how different upbringings can be depending on where you’re based. The kidnappings make me think that a lot societies need to speak about things are embedded in the culture but just because it’s weird to me, it doesn’t mean that it’s weird to them. I don’t think tradition should be held as highly as it is by people because it can always change, it just depends on who has the power to change it and if it benefits them. I don’t think traditions justify much either, in a sense they’re just ways for people to interact with each other but that’s something that changes over time as well.

Thoughts on Hero Mask

maxresdefault

THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS

Netflix has a decently sized library of original anime but I don’t tend to pay attention to them, there’s no reason why I don’t if I’m honest. If I kept looking past the anime, I might not have noticed Hero Mask, a pretty new addition to Netflix. The show follows James Blood, a police officer working in London for an organisation called the SSC, he teams up with Sarah Sinclair who works for the Crown Prosecution Service as they both investigate the LIVE Corporation following the murder of Sarah’s mentor Monica Campbell and a series of strange incidents involving masks which increase human ability.

I’ve got to be honest here, I picked this show at random. I’m meant to be watching Hunter x Hunter but I have no idea when I’m going to get around to it so I needed a dose of anime to get a fix. There’s nothing that really attracted me to this show outside of the name and I didn’t have any expectations, I used this as a chance to gauge the anime content that Netflix puts out given that it’s got some pretty good originals. I can’t say that I was very impressed (or even slightly impressed) with this show, if anything it’s just another anime for the list. I feel like this show could have been a lot better than what I saw, especially because it was obvious that the show was going to have a second season but it didn’t have anything going for it.

I can’t say that I followed the story well enough because I focused on the things the show annoyed me with. First thing was that it really didn’t give me a reason to care about James, the main character. I’m sure he’s meant to have a personality but I couldn’t see it and it’s not like there wasn’t enough screen time for me to get an idea. I could only assume that his motivation was getting to the bottom of who murdered Monica but it seemed like Sarah was more invested in that. There were opportunities to really explore James and I thought one would have come when his former partner Harry Creighton was introduced, needless to say, that added nothing to James. It’s not like James had to be a great character although, I would have preferred if he was. I’ve never heard of a show giving its viewers nothing on a character, let alone a main character. The only way I can sum up how bad it is, is that the original Broly has more of a backstory than James.

830px-baby_broly_and_goku-300x201
You know something’s wrong when this is a more solid backstory than what you’ve got

The show doesn’t do anything to help its portrayal of James Blood because it feels like everybody but him gets some exposition. The crazy thing is that just like James, for most of the characters, I was left wondering a lot about them. The handling of characters was very different to what I have seen in the past, new characters being introduced closer to the end of the season, character motivations being explained when the story arc is pretty much over, all of it didn’t sit right with me. It’s also worth mentioning that nothing was really cleared up in the story.

I don’t want to say that the show didn’t try to be interesting because I’d be lying but I’m really not sure what the director was going for. There was a fight scene between James and Harry where they had a little exchange in the middle of the road and cars drove by as if nothing was happening. British people are great at minding their own business (history might say something else) but this scene just made no sense and it felt like that for a few fight scenes. It wasn’t only fights where the show tried to have an impact, it tried to showcase the strengths of some characters as well as be emotional but all of it fell flat for me because I wasn’t given enough to be fully invested.

There’s a lot to say but it would feel like I’m completely shitting on this story when what I’m trying to say is that it could have done better from all aspects. That being said, I don’t fully feel it would be right to be turned off by the first season and I should see what the second has to offer if it doesn’t get cancelled.

Other thoughts:

  • The geography of London is suspect but I did like that I could recognise a few places from the city in this show.
  • The animation looked better towards the end of the season or is that me?
  • The last part of episode 14 and first part of episode 15 were flashbacks and I didn’t realise.
  • Still wondering about the significance of the masks.
  • There’s a scene where some mercenaries are firing bullets at James, with the amount of bullets being fired you’d think they had Solid Snake’s infinite ammo headband.
  • Still not entirely sure why Monica had to die.

Context matters

With social media, especially twitter, I feel like some basic lessons in life go under the radar. We all know that a fair amount of people on social media are addicted to reactions, it doesn’t matter how valid the content is if it gets a lot of engagement and that allows people to get away with saying some things that they wouldn’t necessarily get away with in a real life interaction. On twitter, I see a lot of people posting short video clips or photos of something and it usually comes with some context but the context is rarely right. That shit is dangerous because it’s easy to believe something when it’s making rounds.

Whenever we hear something, we usually get as much information as possible before making a judgement but on social media, it looks like if the information given has enough views (and enough people looking at it in a certain light) then the decision is made for us. I’m not a fan of it because we live in a time where the things posted on social media have real life consequences, the internet bleeds into reality more and more so, we have to be careful of what we’re putting out there. Context matters so much, especially online but it’s something that’s never fully accepted because people are addicted to being upset. Many people actively search for things to be pissed off about so, it comes across as if people don’t take time to consider the information they come across before reacting.

In most cases, I don’t blame people for reacting to information that they see online, we can’t always know better. I blame people who post up videos and pictures with the wrong context. I feel like it’s safe to say that when people post media, describing what’s happening, they know if they’re telling the truth or not so it means that people deliberately lie about the things they post just to get engagement. One thing about social media that’s good is everybody can interact with each other, so when one person gets their facts wrong (accidentally or purposely) there’s always a chance for somebody who’s aware of the situation to correct them and provide the right context. Reacting to shit on social media is so normal and people take advantage of that, without caring about what it means for the bigger picture.

Context is important, it’s always been important. It’s way too vital to be ignored the way it is on social media. There are outlooks that are popular online and some of these contribute to people ignoring context. In a place where so much information flies in all directions on a daily basis at such a speed where you could argue that there’s not much point in paying attention to it, it honestly does make sense why I see so much online that’s doesn’t sit right with me. I don’t think it will stop any time soon but everybody definitely needs to be aware of the things we allow ourselves to fall victim to.

Can you separate someone from their art?

Is it possible to separate someone from their art, their creations, the possible good that they’ve given us if they’re not good? If you’re thinking this post is inspired by the R. Kelly situation then you’re right. I didn’t watch the Surviving R. Kelly documentary but so much information from it kept finding its way onto my social media feeds. We know R. Kelly is a scumbag (this isn’t new, we’ve all known this for years!), we also know the size of the piece of shit he is. I’m not about to go in on the guy, there must be loads of blog posts detailing the negative feelings that people have towards him so adding another one gets boring and to be honest, I’m not as outraged because I haven’t watched the documentary and he personally never meant anything to me.

What I want to ask is if it’s possible to separate R. Kelly from his music? I spoke to a friend who said that he could still listen to R. Kelly’s music because it’s good. In a sense, the things people create are extensions of themselves, so when looking at it like that it’s easy to see why people feel that it’s right to stop listening to R. Kelly. From what I’ve seen a lot of people (under 30) want nothing to do with R. Kelly, even though he’s made a lot of impactful songs for them, it’s not enough to distract from what he’s done. There are a few ways to look at the situation when it comes to the music, I say this because music affects everybody in different ways, everybody has a personal relationship with a song they listen to and it has nothing to do with the creator. The quality of R. Kelly as a person doesn’t reflect in the quality of his music and what his music has done for people shouldn’t directly be linked to him.

I wouldn’t be surprised if more information about R. Kelly comes out in a few years as well as the people who let him get away with his actions. Personally, there are songs of R. Kelly that I really like and get the feeling to listen to once in a while and I’m not sure if I’m ready to stop listening to them forever, if anything I might stop listening to them in time but as I stand now, I’ll probably find a way to listen to his music that doesn’t put money into his pockets.

When it comes to celebrities, for some reason we non celebrities people put them on a pedestal and expect more of them when we have no reason to. We’re surprised and disgusted when we find that some celebrities are terrible people even though, there’s nothing to say that it’s not a possibility. The weird thing about it is that everyday people are to objectively look at each other, it’s easy to distinguish the good from the bad, even if one (non celebrity) person has a bad experience with another (non celebrity) person, they’re able to separate the good times and speak well of the positive attributes of said person whilst still accepting that they don’t like said person.

I don’t think anybody is truly ever going to get away from the idea that their work represents them and that’s something that people have to accept with R. Kelly. I think it might be a situation that takes time, at this point, listening to anything from R. Kelly without acknowledging what he’s done is difficult but it’s also difficult to stop listening to his music if you’re a fan. He’s made a lot of solid songs over the years which makes it interesting to see if it’s possible to distance him from his music.