Tuesday, June 02, 2009

AMD vs INTEL - It is all about the brand, don't you see?

 [An office set for an interview - you are at the head of the table, your panelists are at the sides; and at the far end - there is a seat for the job seeker].

You have two applicants, one of them with a first class, and the other with a second class upper division – same qualifications, and same discipline. Let us assume that the guy with the first class has no idea how to dress properly (long and untidy hair, stripped shirt on stripped trousers, brown belt on white socks plus black shoes, and far from straight G-line), and for the sake of this article, we will assume that the guy with the second class uppers looks the part of the perfect employee (he oozes confidence from head to toe, and he is looking like he deserves a place on your side of the table).
Last week, I was privileged to meet ‘Lolu Mogaji, of Image Quotient Consulting. He was at Oduduwa hall, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, to speak about Image and Personal Branding - as applies to a young graduate.
He has set me thinking, and for the past few days, I have done quite some research on the place of Image and Personal Branding in business and personal success, and I will be sharing my findings here.
First of all, to the scenario above, no right thinking employer will give a job to a first class graduate who has no idea how to dress for an interview – (as in the guy looks like a fisherman with a net around his neck), and who cannot speak clearly and convey his ideas with clarity and force over a second class upper division graduate who looks the part of a business executive, sounds like he has been in the business of public speaking for decades, and speaks with lots of enthusiasm and vigour (probably except  you set out to employ a first class fisherman).
I was reading a great book by David H. Maister recently, Some Advice to a young professional, and in it he tries to give pretty straight to the point advice to people like me (and maybe you) – who fall into the class of people called young professionals. I am working on making the book available for free downloads, if possible without breaking copyright laws. As one of his many points, he argues that a young professional should be an individual, and not a member of a class or subset. 
It strikes me now that we meet far more people in one year than our parents did 25 years ago (what with facebook, messenger, mobile phone chat, etc), and now I understand when people cannot seem to remember my name after they met me once – it is just proof that there was nothing about me that impressed them. For example, you simply don’t get to forget someone like ‘Lolu Mogaji, Deolu Akinyemi, Wale Osideinde, Koye-Ladele Mogbekeloluwa, Deji Adeshina etc when you meet them; they leave an indelible mark on your mind. In simple English, for someone to remember your name – out of like the thousands of people he meets per year, something about you has to stand out.
Enter brandimage, and reputation!!!
AMD vs Intel, Google vs Bing, Coca Cola vs Pepsi, Vista vs Linux, Linux vs Macintosh, MTN vs Etisalat? Frankly, whichever one you prefer is most likely not because of the composition, it is because of the brand, the image, and the reputation. Many computer users do not even know the difference between AMD and Intel boards, the singular reason why more Nigeria computer users prefer Intel is because of the brand, theimage, and the reputation.
I am going to be drawing my definitions from quite a number of sources. First of all, according to Encarta English Dictionaries, a brand is a distinctive type of something (for example, Google is a brand as far as Internet search is concerned, etc). Secondly, according to Marshawn Evans, your image is how you portray yourself – simply put, how you communicate visually. Thirdly and very simply, as far as I am concerned - your reputation is what people think of you.
I was reading another great book, How to think like the World’s greatest high tech titans, and there is this chapter about Yahoo where the author says something quite profound – Make it easy for your customers to choose your products over all others, give them something they’ll ask for by name. And in quite a lot of ways, that statement is as simple as it sounds – you simply have to make it easy for people to choose your product – which in this case is you – over all others on the block. There has to be something about you that will make people/an organization/an employer choose you over every other person who professes to add the same value. There simply has to be this outstanding thing about you that will leave an indelible mark on the minds of people you meet.
That something could be in the way you walk (I have a friend who spent 3 months perfecting a CEO gait), it could be in the way you pronounce your words, it could be in your word play and your use of language, it could be the way you dress, it could be anything. This is the place of image. You simply have to pay attention to the image you project, because the kind of image you project determines the kind of mark you leave on the minds of the people you meet.
Funny enough, consciously or un-consciously, you are leaving a mark on the people you meet anyway. You could meet some people and they just go like – I never want to see that guy again in my life. That goes to show that if you do not consciously doctor your image, people still get an impression. For example, a guy who thinks it is not important what he wears, and goes to a business meeting in a slack round neck and jeans, still ends up projecting the image of an unserious guy; and on the other hand, the guy who pays attention to the smallest details ends up projecting the image of someone you want to work with.
Finally, your reputation is what people think of you. There is this one place where we like to claim that we don’t care what people think, and that is church. There are some ties that once you see them, you don’t need to ask what denomination the guy belongs to, it is written all over the tie, and there are some skirts that look like they are supposed to assist the Lagos State Waste Management Agency in keeping our streets clean. Mostchurch guys and girls like to claim that it does not matter what they wear, and that haters (people who have a different opinion) can go to “hell”. Hey, I may not know much, but I sure know that it matters what people think about you. Obviously, you have to leave a good impression on a panel of interviewers before they give you a job, bro - isn’t that reputation?
There is this link between your value system, your image, and your reputation, and I will look at that in detail very soon.
But for now, please seat back and ponder the following statement from ‘Lolu Mogaji – Image is everything...
I'll appreciate your comments...


  1. Great write up, but I fear that it is a little too long. Next time, Koye, please watch the length.

    On the other hand, really great write up, appealing title, and great writing.

    Keep it up.

  2. I really thought you wrote something on AMD and Intel seeing that you are the only person I know that uses an AMD board and actually likes it.
    How are you?
    Long time.
    Anyways, even though I was looking for something on AMD and Intel, I'v gotten something from your branding ise.
    Take care.

  3. this is great-not disjointed and quite interestin.its a very good one,long but i enjoyed it.job well done.