Is your Brand Sango or Thor?
Sango (Shango) is a Yoruba (Western Nigerian) deity. He is the god of thunder and lightning. He spits fire and has an axe-like staff that he wields. He appears in a red regalia embellished in cowries and wears his hair in cornrows in a style called “suku” with cowries to adorn it. He is built, strong and always wears a serious face that communicates toughness without parting his lips. He is very protective of his people and demonstrates strength. According to sangoofafrica.com, Sango has the ability to show one the truth just as quickly as possible. Sango only speaks once and represents by fire. Sango has the ability to move people and things with his might and he is quick to anger.
Thor, according to Wikipedia based on Norse mythology is a hammer-wielding god associated with thunder, lightning, storm, oak trees, strength the protection of mankind, and also hallowing, healing, and fertility. He is known for his gold and red regalia and his hammer that only he can wield.
What does this have to do with entrepreneurship?
Have you seen the movie, Thor or Avengers?
Thor is built, dreamy has this breathtaking voice and has an amazing carriage. Sango and Thor are very similar. They have the same powers, capabilities, and followers but what differentiates them?
BRANDING and PACKAGING!
Thor’s composure and presence in an environment are felt, even when he loses his cool, you are moved to find excuses for him. He has as much strength as Sango but if they were both going to pitch ideas to you, you would most likely be swayed to invest in Thor’s idea. Why?
- Thor has a brand identity. You see him, you recognize him in his red and gold regalia and hammer. His brand has a catch to it that keeps you amazed. What is the catch? THE HAMMER. The hammer that only he can lift and no one else. The hammer flies to him when he needs it and is in sync with him. He and his brand are one.
- Thor’s appearance and carriage at first glance speak royalty. Sango does too, maybe not in a modern way but his appearance communicates royalty. Your appearance is your first impression. Even before you speak, people see you and judge you. The phrase “do not judge a book by its cover” does not hold because the brain just works before you even realize it. You are analyzing the person and tagging a mentally constructed perception even before he speaks. Steve Jobs learned this the hard way. He tried pitching an idea to a potential investor but the man-made up his mind did not give him a dime because Steve came to the meeting in uncombed hair looking disheveled, bare feet and had a mildly offensive odor. The investor concluded he was an unserious, dirty riff-raff. In subsequent pitching, he took his appearance and carriage a lot more seriously (Steve’s story is based on his biography by Patricia Lakin).
- Thor understands cover and content principle: Your cover is as important as your content and vice versa. Your cover attracts people and your content keeps people. He sets a standard with his appearance and lives up to expectation with his expression of leadership and character. He never fails his followers when he represents them. Sango does too but his tough outlook makes him almost unapproachable. He scares them away instead. Be friendly to your customers, interact with them. It builds trust and loyalty.
- Thor evolves with the trends. He themed up with the “new school guys” that are well informed with technology (the avengers) and was also willing to ask for help. He found a way to catch up with the constantly evolving technology that iron man brings to the table but Sango seems too stuck to the past, rigid and unchanging. If you do not evolve, your competitors would overtake. Surround yourself with people that would teach you and push you towards achieving your goals faster and better.
- Thor has a command that comes with his voice. He speaks and you listen. He doesn’t shout nor whisper. He has the right blend to keep you attentive. Sango shouts and this makes it difficult to hear him. In pitching your ideas, you must be a good orator and command attention when you speak. Be confident in what you are saying and your customers would sense it and be confident in you. Provoke emotions by your words. Stir up loyalty in your workers and employees.
- Thor is diplomatic. Don’t just act, be calculative. Think your actions through and then act. Sango is quick to act. He acts without totally processing the information. This can be good but it rarely ends well. As an entrepreneur it is important to take calculative risks.
- Thor doesn’t work hard, he works smart. He combines his mind, mouth and might. Don’t move things just by your strength, like Sango. Make calculated decisions. Although he is a god, he also made himself “relateable” and human. Brand humanity is a big factor in relationship building.
There is more but I think you should digest this first and decide, as an entrepreneur which would you want your brand to be
Sango or Thor?
Disclaimer: This piece is not written to spite any deity or claim superiority of any over the other. It is my personal opinion written to drive home a point. I respect individual traditions, customs and beliefs. Sango is amazing in his own way and so is Thor.
Written by Blessing Abeng