The Good, The Brand and The Ugly

“Monkey no fine but eem mama like am”. This popular pidgin English proverb is commonly used to make reference to the unflinching love people have for something unappealing, just because they created it or toiled hard to acquire it. In the course of my career I have come across many professionals, be it product managers, business owners and most commonly music artists who believe in a project so much that no matter how much appeal it lacks, nothing can convince them to either trash it or modify it simply because it’s their “baby’. In situations like that, everyone can tell the “baby” is ugly but they refuse to accept it because they birthed it.



The “Ugly baby” concept is a time and resource waster and can easily dismiss the credibility of your brand. Many businesses and individuals spend loads of dollars to run impractical campaigns simply because they had come too far in the creation process to shelf it. You still switch on your TV, check your social media feed or drive through the streets in Ghana and see loads of marketing campaigns being run that clearly have no soul. It’s even more commonplace in the showbiz industry where you find musicians work so hard on a project and refuse to modify or re-do it just because they and their team put in so much work to create it. There is a high percentage of music artists in Ghana who do not test their singles or albums with an audience before they release. And it’s painful to watch them spend time and money on promotion without realizing they are nursing an “ugly baby”.


Couple of years ago, whilst working in the brand team at Vodafone Ghana, there were many instances where marketing campaigns were not approved just a few days to launch. I remember how we would do focus group tests and dipsticks jus to ensure every communication was spot on. No matter how much time, work and effort we put into creating the campaign, if it did not tick the right boxes, everyone set their egos aside and went back to the drawing board. This taught me to appreciate feedback and put K.P.I’s at the forefront of every strategy or campaign I develop. In marketing, aesthetics are nice, but aesthetics without objectives are fruitless. Do not let an agency sway you into running a campaign fueled by just ideas and aesthetics. Remember that most times the agency’s main objective is to make money, win awards after and then your business’s objectives can be considered last. The best way to stop nursing the “ugly baby” is by simply accepting feedback.


Feedback is priceless, and you should jump on any opportunity to receive it. Testing your project is a simple way of gathering feedback, and you can test your project by running focus groups, surveys or sending out simple Google questionnaires. I thrive on feedback and before I proceed publicly with any project, I run it by a section of my audience. It’s hard to take feedback sometimes because of how some people give it, however you should be tact in identifying the common responses and sifting through the chaff. Feedback must be constructive so that it doesn’t come out offensive or disheartening, but once you get the right feedback it does two main things.


  • It helps you identify your audience’s challenges, which guides you to create solutions to suit them.
  • It helps you measure satisfaction amongst your audience, which guides you in modifying a solution.

In conclusion, feedback is the holy grail of brand building and a key reason to why most Fortune 500 companies are where they are. Speak to a professional about your project today. Speak to me via mail at

2 thoughts on “The Good, The Brand and The Ugly

  1. One of my fav quotes which i find very useful these days “A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or company.” -Marty Newmeier, The Brand Gap
    Maybe even a reflection of His or Her personality .
    Unfortunately in our part of the world there are so many “Ugly babies” and those that birth it are just too stubborn to embrace change.

    Liked by 1 person

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