We recently caught up with Awa K. Ndukwe, a Brand Strategist and Coach, based in Nigeria. Awa talked about how his career in Branding kicked off. He also explained the role of a Brand Strategist, and how to create engaging content on social media. Awa has found alot of success on LinkedIn as a Brand Influencer and he currently works as a Brand Strategist at Optivity Now.
Hello Awa, and thank you for participating in this Q&A session. We would like to start this interview by exploring your origin story. Please give us an overview of your background and career journey to date?
Awa: My name is Awa k. Ndukwe. I am a Nigerian by birth. I graduated from the University of Lagos, Nigeria 🇳🇬 in the year 2011. I have always loved colours, writing, fashion, standing out in the crowd, and most especially business. I started my first business in High school, where I first started selling watches, and I have since then built and gone through lots of businesses ranging from Agriculture to restaurants, to dredging, haulage, transportation and many more.
Branding has always been a part of me, and as I grew, the passion for it kept increasing. Today, I have worked with several brands and teams globally, gotten several awards and recognitions, and also taught branding in various gatherings. Branding is a necessity for any business to be successful in today's business ecosystem.
What initially attracted you to Branding as an area of specialisation?
Awa: I had various businesses running at the time, which included farming, dredging and a restaurant, but I couldn't market them productively, even after paying several media and marketing officials, to do so.
After so many failures and losses, I went on google and that was when I first saw the word "Branding". I thought I had done all that with fancy fliers, websites, logos, and all that. But then I realized it was much more than that.
Branding is about making a promise and keeping the promise consistently over a given period of time. It was about my team, it was about building a perception and positioning. It is about how my clients feel and think of my business.
All of this, opened my eyes into the deeper world of Branding.
Has your entrepreneurial journey been influenced by any past or present business leaders?
Awa: I am a very big fan of Jay Z. His contagious entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, and commitment turned him into the billion dollar mogul he is today.
As his rap career prospered over the ensuing decades, he also began an insatiable pursuit of new business opportunities, including the founding of several companies and making several other shrewd investments that extended beyond the rap world.
He founded among other ventures, a clothing company, a restaurant chain, a sports management firm, two record labels, and the streaming service Tidal.
His personal brand is a mix of creativity, black excellence, a perception of being the best at what he does, and staying focused. He’s been able to infuse this into opening successful businesses and making a positive impact on society today. All of these are due to his consistency, creativity, and understanding of the essence of Branding. This is why he is one of my greatest influences.
Please describe the roles of a Brand Coach and a Brand Strategist within the startup ecosystem?
Awa: A Brand Strategist is the magician behind the growth of Brands. They build the skeletons and gives them life to move from point A to point B.
Brand Strategists are responsible for creating the right strategy necessary for a brand to attain it's vision and visibility, while a Brand coach teaches all about branding.
What are the top Branding issues clients come to you with?
Awa: 1️⃣ They have an idea but don't know how to go about achieving it.
2️⃣ They have a business but now they need to build it's brand, to create awareness and connect to their audience.
3️⃣ They have a brand/business and want to penetrate Africa or Nigeria.
4️⃣ They have a branding team that isn't meeting key performance indicators. So, they need a Team lead or Brand coach, to help build, teach and manage their branding team.
5️⃣ Lastly, they need a Brand strategist to create an effective brand strategy.
As a Content Creator, how do you create engaging content on social media?
Awa: The first thing I do, is make sure the content is relatable to my audience. Next, is connecting with the content from my inside. Then I make sure the content has the right tone that expresses my true personality.
Creating content isn't just about writing, it is the voice of your personality.
I make sure it's easily readable and then I proof read to check for errors or find ways to make it shorter and precise.
Before we end the interview, please tell us what you do to ensure the content you post online is ethical and considerate?
Awa: I make sure my content doesn't cause harm by ensuring that it's positive and valuable to my audience. I also avoid making political, and religious content. I focus more on giving out positivity to my audience and providing content about branding.
We have come to the end of the interview, and would like to thank you for participating in this Q&A session.
Ewa: Thank you.
To contact Awa about any Branding enquiries, use the contact details below. He offers global branding services.
Linkedin link 🔗 - https://www.linkedin.com/in/awa-k-ndukwe