Four years or so ago,Stanley Ebai Enow multi award winning Cameroonian rapper, radio and TV presenter, and voice actor, co-owner of the record label, Motherland Empire, was a young radio n tv animator unknown to many. With the release of his hit single “Hein Père” in June 2013, Trace TV label him “African music Revelation of the Year.”The “Hein Pere” music video won the award for Best Video of the Year at the 2013 Balafon Music Awards. The song was ranked at number 1 on Reverbnation’s Cameroon list, and on Trace Africa’s Top 10 Songs. He’s had collaborations with the likes of Sarkodie, A.K.A, Ice Prince Zamani, 2Face Idibia,Mr Eazi….
He’s one of the very first rapper to be a brand Ambassador for major international brands such as SAMSUNG ,Guinness and now BICEC…
Stanley Enow is definitely a brand characterised by vitriol, bluster, controversy and anger.
Over time, he has demonstrated incredible staying power, despite the fact that many predicted he will fizzle out.
Following a recent encounter with the man behind the brand at his brand ambassador contract signing event for a financial institution ,I got intrigued by the “brand” and had to take a closer look and in this post, I share what you can learn from the “bayangi boy’s” commitment to the tenets of personal branding. You may or may not agree with his style and music (which is not my focus here) but his personal branding techniques serve as a tried-and-true model for anyone seeking success.
1. Be consistent. Say what you will about Stanley Enow– he has been called names by his fellow Artists and the media, but he has been called all of these things consistently. From the sweeping, provocative statements to his instantly recognizable (and mimic-able) rap style, we get what we expect. Just like we get the same locally made sugar regardless of where we buy it, Enow is a master of this important concept of branding – consistency. Strong brands deliver on their promise with everything they do.
2. Be confident. When Stanley says #OnEsHighPere– he says it with such conviction that it seems plausible. His followers don’t doubt that especially when he is projected to lime light world wide. It’s a message of hope that resonates with many youths. Confidence is one of the most attractive brand attributes there is. We gravitate to those who are self-assured and unwavering in their optimistic promises. Of course, this is only useful in building a brand if it’s rooted in reality. To build your brand – and your following – demonstrate conviction and exude confidence, backed by the true ability to follow through on your promises.
3. Take a stand. Many professionals try not to make waves and want everyone to like them, yet the strongest brands in the world often repel as many people as they attract. Strong brands express a point of view and stick with it fervently. Few people are on the fence about Stanley Enow. His brand reflects true polarity: There’s a petition by many who consider not so good rapper to consider a career change while at the same time his fans consider him the #kingkong and daupest of all times repping Cameroon worldwide. It may feel uncomfortable, but personal branding is not about pleasing all the people all the time. It’s about taking a stand – knowing that not everyone is going to agree with you.
4. Create demand through intrigue. The reason people turn up in record numbers says less about interest in the music per say and is more a reflection of wanting to hear what Stanley Enow is going to come up with this time. I believe It’s one of the reason he is solicited by several brands n artists. His audacity is intriguing, and it’s what makes fans want in. When building your brand, you want to spark a high level of interest (being audacious is just one way to accomplish that).
5. Be recognizable. Strong brands have a trademark. For some it is a catchphrase For others, it’s a piece of clothing – like Mark Zuckerberg’s gray t-shirt. For Stanley Enow it’s both his catch phrase (Bayangi Boy) and his clothing style (a consistent representation of his African /Cameroonian heritage with class). Oh I almost forgot his signature mouth smirk ala Lil’Wayne. What’s your trademark?
6. Build brand ambassadors. Stanley Enow has a community of people who support him – a group of brand ambassadors who are on a mission to help him build his brand. His Motherland Empire has different departments (music, clothing & accessories, pictures and a foundation) They help him carry his message, defend his statements and work steadfastly on his behalf. We all need others to help spread our message. Personal branding is not something you do by yourself. You need to build a core community before you can grow your visibility in the larger community.
Above all, Stanley Enow is authentic, and that’s the most important tenet of personal branding. Confidence, arrogance and thinking big have always been a part of who he is. These are not new traits that are being introduced just for the sake of the being an artist; I don’t believe he is crafting a persona or wearing a mask. From the few people I spoke with It was there when he was the regular guy trying to make ends meet with gigs as an animator on radio and tv. Stanley Enow is true to who he is – whether we like him or not.