Happy Saturday. Penning this as I see the wind blowing furiously outside my window and the rain trickling and knocking furiously against an old bucket which I have been meaning to throw out. Its not going anywhere. Its a bucket thats been with me since I moved to Cape Town, South Africa from Jozi 🙂
But this is not a piece Cape Town’s weather. Its a subject that I been thinking about for some time now. How does Digital work in urban culture? I won’t lie its a thought thats been bothering me for quite some time now. You see whenever you throw the word digital, peeps immediately think Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. I often have a chuckle when peeps say this. These are just channels x not digital. Chew on this for abit:)
Not so long ago I attended a talk by Facebook’s, Chief Global Creative Officer. The guy said one thing in the whole talk which made me view Facebook differently. He said “Facebook is a place where people share memories, stories and its hard for brands to cut through these interactions”. This simple statement when viewed properly has loaded meanings when you bring Urban Culture to the fore on how this “channel” can work for you.
Now that we know that Facebook is just a channel and not digital let me explain my thinking of the importance of digital thinking for urban culture brands. Firstly more than ever before people are looking for meaning. Yes, meaning. Meaning in the sense of “What are you selling to me x “Am I interested in what you are selling x “How will this make me look & feel”x “How will i be viewed when I show what you have given me”. Hard to believe but very true, urban youth more than ever before are looking for ways in which digital can show their expression moreover make them look cool in front of their friends. The only beef I have with whats out there is that digital is not being used to its full potential. Heres why….
Digital in South Africa is always held back based on the assumption that people don’t have access to technology. 2. People don’t watch 7 minute videos x People are data conscious. All of these probably appeal to you in one way or another. But before we make excuses, how are we curbing these excuses? How are we innovating? Urban Youth will be willing to interact with your brand online if you give them something worth sharing. They will then make a plan on how they overcome these obstacles whether its data issues. If its cool they will share it and their friends will share it and so on and so on . The thing to take out in this statement is that “what you create is worthy of a share depending if it makes people look cool”
Mobile in South Africa is a talk of the town. Mobile is a true definition of digital in South Africa. Theres many stats you can look up that bring this to the fore. Like did you know that feature phones are bigger than smartphones? Yes based on penetration, feature phones based on number of phones are bigger. I know you saying “Yeah sure 70% of SA Population lives on less than 5-7k so no wonder they have feature phones”. Thats the beauty of living in South Africa and working on brands that want to change this. We are not that far back when it comes to digital.
The so what you have been waiting for in this piece is that mobile is the future of all digital in South Africa. But funny how most urban culture brands dont think this way. I have no beef with Facebook and all other social mediums. I have beef that our culture does not think far when it comes to digital. We are so caught up in using social to be the face of our work that people have to see.
Here are 3 key things to think about digital
1. Think of the user you are talking to
2. How can you infiltrate a message in digital without asking people to do much
3. You don’t need Social Media to run your brand.
Theres alot of stuff I did not list here. I want you to think. If you belong to the urban culture (not just fashion and music) changing how your view on digital could separate you from others in the culture. It all starts with thinking of the user in all that you do 🙂