MARKETING AFRICA MAL 18/17 mal 18:17 online - Page 10

STREETWISE MARKETING THE OPEN MARKETING REVOLUTION By Evans Majeni G rowing up, we, the boys were scolded whenever we leaned towards the kitchen. Kitchen was the exclusive domain of the ladies. Most kitchens were outside the main house. Even in urban areas where kitchens were in the same house, there was a distinct demarcation. Food was prepared away from the glare of the partakers and served through a tiny window opening to the dining room. This thinking informed the closed kitchen idea. Over the last Easter, I travelled home with my family. By design, I left Nairobi very early to avoid the many police extortion cartels that line our highways. I was in Nakuru town just around 7:30 am. This time, unlike in the past when we were consigned to roadside kiosks, we had breakfast in a beautiful Java House Nakuru branch. I even had a chance to use their free WIFI and their toilet facilities which were sparkling clean. Later, we would take lunch at KFC Kisumu. They too had great ambience, super clean toilet and free WIFI. Back in our campus days, a close friend got an attachment as a salesman selling dog food. Their ‘‘ Old marketing was more about public image. Packaging was king. One could get away with a nice looking product processed in filthy conditions. The customer cared less about the processes and conditions under which the product was made. That was left to the licensing authorities. The assumption was if it looks good, it must be good. 08 MAL 18/17 ISSUE supposed production plant was in industrial Area, Nairobi. They had a beautiful product on supermarket shelves. I never had a chance to visit their production plant but my friend confided in me that the product I admired on the shop floor passed through disgusting and very unhygienic processes in the factory. Another friend working in an eatery in town also confessed that if I got to see what goes on in their kitchen, I would never again patronize their outlet and would actually puke all the way to the ICU. This is not about the emergence of modern and world class outlets taking over the country side. That will be a story for another day. This is about the new marketing trend where marketers unwrap their products right before their clients to show case what is inside. If it is food, it is prepared right before you. Both Java House and KFC have one thing in common: An open kitchen. Old marketing was more about public image. Packaging was king. One could get away with a nice