Month: July 2013

12 Amazing buildings/structures of the world you have to see.

Here is a list of amazing and incredible buildings/structures that caught my attention. In no particular order;

The colosseum, Rome
This elliptical amphitheatre in the centre of Rome is considered as one of the greatest architectural feats achieved by the Ancient Romans. The stadium was capable of seating 50,000 spectators and used mainly for gladiatorial games.
Built from concrete and stone, construction began on the Colosseum began around 72AD and finished in 80AD. The design and shape of the Colosseum has been the inspiration for many modern day stadiums. Today it is one of Rome’s most popular tourist attractions, attracting thousands of visitors each year

The Leaning Tower of Pisa
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most remarkable architectural structures in Europe. Most famous for its tilt, the tower began to lean during construction after soft ground on one side was unable to properly support the structure’s weight. 
Building work on the tower began in 1173 and went on for over a whopping 300 years.

Lloyds building, london
This futuristic building looks like it belongs in a sci-fi movie rather than Lime Street in London. The award-winning Lloyds building (also known as the Inside-Out building) is an iconic architectural landmark and one of the most recognisable constructions on the London skyline.

The National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Beijing
The National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), and colloquially described as The Giant Egg, is an opera house in Beijing, People’s Republic of China. The Centre, an ellipsoid dome of titanium and glass surrounded by an artificial lake, seats 5,452 people in three halls and is almost 12,000 m² in size. It was designed by French architect Paul Andreu. Construction started in December 2001 and the inaugural concert was held in December 2007.

House attack(Vienna Austria)
Erwin Wurm, a renowned Austrian artist and Museum Moderner Kunst (MUMOK) combined to create some architectural buzz in 2006, and the result was the “House Attack”

The Longaberger basket building, Newark, USA
The Longaberger Company is an American manufacturer of handcraftedmaple wood baskets and offers other home and lifestyle products, including pottery, wrought iron, fabric accessories and specialty foodstuff. The basket is a replica ,160 times larger than the Longaberger’s Medium Market Basket. It’s 192 ft. long by 126 ft. wide at the bottom, spreading to 208-ft. long by 142-ft. wide at the roofline. It is a magnificent sight especially at night.

Petronas Towers, Kuala
Standing at 170 metres above ground, the Petronas Towers are twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The buildings, which held the titled of tallest in the world between 1998-2004, are an iconic landmark of the capital city

Kansas city public library
The Community Bookshelf is an intriguing piece of architecture at the Public Library in Kansas City, Missouri resembling a book shelf. This striking façade, which runs along the south wall of the Central Library, features book spines measuring 25 feet by 9 feet, and showcases 22 titles reflecting a wide variety of reading interests suggested by readers.

Habitat 67, Montreal, Canada
Habitat 67, or simply Habitat, is a model community and housing complex in Montreal, Canada, designed by Israeli–Canadian architect Moshe Safdie. It was originally conceived as his master’s thesis in architecture at McGill University and then built as a pavilion for Expo 67, the World’s Fair held from April to October 1967. Habitat 67 is widely considered an architectural landmark and one of the most recognizable and significant buildings in both Montreal and Canada.

The piano house, china
This unique piano house was built recently in An Hui Province, China. Inside of the violin is the escalator to the building. The building displays various city plans and development prospects in an effort to draw interest into the recently developed area.This unusual Piano and Violin shaped building built in 2007 serves as showroom for exhibiting the plans for newly created district of Shannan in Huainan City, China.The transparent Violin houses the escalators and the staircase for the main piano building which displays various plans and development prospects for newly developed area.

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is a museum of modern and contemporary art, designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, and located in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain. The museum was inaugurated on 18 October 1997 by King Juan Carlos I of Spain.

Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE
Burj Khalifa, known as Burj Dubai prior to its inauguration, is a skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and is the tallest man-made structure in the world, at 829.8 m (2,722 ft).

Construction began on 21 September 2004, with the exterior of the structure completed on 1 October 2009. The building officially opened on 4 January 2010.

Hope you enjoyed this!
Have a lovely week

TEENS SPEAK: Our teens speak out on the #childnotbride issue.

As the #Childnotbride issue continues, let’s see what our teenagers have to say.

While some opinions tackle the Nigerian government, others correct misinterpretations from the Islamic view and others, just weird and totally different view.

The issue of child marriage- what do you think about it? and what is your idea of the way out if you are against it?

“I have someone who wants to marry me but am not ready. I am not happy. The government should please help me so I don’t get married now. I want to be a nurse but my mother doesn’t agree to that.”
-UBEDA(12)

Some opinions…

It is arrant nonsense. They plan underage marriage for us while their children are studying abroad.
-CHISOM

These people are just educated illiterate that is if they passed through school at all. They are attention seekers, Seeking for people to recognise them before their tenure expires. Being an hausa again, its in their blood and gene. They need to be dealt with.
-KENNY

I think it is a very irrational decision. The question is how many of them can give their own little girls out to men their age. In my own opinion, I think it should be fought against absolutely
– ILERI

I feel it defies every plausible form of morality. Its an intense insult directed towards the idea of being a female. Hell, how could any sensible person willingly concur to the idea of paedophilia, at least one would have to have a seemingly high degree of wisdom before bearing the tag; senator! But unfortunately, as it stands you really don’t have to know your opinions before you are privileged to carry the weight of millions.
-UMAR FAROUQ

They should think of how to address mass failure in exams such as JAMB, WAEC and NECO $ stop saying rubbish.
-NGOZI

Its so wrong and its child abuse. I wonder if the so called leaders can give their daughters out at 13 or even the rich. They all flew their children abroad and are saying nonsense now. Its totally wrong.
-TOLANI

Am strongly against it. someone with instinct wouldn’t agree with such. Let her become a woman before you put her through the marriage stress.
-ABISOLA

I think the ministry of woman affairs should protest against it
-BABATUNDE

It is quite simple. When you say marriage, you talk about a man and a woman and not children. Children are meant to be in school. I dont even know why they debated about child marraige in the first place. We have alot of problems and the issue they decided to touch was ”chilldmarriage” We really have dumb law makers in our country.
-TOSAN OPEYEMI

Its total rubbish!I think they should allow us to grow to the full age o.
-PRECIOUS

Its not good. Children are forced to marry without love. There won’t be understanding among them because they didn’t court. Child bearing will be risky and could lead to excess children and the marriage might not last long. It should be stopped
– TELEMI

Concerning the issue of child marriage, I think it is very wrong for a grown up man to marry a girl between the age of 16-20.
-ADE

Am not in support. Let them give their youngest daughter out first. Then we would know it is not ordinary and someone is behind their problem. They only want to increase our population with early marriage and all sorts which we will not profit anything from. The only solution is cancelling or swallowing back their law
-TOMI

I don’t agree with the idea
-TAOSAND

D government knows what they are doing and if it is legalised its the parents choice to give out their child. Though ignorance is bliss on the sides of the parent.
-TOLUWALASE

…Islam and child marriage

I don’t agree with it to d best of my understanding : Though islam support it based on conditions; only if the girl in question is a full grown with all d physical maturity features. The mental consideration, there is silence. Best known to God. God was only trying to protect the girl ,practicable in a shariah compliance society unlike ours. The senators are only concerned about the privileges offered by islam and not duties required of them. As far as am concerned , I don’t support insertion of that clause in our constitution , until it is inserted in our constitution to stone to death , anybody involved in adultery, until it is inserted in our constitution to hang anybody that tamper with our treasury, until it is inserted in our constitution that nobody among d citizens should suffer any inequality on account of his/her innate disability, all these as prescribed by the same shariah that support d underage marriage. My take.
-Mr NAS

It is bad and doesn’t make any sense. The teaching of islam shouldn’t be misinterpreted. There shouldn’t be sex during her early years. She must attend school. Child bearing should start when she’s 18+ at least. Violators should be jailed
-YEMI

If the prophet is their excuse(marriage 2 Aisha) then that’s a totally exclusive event, a command from Allah which does not apply to the rest of the ummah i.e islam doesn’t support it and if its tribal then such should be exterminated. Its totally an abuse of the feminine character. We only have people in power not leaders and May Allah save us from the evil of half knowledge because it kills much more than ignorance. An ignorant fellow can become knowledgeable but one with half knowledge is a potential danger which is the case here. The whole government needs to be wiped clean. If boko haram helps with dis, Nigerians would be grateful rather than being transgressors under the guise of Jihad. Take it or leave it , sharia would give nigeria the reform it needs if only we know its true essence and embrace it. There’s more to say but I’ll like to hold my peace
-FOLABI

…Some couldn’t help the use of harsh words

Its absurd. Its rubbish. They should all be castrated ,those foolish senators. I think a rally of protest by citizens would help.
-BIDEWISE

I seriously think what someone does in their private life is their business but passing something of that nature into a bill is barbaric. The senators that aye-d the notion should be cut into tiny pieces and scattered onto the sahara. As for those misunderstanding the hadith and bring religion into this, may God grant them deep understanding.
-LARA

…the weird opinions

About the child marriage, its not bad to me. interestingly most girls complaining about this have had sex oo! and not married yet. so whats there in child marriage? Thanks.
-WHALE IDOWU

As a female child, if my parents agree to give me out, no problem since its an agreement. But I must have at least a house in England, at least 10 bad rides ,a private jet, must not repeat any cloth, go shopping in Dubai every two months, have at least 5 house maids, my children will school in any school of their choice abroad and anything I want. The man’s name most be among the top richest in Nigeria if not in the world
-ZAYNAB

its okay only if the man is a rich man so that the child would marry a rich family
-SANMI

And the very long cry…

I was devastated when I read the message of our supposed leader. He not only supported underage marriage but he gave excuses not reasons for supporting paedophilia. I was stunned at his message and I felt an urge to give him a reply to show how invalid his argument is.

Senator Yerima in his little speech, said that he wouldn’t mind giving out his 6yr old daughter out in marriage. I wasn’t surprised when I read this because this practise has always been existent in the North it is being fought against now because Muslims are trying to force down their practise on others forgetting that Nigeria is not a Muslim nation and will never be one. Here is Yerima’s exact words about giving out his underage daughter out in marriage. “”I tell you most honestly, I can give her out
at the age of 6 if I want to and its not your business””.
Nigeria I’m sorry to say, is a lawless country that is why a senator can afford to openly come out and say he can give out his 6yr old child’s hands in marriage and it is nobody’s business. In other countries, the mere fact that you gave birth to a child doesn’t make you a “LORD” over that child. You can’t treat your child as you please and say it’s nobody’s business, it is the government’s business but in Nigeria a government official is the one making such hideous statement. How pathetic can this great nation get?!

He also said that when a kid is married out she isn’t touched till she attains maturity and I ask what age is “maturity”? Is it puberty? Of course we know puberty never means maturity. It is but a starting point of maturity which would take years to attain. If maturity to you Northerners is when she starts developing breasts and begins to observe her monthly cycle, then I can’t help but weep profusely at the dormancy of your thinking faculty. If you actually allow them attain real maturity before you touch them then why is VVF predominant in the North?

I very much doubt if you northerners practising this dastardly act of very early girl-child marriage even know the meaning of VVF! You rape those kids and impregnate them and their tender bodies collapse at the pressure they aren’t yet built for.

You don’t care what you do to those kids as long as you satisfy your animalistic urges. You want fresh bodies but you go about soiling other younger ladies in the name of parties and when you want to get married you pick minors and claim you are doing them favour.
-SHYEELAW OSADOLOR

*Those interviewed are between the age 12-20
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Weird or harsh. These are the opinions of teens on the #childnotbride issue.
Tell us your opinion on the issue and possible solutions too.
What’s your take? #childnotbride
Please leave your comments…

American Inspirational star,TALIA JOY CASTELLANO, 13, dies of cancer. Read about her brave fight.

Talia Joy Castellano – the bubbly, beautiful YouTube sensation whose makeup tutorials inspired hundreds of thousands of subscribers and earned her a spot on The Ellen DeGeneres Show died Tuesday, July 16, following a six-year battle with cancer. She was 13 years old.

“Talia left us to be with the angels today,” her family said in a statement. “We were fortunate to call her ‘Ours’ and honored to have shared in her amazing life’s journey. Even though this void will never be filled, she will continue to live in our hearts forever. We thank everyone for their support in this extremely difficult time.”

A heartfelt message was also posted on her Facebook shortly after news broke of her death.

“It is with a heavy heart that we share with all of you that Talia earned her wings at 11:22 a.m.,” a message on her official Facebook page read. “Please lift her beautiful soul, her beautiful light to heaven, and please send your love and prayers to her family during this most difficult time.”

Castellano, who was diagnosed with stage-four neuroblastoma when she was just 7 years old, started using makeup “as a wig” shortly after she found out she was sick. In July 2011, she began filming makeup tutorials in her bedroom — short, how-to videos for the glam, colorful looks she invented. Within months, she had hundreds of thousands of subscribers and millions of views on her more than 150 YouTube clips.

As her following grew, so did her fame. Last year, after the inspiring teen revealed she had been diagnosed with leukemia (in addition to the neuroblastoma she had already been fighting). Doctors suggested a bone marrow transplant as a possible remedy but Talia decided to forgo another painful surgery and enjoy her remaining days.
fans started a grassroots campaign to make her dream of meeting Ellen DeGeneres come true. DeGeneres eventually took notice, and in September 2012, Castellano appeared on the comedian’s talk show.

“You really are quite something. There’s a depth to your soul that is not a 13-year-old soul,” DeGeneres told Castellano, who has called cancer an “amazing journey” for what it brought to her life. “You’re an old soul, and you are very special and amazing, and I’m so honored that you wanted to meet me and that I got to meet you”

DeGeneres, a CoverGirl spokesperson, then surprised Castellano with her very own CoverGirl ad. “You’re an honorary Cover Girl!” the host announced.

After the teen’s passing on July 16, DeGeneres took to Twitter to express her condolences. “I met a very special girl, and today we lost her,” she wrote. “Sending my heart to Talia’s family. I’m so sad”

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Talia Joy Castellano (August 18, 1999 – July 16, 2013) was an American internet celebrity from Oviedo, Florida, best-known for her YouTube channel TaliaJoy18, where her videos had more than 750,000 subscribers and 45 million video views at the time of her death.

Castellano was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare childhood cancer, at age seven, and underwent various types of therapies and treatments. She was initially declared cancer-free, but relapsed twice in the next six years. During that time she was diagnosed with preleukemia in her bone marrow; there are no treatments that tackle both cancers at the same time. In September 2012, Talia appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and there she was announced as honorary face for CoverGirl cosmetics; she subsequently appeared in CoverGirl magazine ads with her slogan “Makeup is my wig”. In May 2013, Castellano and the fashion designer Urbana Chappa completed the design of a clothing line called “That Bald Chick”. She also collaborated with the Children’s Cancer Foundation in a program to give support to children battling cancer, and to their families.

Castellano died at the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando, Florida on July 16, 2013, a month before her 14th birthday, after spending the last weeks of her life hospitalized due to cancer treatments

Culled from the internet

CELEBRITY: Beautiful Entertainer/presenter, TOMI OJO talks about her love for what she does…

Beautiful Oluwatomilola Oluwakemi Ojo is an entertainer/presenter. She is popularly known as tomi ojo. In this interview with her, she talks about her love for entertaining and goes down memory lane to her teenage years. Her funny, loving and exciting personality glows so bright and extends to people around her. She is truly born to entertain. Tomi ojo loves what she does and she is very fulfilled.

Enjoy!

Tell us about your educational background
I attended chrisland primary school, did my js1 to jss 2 second term in Grait High School. And finished up in Home Science Association secondary school. I attended University of Lagos, Akoka. Studied creative arts, theatre to be precise and served in Ogun State, Ota in particular.

Training? Formal and informal
Well I guess its both formal and informal, because I studied theatre arts in school, and the stage is quiet different from the camera. I learnt somethings about camera on my first shoot like you don’t shout on camera because you have a microphone on and you don’t over do expressions because there is a camera taking everyone’s closeup

How it all started
It started from school-stage and then a friend of mine, dede ogheneovo, took me to genesis. I went through an audition and was called back for a second audition and that was it. I got a major role.

Describe your typical day?
Very simple day. If am not on set,then am just chilling..that’s it.

As an entertainer/presenter, what do you do?
Well I entertain I guess*laughs*

Challenges of the industry?
As an upcoming entertainer/presenter, it is very challenging. But I know God in his infinite mercies has been very good to me.

Projects currently working on?
So wrong so wright, footprint, kilanta, hanging out a live programme on nta every monday’s..and some other things I can’t talk about yet.

Why you love what you do?
Its very fulfilling.

Embarrassing experience you’ve had
Well for now, none.

What was it like growing up?
Growing up was really fun. It was a full house. I played games like ludo, ten ten, suwe, boju boju o, mummy and daddy, catcher, animal place and things, change your style *laughs*

Best memory as a teen?
That was when I was in ss1. The first time I collected prizes in three different subjects. It felt really good.

Silly thing you did as a teen?
Stealing meat in the pot. yeah! *laughs*

tomi ojo with gt da guitarman

tomi ojo with gt da guitarman

Myth/superstitions you grew up with but laugh at it when u remember?
Alot o. Don’t share egg; Don’t put your hand in the rain, thunder will strike; Don’t carry *baff of water on your head, you will be short; Don’t eat at an entrance, you will never be satisfied…crazy! *laugh*

Name one challenge you faced as a teen that most teens face now and possible solutions
Not knowing my actual future ambition…well,try to figure out what you really love doing.

Advice
Believe in God. That is the most important thing and every other thing can follow.

*Baff -a big plastic bucket

Join Tomi Ojo live every monday on HANGING OUT on NTA 2 Lagos…
A show where you meet your favourite celebrity and get entertained all the way
Join the show by Calling or texting : 08027060133…
Or Tweet @HANGINGOUT5 for ur Questions,Comments, Opinion and Show-outs…
Time: 1:30pm – 2:30pm Live

Don’t miss the exciting moment!

***************
From Representeens team, we wish you greater achievements. We hope to see you more on our tv screens, representing Nigeria well.

Send your contributions and enquiries to representeens@gmail.com

Follow us @representeens

16 year old Pakistani Hero, Malala Yousafzai addresses the UN on the right to education.

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban, has told the UN that books and pens scare extremists, as she urged education for all.

Speaking on her 16th birthday, Malala said efforts to silence her had failed.

She was shot in the head on a school bus by Taliban gunmen because of her campaign for girls’ rights.

“Dear friends, on the 9th of October, 2012, the Taliban shot me on the left side of my forehead. They shot my friends too,” she said in her first major public appearance. “They thought that the bullets would silence us, but they failed.”

“the terrorists thought that they would change my aims and stop my ambitions, but nothing changed in my life except this — weakness, fear and hopelessness died, strength, power and courage was born.”


“I am the same Malala, my ambitions are the same, my hopes are the same and my dreams are the same,” she said to thunderous applause.

“Thousands of people have been killed by the terrorists and millions have been injured,” she said. “I am just one of them. So here I stand, one girl among many.”

“I speak not for myself but for those without voice … those who have fought for their rights — their right to live in peace, their right to be treated with dignity, their right to equality of opportunity, their right to be educated.”

Her message to world leaders was that they should introduce “free, compulsory education” for all children across the globe.

The speech at the UN headquarters in New York was her first public address since last October’s incident in Pakistan’s north-western Swat valley.

Malala has been credited with bringing the issue of women’s education to global attention. A quarter of young women around the world have not completed primary school.

After the shooting, Malala was flown from Pakistan to the UK for treatment, and now lives in Birmingham, England.

Malala – who is considered a contender for the Nobel Peace Prize – said she was fighting for the rights of women because “they are the ones who suffer the most”.

“The extremists were, and they are, afraid of books and pens,” added Malala, who was wearing a pink shawl that belonged to assassinated Pakistan leader Benazir Bhutto. “They are afraid of women.”

She called on politicians to take urgent action to ensure every child has the right to go to school.

“Let us pick up our books and pens,” Malala summed up. “They are our most powerful weapons.

“One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first.”

A passionate campaigner for female education, Malala addressed more than 500 students at a specially convened youth assembly.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also addressed Friday’s session, calling Malala “our hero”. Friday was declared Malala Day by the U.N. However, Malala said it was “not my day,” but a day for every woman, boy and girl struggling for their rights.

The schoolgirl, who set up the Malala Fund following the attack, presented a petition of more than three million signatures to the UN secretary general demanding education for all.

Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown opened the session, telling the youths gathered they were a “new superpower” in the world, and appealing to them to help overcome obstacles to accessing education.

The event, described by the UN as Malala Day, was organised by Mr Brown, now the UN Special Envoy for Global Education.

He said: “Getting every girl and boy into school by 2015 is achievable.

“Malala says it is possible – and young people all over the world think it is possible,” he said.

Aid agencies say that female access to education in Pakistan is a particular problem.

They say that the country ranks among the lowest in terms of girls’ education enrolment, literacy and government spending.

Unesco and Save the Children released a special reported ahead of Malala’s speech.

It found that 95% of the 28.5 million children who are not getting a primary school education live in low and lower-middle income countries: 44% in sub-Saharan Africa, 19% in south and west Asia and 14% in the Arab states.

Girls make up 55% of the total and are often the victims of rape and other sexual violence that accompanies armed conflicts

“I want education for the sons and daughters of the Taliban and all the terrorists and extremists.”

“I do not even hate the Talib who shot me,” Malala said. “Even if there was a gun in my hand and he stands in front of me, I would not shoot him.”

She said she had learned this attitude from “Muhammad, the prophet of mercy, and Jesus Christ and Lord Buddha.” She said she was also inspired by people like Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Mohandas Gandhi and Mother Teresa.

Her philosophy was one of non-violence and the “forgiveness I’ve learned from my father and from my mother.”

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Malala Yousafzai, born 12 July 1997 is a Pakistani school pupil and education activist from the town of Mingora in the Swat District of Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. She is known for her education and women’s rights activism in the Swat Valley, where the Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school. In early 2009, at the age of 11–12.

Yousafzai wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC detailing her life under Taliban rule, their attempts to take control of the valley, and her views on promoting education for girls. The following summer, a New York Times documentary was filmed about her life as the Pakistani military intervened in the region, culminating in the Second Battle of Swat. Yousafzai began to rise in prominence, giving interviews in print and on television and taking a position as chairperson of the District Child Assembly Swat. She has since been nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize by Desmond Tutu and the Nobel Peace Prize, being the youngest nominee in history for the latter. She is the winner of Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize.

On 9 October 2012, Yousafzai was shot in the head and neck in an assassination attempt by Taliban gunmen while returning home on a school bus. In the days immediately following the attack, she remained unconscious and in critical condition, but later her condition improved enough for her to be sent to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham in the United Kingdom for intensive rehabilitation.

Culled from the internet

GUEST POST: A must read for young enterpreneurs: WHAT’S YOUR SELLING POINT? How to identify what makes you or your business stand out.

When I first heard the song ‘Goody Bag’ by D’prince I was totally blown away by it. For starters, I’m a diehard fan of Don Jazzy. Honestly I admire him for his humility, hard work, creativity and zeal for excellence. For more than a decade now almost every song he has produced literally turned into gold and Goody bag was no exception. I have reason to believe that like Timbaland and Will-I-Am, Don Jazzy too was probably created on the day God made sound and music.

Apart from the powerful beat by the MAVIN Boss, the rhythm of Goody bag could have you humming the song all day. And maybe even all night.

Many people weren’t so conversant with the phrase ‘selling point‘ till Charles Ezenwa Enebeli popularly known as D’prince turned it into a ‘national anthem’. And like other words such as ‘Banana’ (Take Banana) and ‘Jonzing’ (Jonzing world), D’prince definitely has a knack for coming up with catch phrases/words that soon become popular slangs. The video of Goody bag summed it up for me because I really can’t think of a more brilliant and creative way to drive home the question: ‘what’s your selling point?’

Now what really is the selling point?

The selling point is a feature of something such as a product or an idea that makes people more likely to want to buy or support it, a distinctive feature that stands it out from a crowd.

Knowing your selling point is very important but acting on it is even more important. Believe it or not there’s nothing that has never been thought of or done in some form before. But there are numerous ways of doing things differently, such that the refurbished idea almost looks brand new, as if it was only just invented. That’s how the selling point works. Take our very own multi talented instrumentalist, band leader and political maverick; Fela  Anikulapo Kuti. He combined elements from existing genres such as traditional Yoruba music, highlife and English Jazz, fused it with percussions, scats and vocal styles, inventing one of the world’s most celebrated music genres- The Afro Beat. He discovered what worked for him and acted on it thereby creating a niche for himself—he discovered his salable point.

In the mood of my birthday today, I’ll be sharing practical steps on how to discover what makes you desirable and how to use those things that stand you out to make a name for yourself or your business.

Whenever I’m branding a product, the first thing I do is walk the client through a series of steps that helps them to identify their selling points. This is very important because knowledge of the selling point determines the success or failure of your brand. The irony is that there are more brands and products out there that can’t pinpoint their selling point. Most organizations think they have it worked out. For all such, it is like building the right structure on the wrong foundation. This is a major problem I’ve discovered with many failing/struggling brands I’ve consulted for. In branding them, we have had to go back to the basics of identifying what stood them out from their competitors and starting from there.

Over the years, I have developed a process for identifying those unique things that are peculiar to each and every brand. I call it the WWW Rule. The rule is broken down into 3 steps namely: WHO, WHY and WHAT. These steps are sequential and must be taken in this order, one after the other, to get the right result. So let’s analyze this rule step by step.

STEP 1: WHO

“How many of you would buy a soap that claims to be good for the skin and for washing toilets effectively?”

This is the first and perhaps the most important step of the WWW rule. If you get this step wrong, all other steps will fail. If you approach this step last, like most people do, you will end up defining yourself or your business based only on your perception of it. Always bear in mind that the success of any product is largely dependent on how the public perceives it. Except you are producing for yourself and family alone.

In this step, ‘WHO’ refers to your key market or target audience.  Your target audience is the specific group of people that your brand is aimed at. Knowing your target market determines where and how to make good use of your peculiar traits. Channeling your best towards the wrong audience is as good as pouring water into a basket.

Let’s take a look at the magazine, ‘True Love’; it is believed to be aimed at the black woman. The slogan on the magazine reads: ‘All A Woman Needs’. Therefore the content is tailored to present itself as the answer to all feminine needs: advice, entertainment, or any other topic supposedly imaginable by the African female audience.

While it is good to pinpoint your target audience, it is also very important to narrow it down to the smallest possible group. I know a number of brands that failed simply because they were not specific about whom their target audience was. In the scenario of the ‘True Love’ magazine, you would notice that the group, ‘Black Woman’ is a bit vague. There could be different categories of black women; single, married, pregnant and so on. So, generalizing can be detrimental; you become like a jack of all trade and a master of none.

Did ‘True Love’ get it wrong in identifying a target audience?

Absolutely not!

What many brands do that people don’t know is that they usually don’t come out in the open to say who their target market/audience is. They prefer to identify with a general group in order not to appear too streamlined. But the truth is, they have a target group that they use as the basis to structure the content of products or services.

So who really is the target audience of ‘True love’ magazine?

To answer the question let’s take a closer look at how the content of the magazine is structured. You’ll notice that the topic of the magazine revolves around the self-improvement of the black woman. From this analysis we can say that their target audience is most likely the career woman.

The brands I have worked with are always surprised when we end up identifying their target market.  Most times they never imagined narrowing it down to such a small group. What is even more difficult for me is trying to convince them that this was the group they had to identify with and build their content around all along. Some of them don’t believe that they have to go with a target group at all. They prefer to stick to a more general audience because they believe that more people means more customers, but this is not entirely true.

There was a time I consulted for an NGO that was into the empowerment of teenagers. In trying to brand them, I told them we needed to identify their target audience. For them, they were convinced it was the teenagers. But I explained to them that the group, ‘teenagers’, was not a target audience but simply a general one. There are different kinds of teenagers out there: delinquent, sick, oppressed, molested etc. How one category would respond is totally different from how another would. So creating a programme to suit all teenagers would mean they might never be able to really reach out to any particular teenager at all. This is the reason specialist hospitals have the upper hand when treating major cases, because sickness in itself is very general. In reality, a person suffering from a disease of the eye is different from another with a bone complication. And the same applies with target audiences.

Identifying your target audience doesn’t mean that you won’t reach out to other groups/audiences. This is usually the fear most people face. But how many of you would buy a soap that claims to be good for the skin and for washing toilets effectively? Not me for sure. That is why narrowing your target audience is important. It helps you package your brand so it doesn’t come out as tacky.

The interesting thing to note is that when you get your target audience right and structure your content accordingly you’ll even find people outside your target audience willing to patronize you. It is not uncommon to see guys buying ‘True Love’ magazines at newsstands. The excuse is that they are either buying it for their sister or spouse.

Before I started writing this article the first thing I did was to identify my target audience. This helped me in conducting my research, structuring the content and designing a suitable cover picture to suit young and aspiring entrepreneurs/celebrities who want to improve the image of themselves or business.

Take note that there is a difference between a general audience and a target audience. While you might decide to identify with the general audience in your business plan or company’s statement, know that the question of ‘WHO’ refers only to your target audience. This is what most successful companies do that they won’t tell you. Also try as much as possible not to choose more than one target audience.

Take a moment now and reflect thoroughly on this step.  A good way to start is by identifying the general audience you intend to reach, take note of it, then continue breaking it down to the smallest possible unit; a more specific audience. You can even ask someone to be sure. When you are convinced that you have gotten this step right, then you are ready to move on to the next step.

STEP 2: WHY?

“Virgin Atlantic… has recorded tremendous success and popularity over the years, yet, it isn’t the biggest airline in the world.”

In identifying your selling point, you’ll need to know the reason(s) WHY you want to reach out to your target audience. Any cause without a reason is baseless. How you are going to reach out to your target audience in order to attract them to your brand is totally dependent on the WHY. Note that for every WHY there is the question of ‘how’.

A good brand is defined by a set of concise aims and objectives. In the WWW rule of identifying your selling point, ‘WHY’ refers to your aims while ‘how’ refers to your objectives. While many people think that aims and objectives are the same thing, this rule helps you to distinguish them. Aims are what you want to achieve, while, objectives are what you need to do to achieve your aims.

Virgin Atlantic is a brand that has stood out over the years. The company has recorded tremendous success and popularity yet it isn’t the biggest airline in the world.

So how do they do it?

Richard Branson, the founder and chairman of the Virgin Group, was able to identify his target audience as people who are as adventurous and eccentric like himself. The reason ‘why’ his aim was to reach out to this target group was based on his conviction that the big airlines at the time weren’t in touch with customers’ needs. Sir Branson’s objective to achieve his aim was to offer a more affordable and enjoyable flying experience. So Virgin Atlantic set out to make the experience of their target audience fun and ultra-cool. They put a bar onboard, passengers can get a massage or a nail clean up and food and drink are always top quality—This is their selling point, it is what stands them out from all the other airlines. Most people report that the airline, Virgin Atlantic, “really makes you feel special.”

Unlike the 1st step, you can have several ‘WHYs’ (aims and objectives) as long as they are realistic and doable. Just bear it in mind that an aim demonstrates your contribution while the objectives shows your distinction. It outlines why and how you need to perform to be unique and successful.

If you want to improve on how the world recognizes you or your brand, following the steps outlined in this article is probably the best way to start.

To know more, read the concluding part of this article here YIMU CENTRAL-whats your selling point part 2 and find out what it takes to completes the process of identifying your unique quality. Before then, I strongly recommend that you go over the steps again and try to practice them on your own.

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ZIMYLINK is a Brand Consulting firm that harnesses, influences and improves the image and value of brands. We have formulated recipes that have succeeded for all the people we have worked with. Some of our clients include The Federal Government of Nigeria, University of Benin, House 5 Production, YimuCentral, CSI+ (A South African Company) and many other independent brands and celebrities. But we are more passionate about working with small businesses/startups because we believe it is more exciting to take them from ‘nowhere’ to ‘top 10’; that’s our selling point!

For professional advice, training and inquiries feel free to contact us at info@zimylink.com and watch us bring your “ideas to life”.

About the author

Anderson Oriahi

I am an entrepreneur and brand Consultant. I believe in my country Nigeria and what she stands for and I dedicate my life to building models that would revolutionize her. Follow me on twitter @zimylink or on facebook and join me in this movement

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I’m sure you have learnt a lot from this article. More guest post coming your way.