By Rushel Kadir

My friend Sam was an excellent accountant working for a fast-rising company within Nairobi. Everything was working out well for him except that he had remained unlucky in love and his efforts to find the right lady bore no fruit. Cupid never had him on his roster. At the beginning of this year during a financial expo organized by his company, he came into contact with Kate.  He developed a crush on her and they instantly sparked a relationship. You know how it goes with new love- text messages, long unending calls and within a few weeks, they were inseparable.

Valentines was fast approaching and like the rest of the world, he didn’t want to be left behind. He went online to search for a restaurant. Somewhere with a nice ambiance, great food and most importantly a place that would wow Kate. From the photos and branding done for the restaurant X, everything was beyond perfect from the interior decor, presentation and the many reviews the restaurant had online. Being their first valentines and of course still on the verge of wooing Kate, all he hoped for was for everything to go as planned.


The reality on the ground of restaurant X was disappointing. Started with them not getting a table for almost half an hour.This is after making reservations two weeks in advance.The food was cold and the staff were very rude. Nothing of their preference was on their menu hence had to settle for what was there. I  actually thought they would leave for another restaurant. I mean value for money right? Come on Sam! However, he thought that most restaurants would be full bearing in mind most people were out with their loved ones. Poor Sam, all he wanted was to make Kate happy. Thank God she is such an understanding soul. God bless her. However, this got me thinking how many of us brands focus on building an image, fancy appearance that is much greater than our reality?

When it comes to the game of personal branding, you need to work more on your craft and reality. People need to be wowed when they come into contact with your brand. More of “WOW!”, YOU are much better than what I heard or saw online.

When you focus more on creating a perception that doesn’t match your reality:

1. You lose your authenticity as a brand.

2. Because you are not reflecting reality, you may end up with misdirection, mistakes and missed opportunities for your brand.

3. Eventually, the truth comes out. If your truth doesn’t match the perceptions you have portrayed for your brand, you will lose the trust of others.

Well if you are not happy with the reality of your brand, take time every day to improve it because it is important for your end game.


The Maasai community have maintained a strong cultural brand since time immemorial. They profoundly represent Kenya and other tribes to the world at large.

  1. Thought provoking excellent tips I will apply in my business.

  2. One thing with many people and companies is that they put a lot of work on the outlook and don’t put the same work on the ground thus ending up to disappointments
    Amazing piece I love it.

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