Once the face of gospel music, Fungisai’s star had fallen so much that she had become a lightning rod for ridicule.
Her waning star and diminishing status had nothing to do with her want of trying and effort rather people now found her songs stale, her message uninspiring, and rhythm outdated.
Young people simply couldn’t relate to it anymore.
But like the proverbial phoenix she has risen from the ashes to once again become the force that she once was when she burst onto the music scene.
There are a lot of social media marketing lessons we can learn from Fungisayi so hop along and let me show you.
Ride on Controversy
What do Kim Kardashian and Pokello have in common? They both used the fame from the negative publicity they received from their sex tapes to launch successful businesses.
Of course, you do not have to leak a sex tape or even have one to be successful but the point is, when life throws you lemons make lemonade.
Fortunately, Fungisai is way too clever than that. She simply partnered with Zim Dancehall Superstars Killer T and Oskidi to create a gem of a track.
This was controversial on many levels. The church folk thought that she had gone rogue, mixing with the ‘heathen’ and secular artists. Others thought she was selling out.
Either way this proved to be an act of genius.
Her song ‘Vanondibatirana’ became a chart topper and in more than 10 years Fungisayi now had a scorcher once again.
She had returned to the big league. She was now on the comeback trail. She had rolled back the years.
In the same manner as a social media marketer you need to capitalize on controversy and the resultant publicity.
I like how Nandos Zimbabwe in keeping the Nandos brand are mastering the art of using controversy for their gain.
I like what they did on Fathers Day with their ad which said “Nhasi Zvidya Ndezvababa”.
Cheeky and daring.
But tell you what? This is exactly what people are looking for. People want to be entertained and have fun.
Of course not everyone can pull this off and it’s not everytime this will work but you need to have those risky but high reward ideas that you execute from time to time.
I wouldn’t recommend this approach to everyone.
Re – Invent Yourself
A brand every now and then becomes stale and needs to be refreshed. Fungisai recognized this and rebranded herself from being a gospel only musician to be just a just a musician.
Of course her music still is predominantly gospel as she still ministers through her songs. The simple and conventional music beats have been replaced by the upbeat and groovy Zim dancehall beat.
Oskid, the famed Zim dancehall producer is now producing her songs including her recent popular and controversial Amai Ndakanaka.
Time to change the wardrobe?
Fungisayi also changed her wardrobe. Out went the African attires in came the dungarees, ripped clothes and pictures on motor bikes.
She was rocking it baby!
Shocking! Outrageous! Scandalous they all said.
Memes popped up everywhere. Remember what they say all publicity is good publicity including bad publicity.
She was buzzing once again.
As a marketer every now and then brands need to refreshing, your social profiles including your Facebook, Twitter and social media banners profile and timeline pictures need to be refreshed and changed all the time.
People like new things and serendipity all the time.
Change your tactics often.
Shock people every now and then.
Experiment with the latest social media platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat for your business. You never know what might work for you and your brand.
Look out for New Trends (Plenty of exciting trends even in Zimbabwe)
Fungisai is a marketing genius. She realized earlier on than most artists that Zim Dancehall was taking over.
Collaborating with Killer T turned out to be a masterstroke.
Rather than fighting Zim Dancehall she now embraced it. A lot of other marketers fight with social media rather than embrace it.
In the same vein you need to be on the look out for new trends and tweak your message so that it resonates with the latest trends.
I like how Nandos did this. Remember Zvihuta (Quail bird) anyone?
In social media marketing there is what we call meme jacking, where a brand rides along a trending topic by producing a meme in line with that particular trending news, event or topic of discussion.
Nandos executed a Chihuta meme of the highest quality around the Chihuta craze.
Just goes on to show how brands who are attuned to what is happening around them socially can win with social media marketing.
Over to you
The beauty about inspiration is that it is all around us. You never know when you will learn and when you will get your next idea.
The world is your oyster especially in this digital world. By constantly learning and unlearning, as well as reinventing yourself like Fungisayi you can make yourself and brand relevant once again.
Do you agree with this article? Or maybe you feel I overstretched it a bit. I look forward to reading your comments, opinions in the comments section.
Pss. One last thing. You know what I would really appreciate? If you could share this article with your friends and colleagues. Now that would be a banger!!