Understanding your consumers and having conversations with them about what is happening in their lives and cultures - as opposed to bombarding them with traditional marketing messages -  is essentially what builds a winning brand, says KFC Africa chief marketing officer Mike Middleton. And having just received the award for Marketing Leadership & Innovation at the recent Loeries Africa & Middle East Awards, it’s safe to assume that Middleton knows his stuff. “Brands need to become part of their consumers’ daily conversations,” says Middleton, as it’s the only way for them to be distinctive. He adds that while it’s important for a brand to be very clear on what its messaging should be, being distinctive will win out over the perfect delivery of a brand’s message any day. “Perfection doesn’t gel with consumers these days anyway. They actually like to buy into the notion of imperfection. Consumers are wise enough to know that perfection simply doesn’t exist and sending out ‘perfect’ br...

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