Where to now for the Kaizer Chiefs brand?

28 May 2024, Tuesday

After suffering a capitulating 4-0 loss to Amazulu last weekend a few pertinent questions need posing to the Chiefs hierarchy.

Legendary boss Kaizer Motaung is the ultimate gentleman, loyalist and has taken his club from bankruptcy in the very early days – albeit thanks to Iwisa – to the the ultimate highs of SA football glamour boys.

He has seen it all, but is it now one step too far with current internal strategies?

Reality says that it’s never easy to rebuild club /organisational  brand culture from within.

My first memory of Chiefs was of them filling the FNB stadium with a 120 000 fanatical Soweto derby fans.

It was a great day even though the teams drew – and the 35 degree heat was putting the fans through a stiff hydration test.

Now things have changed and Sundowns have taken ownership of the top position and Chiefs have questions to answer for their trophy less multitude of loyal fans.

Where to now for their BRAND?

Do you think a star player from the Congo will change it …………..or an internal brand culture that needs a re think after years of same old?

In their heyday Chief’s brand culture was crammed full with Faith, Confidence & Belief. (FCB)

Emblazed on their dressing room wall were the Afrikaans words “Vat Alles“. That is how confident they were. Of course the words stood for Thatha Zonke ( ‘Take Everything’) and that season they took home near everything.

Sponsors clamoured to be part of it all.

Then things changed as Kaizer Matoung faced a common challenge.

Where to fit in family, where to fit in cadres?

Pick n Pay’s Raymond Ackermann had a challenge finding where his family should fit in – and it slowed the business.

Kaiser Motaung made the call to appoint his son and daughter to key positions.

Suddenly the sponsors were no longer clamouring  anymore and Chiefs began a slow loss of their brand status – as Sundown’s emerged on the scene with the entrance of Patrice Motsepe into the beautiful game.

Chiefs had lost branding ground faster than they actually knew.

Coaches came and went to try repair the internal haemorrhaging.

A good example of how this damaging inward strategy impacts, is how the Western Cape government currently appoint key positions on merit only – while other regional governments continue to appoint on a comrade basis.

The results are obvious to see as comrades appoint comrades and we have seen in so many regions how the money goes – and the job does not get done.  Eventually the incoming money dries up.

It’s a road nobody wishes unless you are a direct personal benefactor of the ‘money goes’ decisions.

No wonder why so many South Africans are now looking to semi- grate to Cape Town which is making the right calls and forging ahead with innovative new projects to overcome the current electricity crisis in the country .

Let’s hope Kaiser Chiefs can look yonder to find a way to put them back at the top again.

They have this incredible fan base – all they need is a fresh strategy, fresh identity and fresh brand culture – which may not necessarily come from within?

Sometimes one needs to go beyond to achieve team growth, performance and contribution.

Chief’s passionate ‘Amakhosi’ fans certainly deserve better than what was on show in Durban’s drubbing recently.

Time is not on their side – as this weekend after two consecutive defeats in early 2023 – they face log leaders Sundowns.

Let’s wait and see if Chiefs can make the right calls with a complete brand overhaul?

GO GREAT

ROB OPIE

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