I believe that Mavuno is the best business concept ever devised as at yet. It is a social gathering where people learn about life skills through talented motivational speakers referred to as Pastors. You learn a lot about things that you can just as well Google and find ’10 ways you can improve on this or that.” The Google and Passy content remains the same except for a few verses the Pastor adds. In this case, paying tithe is a bargain when people pay so much more for motivational speeches.
The most important skill emphasized by the structure of the institution is networking, which is the best skill to have in an African country. Merit ni wewe. Teach the youth to network and they will succeed. That is not in doubt. The more those succeed, the more the young people will go to Mavuno and as such, the more tithe that comes back to the business. You can call it securing your income over an extended period.
Mavuno realized that who you network with matters, so it attracted celebrities to make it count. It would hit two birds with one stone. You can fulfill the ordinary person’s wish to meet prominent/wealthy people and the need for famous/affluent people to feel as though they are making a difference. The two fulfill their vanity while choking up some serious tithe. How is that not good? Vanity pays. Just ask anyone in the beauty industry.
Think about this one for a minute. A free bus ride is a good idea right except that nothing is ever free in business. Imagine how good it makes people feel that the institution gives them a free bus ride even those who do not need it. It is likely that they would give tithe willingly after that right. Those who take the bus may be unable to give it at the moment, but what happens when they get money? They will never forget what Mavuno ‘did’ for them would they. In fact, they would give tithe and add as much as it is possible for them to add. The ‘free’ bus ride is a smart investment. Have you ever heard of Corporate Social Responsibility? You think corporations do it out of the ‘kindness of their heart?’
Developing a marketing strategy that captured women seeking suitable suitors and the youth was perhaps the best business move. JCC erred by openly employing this strategy yet the strategy is so powerful that people there always overlook this error. Mavuno does it in a subtle and almost perfect way. For example, there is a particular focus on teenagers. It dwells on the things that bother them using an approach that excites them. Rule number one of marketing. Know your target market and understand what worries them then get them excited about it.
You see, a sensual picture leads to a release of endorphins making people feel a sensation just by looking at them. Mavuno caused a release of the same through controversial taglines and images while ‘teaching the youth about sensitive issues.’ A kid gets a release of the same thing while at Church that another child gets while viewing a semi-dressed person on his computer at home. However, the child at Church assumes a moral high ground because ‘his Passy was just trying to get through to him with those pictures.’
Did you know that we have electronic cigarettes today? You do not inhale nicotine, but you receive a smoking sensation from using the e-cig. It matters. Know that and you know business. Hide that sensation under a moral umbrella and you know more about business better than anybody else does.
N.B.: I noticed the free bus ride thing as I was talking to a friend who pointed it out to me as I was trying to argue for Mavuno as a credible institution. (Read on Advocatus Diaboli)
The bus ride is free for teens and not everyone. I wrote the article thinking it is free for everyone. The good thing about logical thinking is that consistency still holds if what you say is true. For example, read the paragraph on the bus ride again with teens in mind. The argument is still valid. Read the section on attracting teens again. You will see that this free ride adds more weight to that argument. I also hear that the transportation for everyone is only one-way. I do not see any logistical difficulties strong enough to make it so, but I see it as a wonderful way to keep people networking and mingling within the institution.