SHE IS

As a great mar­ket­ing and brand­ing strate­gist, Vida is a fine ex­am­ple of an em­pow­ered in­di­vid­ual who is not afraid to be dif­fer­ent

New Straits Times - - Opinion - The writer is a pas­sion­ista with a keen in­ter­est in showbiz and pop cul­ture (on­line shop­ping in­cluded!) And oh, she is also the en­ter­tain­ment edi­tor

KIDS nowa­days can’t seem to live with­out mu­sic. Well, I can def­i­nitely at­test to mine. It’s like as soon as we get into the car, the ra­dio is the first thing they will reach out for.

Dur­ing one of our drives, Datuk Seri Vida’s IAmMe came on and my min­ions squealed hap­pily. It didn’t take long for all seven to launch into a mas­sive sing-along.

The tune does have in­fec­tious beats and its mem­o­rable, sim­pleyet-catchy lyrics, ap­peal to the young and the young at heart.

When the song ended, my youngest spurted out the pop­u­lar tagline: “Qu Puteh, Qu Puteh… baru­lah puteh”, as he touched his cheek with his two chubby fingers, and pouted his lips!

That lit­tle boy is lucky; any other par­ent who might cringe at the idea of Vida’s corny, over-the-top traits would have sent him to a mil­i­tary or tah­fiz board­ing school for be­havioural re­align­ment.

But, like or loathe her, the founder of skin-whiten­ing drink Qu Puteh and health drink Pamoga sure knows how to cre­ate her brand, mak­ing it so ef­fec­tive and mem­o­rable that no one can ig­nore her ex­is­tence no mat­ter how much one tries.

You can find her brand plas­tered on ev­ery­thing that she does, from TV shows to sports and, al­most re­cently, mu­sic.

I re­mem­ber watch­ing a TV show where she was in­ter­viewed at her home, this huge bun­ga­low, ap­par­ently one of the many she owns.

Also fea­tured was her fleet of lux­ury wheels, glit­ter­ing jew­ellery drap­ing her hands and, of course, her arm can­dies from var­i­ous lux­ury de­sign­ers.

Oh, if only I get to raid her wardrobe and keep maybe a quar­ter of her hand­bag col­lec­tion, I’d be in hand­bag heaven!

Flam­boy­ant and flashy, she can be a lit­tle tacky in her dress­ing and ac­tions. While her tack­i­ness at any mea­sure of the barom­e­ter is sub­ject to per­cep­tion, one can­not deny that some may see it as some­thing pos­i­tive or even “cool”.

When I said she could be tacky, that’s just me im­pos­ing the world view of my stan­dards on her. Malaysians gen­er­ally love to crit­i­cise on so­cial me­dia, but let’s try to ex­pand our views in the case of Vida.

For me, I re­alised that per­haps it is just part of the role she is play­ing. Don­ning di­a­mond tiaras may also just be part of the getup. She is loud and prefers to sell her health and beauty prod­ucts by talk­ing to you about them to death.

Her shock­ing pink garb is a trade­mark, which as­saults your senses and fash­ion val­ues. Bring her to a cave and the walls will be painted in a re­flec­tion of pink hues. Find her on tele­vi­sion, and you would cry should your mother de­cide to stick with that chan­nel be­cause Vida is on.

And, for all of the aver­sions, I can­not deny that be­cause of all these and more, she stands out from the many fe­male en­trepreneurs out there.

Vida was not brought up with a sil­ver spoon in her mouth. She was just a reg­u­lar school teacher be­fore em­bark­ing on her Vida Beauty busi­ness, and later ex­pand­ing it into a for­mi­da­ble em­pire. And, be­cause she was a teacher, Vida knows about com­mand­ing the at­ten­tion of her tar­get group, a skill she ac­quired in class­rooms.

Such rags-to-riches story makes for a charm­ing tale and un­de­ni­ably, an in­spi­ra­tion to many. With such a unique per­son­al­ity, she does have her fair share of haters, but one thing I no­ticed is that she never seems both­ered by their nasty re­marks.

Some called her glam­our crazy while oth­ers felt that she is noth­ing but an at­ten­tion seeker.

And, they are not en­tirely wrong.

As a savvy busi­ness­woman, Vida knows ex­actly what she is do­ing. Her con­cern is on the need to be re­mem­bered, so that her prod­ucts con­tinue to sell like hot cakes — cre­at­ing a strong, shock­ing ef­fect where it is least ex­pected.

The in­dus­try in which she dab­bles in is so hor­ri­fy­ingly com­pet­i­tive.

As a great mar­ket­ing and brand­ing strate­gist, Vida is a fine ex­am­ple of an em­pow­ered in­di­vid­ual who is not afraid to be dif­fer­ent.

A made-woman is what I like to call her. It takes a lot of guts to be in her shoes and I know most of us can’t even hold a torch to her.

Be­sides per­se­ver­ance and de­ter­mi­na­tion, Vida sure shows that she is in­domitable and not afraid to take on the bull by the horns.

The lyrics of her song de­scribe her to a T. It goes some­thing like this: “I am fun, I am pretty, I am beau­ti­ful, I am a queen, I in­spire your de­sire…”

While it is a per­sonal right to frown upon her unique­ness, let us be fair and cel­e­brate suc­cess­ful women like her.

Yes, she made bank. But, above all, her achieve­ments are among the many, by other women lu­mi­nar­ies in busi­nesses, that sig­nify the po­ten­tial and recog­ni­tion of Malaysian women.

Vida knows that she’s a lim­ited edi­tion.

FILE PIC

Datuk Seri Vida has per­se­ver­ance and de­ter­mi­na­tion, and is an in­spi­ra­tion to many peo­ple.

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