Book Review

Defending Your Brand: How Smart Companies Use Defensive Strategy to Deal with Competitive Attacks

Author: Tim Calkins

Year of Publication: 2013


Tim Calkins is a clinical professor of marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Other books under his authorship are Breakthrough Marketing Plans and How To Wash A Chicken: Mastering the Business Presentation.

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 Before I dive into the synopsis you may ask what a brand is.

According to Wikipedia, a brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.

A few examples are MTN Ghana and Vodafone Ghana as telecommunication brands. Lipton is a tea brand. CNN and BBC as news broadcasting brands. Successlink Consult as a travel and tour brand. Ghana International School and Harvard University as education brands and Samsung as an electronic manufacturing brand.


The moment you start reading the first few pages of this book, Tim impresses readers that in the world of business, competition can’t be left out. Whether you are a big company or a small/medium size business have it at the back of your mind that somebody or a company somewhere is planning on entering your kind of business.

You must protect your position in the market against new entrants. A new entrant means a drop in your profits or market shares. Hence, the need for defense strategies.

Business defense includes everything a company does to react to competitive threats. He does excellent work to explain that whereas growth strategies include all the proactive steps taken to build your business such as advertising, new product introduction, cost reduction efforts, promotional offers, defensive strategies are your response to your competitor’s moves.

 There are not many books written on this topic because some of the tactics employed aren’t supposed to be in the public domain.


 Reading this book is not cumbersome because of how the author weaves real-life business establishment examples to support every issue he raised. At a point, the reader will have an a-ha! moment. This book is simply a pack of knowledge. You will be able to relate to it even if you aren’t in the business field.

 Interestingly, Tim states that this book is primarily for people who lead organizations, companies be it small or big, or a charitable church organization. But I see it as an oversight that he didn’t mention teachers, married couples, health professionals, and indeed any individual at all.

I hold a personal belief that we are our unique brands even as individuals and we must also master the art of defense because our whole being is a company and what we stand for is our brand that needs to be defended from intruders just as a lioness would her cubs.

 On the other hand, I’m blown away by his presentation on the moral lessons learned from what happened between the movie rental company, Blockbuster, Netflix, and Red box.

In his quest to create awareness of the importance of defense strategies, he expatiates on the subject of financial challenges businesses might face and getting to know your competitor by gathering information.

Social media also plays a key role here. He also advises that lawyers be consulted in areas that bother on state laws on businesses. 


 To wrap up, Defending Your Brand has not disappointed me at all. It has succeeded in exposing the various interesting, enlightening, and sometimes shady tactics used by smart businesses to stay in their game. The book is available here.


By Hilda Nsesonkpa and Rogers Wanambwa

This is a collaboration between and

Rogers is a Ugandan blogger who has pulled me out of my laziness web. His works can be found here


There comes a point in a woman’s life when it seems that all hope is lost. When I say a woman, I mean an unmarried African woman in her thirties. There comes that time when you feel lost in this big world. There comes that time when you feel like time is passing you by.

That usually happens when you are reminded by people that your “biological clock is ticking”.

But I ask myself this question: who owns time? Just like my surname Nsesonkpa, which is also a question and it means who owns life? The answer to both questions is God, the creator of heaven and earth.

He owns life, time – minutes, seconds, and hours. If that is the answer, then the reality is this: your spinsterhood time belongs to God.

Take joy in the word in Jeremiah 29: 11 which says, For I know the plans I have for you, ” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Credit : Fame of God Studios


Can there ever be joy in being single? Oh yes! Absolutely yes! My dear unmarried African woman, this same time that you think is passing you by can be used for your advantage.

You have the time to study if you so wish as you are unmarried.
You have the luxury of time to travel if you have the means. You have enough time to read if you love to read.

Use your time in being single wisely for as surely as the Lord lives you will also get married and you might not have that luxury of time at your disposal to do the things you love. So, go on and write that book, start that business, go for that training.

Girl! Pursue your dreams. Do not allow any pressure to dictate the course of your life. A big cheer to all unmarried African women.🙋


The closer one approaches their thirties, the more pressure, both internally and externally, they have to deal with. Internally, whereby you have to prove that all the investment that your parents or guardians have put into you was worth it.

We are talking millions of shillings (Ugandan currency), time, and effort. This all goes on in your mind and heart and if you are not strong-hearted, you may become depressed. It has never been more difficult to succeed than ever before.

Yet, surprisingly, it has never been easier to succeed. Success stories around you never cease. Couple this with the evolution of social media which constantly reminds you that everyone is ‘doing well’ and the pressure keeps mounting.

But are they really? Is what you see the reality of what’s happening in their lives or it’s all an elaborate illusion. If you don’t mind your race, you will be unsettled for the rest of your life.

It is therefore better to run your race. Have your own vision and goals and stick to accomplishing them in the time you set for yourself.

As men, the pressure to prove ourselves is ever mounting. To yourself, peers, potential female suitors, family, and society as a whole.

This perhaps is even more ridiculous because the more you achieve, the more that’s expected of you.

I guess the same is expected of women? I won’t speak for them though as my co-author already gave her opinion.

What I believe is best is to engage with those older than you and having intimate discussions on how they navigated the season you are in. it feels to me as though a great valley has developed between adults and their younger counterparts.

The more you talk to older people, the more you realize you are not really out of time as you think. This helps you relax and do you. You get to focus on what’s really important, chasing your dreams.

Besides, even an older person can listen to a younger person and take their advice. One saying in Luganda, a prominent language in Uganda, “Nómuto Hakuba Algoma, omukulu nazina” explains it well. Loosely translated, it means that advice can be given two-way, by a younger person and an older person too.

Anyway, we are all different and so are our destinies. Embrace yours.

CELEBRATING 100 FOLLOWERS. I made it this far!

Everything Big Starts Little

This is not to say that I am there yet. But it is right for me to show my appreciation to all who have supported me in diverse ways.

I started blogging with 1 follower for several months after sharing my blog link to many of my contacts on Whatsapp. This first follower is a course mate of mine from Ghana Baptist University. I thank him for believing in me.

Like Fish Taken From The River To The Land

When I started, I was like a 🐠 taken from its natural habitat to the dry land. I was running from one site to the other reading and gathering all the facts I needed. I tell you, I slept late in the night and woke up late in the morning to take my breakfast. I even reduced in weight without realizing it. All for what? I just needed to prove to myself that I could do it! And yes I have done it!

Yes! I Have Done It!

Today, I have 101 WordPress followers, 6 email subscribers and 20 twitter followers. Oh! Yeah! Am proud of myself and where I have gotten to. I still have a lot to learn, upgrade my site and work on the almighty SEO.

Countries Of My Followers

I would like to express my profound gratitude to all my followers. You spend your precious time to read, comment and like my posts. My followers come from different parts of the world such as SERBIA, JAPAN, CROATIA, BELGIUM, COTE D’ IVOIRE, ICELAND, NAMIBIA, IRELAND, SOUTH AFRICA, JAMAICA, ZAMBIA, KENYA, ZIMBABWE, NETHERLANDS, PAKISTAN, INDIA, ISRAEL, US, UK, CANADA, AUSTRALIA, INDONESIA, AUSTRIA PORTUGAL, NORWAY, LITHUANIA, NEW ZEALAND, FRANCE, GUAM, PHILIPPINES, ROMANIA, GERMANY, GHANA, and MALAYSIA. Not exhausted. To you all I say once again, thank you ( English ). Gracias (Spanish). Me da mo ase ( Asante Twi ).

Happy Valentine’s Day in advance to you family.


This blogging journey has been awesome. Indeed the blogging community is a place to be. I am happy to announce to you all that Hill Study Center has been nominated by Afrobloggers for the 2020 Awards under the FRESH VOICE CATEGORY. This category is basically for new bloggers of which I am one. I humbly ask you all to vote for me.


Please click on this link to vote.

This is what you will see.

1. Follow the above link

2. Scroll down to FRESH VOICE  category

3. Click on Hill Study Center (

4. Click VOTE

Thank you. Gracias.




What Is Senryu Poetry?

Senryu is a three-line Japanese poetic form that focuses on human nature, generally with an ironic or darkly comedic edge. 

Adjei Agyei-Baah, a lover of poems has intelligently crafted these Senryu poems to capture human nature. He also added a translation of the poems in Asante Twi, one of the languages spoken in Ghana. Adjei has so many awards to his credit and still counting. This is a review I did for his Haiku, Afriku poem collection.

With this Senryu poems I chose GIF short videos to review it to add more comic touch to it. These are just a few I presented here. Enjoy!

elevator –
meeting me with
someone’s fart

Asante Twi translation…

de obi tá
hyia me kwan

staff meeting
a quick dissolution
from a fart

Asante Twi translation…

atikyafoɔ nhyiamu
ɛtá de nhyiamu ba awieɛ

prɛko pɛ

waking to a boom
from the sleeping mat-

my head on sibling’s butt

Asante Twi translation …

ɛtuo to wɔ kɛtɛ so-

mebɔ pitiri hunu sɛ
me tiri da me nua to ho

well site –
bringing up the water
with a fart

Asante Twi translation…

abura ho –
meretwe nsuo no
na tá di akyire

cool airtight bus
then someone
let go …

Asante Twi translation…

akwantu tenten
wɔ baase nwununwunu mu –
obi sɛe mframa no mpofirim

perfect trade –
your fart
and my snore

Asante Twi translation…

dwadie a asisie nnim
wo tá
ne me nkrɔmotuo

my fart –
even the cat
walks away

Asante Twi translation…

me tá –
agyinamoa no mpo
firi adi hɔ

Piece of my fart is available here You can follow his Twitter handle to get updated on his literary  works. Follow him on Facebook and on WordPress as well. I will leave you with a link to a review of Afriku written by a  Professor.

My Tim, My Joy

Timothy and I took this picture after Christmas church service.

Timothy, my nephew, has taught me a lot of lessons about motherhood. He had to live with us because his mother, my cousin  got admitted at the hospital for two weeks. Then, after her discharge from the hospital, she had to go back to deliver her baby. Just around that time, the covid19 stay home was announced.

Tim, had to continue living with us so that his mum could have enough time for the new baby. He has been with us for almost 10 months now. He sleeps in my room. Anywhere I go he is sure to follow me. During his stay with us I have learnt a lot about being a mother to a child. I have learnt to be extra patient, watch what I say to him because eventually, he will say the same words to me the next day. I have learnt not to give in to all his demands no matter how loud he cries. I have learnt to pray for him as a mother would for her child.

In our neighborhood, everyone says we shouldn’t send him back because it’s as if I am his biological mother 😅. The bond between Tim and I is deep. I thank God for bringing him into my life. He will eventually have to go back to his mom and his siblings but I will definitely miss him big time.

I will miss how he praises me when I wear a new dress. I will miss how he won’t allow anyone to bath him except me. I will miss our evening strolls in the neighborhood. And I will miss him calling me mama.

On this note, I am connecting you to Ric Designs amazing products for mothers. Use promo code HILDA to get a 10% discount on any product design of your choice. Click on the this link and the links below the images.

I wish you all a very merry Christmas. May this Christmas bring us joy and satisfaction.

A Milestone Reached On My Blogging Journey

My blogging journey started in July. Trust me when I say that I was confused like a fish taken from the water to the land. I was on the internet constantly reading, watching videos and learning as much as I could. I didn’t understand some of the terms used in the materials I read but i persisted to bypass any barriers.

I am not saying I know everything about blogging now. But my constant learning led me to know about image crediting, giving headlines to posts, tagging, using simple language in my post, and many more. I still have issues with the ‘all mighty’ search engine optimisation but I will definitely cross that bridge.

Celebrating 61 Followers Today

My blogging dreams are getting fulfilled with me reaching 61 amazing followers. I gave myself up to December ending to reach 60 followers but you great people have made me surpass my goal. This is worth celebrating in a loud manner.

I would like to thank you all for spending your precious time reading my posts, liking and commenting. Believe in yourself and your dreams. Never let the pressures of life make you abandon your goals in life. Above all trust in God. He has blessed us all with talents and gifts to serve Him and His creations.

These beautiful shirts are from Ric Designs. They have beautiful products in their store. Anyone who uses the code HILDA will get 10% off any product purchased. Click on the links below each image to purchase it.


As Ghanaians head to the election polls tomorrow, 7th December 2020, we were led this morning in church to pray for the country.


Lord Heavenly Father, I ask that you grant us peace during and after this election in all the 275 polling stations.

I release mighty warrior angels to be posted at all the entry points of the country. Fight for us    oh! angels of God. Protect us from all bad people who would want to influence the youth to engage in violence.

Image Source :

Lord, I commit the youth into your hands. Let the youth desist from all forms of electoral violence. I come against any acts of blood shed.

Lord, give us a leader after your own heart.

I thank you for how far you have brought Ghana in the journey of democracy. I thank you for the peace we have enjoyed. I thank you for answered prayers. In Jesus mighty name I pray.

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