In business, there are innumerable challenges that would pose themselves as obstacles standing in the way of an entrepreneur’s success. Sometimes these seeming barriers are controllable and within the entrepreneur’s ability. While other times, they are controlled by external factors and beyond an entrepreneur’s power.
Recently, Oluwatosin Olaseinde, founder of Money Africa, on her Twitter page identified low purchasing power as one of the factors that hinder most businesses in Nigeria. She indicated that many businesses could not scale up due to limited income. This means they are financially unable to upgrade their business to meet standard. While there were many responses to this, we decided to single out purchasing power to know how it can make a business thrive or suffer.
Firstly, purchasing power is the value of a currency expressed in terms of the amount of goods or services that one unit of money can buy. This plays out clearly in times of inflation when the prices of goods and services are increased thereby reducing the amount of purchases one makes. Another way to view purchasing power is to compare the quantity of commodities one could buy in the 80s with a N20 note as against what it can afford today.
At every point, economic activities are always affected by purchasing power. These activities range from traders who export or import goods, to vendors selling their products and services, to consumers buying these products and down to investors. Stock prices are not left out since they determine economic prosperity. The global market is affected when there is inconsistency in a currency’s purchasing power due to too much inflation. This leads to unfavourable economic crises and outcomes – high cost of living, increase in prices of goods and services, decrease in demand, etc.
Most times, an entrepreneur has to depend on government policies and regulations to maintain a healthy economy and stable purchasing power. These policies could be favourable sometimes or it may also have terrible effects on some business who cannot meet up the changes. A way to measure the purchasing power is through the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This index is calculated by averaging the price changes. The CPI is also a tool for checking the rate of inflation and deflation in a country.
Nigeria, as a country, has had some irregularities in its currency as a result of recession both in 1991 and 2014. Though the tough times are slowly passing away, they say, the economy is yet to be restored to what it ought to be. Unfortunately, those in business and consumers are the ones faced to bare the burdens that arose with the economic instability.
Purchasing Price Parity (PPP) is one of the concepts connected to purchasing power. It is an economic theory that estimates the amount of adjustable price of an item, given the exchange rate of two countries with the aim of matching each currency’s purchasing power. This can be used to compare a country’s income level and the economic progress. Through PPP, an entrepreneur could forecast the outcome of certain economic decisions especially in terms of doing business with other countries.
Lastly, another concept to consider is purchasing loss/gain which is an increase or decrease in the quantity consumers can buy with a given amount of money. There is always a loss in purchasing power when prices are increased and gain in purchasing power when prices are reduced. If government regulations, inflation and natural and manmade disasters are not put in check, there will be more purchasing power loss.
This invariably means most entrepreneurs have to either hold their breath hoping these factors that are beyond their control will not overwhelm their businesses else Oluwatosin Olaseinde’s statement remains true.
So it is imperative for businesses to have good financial strategies in order to stay thriving.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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Have you thought about why it is a struggle for many of us not to spend business money on personal needs, even with all the talk about financial discipline? As simple as this question may sound, it would take lots of people several months if not years to answer.
Whether we are counting millions or thousands, buying or selling, saving or spending, the subject of finances is one we can never stop learning about. Without exaggerating, I would say we are confronted by different financial challenges daily but for some reason, most people consider financial topics too sensitive. This is the reason why you find a good number of persons especially entrepreneurs rarely discuss their financial struggles and secretly search for ways to survive.
The quest for survival has put a reasonable number of emerging entrepreneurs in a difficult position when negotiating payment terms with clients. They often sell themselves short in exchange for any amount just to meet their present needs. This has ultimately inhibited the growth potential of so many ventures.
From critical observations backed up with research, I have summed the financial circle into four. Every individual and entrepreneur can be categorized under one of them. I have come to believe that the circle or stage one is determines their financial decisions. Here are the basic four financial circle;
SURVIVAL: This is the base level where folks practically struggle to get through each day as it concerns basic necessities like food, transport fare, shelter, etc. Folks in this circle are usually the first casualties when there’s hike in the prices of general consumer goods. However, there’s a grading within this circle just like all others, not everyone is exactly at same level.
COMFORT: This circle is just above the previous, basic things of life isn’t much of a problem here. People in this category just want to be comfortable enough to live in a good home, buy the gadgets they want, send their kids to good private schools, afford one or two trips abroad, and so on. There’s also a grading in this circle, not everyone is at the same level. Beyond that, some people shuttle between this circle and the previous one, others remain here perpetually while some others proceed to the next.
SUSTAINABILITY: At this level, comfort is no longer a person’s quest, it is settled. Folks here are more concerned with how to maintain their quality of life and create a fortune for their heirs. People here take investments more seriously; they want to own properties and assets, anything that gives them some level of security.
LEGACY: This is the stage where money isn’t a problem anymore. The world’s top billionaires belong here. They are hungry for impact; something with their names crested on it; own a football club or something of that sort, set up a foundation tackling one major problem the world laments about, or re-engineer the business itself to offer greater value to the world. By all means, they embark on legacy projects. So long as it takes money, there is nothing they cannot afford.
Not everyone starts from ground zero by the way, but everyone belongs to one out of the four circles at each point in life. I am an advocate for people to live within their means and be contented with what they have per time even when hoping and working to improve their lot.
Which financial circle do you fall under and what plans have you been making to progress in order to build your enterprise?
Written by Maple Dappa
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Like the sun, Oando’s logo streams its rays that emits an irresistible energy to all its customers. The blend of oval shapes of different colours and sizes has become its signature identity recognised all over. It is easy to tell that the company doesn’t just focus on distributing their products and services but also aims to create long lasting impressions.
Though Oando is an indigenous Oil and Gas Company based in Nigeria, it started out as a petroleum marketing company in 1956 and operated with the name Esso West Africa Incorporated that is a subsidiary of Exxon Corporated of the USA. Ever since, the company has evolved to become one of the largest energy brand in Africa.
The Oando brand has been through numerous rebranding stages from acquisitions to mergers. It is one brand that has experienced and survived many difficult times. Even though it has made tremendous impact in the Nigerian oil and gas sector, the company still works with a view of emerging as a world class brand.
The prestigious brand is known for its bold spirit towards the quest to succeed, the quality of its leadership and its well dug African root. It has consistently communicated its beliefs and values through every medium it has at its disposal. One of the medium it leverages to pass its brand’s message across is its outstanding logo.
The logo, which resembles the sun, symbolises warmth and the dawning of a new era for the organization. The oval shaped elements in various sizes encapsulates the company’s continuous expansion and growth. The elements also expresses the brand’s basic principles of vision, focus, and unity. The different angles of the oval shapes is an impression of movement–movement forward, movement to the future, and the movement of energy.
The company’s corporate colour palette was carefully and deliberately selected to uphold the image and energy that forms its identity. The brand ensures that the colour range and graphic elements remain consistent for all their official use as this has become their corporate signature. The consistency in the colour system is applied in order to establish a distinctive visual language and expression for the brand.
The wordmark is written in Helvetica. This font was chosen for its clean feel and readability, and its honest, open and approachable appeal. The font aligns with the brand’s simplicity, clarity and boldness. Also Helvetica is a contemporary and timeless character which secures the brand’s relevance.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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There has been an over told story of bossy employers who make the work place unpleasant for their employees. While often times there is another side of the story that is not told – dealing with insubordination.
Many times employers are faced with the daunting task of handling employees who seem difficult to handle. This has always been a problem but such pictures are rarely painted, leaving some employers helplessly silent for the fear of not communicating the wrong message.
In organizations where some employees express a deep form of insubordination, it weakens the effectiveness of other team members and most times leave the management wobbling in thoughts. These stiff-necked employees could be likened to horses forced to the stream but refusing to drink.
Insubordination could be in different ways; there are times when employees fail to carry out tasks demanded of them by their employers or superior due to some factors, or question the management’s authority, or bluntly refuse to obey company policies. Chike’s story is the perfect display of insubordination.
Chike got fired two months ago at the office, this got almost everyone talking about it and wondering why it had to be Chike. He was so composed and effective at some point he was considered efficient. He earned the manager’s trust with his ability to complete a task with less supervision. Almost everyone at the office maintained the expected degree of their KPI’s but he will always go beyond the expectation. His effort to the company’s growth was commendable. Seeing his level of commitment, the management seemed it right that more responsibilities were assigned to him.
With a new project at hand, the management sought diligently for a perfect person who will show great deal of commitment, to produce the project’s desired result, so Chike came to mind (“to whom much is given, much is expected”).
The project’s estimated lifespan was 6 months, which required tendering of a weekly report to the department head. After three months of the project’s commencement, Chike had not tendered any report concerning the progress of the project. Gradually, he began to question most of the management’s decisions and would not carry out any duty he did not feel up to. At certain occasions, he was asked about it and there was nothing tangible that he could offer. The management considered this as an insubordinate behaviour.
Measures were taken and it was decided that most relevant responsibilities should be taken off Chike’s desk. This was not a way of silencing his voice, but rather creating an open door policy to make other employees learn.
Do you think the management’s decision was too harsh? How would handle such behaviour in your organisation?
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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A brand that has championed the course of online shopping in Nigeria is Konga. With its online and offline retail platforms, Konga has consistently set the standard on which other brands in its industry build on.
Having earned the game changer title in the e-commerce industry in Nigeria, Konga keeps expanding its reach and gaining more traffic. With all its accomplishment, Konga is a brand worth reviewing. Check out Konga in a wrap.
In 2012, a Nigerian entrepreneur and businessman called Sim Shagaya founded what we now know as the largest online mall in Nigeria, Konga. The e-commerce company has its headquarters in Gbagada, Lagos State and offers a third-party online marketplace and first-party direct retail.
The company started out as a Lagos based online retailer with a product range of children items, beauty and personal care products. By the end of 2012 and early 2013, Konga increased its merchandise categories to include home appliances, electronics, health care products, and fashion. Within this period, the company also expanded to other parts of the country.
In 2013, the company shifted its focus from being a purely first-party online retailer by launching Konga Mall, a platform for third-party retailers. This was achieved with a $10 million Series A round investment raised by the company’s investors, Investment AB Kinnevik and Naspers. With the help of the same investors, Konga was able to raise a $25 million Series B round which was considered as the largest single round raised by a single African start-up.
Struck by some strokes of an incontrollable online traffic, the site, Konga.com crashed on November 29, 2013 and operated offline for 45minutes. This was due to its Black Friday promotion which brought about an enormous sale.
Rebranding itself during the launch of the third-party retail platform in 2014, Konga changed the initial ‘Konga Mall’ to ‘Marketplace’. This new platform beat the previous internal target of 1000 merchant by featuring 8000 more. During this season, Konga experienced tremendous growth from millions worth orders. More recognition came in January 2015 as Konga was recorded to be the most visited website in Nigeria. The CEO, Sim Shagaya, also referred to it as a leader in its field.
In June 2015, Konga acquired the assets and mobile money license of Zinternet Nigeria Limited. This acquisition was used to support its premier product, KongaPay, which was a solution for cashless electronic payment. Konga, partnering Nigerian commercial banks, like Ecobank, Access bank, FCMB, Diamond Bank, Zenith Bank, Heritage Bank, UBA, First Bank and GTB, launched KongaPay. Konga, again set the pace for other e-commerce brands with this innovative move as it made payment easily for many customers.
Despite its many wins, Konga tasted some tough times and had to lay off over half of its staff. As a result of this downtime, Konga was acquired by Zinox, a manufacturer and distributor of computers. As a result of the acquisition, Olusiji Ijogun, former UAC Foods and Unilever executive, was appointed as the company’s chairman while Nick Imudia became the CEO after Shola Adekoya resigned.
A merger between Zinox and Konga.com followed on 1 May 2018 but the brand name, Konga was retained. The new company is a combination of an effective online e-commerce and the expansive branch network of Konga.com and emerging retail outfit, Yudala, whose goal is to pioneer omni-channel in Africa. The new Konga was forecasted to become the biggest e-commerce and retail company in Africa.
“To be a powerful force for the Economic Growth of Africa. To connect Africans with each other and the rest of the world through Technology & Commerce. To be a company that employees, customers & society are proud of and depend on.”
“To be the Engine of Commerce & Trade in Africa.”
Konga’s services are influenced by these set of values;
- Honour & Integrity
- Teamwork & Sacrifice
In the quest to reach and satisfy more customers, Konga offers the following services;
Konga Express: A service forced on delivering ordered products to customers within 1-3 days.
Konga Marketplace: This serves as a platform for Nigerian based businesses to showcase their products.
Konga Self-Fulfill Model: This service makes it easy for merchants to have better shipping agreements. With the help of this service, sellers are in control of parcels at every point till the delivery is made to the customer.
It also seems like Konga has ventured into the travel segment with Konga Travel.
It is obvious that one outstanding feature of Konga is its customer centric approach which ensures every customer goes around with a smile afterwards. This has not just built the brand’s customer base but also increased its dominance.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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Whenever and wherever e-commerce is the subject of discussion, Amazon is one name that would always be mentioned. Without a doubt, it has become an unbeatable name in America and all over the world.
What started out as an online bookstore has grown to encompass the sale of many other items. Its expansion strategy has set it to become one of the world’s leading e-commerce site. Amazon has become a trusted platform for both buyers and sellers who do not hesitate to express their satisfaction with the services rendered.
This air of satisfaction among their clients is one thing Amazon never waste an opportunity to boast about. The attribute of ingenuity in customer’s satisfaction is proudly expressed on the brand’s logo. The simple, yet sophisticated look of the Amazon’s logo now carries with it the story of growth and success of the brand.
When Jeff Bezos, the founder, established his online bookstore first under the name, “Cadabar” in 1994 and a year later changed to Amazon, the logo did not seem as exciting as it is presently. The initial attempts to brand the company and give it a face was not as remarkable or polished as what we have become accustomed to.
The first logo prototype featured the letter “A” boldly designed as a winding river cutting through its silhouette and superimposed on an aquatic background. Though this logo did not sell the brand completely, still it set the sail for the company.
Subsequently, other variations of the first logo were designed. The other logos were experimented with different colour schemes, icon fills and choices of typography. In 1997, the wordmark had extracted the capital “A” icon. This version of the logo had both upper and lowercase.
Amazon took a new direction in 1998 because of its exponential growth. As part of the revolution, the company had to redefine its identity to differentiate it from other online shopping platforms and make it stand out in its industry. Amazon was one of the first e-commerce sites to incorporate one-click shopping and email order verification. The company’s services provided convenience for shoppers with a comprehensive stock of books.
This successful phase extended the company’s model to include an audio library. With over 125,000 titles searchable by artist, song title and label, the music section would debut on Amazon. Following the expansion, there were a series of iterations on the logo to suit the rapid growth of the company.
The iterations would include a lowercase serif logo paired with a book and globe icon. With the future in view, the company’s ambitions were reflected in its new tagline “Books, Music & More” This logo would remain in place until the company had time to expand on the “More” part of the vision. Due to the diversity of the company, more changes were made; this included a sans serif, all-caps wordmark with a large, golden “O” in the middle. This version lasted for only a few months before being redesigned into the sans-serif, lowercase font.
In 2000, Amazon was gaining more visibility but rather than be complacent, Jeff Bezos constantly sought for ways to improve the company while exploring innovative ideas. The company gradually transited from consumable media into almost every product in the planet. To mark this new feat, Bezos desired a new logo – a timeless one that would bear the company’s message. To achieve this, he implored the help of Turner Duckworth, a creative agency that gave the company’s identity a tremendous facelift.
The current emblem came with new success; with the swooping yellow arrow that points from the “a” to the “z” of the logo, which explained the founder’s original plan for Amazon. The shape of the arrow has a round-edged, organic quality, and the right side bends the bottom stem of the “z” upwards. This symbolises a smile to represent the stellar customer experience the company is known for.
Apart from the smile interpretation of the logo, the arrow from “a” to “z” also means that Amazon sell everything from a to z. That is, almost every product can be found on the Amazon store.
The Amazon element is designed with a custom font, which resembles Officina Sans. This font gives the wordmark “amazon” a bold face. The well-crafted wordmark has become a recognisable identifier related to the brand.
Amazon’s logo with no word said, spreads the message behind the brand. At just a glance, it sends signals to each viewer.
The logo also serves as a reminder to both clients and staff. For clients they are assured of having a stress free customer experience whenever they make purchase on the Amazon site, which eventually leaves a smile of satisfaction on their faces. On the other hand, the staff are reminded that they have to ensure that every service or product meets the customer’s taste and satisfy them.
Amazon remains a leader in its industry, a timeless brand, and continues to evolve. From online retail, with everything from ebook readers, to delivery via drones and terrific automated hub that manages its ever-growing inventory of products. The company has never conformed to the norm and has always tied its progress and innovation to its logo and collective ethos that was inspired by the founder.
“We are culturally pioneers. We like to disrupt even our own business. Other companies have different cultures and sometimes do not like to do that. Our job is to bring those industries along.”
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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EMPLOYEE INSIGHT: “THERE IS NO FORMULA OR STRAIGHT FORWARD APPROACH WHEN IT COMES TO RELATING WITH PEOPLE IN THE WORKPLACE”–ANONYMOUS
A paramount skill every employee, irrespective of their positions, should acquire is the ability to work excellently with others in the work place. They must be willing to start the learning process of establishing good work relationships with fellow colleagues. With willingness, any employee can be trained and taught this vital skill.
Our interviewee, a maintenance planner and scheduler in a bottling company, argues the opinion that one human relationship approach can work for everyone in the work environment. He stood on the fact that human beings have different features and each person is unique in their own way. Find out more about his work ideologies…
Giving an insight to his job specification, our interviewee, shared in details, “My role is to ensure machine availability and reliability are achieved through planning and scheduling or coordinating maintenance activities. This means that I try to ensure that all the machines needed for production are available and are in good condition at all times especially when needed. This is to keep all machines in check so they don’t breakdown abruptly when they are in use and that they also perform at their best”
For a clearer understanding, he enlightened us some more about the dynamics of his work. He took us through the different procedures he undergoes to achieve success in his daily job.
Expatiating he said, “Planning involves assessment of the job to be done, assess the resource availability, and ensure the right tools are available and spare parts. If skill set is needed, you try to inform those responsible for the job. I practically provide both intellectual and physical resources and also schedule them as need be; fix a time duration and issue out a work order which is basically a permit to work”
Our interviewee has had a slight career change which most would refer to as a promotion. Having started as a technical engineer for a company that served as a supply chain for his present company, our interviewee was found worthy and was retained when the time came. “I started as a technical operator for a company that supplies for my present company and then was promoted to a maintenance planner”
He specified that his chosen career path, maintenance planning and scheduling, is in line with his course of study, mechanical engineering. This has given him some level of advantage in his field.
“I studied mechanical engineering in school and maintenance is a major aspect of it. Although there are some electrical aspects too, but it is mostly a mechanical work. Mechanical engineering, however, is a broad course with many areas of specialty and that includes what I am currently doing, maintenance.”
Speaking on his work experience so far, our interviewee shared some impactful insights about his work life. He highlighted that he has developed a deep sense of responsibility, an eye for details and diligence.
“I personally think working is an avenue for each person to learn. By learning, I do not just mean learning a profession or career but I mean the discipline work teaches one, that sense of responsibility. There is a whole lot of training working gives to every man. Therefore, for me, working has helped my sense of responsibility, diligence and has taught me how to pay attention to details. It has also helped my thought pattern because I get to work with a team of intellectual people. It has expanded my thinking capacity, broaden my horizon, increased my exposure level and has built my confidence level as regards facing challenges.”
While sharing some lessons he has learnt over the years as an employee, he identified one major factor in any workplace, which is people. Our interviewee believes there is no precise method for handling different people with different backgrounds and orientation.
“One major lesson I have learnt in the course of working is that you have to know how to deal with different people. There is no formula or straightforward approach when it comes to the workplace because you are interacting with several people with different characters, different likes and dislikes and different temperaments. One just has to learn how to relate with different people and maintain a good relationship with everyone. Adaptability is another lesson I have learnt while working.”
Our interviewee regards regular income from the workplace as a benefit that should enhance one’s ability to plan their financial life better.
“Having a regular salary helps me to plan and I believe that is one benefit of working. So I am able to plan my expenses a little bit better and hope to improve even more.”
Like a coin, a job has two sides – advantage and disadvantage – to it. These two are common traits in any work life, which virtually every worker faces. Our respondent enumerated some of the disadvantages that accompanied his job; they ranged from stress, down to the daily demands and problems he has to solve.
“A disadvantage with my job would be the stress. It can also be time consuming, energy draining and really demanding. If something goes wrong, you are trying to think of how to fix it, trying different ways. Even after the close of work, your mind keeps running from one machine that is down to the other in search for a solution.”
Laying more emphasizes on his challenges at work, he added, “Some days I leave work and I am so stressed out. Also, sometimes some people can be very difficult to work with”
With how demanding his work is, our interviewee indicated he could not consider having a side hustle due to the time constraints.
“No I don’t have a side hustle,” he said. “I’m very much involved in church. Therefore, when I am not at work, I am in church. In the end I don’t have time to include any other demanding activity, like side hustles.”
Concluding his interview, our interviewee shared an unusual advice for those planning to travel the career journey. He advised young career beginners to follow the leading of the supernatural being, God, rather than hurryingly follow public opinions.
“Advising on a career path, I wouldn’t come from the area of ‘be diligent, pursue your dreams, know your area of strength etc.’ I believe most people have heard that speech before. What I would say is whoever you are; follow the Lord and the need of God for your life. Do not rush, because we are not competing with anybody. Do not take decisions because every other person is doing it. Wait, take your time, ensure this is what the Lord will have you do, and follow the leading of His spirit. I have found out that that is the best way to live. Simply trust God and everything will fall in place.”
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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With the fast rise of technologies of all kinds – the simple and the sophisticated – the world’s advancement clings on technological wings. A country’s development is now measured by its level of technological growth and input, while humanity relies on it for easier and better existence. This leaves one with no other choice than to embrace the innovations that come with technology.
An aspect of technology that has gained its way into our lives is software applications that tend to create more ease in operating technological devices. Globally, many new and modified software are being developed every single day to ensure more users leverage technology. Nigeria is not left out of this rave as many organisations and start-ups constantly search for ways to proffer technological solutions.
Since 2009, Cinfores Limited took up the challenge and has so far, made laudable impact in the society. Here is an overview of Cinfores.
Cinfores Limited is a rapidly growing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) company in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. It began its journey with the aim to design software and offer educational solutions and services in the world of technology.
The company was founded by Asawo Ibifuro, Nwogu Ikechi and Saborogha Boneri who got connected during their days at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology and were driven by similar purpose. Together these three like minds have dedicated their time, resources and knowledge to build the iconic company, Cinfores.
For over a decade, Cinfores Limited has been committed to developing relevant solution-oriented software one of which being its flagship e-learning software – BrainFriend. This software, which has become a recognised brand, is considered Nigeria’s first examination preparatory and self-development tool. This educational software is designed to enlighten and guide students preparing for any type of examination in a way reducing failure.
The company has also earned the title, the CEO’s trusted adviser because of the solutions it provides for executives on ICT investments. The products and services offered by the company are geared towards sustainable development with keen attention paid to quality. They deliver services in areas like software development, application maintenance, business process modelling, system computerisation, ICT infrastructure, web hosting, networking and general ICT consultancy.
In the course of time, Cinfores has consciously gained immense experience in many aspects such as campus management and administration; scholarship management and administration; membership management systems, and administration of electronic screening tests etc. It has gradually deepened its root in different sectors in Nigeria, thereby becoming a leading brand in its own sector – ICT.
Cinfores’ vision is “To become Africa’s leading ICT Company for development in Education.”
The brand is on a mission “To improve the quality and management of education at all levels”
Cinfores Limited is defined by the following core values:
I – Integrity
F – Flexibility
E – Excellence
A – Accountability
T – Trust
At Cinfores Limited, they operate with a transparent structure that is constantly enhanced and improved and work with a genuine interest for their clients.
Cinfores’ production strategy revolves around creating valuable products and services that are of high quality and cost-competitive. To increase their relevance, the company’s products are designed with sustainability as the end goal. They work in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and strive to develop and maintain innovative technological ideas.
As mentioned earlier, Cinfores is focused on finding solutions to different societal problems. They have employed this strategy in different organisations ranging from educational institutions, to governmental establishments and down to private organisations. Here are some solutions it has provided to tackle loopholes in these areas; Cinfores BrainFriend, Cinfores ecampus, Cinfores esms, Cinfores eskool, Cinfores examiner, and Cinfores erecruitment.
Amongst many impactful projects Cinfores has embarked on, the introduction of BrainFriend in 2016 was an exceptional one. The brand’s fame increased with the release of an enhanced version that featured video & animated lessons, instructional dramas & educational games, over 70,000 questions/answers/explanations in line with the national curriculum and over 59 subjects and lots more.
This innovative input in the educational sector has had tremendous impact in the lives of students and the country at large.
Witten by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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Have you ever purchased a product after seeing several of its adverts but in the end, it did not meet your expectation? If you have, then you must understand that deep feeling of disappointment that accompanies the irritating feeling of being played and the urge to put that brand on your blacklist of products you would never buy. What would you say went wrong; the over hyped advert or the brand itself?
Recently I had my fair share of disappointment from the dissatisfaction I got after trying a new tissue paper brand. Prior to that time, I had seen some interesting adverts on TV about this particular brand of tissue paper, bombarding its target audience with impressive visuals. Judging from the ads, you would conclude it had gained some degree of visibility in the market and based on the impressive content, from being one of the softest to being the whitest ever. All I expected was nothing but quality and didn’t bother much about its outrageous price. However, after purchasing and examining it thoroughly, I didn’t think it was worth the attention it got from me.
While I commend the brand for their striking marketing campaign that was quick to resonate deeply with most of their target audience – like me, I would hardly recommend them to anyone because their words painted an inverse image of the poor quality of the product. This oversight is not peculiar to this brand alone as there are many others who have faulted in this area. Every now and then, several brands make conscious efforts to woo potential customers with luscious promises, just to get a spot in their lives. Sadly in the end, most of these brands fail to keep to their words.
Now it is true a brand can get the attention of its target clients through remarkable marketing strategies but the chances are; it will attract a pool of customers but can hardly sustain them if the product is not up to the standard they expected. This leads us to one needful thing every company should consider before branding – Product Quality.
Quality is an irresistible attribute recognised all over the world. It knows no limit and would literally cast a spell on customers, making them flood the producer’s space just to get a product. In most countries, especially the developed ones, products are measured based on their level of quality – the higher the quality the more recognition it gets.
Product quality is a product’s ability to adequately meet the needs of users and its durability and usefulness over time. It is an essential attribute of a brand that should never be overlooked as it could serve as a guarantee for business sustainability. In the long run, product quality is a marker that determines purchasing decisions and profitability.
Quality products are unbeatable commodities in the market that most people would pay any amount to buy. A shabby product can hardly compete with a well-crafted and detailed brand. They are naturally distinguished from the crowded market like stars in a dark sky. A quality brand also builds customer’s trust and commands constant patronage.
For entrepreneurs seeking to pull the crowd to their camp, they need to first invest more time developing their product to meet the desirable standard. Don’t push your work out without dealing with the essentials. In other words, don’t brand emptiness or a substandard product.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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Symbols have long been a great way for brands to communicate their values and generally express what they do. Some brands have become widely known for their distinctive logos. For Nestle, the peculiar nest and birds’ symbol has formed its identity.
The Nestle logo is one of the few logos that never cease to make a statement about their brand to everyone who encounters it. It is regarded as a ground-breaking logo that has set the pace for other brands since its creation.
Let’s delve into its history to see the logo transformation.
LOGO HISTORY AND EVOLUTION
The premier logo that was used in 1868 was simply the Nestlé’s family coat of arms. The symbol was a bird on a nest, placed inside a shield shape. Based on the type of brand Nestle wanted to build, this logo was not suitable for it. The emblem did not communicate the company’s vision in any way and that led to the need for a better logo.
In 1875, Nestlé’s founder, Henri Nestlé drew inspiration from his family’s coat of arms to create a fresh logo for the brand. This new logo featured three birds in a nest, being fed by their mother. The symbol was a visual connection between the family name, Nestlé, which is interpreted as nest in German and the company’s infant cereal products for nourishment. With this move, Nestlé was rebranded to symbolise a safe nest for nourishment.
1938 came with a new swing of change; Nestle combined the lettering and logo to create a new identity for the brand. This unique mark unified all Nestlé products.
The company’s trademark was modified in 1966 during the celebration of the company’s 100th anniversary.
In 1988 one of the young birds, as well as the worm in their mother’s beak were removed giving the brand a new identity, This was to communicate that the subsidiaries were given homogenized names in combination with “Nestle” which then became a strategic umbrella trademark.
In 1995, the logo was simplified again and the four categories of products, milk product, ice cream, confectionery and baby milk were all given specific Nestle lettering.
The company made some modifications in the logotype in 2015. The logo was made bolder with other slight changes to the sketch. According to the company, the new Nestle symbol was designed to appear better on digital devices like smartphones.
Nestlé’s wordmark is written with sans-serif type with much emphasis on the letter “N”.
Initially brown-and-white were the only colours used to design the original logo but over time, colour schemes like grey-and-white or black-and-white are now being used.
In years to come, consumers all over the world will always remember Nestlé’s emblem with a sense of familiarity and fondness knowing its products never failed to meet their expectation thereby reflecting its brand value, “Good Food, Good Life”. This is the real definition of logo impact.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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