Innovations start with great thinkers and a team of like minds, which takes quite some serious work to assemble, especially in the Niger Delta Region of Port Harcourt. That is the story of Olotu Square, a rare light, beaming and leading a teeming population of young people along the path of technology and innovative solutions to problems.
Olotu Square is one of the foremost innovative hubs in Port Harcourt, established to build capacity in the technology space. The brand grooms young people with various talents and skills and has made remarkable impact in just three years. Olotu Square through its work has been tackling the problem of unemployment by training young people and engaging them with projects from paying clients.
Olotu Square was established in 2016, and the name is derived from two words; Olotu which means “a champion” or “a leader of warriors” and Square which means gathering or together. The brand name Olotu Square meaning “Community of Champions” has so far lived up to its name. In the past few years, Olotu Square has become a community of Startups & Technology Developers driven by a common interest to change the narrative of the Niger Delta and Africa at large.
Olotu Square started out as a software technology company with the mission to develop software for organisations. Bruce Lucas who conceived the vision after attending an economic and youth conference in Malaysia founded the company. Intrigued by his experience in Malaysia, he was moved to implement the same initiative in his own community. After he returned home, Bruce converted his office space into a community for potential developers and aspiring young people striving towards becoming the next Zuckerberg or Elon Musk.
Barely a year after launching Olotu Square in 2016, the company gained support, endorsements and a national recognition the next year 2017. They have moved on to host two Google programs successfully that was sponsored by Google, and other training programs as well. Within that period, the hub also birthed its first Startup Gerocare, an Uber kind of solution but for healthcare delivery.
Olotu Square has grown to become a recognised indigenous hub providing business support, mentorship, incubation, and valuable business network to Startups. They continue to serve as a community for tech enthusiasts and entrepreneurs. The brand keeps championing different notable projects with the vision of creating a better future for the next generation.
To achieve the best Startup and Technology success stories in Africa.
They believe collaboration is the way to build the future.
They believe they can create a future where there is equal opportunity to thrive and ample resources are within the reach of everyone no matter the location.
They dream of a future where innovations reign supreme in every corner of Africa and everyone has access to different levels of support to birth their dreams.
Their work culture revolves around,
- Equality and
Olotu Square is committed to doing more work than talking; they are a brand to watch in the coming years.
Here is a list of what they do;
- Trainings & Fellowships
- Youths, Jobs & Engagements
- Graphics, UI/UX Designs
- Software Development
- Digital Marketing
- Tech Systems Designs/Automation
- IT Infrastucture Management
- Developer/Tech Support
From our research, it is exciting to state with confidence that Olotu Square is looking forward to a great future of achievements and groundbreaking initiatives that will reverse the perception of the public on Nigerian youths in general. They have the capacity and work force to reach unimaginable heights.
Written by Nwaerema Cyprian J
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Business is synonymous to a game where only the best players win. The best players are not those who start the game but those who swim with the tides of change and develop different strategies as the game gets fiercer. Like the outcome of a game is unpredictable, so is the same for the Nigerian market.
With the swinging economy, the Nigerian market has never been more unpredictable in terms of purchasing power that over time has affected disposable income. Both individuals and businesses have felt the weight of the economic challenges. Though the burden is lighter on others, everyone shares in the consequences of an unstable economy.
This has led to reduced patronage for many businesses because not everyone can afford too many products at once and they continue to look for cheaper alternatives. While many customers can no longer afford to buy in bulk, companies have devise means of still reaching customers at the bottom of the pyramid.
Observing the change amongst consumers, businesses have developed a new approach to retain their relevance and increase their customer base. Most companies have resolved to produce their products in smaller quantities, in this case in sachets. This new strategy is what Tunji Andrews, Lead Economist at Time, Trade and Commodities (TTAC), calls “sachetization”.
In a Twitter post, Tunji indicated that those unwilling to flow with the trend will be at risk of running out of business. This post could be linked to the sachet approach a major brand, Dettol, had employed to reach and retain more customers. Even though this could be considered a clever move, many of his followers connected this strategy to the unfavourable Nigerian economy.
Prior to this time other major brands such as Kellogg, Power Oil, and even tomatoes paste brands had been making their products available in sachet which has been advantageous to them as regards patronage. This is to ensure that both upper and lower class can afford the products. There is no doubt that these brands must have studied and analysed their industry to discover the best approach to tackle the economic barriers. As it seems, this strategy obviously seem to be working for them and has increased their revenue.
We can never overemphasize the need of knowing your market thoroughly. In our previous post sometime ago, we emphasized on the importance of studying your target market as an entrepreneur. Staying abreast with the latest wind of change and keenly observing the solution other brands are engaging and modifying it to suit your business, always keeps you on track.
With more brands embracing “sachetization”, we wonder what new strategies would unfold if it ever gets tougher. Yet again, what can we say, ‘when the going gets tough, the tough gets INNOVATIVE’.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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Unarguably one of the world’s famous logos, the Google logo is one that virtually every internet user interacts with on an almost daily basis. A lot of tweaking had taken place before the present logo in use; the logo has seen both the colours and wordmark evolve through the years for several reasons.
Through various modifications, the Google brand uses its logo as a vehicle to communicate current events and notable dates in history like Olympics, birthdays of iconic personalities, holidays, etc. The admirable manner in which Google has made its name and logo unforgettable will always serve as a learning yardstick for several brands.
The first attempt to create a Google logo was made in 1997 by Sergey Brin. It was designed using the graphics program GIMP. Larry Page took it further in 1998 to design a computerised version of the logo which featured an exclamation mark that looked like that of Yahoo’s logo.
On the 31st of May, 1999, the logo was redesigned from a Baskerville Bold font to a Catull typeface. This particular design became associated with Google since it was used for close to ten years.
After close to a decade, from 1999 to 2009, Google’s logo was revamped. Following a preview done in 2009, the baton of brand identity was passed to a new logo launched in 2010. This new logo and the old logo shared some similarities especially in the typeface used but there was a slight difference in the colours. An orange and yellow colour was used for the letter ‘O’. Also a shadow effect though subtle but noticeable was added to the logo.
In 2010, the logo was redesigned again. This time the shadow effect was reduced and the colour of the second “o” was changed to a yellow hue and a more flattened lettering was used.
October 25, 2013, came with a new look for Google as a flat logo two- dimensional in nature and a colour palette was introduced. This version had no shadow effect but retained a flattened lettering.
The logo was reviewed again on September 1, 2015, during which the typeface, Catull was changed to a new logotype, San-serif typeface called Product Sans. The new logo retained the multi-coloured playfulness and rotated ‘e’. Accompanied with the logo redesign, its icon, its favicon, the old small blue “g” was replaced with a four-coloured ‘G’ set in Product Sans.
One thing that has been consistent about the Google logo is the use of colours. A lot of attention was put in the selection of the Google colours. While the primary colours were used for each letter, the letter ‘L’ was designed with a secondary colour.
The Brazilian designer, Ruth Kedar, who spearheaded the revamping of the logo, indicated that the colours and its pattern shows the exceptionality in the brand and exhibits the brand’s culture.
“There were a lot of different colour iterations”, says Ruth Kedar, “We ended up with the primary colours, but instead of having the pattern go in order, we put a secondary colour on the L, which brought back the idea that Google doesn’t follow the rules.”
The logo uses Product Sans for its typeface. Embedded in this typeface is a feel of history and a sense of currency.
In their words; “In tandem with developing the logotype, we created a custom, geometric sans-serif typeface to complement the logo in product lockups and supporting identity materials. We call it Product Sans. The typeface design takes cue from that same schoolbook letter-printing style, but adopts the neutral consistency we’ve all come to expect from a geometric sans serif. This allows us to maintain an appropriate level of distinction between the Google logotype and the product name. The character set is complete with numerals, punctuation, accent and alternate characters, fractions, symbols, and supports extended Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic”
The Google logo has transcended from a mere design to a strong identity. It serves as the face of the brand since it is easily recognisable. Due to its playful but yet classic look, the Google logo has become a brand in itself that leads people into the company. Therefore selling the brand.
They had this to say about their logo’s impact, “Design was only one part of the effort. The realization of the new identity required the collective work and diligence of hundreds of Googlers, in different roles, spanning the entire organization. They deserve huge credit for building and implementing the system down to the very last pixel.
As we move forward creating new products and experiences, we hope this work will continue to deliver the simplicity and delight you expect from Google—wherever new technology may take us.”
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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Beyond working and earning monthly salary, there is a deeper desire for most workers, which is Self-sufficiency. Most people aspire to live above insufficient funds, daily toil, and tirelessly strive to attain a certain level of financial freedom. When the desire for self-sufficiency is not attained, dissatisfaction creeps in and then work becomes a tedious monotonous act.
This week’s guest, Ezeugwa Gerrard, strongly believes that self-sufficiency comes through one means, deliberate and consistent hard work. To drive his point home, Gerrard shared some personal experiences during his interview. Brace yourself as we get to know more about this young driven man.
Ezeugwa Gerrard, is a Software Engineer who specializes in building software, developing websites and deploying them. “I write programs in modern programming languages and I maintain best practice in all that I do,” he emphasized.
Having made critical changes along his career path, Gerrard is not your regular kind of worker. He has courageously explored different career options all in different industries. “I had series of changes in my career. From the Oil and Gas sector to Banking Sector then finally Information Technology, the journey has been breathtaking and eventful.”
Gerrard indicated that he had no initial plan to divert from his course of study to his present profession. “I mean I never set out to be a Software Engineer. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Gas Engineering but today, here I am.”
He went further to express his thoughts concerning academic pursuit, indicating that the school environment served as a platform for self-discovery. “I feel going to college was just a mere certification exercise that laid the foundation for self-discovery. I feel I went to school just to find out who I am, my strengths, weaknesses and what I can do happily even without income.”
From his exposure, Gerrard now views the workplace as a school that facilitates all round personal growth. “Working is a school. It teaches you how to grow and do that very fast. You learn time management, personal development amongst others.”
He explained further giving an instance of an experience that stood out for him with focus on the lessons he has learnt from it, “For example, last year I worked in a Nigerian multinational bank. My most remarkable experience here thought me how to be patient. The most discouraging task involved parsing and rearranging business files that could sometimes take weeks to complete. I took the job just to fund my dream of working as a Software Engineer. I did not give up. I knew it was just a phase.”
Gerrard shared some tremendous ways his job has enriched his personality, “Working has given me the opportunity to understand the individual differences that exist among people and how to manage them. It has made me patient, more bold, outspoken and emotionally intelligent. I now know how to patiently and intelligently work my way to the top while leveraging the various situations I find myself.”
Financial wise, working has made Gerrard fiercer in his pursuit for self-sufficiency. He indicated that he has become more cautious in his choice of activities in order to earn more income. “Work has made me self-sufficient. It has also given me the ability to be of assistance to those who genuinely need assistance. I mean no one wants to be a liability, or stay around a liability.
It made me a purpose driven person. I am now time cautious and every activity I indulge in has to be a money maker else I abandon it.”
He also mentioned some benefits that accompanies his job. “On my current job, I became a full time staff within a short space of time. Free lunch, accommodation on request, and others are my benefits. Since then my growth trajectory has been on the y-axis.”
Gerrard shared some of his challenges with underpayment topping the list. Nevertheless, he proposes that working regardless of poor remuneration was better than being idle. “Remuneration is very poor. Opportunity for employee growth is also very poor, but I am patient because I have a goal. I know where I am going. I cannot say because the job pays a penny, then I sit back at home like a King, waiting for manna from heaven. God will bless the works of our hands, but when he sends his angels down to come and bless us, what does he find us doing? selling groundnuts? working in a construction site? or relaxing like the Sultan of Sokoto at home?”
Despite the disadvantages of his job, Gerrard remains optimistic about the future. “I’m blessed. A better move is on the cards and soon, the whole story will change. The story of poor remuneration and opportunity for growth will become history,” he said.
Gerrard admitted he has several side hustles which gives him some level of sustenance. “I have side hustles. I do quite a lot to keep my pockets friendly all the time. Most times I end up earning triple the amount I earn in my work place.”
Backing his reason for relying on other sources of income, Gerrard said, “As a young person starting out life, I learnt that hard work is the key to self-sufficiency and satisfaction. Hard work truly pays. If I depend solely on my work place earnings, it will not fund most of the courses I take for personal development. I mean, I have to grow, and do that very fast.”
Gerrard sternly admonished young career beginners on the need to scout for or create opportunities for themselves as against the watching and waiting attitude. “Don’t stay at home. Go out there and do something. Learn a trade or volunteer at events. Opportunities don’t come by staying at home but they come when you step out and get involved, meet people and learn new things.”
He advised that they start with the available jobs in their reach while they continue to aspire for the bigger paying jobs. “It is a common trend today where young people hold out for the job with the perfect pay, rejecting potential life changing offers along the way. The perfect job will most likely not come. Time is of the essence to any purpose driven person. Take that job, build yourself from there and move when its time. Do not sit back comfortably like all is alright. It might be too late when you realize your mistake.”
What is your route to self-sufficiency? Would you rather sit and wait for the ideal job or would you be a goal getter like Gerrard and make things happen?
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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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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