On a daily basis, brands are in a battle for consumers’ pockets. This blog post focuses on the detergent market in Nigeria.
The laundry soap product line in Nigeria has two major categories: hand-wash and machine-wash. Powder detergents and bar detergents form major portions of the hand-wash segment. In the machine-wash segment, powder detergents and liquid detergents are the main types. Of the two categories, powder detergent seems to be more popular and highly patronized by households in Nigeria.
In the late 80s and 90s, OMO detergent (a household name which stands for “Old Mother Owl”) from the stables of Unilever was the king of detergent in the Nigerian market. In those days, the exploits of OMO as the detergent of choice dwarfed the performances of its rivals as it pushed the likes of Elephant, Surf detergent and other small players, into a tight corner.
Its supremacy in the market was such that the television adverts with the promise “Super Blue OMO washes brighter and it shows” became an anthem among children who grew up in the early 90s. Eventually, the arrival of So Klin, sometime in 1996 was the beginning of the fall of the “king”. So Klin came into the market with an innovation; white detergent which was the industry’s first. In addition, its offer as a detergent with a deep-washing function gave Nigerians reasons to switch their loyalty to the new brand.
With So Klin, they did not need to spend extra money to buy bleach for their white laundry, unlike the blue OMO which they suddenly noticed turned their white clothes, blue. Also, the fact that So Klin came in small affordable sachets was a plus to its handful of benefits. Initially, So Klin was more interested in marketing than brand-building, this was the deficiency that was leveraged by Ariel, which was first launched in 1998, to upstage the competition in the detergent market.
Seeing the stiff competition which was about knocking the ‘king’ OMO out of the market, Unilever Nigeria Plc., the manufacturers of OMO were unrelenting in their quest to dominate and hold the ace once again in the detergent market. They added more value to their product offerings, such as attractive fragrances to attract and retain consumers’ interest.
They re-branded, re-packaged, re-designed and reduced the sizes of their product to be more pocket-friendly for their consumers. These were some of the other strategies used by the OMO manufacturers to ensure that they capture more of the market for themselves.
In 2010, Ariel improved on its product with a technology that introduced more enzymes and polymers that remove tough stains in ‘one wash that most detergents can’t remove in two washes,’ which other detergent brands have tried to beat and are still trying. It is also noteworthy that Sunlight, another detergent from Unilever, has also gained market share.
As a growing brand, it is important to know that it is a war out there (the survival of the fittest). A brand that doesn’t grow will be outdated.
Do you wish to stay relevant as a brand?
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A couple of weeks ago, precisely on 23rd March 2021, a blockage occurred at the Suez Canal in Egypt when one of the biggest vessels in the world got stuck in the canal. This happened after the ship (Evergreen) was hit by a strong sand storm which made it run into the sidewall of the canal and became non-steerable. This became a major global challenge due to the high number of vessels that use the canal to cut down voyage time.
Seeing this, Burger King as a food brand decided to take advantage of the situation to market their burger. However, it appears the move was not welcome as many commentators found it distasteful and insensitive considering the hardship the situation was causing globally.
Most of the comments reflected the following concerns:“Your burger blocks arteries and veins”
“Burger King, the Artery clogger”
“For a blockade that caused loss of millions of dollars, this is a bad PR by Burger King”
“I get the humour but this makes me wonder what this does to my digestive system”
There were also some comments that reflected a common thought:
When trying to leverage an event to promote your brand, pay attention to the nuances and emotions of people, so you can swing a really brilliant copy and advert.
We guess Burger King didn’t mean to disrespect the sensibilities of people but it is a lesson to look beyond ourselves when promoting our brands.
We are not sure if this affects the customer loyalty for the brand, and like it is widely believed that every publicity is good publicity but it is always better when the publicity wins the affection of more consumers. It improves your brand perception, loyalty, and equity.
Getting it right with your brand is a function of how well you get it with internal and external branding.
For any brand to stand out, these two must be in place. Irrespective of the size, nature, and location of your business, the effect of branding will always set you apart.
Small and local businesses may think that they do not need branding but in a training session we had, we demonstrated how small businesses can leverage branding. Using a Bole vendor in Port Harcourt, we opened the minds of the trainees to help them see the connection between internal and external branding.
We highlighted some things to do as follows:
– A yellow basin for the roasting
– A yellow table as the stand
– A yellow bench or stool
– A yellow parasol (beach umbrella)
– A yellow apron and cap
– Yellow nylon bags
– Takeaway plates with yellow covers only
Everyone agreed that these will make the vendor stand out and get known as ‘Yellow Bole’. That is even an awesome brand name 👌
However, there were other things we all agreed on as well…
– The bole must be tasty and delicious.
– The vendor must be hygienic.
– The vendor must be courteous. with good service delivery.
– The vendor must have the right assistants at hand.
– The vendor must ensure food is ready at the right hours.
– The surrounding environment must be sparkling neat at all times.
This exercise was just to buttress the point that branding is both internal and external.
How well are you leveraging the power of branding for your business?
Mapemond can change the game for you. Call or chat with us at 0816 560 8119 or just click CHAT
You can find some resources for both business and personal brands at https://mapemond.com/academy/
Drawing from the lessons of 2020, we decided to start a support community for entrepreneurs and those aspiring to be one sometime soon. It will be a full-blown business community (in the form of an Academy) for those who are seeking to go beyond mere hustle and survival to building sustainable companies and reputable brands.
Many business ideas will be shared.
Statistics and data from various sectors of the Nigerian economy will be shared.
Even foreign networks and opportunities shall be shared.
Hacks and contacts for funding and other access will be shared.
But being a part of this community will not be free. So we can have only committed people on board.
We will learn together without anyone lording it over.
The many questions of members can be answered by different persons, not just one person.
We will have breakout groups according to areas of interest and unique challenges.
There will be an exchange of experiences, resources, and support.
It will be a community for those who want to be inspired and pushed beyond their limits without feeling less of themselves.
There will be hand holding for the weak or inexperienced.
There shall be no talking down or shaming of anyone.
Both the sprinters and crawlers are all welcome on board.
Do you think it is a good idea?
All members will have access to the following:
– An overflow of business tips and insights
– Answers to business questions and challenges
– Access to our resources (ebooks and online courses) at no extra cost
– Discount on our MBA courses in the works
– Access to professionals in various areas (Legal, Accounting/Finance, and many others)
Members of the community will set goals for 2021 and be paired for discipline, focus, and accountability:
– Saving goals
– Investment goals
– Business objectives for the year (You want to attend a global conference or change office or just get the business started? Etc)
– Travel goals
– Self-development goals
– Compliance goals (Your personal tax, company taxes, contract eligibility papers, annual returns, etc)
As we mentioned, it is a full-blown business support community.
Does this interest you?
Do you have someone to sponsor?
Click on REGISTER to enroll.
We can achieve more, one day at a time, with the right community.
We can #DoBusinessBetter
When you have a really good product or service but it seems the connection you want with customers is not happening, it may be that you are yet to identify the form of relationship they have with your brand. Identify the relationship, understand it very well, and position your brand accordingly from your sales strategy to marketing communications and so on.
Knowing the relationship that applies to your business should guide you on whom to target, how to reach them, what to say, etc. Don’t leave your marketing and sales to chance, be intentional, and keep tweaking. Winning and retaining customers should not be a game of chance.
We have held two editions of our virtual hangout on branding, and both have been fantastic.
The first session was to be summarized into a document to serve as a refresher course but guess what happened? It turned out a sweet book that walks you through the concept of branding and how you can start positioning your business for better results with little effort!
We don’t want the participants to enjoy this goodie alone, so we have made it available to you as well, if you DESIRE to build a brand that stands out no matter your size or available resources.
It is going to be one of the best content you have ever read on the subject of branding. It is written in simple English with very relatable explanations and insights. You can get a copy at MAPEMOND BOOKS
Building a profitable and successful brand is totally in your hands now.
We hope you won’t let this giveaway pass you by.
When we took over the management of a restaurant brand, most of the staff were problematic and gave the outgoing manager headache, particularly the cleaners and cooks.
Over ten months after, the same workers are mostly well behaved and improving daily. What changed? Leadership style. We will use a story to explain what we mean.
A few years ago we had a conversation with a restaurant owner who was frustrated by the attitude of her workers. When we inquired to know the grooming process for her employees, she revealed that they were trained by an international expert. We got further information and discovered what the problem was, the workers were trained with the standard template, not bad, but not enough.
These workers live in ghettos and slums. They fight to use the bathroom every morning. They even quarrel to empty their bowels. Then drama with yard people, keke driver, bus conductor that abused them that morning, and the underlying challenges of life they grapple with.
You cannot rework their attitude without addressing the underlying influences of their background. What works in Milan, Madrid, or Copenhagen, will not work the same way in Nigeria. You must adapt to local realities.
So for our restaurant client, we paid close attention to the background and environmental influences on the workers and gradually established a new way of relating to them.
One thing that provided this insight to us was a song by Phil Collins titled “both sides of the story”. In one line of the song, a ghetto kid with a gun grabbed a passerby by the shoulder and asked “would you respect me if I didn’t have this gun?”
We’ve had very personal experiences with three ghettos and could relate to that question, it is the same mindset behind most low cadre employees in businesses. They want to be respected, they want to be heard, they want to know that they matter, they don’t want to be trampled upon, that desire for dignity in humans is also in them.
When next you feel frustrated by your workers, also do a self-evaluation on yourself.
Do you treat them with disdain or respect?
Do you let them talk or you always hush them?
Do you pay attention to where they are coming from or it doesn’t concern you?
Their presence WILL rub off on your brand, it is a guarantee!
This matter is a major hindrance to the transition of many businesses into fabulous brands. You are putting in the effort but workers are messing things up, it is a real struggle and you have to find a way around it if you want to grow. Some of these workers are set in their ways and I advise for such, you work towards easing them out of your system.
We hope these perspectives will enable you to handle your workers better.
“Opposite yet Complementary. In 1988, we challenged the idea that shoes must be identical by designing a pair where the right shoe was different than the left. Since then, TWINS has been revisited each season through new typologies, treatments, and materials that continue to play with the idea of mismatched design.”
In your effort to market your business, one of the things you can do to gain better visibility and attract your desired target audience is to have what is called a big idea.
A big idea is commonly used for marketing campaigns. Every professional marketing campaign you see has a big idea that drives it whether it is expressly communicated or not. However, a big idea is also used to engineer and drive your entire business or organization.
We all love Nike’s “JUST DO IT”, that is a big idea in itself derived from “Nike pushes your athletic boundaries beyond what you thought was possible, so you can win on your own terms”.
Unilever’s Omo and Persil ran a marketing campaign themed “DIRT IS GOOD” and it was derived from the ideology named “Modern Parenting” which submits that children learn more about their environment and things as they explore their curiosity and mess their clothes up. Therefore, let the children play and as they get dirty, Omo helps you make the clothes clean again.
Because our businesses are often set up for survival, we dismiss these things, but the foreign brands make billions with it from our own pockets. Even in survival mode, you will survive better if you sell better.
Lately, a lot of people are talking about Burna boy in relation to his positioning in the music industry beyond Nigeria. Burna boy is entrenching a strong ideology into his brand that has to do with the African narrative. It gives him access to a far wider audience and makes him hard to ignore even if you don’t enjoy his music or like his personality. Remember Wakanda? The ideology weaved into the narrative, though fictional, was magical.
Once you articulate a significant ideology into your brand – something that affects the story, existence, history, aspirations, desires, or challenges of a people (your target market), your brand immediately begins to stand out from the lot. There are so many bakers out there, not a problem, but WHY do YOU bake? What is it about your own cake business that makes it different from all others? It may not even be about cakes directly, but that thing that drives you internally each day. Capture it, articulate it, and communicate it.
Defining a simple ideology for your business will enable you to get better results with your small efforts.
Through your big idea, you craft strong messages that resonate with your target market and you grow a loyal tribe of customers.
Through your big idea, you attract team members who want more than just a monthly salary. They want to be a part of something remarkable.
Through your big idea, you become more purpose-driven.
Your vision and mission statements (if you have) will stop being fancy statements you display on your walls or wherever.
We can build amazing brands in Africa.
Let’s keep doing it from our small corners of the continent.
We can do better against all odds.