Branding is ultimately about winning in business, so we publish articles to equip you with strategic business insights for success. Before launching deep into any business, you should settle down to answer some critical questions. These questions are like guiding lights that drive the course of your business plan and helps you develop the best pitch.
You could develop these questions after a proper market survey and analysis. They should be based on your daily observations of the market, the product you are sending out and the reactions of the target customers. You must consider the challenges your product or service might face.
Recently, one of Africa’s most successful entrepreneurs, Strive Masiyiwa, shared some tips on his Facebook page on what to look out for if you are trying to prepare a business or investment plan, which we thought to share with you.
Here are the ten things he shared:
1. What is your product or service and why is it innovative or unique?
2. What big problem does it solve and what is the market opportunity?
3. Who are your main competitions?
4. What traction does your venture have?
5. What are the main risks or challenges you face?
6. How does your venture make a positive social impact?
7. What is your venture’s current financial situation?
8. Was your model designed to achieve scale?
9. What milestones will getting the needed capital, help you achieve?
10. How will an investor make money if he or she invests in your company?
We are sure that the above questions must have taken you back to the drawing board. Let us know if you had a hard time answering them.
Written by Donald Alaye
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The emergence of smartphones began a new era in the mobile phone industry. Smartphones have undoubtedly become an important part of our lives that we can hardly do without. They are referred to as the new personal computers because aside calls, smartphones come with enabling features that have brought more ease to our lives, businesses, and generally changed our society greatly.
It would interest you to know that prior to 2007 smartphones were not as affordable and rampant as they are now. In fact, twelve years ago, the mobile phone market was mostly saturated with Nokia Symbian phones, Samsung and Apple smartphones. While Nokia phones were affordable, they had numerous limitations. On the other hand, Samsung and Apple smartphones were too expensive for most customers in Africa to afford.
Having identified this gap in the mobile phone industry, TECNO launched itself as the most affordable smartphone brand. This singular move set a new tune in the market and brought more competition thereby giving the big brands a run for their money. TECNO came with an innovative approach and consistency to achieve customer retention. The brand literally rewrote the state of art of technologies by producing localized products under the principle of “Think Globally, Act Locally”.
The TECNO brand has proven that a need in the market is always an opportunity for brands especially new ones to gain a breakthrough. The founder of TECNO mobile, George Zho, knew this early and worked with the vision of solving the need of mobile phone users in mostly Africa, right from its inception in 2006. Notwithstanding being a Hong Kong based brand, TECNO mobile has become a household name in different countries as it keeps its innovative game on and leaves other phone brands trailing behind. The brand has remained committed to offering consumers with satisfactory mobile communications solutions.
As a subsidiary of TRANSSION Holdings, a company dedicated to producing high-quality smart devices and mobile internet service that can compete globally, TECNO as its flagship brand has become one of the leading phone brands in the world. TRANSSION Holdings has built its brand portfolio with superior mobile phones like TECNO, itel, Infinix, Carlcare, etc.
Though TRANSSION’s first attempt on a TECNO mobile wasn’t as sleek as what we now know the recent ones to be, and didn’t have a smooth entry into the market, the brand strived against all odds. With several modifications and innovations, the brand bounced back stronger, dominating its industry in just a short period. Following market research, TECNO mobile identified Africa’s need and dived in to solve it which led to its success, thereby making Africa its number one customer base. The entrance of TECNO mobile into the Nigerian market changed the telecommunications narrative in the country. It offered the customers more choices with different features that were affordable and this earned the brand more users.
Apart from its affordability, TECNO mobile also holds the reputation of being the first dual-SIM phone brand supplier in Africa and holds 40% of market share in major African countries. The brand has further established itself as a global player in the telecommunications industry expanding to continents like South America and Southeast Asia. The success of the brand can be ascribed to well-designed strategy and systematic management.
From solving an identified need, TECNO mobile has earned several recognition and awards. With its outstanding smartphone product chain that is uniquely designed, TECNO continues to beat its counterparts in the mobile phone industry. The brand’s strength focuses on innovative designs and manufacturing, sales and services.
The parent company, TRANSSION Holdings operates with a vision that has had a ripple effect on every aspect of the business especially in the quality of their product. Here is the company’s vision:
“To provide consumers in global emerging markets with their favourite smart device and mobile internet service.”
The company has a detailed mission statement, which is to:
- Be a moral conscious company.
- To provide users with smart device and mobile service that they enjoy;
- To provide partners with profit earning solutions and help them fulfil their potential and value;
- To create material and spiritual happiness for employees;
- To create value for shareholders.
- Become an outstanding representative of Chinese private enterprises which establish their business overseas.
The brand functions with values that have shaped its products and services. They are;
The brand has a culture that helps its organization thrive.
“To continuously thrive as a market leader among the industry, we must look ahead, think big and get ready for challenges. We must stay abreast of the changing market demands and fulfill customers’ expectations. That’s what our corporate culture is all about. It is the motivation, guideline and target we are following to succeed in our business and dreams.”
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Do you need to get your brand positioning right in the market place? We can help. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Acquiring customers require a great deal of effort; they should not slip through your fingers too easily. Here are some mistakes to avoid if you want to retain your customers significantly:
1.You’re not romancing them enough – Clients deep their hands in their pocket to buy from you because they love how you meet their needs. Take advantage of this and make your service delivery and relationship more soothing. Simply romance your money out of them.
2. You have a marketing effort that sucks – Customers want to associate with a brand that makes them proud. If your marketing effort is not as impressive as that of the competition, even old customers will be lured away from you. You need to pay attention to all of your marketing materials and efforts.
3. Not asking for enough feedback – Do you have a system to receive feedback from customers? It helps you know what your product/service is like in the view of the customers. Customers have a wealth of ideas to improve your business and you can only get that when you ask.
4. Outlive your usefulness – You must constantly reinvent your products/services to keep customers glued to you or they will slip away to more interesting options.
5. Inconsistency – Ensure that you maintain a consistent identity and appeal so that your customers will not drift to options that make a stronger impression on them with consistency.
6. Reward loyalty – Customers are more likely to stick with you if you appreciate their patronage and also reward them for being loyal, the little perks, bonuses or souvenirs matter.
The truth remains that customers will move on overtime, but try to ensure that you do your possible best to keep the much you can.
Written by Donald Alaye
Barely two weeks ago, 14th of August 2019 precisely, Nigeria’s premier motorbike hailing service, Gokada, announced a temporary shutdown. The unexpected close was as a result of the unpleasant experience the CEO, Fahim Saleh, had when he used one of the bikes. In our previous article, Fahim spoke about his disappointment and his plans for an upgrade.
The plans were geared towards improving the services of the brand based on the standard the company has set for itself. In the words of Fahim,
“Gokada has always prided itself on setting the standard in the market for safety and service.
Hairnets, DOT certified helmets, extensive training – these are all reasons safety on our bikes have been so consistent and how we were able to convince so many to give this new age bike taxi a shot. As we scale, what we have now would be the template for what all our future pilots will follow.
We took the risk to pause for a moment and improve on that template in order to provide our customers with exceptional service at scale.”
As envisioned by the Gokada team, the brand was relaunched on 26th August 2019 with an upgraded version, Gokada 2.0 after halting its services with the intention of improving its safety standards and train its pilots, equipping them with advanced driving skills with a focus on safety, GPS navigation, and optimized customer service delivery. Gokada added more quality by overhauling its motorbike fleet completely and acquiring efficient TVS motorbikes alongside Bluetooth enabled helmets to enhance communication.
“We have introduced a new helmet, new motorcycles and we have partnered with a Chinese Company (TVS) to bring the motorbikes to them directly from the manufacturers. We needed a bike that is of high quality and consistent.
We chose TVS because we believe it will be on the road for more time. It is of high quality and I have visited their factory and they work with BMW bikes. They also have innovation experience of over 46 years and it is a high-end motorcycle brand. It is safe and has quality,” Fahim said.
Ayodeji Adewunmi, Co-CEO, explained that the objective of the upgraded version was centered on customer satisfaction;
“Gokada 2.0 is all about our unflinching commitment to our customers.
We believe that it is better to suspend our operations for two weeks so we can retool and revamp for unmatched service delivery and exceptional experience with the Gokada brand for a long time to come.
It will be an incredible time to use the Gokada services as we journey to transform transportation in Nigeria and the rest of Africa. As part of this relaunch, we have also made several upgrades to the management team, and I am truly excited about Gokada 2.0”
Along with this upgrade is a goal to raise over $10m before the end of the year. Adewunmi mentioned this strategic plan during the relaunch announcement. He said this goal is part of the vision of Gokada which is to become the operating system for mobility, on-demand services, and financial services, driving social and economic inclusion across Africa. He stated that since the inception of the brand they’ve been able to raise $5.4m.
Gokada’s Director of Government Relations, Kayode Adegbola, was also positive about their new accomplishment especially the partnership with the Lagos state government;
“We are excited to continue setting the standard in our industry by exceeding all of the regulatory requirements in Nigeria and partnering with government organizations like the Lagos State Government to help move residents through quicker, more comfortable, safer and responsible means”.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Are you in need of some rebranding services? We can take you through the routes. Send us an email at email@example.com
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Problems are ever-present in the world and every entrepreneur must be brave enough to face them in their businesses and take total responsibility when they come. In fact, problems are the most predominant element that makes up a business because enterprises are created to either solve a new problem or tackle an existing one.
In every organization, there are two types of problems – external and internal – that needs to be constantly addressed in order to keep work going smoothly. It is often easier to look out for external problems and neglect the internal ones, which can cause more harm to the establishment. We were reminded of this due to the recent temporal shut down of Nigeria’s pioneer motorbike hailing service, Gokada.
The rather abrupt decision taken by the CEO, Fahim Saleh, was because of an inefficiency he observed when he used the Gokada service. He was forced to halt the company’s services after the series of frustration he experienced while he was on board. In his narrative on Medium, he highlighted the different hiccups the services had.
“A little over a week ago I had taken a Gokada hoping to avoid traffic to get to the mainland bridge from VI,” he began.
He stated that his request for a pilot through the Gokada app was delayed,
“I opened the Gokada app, requested, got a pilot, and waited patiently for him to arrive. I called to confirm my location which the pilot said he knew. Five minutes passed by and the pilot had not moved. Another five minutes passed and the pilot was going in the wrong direction. After fifteen minutes and three phone calls, the pilot finally arrived at which point I’m thinking it might have been faster to take a car all the way through.”
After the pilot’s late arrival, Fahim had more disappointments rolling in. He was particularly displeased with the pilot’s incompetency, which was totally against the mission of the brand.
“Upon questioning the pilot, I learned that he didn’t use GPS on his phone because the earplugs he had were broken. Irritated, I motioned him to get started with the ride as I was in a hurry. It should be pretty obvious how to get to the mainland bridge from VI, so I didn’t concern myself with providing him directions but I knew from Google Maps using the best route, it should only take 10 –15 minutes. After about 15 minutes, we were still on the road. I hastily took out my phone and did a quick input of the directions to the bridge and realized we were still 15 minutes away. This pilot had taken a long route to get to the bridge, one that would have been completely avoided had he used the map. I motioned that I would direct him based on the Google Maps navigation. Unfortunately, just as we were about to reach the bridge I directed the pilot to a wrong turn which would have required us to turn all the way around. At this point, it was obvious that a car would have been much faster even with all the traffic. How could I be the CEO of Gokada, the company that pioneered motorcycle ride-hailing in Nigeria and be saying this? I was disappointed in Gokada but most of all, I was disappointed in myself,” he lamented.
General opinion regards the action as rather too drastic and risky considering the stiff competition in business. Fahim believes that it was the only way to tackle such a situation else, it grows worse and unmanageable. “Big problems require big solutions,” he said.
On the other hand, some analysts suggest that the shutdown of Gokada is not unconnected to the bullish strategies of ORide by Opay a Startup powered by Opera. We shall be observing to see how things play out and if Gokada will indeed bounce back better and stronger.
Fahim mentioned that the downtime would be used to restructure the company and train the drivers. He assured customers that the new version Gokada 2.O would be better than their previous experience,
“We can only win by doing right to our customers and our pilots. That is why today I am excited to announce our Gokada 2.0 initiative…we firmly believe that when you want to get somewhere fast, safe, and hassle-free — there won’t be any other app you’d want to open other than Gokada.”
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
You do not have to wait for your business to experience downtime to restructure it. Let us help you while it is still early! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Recently, we did a brand comparison on people’s preference between Big Cola and RC Cola. It was quite an interesting topic as people gave various reasons why they prefer any of the brands, varying from how they liked their business strategies down to their prices, taste, and size.
Based on analysis, 50% or respondents preferred RC Cola reason being that its average sugar content, 5% have never heard of any of these brands, 10% preferred neither of them, 15% went ahead to mention their preference for coca cola which was not in comparison while 20% preferred Big cola because of its size.
Despite these differences, we can all agree that each of these brands have carved a niche for themselves in the Nigerian beverage market.
Got your own opinion on any of the brands?
Please share with us in the comment section.
Note: If you need market research services, we are your guys!
For most people, creating stability in all spheres of life comes to them with ease, but for others it is a daunting task and the end result is worrisome.
For those struggling with finding work-life balance, be assured that you are not in this alone.
Balance is your ability to gain stability and fulfillment and if you are unable to create a balance, you stand the risk of having constant health issues, frequent exhaustion, financial loss, steady stress, and the feeling of underachievement.
For your sanity, productivity, health and clarity we have come up with these tips to help you achieve a work-life balance.
- The first step is to figure out who you are, your values, your goals (work, relationship, spiritual, financial, and so on).
- Track your time by prioritizing and keeping a log book.
- Create a “you” time.
- Leave work back in the office
- Take out time for outdoor activities
- Constantly do a self-evaluation exercise
- Read articles on other subject matters beyond work
- Attend social events or just hangout
Being a workaholic is counterproductive in the long run, but finding balance boosts your productivity eventually.
Empower your team members with this knowledge to get best from them.
We could help you improve your employee relations to boost productivity while minimizing staff turnover. Send an email to email@example.com
Salaries aren’t determined by what the employee desires, it’s ultimately hinged on what the business can afford to pay. Where the affordable amount is poor, the employer should make room for some level of flexibility to get good productivity.
Create shifts, reduce work hours, give off days, allow remote work if and when possible/necessary. Make room for extra bucks and bonuses. Your business may be struggling, but you cannot build a great business with a team of people constantly grumbling and edgy.
A lot of people don’t mind low pay but to give their best, they need to be sure you care about their own welfare and growth. Another way to deal with the issue, is to reduce number of employees to the barest minimum, so you can pay the few better for the much work they do.
Our HR strategies and models need to adapt to our changing realities, and not just principles gotten from textbooks and classrooms. Streetwise also matters. In the Igbo apprenticeship system, people even work for free for years, but in exchange they are fed, trained in the trade and set-up to run theirs in a few years.
Take better care of people if you want people to take better care of your business. If anybody is incessantly unproductive and sabotaging your effort or flaunting the rules, they should be shown the way out.
If you need support on employee relations, Mapemond will be glad to be of service to you. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Quite a number of things influence what we see in the market. Though the market may vary and change from time to time, there are factors that remain constant. These factors are perceived as controllers of the market because they determine the changes that occur in the marketplace. The marketing mix or the 4Ps as it is popularly known is a factor that no entrepreneur can ignore.
Global business experts understand that the marketing mix is an essential ingredient for measurable growth. This group of persons have paid keen attention to their target market and are conversant with the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ to raking in continuous profits.
The marketing mix is widely considered as the foundation model for businesses. It consist of marketing tools used to attain marketing objectives in any target market. The marketing mix further represents four levels of marketing that directs the decision of an entrepreneur. These 4Ps are Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.
However, there is an updated version to the marketing mix with the addition of Process, Physical Environment and People, making it a total of 7Ps. The relevance and influence of the marketing are inexhaustible. These 7Ps obviously sound familiar but many enterprises have failed due to lack of knowledgeable marketers. Therefore, the first step is having a better understanding of the concept.
The marketing mix concept is like a puzzle that entails you fix the right product in the right place at the right time and at the right price. The trick to it is to know the right combination that eventually leads to success.
The first part to the marketing mix is the product. For any entrepreneur launching into the market, building or designing the right product needed in the market. During the process of developing the product, an extensive research on the product’s life cycle should be conducted. The life cycle of every product includes the growth stage, the maturity stage, and the sales decline stage. Studying any product’s life cycle will guide marketers in revamping a product when it gets to the sale decline stage, thereby retaining its position in the market.
The second piece on the marketing mix puzzle is price, which is usually the amount customers pay to purchase the product. Pricing is a necessary part of the marketing mix because it is determines the profit margin of the company. Whenever price is adjusted, sales will be affected. Most business owners consider pricing very sensitive as it forms a perception of a product in the minds of customers. Pricing can be quite tricky, as a product with low pricing could be perceived as inferior while one with a high price could be seen as too expensive.
After designing a great product and determining the best price for it, knowing where to place it is another crucial part of the puzzle. The product has to be positioned in readily and easily accessible places. To achieve this, entrepreneurs must first understand their target market and the best distribution channels.
In order to gain more traffic and attention to a product, promotion must come to play in the puzzle. This brings more recognition to the brand, boost its image in the eyes of prospects, and communicate the values of the products. Promotion can be done through the following ways, advertising, sales promotion, public relations, sales organisation and the ever-effective word of mouth.
Though this is an extension of the marketing mix, it is also an important aspect businesses should put into consideration. Researching about the people and their needs will help in designing a good market strategy. It is also necessary to hire and equip the right staff for any company seeking expansion. Basically, every person involved in making the business a success should be paid attention to.
Process is another addition to the puzzle but still is an imperative part of the business. The process of an organisation determines it execution. Any organisation thriving in the world has a well-detailed process that minimises cost. In defining the right process, every segment of the enterprise must be thoroughly deliberated.
The last thing on the puzzle is physical evidence. After every delivery, there should be a physical evidence. Physical evidence refers to how a business is perceived in the market, or the impact of its presence and literally everything that help shape consumer’s perception about the product or brand’s.
There you have it; we hope you begin to fix these Ps rightly.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Do you need help in developing a business strategy? Send us an email at email@example.com
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