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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There is a new rave in the Nigeria footwear industry, and Bata seems to be at the center of it all. For those who probably mistook Bata for either a Yoruba venture or an Igbo business, you might need to sit down for some shocking revelations and hopefully you will get a paradigm shift at the end of this article. Moreover, it is not new to the Nigeria market.
You might probably be amazed that the Canadian multinational footwear and fashion accessory manufacturer and retailer, Bata, has been in the Nigerian scene since 1932. Bata also pioneered projects that developed the Nigerian shoe industry.
On the shores of Zlín Czechoslovakia in August 24, 1894, Thomas Bata established the shoe factory that, within a decade, became a leading shoe manufacturing company in Europe. Bata Shoe Company’s dominance then and now is associated to their smart entrepreneurship, mechanization and competitive pricing.
Following the global economic slump that arose after World War 1 in 1914, the company experienced some challenges due to the instability – currency devaluation and massive unemployment – in the new country. Because of this, there was less purchase of products, which led to a cut back in production. Unshaken by this setback, Thomas Bata came up with a new strategy to tackle this economic crisis by drastically reducing the prices of all the shoes.
As expected consumers responded speedily to the price drop which increased demands for Bata shoes. This saw the closure of many rival shoe manufacturers, in 1923 and 1925, who could no longer meet up the demands that came with the crises. While this was happening, Bata gained more grounds and relevance.
With this successful outcome, the company purchased several hectares to build a factory town, known as “Bataville”. Within the location, the company had grouped tanneries, a brickyard, a chemical factory, a mechanical equipment plant and repair shop, workshops for the production of rubber, a paper pulp and cardboard factory, a fabric factory, a shoe-shine factory, a power plant and farming activities to carter for food and energy needs.
Despite the death of Thomas Bata, the founder, in 1932, the company waxed stronger, increased the quality of shoes and remained a leader in the shoe manufacturing industry. This growth did not end in Czechoslovakia, it also expanded and built factories in other countries – Poland, Latvia, Romania, Switzerland, France, etc.
In 1964, the Bata Company moved their headquarters to Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In 1965, it moved again into an ultra-modern building, the Bata International Centre. The building, located on Wynford Drive, in suburban North York, Ontario, Canada, was designed by architect John B. Parkin.
Nigeria was also in the plan. The company graced the Nigerian soil since 1932, became a major trader and manufacturer in 1964 popularly known as Bata Trading Company and subsequently in 1998 changed to Bata Nigeria PLC. The company spearheaded the development and modernization of shoe manufacturing in Nigeria and maintained tanneries for the processing of leather and allied products such as wet blue. It also instigated the model for local tanneries that were designed in line with the socio-cultural structure of many third world countries and ethnic groups across continents like Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Unfortunately, due to unfavourable business policies, the company exited the Nigerian market in the 80s. These policies affected the company’s operations and made it less effective. Even after its exit, Bata Shoes Company had left an unbeatable legacy and a gap that no other shoe manufacturer could replace.
However, the company recently announced its comeback to the Nigerian market, with a one million naira launch for a factory complex in Abuja. The company’s Nigerian stakeholders are leading the project that is scheduled to start operations in June. They believe this would tackle problems related to shoe importation in Nigeria.
To grow as a dynamic, innovative and market driven domestic manufacturer and distributor, with footwear as our core business, while maintaining a commitment to the country, culture and environment in which we operate.
To be successful as the most dynamic, flexible and market responsive organization, with footwear as its core business.
Asides giving the shoe manufacturing industry in Nigeria a facelift, Bata looks forward to reducing the unemployment rate in the country by training and employing 128 youths from Nigeria. These set of qualified individuals will be responsible for managing the production in the factory. Based on the quality Bata has been known for, Nigerians can be assured that the brand will continue to deliver exceptional products and in turn give them value for their money.
We hope this article has enlightened you in some way. We would love to read your comments, if you do not mind sharing.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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As the spirit of enterprise keeps gaining momentum across Nigeria and Africa, I want to encourage startup founders and small business owners, to feel the pulse of their target market and ensure their ideas match the needs. As an entrepreneur, you might need to go back to the drawing table to reexamine what you are proposing to your prospective customers.
Do not just run with an idea that inspired you from New York, London, China or Toronto, translate the idea to have practical touch points with your target customers in your own primary market. Often times there is a tendency for entrepreneurs to be carried away with several sparks of foreign ideas, alien from their immediate environment. At the long run, their new product or service is hardly relatable and does not match the needs of clients.
If researches are too expensive for you, just pay closer attention to the lifestyle and behavioral patterns of people in your surroundings, engage in conversations and most importantly listen more. Also, study the ventures that are doing well and gain some market insights.
Have you observed how mobile phone retailers operate? Have you ever noticed the Supermarket and Fast Food Restaurant Chains? You should pay closer attention to them. Try to do a recollection of the strength of strong brands; remember Facebook thrives on the need for humans to connect, AirBnB thrives on accommodation (housing), Uber on physical cars, and so on. What is the point? Understand your local markets; housing, transportation/ticketing, health, finance, labour, fashion, education, etc. and plug your idea accordingly.
Making money is about the market, not what tickles your fancy. It should be registered in your mind that the essence of being in business is to satisfy the needs of longing customers who are always in search of a solution to their many problems. With this mindset, you will be meeting the demands of the market.
Before you think of going WIDE, first go DEEP. Test the waters, I believe that’s why the tech enthusiasts have what they call ‘beta’. Ensure you test your assumptions before you take the plunge. Carryout a proper market research, analyze and think through your innovation before it goes public. Whether it is a new idea or revamped one, tailor it to fit your target clientele.
Every entrepreneur has what it takes to churn out quality success stories, so remain encouraged in your pursuit. Finally, I leave this here;
“Innovation does not start with ideas but with customer insights” – Els Grabt
Written by Maple Dappa
Do you need help in drawing a market plan? We can help! Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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A major problem business owners have with branding is that they delay the need for it. “I will start the business first and brand it later”, they say. But that’s like brushing your teeth without toothpaste and licking toothpaste later to make up. I know that illustration is a bit too extreme so don’t try to wrap your head around it.
Anyway, practically speaking, when branding is shoved aside or kept at the bottom of the to-do list in business that could be classified as one of the most unwise business decisions. For anyone venturing into the competitive world of business, the first thing on your mind should be how to stand out from others who have been there. This is not to exaggerate but no business would stand out without slight touches of branding.
No matter how basic, branding should be an intricate part of your business plan. For example, when thinking of your business name, also ask yourself if it will make a good brand name. Consider how the name will flow on marketing materials, souvenirs, stationery, and so on. It can be that basic and simple, even though branding runs much deeper than visual identity and communications.
Though branding is a broad topic and sometimes seen as complicated, it is still doable and never farfetched. I’ve observed that some people try to avoid it with lots of excuses to give, from limited resources to lack of time. In fact once a conversation about branding is stirred they literally begin to enumerate all the challenges that would prevent them from taking actions towards branding their business.
You may not have the funds, time or requisite knowledge to effect a full scale branding from the onset, but you should think ahead and lay the right foundation that you can build on later. I think it all begins from our understanding of what branding really is and that is why I urge you to learn more about the subject, by any means possible.
One thing you should understand is that branding affects every aspect of your business – visual identity, product development, customer experience, employee relations, organizational structure, office administration, marketing communications, and so on. You cannot afford to take it for granted if you really desire to grow a sustainable business.
When you lay a good foundation, you stand a better chance to survive the challenges that come your way. A whole lot of setbacks in business can actually be prevented from the beginning if the right branding strategies are employed. Wait no longer, now is the best time to start branding your business.
Written by Maple Dappa
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If asked to narrate the history of your brand, would you be able to walk prospects through your timeline without skipping a vital detail? Have you ever really taken quality time to ponder on your brand’s story? Do you have an archive dedicated to keeping record of your brand’s progress? There are numerous questions pertaining to proper documentation of an organisation’s history that most founders hardly consider.
In researching different brands for our weekly ‘brand review’ column, we discovered a trait common among over 70% Nigerian based brands, poor documentation of their history. While surfing most of their websites for relevant information related to the general structure of their organisation – brand history, core values, vision and mission statements, brand culture, etc – we found too little or no helpful information. Some business owners may consider the information as private and never see the need to share with outsiders, maybe they fear being copied by opponents, or they simply lack the skill of tracking progress.
In contrast to this norm, we also observed a common practice among most foreign-based companies with branches all over the world; they have a keen interest in history. They could dedicate a whole page on their website to their company’s journey that they update regularly whenever the company accomplishes a milestone. Occasionally they boast of their history being their heritage and often urge prospective clients to study their different timelines in order to get a clearer prospective of the company.
Asides this historical approach by great brands being beneficial to strangers, staff are daily reminded of the company’s history as well. They believe having a firm understanding of the past would inform present decisions that would in turn reform the organisation’s future. To them, every milestone is a dot that connects and leads them to their desired future.
The basic essence of creating an accessible rich historical archive for your company is to gain more connection. The more people, both customers and staff, understand and connect with your brand’s story, it makes it more likely for them to stick around much longer. Studies have shown that most brands with in-depth history tend to last longer as they continue to strive to live up the legacy left by their founders. These companies seek different avenues to introduce an innovative idea as a means of staying relevant.
Apple Incorporation is a perfect example of a company with a detailed historic background which is cherished by every employee. From when it was founded in 1976, by Steve Jobs and his partner Steve Wozniak, the company continues to thrive in the world of technology. Despite the death of its founder, Steve, the company with relentless effort towards innovation runs with the same vision but with an improved and modern sight.
When you begin to see your business as an entity of its own, that its progress needs to be recorded per milestone, you evolve your business into one that should indeed be taken seriously. It is not enough to wish for a brand that will outlive you; you must make steps towards documenting every stage of the business with new improvements, as this would eventually form the company’s legacy over time. Start writing your history today!
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
We would love to help you document your history and craft a story for your brand! Send us email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Reputation is something that sticks longer with humans and it’s usually difficult to correct whether good or bad. In business, a first mistake could be pardoned and considered an oversight but when it becomes a reoccurring event, it becomes your company’s reputation. Once people get to know your brand for a particular thing, negative or positive, that image stays glued on your business until you’re able to create a stronger impression that is remarkable enough to replace the former. A bad reputation therefore tarnishes the image of your business.
The fact is customers never forget the kind of emotions they felt when they encountered your brand, how fast or slow you delivered, the process in which you got the work done either efficiently or otherwise. If they had a terrible experience caused with your brand, they would always remember.
Following the recent event of the Ethiopian Airlines crash of the Boeing 737 Max 8 jet, we realised the magnitude of a bad reputation. The Boeing 737 brand that had also crashed five months earlier during Lion Air flight generated a lot of bad publicity for the airplane manufacturer, Boeing. Due to the reoccurred misfortune, some countries have grounded the plane, labelled it unsafe and it has already cost the company its shares valuation, which dropped to 13% with the snap of the finger, in the stock market. It is a thing of certainty that people whose families died in the plane crash will always relive the grief anytime they hear Boeing 737. This has automatically put the Boeing brand on the black list of many potential passengers and even shareholders.
From the event, you would deduct that a brand’s reputation creates a certain perception of it among clients, stakeholders and its target market. Unconsciously, the type of reputation you have could stir several emotions in customers who try to patronise you. What they feel becomes what they would associate with your brand and eventually would turn out to be your brand identity.
Companies with bad public image run at loss and never make high sales most of the time. They are usually seen as not being trustworthy or reliable and also lose customer loyalty as time goes by which affects their relevance in the society they operate. It obviously points out that a bad reputation is one of the fastest ways to ruin any business even the greatest of them all.
For any business to thrive in its sector, it must pay attention to the kind of reputation it has earned from when it commenced. People would either connect or disconnect with your brand based on what you have been known for as a company’s reputation always guides the decision of prospective investors or clients.
For the Boeing brand, we think it would take a lot of product re-engineering, rebranding, remodelling and reassurance for it to gain back a good public image. What’s your take, do you think it still has any reputation left to build on?
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Do you want to build a remarkable brand that will leave a lasting legacy? We can help you structure your business the right way. Send an email to email@example.com
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As the earth revolves around its orbit every second, so does the world evolve with constant innovations at the blink of an eye. Rarely does any day pass without something new being introduced to the ever-hungry market. There appears to be a new or modified facet to everything, from trends to market approach, to technology.
Due to this endless craving for modern ideas, both customers and organisations providing products and services have to remain abreast with the slightest new development springing forth globally. Sometimes keeping up with current innovations could be quite overwhelming; nevertheless, to prevail in the tight competitive business world, entrepreneurs and those in corporate firms are without a choice. This therefore means to gain dominance in any field; business owners must remain up to date with innovative events.
In order for enterprises to stay relevant, they must serve the customers with fresh irresistible innovative ideas. Since consumers don’t stay satisfied for long, there is a demand on businesses to consistently feed them with things that would improve their lives no matter how little. While trying to satisfy consumers, enterprises increase their profitability and efficiency. This further implies that innovation breeds advancement for any business.
Whenever innovation is mentioned, most entrepreneurs suddenly feel pressured to invent something new that has never been seen before. This is only a one-sided definition that limits the concept of innovation. Being innovative does not necessarily require new inventions, however, it requires regular brushing, polishing and recreating of old and existing ideas. Entrepreneurs need to seek ways to improve, making their products or services more appealing and value-added.
In pursuit of innovations, entrepreneurs must first study their target market deeply. This analysis enables them identify the needs of their old and prospective customers. It helps them discover opportunities they could leverage which puts them on a leading edge compared to their contemporaries.
This explains the reason why phone brands like Apple, Samsung, and Techno continue to modify their brands, adding new features other brands must have not thought of. For this reason, they give their competitors a fierce race, which may seem unbeatable for now until a new brand develops something strikingly different. Brands like Facebook, Microsoft, and Google keep improving their user interface, making it more user-friendly. That way their users have, a better experience, which makes them the preferred option. This means entrepreneurs have to keep in touch with their customers to know what their needs are and how to meet them.
While great brands endeavour to create novel or ameliorate existing products or technology, smaller brands remain complacent in their same old way. For the desire to succeed and retain dominance, every business should be driven by constant innovation and include it as part of their business strategy.
So we ask today, what innovative ways have you implemented to improve your business?
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Would you like to increase your brand’s relevance? We are here to help you brainstorm and develop new ideas. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Unilever is unarguably one of the prominent brands that has added value and impacted the world through its numerous products. If you take stock of the products you use ranging from tea to detergent, bath soaps, seasoning cubes, and so on, you are very likely to discover that Unilever is very much present in your home.
Particularly in Nigeria, most of Unilever’s products are recognised leaders in their various market segments since they have become preferred and trusted brand in the heart of a great number of consumers. With over 400 brands under its umbrella in more than 190 countries, Unilever has strategically stamped its name in the sands of time and has become a legend as a consumer goods company. Follow through as we explore the different aspects of this universal brand.
Unilever’s purposeful journey started as far back as 1800 as a merger of many small family businesses. The company leveraged different commodities starting from butter the Jurgens started in 1860 in the Netherlands. In 1927, the company merged with another thriving butter company owned by a Dutch family, Van den Bergh. Together they worked to develop and trade a new product, which we know as margarine, a more affordable substitute for butter. Their business was called Margarine Unie.
In 1884, William Lever who started his business under the name, Lever Brothers, had produced a new soap he named Sunlight. This distinctive soap, made up of copra or palm kernel oil had the ability to lather easily unlike the soap brands before it. To add to its uniqueness, Sunlight was packaged differently and eventually became one of the first brands to gain visibility through advertisement. These adverts were done using creative mediums such as small cards inserted into soap packaging, featuring the Sunlight brand in cartoon drawings or calendars.
The Lever Brothers and Margarine Unie merged in September 1929 to form Unilever. In a bid to increase their market options, in 1943, Unilever acquired T. J. Lipton, Batchelors Peas, and then Pepsodent in 1944.
Moving forward, the company launched new products and acquired more companies like the British-based Lipton Ltd, Brooke Bond, the maker of PG Tips tea, Chesebrough-Ponds the maker of one of their popular brands, Vaseline. It also acquired the enterprise Ben and Jerry, Slim Fast, Knorr, Hellmann’s and a whole lot of others. These acquisitions have all combined to make Unilever the empire it is today.
While Unilever was deepening its root overseas, it also launched its brands in Africa in 1923. In that year, Robert Hesketh Leverhulme started his trading business under the name, Lever Brothers (West Africa) Ltd in Nigeria. The business focused mainly on soap trade and subsequently in 1925 opened a factory in Apapa. The company’s name was changed to Lever Brothers Nigeria Limited in 1955 and while it expanded to food products, another factory was launched in Aba in 1958.
After the introduction of Omo detergent in 1960, Lever Brothers got more attention as it met the need of many consumers. This achievement led to the commissioning of a manufacturing factory, in 1964, for the Omo brand. Unilever became a publicly listed company in 1973, due to the indigenisation decree made in 1972. This saw the company selling 60% of its shares to the Nigerian public making it a Nigerian owned company.
The company continued to broaden its range of products and began to source for its raw materials locally. In order to achieve their new venture, the company invested in crop production, oil palm milling and tea plantation. In 1995, Unilever merged with Unilever Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of the Unilever U.K. This merger gave Unilever a certain level of control in the Nigerian market. However, in 2001, the company was changed to Unilever Nigeria Plc. Since then, the company has continued to evolve and expand.
Unilever is a purpose driven brand that has operated with a clear vision which is basically to make sustainable living commonplace. This vision has transcended in all aspects of their operations
In every region, Unilever combines its multinational expertise with local cultures in order to blend with consumers. This way it continues to penetrate deep into its target market. Its long-term strategic choices range from an active portfolio management, a focused approach to innovation, investment in digital marketing. Adding to this, they have employed consistency, competitiveness in innovations, profitable improvement, and social responsibility as their major market strategies.
Unilever operates with simple core values such as;
- Integrity and
Unilever has some sets of clear priorities, which guides its campaigns and operations;
- A better future for children
- A healthier future
- A more confident future
- A better future for the planet
- A better future for farming and farmers
Unilever has proven to be a people centred brand from its approach of executing its operations from manufacturing, down to distribution. It seeks for the healthiest alternatives when producing its products.
One visible way they have made impact over the years is by initiating transformational change in the society through ending of deforestation, improving the quality of water people use, heading agricultural enhancement programs, increasing sanitation and hygiene, training small holders to farm sustainably, and women empowerment etc. They have accomplished most of these projects through partnership with government and NGOs
For its quality and consistency in pursuing its purpose, the brand has received several recognition, which include:
No.1Top spot in the Personal Products sector of the 2017 Dow Jones Sustainability Index
No.1 Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the 2017 Globe Scan/Sustain Ability annual survey
‘A’ Grade for Climate Change, Water, Forests and Supplier Engagement in CDP’s 2018 Global Supply Chain report.
With its wealth of experience, in depth market strategy and clear vision, Unilever will continue to be an acceptable and remarkable brand.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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Many businesspeople in Nigeria and most parts of Africa habitually measure their wealth based on the amount of profit they make daily. This ideology could be due to little or no knowledge in wealth evaluation. It could come as a shock to an average businessperson in this part of our continent that the standard for evaluating wealth is one’s net worth.
Nevertheless, in that cluster of wealth cluelessness, some African entrepreneurs like Aliko Dangote, Nicky Oppenheimer, Johann Rupert, Nassef Sawiris, Natie Kirsh and Naguib Sawiris keep challenging the status quo and have grown their net worth into world standard. They have diligently built enterprises that maybe based in Africa but compete globally.
According to Bloomberg Billionaire Index, as at 25th of February 2019, Dangote’s net worth was reported to have increased to 17bn USD. This retained his position as the richest man in not just Nigeria but in Africa as a whole.
Bloomberg, stated that the net worth figures on their platform are updated every business day after every trading day in New York, with assets categorised as publicly traded companies, private assets like businesses, art and real estate, cash and other liquid investments and liabilities.
The above explains net worth a bit but let us simplify the term. According to Wikipedia, net worth is the value of all the non-financial and financial assets owned by an institutional unit or sector minus the value of all its outstanding liabilities.
The net worth of a business captures its financial health, which consist of assets and liabilities. Your net worth indicates the financial performance and valuation of your business. Your net worth is one of the determining factors that either encourages investors or stops them from investing in your business. In order to stay abreast with your financial growth, you must constantly analyse your net worth.
To analyse your net worth, you must differentiate what your assets and liabilities are. They are the two factors used to calculate net worth. Let us quickly define what these terms mean.
Assets are valuable items that increase the inflow of cash in the organisation. While liabilities are items that add debts to the business, thereby decreasing the flow of cash. Calculating the net worth of a business or person involves subtraction of the total liability from the total asset.
A clear representation of the above is; NET WORTH = ASSETS – LIABILITIES.
Observing the net worth formula closely, you will understand that more effort needs to go into getting more assets than liabilities. When your assets are greater than the liabilities, the net worth is a positive number.
Increasing your business’ net worth never happens overnight. Before one can accumulate wealth, it is more rewarding and sustaining to acquire financial knowledge and discipline. Still building your net worth is not an impossible task.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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A phone brand with variety of ringtones almost half of Nigerians cannot forget is Nokia. With its different models that came in different shapes and sizes with different abilities, Nokia sure did leave a mark on the walls of the telecommunication market in Nigeria. It had a grand entrance into the market and enjoyed a good season of dominance.
Interestingly, with time and as new brands emerged with different technologies and innovations, Nokia began to lose its stand and at some point was wiped out of the Nigerian market. Determined to spring back to its feet, Nokia through its partnership with Microsoft produced new products to satisfy the ever craving Nigerian market.
Regardless of what must have gone wrong, it is undeniable that Nokia is a remarkable brand and there are many lessons to learn from its brand story. So brace yourself as we dissect one of the historical brands ever – Nokia.
Nokia, what we now know as one of the most popular multinational telecommunications brands in the world went from one industry to another before venturing and becoming known for production of mobile phones. Here is how it transited.
In the early period of 1865, May 12th precisely, Fedrik Idestam, a mining engineer, founded Nokia in Finland. In that year, the brand did not start as a telecommunication brand rather it commenced as a single paper mill operation. The company went public with the name Nokia Ab in 1871 when Leo Mechelin, Idestam’s friend joined hands with him.
Like most partnership, Idestam and Mechelin did not agree on everything. At some point, Mechelin wanted to expand the company into the electricity business but Idestam declined the idea. In 1896, Idestam retired and Mechelin became the company’s chairperson. Nevertheless, after Idestam had retired in 1896, Mechelin pushed his idea to the company’s shareholders and eventually Nokia became an electricity company in 1902.
Due to its near bankruptcy after World War I, Suomen Gummitehdas Oy, popularly known as Finnish Rubber Works, acquired Nokia. It was a company founded in 1898 by Eduard Polon, a business leader. The Finnish Rubber Works subsequently acquired Suomen Kaapelitehdas Oy (Finnish Cable Work). This new company was into the production of telephone, telegraph and electrical cables.
While Nokia Ab, Suomen Gummitehdas, and Suomen Kaapelitehdas were under the same roof, they did not merge legally but became a viable group.
However, in 1967, the three companies merged to form Nokia Corporation. This new establishment manufactured products like paper items, car and bicycle tyres, rubber boots, communications cables, televisions and other consumer electronics, personal computers, generators, robotics, capacitors, military technology and equipment (such as the SANLA M/90 device and the M61 gas mask for the Finnish Army), plastics, aluminium and chemicals.
The company ran for close to fifteen years within which it experienced loss at some points, giving birth to a new focus on mobile phone technologies. From the merger between Nokia and Salora, in 1979, the Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT) network called 1G, which became the first fully automatic cellular phone system, was developed.
In order to create better phone models, Nokia purchased Salora in 1984. Following the success of this, in 1987, Nokia launched its first mobile phone “Mobira Cityman 900” for NMT– 900 networks that was able to accommodate data.
After gaining its ground in the mobile phone industry, Nokia commenced operations in over 130 countries connecting millions of people all over the world.
Nokia explains its vision simply, “we create the technology to connect the world.”
The brand has operated with solid values over the years. Here they are;
As more competitions arose among the mobile phone brands, in 2008, Nokia’s market share fell to 40.8 percent. Even though Nokia tried to get back its position in the market by releasing new models like N97 touchscreen device, it still experienced some loss in 2009.
Even with the losses, Nokia refused to give into the pressure to switch to producing Android based smartphones and continued to focus on producing more Symbian based smartphones which were no longer selling in the market. This again saw their market shares drop further in 2010.
In search of a remedy, Nokia went into partnership with Microsoft. Because of this partnership, Nokia adopted Windows Phone as the operating system for the smartphones it produced from 2011. Nokia took a more courageous step on the 25 April 2014 to sell its mobile phone business to Microsoft for £3.79bn.
Despite all the pitfalls, Nokia continues to bounce back, proving itself as a hard nut to crack. In recent times, it has embraced new technologies, thereby enhancing the quality of its products. It has made its return into market with more vibrancy, and has gained back its visibility.
DID YOU KNOW
- The name Nokia was coined from a town called Nokia and the Nokianvirta River.
- By the end of 2013, 10,000 employees had been dismissed
- In the 1980s, Nokia’s computer division “Nokia Data”, produced a series of personal computers called the “MikroMikko” in the 1980s
Do you need support in building your business to become a sustainable brand? We are here to help! Shoot us an email at email@example.com.
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