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
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Most children born from the eighties can attest to the fact that they have tasted the popular Kellogg’s cornflakes. For some, it even became the quickest breakfast their mothers could fix before they dashed off to school while for others it became their favourite go-to cereal whenever they were hungry.
Whichever the case, it is an undeniable fact that the impact of the Kellogg’s brand has been felt by many people and also in many homes. The brand’s consistency for more 100years now has strengthened its relevance, establishing it as a leading brand globally.
For the last century, the Kellogg Company has done business under the trademark, Kellogg’s. This American multinational food-manufacturing company has its headquarters in Battle Creek, Michigan, United States. Kellogg’s is known for producing cereal and convenience foods, including cookies, crackers, and toaster pastries. Some of their most popular products that have become well-known brands include Corn Flakes, Keebler, and Cheez-It.
Follow through as we take a detailed ride through the rich qualities of this outstanding brand.
While trying to make granola, a breakfast food and snack food consisting of rolled oats, nuts, honey or other sweeteners, in 1898, W.K. Kellogg, and his brother, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, mistakenly altered the process and flaked wheat berry. Not relenting, W.K. continued to experiment until he flaked corn, which gave birth to what we now know as Kellogg’s Corn Flakes.
Following his successful breakthrough, in 1906, W.K. Kellogg began his company, “Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company” and went ahead to hire 44 pioneering employees. Working closely with the founder, they created the first batch of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and fostered W.K.’s vision for great-tasting, better-for-you breakfast foods.
Kellogg’s, in 1914, took its first step towards expansion by introducing the flagship brand, Corn Flakes, to Canada. As time went by, the Kellogg Company spread its nourishing grains abroad, by commencing operations in countries like Australia, England, Mexico, Japan, India and etc.
In 1923, the Kellogg Company took another bold step and became the first in the food industry to hire a dietician, Mary Barber. Mary pioneered the Kellogg’s Home Economics Department and defined the roles different foods played in proper diets, thereby educating their consumers.
During the time the United States sunk into Depression, in 1930, W.K. Kellogg saw it as an opportunity to add value to more people with the campaign, “I’ll invest in people.” To achieve this, he created more shifts and hired new employees. He went on to start the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, whose mission — to help children realize their potential — is also in line with that of the Kellogg Company till date.
To increase its visibility, the company used the slogan “Kellogg’s puts more into your morning” on television shows on Saturday morning from 1968 to 1970.
As a result of spreading its grains, one of the soils it fell on is the Nigeria’s soil. Though it is yet to make huge harvest, the brand has gained tremendous recognition. On the 1st of December 2017, the joint venture of the reputable cereal maker, Kellogg’s and Singapore’s Tolaram Group, Kellogg’s-Tolaram Nigeria Limited, commissioned a 6 billion naira factory, with a capacity to produce 10,000 metric tonnes of cereals per year. This move has definitely put the Kellogg’s brand on another level since it can now produce its product here in Nigeria rather than importing it.
Having realised that breakfast is the most essential meal of the day, Kellogg’s has built its walls around this. “At Kellogg, we LOVE breakfast. To us it’s so much more than just a meal. We passionately believe in the power and promise that comes from eating the right breakfast. It’s the first fuel for our bodies—nourishing us for today, tomorrow and for life.”
From the simple and concise words, the company used to describe its vision, it is without a doubt the brand has established itself as an enriching brand, “To enrich and delight the world through foods and brands that matter.”
Its purpose is simple but well defined, “Nourishing families so they can flourish and thrive.”
The company sees its values as its DNA which could be interpreted to mean what runs through the entire organisation. Their values serve as a guide for every business transaction, their interaction amongst themselves and with the communities where they work. Here is a quick rundown of their values;
In Nigeria the Kellogg’s brand leverages;
- Partnership with the local production company, Tolaram and its distribution subsidiary.
- Assets provided by its partnership to produce high quality, low cost products in the region
- Brand recognition in order to gain market share in the mid-range and value channels.
THE BRAND’S SWOT ANALYSIS
- It has an existing supply chain
- It has well-known and experienced partners, locally and globally
- It has experience in handling new markets
- It has experienced low profit in recent years
- There has been a loss of market share to general mill
- New products must be developed to suit the Nigeria market.
- The Nigerian market is still an emerging one open to businesses of all kinds
- Landing new products would require low price
- As a foreign brand, a new product must be developed for the Nigeria market
- It has strong competitors like Nestle and Unilever.
- Its operation is capital intensive.
The company continues to uphold the values its founder, W.K. Kellogg, which was instilled over 100 years ago. Today their flaked corn is enjoyed in 180 countries around the world putting it ahead of its pairs in the snack food industry.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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Marketing could be quite a daunting task for most business people across the world. The thought of cooking up a convincing story for potential customers and clients, or going from street to street just to speak to sell their products or services, breaks beads of sweat in the faces of a good number of marketers. Regardless of the stress, marketing remains a necessity for any type of brand that wants visibility.
Now no matter how polished or good your idea, product or service is, if you can’t market it, it goes nowhere and only stays within the reach of your immediate circle. It is safe to say marketing is a means of spreading your business to a wider audience. The simple fact is, if you want more people to know what you sell, offer or the value you can create, marketing is unavoidable and inevitable.
“Marketing is an ongoing communications exchange with customers in a way that educates, informs and builds a relationship over time. The over time part is important because only over time can trust be created. With trust, a community builds organically around products and services and those customers become as excited about the products as you are — they become advocates, loyal evangelists, repeat customers and often, friends. Marketing is a really great way to identify what grabs people and gets them excited about your brand and give it to them, involve them in the process,” said Renee Blodgett – Chief Executive Officer/Founder, Magic Sauce Media
When clearly understood, marketing is not as hard as it seems. In plain terms, it is basically communicating what you do to a target audience with a goal to attain regular and loyal customers. To further simplify the concept of marketing, below are a few tips.
KNOW THE WHY BEHIND WHAT YOU DO
There are three questions you must ask yourself before you embark on your business voyage; why, what and how. In order to avoid wastage of resources, time, and efforts, these questions should be first dealt with. Basically the ‘why’ refers to the reason behind your business and seeks to answer why you started the business in the first place. The ‘what’ deals with the product or service you are rendering. The ‘what’ also addresses if you are meeting the needs of your customers. And the ‘how’ question figures the means through which you would reach the customers and clients.
However, most marketers often skip the first question why and immediately approach potential customers with what they offer. This is the reason behind the stutter when a customer tries to engage them. The reality is most people don’t know why they sell what they do!
Simon Sinek, author and marketing consultant, puts it clearly, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
It is of utmost importance for you as a business person to do your research and practically dig deep in order to know your target market thoroughly.
KNOW YOUR TARGET MARKET
Even though you wish everyone could patronise your business, the hard truth is not everyone can be your customer. You have to do a market survey and identify your target market if you want to hit your goal. When you don’t know your target market, you would keep missing your shots and eventually get frustrated.
LEVERAGE ON DIGITAL MARKETING
The digital era has made marketing easier than what it used to be. With digital platforms, entrepreneurs could get more customers in few days than they would in several months. Digital marketing is simply the use of the internet, mobile devices, social media, search engines, display advertising and other channels to reach your target audience.
In contrast to the traditional marketing where one needs to go from person to person advertising their products or services, or setting up outdoor platforms, marketers and entrepreneurs can now be in the comfort of their homes and spread words about their business. Another advantage asides the ease it provides, digital marketing has a wider reach. Your business could be in Nigeria but you will be able to reach people all over the world.
Once you are clear on your why, what, and how, deploy the best possible means to reach your audience whether traditionally or digitally. Just ensure that you take strategic steps to put your business out there.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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Brands choose to tell their stories any way they please but the ones that stand out are those who tell stories that resonate with the communities they serve. For sixty years plus now PEAK MILK has maintained the story of Africa through its symbolic pic story and visual identity elements of the palm tree, locals in a canoe, trade interaction with merchants, and so on.
With its rich creamy taste, Peak Milk has continued to live up to its name, and has gained the reputation of the number one brand in the dairy industry in Nigeria. Over the years, the brand has been recognised for its quality and leadership in the market. These remarkable attributes piqued our interest to do a review on this legendary brand. Sail with us to the wonderland of this iconic dairy brand.
While most people seem to know the product, only a few are familiar with the company behind the brand, Friesland Campina. The company which was founded from two great Dutch dairy companies, Friesland Foods and Campina, began its journey in the dairy industry in 1871.
Friesland Campina is a company birthed from a rich history. From its name Friesland which is a region in the north of the Netherlands characterised by the green meadows, blue skies, many lakes and splendid Frisian dairy herds and then Campina is also a wooded region of grasslands and meadows in the south of the Netherlands, it can be perceived that the company is a product of the Netherland culture.
The global company is well rooted in the culture and commerce of the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium.
Way back in 1954, while Nigeria was still under the British colony, Friesland Campina sailed its way from Netherlands through several oceans to Nigeria. Having surveyed and seen the potentials in the Nigerian market, the company introduced its first brand, Peak Milk. Since then the dairy product has evolved and has maintained a strong leader position.
However it was not until April 1973 the company was incorporated as West Africa Milk Company (WAMCO) and finally commenced operation in 1975 making it an affiliate of Royal Friesland Campina of the Netherlands. Friesland Campina WAMCO Nigeria has its headquarters located in Ikeja Industrial Area of Lagos and is recorded to be one of the largest dairy cooperative in the world. Since it began operations in Nigeria it has made extensive distribution to all the states.
With its strong influence, the company continues to retain its leadership in the production, processing, packaging, marketing, and distribution of its dairy products in Nigeria. In 2015, it was recorded to have made a turnover of twelve billion
At the inception, Peak Milk was seen as product for wealthy people and couldn’t be afforded by the common man. Knowing what they stood to lose with the rising of other milk brands, the company adjusted its product in order to accommodate everyone. This led to the introduction of different sizes even down to sachets.
The company behind Peak Milk ties its vision to the purpose they refer to as nourishing by nature. This stands for better nutrition for the world, a good living for farmers, now and for generations to come.
BRAND MISSION STATEMENT
From its mission statement, Nourishing Nigeria with Quality Dairy Nutrition, it is obvious the brand is driven by the need to nourish its consumers.
The strategy behind this exceptional brand is quite straight to the point which is to add value; from its nutrition, to nature, to both young and old people, to consumers and customers, to citizen and down to the society. This value adding mind-set has been transferred to all their employees worldwide.
The company has broken down its plan into the following;
- Win with nutrition
- Serve the 24/7 consumer and customer
- Lead with sustainability
- Elevate our essentials
BRAND CAMPAIGNS AND PROJECTS
Most recently, the brand has been running a campaign it named PECADOMO which is an acronym for ‘Peak Can Do More’. The idea is to gain new markets by highlighting several other things that the milk product can be used asides regular usage
Peak Milk is one brand that has made a strong impression in Nigeria with its involvement and commitment to nation building and community development. Severally in the past it has supported charity projects, schools and communities through its corporate citizenship programme which kicked off in 2004.
The programme has seen the commissioning of over 41 solar boreholes, supported over 18 public secondary schools amongst many other projects.
With a well mapped out and structured brand like Peak, we can bank on the fact that it will be here for more years to come and may probably still be leading the dairy industry here in Nigeria. It points to the need to build a brand that transcends the founders.
Key Takeaway: Regardless of its leadership position in the market, PEAK is not relenting in its drive to remain a relevant, readily available and trustworthy brand. This is a vital lessons for beginners and the likes, do not allow your successes stop you from pushing the boundaries and frontiers.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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For decades, Pepsi has been Coca Cola’s arch-rival in the beverage industry. Having been in the market since 1886, long before Pepsi’s birth in 1893, Coca Cola can be said to be on the leading edge. With this lead, Pepsi and other related brands continue to be on their toes to meet up and outshine the iconic brand.
Over the years the competition between Coke and Pepsi has been fierce and consistent with each brand coming up with different strategies to remain at the top and gain more consumers. This could be observed in their constant innovative moves, from ads to their products and also their sponsorship programs.
In a bid to get more attention, Pepsi took advantage of the Atlanta Super Bowl game, which it was sponsoring for the first time, to make some strategic chess moves. For the first time, Pepsi took over Atlanta which is popularly referred to as Coke’s town, since the brand was born there and its headquarters is also located there. The city was painted blue as opposed to when its opponent Coke used to paint it red during their period of sponsorship.
Asides the billboards Pepsi mounted in strategic areas with taglines like, “Look Who’s in Town for Super Bowl LIII”, announcing their arrival, the brand brought the statue of its founder Caleb Bradham to Atlanta’s World of Coca Cola right next to the statue of Coke’s founder John S. Pemberton. The statue was positioned in such a way it looked as though the two founders were clinking their glasses in celebration.
This move may have been a demonstration of Pepsi’s idea of the cola truce initiative or part of their plan to get more attention thereby creating more visibility for its brand.
This however didn’t seem to have moved the Coca Cola team as there was no response from their side. Reacting to this, Pepsi took what they perceived was a cold reception from Coca Cola to Twitter.
Flipping the awkward situation around, Pepsi informed the public about their Charity plan which was to donate food to the needy from every tweet with the hashtags #ColaTruce and #Share2Donate. This new strategy seem to have worked and must have endeared them in the hearts of more people as they were able to donate meals to 130k people through United Ways of Greater Atlanta, a platform for community development.
Now drawing away from all the drama, one insight we can glean from Pepsi’s relentless spirit is, if one business strategy fails, try another approach even if it means putting up a show. In the end, you just never can tell which of the strategies would yield the desired result and eventually put your brand in the mouths and eyes of people.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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Horses are undoubtedly one of the most magnificent animals in the world. But you never will see the full glamour and beauty of a horse while it’s encumbered and kept in the stall. Set it free and see it rise in enchanting beauty. Just like in the world of horses, there are also stalls in the world of enterprise.
The focus of this article is centered on one challenge many emerging entrepreneurs, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, face but no one seems to talk about even though it greatly inhibits the growth of ventures. Most young entrepreneurs keep encountering challenges when it comes to dealing with clients in the area of payment and terms of engagement. The reason is mainly that the entrepreneurs are unable to enforce the idea of formal agreements, they deal based on verbal discussions and agreements which often leads to dispute.
One may begin to wonder why this is so. The simple answer is survival! When your business still runs with the ‘hand to mouth’ approach, you don’t care much about agreements needless of insisting on it, you just want the money to survive, considering the fact that your next meal, data subscription, transportation fare, and the rest of your needs depends on it. You literally can’t walk away from deals when the client already proves troublesome by not wanting to have an agreement. You are constantly gripped by that silent fear of losing the money.
If you ever want to experience visible progress in your business, one thing is for certain, you can’t go on that way. Failure to understand and deal with this basic truth leaves the entrepreneurial dream in a stagnant cooler. Remember, everyone can dream, but execution makes the difference. The next set of things you will be reading are suggestions that have been tested and proven. They can help set your business on the pedestal of greater achievements.
- DOCUMENT YOUR DEALS
You can have verbal agreements, but before you commence any work, ensure to document on paper or a computer. A good practice will be to send an email stating what was discussed and agreed before proper engagement. This will save you a great deal of trouble. Documentation enables clarity which guides the engagement going forward. Some studies have shown that things written down have a higher likelihood of succeeding.
“I learned to pay the maximum possible attention to details, to document everything, to keep archives – paper or digital – well ordered. This is a key factor when and if you need – possibly years later – to review a project or to support or challenge claims in court,” Jacopo [“Jaclaz”], a Technical Consultant stated.
2. RUN YOUR BUSINESS WITHIN YOUR MEANS
In the words of Dave Ramsey, a popular US radio host, and businessman, “financial peace isn’t the acquisition of stuff. It’s learning to live on less than you make, so you can give money back and have money to invest. You can’t win until you do this.”
One disciplinary habit any entrepreneur should cultivate is learning to fold their legs to the length of their blanket. This simply means to live within your means, spend only on essentials. Stop competing with those who are better placed financially. As much as you can, seek cheaper alternatives that still serve the purpose, but remember that sometimes the cheapest option is the most expensive.
3. SAVE AS MUCH AS YOU CAN
Build a cash reserve, no matter how little. When discussing with a new prospect or client, your next meal should not depend on the deal, but on your cash reserve. With some cash set aside, you will stop being at the mercy of clients. You will also have better bargaining power, and you will have the confidence to say no to bad deals.
Benjamin Franklin puts the idea of saving better,
“if you would be wealthy, think of saving as well as getting.”
These are seemingly simple issues, but they’ve kept so many ventures hindered from growth when they should be sprinting majestically like horses. Nevertheless, it is never too late to start the race to building a successful brand.
Written by Maple Dappa
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It started as a rumour, but months down the line, it’s the new reality and identity for these two major bank brands, Access Bank and Diamond Bank. The deal which was reportedly denied by some authorities in the banks officially went public in December 2018 when negotiations were already concluded.
Expectedly, there have been many reactions to this; while most see it as a welcome development which is significant in putting Nigeria on the map, a few remain sceptical about it. Amid the pressure from panicking customers, concerned shareholders, the interfering press and public opinions, the two banks have remained focus to what they believe would be the largest bank the African continent has ever seen.
Moving away from the noise and excitement, there is so much to glean from this seemingly great business accomplishment. Let’s see what insights we can glean.
For any business that seeks to expand, there are certain qualities it should be known for as well as structures that must be in place. To put this in a more concise way, that business must have built its capacity which isn’t built overnight, rather it is consistently developed over the years.
From its record, Access Bank, which is a top Multinational commercial bank in Nigeria, has had six successful mergers and acquisitions before now. The bank began its journey of acquisitions in 2005 with their first being Marina Bank and Capital Bank. Amongst other acquisitions after the first, one of the most memorable which placed them as one of the four largest commercial banks in Nigeria was in 2012 when it acquired Intercontinental Bank. Well there is no doubt the management team has been running with their vision which is “to be the world’s most respected African bank”.
On the other hand, Diamond Bank as a technology driven retail bank had set a high standard which gave other banks a run for their money. This has earned it an indisputable leadership position in digital and mobile banking. Diamond bank mostly leveraged on technology and continued to provide innovative solutions for financial challenges.
Another sign that this merger will be unbeatable is clearly seen in their statistics, with Access Bank having an asset of 4,555 and 1,555 for Diamond Bank. It is also going to be a massive force combining both bank’s customers, Access Bank having over 10 million customers in Nigeria and different parts of Africa, and Diamond Bank 19 million customers. This explains why successful establishments tend to acquire enterprises that will add more value to them rather than reduce their worth. The likes of Facebook who keep acquiring other business platforms to enlarge its empire will help drive this point home.
Paying a closer attention to this deal, one would understand that another reason why Access Bank and Diamond Bank took this bold step is to remain relevant first as a financial establishment, then to their customers who are faced with many options to choose from in the ever bubbling financial market. What better way can a brand attain relevance if not creating a larger platform that provides solutions to the many problems facing their many customers?
While Access Bank will leverage Diamond Bank’s leadership in digital and mobile-led retail banking, Diamond Bank will gain more visibility with Access Bank’s strong network across the continent. In the word of Herbert Wigwe, the CEO of Access Bank,
“Access has a strong track record of acquisition and integration and has a clear growth strategy. Access and Diamond have complementary operations and similar values, and a merger with Diamond, with its leadership in digital mobile-led retail banking, could accelerate our strategy as a significant corporate and retail bank in Nigeria and a Pan-African financial services champion.”
Now bearing in mind the heights both banks have climbed in the past and what they hope to achieve, we can bet that they have done their market survey and have seen the many opportunities their merger will create in both the banking sector and the society at large. Again Herbert’s words confirm this,
“We believe that this platform, together with the two banks’ shared focus on innovation, financial inclusion and sustainability, can bring benefits to Access and Diamond customers, staff and shareholders.”
Till the deal comes to a final conclusion, there remains a high hope that the combination of these two banks will give birth to an exceptional brand.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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