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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At the beginning of every year, most business owners are filled with so much enthusiasm and a rush to hit targets. It is the period they feel they can take on the world and totally own their space without a single doubt in their minds. For several organisations, the common practice associated with this is assessing the successes and failures of the previous year and mapping out plans and strategies to do better in the New Year.
Often times as the year winds down, there seem to be some sort of friction that begins to counter the wheels of the initial drive to achieve the goals. In the end, a lot is left unmarked on the year’s to-do list. So the big question, “why?” continues to hang in the air at the end of the year.
From research, it has become an obvious fact that the answer to why most plans are not achieved is due to poor execution. This can be traced to certain factors like; not taking action at appropriate times, lack of capacity, lack of resources, or just plain complacency.
Building a great and lasting brand can never be accomplished by wishful thinking, without taking deliberate steps, everything remains futile. Successful enterprises all over the world were built based on the foundation of daily intentional actions in order to get the work done. From the words of Napoleon Hill, the author of Think and Grow Rich, “plan your work and work your plan,” you would understand that working out your plan gets the desirable results.
However before you can achieve all your organisational goals, you must continue to build capacity. The level of your capacity or “organisation’s strength” will determine how much work you get done. You definitely cannot take on what you wouldn’t be able to deliver. This is the reason most companies keep equipping their staff with new skills and imparting them with knowledge. Like we pointed out in this article, capacity building is a continuous process; you keep enhancing and getting better.
Another factor that reduces the chances of enterprises striking out their goals is insufficient resources and inefficient work tools. When these resources and tools are not readily available, the company could record losses marked by low productivity levels. Companies ought to keep enlarging their basket for a wild catch.
Complacency and sometimes sheer laziness are also reasons why some businesses never reach their fullest potential. The moment there is no drive to keep expanding and the hunger for growth becomes stunted, then failure is being invited. This is why it is imperative for business owners to keep their team motivated all through the year to ensure that they still have enough fuel for the ride to success.
If your goal is to really build a brand that will live beyond the present year and become one that will set the pace for others, then you must go beyond strategizing on the drawing board. The degree of execution will determine the level of achievement that is gained in the end. So roll up your sleeves and get the work done.
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My friend Sharon Georgewill once put up a post on her Facebook timeline which read:
“Try this: Be consistent! In the long run you will gain positive habits that’ll help you grow/bring more money!”
This statement, which sounds like what we hear often, took me a bit down memory lane to when I started Mapemond and the growth process from then on till now. In 2008 I began my journey as an entrepreneur and for the first four years I made no dime from the business. Reminiscing, I can say three key things were responsible; I was still building my capacity, I was yet to ‘rightly’ articulate the value proposition, and of course marketing was zero because I didn’t even know how to market.
During that period, I read a book that a friend bought from a floating book shop that berthed in Port Harcourt at the time, MV Dolous was the name of the ship. I wish I could recall the title of the book as well. A section of the book made the bold declaration that a business venture which can’t generate any revenue within the first six months is headed for failure. For the first time I contemplated calling entrepreneurship a quit, but somehow I pressed on and eventually realized that the author was wrong in her assertion.
In between, a story that gave me hope was that of Christopher Columbus, the European who was convinced that there was definitely land across the Atlantic Ocean and set sail to satisfy his curiosity after years of trying to raise funds. We all know the story I suppose. From it I learnt the true meaning of consistency and have also seen the result in my business.
Today, I would like to encourage those still struggling with making money in business, stay hopeful and keep navigating. You might have tried all you know but push on. Your level of consistency will determine if you would ever break through or not. Your success is never based on people’s opinion or a timeframe.
Sometimes I look at the proposals I wrote in 2009 and 2010 and I laugh because at the time I felt clients will be blown off their seats as they read it. The indescribable boldness that comes with passion even when capacity is below par!
Today, we have clients who engage us for an entire year; one is the fifth year now. What’s the point? The amount of time you invest in a particular thing plays a role in your journey to success. Malcolm Gladwell calls it the 10, 000hrs rule while others call it the One Decade Principle. Success responds to consistent effort that is good.
Don’t be blinded by excitement, don’t be choked by passion, focus on the long journey for consistency and acquire the various habits and principles that will help you grow and in return make money. It is possible.
Do you feel overwhelmed in anyway? We could help, send us an email via email@example.com
Written by Maple Dappa
In our world today, there is an endless demand on everyone venturing into business to build as much capacity as they can in order to remain relevant. That invariably means, the more capacity an individual or a company has, the more relevant and sought after they become.
In a seminar session tagged “#DoItYourself”, sometime ago, the Facilitator, Mr Tosin Yusuff shared an illustration that emphasized the levels and effects of capacity. He said [paraphrased];
“You can touch a wrist watch battery as you like and it won’t hurt you because it is low in voltage.
You can touch finger batteries as you like and they won’t hurt you because they are low in voltage.
You cannot touch a car battery same way because, it is higher in voltage and can hurt you.
You won’t even dare a high tension cable because, it will ‘kill you dead’ (as an insecticide advert once said).”
From the illustration above, it can be deduced that the more capacity something possesses, the more powerful it becomes. This too can be said for human beings and businesses that aim at making global or national impact.
Another key take away from the illustration is that one should always be conscious of the level of their capacity. In most cases, business owners overrate themselves; while their capacity could be likened to that of a finger battery but they continue to think of themselves as high tension cables. They simply live in denial and that obviously hinders their growth.
A company or an individual could have well defined goals, clear vision and mission statements and the most striking strategic plan but still struggle if there is no capacity for execution. This implies that for an organization to achieve their goals, it must have built capacity over a period of time. The same way an athlete continues to train in order to win, that should be the same way a company should strive to build capacity.
Building capacity involves retaining and improving skills that are relevant, gaining broader knowledge, utilizing available tools and resources needed for effectiveness as an individual or establishment. The major idea behind capacity building is to maximize all the learning materials that improves and builds the company and its employees. Every aspect of an organization should be put into consideration. This ensures that the different areas from technical competence, to financial management, to social intelligence are all polished.
If you seek to build a brand that would stand the test of time, then capacity building is a compulsory task you should be willing to inculcate and remain intentional about. It is imperative to bear in mind that increasing your company’s capacity is not a day’s job but a continuous journey. Are you ready to begin?
We can help you build more capacity. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get started!
Lastly, we would love to read your thoughts and perspectives. Please leave a comment.