On a daily basis, brands are in a battle for consumers’ pockets. This blog post focuses on the detergent market in Nigeria.
The laundry soap product line in Nigeria has two major categories: hand-wash and machine-wash. Powder detergents and bar detergents form major portions of the hand-wash segment. In the machine-wash segment, powder detergents and liquid detergents are the main types. Of the two categories, powder detergent seems to be more popular and highly patronized by households in Nigeria.
In the late 80s and 90s, OMO detergent (a household name which stands for “Old Mother Owl”) from the stables of Unilever was the king of detergent in the Nigerian market. In those days, the exploits of OMO as the detergent of choice dwarfed the performances of its rivals as it pushed the likes of Elephant, Surf detergent and other small players, into a tight corner.
Its supremacy in the market was such that the television adverts with the promise “Super Blue OMO washes brighter and it shows” became an anthem among children who grew up in the early 90s. Eventually, the arrival of So Klin, sometime in 1996 was the beginning of the fall of the “king”. So Klin came into the market with an innovation; white detergent which was the industry’s first. In addition, its offer as a detergent with a deep-washing function gave Nigerians reasons to switch their loyalty to the new brand.
With So Klin, they did not need to spend extra money to buy bleach for their white laundry, unlike the blue OMO which they suddenly noticed turned their white clothes, blue. Also, the fact that So Klin came in small affordable sachets was a plus to its handful of benefits. Initially, So Klin was more interested in marketing than brand-building, this was the deficiency that was leveraged by Ariel, which was first launched in 1998, to upstage the competition in the detergent market.
Seeing the stiff competition which was about knocking the ‘king’ OMO out of the market, Unilever Nigeria Plc., the manufacturers of OMO were unrelenting in their quest to dominate and hold the ace once again in the detergent market. They added more value to their product offerings, such as attractive fragrances to attract and retain consumers’ interest.
They re-branded, re-packaged, re-designed and reduced the sizes of their product to be more pocket-friendly for their consumers. These were some of the other strategies used by the OMO manufacturers to ensure that they capture more of the market for themselves.
In 2010, Ariel improved on its product with a technology that introduced more enzymes and polymers that remove tough stains in ‘one wash that most detergents can’t remove in two washes,’ which other detergent brands have tried to beat and are still trying. It is also noteworthy that Sunlight, another detergent from Unilever, has also gained market share.
As a growing brand, it is important to know that it is a war out there (the survival of the fittest). A brand that doesn’t grow will be outdated.
Do you wish to stay relevant as a brand?
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A couple of weeks ago, precisely on 23rd March 2021, a blockage occurred at the Suez Canal in Egypt when one of the biggest vessels in the world got stuck in the canal. This happened after the ship (Evergreen) was hit by a strong sand storm which made it run into the sidewall of the canal and became non-steerable. This became a major global challenge due to the high number of vessels that use the canal to cut down voyage time.
Seeing this, Burger King as a food brand decided to take advantage of the situation to market their burger. However, it appears the move was not welcome as many commentators found it distasteful and insensitive considering the hardship the situation was causing globally.
Most of the comments reflected the following concerns:“Your burger blocks arteries and veins”
“Burger King, the Artery clogger”
“For a blockade that caused loss of millions of dollars, this is a bad PR by Burger King”
“I get the humour but this makes me wonder what this does to my digestive system”
There were also some comments that reflected a common thought:
When trying to leverage an event to promote your brand, pay attention to the nuances and emotions of people, so you can swing a really brilliant copy and advert.
We guess Burger King didn’t mean to disrespect the sensibilities of people but it is a lesson to look beyond ourselves when promoting our brands.
We are not sure if this affects the customer loyalty for the brand, and like it is widely believed that every publicity is good publicity but it is always better when the publicity wins the affection of more consumers. It improves your brand perception, loyalty, and equity.
Drawing from the lessons of 2020, we decided to start a support community for entrepreneurs and those aspiring to be one sometime soon. It will be a full-blown business community (in the form of an Academy) for those who are seeking to go beyond mere hustle and survival to building sustainable companies and reputable brands.
Many business ideas will be shared.
Statistics and data from various sectors of the Nigerian economy will be shared.
Even foreign networks and opportunities shall be shared.
Hacks and contacts for funding and other access will be shared.
But being a part of this community will not be free. So we can have only committed people on board.
We will learn together without anyone lording it over.
The many questions of members can be answered by different persons, not just one person.
We will have breakout groups according to areas of interest and unique challenges.
There will be an exchange of experiences, resources, and support.
It will be a community for those who want to be inspired and pushed beyond their limits without feeling less of themselves.
There will be hand holding for the weak or inexperienced.
There shall be no talking down or shaming of anyone.
Both the sprinters and crawlers are all welcome on board.
Do you think it is a good idea?
All members will have access to the following:
– An overflow of business tips and insights
– Answers to business questions and challenges
– Access to our resources (ebooks and online courses) at no extra cost
– Discount on our MBA courses in the works
– Access to professionals in various areas (Legal, Accounting/Finance, and many others)
Members of the community will set goals for 2021 and be paired for discipline, focus, and accountability:
– Saving goals
– Investment goals
– Business objectives for the year (You want to attend a global conference or change office or just get the business started? Etc)
– Travel goals
– Self-development goals
– Compliance goals (Your personal tax, company taxes, contract eligibility papers, annual returns, etc)
As we mentioned, it is a full-blown business support community.
Does this interest you?
Do you have someone to sponsor?
Click on REGISTER to enroll.
We can achieve more, one day at a time, with the right community.
We can #DoBusinessBetter
One major goal that business owners want to achieve is to make more money, it is the key driver for business.
Having a financial goal helps a brand to identify its target market and the right audience to pitch its services and products per time.
When you have a really good product or service but it seems the connection you want with customers is not happening, it may be that you are yet to identify the form of relationship they have with your brand. Identify the relationship, understand it very well, and position your brand accordingly from your sales strategy to marketing communications and so on.
Knowing the relationship that applies to your business should guide you on whom to target, how to reach them, what to say, etc. Don’t leave your marketing and sales to chance, be intentional, and keep tweaking. Winning and retaining customers should not be a game of chance.