Hardly would you find an athlete who is not familiar with the swoosh symbol. The trademark is virtually on every sport attire you think of. Over the years, that simple but stylish Swoosh symbol has become Nike’s identity and has added to its fame.
Wondered how Nike, the American athletic brand, gained so much recognition and increased its worth? Let us do some unravelling.
Many would say that the creation of Nike in January 25 1964 by Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight, brought about a revolution in the sport industry. The company first ran with the name, Blue Ribbon Sports (BRS) until May 30, 1971 when it changed to Nike Inc. As part of their rebranding plans, the company began to make use of the Swoosh emblem.
The famous Swoosh logo was craftly designed by Carolyn Davidson in 1971. At the time, Davidson was a graphic design student at Portland State University. She had met Phil Knight who was teaching accounting at the same university. Knight wanted a stripe-like design that would not look like that of its competitors. Davidson designed several marks before the final mark, which symbolises motion.
Since its creation, the Swoosh has gone through only a few changes. The most popular version is the solo swoosh but most often, the emblem is used alongside the brand name, Nike. The logo is used mostly in red and white colour palette and more recently, black.
Since 1988, the Swoosh has been accompanied by the brand’s famous tagline, “Just Do It”. Both the Swoosh and the tagline together communicate the brand’s values and belief. As a major marketing strategy, the brand uses high profile athletes to advertise its products.
The common meaning of the Swoosh is that it communicates motion and speed. However, beneath the simple design lies a deeper meaning because it symbolises the wing of the known Greek goddess of victory, Nike.
Though the logo initially appeared in different colours in a means to be distinguished from other brands, subsequently some primary colours were chosen. The most popular colours used are red and white colour palette. While the red colour indicates passion, energy and joy, the white colour denotes nobility, charm and purity. In recent times, the black colour palette was introduced.
In 1994, the brand’s name NIKE was written in an all caps Futura Bold font along with the Swoosh symbol. In the preceding years, the brand utilised only the Swoosh emblem as its corporate identity.
Due to its simple design that is easily recognisable, Nike’s logo automatically stands out from the crowd. It is listed as one of the most successful and high quality brands in the world. During advertisement, the brand consistently shares its message through its logo. To gain more popularity and dominance, Nike uses the Swoosh logo in endorsing great athletes. So whenever one thinks of Nike, they think of victory.
DID YOU KNOW…
- Nike is the winged goddess of victory in Greek mythology, who sat at the side of Zeus in Olympus.
- The Nike logo cost a total of $35 to be designed by Carolyn Davidson in 1971
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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When the day winds down and the body gets weak, every human craves for one thing, to return home to the comfort of their mattresses. For decades, Mouka Foam has been satisfying this need for soft, homely comfort. This makes it one of the most reliable and recognisable foam brands in Nigeria.
For its brand consistency, we became interested in Mouka to discover its unique features and the market strategies it has employed over the years. From our findings, Mouka Foam is not an ordinary brand and it is one worthy of emulation. Here is a bit of its history.
Mouka’s journey dates back to 1959 when it was founded by the Faiz Moukarim family and was located in Kano State, Nigeria. The company first started out as a factory named Moukarim Metalwood with the focus to manufacture furniture and iron beds. As the company progressed, they ventured into other products like mattress (which it is mostly recognised for), rug, duvet, pillow, etc. To stand out in its industry, the company came with a special recipe, a mind-blowing attention to quality.
In no time the company expanded to Lagos in 1972 with a rebranded name, Mouka Limited and a mission to broaden its horizon. From then on, the company has established production facilities in Benin and Kaduna, from where it distributes to other states in Nigeria.
With little or no competition, Mouka Limited rose to the top in its industry and earned reputation as a leader in the manufacturing of polyurethane-based products in Nigeria. The company has gained more market shares in Nigeria and the ECOWAS sub-region. The brand reaches its customers through its thousands of distributors and sub-distributors all over the country.
Exhibiting its leadership position, in 1992, Mouka Limited spearheaded the end of carbon-flouro-carbon (CFC) materials during production. Also in 1999, it became the first foam company to receive ISO 9001 certification (Laboratory) in Nigeria, thereby setting the pace for other brands.
Mouka Limited has not only built a brand but has carefully selected a team of dedicated individuals to manage the company. Its staff are committed to the brand’s values and vision.
“To be the clear leader in the polyurethane business in Nigeria.”
“To add comfort to life.”
The way an apple never falls far from its tree, is the same way the brand’s services never falls below its values. These values continue to drive it smoothly on the success path.
From the onset, Mouka had established itself as a brand that produces high quality products. History has it that it was the first foam manufacturing company to offer quality warranty on its products. It has also been tested and proven by most of its customers. Through its standard of production, the company continues to gain more trust and recognition in the market.
Mouka Limited has chosen the innovative approach in executing its business. It utilises both recent technology and the will power of its team to ensure the brand’s mission is achieved and customers get the comfort they deserve.
The brand boasts of a rich network of distributors, sub-distributors and Sleep Galleries positioned in different parts of the country. Due to its efficient production facilities in strategic cities, the brand remains a solution provider and supplier in the foam industry.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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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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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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Think of a network service provider that has helped most Nigerians connect with people far and near, and MTN pops up! Think of the largest telecommunication company in Nigeria and MTN comes ringing its yellow bells. Due to its wide reach and years of consistency, MTN remains one of the most recommendable mobile Telco brands. Today we take a deeper look at this prodigious brand.
MTN is a multinational mobile telecommunications company under the MTN Group Limited which has its headquarters located in Johannesburg, the capital of South Africa. It was established in 1994 during the new era of democracy as one of the tools for transformation. In the quest to spread its reach and enlarge its customer base, MTN, extended its hands to Nigeria as one of the countries it found fit to do business in. Taking advantage of an auction opportunity conducted by Nigeria Communication Commission in January 2001, MTN automatically became the very first mobile network to make a call.
Following this, MTN launched full commercial operation in August 2001 starting with major cities like Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. From that period, its services have spread across Nigeria covering over 223 cities and towns, more than 10,000 villages and communities, and practically spanning the 36 states in Nigeria with over 52 million subscribers to boast of. Since its inception, the brand has grown and is currently recognised as the eleventh largest mobile network operator in the world and the largest in Africa. It has operational branches in over 22 countries in Africa, Asia and Europe. In June 2016, MTN was recorded to have over 232.6 million subscribers in these various countries.
MTN continues to exist to provide solution to connectivity, communication and collaboration problems in all the countries it operates in. It leverages technology in order to give its customers a good experience. From its track record, MTN is known to be the largest privately owned mobile operator in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.
A trait that is predominant among every successful brand is a clear vision. MTN is one of such brands that has their eyes on the ball and this is what they see themselves becoming, “Our vision is to lead the delivery of a bold, new digital world to our customers.”
From their tenacity and never giving-up spirit, it is obvious MTN is on a mission. In their own words, “Our mission is to make our customers’ lives a whole lot BRIGHTER. We do this by delivering relevant, accessible, high quality telecommunications solutions that put them in control.”
Beyond its bright yellow colour, another remarkable attribute that seem to keep MTN in the minds of customers is its unforgettable slogan, “Everywhere you go”. This slogan has become part of its identity and continues to pass the brand’s message.
The company is driven by some core values such as;
MTN operates with a well-defined brand strategy which they refer to as BRIGHT. They see this strategy as six pillars on which the brand is built upon.
- B- Best customer experience
- R- Returns and efficiency focus
- I- Ignite commercial performance
- G- Growth through data and digital
- H- Hearts and minds
- T- Technology
DID YOU KNOW?
Here are some facts you may not know about this prominent brand.
- The brand was formerly known as M-cell
- MTN stands for Mobile Telecommunication network
- The first phone call was made in Maritime House, Apapa
- One-third of MTN revenues comes from Nigeria
- It changes its number range whenever a particular range is full. This is the reason why they’ve changed from 0803, to 0703, to 0706, to 0810, to 0813, to 0814, 0816 and now 0903
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
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During the era of Nazi Germany, a secret-police organization was created to deal with persons suspected of disloyalty; they employed even crude means in carrying out this task.
While extreme measures may not be employed in their case, employers often treat their employees as corporate slaves. They pay the salaries, so employees should just keep quiet and do the bidding of the masters. Anything outside that is perceived as disloyalty or even treachery in worse cases. Such employers are not concerned about the reservations employees may have about the operations of the organization, and that is where they start missing out on crucial feedback that could help in shaping the organization better.
When the employers eventually get to ask employees if they have any comments or opinions to share, the employees opt to stay mute for fear of being victimized unless such a comment is in favour of the powers that be, just like the Gestapo operated. Supposed team members would rather stomach their reservations than risk being in the black book of the masters, that’s if their jobs aren’t even threatened. This is so because the culture of feedback is in actual sense non-existent in the organization, and I daresay many Nigerian and African organizations. Our understanding of power seems be a function of might and self-assertion.
And so, the unexpressed reservations eventually reflect in the form of nonchalance, it’s sometimes the reason why customer care representatives don’t give their all in serving clients, asides personal attitudinal flaws. A team that is less passionate about driving the organization’s vision, functioning in a more or less dispirited environment, and working the job just to earn a living and nothing more, truly cannot be as outstanding as the organization desire.
Let’s consider the personal relationships in our lives. It is at the point people no longer feel free to express their reservations that our relationship starts going awry. Our associates, friends and family owe it to us as a duty to express their reservations in line with the terms of engagement, so adjustments can be made where necessary and corrections taken as well and we also have the responsibility of giving them our ears so they can let it all out.
Stronger relationships can only be forged when we can freely express both the pleasant and unpleasant observations and also be willing to listen to others when they do same. This should not be mistaken for being swayed by the expectations of others, no. It also doesn’t mean organizations should pander to the dictates of their employees, far from that. What this means is that we value relationships, even with organizations, so much that we don’t take for granted anything that could possibly threaten it.
There should be a feedback system that ensures no one is victimized for expressing concerns that doesn’t conform to the soothing desires of management. Corporate organizations must have that moment of truth within its team, that’s how solid and well bonded teams are built.
It is profitable to harness strength out of divergent viewpoints instead of bludgeoning people into acquiescence.
Written by Maple Dappa
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