If asked to narrate the history of your brand, would you be able to walk prospects through your timeline without skipping a vital detail? Have you ever really taken quality time to ponder on your brand’s story? Do you have an archive dedicated to keeping record of your brand’s progress? There are numerous questions pertaining to proper documentation of an organisation’s history that most founders hardly consider.
In researching different brands for our weekly ‘brand review’ column, we discovered a trait common among over 70% Nigerian based brands, poor documentation of their history. While surfing most of their websites for relevant information related to the general structure of their organisation – brand history, core values, vision and mission statements, brand culture, etc – we found too little or no helpful information. Some business owners may consider the information as private and never see the need to share with outsiders, maybe they fear being copied by opponents, or they simply lack the skill of tracking progress.
In contrast to this norm, we also observed a common practice among most foreign-based companies with branches all over the world; they have a keen interest in history. They could dedicate a whole page on their website to their company’s journey that they update regularly whenever the company accomplishes a milestone. Occasionally they boast of their history being their heritage and often urge prospective clients to study their different timelines in order to get a clearer prospective of the company.
Asides this historical approach by great brands being beneficial to strangers, staff are daily reminded of the company’s history as well. They believe having a firm understanding of the past would inform present decisions that would in turn reform the organisation’s future. To them, every milestone is a dot that connects and leads them to their desired future.
The basic essence of creating an accessible rich historical archive for your company is to gain more connection. The more people, both customers and staff, understand and connect with your brand’s story, it makes it more likely for them to stick around much longer. Studies have shown that most brands with in-depth history tend to last longer as they continue to strive to live up the legacy left by their founders. These companies seek different avenues to introduce an innovative idea as a means of staying relevant.
Apple Incorporation is a perfect example of a company with a detailed historic background which is cherished by every employee. From when it was founded in 1976, by Steve Jobs and his partner Steve Wozniak, the company continues to thrive in the world of technology. Despite the death of its founder, Steve, the company with relentless effort towards innovation runs with the same vision but with an improved and modern sight.
When you begin to see your business as an entity of its own, that its progress needs to be recorded per milestone, you evolve your business into one that should indeed be taken seriously. It is not enough to wish for a brand that will outlive you; you must make steps towards documenting every stage of the business with new improvements, as this would eventually form the company’s legacy over time. Start writing your history today!
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
We would love to help you document your history and craft a story for your brand! Send us email at firstname.lastname@example.org
DO BUSINESS BETTER!
One brand that has gained dominance as a personal grooming product in different continents of the world is Gillette. The brand’s stability and clearly defined brand proposition has added to its uniqueness. There are so many lessons to glean from this top brand.
Join us and let’s take a tour into the Gillette world…
HISTORY OF THE BRAND
In 1895, Gillette King, a successful travel sales man got irritated by the fact that his shaving blade frequently became blunt and needed regular sharpening. So, he thought of designing a new type of razor which could be quickly used and replaced regularly. He pictured a shaving stick with a handle, having a disposable double-edged blade that could be used and reused until it was dull. And so, he got to work on his idea, drawing different designs and models of safety razors for six good years afterwards.
Finally, on the 28th of September 1901, Gillette founded the American Safety Razor Company which he later changed to Gillette Safety Razor Company in July of the following year. He obtained his company’s trademark registration and began production in 1903 were he sold 51 razors and 168 blades.
Spurred by successes in sales, Gillette introduced the “new improved” Gillette razor superseding and replacing the old-style razor – the silver Brownie razor in 1921. Further witnessing a series of expansion and growth, 68 years later Gillette developed the Sensor Shaving System which had thinner blades and better features. This caused sales to rise as this brand appealed to consumers and thus the Lady Sensor followed shortly.
With further research, marketing strategy, and expansion, a major innovation was introduced in 1998 to drive sales further up. The MACH 3, so called, had a third blade and its blades were set at an angle that made shaving easier with fewer strokes giving a smoother and comfortable feel.
Surviving, three takeover attempts, the company continued to grow and expand into various brands such as the Bic pen, Duracell batteries, Oral-B and other toiletries. Finally, on October 1st 2005, Gillette and Procter & Gamble merged companies. This ended the existence of Gillette Company as a business entity but culminated in creating the biggest brand in personal grooming and house care products in the world.
THE BRAND VISION
To build total brand value by innovating to deliver consumer value and customer leadership faster, better and more completely than our competition.
THE MISSION STATEMENT
A globally focused consumer products marketer that seeks competitive advantage in quality, value-added personal car and personal use products.
Gillette offers a wide range of products such as 2,3,5- bladed disposable razors, trimmers and blades, shave preps like foams, shave gels, shave lotions, after-shave balms and personal care products which includes deodorants, anti-perspirants, and body washes.
Subsequently, the company witnessed growth in sales and expanded to different parts of the world. In 1917, Gillette had the contract of supplying safety shaving blades to American soldiers during World War I which was funded by the government. Successive years saw the company evolving through a series of leadership profiles with men like John, Giasman, Gerard, Samuel, Stampleman, Spangler Jr., Gilbert and Colman Mockler at the helm of affairs.
The brand could be said to be a male product since it is mostly used by males for different shaving purposes. One culture this brand has retained over the years is their position on grooming more responsible men. Following a recent campaign against the usual “boys will be boys” attitude that encourages the nasty behavior of some male folks, Gillette made its stand clear. They believe and are working towards instilling better manners in the males.
With all these, the brand’s growth can be linked to the quality of its product, its leadership and also strong publicity. This way they have remained in the hearts many consumers all over the world.
What’s your take away from the Gillette story? Please share in the comment section.
Written by Rejoice Emmanuel
Need help with developing a business plan and branding your business? We can help! Send us an email at email@example.com
Logos have always been a vital part of a brand. They gradually become the company’s identity as time goes on. Deciding on an emblem that would represent your company could be quite a daunting job and would sometimes go through several refining process before getting the final piece.
Even after the final craft is done, it continues to undergo reviews from time to time. This has been the case for the oldest drink of all time, Coca-Cola. Tag along as we take a ride through time from how the famous brand got its logo and how well it has represented the brand so far.
For a brand that has journeyed for 130years, Coca-Cola has gone beyond being a mere brand to becoming a legend. Without a doubt it has become one of the most prominent drinks accepted all over the world. Nonetheless this great brand has been through many transformations from the shape of its bottle, to its CEOs and also its logo. For the purpose of this article, we will dwell on the logo transformations.
Though the Coca-Cola brand has been recognised worldwide for its outstanding logo which is simply the combination of two words, “Coca” and “Cola”, it will be interesting to know that the logo has been modified severally. Its famous name was given to it in 8 May 1886 by Frank M. Robinson who happened to be Dr John S Pemberton’s bookkeeper.
Frank M Robinson felt the blend of the two “C”s would be good in terms of advertising the product. Robinson’s idea worked exactly as planned and the logo gradually became easily recognisable by consumers.
The Coca-Cola logo was first scripted by Frank M. Robinson in 1886. It was written in a popular writing style called Spencerian. Since then the logo has undergone series of changes and may continue to transform as the years go by.
The following year being 1887, a slight touch was added to the logo. The words “Trade Mark” were added to the tail of the first ‘C’.
Moving on to 1890, the logo was redesigned with extra swirls added which made it a bit dramatic. This little twist gave the logo a face lift.
The logo further transited in 1914 to gain a new identity. In this new logo the words “Trademark Registered” was written below.
In 1947 a red disc shape version of the logo was used to advertise the brand and afterwards became an outdoor signage. This red disc images were strategically used to decorate business places to boost advertisement.
The next form the logo took in 1958 was a fishy shape. The script was inserted in an Arciform shape which was similar to an arch. The Arciform sign is also known as the Fishtail sign. This design was used as the company’s identity and was used in copy, signage and on vending machines.
The logo took a wavy appearance in 1969. The Coca-Cola script was now underlined with a white wave design also known as Dynamic Ribbon Device.
In 1982 the logo was redesigned to a slab serif font. This happened exactly when Diet coke was introduced to the market. Also in that year slogans such as “Coke is it” was used.
2003 came with a new feel to the Dynamic Ribbon Device as some touch of yellow and some bubbles were added to the logo.
While in 2007 the logo was made simpler and bolder with just a touch of a white ribbon added to it.
To celebrate the brand’s 125years birthday in 2011, the logo was modified with bubbles bursting from the contour bottle. This was used to describe a celebration of the different seasons, past, present and future, the brand has gone through.
In 2013, to promote a campaign called “Share a Coke”, the logo was again adjusted. The Coca-Cola logo was replaced with a typeface was named “You”. This was a marketing strategy to connect with the consumers better.
It was the first time the company’s packaging changed. Gradually it evolved with different names customised on the bottles.
Finally in 2016, with the theme “Taste the Feeling”, a synergy was created for all the products of the brand. This campaign initiated “One Brand” for all Coca-Cola’s flavours from Coca-Cola Classic, Diet Coke, Coke Zero and Coke with Stevia.
The new logo design united all the flavours under the classic Red Disc and also brought about the use of the contour glass bottle. The idea behind the new design was to indicate that no matter how different the flavours may be, they are all under the main Coca-Cola brand.
The regular colours used in most of Coca-Cola’s logo and products are red and white. These two are applied to simplify the designs and appeal to the eyes of customers. There is also a welcoming feel to it.
The red colour is also used to represent the brand’s powerful marketing position. Little wonder why it has remained a giant in its field.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Does your company have a known identity? We can help you create one that stands out. Reach out to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
From the stable of Nestle factory came one of the most nutritious chocolate malt beverages in the world, Milo. And it is consumed by virtually every member of society regardless of social status or class. Due to both its popularity and fast preparation with either hot or cold water, Milo can be referred to as your go-to drink.
HISTORY OF THE BRAND
Developed in the year 1930 by Thomas Mayne in Australia but launched in 1934, Milo has since then retained its relevance in the beverage industry. The brand has spread its distribution chain across different continents such as; Asia, Africa and Oceania. Though a foreign brand, Milo has dug its tasty root deep into the Nigerian market and has earned a reputation as one of the best in its category.
Milo is a nutritional supplement enriched with vitamins and minerals. It is made from malted barley, and cocoa, and is high in protein, calcium, and iron amongst others. Overtime, the brand has been seen as a drink for mostly children and athletes.
MISSION OF THE BRAND
Like all Nestle products, Milo runs with the general company’s mission which is to become, ‘the world’s leading nutrition, health and Wellness Company. Their mission of “Good Food, Good Life” is to provide consumers with the best tasting, most nutritious choices in a wide range of food and beverage categories and eating occasions, from morning to night.’
VISION OF THE BRAND
Nestle sees itself becoming “a leading, competitive, Nutrition, Health and Wellness Company delivering improved shareholder value by being a preferred corporate citizen, preferred employer, and preferred supplier selling preferred products.”
Like many world standard brands that have solid values, the Milo brand under Nestle isn’t left out. Here are some of its values;
- Health and Wellness
- Quality Products
- Rural Development
Milo is a youth centered brand, expressed with so much energy and vibrancy. It is a sporty and also a health conscious brand.
- The product has positioned itself as an active brand in sports using strong elements like athletes and sporting personalities on the body of the tin and sachet. This is the reason why most adverts try to promote the importance of sports.
- It is regularly promoted as a drink that enables healthy growth in young people especially children.
- It has become known for its rich green colour which is used for all their advertisement, from TV to billboards.
- The Milo brand is produced in different sizes in order to make the product affordable and purchasable to people of different class.
Though Milo’s dominance in the beverage industry is high, it is however not flawless. Based on our research, we have identified some weaknesses related to the brand. The following are some;
- Its target market is restricted to an extent since it is popularly seen as a drink for children and athletes
- No popular social media presence
DID YOU KNOW?
That Milo has no unique global taste; the recipe varies slightly in order to suit the taste and expectations of a particular region.
The Milo brand has consistently built a solid reputation from its rich delicious taste to its sport awareness campaigns and down to the regular adverts. This keeps them in the minds of most consumers and continues to increase their visibility. With their business approach, we are sure Milo will remain in the market for long.
Let us help you build a sustainable brand, send us an email at email@example.com
Do Business Better.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
The journey has been a decade long now, and we have decided that it is time to share a part of the Mapemond story. We will be taking you on a cruise of how we ‘became’ and how we have ‘evolved’ over time.
It was all birthed from the desire of our Founder and Chief Consultant, Maple Dappa, to create long lasting and authentic brands in Nigeria, businesses that could outlive their original founders, businesses that will continually grow and be constantly firm through times, changes and generations. Our primary focus however, was Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The Very Beginning…
2008 was the year we set out on our voyage, immediately our Founder passed out from the National Youth Service Corps exercise [NYSC]. We knew the aim was high but we also knew the determinations where higher, so we forged on despite the many uncertainties and obstacles. To achieve such a great task, we had to lead the way, while leaving torches for others along the same path. Before we settled for the name Mapemond Resources in the year 2008, we were first “The Maple’s Institute”.
The Maple Institute was inspired by ‘The Covey Institute’ but the desire for TMI was to equip young people through various youth development initiatives. Far back as 2007, a research was carried out by a young man driven by the passion to secure the future of Port Harcourt and the country at large by molding better and more responsible youths. And as a result of his research, the observation was that most young people in Port Harcourt were so laid back compared to their counterparts in some other parts of the world and with such attitudes, it was hard to hope for a better tomorrow.
So he decided to create a way of tackling the problem of laxity among the youths, and that was when “The Maple Institute” came alive. Through the knowledge gained from his participation in the “LEAP AFRICA Youth Leadership Program”, and his partnership with an IT training center called Brainbox Matrix Services, located right at the main gate of the then Rivers State University of Science and Technology, The Maple Institute was able to successfully train over a hundred young people on character development, values re-orientation and general life skills.
Deriving the name Mapemond…
As it was and still is, with more responsibility comes more work. In 2009, a decision was taken to officially register “The Maple Institute” as a company but sadly, the name was not approved by the Corporate Affairs Commission and so we began to seek for a new name. During that period of thinking and trying to come up with a distinct name, we also decided that we were not going to focus on trainings only. We wanted to be able to uniquely impact knowledge and help others through their business journey and at last, we found a name that we considered befitting, all encompassing and still unique derived from “MAPPEMONDE”, an Old Italian word referring to “Atlas” or “world map”. We interpreted it to mean “something of global status” because we possessed a global outlook in our thinking. However, the word “MAPPEMONDE” itself didn’t sound catchy and unique enough to us. One of our innate traits from inception was to be stylish in our ways and we wanted that to also reflect in our name. After much deliberation and many struck out names, we settled for “MAPEMOND” and because we wanted to be a solutions centre in all ramifications, we added “RESOURCES” to form the full name. You know, the thing about creativity is that you can create NEW from OLD, with just a little modification here and there.
Although the name “MAPEMOND” was originally inspired by and derived from “MAPPEMONDE”, it was also adapted to the words “MAPLE” and “ALMOND”.
To squeeze out the juiciness in the merging of the names, we arrived at MAPEMOND (meaning an idea conceived by maple to be a positive force for young people and to help build global brands). This is what inspires our culture of equipping young people to become the drivers of the brand vision.
Building a business…
Although MAPEMOND RESOURCES continued with the youth development trainings it began from onset, in 2010, we began to embrace the world of branding as our vision got clearer and we defined our business purpose. As a result, we switched to branding as the thrust of our business, while building an organization that empowers young people to harness and express their creative abilities.
Settling into branding, we began with printing of business cards, letterhead papers, roll-up banners, and other marketing communication materials. However, that was only a market entry point for us. Being a brand that is seeking to be a catalyst in the emergence of reputable and sustainable brands, we began to dig deep into the whole idea of branding and we found through studious research and critical observation of established brands around the world that branding was beyond designs, prints and visual communications. We saw that it was due to the foundational beliefs, core values, and culture alongside effective systems and processes that these established brands have in place that enable them build strong and lasting brands.
That was how we started building our business in providing strategic brand development and management solutions, to help organizations be more deliberate in designing their roadmap, creating the right impressions, controlling their narrative, attracting and retaining their target market. In the earlier years, it was quite difficult to rightly articulate and market this service, but we stayed focused and kept developing our own unique model and approach to branding. Eventually in 2013, we got three serious clients, one of which was Hotel Presidential, and our work with them included the creation of a theme song which we scripted and produced. Although it wasn’t easy getting individuals, business owners and organizations to key into the idea of branding, we invested in customer education which got their attention and eventually our client base started growing.
Where we are now and what’s ahead…
Fast forward to 2018, 10years later, we have come a long way from 2008, successfully helping brands achieve their brand goals and birthing youth interactive groups like Outclass and being involved in youth-centric events like British Council’s Creative Hustle, JP Morgan/LEAP AFRICA Employability Training, amongst others. We have also initiated knowledge based projects like Vantage Business Workshop and Build Your Brand Bootcamp.
As part of our growth trajectory and mastery of the subject of branding, it became imperative for us to apply to our own brand what we have diligently been doing for others over the years.
Voyaging into deeper waters (the rebranding process)…
We began with making our plans for an office revamp, and after a series of meetings and brain storming sessions (the essence of a great team) we finally put action to idea, making it a reality. We changed the look of our office space to resonate more with the kind of brand we desire; more daring, creative and professional in our ways. We operate a play-home kind of office which we still want to keep private for now.
We continue to have our weekly strategy and review meetings, focusing on team bonding and brand growth strategies & ideas. We are a brand engineering firm and we practice what we preach. So We have put more structured processes in place because if you want to grow into a global brand, you have to put workable structures in place and you have to build a great team, not just in their individual capabilities but their collective strength as a team and this can only be totally possible if you make them feel truly like part of the team, helping them understand that their individual functions are important and they also add greatly to the growth of the brand.As part of our commitment to building a great team, one of earliest team members was elevated to the position of a Junior Partner which makes her a co-owner of the firm and others are on queue. We also have an investment scheme for each employee, to help them stay on the path to wealth whole devoting their time to our vision. Our aspiration is to become one of the most desired workplaces for young Nigerians.
Our Revamped Visual Identity….
As part of our rebranding process, we decided that it was time to rework our logo to communicate our identity and voyage so far, we rarely change or modify our logo, and when we do, it means we have reached a significant milestone which is our present state. Ten years is no mean feat. You can read the story behind our new logo HERE.
We are not there yet, but we are well on our way and believe it, we are happy with the results so far. As the next decade unfolds, we shall be sharing with you our new strategies, progress and successes.
Would you like us to work with you on any project? Send us an email via firstname.lastname@example.org