At the ongoing Startup South Conference in Uyo, my firm, we hosted a session to discuss brand visibility as a means to access the market with Startups and emerging businesses.
The panelists submitted as follows:
1. Before you strive for visibility, make sure your product is good enough for the market. It may not be perfect, but let it be good enough to worth your effort.
2. Don’t be satisfied with friends and families patronizing you. Your business hasn’t really been tested until you start selling to people who don’t know you.
3. Leverage friends and families to gain referrals. Seek their feedback and urge them to mention to their friends, colleagues, neighbours, and so on. Offer an incentive if you can.
4. Say it. Nobody knows what you have to offer unless you tell them. So every opportunity you get should be used to say what you are doing. Of all your personal contacts and social media friends, how many know what you do? Talk and post more about what you do.
5. Create a brand for yourself, particularly an identity that makes it easy for people to spot you. It could be your name/moniker, hashtag, tagline, and so on.
6. Choose the right social media platforms. Go to where your targets are and publish the right content consistently.
7. Leave no stone unturned as you go along. WhatsApp status, Linkedin, physical meet-ups, target events, and so on.
8. Ask. If you need exposure on any platform, try to network your way to a contact person and be willing to exchange value.
As you seek visibility, keep working on developing soft skills like negotiation, meeting people (networking), emotional intelligence, and others.
Every viable business operation has a threshold before a breakthrough, what happens in three months for business A may take one year to happen for business B, just keep doing your possible best per time.
The emergence of smartphones began a new era in the mobile phone industry. Smartphones have undoubtedly become an important part of our lives that we can hardly do without. They are referred to as the new personal computers because aside calls, smartphones come with enabling features that have brought more ease to our lives, businesses, and generally changed our society greatly.
It would interest you to know that prior to 2007 smartphones were not as affordable and rampant as they are now. In fact, twelve years ago, the mobile phone market was mostly saturated with Nokia Symbian phones, Samsung and Apple smartphones. While Nokia phones were affordable, they had numerous limitations. On the other hand, Samsung and Apple smartphones were too expensive for most customers in Africa to afford.
Having identified this gap in the mobile phone industry, TECNO launched itself as the most affordable smartphone brand. This singular move set a new tune in the market and brought more competition thereby giving the big brands a run for their money. TECNO came with an innovative approach and consistency to achieve customer retention. The brand literally rewrote the state of art of technologies by producing localized products under the principle of “Think Globally, Act Locally”.
The TECNO brand has proven that a need in the market is always an opportunity for brands especially new ones to gain a breakthrough. The founder of TECNO mobile, George Zho, knew this early and worked with the vision of solving the need of mobile phone users in mostly Africa, right from its inception in 2006. Notwithstanding being a Hong Kong based brand, TECNO mobile has become a household name in different countries as it keeps its innovative game on and leaves other phone brands trailing behind. The brand has remained committed to offering consumers with satisfactory mobile communications solutions.
As a subsidiary of TRANSSION Holdings, a company dedicated to producing high-quality smart devices and mobile internet service that can compete globally, TECNO as its flagship brand has become one of the leading phone brands in the world. TRANSSION Holdings has built its brand portfolio with superior mobile phones like TECNO, itel, Infinix, Carlcare, etc.
Though TRANSSION’s first attempt on a TECNO mobile wasn’t as sleek as what we now know the recent ones to be, and didn’t have a smooth entry into the market, the brand strived against all odds. With several modifications and innovations, the brand bounced back stronger, dominating its industry in just a short period. Following market research, TECNO mobile identified Africa’s need and dived in to solve it which led to its success, thereby making Africa its number one customer base. The entrance of TECNO mobile into the Nigerian market changed the telecommunications narrative in the country. It offered the customers more choices with different features that were affordable and this earned the brand more users.
Apart from its affordability, TECNO mobile also holds the reputation of being the first dual-SIM phone brand supplier in Africa and holds 40% of market share in major African countries. The brand has further established itself as a global player in the telecommunications industry expanding to continents like South America and Southeast Asia. The success of the brand can be ascribed to well-designed strategy and systematic management.
From solving an identified need, TECNO mobile has earned several recognition and awards. With its outstanding smartphone product chain that is uniquely designed, TECNO continues to beat its counterparts in the mobile phone industry. The brand’s strength focuses on innovative designs and manufacturing, sales and services.
The parent company, TRANSSION Holdings operates with a vision that has had a ripple effect on every aspect of the business especially in the quality of their product. Here is the company’s vision:
“To provide consumers in global emerging markets with their favourite smart device and mobile internet service.”
The company has a detailed mission statement, which is to:
- Be a moral conscious company.
- To provide users with smart device and mobile service that they enjoy;
- To provide partners with profit earning solutions and help them fulfil their potential and value;
- To create material and spiritual happiness for employees;
- To create value for shareholders.
- Become an outstanding representative of Chinese private enterprises which establish their business overseas.
The brand functions with values that have shaped its products and services. They are;
The brand has a culture that helps its organization thrive.
“To continuously thrive as a market leader among the industry, we must look ahead, think big and get ready for challenges. We must stay abreast of the changing market demands and fulfill customers’ expectations. That’s what our corporate culture is all about. It is the motivation, guideline and target we are following to succeed in our business and dreams.”
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Do you need to get your brand positioning right in the market place? We can help. Send us an email at email@example.com
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Quite a number of things influence what we see in the market. Though the market may vary and change from time to time, there are factors that remain constant. These factors are perceived as controllers of the market because they determine the changes that occur in the marketplace. The marketing mix or the 4Ps as it is popularly known is a factor that no entrepreneur can ignore.
Global business experts understand that the marketing mix is an essential ingredient for measurable growth. This group of persons have paid keen attention to their target market and are conversant with the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ to raking in continuous profits.
The marketing mix is widely considered as the foundation model for businesses. It consist of marketing tools used to attain marketing objectives in any target market. The marketing mix further represents four levels of marketing that directs the decision of an entrepreneur. These 4Ps are Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.
However, there is an updated version to the marketing mix with the addition of Process, Physical Environment and People, making it a total of 7Ps. The relevance and influence of the marketing are inexhaustible. These 7Ps obviously sound familiar but many enterprises have failed due to lack of knowledgeable marketers. Therefore, the first step is having a better understanding of the concept.
The marketing mix concept is like a puzzle that entails you fix the right product in the right place at the right time and at the right price. The trick to it is to know the right combination that eventually leads to success.
The first part to the marketing mix is the product. For any entrepreneur launching into the market, building or designing the right product needed in the market. During the process of developing the product, an extensive research on the product’s life cycle should be conducted. The life cycle of every product includes the growth stage, the maturity stage, and the sales decline stage. Studying any product’s life cycle will guide marketers in revamping a product when it gets to the sale decline stage, thereby retaining its position in the market.
The second piece on the marketing mix puzzle is price, which is usually the amount customers pay to purchase the product. Pricing is a necessary part of the marketing mix because it is determines the profit margin of the company. Whenever price is adjusted, sales will be affected. Most business owners consider pricing very sensitive as it forms a perception of a product in the minds of customers. Pricing can be quite tricky, as a product with low pricing could be perceived as inferior while one with a high price could be seen as too expensive.
After designing a great product and determining the best price for it, knowing where to place it is another crucial part of the puzzle. The product has to be positioned in readily and easily accessible places. To achieve this, entrepreneurs must first understand their target market and the best distribution channels.
In order to gain more traffic and attention to a product, promotion must come to play in the puzzle. This brings more recognition to the brand, boost its image in the eyes of prospects, and communicate the values of the products. Promotion can be done through the following ways, advertising, sales promotion, public relations, sales organisation and the ever-effective word of mouth.
Though this is an extension of the marketing mix, it is also an important aspect businesses should put into consideration. Researching about the people and their needs will help in designing a good market strategy. It is also necessary to hire and equip the right staff for any company seeking expansion. Basically, every person involved in making the business a success should be paid attention to.
Process is another addition to the puzzle but still is an imperative part of the business. The process of an organisation determines it execution. Any organisation thriving in the world has a well-detailed process that minimises cost. In defining the right process, every segment of the enterprise must be thoroughly deliberated.
The last thing on the puzzle is physical evidence. After every delivery, there should be a physical evidence. Physical evidence refers to how a business is perceived in the market, or the impact of its presence and literally everything that help shape consumer’s perception about the product or brand’s.
There you have it; we hope you begin to fix these Ps rightly.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Do you need help in developing a business strategy? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Business is synonymous to a game where only the best players win. The best players are not those who start the game but those who swim with the tides of change and develop different strategies as the game gets fiercer. Like the outcome of a game is unpredictable, so is the same for the Nigerian market.
With the swinging economy, the Nigerian market has never been more unpredictable in terms of purchasing power that over time has affected disposable income. Both individuals and businesses have felt the weight of the economic challenges. Though the burden is lighter on others, everyone shares in the consequences of an unstable economy.
This has led to reduced patronage for many businesses because not everyone can afford too many products at once and they continue to look for cheaper alternatives. While many customers can no longer afford to buy in bulk, companies have devise means of still reaching customers at the bottom of the pyramid.
Observing the change amongst consumers, businesses have developed a new approach to retain their relevance and increase their customer base. Most companies have resolved to produce their products in smaller quantities, in this case in sachets. This new strategy is what Tunji Andrews, Lead Economist at Time, Trade and Commodities (TTAC), calls “sachetization”.
In a Twitter post, Tunji indicated that those unwilling to flow with the trend will be at risk of running out of business. This post could be linked to the sachet approach a major brand, Dettol, had employed to reach and retain more customers. Even though this could be considered a clever move, many of his followers connected this strategy to the unfavourable Nigerian economy.
Prior to this time other major brands such as Kellogg, Power Oil, and even tomatoes paste brands had been making their products available in sachet which has been advantageous to them as regards patronage. This is to ensure that both upper and lower class can afford the products. There is no doubt that these brands must have studied and analysed their industry to discover the best approach to tackle the economic barriers. As it seems, this strategy obviously seem to be working for them and has increased their revenue.
We can never overemphasize the need of knowing your market thoroughly. In our previous post sometime ago, we emphasized on the importance of studying your target market as an entrepreneur. Staying abreast with the latest wind of change and keenly observing the solution other brands are engaging and modifying it to suit your business, always keeps you on track.
With more brands embracing “sachetization”, we wonder what new strategies would unfold if it ever gets tougher. Yet again, what can we say, ‘when the going gets tough, the tough gets INNOVATIVE’.
Written by Jennifer Chioma Amadi
Do you need support on your business strategy? We would to work with you. Send us an email at email@example.com
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