I have received couples of emails from people seeking my advice on advertising their product in Nigeria; I have decided to publish a few for you to read from.I hope you enjoy this.
I came cross one of your masterpiece on the newspaper circulations in Nigeria with superb statistics on sales figures and their attendant returns.
Sir, I am also a cub publisher exploring the industry with an entertainment, lifestyle and sports paper. I have done a couple of editions in the past which seems to attract a remarkable reading audience.
However, my concern is the distributors and news agents. After registering with their various units, many of them are elusive when it comes to returning their proceeds. This has become so frustrating that I have decided to stop publishing for sometime.
My question are:
1. Are there alternatives to circulating the newspapers aside without recourse to the news agents?
2. Are there measures one can take to reclaim ones proceed and forsetall a repeat in future.
These are my worries because I have come to realise that there are no respite for young publishers like us in the industry.
Thank you for following my blog posts. People like you always give us the inspiration to write more.
Although, I’m not a professional publisher like you because I only write for my blog. I’m a brand consultant majored in advertising, training and media buying for corporate organizations. However, I will be advising you from previous experiences and experience from working with other publishers.
I can imagine the frustration in trying to get content, publish and circulating your magazine at the same time. This can be a very tough challenge especially for a growing publishing firm. Here is one or two advice I like to lend if you don’t mind.
1) Why not outsource your Magazine distribution to another marketing company: This will ease out the burden of trying to provide content, publishing and distributing at the same time. There are several marketing companies that can take up the challenge of marketing your magazine and get you back your returns at agreed terms.
2) Develop your own distribution outlets: You can get your own marketers to distribute your magazine. Castle magazine practiced this when they started and they are still doing this because it’s working for them. They use their own channel of distribution to circulate their magazine.
3) Try getting Subscribers: M2 magazine and a couple of other magazines only use this medium to spread their magazine circulation. They don’t use vendors at all. All you need to do is to advertise for subscribers and even give volume discount for bulk advance purchase. Then you can be sure how many people want your magazine in advance, this will even guide you into how many copies to print before going to the press.
4) Don’t base the success of your magazine on sales: The mistake that most magazine publishers make is to base the success of their magazine on sales alone. Successful magazines will not do this, even though the sales of the magazine form part of their profit. You must be able to get enough adverts to take care of your cost of production. That is why some magazine can afford to publish for free. So you should work hard in getting enough advertisement sponsorship for your magazine, so that the sales doesn’t have to determine if you can publish or not.
I will advise you to keep the last advice and the proceeds from circulation will only be an added incentive. I have not seen your magazine, but I believe your content will be great, please send me copies of your previous editions so that I will know what the magazine is all about as the quality of your content and productions goes a long way in determining how successful your magazine will be.
I wish you all the best in your magazine production.
Do you want to start a business of your own and get more customers for your business, and you don’t know how to go about it?
Funds may be difficult, but the more conventional means of advertising might not be in your budget right now.
This is usually the case for most small business in Nigeria today. I have spoken to hundreds of people who want to know cheap but effective ways of advertising their business in Nigeria.
I want to advise you to consider these steps below to get free advertising and exposure for your business. Enjoy!
1. Online Classified Ads
There are several classified advertising directories on the internet were you can post your advert for free, two of such sites being www.nairalist.com and www.nairaland.com.
2. Send out press releases.
People into small business think getting press coverage is impossible. However a good story submitted well has every chance of making the news, and best of all its free. You will be so surprise that press releases are not supposed to cost you anything. You start by contacting the local newspaper on line such as www.punchontheweb.com or www.ngrguardiannews.com etc.
3. Start your own blog
Starting a blog is the best way to attract both existing and new customers.However, create more time and give your best to blog by giving your target audience free advice and suggestion that can help them achieve specific things in your field. You can Google more on starting your own blog or simply start by using www.blogger.com or www.wordpress.com.
4. Participate in relevant forums
Participate in online forum based around your industry ,they are used and viewed by hundreds of people .Be part of this by making relevant posts-many forums allows you to indicate a link to your company in your signature.
5. Use the signature part of your mail
You can talk about your business in the signature part of your email. For every email you send out, people are forced to read about what you do. This has worked for some people.
6. Search Engine Optimization
People may never come across to your site if you run an online business and you don’t have high search engine rankings. Search engine optimization is expensive if hire but it can also be learnt with sufficient time and dedication. Start by including some key words in your key word section of your blog. Please Google more about this topic for further assistance.
7. Write articles
The days of articles and giving them to hundreds of website, and watching your website visitors rocket are gone.however, articles written for specific websites’ that your target audience views can be highly effective. Provide useful content for website based around and suggest an article for them in return for your link being placed at the buttom of the article. Sometimes, you will need to give in order to receive.
8. Place videos online
After filming an amusing or clever viral video, submit it to video websites such as YouTube and MetaCafe. Viral marketing has been the marketing buzz word of 2011 and whilst huge viral hits are rare (and usually carefully planned by a viral marketing agency) there is still room for lower budget viral videos to generate awareness. Do a good video and place in on YouTube and watch the response.
9. Give a presentation
Public speaking may seem difficult but with a little practice anyone can begin to master it. Local organizations and clubs are often looking for external speakers to liven up their next meeting. If you run a local business why not put yourself forward as a speaker at their next event.
10. Use Social Networking Websites
Websites such as Facebook and Twitter are ideal for being able to reach huge numbers of people free of charge. In particular, people on facebook are very open to being approached by new people and checking out new products. The ability to target people in certain locations also makes it an ideal mechanism for promoting local businesses. You can even create a fan page for your business, even though you’re just starting.
Go ahead and practicalize all I’ve mentioned and watch your business grow without spending a dime. If you need more advice on your advertising campaign in Nigeria, please don’t hesitate to mail me. And if you have tried all these and you need more customers in your business, then be ready to spend a little on your campaign. You can also call me to help plan your advertising campaign. My contact is at the lower part of this website. Good luck in your advertising campaign.
Here is an article I read a while ago and I thought more people should read this and form thier own opinion. Happy reading…
“Expectedly, the fireworks have continued as newspapers desperately defend their investments, insisting that their sales figures couldn’t be as bad as the Advertisers Association of Nigeria (ADVAN) have made it look, after an independent Reports. The Report which was done over a period of six weeks, between March and April, portrayed an alarming slide in the patronage of newspaper s. According to the study done across the country on about 15 newspapers, the daily sales figure of all the newspaper was less that 300, 000, meaning that only one in every 470 Nigerians buy newspapers daily. That ratio apparently doesn’t consider persons and organizations that buy between 2-10 newspapers daily. By this, it may be more appropriate to say that one in every 500 Nigerians buy newspaper daily.
The angry reaction of the newspapers is understandable as these figures could greatly jeopardize their advert revenue, which constitutes the bulk of their profits. No newspaper in Nigeria can survive only by it circulation revenue, “each of the newspapers will need to sell at least 200 000 units to survive on circulation alone,” Nasir Ramon, a senior corporate communication staff of UBA said. And while they have disputed the ADVAN survey, none of the figures they declare as their circulation figures come anywhere near that of ADVAN. Punch, the highest selling, according to the Report, have previously claimed a figure of between 120 000 to 150 000. Others claim they do between 50 000, 80 0000, and 100 000 copies, and advertisers have since been working based on that.
That is why till date, only The Nation, which surprisingly came second in the ranking, has published the report. Others have declined in apparent protest. Punch’s rating as the number 1 selling national daily merely confirmed the obvious. However, instead of 120 000 or 150 000 copies claimed by Punch, it was said to circulate only 34, 264 copies, which is barely a fifth of what their claim. The Sun was ranked third with 25, 632 unit sales. Vanguard got 25, 241, while Guardian and Thisday, two of the newspapers with the largest advert revenue in Nigeria, came 5th and 6th respectively, with 25, 222 and 21, 703 daily sales.
The assessment also had Daily Trust, the most popular newspaper up North with 11, 672 daily unit sales. Tribune, the oldest surviving newspaper in Nigeria, was another surprise, managing only 8, 314 daily sales. The above mentioned dailies constitute what is known as the top 8 in the standing. The others combined, including Compass, Daily Independent, Leadership, National Life, New Nigeria, Mirror and Westerner, could barely rake up 1,600 daily sales, according to the ADVAN reports.
The decision to do the newspaper circulation Report became imperative due to the absence of an independent Report of newspaper figures in Nigeria. Over the years, actual newspaper sales have been shrouded in secrecy. This vacuum has made it difficult for marketers and advertisers to plan, execute and truly ascertain the level of impact of their marketing and advertising campaigns. According to the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria president, Funmi Onabolu, “We are all accountable and we need the right figures to work with. More collaborations of this sort are needed in the industry for us to come up with research data verifiable fact and figures to run our businesses.”
“Nigeria is the only country in the world where you don’t have an independent data for planning. For the print media all over the world, the Report Bureau of Circulation has always been the bedrock for media planning. The ABC allows you to know what the circulation figure of every newspaper and magazine is,” said Dele Shobowale, Newspaper Columnist and Marketing Research Consultant, who was a key member of the ADVAN Report committee.
This survey is obviously a defining moment in the administration of the new ADVAN president, Idoreyen Enang. He told the press during the public presentation of the Report that the study was necessary to fill a vacuum in advertising planning. “The new figures released are expected to impact campaigns planning positively and also help with appropriate media pricing. This is expected to positively contribute to the productive capacity of all concerned,” Enang remarked.
Enang’s expectation is, however, still far from reality, given the intensity of debate the Report has generated. Two of the newspapers that have categorically rejected the study are Compass and Tribune. Their grouse is that it is not possible to have an authentic survey without consulting the stakeholders in the industry, in this case the newspapers. Compass argued that they were never consulted by ADVAN. They also contended that the Report did not take cognizance of sales by subscription.
That argument is not likely to sway opinion because, according to Chris Doghudje, chairman of Advertising Practitioners’ council of Nigeria and one of the Reportors, the newspapers were to blame for making the study a one sided affair. He blamed them for pulling out of the Report at the final moments, when it was time to sign an agreement, because they didn’t want the public to know their actual sales figures. Sobowale told M2 that Nduka Obaigbena of Thisday never favoured the Report from the outset; he was soon joined by Goddie Ibru of Guardian before others followed, except for the Punch MD who rooted for the Report until the last minute. “To be fair, Ogunsola was not happy about the action of his colleagues; he almost resigned as NPAN president in protest,” Doghudje said.
That was not the first time the print media had frustrated an Report. “Nigeria tried it once in 1976 or thereabout. Only about five newspapers participated. Some of the big ones didn’t,” Doghudje informed. But this time, ADVAN was more determined to go ahead with the counts. So, when the newspapers pulled out, they adopted an alternative, which involved getting the supply and sales records of all the 45 newspaper distribution centres across the nation, where all newspaper and magazine outfits submit their copies for onward distribution to vendors and agents across their states.
With Sobowale in the team, the bureau got enough cooperation from the distribution centres, because he had worked closely with them during his years with Vanguard, where he managed the company’s circulation for many years. “I am the only person who is known to every agent in Nigeria. I have always been with them,” he said. When M2 spoke with him, he showed evidences of all the daily record that were filed in from the distribution centres.
That is why the Reportors have stood by their figure challenging the newspapers that feels aggrieved to counter them by agreeing to the establishment of an ABC like it’s done in other countries. They also waved off the subscription complaint as fallacies because “99 per of newspaper sales are done through agent who keep records,” Doghudje insisted, adding that even the subscribed papers are sent through agents.
The Reportors conceded that it could be difficult to be 100 percent correct using their method, but insisted that they are near perfect and challenged the newspapers to show more transparency and cooperate with ADVAN as they seek to ensure proper figure for their advertising planning.
Sobowale, a sales expert and a key figure in the Report, have been collating newspaper sales figure for years. He first did it as an employee of Vanguard, where he was charged with finding out the company’s market share, and is now working on a book that focuses on newspaper circulation in Nigeria. In trying to defend the authenticity of the Report, he told M2 that he took advantage of the very close working relationship he had with agents across the country while he was in charge of Vanguard’s circulation. “In Nigeria, there are circulation centres in every state.. The only exceptions are Abia which has two, Delta which also has two, and then Lagos which has seven. All the other states have one. People actually monitored each of the centres for the six weeks of the survey,” he said.
Prior to the cover price increase around November last year, total national circulation figure was around 315,000 but as at March, immediately after the increase, the figure fell to just over 270 000. As at the time of the study, The Nation was yet to increase its cover charge like Punch and Vanguard had done, so some of Punch’s customers temporarily switched allegiance to The Nation.” If the studies were carried out now, I’m sure the situation will be different,” Sobowale explained.
And while the newspapers have dismissed the Report, none of them have accepted ADVAN’s challenge to submit to an Report. Some of the newspapers including Vanguard, Champion and even Guardian, are yet to make an official statement. Only Punch came close by promising to open it books to the Reportors on the condition that others agree to do same. Indeed, ADVAN believe that a number of factors are responsible for the poor newspaper sales. Sobowale noted that circulation decline is a global phenomenon as the newspaper industry in America, Europe and even Asia is also affected. This is primarily due to the impact of internet, which guarantees quick news for free. Records showed that several newspapers around the world have shutdown as a result. For instance, 75 provincial newspapers in the UK have closed shop as a result.
Yet Sobowale agreed that it is no justification for the industry not to record up to 300 000 copies daily sales in a country of about 140million population, labelling the situation as pathetic. Topping the list of all the causes is the crashing local economy, which has greatly reduced the purchasing power of most Nigerian. According to the United Nations, Nigeria is one of the poorest nations on earth and about 70 percent of her population lives on less than one dollar per day. Sobowale also noted that the increase in cover charge contributed to the sharp drop in sales. In a chart he showed to M2, between 2003 and now, sales figure has dropped from 570 000 unit per day to less than 300 000 unit, signifying almost 50 percent drop. As it were, the only hope of a rise in circulation income for the newspapers is the coming election. As revealed by the Report, from 1999, elections have always ushered in improved patronage. Therefore, with the 2011 around the corner, newspaper sales could gallop soon.
But still, the figure is not likely to go anywhere near the 200 000 copies needed to sustain a newspaper, without adverts revenue. Sobowale also blamed managerial inefficiency for the problems of the media. He insisted that the cost structure of almost every newspaper in Nigeria does not make sense from the standpoint of managerial economics. The cost is too high. In trying t recover the cost, the cover charges are too high also, he said. He said that if newspapers were tightly managed, the cover price will not be more that N50 and that will result in bigger sales. “For example, many newspapers in this country have printing presses that are designed to print a million or more per day. But no newspaper in Nigeria today prints half a million. So they have installed capacity that is far in excess of their operations. That is inefficient,” he said.
“They put 500 copies of newspaper in a van that can easily accommodate up to 500 000 copies if properly bundled and stacked. The cost of transporting the papers and the wear and tear on the vehicle is more than whatever money they are going to make from the newspapers,” he said.
And, like what was done in the banking industry, he advocated for merger of some of the print media in Nigeria, arguing that Nigeria as a nation does not require more than three newspapers. “Some newspapers are just monumental wastes. Someone should go and close shop,” he declared.
But that may be a real bitter pill for some of the media houses to swallow even if their circulation revenue in a month is barely enough to fuel their publishers’ cars over the same period”.
By Joseph Ekeng
Nigeria has a population of over 140 million people. As telecommunications advance in Nigeria today, over 50 million Nigeria now has access to a mobile phone. In Nigeria today, both primary and secondary school students also have access to mobile phones as well. Due to the bloom in the telecommunication industry, it has form a major form of revenue for Nigerians. This also makes it a very effective channel for advertisement using bulk SMS platforms.
Bulk SMS is not a new form of advertisement; however, most people don’t consider it an effective form of advertisement.You will be so surprise what you will achieve using bulk SMS and knowing the right set of people to target with your advertising campaign. This method of advertisement is ridiculously cheap and extremely effective. Just recently my company needed to put up a quick cheap but result yielding advert to a website for a client, the bulk SMS method was employed and to my pleasant surprise the turnout was mind blowing. The client got lot of calls and responses for weeks.
The bulk SMS ad method has a lot of credit to its system because in an unusual way it stand out of all the known methods of adverts used here in Nigeria. Here are some of the many advantages you get from using bulk SMS to advertise your product…
Cost effectiveness : You can send thousands of text messages to consumers at wholesale prices as low as N1.50k per SMS.
Time saving : Instead of crafting a message and then sending it to each mobile subscriber, one message is created and then sent to a whole group of subscribers.
Tracking Abilities: Tracking of delivery and responses is effortless, while delivery of the text messages is almost immediate.
Easy Accessibility: With printed media and other types of marketing such as television or radio, the consumers must for instance, listen to the radio or watch the television for the ad to reach them. With bulk SMS advertising the mobile unit doesn’t even have to be switched on to receive a message. The users receive their messages as soon as the phone is on air.
No Geographical boundaries: Unlike printed media marketing, bulk SMS advertising is not limited to geographical boundaries, which makes it possible to use it in conjunction with existing websites. Users can subscribe on your website to receive text messages regarding promotions and specials.
Fast response time: Most mobile phone users have their phones with them most of the time and check their incoming messages before deleting them. Many consumers store the messages on their phones until a later date and then make use of the specials. The response time on average is however, within 24 to 48 hours of receiving the promotions. This means that sales conversions can be reached within a short period.
Distributed to other consumers: Subscribers frequently forward the text messages to friends and colleagues and thus provide a viral marketing function for which your company doesn’t have to pay extra. With incentive schemes for the forwarding of the promotion and getting other people to make use of the promotions or visiting your site, you create a full scale viral marketing system when you make use of bulk SMS advertising.
Lmited Words Per Time: SMS generally has limited word capacity, or you will have to spend more to send more messages. Even with that, it’s still limited word. So you can’t compare the information on it to that of a Press Ad or Handbill.
Challenge of Phone Numbers: With bulk SMS, you will need to know the people you want to send it to. If for example you sell a premium product, and you need to send bulk SMS to the rich. How do you identify these categories of people when you have over 30miilion phone numbers? That is always a challenge. And for some people, they don’t even have much contact to send the bulk SMS to.
If you are thinking of using the bulk SMS to promote your product and services, we can help you identify your market and reach them. We have access to over 20million phone numbers and we do this at very affordable price. Contact us today for your advertising campaign using bulk SMS, good luck in your advertising campaign.
Riding BRT Buses in Lagos will NEVER be the same experience in Lagos as LED televisions are now positioned in the buses. I wrote earlier on my blog on a part of the effort of the Lagos State Government to improve lives of the dwellers, the government has introduces a new system of transportation by luxurious buses popularly known as the BRT bus system. The government introduced over five hundred buses (500) all over Lagos in blue and red colours and they are both ran by two private companies. I mentioned how advert placed on the buses is changing the outdoor advertising world in Lagos state and generating more funds for the transport companies apart from the regular funds generated by transporting Lagosians. For more on advertising on BRT bus in Lagos State, please read http://victorariyibi.blogspot.com/2010/04/bus-branding-and-advertising-in-lagos.html/.
As a part of the effort from the bus company to improve lives further, LED Screen TV are now being introduced inside these buses, running the most popular music channel (Sound City) in Nigeria on these bus network. These screens engage people in the bus never like before, however in the middle of these music entertainment, an advert would ‘buzz in’ unannounced. This is amazing for the advertisers because at least thirty thousand (30,000) people are sure to see the Ad each day.
This new amazing innovative advertising platform gives advertisers a broader reach within the Lagos metropolis area, and this low cost advertising medium gets advertisers closer to the target audience within minutes of entering these buses. Lagos has a population of over fifteen million people (15,000,000), over thirty thousand (30,000) people use these BRT buses every day.
Benefits of Using the BRT Bus TV Network
If you are ever considering placing advert in these BRT buses using the LED screen TV, please contact us to help you achieve this. Good luck in your advertising campaign.
Just when you thought you’ve seen it all, then a new one is introduced. This is election period in Nigeria and candidates are looking for innovative ways to outdo one another. They have almost exhausted all forms of advertising known to them such as, Outdoor billboards, LED screen, BRT Bus branding, Radio, TV, Newspapers, Posters, Fliers, Road show campaign and so many others. However, very few of them then ask, what has no one ever used…then the idea of the Mobile LED Screen came to play. This technology is new and different, very few own it in Nigeria. So, this idea is not just for political campaign, it can also be used for product and service launch etc.
There are several benefits of mobile LED trucks such as…
So if you are ever considering the Mobile Led truck is Nigeria for campaign, please think of us. Contact us today for advice and enquiry.
I meet growing entrepreneurs’ everyday asking me on cheap ways to advertise their products and services. Not everyone can afford a full page in Guardian or Punch Newspaper. To advertise on a quarter page (which is the size of an A5 flier) in most dailies, you will still need about N100,000 naira (USD 667) at least, even if it’s a black and white Ad. That is the entire budget some small business has planned for their Ad campaign. Radio, TV, Billboards, all these ATL ads can be very expensive for small businesses, because of the amount involved in running them to make maximum impact. Even some big businesses still complain about this.
Most companies are looking for the best, inexpensive ways to advertise because they don’t have millions, or even thousands, to spend on advertising. Make the most out of the ad Naira you do have, no matter how limited you are. These cheap ways to advertise give you a variety of options to choose from when you’re on an ad budget diet while giving you a good return on your advertising investment:
Create a Flyer
Creating your own flyer to advertise your business is simple, inexpensive and it’s a great way to generate buzz about your company. If you really want to make your flyer an effective advertising tool, offer incentives or discounts to people who bring in your flyer. This also gives you an informal way to track how many people are coming in just because they saw your flyer.
Advertise on Cable
Wait! Before your eyes skip over this section, thinking it’s just for those who can afford a TV commercial, keep reading. You can advertise on cable through crawls, full screen ads and above program listings. These alternative advertising methods are very affordable. Crawls can cost under N1,500 a day. There are other cables that have wide coverage apart from DSTV. You should try My TV Cable, Star Times etc. Their coverage is also good and very effective, sometimes more than DSTV, because they are cheaper to maintain, so more people use these cables.
Use Your Web Site to Advertise Your Business
Many business owners think they only need a Web site if they sell products online. No matter what type of company you have, you need a Web site. Potential customers hit the Internet looking for companies in their local area. If your competitor’s online and you’re not, guess who has the advantage. Build a Web site that’s beneficial to customers, though. You want to make a positive, lasting impression and having a poorly built Web site is a terrible way to advertise your company.
Post Your Commercial on YouTube
If you do have a TV commercial, get more shelf life out of it without having to pay for more air time. YouTube is an often-overlooked advertising vehicle. It costs nothing to post your commercial on the site and you can promote it on your own Web site so customers in your area can watch your commercial(s) online. You can even put this link on your flier or facebook page.
Cross-Promote Your Business Through Partnering
National companies partner every day because it’s an excellent ad tool to reach new customers and cut the advertising costs at the same time. But partnering isn’t just for corporate giants. Going in with other businesses helps you save advertising money while increasing your exposure to customers. You can watch out for events or programs that have close affiliates with what you do and seek partnership with them. Sometimes, the partnership takes you just giving a few winners sample product or free services.
Produce a Newsletter
A newsletter helps you keep in touch with your current customers and tap into a market of potential customers. Your newsletter shouldn’t be used to send ads to your customers, though. Use your newsletter to provide your customers with valuable information that makes you the company they remember when they’re ready to buy.
Don’t let the advertising game intimidate you. There are so many opportunities out there for you to advertise your company that don’t involve millions of Naira. If you’re willing to do a little legwork, you’ll save money and find the best, inexpensive way to advertise your company.
For more tips on how to promote your product and services, you can give us a call to day or send us an email. Good luck in your advertising campaign.
‘Brand promises must be kept’ –Victor Ariyibi-Oke
The need to measure brands according to promise has become significant in recent times owing to issues of brand delivery, in this interview with ELLA OLAMIJU, the Operating Executive of Poise Media, Mr. Victor Ariyibi examines some of the issues.
Question 1: There is a growing concern that some Brands don’t measure up to the Promises made in their Advertisements, do you agree with this?
Yes, that is a very well known fact; most Brands make what we call ‘bogus promises’ in their Advertisement. Nigeria is a country that people do so many things and get away with it, but this is fast changing because consumers are now getting conscious of the promises brands make in their advertising campaign. This problem is caused by what is call a ‘brand gap’ between Advertisers and their Advertising agencies or Brand agencies. A brand gap occurs when there is a breach in communications between Brand agencies and their Client companies. In order to close brand gaps, the Brand Manager needs to work hand in hand with their Advertising agencies on the brand message. Because Advertising agencies want to create ‘MAGIC’ with their Ad campaigns; they tend to exaggerate some of the features of the brand while not putting into consideration that consumers tend to take them very serious.
Question 2: What do you think is responsible for the situation?
Like I mentioned earlier, this is caused by a gap in communication between the Brand Company and the Brand’s Department of Advertisers.
Question3: How can the situation be managed or corrected?
Let’s first establish the definition of Branding, what exactly is a brand? A lot of people have different misconception of what brand is all about, first let me dispel some myth that people believe in:a brand is not your company logo, a brand is not your company’s name, it is not your company’s Identity or colour, a brand is not even a company’s product or services. A brand can simply be defined as the consumers’ perception about a particular product or service. A brand is not what a company say it is, but what the consumers say it is; so consumers defines a brand. Companies can influence consumers’ opinion, but cannot define their own brand. Consumers always base their decision on TRUST.Trust comes by meeting and exceeding consumers’ expectations, and trust comes from keeping your brand promises to consumers. Brands are promises that consumers believe in, so WE ARE ALL IN THE BUSINESS OF SELLING PROMISES. The reason why people will buy a certain ‘XYZ’ product is because of the promises attached to such a brand. These promises are made in various forms such as; the message on the advertising campaign, the information on the brand packaging, mission and vision statements, company’s core values and so on. Getting back to the question asked on how the situation can be managed and corrected; advertising agencies and brand managers should work as one in their advertising campaigns. They should focus on the strength of the brand, enhancing the brand’s strong points without necessarily telling a lie.
Question 4: There is a place for regulatory oversight, be it in advertising or brand management, would you say they have indirectly contributed to the aforementioned situation?
I will not particularly blame regulatory bodies for brand gaps, because regulatory bodies don’t have the power to control the message of an advert, the role of regulatory bodies be it APCON or AAAN is not to monitor the content of ad campaign except it is vulgar or not appropriate (among other functions).
As much as the regulatory bodies have their short comings, I will not particularly blame them for bogus brand promises made by Advertisers. However, I think brand lies arises as a result of intense competition among brands, brands wanting to outdo the other and also trying to generate more patronage. They think one of the ways to go about it is making bogus brand promises in their ad campaigns.
Question5: Let’s talk about internal branding, what does it entail?
Internal branding is a process of branding from inside out. A lot of people have asked the question, what is internal branding? What people are conversant with in this part of the world is external branding.Companies that are experiencing brand crisis spend millions of money, year in year out on external re-branding such as; changing their logo, changing their slogan, changing their uniforms, repainting their building, spending on advertising campaigns and lots more (don’t get me wrong, all these are also important). However most times, some companies do all these afore listed things and still experience the same brand crisis all over again. What they fail to realize is that every brand has what is called ‘brand character’. What most companies are supposed to be spending money on is not just on ‘external branding’ but also on the internal branding process. As much as it is important to change the way the brand looks and feel, it is also paramount to influence the way the brand behaves. You can change the way a man looks and not influence the character. Let me give you a real life scenario; imagine picking a mad man from the street, take him to a beauty parlour, cut his hair, give him a clean bath, clean cloths, perfumes, most expensive after-shave, and the best of anything available on earth. If you put the same man on the street, he will return to his old ways because he is still fundamentally a mad person. This same principle applies to external branding without proper internal branding process. Internal branding starts from the moment the customer walks into your company or comes in contact with your product. I can’t really exhaust internal branding in this interview because it is a complex course on its own.People can visit www.victorariyibi.com for more information on the internal branding training for their organisations.
Question 6: How do you think a brand or company can effectively balance what it offers and what it promises in its promotions and advertisements?
I mentioned earlier that your brands are promises consumers believe in, I also mentioned that we are all in the business of selling promises. For instance; if I am stuck in traffic and I’m thirsty, the natural thing to do is to buy bottled ‘Pure water’. If I peradventure call a street hawker and ask for a particular brand of bottled ‘Pure water’, I am expecting the water to be pure if not cold, because it is called ‘pure natural water’. After buying the particular brand of bottled ‘Pure water’ and I find particles swimming in it, that brand has failed in delivering its promises of ‘pure bottled water’. The next time I see such bottled water, no matter how thirsty I am, I will not buy and also discourage as many people as possible from buying it. That particular brand has generated one ‘bad brand ambassador’ and I will make it a point of duty to discourage as many people as cared to listen that the bottled water in question is bad. This is the same principle that applies, when you make promises you cannot live up to.
Therefore, I would advise brand agencies to inform brand owners not to make promises they can’t keep. So many companies especially in Nigeria are in the habit of making such bogus promises. For instance a promise of complete satisfaction; (satisfaction is something you cannot give a general measurement for, what satisfies ‘Mr. A’ may not necessarily satisfy ‘Mr. B’ and the truth is that one man’s food maybe another man’s poison so it is advisable to just say ‘an assurance of satisfaction’ instead of promise); other examples are ‘tested and trusted, first and the best, one customer company, committed to serving you, selfless service, best customer service, etc’. Please don’t quote me wrong, these pay off lines or brand messages are good, but let companies be ready to work as hard so as to equate their brand messages.
These are all statements used by organizations in their advertising campaign and they see it as ordinary slogans but consumers see them as promises that they have to live up to, the principle in branding is “IF YOU CAN’T ACHIEVE IT, DON’T PROMISE IT”
Question 7: What would you describe as a bogus claim in advertising?
I already mentioned some of these claims in my previous response but like I said bogus promises are promises that you can’t live up to which is call ‘BRAND LIES’. The problem with some companies is that, they don’t carry their organization along in their advertising campaign. If you have made a promise of customer friendliness which is in your company’s core values, it is simply ideal that you inform your customer service team about the promise you have made on their behalf. If you have made a promise of cheap and affordable product, don’t make your product a premium for the ‘RICH only’ because consumers will hold you to that promise. I have seen some organization promise effective and qualitative service and they are not necessarily fast but they keep their promise by simply delivering qualitative and effective service slowly.
Question 8: To what extent should advertising claims get?
I will say as far as the brand can keep. Which means advertising companies should not make promises that the brand cannot live up to, this opinion does not mean to stiffen the creativity of an advert agency. There is always a level of exaggeration allowed in advertising but it should always be kept in moderation so that it does not result in a ‘brand lie’.
Question 9: How do you enlighten consumers on how to sift these bogus claims in advertisements?
Unfortunately we are all victims of bogus claims in advertising because we all tend to judge every product either by the package design or the advertisement; where there is no luxury of recommendations or word of mouth. The only way of knowing a bogus claim is by asking for people’s opinion (people that have tried such product or services before).
Question 10: What’s your advice for brand managers who have gaps between their brands and the advertisements?
My advice to brand managers is to pay attention to every single detail in their advertisement because when they generate one ‘brand ambassador’ that believes in their product and the promises of what they can deliver; the brand ambassador will in turn generate other ‘brand enthusiasts’ who will patronize and publicize such product and service.
When giving advertising agencies free hand for creativity, they should also be warned to be conscious of what is the company’s core values, corporate philosophies, the vision and mission statement; all these should reflect in their advertising campaign.
This interview is Also available on http://nationalmirroronline.net/interviews/5921.html
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