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Price vs. Value

A pack of Indomie bought today feels significantly less than one bought even just 2 year ago.  It’s so light and seems to cook up even lighter!  What, with the influx of competition in the noodle market in Nigeria, reducing pack size has to be part of a targeted strategy if one doesn’t want to lose hungry customers to other brand who would ensure they got more bang for their buck!  But is this part of De-United Foods strategy when the launched the larger pack size a few years back?  Confuse customers with the value-price preposition:  the regular pack is now smaller so buy the bigger pack (at a higher price point) or simply buy several of the regular packs (as is common in university dorm rooms across Nigeria).

Charles Fishman doesn’t think so…

Like Levi’s and Walmart, perhaps while keeping an eye on the bottom-line, De-United is eroding it’s brand equity and heritage.  If a consumer continues going back to his regular pack size only to find it smaller and smaller, wouldn’t he just switch brands (not go to the higher, unfamiliar pack size)?  Food for thought.


Painting Iyana Ipaja Blue

Recently to publicize the release of the Smurfs movie, Sony Pictures painted a small village in Spain blue. Completely.  Painting the whole village of Juzcar, now nicknamed the Smurfs village, took about 1000 gallons of paint and has since turned the quaint town into a tourist attraction, attracting over 80,000 visitors since.  Though Sony had promised to paint the town back (another 1000 gallons perhaps?) the residents of Juzcar like their little blue village and want to keep it that way!

If only a color-centric bran – Etisalat Green, Bournvita Purple, Indomie Red? – could do this sort of promotion here in Lagos, maybe even escape LASAA?  Technically it has no brand logo…. *wink

Can Your Productions Company Make You Sound This Good?

Wait for it….

If KOKO Productions (no relation to D’Banj) can make even THIS sound good, what about your beloved, priced, brand or service?  Point clearly made!  Clearly.

Forbes Courting Africa?

Everyday we read new headlines about the financial markets that seem to raise uncertainty about the global economy:  Europe is on tethers, China may not be poised to take over just yet, and North America is struggling to get back on its feet.  With such dismal prospects many international companies are looking to Africa as the next possible frontier.  Middle class is growing across the continent and they will be looking for new brands to adopt, new products to purchase, and new technologies to communicate.  Blackberry certainly realizes this.  Though they are drastically trimming down globally, they have actually opted to push within the African, specifically Nigerian, market.  So is Forbes leveraging itself as well?

2011 saw remarkable push from the Forbes team to insert itself into the consciousness and conversation amongst the African, again specifically Nigerian, middle class and elite.  We had lists on top power women in Africa, lists on richest persons in Africa, top banker profiles, etc.  It seems we couldn’t go two weeks without hearing an albeit covert PR job on what the team at Forbes just discovered about some aspect of the African Business:  “The African King of Oil.”

Might we not have known that Wale Tinubu was certainly at least a prince of oil, or that Dangote was, well, “quite wealthy”?  Well, with Forbes is here so we don’t have to leave these things to chance.  Welcome, Forbes Africa.

Btw:  Forbes Africa is a partnership between Forbes Media and ABN Publishing, a South African firm which also controls the parent company for CNBC Africa.  CNBC has been in operations since 2007.

Martini Rose Set To Launch

No doubt about it.  Nigeria is the new battle ground for alcohol sales amongst global liquor brands.  Guinness has been doing it here for a while and perhaps as the prospects dwindle in other markets it only makes sense to go short on those countries where sales are tapering off or dropping (developed markets) and go long on much ignored countries of the past (think African) who are showing a voracious appetite for any and everything consumable AND showing evidence of a growing middle class with more money than ever to spend.  I’m thinking Moet Hennessy, Veuve Clicquot, Smirnoff, Johnny Walker, KissMix….

Many good things to say about the TVC teaser above for the Martini Rose launch which I presume is coming up – shot in Lagos, by a good group of Nigerians – but does it have the same “spark” as the Martini TVC recently making the rounds in the UK?  Methinks that “luck is an attitude” message would resonate here more than in the UK!

Nigeria Significant in Online Sphere

From KPCB Internet Report- culled from Telecommunications Union

At the recently concluded Creatives Expo organized by the British Council, a panelist for discussions on digital marketing mentioned that the ever popular Linda Ikeji blog site rakes in a cool N1.5m monthly from AdSpace and other clients.  I’m not sure how true this is, I would probably say it is possible the blog clocks that amount in revenues in a good month, but I would probably guess a good monthly average would not be anything less than N500,000.  Now even at that, it’s amazing how much the Nigerian online community has grown…in value!  Online marketing is no longer something a brand custodian should thumb their nose at since so many Nigerians are increasingly being exposed to that platform.

Study the data above.  Essentially, Nigeria ranks below only China and India for YoY growth in terms of addition of internet users.  Wow!  Even more exciting I think is that this study reckons 28% of our entire population is now online.  That’s 42 Million.  That’s more than the ENTIRE Canadian population.  If I were a brand custodian right now, I’d be thinking how do I capture 42 million Nigerians that are internet users? What are they doing online?  Which sites are they frequenting? Why and for how long?  Can your brand enter their online conversations?  Don’t just do a facebook ad, how do you seep into the internet conversation?

The one’s who’ve figured it out, (as well as Linda Ikeji) are the ones smiling all the way to the bank.

Old Spice Returns

You can’t say “I’m on a horse” these days without someone cracking up and sharing their own Old Spice ad discovery moment with you.  It is possible that ad belongs in one of the Top 10 viral moments of 2011.  Well the makers of Old Spice are not sitting on their laurels with this one.  It being the Christmas season and everyone looking to cash in on the good ol’ shopping feelings of the season, Old Spice is back with ‘MANta Claus’.  The verdict’s still out on whether the concept has not been flogged to death but my guess is that there’s still a little juice in there that makes you want to check it out.