Nonye Mpho Omotola
Tim PinderNonye, whilst I agree largely with what you say, I get the feeling that you are advocating a country by country approach for big brands.
Having worked across the African continent for the past 10 years on brands like Coca-cola, Celtel and Zain, what I learned is that human truths are the same everywhere. True, one size does not fit all, but when it comes to execution of advertising, we all have the same basic wants and needs. Maslow defined that years ago.
I have heard all too often, especially from Nigeria, that you have to create your own commercials because 'things are different in Nigeria'. That is true, but that is a whole other conversation.
We, very successfully made Pan African commercials that built strong brands using the human truth approach.
I hear of so many brands wanting to localize. You end up with small budgets, a lack of clear direction and locally poor results. Sure, small local brands will make that work, but that is all they will ever be. Small local brands. Global brands require global thinking. Sure, local knowledge is important and I am in no way saying discount it, but do not become a slave to research that says zig, when you know the brand needs to zag.
Local can be employed for certain aspects of a brands offering, but don't get too bogged down by local nuances.
Nonye JThank you for your comment Tim. I agree with you in the sense that it is the essence of a brand I.e 'the human truth' that connects us as consumers. What I am referring to in my article is 'how' the human truth gets connected. I.e How do you communicate this human truth. What channels? Which stakeholders'. How does the global brand become relevant and have ROI in an African local market.
Shareefa ChristleyHi Nonye, fantastic article. Although brands may represent invaluable intangible assets, creating and nurturing a strong brand poses considerable challenges. Many business executives now recognize, perhaps one of the most valuable assets that any firm has is the processes and factory designs often can be duplicated, strongly held beliefs and attitudes established in the mind of consumers often cannot be so easily reproduced. The difficulty and expense of introducing new products however always puts more pressure to skillfully launch new products as well as managing existing brands. One always has to reflect new thinking concepts in order to adopt stronger global perspectives by updating and streamlining. The emphasis is placed on understanding the psychological principles at individual or organizational levels as to how to improve decision making with respect to brands.
Valentino AlilyHi Nonye, great write up indeed. Loved it. It is absolutely true that iti is 'the human truth' that connects us as consumers and even as people. While I agree with Tim that our desires and needs often cut across race, religion and beliefs that have global similarity; the issue of 'differentiation' must not be ignored in the push for universal homogeneity. What has kept Africa in the shadows for so long is our belief that a European or American branding and creative concept must fit our perspectives. It never does. So, quite clearly we must consider local factors in every country system we hope to impact in. In investing in Africa we must identify the 'differentiating' factor that makes Angola, for instance, different from Cote de Voire and use that as the basis for creating unique branding concepts that can impact favourably in our choice target market. Of course ROI is evidently the final arbiter for assessing how effective our branding and marketing concepts did, but success in any market, particularly in Africa, comes with some degree of 'differentiation'-appreciation in our research process.
Tim PinderOne final from me, You are 100% right Valentino, there has to be room for local nuances. As we are all saying, one size can not fit all, but a big idea should work where ever. But it may need a local adaptation.