BusinessDay
NigeriaDecides2023

African brands can compete globally from local markets – Experts

…Congress honours top African brands

African Brands Congress, an annual fiesta of best brains behind most successful brands in Africa, designed to stimulate and motivate the creative lobe of managers has been growing exponentially with the 7th edition being a level up.

This year, underlined with more participation and recognition of top brands in Africa was held with the organiser exposing owners of brands to technological strategies they should adopt to grow their innovations and also sustain the growth as well as be able to compete with brands globally.

Speakers at the congress with the theme: ‘’Digital Technology AI and IoT: A catalyst for brands growth’’ told the brand owners that they can compete globally while their brand is domiciled in Nigeria.

Stanley Ohenhen, a consultant in leadership and management reminded brand owners that the world is a global village as he told the brand managers to always have their ears to the ground on changing trends so that they can respond to those trends immediately in order to remain relevant.’’

Assessing changes in various sectors globally including transportation, energy and agriculture, Ohenhen said the implication for African brands is that it cannot be business as usual.” African brands must seize the moment. It is about propositioning and positioning”, he said.

Also speaking, David Mba, Chief Technical Officer of Tekspace, spoke on how digital technology, AI and IoT can help brand managers experience that brand growth they are looking for but he was worried that some brand managers are not really aware how they can adopt these technologies for brand growth.

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He identified inertia and reluctance instead of cost as the reason some brand owners are still embedded on old traditional ways of brand building instead of adopting these technologies. “ Most of them are reluctant to adopt what they know is correct or they have not asked enough questions on how to adopt the technologies and because of this, they keep doing their things traditionally”

He called for a paradigm shift from traditional to digital. He said that with AI, brand owners can build their brand and achieve metrics stating that digital technology can assist marketing and brand building to a great extent to the level that owners of brand can make market predictions of a product before introducing it into the market.

Stating that there are advanced technologies, Mba told brand owners that with technology they can build systems that can respond to customers especially when the managers are not present to answer enquiries. He said to adopt digital technology, AI or IoT is for the brand managers to be aware and adopt continuous learning.

In his speech, Charles Emebo, ICT expert emphasised that people and technology are crucial in brand building. He underscored the need for talent building and the right talent to achieve the necessary brand building result.

He challenged tech expert to be involved in mentorship as he said that without the right mentorship, people will not function well.

Speaking to BusinessDay, Dada Ajai -Ikhile, Chairman, organising committee of the Congress said the focus this year is to introduce brand builders to technology towards assisting them in brand building and the ability to compete globally.

The convener of the congress and Editor of African Brands Awards, Desmond Asorowe said the hallmark of brand building is today driven around technology and this is the objective of the congress this year.

He said with brand being biggest asset of any organisation, he said managers have realised that investment in technology is needed to assist them increase their performance. Speaking on the large turnout this year, he said in addition to the topic, “the platform of African Brand Congress affords organisations the opportunity of showcasing their brand in a special way”

At the venue, top brands were recognised as best brands in their different categories while Daniel Obi of BusinessDay was awarded African Brand Journalist award for his excellence performance in brand reporting.

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