• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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How indigenous brands are dominating amidst stiff competition in Nigeria’s business sector

How indigenous brands are dominating amidst stiff competition in Nigeria’s business sector

The need for brand strength has become a critical success factor for sustainability, whether indigenous or a conglomerate, as it increases customer loyalty, confidence, public perception, and ultimately market dominance.

In Nigeria, there are avalanche of successful indigenous brands cutting across various sectors whose origins are deep-rooted in their wholly Nigerian heritage despite their consistent pursuit of the attainment of international status and global best practices. A few examples include Globacom [telecoms], and Dangote Group [Manufacturing and Commodity] amongst others.

Their efforts in building brand equity despite the challenges in the economic sector have not remained unnoticed as they lead in the top 50 ranking of valuable brands in Nigeria, in 2023.

Conducted by Top 50 Brands Nigeria, an independent firm involved in the evaluation and rating of corporate brands in the country, the evaluation and ratings were carried out using the Brand Strength Measurement tool with variables such as top-of-mind survey, online engagement, quality elements, process innovation, category leadership, national spread, and corporate social responsibility.

The highlights of the brands rating have Dangote Industries Limited as the Most Valuable Brand in Nigeria in 2023, MTN Communications [Nigeria] as the Most Valuable Telecoms and Multinational Brand in 2023, Globacom, as the Most Popular Brand; and Rite Foods Limited, the Highest Gainer Year-On-Year, for being a beacon of innovation and nourishment with quality food and beverage brand.

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Dangote Industries Limited topped the list of the top 10 organisations as the Most Valuable Brand in Nigeria in 2023, with Six local brands on the growth ladder. Comprising Globacom, Access Bank, Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust Company (GTCO), First Bank of Nigeria, and BUA Group, ahead of age-long multinationals.

Dangote Industries Limited is an integrated conglomerate with operations in Nigeria and Africa, in sectors such as cement, sugar, salt, condiments, packaging, energy, port operations, fertiliser, and petrochemicals, with 650,000 barrels per day refinery, and has maintained the top position for six consecutive years since 2018.

Globacom was fourth on the top 10 list as the ‘Most Popular Brand’, after MTN and Airtel which were rated second and third respectively. A Nigerian multinational telecoms brand, Globacom, with over 61 million subscribers, about 28 percent of the total mobile lines in Nigeria, had the highest number of mentions during the Top of the Mind (TOM) survey.

Zenith Bank emerged sixth as the biggest bank in the country by capitalisation; while Guaranty Trust Company (GTCO) took the eighth position as one of the foremost financial institutions in Nigeria. Ranked ninth on the list, First Bank was rated the oldest existing, yet dynamic financial institution; while Bua Group, a leading food, infrastructure, mining, and manufacturing conglomerate was ranked 10th.

It would also be recalled that Dangote Industries Limited, Globacom Zenith Bank, First Bank of Nigeria, and GTCO also dominated the top 10 positions for five consecutive years.

Remarkably, on the Top 50 brand ranking, 24 are Nigerian companies, while 26 are international organisations, and not left out in the Top 50 Brands 2023 Report are 10 Brands to watch this year including Opay, Fairmoney, Palmpay, Helium Health, Piggybank, Thrive Agric, Trade Depot, Providus Bank, SunTrust Bank, and Premium Trust Bank. Interestingly, eight of the brands are indigenously owned and would be on the Top 50 list as they continue to strive for market excellence.

Perhaps, the most remarkable highlight of the 2023 Top 50 Brands Nigeria Audit is Rite Foods’ performance on the index.

The company was rated as the highest gainer as it moved from its 44th position in the previous year’s rating to 30th, leaping 14 steps up the ladder of consumer rating according to the Rating organization. For a relatively unknown indigenous brand five years ago, it is quite astounding for a brand that didn’t appear in any top index a few years ago to have grown rapidly within such a short period. It is indeed a phenomenal feat for Rite Foods to have gained such remarkable brand traction within such a short duration.

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Speaking on the brand equity growth trajectory of the company, a marketing and product marketing analyst, Ini Asuquo attributed the company’s rapid growth to a combination of factors which includes its disruptive innovation with which Bigi Soft drinks and its Energy drink Fearless were brought into the market.

This is coming at the heels of a media review conducted and published on the Tribune online Newspaper platform under the title: ”Why Strategy Fails”, the publication quoted thus:

“Strategy is vital to the actualisation of corporate objectives because it bridges the gap between means and end. Strategy involves the deployment of resources at the disposal of an organisation for the actualisation of corporate goals.”

“But through creative marketing and competitive pricing, Bigi Cola has forced itself into the consciousness of fizzy drink consumers and now poses a serious threat to both Coke and Pepsi’s dominance of the market. Bigi has penetrated areas that the giants sparsely serviced and has made them its strongholds. It has also surreptitiously sneaked into the major markets. So much is the threat posed by the new drink that both Coke and Pepsi have been forced to revert to packaging their products in glass bottles, after several years of moving into plastic, just to be able to compete with Bigi on prices. Every organisation must always pay attention to emerging threats and take definite steps to mitigate the damage that could be foisted by the threats.”

This validation only goes to reinforce the Rite Foods holistic strategy which includes the disciplined implementation of offering qualitative products supported with aggressive and audacious marketing that challenged the market oligarchs like Coca-Cola and Pepsi which is quite commendable.

Keen watchers of the sector would have noticed the voice share and conversation dominance of the carbonated food sector as Rite Foods daily connects with its consumers through both traditional and digital windows. If the company sustains the tempo or extends the frontier of its activities in the next few years, it will hit hard on competitors.

Established in 2007, as a subsidiary of Ess-Ay Holdings, Rite Foods Limited is a world-class and proudly Nigerian Food and Beverage Company, with products comprising the 13 variants of the Bigi carbonated soft drink, the Bigi Premium Table Water, the premium Sosa Fruit Drink, as well as the Bigi and Rite Sausages.

Its market-leading Fearless Energy Drink has earned high recognition in the energy drink market with the first-ever packaged polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle brand which is the preferred choice of consumers nationwide.

On this remarkable feat, Rite Foods’ Managing Director, Seleem Adegunwa, said the company’s growth trajectory is attributed to its quality consciousness, technological advancement, and globally competitive product portfolio, with laudable activities in the areas surveyed by Top 50 Nigeria in their evaluation and rating process.

The company’s marketing strategy in connecting with consumers through sponsorships of viable projects has also earned it numerous laurels, and given that, industry analysts have affirmed that it has made a positive impact in the society with its weight behind social, economic and cultural activities in the country.

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For its audacious marketing approach which thrives on consumer-driven initiatives and sectoral conversation dominance, analysts are wondering whether Rite Foods has the marketing stamina to sustain its growth trajectory and brand equity as indicated in the Top 50 Brands report, which rated it as one of the fastest growing food and beverage brands in Nigeria for 2023.

Rite Foods’ marketing strategy includes consumer-driven initiatives and sectoral conversation dominance, driven by the mainstream and digital platforms.

Dangote Industries Limited which was rated as the Most Valuable Brand in Nigeria is one of the most diversified and fully integrated conglomerates with vibrant operations in Nigeria and Africa, across a wide range of sectors including cement, sugar, salt and petrochemicals. The recent commissioning of its petrochemical refinery, a 650, 000 barrels per day refinery gave it a major boost in the Top 50 Brands Rating for 2023 as well as earning the Most Valuable Brand in Nigeria; the investment of this African conglomerate in marketing initiatives is enviable.

Similarly, Globacom, a wholly Nigerian multinational telecoms brand that was named the ‘Most Popular Brand’ having ranked fourth on the top 10 list, also thrives on substantial marketing initiatives and it is not surprising that it had the highest number of mentions during the Top of the Mind survey, effectively achieving the Most Popular Brand title for the year.

While Rite Foods may not possess the humongous marketing budget of Dangote and Globacom, they all share one thing in common, consumerism as well as placing a premium on conversation management using effective traditional and digital platforms.

Ose is a marketing communication practitioner