• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Experts urge SMEs to leverage brand building to grow sustainable business

Organised Private Sector, ANEEJ eye government-motivated SMEs to get out of recession

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have been urged to consider growing their businesses through deliberate efforts that offer competitive advantages to their brands.

According to experts, building a solid and enduring brand is imperative for business growth and confers comparative and competitive advantages to businesses.

This position was reached at the SME Conference and Expo 2017 organised by Purple Pearl Consulting and Agile Communications Limited recently in Lagos. The conference created clarity of thoughts on the benefits derivable for SMEs and business owners from building solid brands, underpinning the need to undertake these efforts to drive growth on their business and services.

Bolajoko Bayo-Ayayi, MD/CEO Purple Pearl Consulting, in her address of welcome, said brand- building delivers many benefits to SMEs over a short- and long-term period and should be the focus of any business irrespective of its size. “Building a brand is not a game of chance, but it takes a deliberate effort on the part of owners of the businesses,” she stated.

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According to her, one of the challenges facing SMEs is the paucity of funds which often limits their ability to give attention to every aspect of their business. As such, they tend to prioritise what is thought to be of utmost importance to the business viability, thereby relegating other important areas, one of which is brand-building. “This is either due to their perception of the value derivable from building their brand or the lack of the know-how on how to undertake this,” Bayo-Ajayi said.

She opined that brand-building is important to the long-term viability and sustainability of every business, whether big or small. She said it provides a platform upon which their products or services can be appropriately positioned to give a distinct identity in the cluttered competitive market in a way that achieves top-of-the-mind recall and awareness. “With today’s consumers/customers being more discerning and demanding, it places the burden on SME businesses to have strong consumer proposition that will meet the needs and motivation of their customers,” she concluded.

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On his part, Rufai Ladipo, MD/CEO Agile Communications Limited, said the conference identified a gap in the SMEs space in Nigeria, offering insight for corporate entities to support the sector.
According to him, the SME sector is a catalyst for growth and sustainability of any economy as a critical player in the economic viability of the country, responsible for over 70 percent of the total employment in Nigeria.

The panelists at the SME Conference and Expo opined that SMEs must learn to engage with their consumers by being creative with their business ideas. According to the discussants, content is critical for SMEs and it is a challenge that they must overcome to grow their brand. They concluded that SMEs and start-ups should seek professional advice from experts in their space on how to improve brand recognition for their businesses and services.