Taiwo Oluboyede, CEO, Top 50 Brands Nigeria® address at the media briefing of 2017 event in Lagos

On behalf of the Advisory Board and Management of TOP 50 BRANDS NIGERIA® I will like to welcome you all and thank you for honoring our invitation.

As you know, every year, we announce the 50 top brands for the year. These are brands that have been able to weather the storms, and delivering on their promises. They have good understanding of the market, and have aggressively worked towards meeting the expectation of the consumers.

With the volume of competition that businesses face in most industries, it has never been more important to stand out and develop a unique identity and value proposition through strategic branding. These brands have not just become a part of our lives. They represent more than their products/services and have become part of the popular culture. They provide the ultimate experience, drive innovation, as well as deliver quality products and services.

At this very important time in our nationhood, there is no overstatement of the important roles these brands are playing in our national space. They are vital elements that sustain daily lives. They provide the much needed jobs, goods and services, they pay tax, create wealth and also socially responsible, with many interventions endearing them more to the people.

One of the driven forces that will propel us forward to the next level as a nation, particularly now, and enhancing the value of the Nigeria brand which is the cardinal objective of our annual Brand Nigeria Leadership Forumis the positive disposition of the brands that power our economy. We are using this medium to evaluate and celebrate them.

Every year at TOP 50 BRANDS NIGERIA, we select, rate and celebratestop corporate brands that have consistently maintained a leadership position in their categories, living up to their promise, and have become a part of the popular culture, attracting powerful visual cue that evokes emotion from the people. They have transcended their product/services’ categories and mean much more to the consumers. They have been able to master the art of brand building to the point earning equity.

We also have the 10 brands to watch, though they are not on the TOP 50 BRANDS league table yet, but they have shown promises and the potentials within a period of time. The exciting thing about the brand to watch is that they are mostly home-made brands.

Brand is a promise an entity makes to its audience. It’s a description of the company’s character. To some extent, it’s a mission; it’s how the company creates and delivers value. Also, it’s the feeling the company conveys to its stakeholders. Keeping this promise result in equity which sustains the entity. The brands listed here are those that have skillfully create a desired perception in the minds of their target audience through simple, clear and well defined messages.

Any brand can make promise, however, the real description of the brand in the mind of the audience is his/her EXPERIENCE. A beautiful communication can only raise awareness or reinforced the description in the consumer’s mind, as far as he is concerned, his experience is what the brand is and all it represents. If consumers know a brand promise is empty, they’ll just scoff at the disconnect between the message and the actual customer experience.

For example when you mention a telecoms brand, to some people,  your name is ‘Slow internet.’ Mention a particular bank, and they remember the many customer service options that made their banking less strenuous. To these different classes of people, there may be a contrast between what their experience with the brand is and the brand promise. The responsibility lies therefore on the brand to strife to deliver on its promise and rather not promise what it can deliver .A promise kept earns the brand a value, brand equity and continuous equity means brand healthiness which ultimately sustains the company overtime. Now the brand must always find a way to sync its message to the customer experience and ensure it lives up to the promise. Regardless of your huge media budget, if you fail in delivery on the promise, your value depreciates and this affects the bottom-line.

Brands are powerful drivers of choice and influence the decisions we make as consumers, employees, business decision makers, and investors. Our streets and highways are almost over-branded. We eat, drink, hear, watch, and basically live brands. It has become one of the most valuable assets of a company, no wonder corporate organizations hold it dearly, spending heavily to enhance it and take every opportunity to expose it to the consumers. Strong brands create loyalty, help companies attract and retain talent, drive competitive advantage, and even reduce business risk.

To achieve the 50 top brands in Nigeria, we use the Brand Strength Measurement; A specially designed model that takes basic qualitative elements to determine brand valuation and strength. The model checks consumer’s knowledge of a brand using the top on the mind survey. It’s largely observed that consumers were able to recall brands they relate with often, whose product/services they also use.

BRAND STRENGHT MEASUREMENT

Brand Strength Measurement, BSMIndex is a measuring tool that evaluates a brand’s intangible assets from consumer point of view, using basic qualitative variables. It measures the strength level of a brand and in some ways indicates weakness. It is an opinion on a brands ability to perform to its expectations and deliver on promise. It also attempt to test what the brand is to a consumer.

The model serves the purpose of helping brand owners to know how their brand is faring and also useful for resource allocation.

It places brands on consumer perception, qualities and leadership scales and selecting the higher half on the graph using factors that affect a brand outcome and performance. The research approach do not put financial value on brands, instead, it measures consumer perception and other qualities, as stated earlier.

For the top brands measurement, each brand is weighed against the major factors listed below and their variables. The 50 brands with the highest cumulative is the TOP 50 BRANDS NIGERIA® for the year.

These factors are:

  • Brand Popularity: This is achieved with the top- of- the mind awareness, TOM survey, where we engaged the members of the public to check their knowledge and in some way likeability of a brand. We asked people to tell us brand they can easily recall. We focused mainly on the AB classification in the corporate world, who have better understanding and exposure to brands. We also have some mass market involvement as well. It should be noted that for a brand to have a chance of being reviewed for a placement in the annual 50 top brands, it must have considerable mentions in the TOM survey.
  • Category Leadership: Category leadership is the brands positioning in its industry.
  • Innovation: The brands were also subjected to a test of innovation in their product/service delivery, with particular emphasis on customer services.
  • Quality Element: These are industrial and regulatory elements that symbolize quality and re-assure consumers that the brand, its products/services are of good quality.
  • Online Engagement: The online platform is gradually becoming the most important connecting point between brands and their customers. Major brands have invested heavily and created various innovative ways of engaging their audience online. Various researches have shown that many consumers now check the online platforms and do comparative analyses before making buying decisions.
  • National Spread: it is required for a brand to have operational presence across the country before it can be reviewed for a placement in the annual 50 top brands list.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility:Successful brands have established various means of bonding with the community by participating in or even initiating important intervention projects. It has been proven over and again that this endeared people to the brands.

Please find below, a list of the 50 top brands for the year, presented in no particular order. The actual rating will be presented in our publication at the 2017 Brand Nigeria Leadership Forum, #IAmBrandNigeria, where respectable captains of industry, policy makers, thought leaders and representatives of top corporate brands will be deliberating on Enhancing the Value of the Nigeria Brand: These times. The forum is dedicated to deliberations on citizens, corporate and governmental responsibilities in enhancing the Nigeria brand. Our theme this year is not just a cliché or a catch phrase. It is an expression of what we believe we all as Nigerians and indeed anybody with interest in Nigeria needs to embrace.  At the forum, we will like to propagate the human capital as a brand, as well as identify and celebrate the leading corporate brands.

 

The forum will also serve as the presentation of the #IAmBrandNigeria campaign, a clarion call for open endorsement of the Nigeria brand where they celebrate exceptional individuals who through resilience, tenacity and their entrepreneurial skill of making things happen against all odds have been able to achieve success and serve as source of inspiration to the teeming youthful population. With a message that says with hard work, honesty and perseverance just anyone can achieve success. It is a celebration of the Nigerian Story.

 

The objective is to get the people to consciously and proudly show support and express their ownership and deep connection with the brand Nigeria, thereby earning sufficient brand equity toward achieving  top 20 nation brand status globally.

 

A quick summary on the 50 top tables shows the following:

50%, amounting to 25 of the 50 top brands are Nigerian grown brands, while the remaining 25 are international.

The banking and finance sector had the largest entry with 10 brands, followed by the fast moving consumer good with 8 and the Oil & Gas with 6 entries.

We have 5 conglomerates, while the oil and gas, Food& Beverages sectors had 6 entries each. The telecoms and media sectors have 4 each.

Building & Construction sector had 2 brands, while Automobile, agriculture, retail have 1 each.

For the 10 Top Brands to Watch, it is important for me to state that only the TOP 50 BRANDS NIGERIA® were subjected to the BSM review. The 10 brands to watch which are also listed below were NOT. However, a brand needs to have entries in the TOM survey for qualification in the brands to watch category.

Very excitingly, eight of the 10 brands to watch this year are home grown, while 2 are international. Out of the 10 brands, 5 are ICT related with particular interest in retail. This is exciting because it shows the online retail sector is gaining ground aggressively in Nigeria as they do in developed economies.

More detail breakdown will be presented in our annual publication, a compendium on the profile of the top brands, which is circulated across the corporate Nigeria and also online for global audience. Previous editions has been viewed and downloaded from over 100 COUNTRIES around the world.

 

I like to sincerely thank everyone that has participated in this process and supported our activities. I like to specifically thank DrShanmugaPriya, our brand advisor, Mr. Joseph Okomah who represents the advisory board. I like to thank Mr. Victor Oluwadare and the Townsway for the supports and indeed, I like to thank you who have been with us since, reporting our activities on your platforms.. God bless.

TaiwoOluboyede, CEO, TOP 50 BRANDS NIGERIA®