Brand building is another strategy for the promotion of trademarks, especially the product names, and their philosophy.
It is especially part of effective campaign development. This marketing approach
is very popular in the banking, manufacturing and other related private sector organisations. Such products or services initiated
are intended to have familiarity among their target audience.
Like the boosting of logo, symbol and mission statement of a company, brands too have additional features of distinguishing
particular product or service from others. They have acceptable characteristics to attract patronage. They also offer advantages
derivable which appeal to the general public.
Some of the strategies through which brand objectives are achieved are quite numerous. They include affordability of
the product to the generality of the users. In a turbulent economy, the less privileged prefer cheap products to expensive
ones. It is based on this consideration that companies introduce consolation prizes and discounts, not only to sell but also
to promote the brand name. Another dimension in this regard is the sweepstakes where everything happens in jiffy; with lucky
winners take away items or goods worth huge amounts of money.
Self-respect and prestige are one of the reasons why the rich go for higher quality products with comparable higher
costs. Here, the companies, in their promotional campaigns, emphasise the perfection and the superiority of the objects. Celebrities
and superstars are projected as the users of the products so that other personalities may be willing to associate with them.
Other gimmicks for the promotion of brand names and patronage include free sample offers, special discounts, instant
presents, money back guarantees and public testimonials, among others.
It is not necessary that products must be created before the brand is built. In special cases, a product promotion
may be launched and promoted before the product is introduced to the market. Some of the licenced GSM operators intensified
enormous media campaigns several months before bringing their products and services to the country. This is to enable the
name, symbol and mission statement of their firms fully registered in the minds of the subscribers.
According to Phil Osagie, Head Consultant, JSP Corporate Communications, “branding is achieved by all those extras
on the products that make it memorable. Brands are built through product differentiation, pricing (premium on penetration
strategy) public relations, event marketing, advertising, sales promotion, corporate manifestation, sponsorship, endorsement,
Only an organisation that has enormous resources and believes in long-term benefit, ventures into brand buildings.
This is because, huge amounts of resources are deployed in publicity and its financial returns come after a long time. Any
organisation that expects immediate returns after a few promotional exercises is surely living in fantasy because this is
rare in reality.
As it is stated earlier, the introduction of GSM telecommunication into the country witnessed a high level of media
campaign geared towards attracting the public to the bulk of products in the market. Before the bid for the license, which
gulped millions of dollars, the companies, most especially MTN and ECONET, developed some highly effective media structures
to win the battle for the license and build the brand of their products and services.
When they successfully won the licenses, they embarked, once again, on public enlightenment programmes, through the
pages of newspapers, magazines and airtime in the electronic media to highlight the benefits of the expected products and
support services. The campaigns afforded many potential set subscribers prior information on the planned introduction of the
cellular phones. It also enabled subscribers to have a good idea about the services available.
Some may wonder why ECONET and MTN spent million of Naira on enlightenment campaigns before the full commencement of
their services. The reason is not far fetched. Media campaigns are all about long-term strategy and require all the companies
of public relations for the organisation to be registered in the minds of the populace, or the customers.
Any company entering into a new environment with the likelihood of encountering stiff competition, needs to examine
and exploit the SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) analysis to excel. The company studies the strength and weakness of its competitors
in the market and reinforces its own strength. It utilises any open opportunity for maximum results and endeavours not to
be shaken by any threat from the competitor no matter how big it may be.
In a nutshell, the purpose of building brands and campaign development can be summarised as follows:
(a). Value. The benefit of the products easily comes to mind, whenever it is recalled or mentioned. It may be due to
its affordability, special discount or bonanza, or prestige.
(b). Producer. The companies responsible for the products are easily identified but with time, this may not be necessary
unless the products can be acquired from the branches of the company. A bank is a good example. You can only benefit from
bankers’ services through direct contact with their headquarters or branches.
(c). Products. The product is mentioned instead of a long description and specification. You may wonder why some people
for lack of sense of direction always ask for Coca-Cola instead of Pepsi or other Cola drinks, or a brand of Paracetamol,
the popular analgesic. Some have preference for Panadol instead of Daga and vice-versa. Those who understand the taste and
effectiveness of the product know that they serve the same purpose.
A better way of making the brand register in the minds of the publics is through aggressive marketing communication.
This includes advertising, sales promotion, PR and general publicity. The essence is to gain enough patronage of the products
and services provided.
Some well-recognised companies have developed unique marketing techniques to get the public endorse their products.
Notable among such techniques are free gifts or offers of the product to enable a first-timer to derive the benefit of the
offer. It may also be in the form of a special discount where there is a reduction in the company’s market price for
the public. A special reward may be offered for patronisers like the gifts of other products, a raffle draw ticket, or even
a flight ticket for a honeymoon or scholarship for child education. This is popular among manufacturing companies and in the
The financial institutions are beginning to realise that ingenuity is required in creating products not only intended
to satisfy a particular public but even neglected and non-recognised targets. For instance, in its effort to be more acceptable
to the home front, i.e. the family, banks have created several educational related products and services for the younger ones.
The motives behind the introduction of such products are to gather more funds through savings. The resourcefulness
towards public enlightenment on the benefit of banking practice, even from child development, is a welcome development. This
kind of service cannot only be described as financial products but far more, it is seen as social products that would ultimately
lead to better future for the children and give the parents a sense of fulfillment.
The requirements for subscribers, on behalf of the potential account holder, who is invariably expected to be a child
of school age, vary from one bank to the other. The major feature is the need to open an account with a specified initial
amount of money and a mandatory minimum balance of specific amount at any point in time.
The benefits derivable from this banking transaction include accruable interest per annum, special educational grants,
timely availability of funds for child education, eligibility for special bursary and scholarship awards, issuance of overdraft
to subscribers at little or no extra cost and special bonus in the event of accidental death or disability of the account
Some of the banks that are involved in the child and education investment products include UBA with its Save for School
Account, Continental Trust Bank, with its product Continental READ, while Standard Trust Bank tags its own, Standard Care
Account. The National Bank of Nigeria
prefers to tag its own Children Education Target Account (CETA) and the Trade Bank simply gives its product the acronym “TEA”
which stands for Trade Education Account. Access Bank of Nigeria too has what it called Kiddies Save Account, a product it
says is specifically designed to cultivate saving habits among children and the Chartered Bank has a similar product with
the name Children’s Educational Saving Scheme “CHESS”.
Other banks have gone a step further by introducing rather innovative banking services to discourage unethical manners
of saving money. For instance, there is a bank that introduced what it calls Esusu Gulf Guarantee (EGG) for market men and
women who have been defrauded by the local money collector. Many of these traders have fallen victims of fraudulent traditional
collectors who claimed that they either robbed or lost such cash deposit in fire infernos. There are also other banks that
offer other services beneficial to their communities. There are saving schemes that enable the depositors to embark on lifetime
dreams like pilgrimages to Mecca/Jerusalem and for the celebration of Sallah and Christmas.