ARE THE BIG BRANDS CRUMBLING UNDER THE FEET OF THE SMALLER ONES ?

Market share is a dog eat dog world and the winner takes it all! There is no room for slacking , sleeping and feeling super. The is always the need to reinvent and reinvent ,this is what some big brands didn’t see and with the entrance of most newer brands ,what some will call the under dogs, they like some raccoons came to town and are eating the big dogs share. That is what happened and is happening in the market today. Nigeria market is a highly volatile and competitive. Strategy, reinvention and consumer loyalty are few things most of the old brands didn’t do, they assumed that they are big and went to sleep.

Have you wondered what really happened to the big firms of old? Have you ever wondered why that big firm that you used to know went into obscurity and threading on the path of extinction. Look no further the cause is simple : complacency or comfort zone syndrome. It will come when you are big, how to manage this is another thing. If you doubt this ask Nokia what they were doing when Samsung came up with some Android smartphone. Maybe ask the old seasoning like Star what they did when Knorr came up and captures the women folks.

I could remember growing up, mum will tell me to buy Maggi seasoning, still around till date anyway. She loves that Maggi and she will insist that it is Maggi cubes. The one with star logo. As a dutiful son, I always buy. When ever we want to do our laundry she will insist that we use Omo detergent or Elephant detergent, we were so used to these brands as kids growing up. Where are these brands today? The few ones available, what are they doing and how are they doing? Just like St Louis sugar, still around but to be frank with you, I haven’t seen it lately but Dangote sugar in sachet. Can St Louis sugar be in sachet? A question the brand promoters will answer .

I am using these brands to make a classical example of what shouldn’t happen to a brand once big. You will at least agree with me that they were big but they aren’t now, to some extent while others are trying to maintain a subsequent market share that will keep them afloat while many of them are trying to keep their consumers loyal not even getting new ones.

Call it brand visibility, loyalty or even call it reinvention, call it studying the small ones that caused their oblivion status, you are right. The new entrants have taken over and very aggressive. The can be termed disruptors. They came ,they saw and they are set to conquer the market. The way Infinix came to conquer some market share that was held by big players like Nokia , Sony and Ericsson. Today, Infinix is churning out some of the world class devices and at a great price whereas companies like Nokia are going retro with their new 3310 to gain market entrance and acceptance. That is the new paradigm. The big must reinvent, failure to do that will be detrimental.

Most of the old brand were being run by old men. I mean men in their fifties and sixties. They surrounded themselves with people of the same age bracket. They don’t understand that the world is fast changing. And they won’t have the energy to study the new entrants. First rule, surround yourself with young ones if you are mid age. This is important because these young ones are bursting with energies and idea. Believe in them and key into their vision. This singular rule made Facebook to be one of the biggest firm and also made Yahoo to be almost extinct. It is this same rule that made Klin detergent to be popular while Elephant is no more.

Ability to taste the waters. Yes, take risk, sometimes they say no venture no success. Can you as the MD of that big firm take the risk. Business is all about risk taking. We know that your market share used to be huge but you must take that risk. Let’s look at these two firms, both are in the same space (dairies) Canada Best milk and Cowbell milk. The former was a well known dairy products firm when I was growing up while Cowbell is a new entrant. Cowbell introduced dairy in a sachet while the former maintained the status quo. Today, Cowbell as a firm has a huge market share while Canada best is extinct. Secrets :risk takers.

Finally, visibility and publicity yes, we all know how pricey this can be in Nigeria, but that is important. Always have that in mind, make Media your friend and never ever underestimate the power of social media. The big old firms that died didn’t understand the concept of social media. When was the last time you saw a Maggi tweet? Some of us are too busy to watch the TV and see the adverts. Why they are boring but we can’t avoid social media. The media is a game changer and they that went down didn’t get this concept.

As an SME, we know that you have the potentiality to be big or blow as what they say in Nigeria but while having that in mind, ignoring the small rules will put you put of business.

 

Anthony Emeka Nwosu

 

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