Dear Nigerian businesses: Who is your market?

43 total views, no views today

Back in 2015 when I still worked in Marketing on the agency side, I was part of a meeting involving a brand manager from a prominent brewery company. Said company was in the process of launching a new alcoholic beverage that was apparently going to blow the competition out of the water and smash sales records. The meeting was one of those ones where everyone was trying to sound intelligent in front of the client, so you would hear lots of something…something…“Organic Talkability…” something…something… “Estimated Reach…” something…something…“Target Audience Profile…” something…something…“TOMA.”

I must have sat through hundreds of such meetings at that point and in my typical style, I wanted to cut through the buzzwords and get to the point. So I asked a pointed question, “Who are we selling this drink to?” I wanted a clear understanding of who this target audience was, so that we could get down to figuring out how to achieve maximum market impact with our new product. The answer from the brand manager is why I am writing this article today.

Bear in mind that during my time in the UK, I had seen this very drink marketed as the drink of tough, working class bricklayers, satellite TV installers and window washers. In Nigeria however, it was to be presented as a “premium” drink – a sort ofcross between an award-winning San Francisco craft beer and the finest French Sauvignon Blanc, lovingly brewed to the sound of soft Alté music on a starlit Lagos beach by a shirtless Richard Mofe Damijo.

“Pretentious” does not quite describe it.

Targeting nonexistent customers: A Nigerian obsession

According to the brand manager, this drink – known around the world as a generic blue collar working person’s drink – was targeted … Read More...