31 August 2009 59 Comments

Rebranding: how Nigeria can get it right

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communication specialist, Social Media expert, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps brands(Profits and Non-profits)with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa)


We seem to be in the age of repositioning and rebranding millennium. Many things have been said and quoted, but our product, service strategists seem to be overlooking a part that leads to success. We seem to be hoping for the best but ignoring the fact that will help us get the best. Nigeria government seems to have good intention but as we know hell runways are littered with good intentions. Many marketers have spent fortune on rebranding but lack of sincerity often makes such exercise wasteful. The purpose of rebranding must begins with total honesty, appraisal of where we were, where we are and where we are supposed to be. When crafting the way forward there is need to understand the difference between aspirational position and a position that is real -which is devoid of illusion

Most rebranding processes fail because the aims are aspirational and not what is achievable.Rebranding position need to be backed with logical facts, internal support as well financial capability. If Nigeria rebranding must be successful, let us be ‘transparently’ honest in  acknowledging our failings both as a corporate entity as well as individuals. Arguing with facts will lead to nowhere. Rebranding can be done right if we are determined to appreciate the facts militating against our nation, confronting them headlong so we can make an outstanding result of what we are doing. The followings questions outlined will be of great help.

1. What is the present frame of reference that our clients see: this has to do with true perception the general publics or external stakeholders see about this great nation? What informed this frame of references? Is this a product of attitude, behaviors of the active players in the Nigeria’s rebranding project which may include leadership, governance, followerships etc?

2. Did we get the approval of the internal stakeholder? It is easier said than done to say we have the approval of everyone on paper but will that translate to the voice of the people?

3. What are the emotional benefits available in the new position: have we recognized the emotional benefits of this nation and we are ready to take maximum advantage of these merits?

4. The new brand promise: How did we arrive at this? Do we have enough capacity to fully deliver on this new promise? II ma not saying that good people, good nation is a tall promise, but the fact remains that people act based on the availability of knowledge at other disposal and commitment of others to what affects them. If America can spend her last dollar to protect her own citizen in danger, will it be wrong for every citizen to protect national integrity? I must acknowledge that each nation has its own shortcomings.

5. Will the new promise change clients’ perception when fully promoted and deliver? Think about the outcome of the rebranding positioning statement in terms of the effect it will have on your stakeholders. Will it actually provoke the right kind of emotional connection and changes you desire? Let us stop here today till when we can fully assess the progress made so far.

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    “acknowledging the basics of life ” has been the chief gripe by most Nigerians about this re-branding efforta nd in fact most Nigerian efforts. I realised over 10 years ago, that if Nigerians had the basics – good roads, access to adequate healthcare, electricity, schools with non-striking teachers – we probably wouldn’t really care whether leaders put money in their pocket. Not saying that attitude is right or wrong, I just think it is the way we are as a people.

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