26 October 2009 20 Comments

Rebranding Nigeria: The missing link

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps 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) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

brand Nigeriabrand link2While I do not lay claim to being a national branding expertise, as a concerned brand strategist and communicator, I can not but occasionally express my thoughts on happenings in my home country. Our community must have noticed our consistency in operating within the confinement of the mission behind this blog: which is to help brands perform maximally and become better.

So today our focus will be on Nigeria Rebranding process, what I have noticed here, and I say that with a sense of responsibility is that those who know what to say often keep quiet and allow those who have nothing to say to keep talking. In situations where those who have something to say speak at all, they always speak when the situation is still fresh and after that they keep quiet eternally. While there is wisdom in saying something once, research has shown that when you want a change badly, you must keep hammering the truth. Research has also shown that consistency of purpose, determination to ensure things are done right requires that someone must continually speak the truth until it is accepted and applied.

This will eventually guarantee success. At the beginning of the rebranding process, many spoke up and gave their opinions. As at today the tempo had died done. I think our government also has technocrats who have studied the citizens so well. They are aware that any issue dies a natural death after two weeks of hot discussion. Having said this, I have noticed a trend that is missing in the present rebranding process. This link that is missing is so vital. This missing link has the potential of guaranteeing whether the initiative will be thoroughly successful or not. One of the strategies employed has been to hold village meetings. While the ‘village meeting’ is still ongoing, I guess the power of the internet has been ignored.

Part of what we are rebranding is an image issue. An insignificant number of youths are destroying our image through internet scam. I think since the internet is also accessible to the team behind the rebranding process why are they not using the internet to our advantage? If they have issues here, we have social media experts in here that can help out. What stop the team from establishing online visibility for the team’s activity where people can contact, advise, guide as well as ask questions?

Does the team also know how to use social media, internet tools? Can they guide our agencies, to set up functional social media platforms where they can be reached and the publics can get information? For instance, there was this recent rumor that imported Apples from neighboring countries are poisonous. Many sent text messages around instructing families and friends to stay away from Apple fruits. They did claim that they confirmed the story from the regulatory agency in charge. Only for the agency to deny the story after a week.

Most of these related agencies abroad have Twitter accounts that are functional. Social media tools are part of their communication plan tools. Through these tools they supply instant and correct information. Using these tools enhance their perception, efficiency and otherwise. What do we think can happen if we have our cities’ map online showing the greenery as other have? What about having established forums where issues are discussed and government officials listen to issues being sincerely discussed?

What about videos of our government officials on Youtube and other online video platforms? These short videos can address different issues ranging from encouragement, explaining, articulating where we are and where we are going? Videos of great acts, good deeds of government officials, Nigerians who have demonstrated acts that resonate with “great nation, great people’ brand positioning slogan. When an individual, nation has a great cause, the internet offers untold help.

Barrack Obama team had used and is still using the internet to great advantage. I think the issue is that internet requires that one is brutally honest, be human and open to feedback which we may be afraid of.

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