Branding: A Prerequisite for Successful Outcomes for Persons, Companies and Nations

by Paul I. Adujie

Branding, rebranding is how the world is run.

Or, why do most people on earth refer to every photocopying machine as a Xerox? Why does everyone refer to every internet search efforts as Google it? Why is every detergent in Nigeria referred to as OMO?

Branding, rebranding, marketing, product promotion, product placement are synonymous themes and terms in efforts deployed by individual persons, by companies, and by nations who intend successful outcomes…

Can anyone imagine a strategy, a bad strategy it is, which demands that an unemployed job seeker never create a resume, until her career succeeds? Or that a manufacturer never creates product awareness promotions for its products? And further, that, a nation never deploy ambassadors and diplomats until she is a world power? Doing all these things are aspects and facets of branding rebranding, promotion and marketing of the individual, corporation or nation. Advert is life!

What does the reader think of advertising? Do advertisers tell the public the truth? Do adverts and commercials work effectively in persuasive roles upon the average consumers? Do Nigerians buy real and fake Gucci, Nike and Movado? Are Nigerians the only ones who believe exaggerated truths in commerce? Are Nigerians seduced by falsities in adverts? Do Nigerians realize that branding, rebranding, product placement, and marketing etc all means adverts? Whether euphemistically called infomercial, product announcements or promotions etc
Advertising works! Nigeria and Nigerians must employ it!

A successful outcome for an individual person might be attained through the creation of a resume, or a reworking of such resume through the rendering of a new and an updated version of such a resume. A good resume, an excellent resume, is the equivalent of an effective public affairs manager or public relations effort on behalf of the named seeker of employment. A prospective employee may attract a prospective employer by an offering, in most creative manner, a resume which satisfies the needs, requirements, education, training and experience needed by the prospective employer. A good resume attracts and catches the eye of a prospective employer. Therefore, it can be rightly be asserted, that a good resume, is such, which gets the job seeker’s foot in the door, for at least an interview, before anything else.

As applied to companies and corporate bodies, branding, rebranding, promotion, product labeling, product placements and advertising etc, is an exactingly crucial process to successful outcomes. Profitability and corporate success, is the expressway to the attainment of satisfaction for board of directors and shareholders in terms of dividends or return on investments. In today’s world, it is not enough to make or manufacture a goodly useful product. Products must have a fitting or appropriate name, better if, such name has a ring to it. Beyond product name, it is even much better if such product has an attractive label and a suitable color.

Then there must be an aggressive, vigorous and rigorous promotions, advertising and placements of such products. Pharmaceutical companies have been known to create advertising and promotion based on an existing drug, but repackaged, relabeled and rebranded as good for treating another ailment, a new ailment, or an old ailment which you never knew you had, until you saw the advertisement by your favorite drug company’s aggressive, vigorous and rigorous prodigious promotion on television, newspapers and on billboards!

Nations are in these respects, quite similar in self-promotion, but, called national interests, and public policies propagandas are instruments for attaining what an individual person would, through a good resume while such an individual angles for employment. Nations engage in packaging and repacking, branding, rebranding, promotions, marketing, advertising, propaganda and even wars, in order to promote such national and strategic interests. War and propaganda is continuation of policy by, through and with, other means; apologies to Von Clausewitz who once said, (paraphrased here) War is policy pursuit by other methods.

Aggressive marketing, promotion, propaganda, advertising, media commercials or infomercials, and the general blitzkriegs of today’s world are the only explanations for human habits and even addictions, which continue to spread. Among these human habits and addictions, which are patently useless, and worse than useless in the most implicit and explicit terms of the term, useless! An easy example is the fact that some medical doctors and other healthcare professionals would smoke cigarettes, even despite their medical and scientific knowledge of the fact, current medical evidence have proven that cigarettes possess no vitamins or health benefits. Cigarettes, quite to the contrary, contain cancer-causing agents/elements carcinogen. The same can be said of anyone, who is not from Mars regarding the disease encrusted “product” known as cigarette. Anyone not from Mars would have to have heard that cigarettes are harmful to humans! But regardless of these scientific truisms, many people, educated persons, enlightened humans, will smoke their first stick of cigarette tomorrow! So, perhaps aggressive marketing does work? Perhaps branding as in the Marlboro-Man does have effect and works to sway new smokers?

The unstated rule today is as if, we are all encouraged to make good products, make better logos, much better designs and color-label and packaging; then have the best and greatest advertisements! Microsoft Personal Computers and Apple Mac, Microsoft has the command of the market, through better branding and rebranding and aggressive marketing. Video Home System or VHS made by JVC defeated Sony made Betamax in aggressive branding and marketing wars. These sorts of corporate branding, rebranding and vicious marketing wars are ceaselessly endless in the business world. The world is saying to all of us, make a good movie, make good perfume, but you do better be careful to mindfully market them. Write a good book, but get a publisher and an agent who get you and your book unto the press and media to talk about your “wonderful” book

Most Nigerians, who have entered the arena of the branding and rebranding debate, have been guilty of two presumptions. Firstly, too many Nigerians believe that a pre-condition for branding, rebranding, advertising and promoting Nigeria require that Nigeria, first, have to have attained the status of a perfect society, before ever making any attempts to engage in self promotions, branding rebranding advertising or diplomatic offensive. But, nothing could be farther from the truth of how the world really actually works in these matters.

Sometimes I just wonder whether Nigerians who are quick to discount the effect of advertising, promotions and marketing, are in fact aware of photo-shopped and airbrushed faces and pictures to which these same very Nigerians are confronted with daily! Airbrushed and photo-shopped faces of politicians, public figures, super models and all celebrities are on pages of newspapers, magazines and on television and in the movies. Those unblemished and spotless faces are branded and rebranded for public consumption!

Nigerians have seen celebrity endorsements, and the use sex to sell all sorts of products. Reading some comments by some Nigerians on this branding and rebranding phenomenon, they give the impression, that they do not understand, that, cheap food does not necessarily bad food and expensive things are not necessarily good things! Nigerians must know that there are bloggers these days, paid to review products with appearance of expertise. Nigerians must know of name recognition, which should not be confused with quality. The French company, Michelin is a rubber car tires to Nigerians, but it is also food or gourmet magazine in America.

Anyone who suggests that Nigeria must be a perfect nation-society before Nigeria can engage in diplomatic charming o

f the world, should consider these analogous messages which follows. Imagine the illogic of suggesting to a job seeker, not to engage in the creation of a great resume, until she has had a successful career or become the president or chief executive officer of a company! Instead, the right position on these matters, require that we inform the unemployed to prospective great career, with writing a great door opener of a resume, as a precondition or precursor to attaining career success.

An individual can continually update her resume to reflect career growth, professional development and career success. Just as companies and sundry organizations must, as a crucial matter, have a mission statement which encompasses the organizational and or corporate objectives, which will lead to successful outcomes in production widgets or the provisions of services. Products and services must be niche marketed to the target end- user, whose sustained interests, generate patronage and profits etc

Similarly, nations must enunciate public policies, domestic and or, foreign; and aggressively promote such policies for internal and external consumptions. It is usually best, if what is claimed by individuals, companies and nations, in their branding, rebranding, self-promotion, resumes, marketing etc are, in fact, true and factual. However, this is often a matter of embellishing, puffing, flowery, sexed-up information, with embedment, coyness, diplomacy and garden variety propaganda!

Here is greater than fiction tale, as analogous to the above truisms. Once there was an empire which contained persons of two races. A Black race and a White race; The Whites dominated the Blacks. Blacks were brutalized in most unimaginable ways by the Whites, and yet, the Whites for almost a thousand years, claimed, with straight faces, that they, the Whites, matter of fact, and in sacrosanct manner, own and hold trademark and patent and monopoly to all that is democracy, liberty, freedom, equality, better than the rest of the world. The rest of humans, saw the Whites as they described, and have labeled and packaged themselves as the grandfather and grandmother of equality, justice and fairness, all this, despite abundant evidences of their subhuman treatments of Black fellow citizens.

Unbelievably, and remarkably, after five hundred years, the Whites elected a biracial (a Black and White) individual, as leader of the empire, and the whole world danced in the streets. No one bothered ask the Whites obvious logical questions, about their self-proclaimed trademark and patented monopoly of democracy, freedom, liberty, justice, equality during all this thousand years. No one bothered to ask the Whites, what in fact, took them so long, to see and come to the realization of the benefits and eminent sense in diversity! The Whites were showered with praises. They branded and rebranded themselves, again!

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