Starting a business in Nigeria is a piece of cake compared to building and sustaining a brand. There are a number of reasons for this, but one of the biggest of them all may be the approach to creativity and innovation in marketing.
By Lynda Aguocha
Many entrepreneurs think that marketing belongs in the final stages of setting up a business. However, marketing activities actually start at the very beginning. It is what drives the business strategy and plan.
It helps in the development of a marketable product or service, as branding begins even from naming a business. In short, a business starts, grows and stays afloat with marketing, so it is imperative for businesses and marketing professionals to be well informed and innovative with their marketing tactics at all times.
However, this is easier said than done. The truth is that many people know or claim to know the theory of things. It seems so easy on paper that even novices after a few hours on Google or with a coach, feel like an authority in marketing matters.
Being knowledgeable and being quick to churn out marketing ideas is important but actually developing, applying and executing creative ideas to generate the desired results is a different ball game altogether, especially because marketing is not a one-cap-fits-all affair.
The process might be the same but the development, application and execution are meant to be customized per business or brand.
This is why SMEs need to be continuously inspired, cheered and challenged to go the extra mile with their marketing in order to keep their brand relevant and profitable. This is what my platform @LivewithLynda on Instagram brings to the table.
We are dedicated to celebrating creativity and promoting excellence in marketing communications. We analyze and review the business and marketing strategies of global and local brands, as well as their marketing communication activities such as branding and advertising, public relations (PR), Above-the-Line (ATL), Below-the-Line (BTL) & digital advertising.
We break down these complex activities so people can understand the strategy behind the idea, see the genius of it all or the missed opportunities, and be able to judge marketing campaign results against set goals.
The aim is to inspire, inform and provide a platform for businesses and creatives to get feedback on their strategies and promotions, and ultimately foster business and creative excellence. The platform also enables companies to do the following.
Build Sustainable Businesses
Through business strategy analysis and marketing reviews of successful global and local brands, SMEs learn valuable tricks which companies home and abroad use to build and sustain successful brands.
We analyze the ideas behind these brands, the unique features of their product or service, the steps they took in actualizing their objectives and how their advertising and marketing impacted their business.
We also analyze show-stopping ads that effectively communicate brand offerings; highlighting elements in the ad that made the connection with the target audience and won “brand love”.
With this information, SMEs are inspired and challenged to constantly evaluate, innovate and re-strategize their marketing communications to ensure sustainability.
Develop and Grow a Bankable Brand
Every brand is unique, and that uniqueness is the key element leveraged by businesses to grow a bankable brand. Truth be told, most SMEs in Nigeria do not care about branding, in fact, they find it okay to just copy and paste successful business models at face value without understanding the strategy behind it, and this leads to market saturation and eventual demise of businesses.
Only SMEs with strong brand personas survive such scenarios, and what’s most unfortunate is that failed businesses do not realize that one of the reasons they failed, was because they did not develop a strong strategic brand, so they go and repeat the same process in another company or industry.
By celebrating and reviewing outstanding brands on Live with Lynda, as well as analyzing those that failed, SMEs now understand the need to not just copy and paste ideas, but create their own unique brand, which is necessary for business sustainability.
Create Outstanding and Effective Marketing Campaigns
Marketing communication is the life-blood of a business. Unfortunately, it is becoming more and more expensive to achieve effective communication, hence businesses are always on the lookout for cost-effective ideas which can only be achieved through creativity.
SMEs are inspired daily by the different creative marketing tactics and out-of-the-box ads analyzed on my platform. Interestingly, the number of quality attempts by Nigerian brands sent to me daily has also increased and I see elements of issues discussed on my platform utilized and the usual mistakes avoided.
Celebrating outstanding ads from Nigerian brands on LiveWithLynda has proven to be a great way to get noticed and it also challenges other SMEs to strive to become outstanding.
What is more, businesses now have access to a pool of intelligent creatives from Nigeria in particular and all over the world on my platform, and can now have their designs developed under strict guidance by talent from the platform.
In other words, we’ve made it easy for SMEs to access a diverse pool of good creatives and vice versa. The process is seamless and rewarding for both parties as creatives work from their comfort zone and SMEs now have the opportunity to consider different creative interpretations of a brief before settling for the best option.
Build Formidable Teams and Allies
LivewithLynda is the first and biggest media platform specializing in marketing communications and followed by industry professionals.
Organizations can make important decisions like choosing their next advertising agencies from reviewing the comments and analyses of Agencies’ work and modus operandi by the community of professionals on the platform.
Also, through a LivewithLynda initiative called #TheBriefCases, SMEs are able to recruit intelligent, creative and passionate staff for their marketing and communication roles.
Become an Industry Leader
LivewithLynda constantly provides industry news and valuable insights on brands and businesses through posts on feeds and stories. This information help businesses stay informed and outsmart their competition.
Also, when businesses get featured on the platform, they are able to gather valuable feedback on their brand and ads, which helps them to continuously innovate and excel.
With the right approach to creativity and innovation, brands stand a chance at making a mark and becoming reference points in their different industries.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in The Spark Magazine. Find the magazine here to read other articles.
Lynda Aguocha is founder of Live with Lynda and a brand and marketing communications consultant driven by passion and creativity. She is a 2009 Mass Communication graduate from the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT) Enugu, and a seasoned brand & marketing communications professional, with well rounded client and agency experience working with global brands.