The beer segment in the Nigerian alcoholic beverages market has been projected to sustain significant growths in the year 2018 thanks to an expected improvement in the national economy that is very likely going to be driven by increased sending power ahead of election year 2019.
But as analysts make projections on what is likely going to be a boom year for brands in this segment, most people are very likely not going to be talking about positioning statements and other marketing activities that have been responsible for the growth of this segment especially against the background of the economic recession that the country is emerging from.
That some of these brands, a few years ago were off the shelves of many stores is also something of significance. Some years ago, many of the brands, most especially in the beer category of this segment, were in the throes of virtual extinction.
In south west Nigeria, one such beer brand is Trophy, a beer that most local people held on to for years until demand patterns shifted and adversely affected regional brands across the country. Back in those days, Trophy as a brand, though occupying an identifiable niche in the regional value beer segment, was struggling. Efforts by International Breweries Plc to raise the brand didn’t quite achieve much until SABmiller took over the brand aand asked a new agency to charge of the management of the brand.
Before this time, all the successes around the brand’s credentials were always shy of Lagos, the country’s capital of just about everything. Lagos has remained the trend setter for the country in music, fashion and lifestyle and the brand that cuts a hole in the sprawling bustling city is sure to reach the rest of the country and with much more ease.
No one really knows what AbInBev, the global brewing behemoth that bought SABMiller (the former owners of the brand) wants to do to spin the brand Skywards and although the former marketing Manager, Kunle Ogidi, insists amongst other things product reformulation and superior brewing excellence were reasons the brand became a beer of choice for many, it is a known fact that most times, especially for consumers in this segment, certain other emotions tend to decide and determine brand preferences.
Back in 2012, the brand had begun the journey that has significantly raised its credentials in the market with the adoption of the vastly aspirational nickname, “Honourable.” The idea was to raise the emotional value of the brand among its core C-to-D market segment, creating a feel-good aspirational emotion around the brand.
Ogidi said this emotional benefit was designed to reinforce the rational values the brand already possessed, although most will think the emotional side became a stronger proposition than the rational.
Driving this overwhelmingly success became the lot of Yomi Benson and his brand “Babalawos” at Culture Communications and it was here that the idea of infusing cultural elements as a means of upping the Trophy drinking culture was cooked and served.
Yomi Benson and his team apparently had read through the Yoruba culture and folklore and reasoned that connecting to the core of the people’s value systems of honouring their icons and emulating those who stand out could become a pillar the brand could stand on and be strong.
That, according to him was reason the moniker, “Honourable” was adopted for the brand. It became so strong that consumers started calling the brand honorable, that was why we had to infuse into the label. For Culture communications, consumers determine the path our brands take.