Connect with us

News

The 7 Pillars of Positioning

Published

on

Kindly share this post

When it comes to positioning, a correlation does make the truth: organizations that stand for something unique in the mind of consumers or customers grow and prosper while the ones that stand for nothing or too many things will eventually disintegrate sooner than later. The survival of any company in a modern market-state-economy is dependent on the quality of information available to its management as well as the staff. Unarguably, the Americans are peerless when it comes to information-sharing; they communicate lavishly. This is the source of the obvious resilience and competitive advantage which many American companies enjoy over their counterparts in Africa and Asia. For instance, there are probably more books on why Enron failed than even on IBM turn-around. But here in Nigeria, we scarcely want to talk on why a company went under because we are only used to talking about best practices. But great lessons can equally be learnt from gallant failures.

Revolutions are happening all around us and the emergence of do-it-yourself technology makes forecasting job to be fraught with enormous vulnerability today. In a market-state–economy, only the fittest companies survive the hyper competitive, dog-eat-dog economic milieu. Consumers are kings; they determine which companies to keep alive and the ones to inter. Little wonder why only 60% of the manufacturing companies and 30% of the banks that sang Christmas carol in December 1999 were alive by January 2008 to say happy New Year. In corporate Nigeria, the question is: How did Zenith bank survive the Soludo consolidation re-engineering and Fountain Trust and 63 other banks got dispatched to The Great Beyond? Was it money- power or network or luck or handiwork of unseen forces? No. The answer lies in Positioning.

Positioning is about what is unique in a company, what a company stands for. How buyers or consumers perceive a company will determine the share of the mind and the share of the shelve which such company’s products will enjoy. Positioning is about perception; and perception is reality. The 25 banks that survive the consolidation exercise are mostly the ones that represent something in the mind of consumers. And even then, it will be discovered that 1+1=5 in some banks after consolidation, while 7+1 is less than 1 among some 8 banks that came together. The long and short of it is that the companies that will survive must stand for something in the mind of consumers. A critical analysis of all the companies that have been forced to close shops whether in the media or manufacturing or telecom industries show that majority of them did not stand for something worthwhile in the mind of their respective patrons i.e. consumers. Hardly can anybody remember what Lead Merchant, Bond, ABC, and Metropolitan banks among others stood for when they were in operation? In the media, can anyone remind us what position Sentinel and Globe magazines occupied in the mind of their readers?

However, it is one thing for an organization to communicate one position to its target audience; it’s a different ball game for the audience to see the perceived value. In the last three years, arising from stiff competition, every organization has been trying to purchase a portion of the consumer mind, some have been successful while majority have failed. This is because most companies don’t match their words with actions. For instance, when Intercontinental bank comes out with ‘the face of Leadership’, people wonder which leadership? – In which area. Zenith bank says it is for people, service and technology: Service for whom? Sky bank on the other hand says it is the leader in e-business, while bank PHB says it is the king of innovation. On its part, GT bank constantly waves the ‘professionalism handkerchief’ to us. These are all wonderful positions but consumers like beautiful brides (which they are) are very cautious; they seek for hard facts, concrete evidence to know which of them is for real.

In the paragraphs that follow, we shall look into the seven pillars of positioning to enable managers of organizations see how IBM, Coca-cola, General Electric, Intel, Microsoft and Apple among other great companies managed to engrave themselves into the minds of consumers globally for generations.

Pillar 1: Leadership. The advantage of being the first in a market segment over being the best is as high as 40%. I totally agree with Al Ries and Jack Trout in their powerful book on Positioning that it is far easier to get to the market place first than to try to convince someone that you have a superior product. We witnessed this when Zenith and GT banks first came out to raise N25billion each in the stock market three years ago; they spent less money in advertising than the other banks which came after them.

Pillar 2: Mind. Marketing battles are won or lost first in the mind: getting to the market first is not as important as getting to the mind of the consumer first. The eternal advantage which Guinness stout has over Legend extra stout is the fact that Guinness got into the mind of consumers first. This is why ladies hardly forget their first ‘toaster’

Pillar 3: Perception. All truths are subjective and relative. Everything in this world is about perception. There is no brand of the year, no bank of the year; no man of the year: its all about perception. Perception is real, and it is everything.

Pillar 4: Focus. Companies that successfully own a word in the prospect minds have won 50% of the battle. 7up: the difference is clear. Coke: Always coca-cola. New Horizons: Everything is possible. First bank: truly the first. Skye bank: saying yes to your dream. It works magic, and it shows on the balance-sheet as well.

Pillar 5: Opposite. When bank PHB went for full re-branding, little did it occur to the management that it will catch fire with consumers. There is opportunity in weakness. Companies that are not number one in getting to the market or mind before competition can still prosper if it plays the law of opposite in marketing very well the way 7up and AVIS car hire have done.

Pillar 6: Line Extension: The temptation is always strong for CEOs to extend the brand equity of a product or name. But the end result is always almost a disaster. Maltina did it with little success. Fanta Chapman in coke was a failure. Almost all banks that went into mortgage business in the 1990s in Nigeria got their fingers burnt. Consumers will have no problem in drinking star lager beer from Nigerian Brewery; but certainly the concept of a coke- beer will take miracle to fly. But this is what most CEOs do each time they run out of ideas to boost revenue base of their corporations.

Pillar 7: Resources. No doubt, a life without oxygen and blood will automatically come to an abrupt close the same way a company without cash. Cash remains the king. Cash is blood in business. Without good resources the most brilliant idea won’t get off the ground. Coke, Microsoft, IBM, MTN have all used their respective financial power to permanently weaken competition. Nonetheless,ideas will continue to rule the world!

Tim Akano ([email protected])

Tim Akano is an IT specialist and CEO, New Horizons. He is a seminar presenter and one of the World’s top coaches on sixth-sense corporate strategy.

 


Kindly share this post

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

Continue Reading
Comments

News

Magu, Suspended EFCC Boss Says He Never Received Bribe all His Life

Published

on

Kindly share this post

Ibrahim Magu, suspended acting chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), on Wednesday said he has never received bribe all his life.

Magu, Suspended EFCC Boss Says He Never Received Bribe all His Life

brahim Magu, suspended chairman, EFCC

Magu was testifying before the Justice Ayo Salami panel probing allegations of corruption against him.

The suspended EFCC boss said anyone who claim he had ever given him bribe should come forward before the panel to testify against him.

He was responding to allegations that he allowed a suspect Hima Aboubakar, a Nigerien National to escape from justice.

The suspended EFCC boss had opened his defense on Monday to clear corruption allegations against him.

The probe panel has allowed him to have only two lawyers represent him at a time.

On Monday & Tuesday, he was represented by Wahab Shittu and Aliyu Lemu.

In yesterday’s proceedings, he was represented by Shittu and Tosin Ojaomo.


Kindly share this post
Continue Reading

News

HP, AU Commission Sign MoU to Collaborate for Development of Entrepreneurial Skills in Africa

Published

on

Kindly share this post

HP Inc. in partnership with the African Union Commission (AUC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to foster entrepreneurial learning in Africa.

The aim of the MoU is to further cement the collaboration between these two parties in building entrepreneurial skills across the continent and to leverage HP Foundation’s Learning Initiative for Entrepreneurs (HP LIFE).

HP LIFE provides people in the region with access to 32 free, online courses in seven languages to build key business competencies as set out in the AGENDA 2063.

AGENDA 2063 is Africa’s blueprint and master plan for transforming Africa into the global powerhouse of the future.

It is the continent’s strategic framework that aims to deliver on its goal for inclusive and sustainable development and is a concrete manifestation of the pan-African drive for unity, self-determination, freedom, progress, and collective prosperity.

HP Inc. and the AUC have agreed to exchange information and material on enhancing quality education for learners and entrepreneurs in Africa, organize symposiums and conferences on education and skills development initiatives, leverage the online platform HP LIFE, which is aimed to enroll a million users between 2016 and 2025 and is part of HP’s commitment to enable better learning outcomes for 100 million people globally by 2025.

The aim of the MoU is to ensure closer collaboration and exchange of information between the parties, in a manner that creates synergies in Youth Skills Development, Academic Exchanges, and Research in Africa.

“HP is driving access to quality education globally to enable anyone and everyone to build skills to compete in the digital economy,” said Issam Essadiqi, Interim Managing Director, HP Africa. “Making education more accessible and effective helps people get better jobs, launch small businesses, and create opportunities for their families and communities.

“HP believes technology can be the great equalizer in education and is using it to enable students to get access to quality education in the classroom and beyond.”

The AU Commissioner for Human Resource, Science and Technology H.E Prof. Sarah Anyang Agbor said, “The partnership with HP will accelerate our education response to Covid-19 and beyond to ensure accessible and continued learning for African youth.

The African Union’s education agenda, which has a focus on digital learning is well complemented by the opportunities that the work with HP will bring about for African youth.

In line with prioritizing distance learning, the partnership will support individuals and institutions of learning to provide the requisite expertise and opportunities.”

HP LIFE was first offered through hundreds of local training centers in countries such as Nigeria, Tunisia, South Africa, Uganda, and Kenya, to help people learn the skills to start or grow a business or improve their employment prospects.

In 2012, HP LIFE expanded to an online platform. Since 2016, over 116,000 men and women across Africa have already received HP LIFE training. 82% of women who took part in an HP LIFE survey said that participating in the programme had increased their confidence in their future

Today, technology can support new styles of learning. PCs and tools designed for education can offer students flexibility of time, place, and pace of learning, whether in or out of the classroom, or in a blend of environments.

HP and the AUC’s joint efforts have the potential to uplift access of education and opportunities for career work and economic growth, and this collaboration has the potential to make lifelong learning a reality.


Kindly share this post
Continue Reading

News

“TIME 100” Lists Tony Elumelu among 100 Most Influential People in the World 2020

Published

on

Kindly share this post

TIME has named Tony O. Elumelu, one of Africa’s leading investors and philanthropists, in the 2020 TIME100, the annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

“TIME 100” Lists Tony Elumelu among 100 Most Influential People in the World 2020

The list, now in its seventeenth year, recognises the activism, innovation, and achievement of the world’s most influential individuals.

Mr Elumelu, who is one of only four Africans on the 2020 list, is recognised for his track record of business turnaround and value creation, and economic empowerment of young Africans.

Tony Elumelu is the founder and chairman of Heirs Holdings, his family owned investment company, committed to improving lives and transforming Africa, through long-term investments in strategic sectors of the African economy, including financial services, hospitality, power, energy and healthcare.

He is the Chairman of top pan-African financial services group, the United Bank for Africa (UBA), which operates in 20 countries in Africa, the United Kingdom, France, and is the only African bank with a commercial deposit taking licence in the United States.

The bank provides corporate, commercial, SME and consumer banking services to more than 21 million customers globally.

Elumelu also chairs Nigeria’s largest quoted conglomerate, Transcorp, whose subsidiaries include Transcorp Power, one of the leading generators of electricity in Nigeria and Transcorp Hotels Plc, Nigeria’s foremost hospitality brand.

Mr Elumelu is the most prominent champion of entrepreneurship in Africa. In 2010, he created The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), the philanthropy empowering a new generation of African entrepreneurs, catalysing economic growth, driving poverty eradication and ensuring job creation across all 54 African countries.

Since inception, the Foundation has funded just under 10,000 entrepreneurs and created a digital ecosystem of over one million as part of its ten year, US$100m commitment through the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme.

Self-funded, the Foundation is increasingly sharing its unique ability to identify, train, mentor and fund young entrepreneurs across Africa, with institutions such as the UNDP, the ICRC and leading European development agencies.

Tony Elumelu Named In “TIME 100” List Of 100 Most Influential People In The World 2020Heirs Holdings, which serves as a corporate role model for African businesses, and the Tony Elumelu Foundation will both celebrate 10 years of impact in November.

Their mission continues to be inspired by Mr Elumelu’s economic philosophy of Africapitalism, which positions the private sector, and most importantly entrepreneurs, as the catalyst for the social and economic development of the continent.


Kindly share this post
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Social

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending