Various marketing and communications experts confirmed that the absence of a purpose statement for Nigeria, corruption, bad leadership, opaque governance and crime have combined to stymie the maximisation of economic potential of the country. The industry eggs heads made this known at the second edition of BRANDish Meeting of Minds held recently in Lagos.
They argued that the country is at a juncture where it should tell itself some home truths about impediments to progress, insisting that the situation where the country is ranked 136 out of 175 countries surveyed on the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index raises issues that must be seriously and urgently addressed
Speaking while delivering a paper titled, “The Economics of a Market-Led Purpose for Nigeria,” Managing Director, The Lucent Consulting Company, Lampe Omoyele, highlighted the urgent need to search, identify and amplify Nigeria’s common purpose with a view to creating a uniform and consistent narrative around the Nigerian brand. “For Nigeria to be truly successful in crafting a strategic positioning, a concerted effort at unearthing of our shared values and amplification, not fabrication, of these truths in a manner that resonates with Nigerians is required. This would involve engaging stakeholders in the Nigerian enterprise. Participation and conviction of the populace in the overall agenda of the country in manners where ideas are not just imposed on them but communicated as partners in progress is imperative,” Omoyele said.
He further called for the evolution of political leadership that is sensitive to the overall aspiration of the country. “Leadership is critical to evolving a strong nation brand. As a result, the country’s leaders should be the ambassador plenipotentiaries of the positioning, accentuating the positives. Their actions and body languages should resonate the very fabrics of the envisioned brand promises that Nigeria represents,” Omoyele, who was the immediate past Managing Director of AC Nielsen Nigeria, stated.
He said branding Nigeria, as has been seen in the examples of other nations, should be a multi-disciplinary project that cannot be successful without strong public-private partnership and the employment of professionals, inclusion of young, digital natives and the harnessing of already existing gains in music, movies growing Information Technology success stories in some parts of the country
Also speaking while presenting his own paper titled, “Foreign Direct Investment and the Power of Made for Purpose PR,” Managing Director of The Quadrant Company MSL, Bolaji Okusaga, called for a redefinition of Nigeria’s “Investment Brand Essence” with a view to creating a clear purpose of both appeal and direction. This, he said, must be articulated in well-thought out above-the-line and below-the-line campaigns that would effectively communicate the country’s selling-points as well as build and sustain equity through strategic reputation management.
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