Oyeyemi advises brands on int’nal expansion

By Oghale Mafuru

As indigenous brands continue to aspire to global preeminence amid increasing in trans-national economies, erudite and astute marketing professional, Kolawole Oyeyemi, Chief Executive Officer of Axiom Intel Limited has advised brands to be adept in the political idiosyncrasies and nuances of the target market for the realization of desired objectives.

Delivering a keynote speech at the launch of the Knowledge Digest Africa platform which was held at the Oriental Hotel, Lagos recently, with the theme: “Building An Effective Global Brand Strategy; Managing the Politics of Business and Brand Cognitive Dissonance”, Oyeyemi stated that brands that are desirous of expanding into new markets, especially beyond their home countries must be politically oriented to effectively harness the opportunities available in the target market.

He said: “A lot of brands born out of Nigeria and some other African countries have struggled to transcend geographies to become regional or global brands for multifarious reasons. Many of these brands look like success stories locally but somehow have been unable to scale beyond the country.

“It is very difficult to separate politics from business especially when you are expanding into new geographies. You must mind the politics of business and the politics of markets” he added.

According to him, it is imperative for brands to understand the politics that are in the marketplace in order to be strategically positioned, especially in the face of existing competition.

In his words: “If your entry into a country means a head-on collision with a national brand with a truckload of emotional equity, product or service differentiation, the gravitas of internationality and other hard-core commercial principles may be of minimal impact. You must understand the politics so you know how to position yourself for acceptance and success.

“It is purely about the politics that if not well managed can make an excellent brand fail” he added.

While affirming that brands are often plagued with the dilemma of who to support during controversial occurrences that involve consumers and government, the marketing expert called for caution noting that it takes political awareness and deft risk management to survive and thrive as a brand.

“Consumers want you to comment on or openly associate with fundamental political or social issues. Staying neutral and openly maintaining a position both pose various levels of risks. If you are not politically aware, it can destroy your brand” he said.

“Brands’ cognitive dissonance is real and you must be aware as you pursue your growth ambition. Mind the politics of business” he concluded.


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