SO&U boss, Udeme Ufot advices FG on rebranding campaign
Managing Director of SO&U Advertising Agency, Mr. Udeme Ufot has faulted the Nigerian government on its inability to properly rebrand the image of the country and positively engage citizens through strategic communications.
Ufot told Marketing Edge Magazine, that this failure can be blamed on government’s preponderance for using foreign agency at the expense of Nigerian ones. He added that this was a big mistake on the part of government.
According to him, most communications by these foreign consultants could not be understood by Nigerians because they did not reflect the local parlance of the country.
”When Nigeria government do communications, they will go and hire people from New York and Paris, a strategist who has never step foot in Nigeria will write strategy for Nigerian communication programme.
“Sometimes, it could be nice strategic framework but execution is the problem, you cannot talk to a man that you don’t understand, the same way, you engage a man when you speak his own language and by that you relate with him, even when I speak to you in English there is a way my English connects with you as a Nigerian than an oyibo man, oyibo comes and speaks English to you, it will not be the same as I am speaking to you or more or less a Ghanaian”
” Until Nigerian leaders learn to appreciate the power of communications, until we learn to understand how brands are built, we will keep struggling. Our leaders do not even understand what it means to communicate, our leaders fail to understand that what they say, how they say it, what they do or fail to do matters a lot,” he added.
The SO&U boss however called for the training and orientation of Nigerian leaders affirming that if President Muhammadu Buhari did not understand that whatever he says outside the shores of the country would have a great impact on the image and the country he leads, then there is need to inculcate communication strategy and branding.
On how to rebrand the country, Mr. Ufot stressed ”Our leaders must learn a few things. Number one, they have to decide, how they want their country to be seen. What will their country be known for, and put those things in place.”
He further recounted the success of the Dakkada rebranding campaign in Akwa Ibom State stressing that it was successful and still being felt by the people because they could understand the language of communication.
“Anywhere Governor Udom Emmanuel goes to as Governor of Akwa Ibom State, he cannot start any speech and finish without beginning with the Dakkada, he will not and his commissioners have seen what he does, so no commissioner will make any speech anywhere without any reference to Dakkada.
“Nigerian leaders should understand that they are the custodian of the Nigerian brand and must behave like a marketing director and take ownership and ensure that they project those quality things that will make the brand likable and respected” Mr. Ufot affirmed.