© 2016 Dav Idega / Raoul Men
In Africa, the socio-economic and political landscape has been shifting much faster than many people realize, and almost entirely in positive directions. Strong demographic trends that have emerged throughout much of the continent mean that the lives of millions of people, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, are changing. Enrollment in education is up across sub-Saharan Africa, urbanization has reconfigured the physical spaces in which people live and work, and economic reforms have opened the marketplace to new entrepreneurial endeavors both big and small. Perhaps nowhere have these changes manifested themselves more than in Nigeria.
Nigeria, known as “the giant of Africa,” is the country with both the biggest population and the largest economy on the continent, with some 187 million residents and the world’s 20th largest GDP, which was pegged at $582.986 billion in 2015. The country’s manufacturing sector is the third largest in Africa, and produces a large proportion of the goods used around the West African region. It is also home to rapidly growing telecommunications, banking, and film industries.
These economic changes have brought about many new opportunities for Nigerian businesses, but also its fair share of challenges, especially in the areas of branding and marketing. In the earliest stages of economic development, there is little need for branding as businesses mainly exist to fill pressing needs or tap into unspoiled markets. But when opportunities proliferate, and the transition to a consumer economy is taking place, new companies spring up that need to find their specific niche in a suddenly crowded market place.
This is certainly the case Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, where competition is picking up in all kinds of industries. The advantages of increased competition and consumer choices are well known, but standing out can be a challenge, both for companies that wish to disrupt the market place or are being disrupted by new entries into the space. In this environment, branding and brand strategy suddenly become very important, and often the first company to successfully differentiate from the others is the one that finds sustained success, which sometimes lasts for decades. Today, the leading branding and marketing consultancy working with companies in Lagos and around Nigeria is MariePhilip Consulting Limited.
Building Powerful Brand Narratives that Connect With Customers
© 2016 Dav Idega / Raoul Men
In Nigeria, companies of all sizes are struggling with establishing effective branding. MariePhilip Consulting understands how difficult it can be for companies to go it alone, so it offers a step-by-step, end-to-end service that helps leaders of companies of all sizes define their brand strategies, craft authentic and meaningful brand experiences, and build brand and company cultures that help guide the organization at every level of operations. This manifests itself in everything from logo design and establishing a brand’s visual identity to the strategic positioning the company in the market. MariePhilip contends that branding is all about delivering on the promise of the brand experience, so the first step is to identify the most authentic brand narrative for the client, the one that tells the true story of the company in a compelling and powerful way. It never forces an identity onto a company unless it fits perfectly.
Once the brand narrative has been defined, MariePhilip helps clients tell that story to the wider public. This can manifest itself in many ways, from crafting the brand’s identity on the web and social media to crafting comprehensive strategies for corporate communications and advertising and helping to create products and packaging designs that fit into the brand narrative.
MariePhilip doesn’t only work with big corporations that have large branding and marketing budgets, either. Companies on the smaller-end of the spectrum benefit greatly from brand differentiation as well, so it has created special products for SME’s—packages that range in size that include logo design, the formulation of basic visual identity signifiers, and the design of business cards, letterheads, etc, including printing runs of these items in various quantities.
MariePhilip’s Quality system is geared heavily towards one key measurement of success: client satisfaction. The company’s mission statement says that it “work[s] with ... clients to provide end-to-end design and strategy solutions that completely align with and surpass their expectations.” This means that, first and foremost, expectations must be defined and documented. Secondly, communication and feedback is essential to keeping the clients engaged and participating in the work. So far, MariePhilip has successfully re-engineered the brand identities of a long list of satisfied clients, and that list is only getting longer.
For its groundbreaking introduction of world-class branding strategies to its clients, for its innovative work and immense creativity, and for its relentless pursuit of client satisfaction, and for its contributions to the economic development of its country, MariePhilip Consulting Limited has been selected to receive the 2016 BID International Quality Award by Business Initiative Directions.
ABOUT BID AND THE WORLD QUALITY COMMITMENT AWARD:
BID is a private and independent organization founded in 1984, whose primary activity is business communication orientated towards quality, excellence and innovation in management. A leader in the broadcasting of Quality Culture, BID recognizes those companies and organizations which lead the most important activities in the business world, and is considered the founding organization in the broadcasting of the Culture of Quality, Excellence and Innovation in 179 countries. The trophy symbolizes a pledge to the principles of Quality Culture. The QC100 Total Quality Management Model, together with the Quality Mix program, media coverage of the convention and its impact on the community and business sector, create an unmatched platform for continuous improvement within the organization and awareness of the achievements of the company at an international level. Awards are given only to those who are committed to improving their Quality Culture based on the principles of the QC100 Total Quality Management Model. Candidates are proposed by the leaders of previously awarded companies who they consider worthy of the award. Especially meritorious candidates may also be nominated. The International BID Quality Award Selection Committee then chooses the winning companies who will receive the award in New York, Paris, Geneva, Frankfurt, Madrid and London.