Enlisting generational brand loyalty among brand consumers is very crucial to modern marketing business, ad experts have said overtime. By this, advert agencies, are enjoined to focus more on making the brand so essentially familiar that subsequent generations can inherit the brand loyalty and keep it alive for ages.
M. Lanre Oyegbola, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Havas Africa and Boomerang, told The Industry that ad firms should endeavour to register a brand in the heart of consumers and help the brand to be more meaningful to them, adding that brand marketing has migrated from the old client-agency focus to brand-solution in recent years.
According to him, the degree of loyalty a brand enjoys from core consumers, ability to take the consumers generationally such that they can pass on the tradition from one person to another, is the new dimension in brand marketing.
In a research recently conducted, he said, “The question was how ‘do you think that brands can increase and get you more engaged such that the consumer will be more and more committed with the brand?’ In his view, the brands must showthat they have a purpose and that they have meaning. So it is not just about what the brand decides to say; the consumer is saying that this brand must be relevant in my life. There must be a purpose beyond the fact that you are just a brand. What is your purpose? What are you doing? What exactly have you brought to bear that makes you relevant to me? And that is what we call meaningfulness”.
Oyegbola said “Our focus is to help brands become more meaningful to consumers. And at the same time before you can do that, you need to know what is meaningful to people, because if you don’t understand what is meaningful to people, you will just be in the dark and probably making assumptions that are very far from reality”.
He noted that a body of researchers has showed that “a plethora of brands just come and go, and you wonder where they have gone. They just come in and they just fizzle away”.
He added that perception, as immaterial as it is, is very deep in marketing business, as he said that ad agency is all about how you are perceived. “We were doing well in 2015 and then by 2018 we want to do much better. And part of building that perception is for you to have a global brand that is associated with you.
“Now, it is a two-way street. For some people, you build the perception around yourself as a brand and it works for you. To some other people, you build the perception through your association or affiliations that you have or partnerships. There is a perception around the personality that is driving the agency and ultimately it robs off on the agency and helps to improve the quality of work that they do”.
He stated that the perception could be built around the fact that you won an award. “So, if you are a creative agency and you always win all the awards, you are top on the list. That is a perception. The perception is that you are creative that is why you are winning the award”.
He said marketing business is the business of perception – the way you are perceived. “If you are perceived to be creative, people will relate to you that you are creative. If you are perceived to be strong, people will relate to you that you are strong. It is about building the right perception about your brand, because the agencies, we are also brands”.
He, however, noted that building all the perceptions around a brand in the Nigerian perspective is a bit difficult, “because we are very cluster-focused in the marketing/IMC industry in Nigeria.
“So, you find people who say, we are a media agency, we are an experiential agency, we are a creative agency and we are a PR agency. So, you can’t build all of the perceptions at once. People, then, will perceive you as good in all; it might be a bit of a challenge. But it depends on who your buyer is per time. If the person who is buying your service per time is buying just your media service, the way the person relates to you is that you are the best in media. You build that and enforce that perception”.
He also corroborated other marketing experts that the business has shifted base from client-agency relation to solution-agency. “When I was in Verdant, we don’t wait for briefs from clients, we sell solutions. I saw this as far back as 2007. That is what everybody is trying to say now. What is going to a profile is not the agency as it is or as a structure, it is the approach of agency business that is going to fade. Clients will no longer be looking for somebody who can produce a TV commercial that wins an award. They will be looking for somebody who will be able to deliver a solution that impacts their bottom line. So, it is going to be a more solution driven approach, which is where the strength for through the line will begin to come through. Because if you are thinking through the line, you are not just thinking about the fact that I want this commercial to win an award, but also you are thinking through the line.
“Will it impact the bottom line? Will it help to galvanise consumer behaviour in a way that it is positive for the brand. Not just beautiful creative and all of that. It is going to be you are looking at what is going to be the contribution? So, clients are probably going to be putting the works of agency almost like an item of their balance sheet. In essence, it is a reality that is going to come. It might come in 2021, it might come in 2022, but I have been an advocate of this forthe last 10 years”, he said.