Home Interview Consumer Value Awards is about celebration of brands-Akonte Ekine

Consumer Value Awards is about celebration of brands-Akonte Ekine

by Goddy Ofose
0 comment

Akonte Ekine is the Founder and chief speaker, Absolute PR Brand and Reputation Managing Services and the Managing Director and chief Consumer Analysist / Co- Founder, Consumer’s value awards. He spoke in this interview with Abigail Gold of  The Industry Newspaper.

Can you share with us; what consumers value awards is all about?

First thing, you are a consumer because as a consumer you are much involved as I am. consumers value awards is about the celebration of brands, products and services. It is about the celebration of people. It is about the expression of the power of the consumer that has to do with  the value he or she has enjoyed over the period of time, spending his money on products. So I say, fir example, that this is product X for the sake of this exercise. This product X delivers values, the only way I can enjoy the value as a consumer is that I must have bought it and in buying it I have an expectation that they will deliver something, so if I buy and it doesn’t deliver then there is a crisis for that product. But in this instance, we want the consumer to attest and claim to the taste of the  product, so we say,  one is fantastic and that fantastic nature of one should be because I as a consumer or you as a consumer are been able to use it and you can attest to it that there is a validation of some values to brands and products. When you now come to the public space that we have created for you to vote,  that you have voted means truly that that product is good.

How is this different from other awards?

By the mechanism we have introduced, it is an open source, open source is that if we go to the website,  and that is why I started by saying have you been to the website www.consumersvalueawards.com,

everything there as much as possible, we will do it together so that you will enjoy yourself. When you go to the website, it tells you to cast a vote on the same website, that  you cast a vote will show you something. Please  note, every vote you cast will ask for your gmail and send an OTP code to you, it is so because we want to be transparent, to identify who has voted because people can vote in different angles, that is why we ask for your gmail. I won’t talk about identification but i will talk on integrity. What we stand for is integrity, straight forward for purpose and brand should be in the marketplace. I don’t know the mechanisms of the other awards and I don’t want to compare with others but I will always commend everyone that creates time to create something that has delivered value in the marketplace.

One of the features is that you have open voting to the public, why is this so?

I don’t know what you mean by academy format but we ask you to vote and we make sure you vote. In modern days development, particularly in marketing society, it is always clear and transparent. If you say A, let people see it as A. we don’t have a jury. That is the first thing about this exercise. The jury is voting. We don’t want to go and sit in one corner and say oh this is the people that are voting. The only reason you are voting for a brand is because you think that the brand has delivered value and if we have ten thousand people that say a brand has delivered value, we will say to the world that truly this brand has delivered value. At the end of the day some brands will fall along the line and some will be part of this. The most important thing for us in this exercise is that you, the public figure, is also counting your vote, so what we have done is we have written to the Managing Directors of the offices that we have nominated. It will be nice if you can come on board and see this, I told someone that this is the pride of a brand, as a brand owner you should be happy and be bold to say to the public, this is our value. You should even campaign if you feel we are of value to you in the market. For instance, I know the detergent brands that are doing well since the last five years.  There is a particular detergent that I and my family will not stop buying at the end of the day, and apart from that we want some consumer to come out and say so, the simple testimonial is what we are asking the people to give to certain brands and in return the consumer will be happy on what they buy. A lot of people go to the market not knowing what to buy, they get confused on what to buy but if you have a product that a group of consumers say’s oh this product is of value you have saved the consumer in terms of time, money and things that are not worth it.

Take us through categories and mechanics if the award?

 When we talk about categories, we have about 32 sets of segmented  categories that we have created. We have milk, sugar, toothpaste,automobiles, airline, cements, fintech, smartphones, data and internet,malt drinks, multivitamins e.t.c. We need to test the workers,  we need to speak to the public to appreciate what we are trying to bring to the market space, what we have done is we limit ourselves to certain segments of the market. We want to see how the acceptability and validity to the people will enable bigger and better conversation.

 The mechanics is very simple, as I said earlier all you need is that when you get to the site, simply click on cast a vote and look at the segment or industry you will like to vote for.  We don’t claim it  say that we are the best on technology management but we are using tech to enable customers to do validation of brands, so at the end of the day we enable brands to prove themselves and want customers to say this brand is good.

How will you describe PR  pre and post pandemic

PR in Nigeria is going through series of strategies, the acceptance is daily improving.  What has really happen and about Covid is the fact that there is semblance of better understanding of the practice of public relations in certain quarters because my recent experience is telling brand that supposed to understand shows that there are people that are far from understanding and there are people that are abusing the subject of PR. That is why we have the PRCAN and the body of PRCAN is trying as much as possible to create standards. Pre and post pandemic things are looking better, things are shaping for good. There is a very thin line in between PR and other forms of marketing mix.

What are the challenges during the pandemic and would you say these challenges are gone?

The pandemic has created new platforms and culture, so now, post pandemic it is strong adaptation that is happening, people are trying to adapt and it creates a reason for better thinking in PR.

How was the first quarter of the 2022 with regards to integrated marketing communications?

The first quarter is what will be and we spent the last financial year trying to get out of the pandemic. All of a sudden, we are now in a new year and this is the year of so much leisure and there is so much hope that the creation of consumer activities will also improve. There is the normal feeling that the year before an election is always a year of optimism and there is always that challenge.

Players in the political arena will create opportunities for conversations then if the political arena is dynamic it will likely overflow into other sectors of the economy. The need for the politicians that normally do late conversations in the time of elections is to try to make impressions and to struggle for voice more than any other thing.

Back to consumers’ value awards, what are the objectives of these initiatives?

Our objective is to as much as possible celebrate people, celebrate brands, celebrate products and then through validations of the claims of those products. If I say product A is good, I want to see twenty thousand people that will say that product A is good. For example; people are spending a lot on data but the rate of consuming the data is much but people are not complaining, if they are complaining there will be improvement, we are all giving awards for the fun of the award, we want to give the award to the company that is doing well. However, if you commend this company for doing well, you are telling other companies to wake us. We want everybody to be reasonable to say the truth about the brand that is well behaved and the brand that is not well behaved.

Discuss the pitch in PR

It depends on the side of PR you are, if you are invited to pitch the body of consultants have the position to pay a certain amount before you can honour a pitch invitation. We are in a black man country forgetting that whatever you do today you will sow tomorrow, while some people are saying it is not necessary to get the pitch while some get the pitch so the law is going to come out one day.

What will you say to the consumers out there?

An average consumer which is you, myself and the man on the street should look at the site and see what benefit it gives in the long run, what we felt to realise is that the more we are able to sustain the dignity of a brand the better for that brand in the market place, the better for us is the market place. In the market we have the fake product, here in the market we have low standard products every day, in the market your regulators are not even applying speed in what they are expected to do. We have a group of consumers that will come to say this product is good, we are actually helping the market to create standards and then save lives because people have gone to the market to buy things.

 Advertising helps the product owner to talk, the product owner speaks to you that the product is good, so how do you speak back to the product owner that the product is good or not good. Here is an opportunity for the consumer to say NO this product is good or not. Here is a platform to talk about the product as a journalist, twitter handle e.t.c. to talk about the product and this is a combined voice to say Oh, this is good or bad. We are not asking people to bring money to the table, all we want is to say this product is good or bad.

All we want to achieve is that you say there are certain brands in the market that are adding value to us and that is why we call it consumers value awards.

You may also like

Leave a Comment