Brand management, brand development, packaging and positioning have been identified as some of the key elements responsible for the growth of local industries, local patronage and creation of functional small and medium scale enterprises in Nigeria.

Speaking during a media parley in Lagos on Thursday, the Managing Partner, Brandzone Consulting, a professional branding and communications firm, Mrs. Chizor Malize, said that for Nigeria to achieve its local content initiative, entrepreneurs must put in place strategy, creativity and innovation as these were the ingredients to make their brands compete in the foreign markets.

Malize also expressed dissatisfaction with the low level of local patronage, over dependence on foreign products and dearth of creativity in the industry. These, she hinged on the absence of professional brand management and development in Nigeria.

She further explained that Brandzone, through the creation of entrepreneurial perspectives, would help build brands in local ways with a view to address over dependence on foreign goods, encouraging of local patronage and creation of viable SMEs in the country.

She said, “Brandzone is a full service multidisciplinary branding and communications firm, we are bringing professionalism and innovativeness to help organisations align their brands and marketing initiatives to achieve their business goals.

“Brand development is the solution to develop local patronage and actualisation of the local content initiative. There is very low level of local patronage as we do not patronise our own. Virtually everything, which include toothpicks, toilet tissue papers and table water seem to come from the foreign market. If this trend continues, it is going to create a lot of problems for us.

“We must definitely begin to look inwards so that businesses can grow and find market afterwards. There is also the need for culturation and change of orientation, we got to buy ourselves. There is no difference between foreign and local products, what is lacking is just professional brand management, which we are bringing through expertise, professionalism, strategy, creativity and innovation.”

Malize also explained that Brandzone would provide interventions to create awareness for local brands, improve product packaging/positioning as well as make product effectively functional to impact and add value through leveraging on digital techniques and initiatives.

She emphasised that for SMEs and other industries to make functional impact with their products, they must begin to partner with professional branding experts, because it would help them create positioning and location to cover a wider reach.

She advised SMEs in the country to invest in brand development if they want to remain afloat, especially in the hostile Nigerian market, adding that this would create positive awareness and also improve local patronage

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