Kehinde Katibi: Re: Japheth Omojuwa and The Buy Nigeria Brigade

Let me start by saying your piece “Buy Nigeria Brigade and Other Matters” is a great one and I’m glad I had the opportunity to read it. It was written with utmost sincerity of a concerned young Nigerian who desperately seeks to change his country. You are indeed a Young Active Citizen.

I only have one problem with it, “There is no patriotism in taste.” There is patriotism in taste.

Let it be known that Country of Origin “Made in ….” Phenomenon is an active academic endeavour that cuts across several countries and has been studied overtime to look at how information about the origin of a product or services influences customer’s decision in purchasing it. It is a cognitive effect on the customers that explains their behavior in terms of choice and preference for a particular product based on Nationality bias. They take into consideration that several factors that are included in national/country brands in terms of physical, social, political and geographic factors.

Nigeria is faced with a myriad of credibility issues which doesn’t help Nigerian products/services get good evaluations both locally and internationally. Once a consumer gets a product, they infer on either previous experiences with products or people of the same origin.

Brands mostly international uses this phenomenon to create marketing strategies that infers on country image to sell products. And for a country like Nigeria, capturing the local market means using the normative effect of Country of Origin to market a Nigerian brand.

Customers create desirable norms around domestic products and they accept that the right thing to do is to contribute to economic growth by buying locally made products. They create a taste around what is locally obtainable because of their strong sense of patriotism.

However, the “Buy Nigeria Brigade” lacks proper understanding of this phenomenon. They believe that bludgeoning people into buying Nigeria and making us believe it can lead to a sustainable economy is the answer. This is not true and let me say it here, the supposed “Common Sense Revolution” is just a “Common Revolution”, there is no sense in it. You can advise brands on selling made in Nigeria but you can’t advise consumers on buying Nigeria, you can only market ‘Buy Nigeria’.

There is lack of proper understanding of strategic marketing philosophies in many Made in Nigeria brands which always affect proper planning and management of these brands. They lack the capacity for developing large local customer base talk more of retaining customers.

Brands like IVM needs to know and dissociate itself from ethnic or political squalors that some gullible people are trying to pin on it. It’ll put the brand in a position where people who do not subscribe to the political ideologies and ethnical background of those running its campaigns, boycott the brand. It will only hold relevance to a section of people which is bad for business.

Politicians need to fulfil all responsibilities of their seats or office and make policies or at least suggest policies that actually helps the country develop SMEs, create conducive environment for businesses and help entrepreneurs develop instead of seeking relevance among a group of people.

I’m a young active citizen and I pray for the continuous development of Nigeria. God bless us all.

Editor: This is an article in response to a previous article published on this site. Our readers have a right of reply.