By Elvis Eromosele
Today the average consumer is inundated with advertising at every turn. Indeed, with smartphones, mobile devices, online games, moving billboards and smart television, there is now hardly any safe space, whether online or offline. It is a jungle out there.
It is not surprising therefore that brands struggle to get a signal through the noise. Each day they seek, develop and deploy new strategies to reach the consumer. What they need is a thread to guide them through the labyrinth.
Imagine, if you can, a situation where the existing customers of a brand openly proclaim the good deeds of the brand; where they happily vote for it as the brand of choice in the respective categories. This sort of situation can transform the marketing landscape.
Experts concede that recognition from the consumer can help such a brand cut through the clutter. Why? First, it is believable. Second, it is credible. And lastly, it is verifiable. It would indeed be a new day in marketing.
All our lives, we have been told that the customer is king. It is only now that it is beginning to appear as if we have reached the point where maybe truly the consumer can finally exercise the power to pick up or knock down a brand. The Consumers Value Broadcasting (CVB) platform may well be the sceptre that the consumer has been waiting for to begin to rule, as a king.
The great minds behind the CVB, describe it as an innovative online platform that enables consumers to vote for their favourite brands and personalities based on their experiences and interactions with them. This is a mouthful, I know, but this is what it means, four times a year (each quarter) consumers get the opportunity to vote on the platform for brands of their choice across various categories and sectors.
Let’s be frank, for most brands right now, the market is crowded and competition is stiff. Yes, they are doing great things. They have impressive products and offer incredible services. Yet they are winking in the dark. The market is crowded. Brand voices are lost in the noise.
Undoubtedly, it’s important to be respected within your industry, but it is more rewarding for consumers to endorse your brand. Think of the prestige. It is, well, every marketer’s dream.
The CVB, on the other hand, is every consumer’s dream. It is within reach; it is virtual and the voting is periodic. Brands must take cognizant of the fact that the consumers are now taking note of their interactions with them. With CVB, the consumer can enjoy the best of both worlds, offline and online. Brands must now prepare for the next phase of engagement.
This is the issue, a positive image in the marketplace is essential for a brand that seeks to be regarded as trustworthy, reliable and reputable. Recognition from the consumer is always huge. Plus, it is also a great way to boost the confidence and trust that customers have in your business.
The CVB is a first in many regards. It is a first of its kind engagement platform for consumers in Nigeria and indeed across Africa. It empowers the consumers to tell their stories through voting. But most importantly, it is a proactive measure to enlist mass awareness of consumers to their rights as consumers. This is significant.
CVB is especially important in light of the existing clustered market and growing concern about consumer vulnerability in the country. It empowers the consumer.
In addition, it serves as a reference platform to distinguish consumers’ experiences as a vehicle for distinguishing leading products, services and companies worthy of consumers’ money.
The best part is that the website cuts both ways. Let me explain. It gives existing consumers a voice and helps prospective customers make a choice about a brand. This choice affects purchasing decisions.
The website is designed such that consumers can demonstrate their level of acceptance of a brand through their votes and can also show the trust and loyalty, that a brand has earned.
This is truly a groundbreaking initiative. Recognition, commendation and celebration directly from the consumer on one spot. A huge step for brand acceptance.
As American businesswoman, Mary Kay Ash once noted, “Everyone wants to be appreciated, so if you appreciate someone, don’t keep it a secret.” She must have been talking about Nigerian consumers and the CVB.
The CVB is an incredible platform for Consumers to give “thumbs up” to brands that offer the ‘good’. CVB may well become, in the coming days, the best friend of brands across Nigeria and indeed the African continent.
Elvis Eromosele, a Corporate Communication professional and public affairs analyst lives in Lagos.