Damola: But what if you’ve heard through a friend you trust that someone else’s product was good. You’ve even sampled yourself. For instance furniture, if you have a guy you trust but you see a couch at a friend’s house. It looks amazing and you find out its 20k less than your trusted guy would you switch? And if you do, wouldn’t the product be the determinant there?
Adaora M.D: My Kaftan tailor for instance. His price might go up (which it does often) but I know that I get the quality I want. If I use another tailor and they mess up my 10k material. What then?
Akinlabi: Like I said earlier….People buy as extensions of themselves and stories. So there are times when pricing is what will determine which I would go for. But most of the time I am about relationship.
Tomisin: Wasted time, money and material.
Adaora M.D: I may not switch actually. Not that it’s right o. But I think that’s where Brand Trust and Loyalty comes into play.
Akinlabi: Exactly! lolololol!
Damola: I agree but it’s a risk you take if you decided to switch up from comfort to something that’s possible a better service.
Tomisin: Then try with a cheap material if you are not sure. Business is all about risk taking.
Akinlabi: This has burnt me too many times in the past. I won’t switch. I have found out that my friends and their guys have relationship and sometimes they will never tell you the challenges they faced.
Adaora M.D: Let me paint a completely different scenario to you Damola. Let’s say, I have an employee named Soji who delivers quality, but has a salary of 150k. If I find someone who does the same Job as Soji, that I can pay 100k… Should I fire Soji then, because of price? I think this is where Interactions come into play. People to People Relationships.
Eugene: So how would you classify this in the whole branding scheme? What component of brand does this fall under? Just curious.
Akinlabi: LOL! hmmmm… it’s harder to fire Soji if we both have our lives woven together…have relationship.
Akinlabi: Brands are about promises…connections….extensions and relationships. These are the things that feed perception.
Damola: That’s fair, the person to person interaction would trump the 50k difference. My deductions are that, while The brand trust and work output are close to the same level it is harder to fire Soji and trust is his edge here. However if Soji’s output has been dipping for a while, no matter how close you are, at some point it weakens the trust and you might switch towards results and a new relationships. Especially for a more cut throat customer using that as an analogy. It’s also a case seen with the unique battle of Samsung and Apple. I’m an avid apple fan, but I’m one worse off phone from Apple versus Samsung’s recent creeping domination to switching. It’s why Samsung could use apples very own product challenges to attack and possibly dent their brand perception with the recent ad.
Adaora M.D: EXACTLY. I’m not saying I won’t move if the service provider is delivering poor quality. I’m saying, I won’t move just because of Price.
Dele: This “perception” game is key….
Adaora M.D: Soji is a Service Provider. His brand may be built on Integrity for instance and if as a customer, I am more interested in Integrity then I’m happy to follow Soji like a Dog sniffing his butt everywhere he goes. lol
Eugene: Lol. I see your point.
Tomisin: True that.
Valentine: I don’t see anything wrong in showing your customers areas where you feel you’re doing better than your competitors.
Akinlabi: It’s funny you use this example. I used to be a Nokia person. I was more than a fan. I was a crusader. You would think I worked with them. I loved the brand and the promise. After 10 years I switched. Why? Their phones began to suck and this was because they began to change the end game… the brand promise.
Adaora M.D: I think the choice in all of this comes back down to the Customer. The customer decides exactly what they want. This is why I said at the start there’s no right or wrong answer. Just opinions. That’s the beauty of brand conversations. Even as we have these convo, we all have different needs, wants, and perceptions.
Damola: That’s fair so there are multiple deciding factors besides just black and white good vs better product.
Akinlabi: By selling to Microsoft…they began to act different… think different…react different….and produce different.
Adaora M.D: THIS.
Tomisin: especially the ones that favour us the most (pricing inclusive).
Eugene: True. But that’s why there’s a science to influencing the Customer to go with a particular brand.
Damola: So it was more of the brand V’s the product that did it for you?
Akinlabi: It’s about knowing who you exist for. Understand them and what they want. If possible categories them and sell what they will buy…. Not just want you feel like selling.
Adaora M.D: Musicians in Nigeria. Infactttt. I have an awesome example too. lol
Adaora M.D: If I buy into you as an R&B singer, and you switch to Pangolo Music, I’ll move and don’t want to hear of your existence. No matter how popular you become. Because I bought into your promise to give me good music. If you’ve decided to chase popularity, enjoy. But you’ll lose me (and many others like me) as a customer, no matter how popular the new music you create is.
Eugene: Brand integrity?
Adaora M.D: Your new customer base might think your new music is amazing. And I’m sure it is. But that’s not why I bought into you. You sold me R&B. Finish
Eugene: What’s the safe way for Brand Evolution?
Akinlabi: Then started doing like you don’t care what I want.
Damola: So no Matter how good the song is, there is a point where they can stray too far off that you lose an audience.
Akinlabi: Great question. My question is why must a brand evolve?
Adaora M.D: Solid Question
Akinlabi: Why do you need to change your promise?
Damola: But in the case of Wiz Kid’s international voyage with mixed reception how does he not lose his audience for brand to save the product in that case?
Eugene: I think all brands evolve. Evolution isn’t necessarily changing. It’s becoming ALL you can be.
Dele: Since customer perception is key, influencing in such a way that the evolution is easily articulated is paramount
Adaora M.D: Yes. Exactly. I mean these are various ways you can evolve and stay true to your promise.
Akinlabi: He gives Nigeria one type of music and gives the international market another.
Eugene: Adaptation, Samsung sells Africa tech significantly differently from Western countries.
Adaora M.D: Audience and Brand are different things o
Akinlabi: hahahaha… I was just going to go here!
Dele: Innovate the message or innovate the method.
Tomisin: He understands both markets
Akinlabi: Yes he does…. but he remains the same Wizkid. He only modifies the product in line with the brand. The products can be creatively adjusted to tell the same story
Tomisin: would you say the same for a Tekno?
Damola: Most definitely, the mixed reception was that his brand reception was changing to something that wasn’t true to him at first. That seems to have died down with the balance of Nigerian music that came out as was pointed out. So while his brand perception is evolving he is keeping his brand promise relatively the same, without losing his existing audience while going for a new one..
Valentine: But does evolution help you stay consistent and at the top of your game? In the name of evolving some brands might lose their promise.
Damola: Is that evolution?
Valentine: Some might even lose focus of their promise, so at what point does a brand know it’s time to evolve. The timing is key
Akinlabi: Companies are under pressure to stay relevant. This is the reason that their teams try to come up with ideas to make sure that they keep being chosen.
Eugene: Evolution isn’t always a grand idea. It’s not always a lizard becoming Godzilla.
Adaora M.D: I think as Humans, Evolution is inevitable
Akinlabi: but the thing with being chosen is…. the day you show up and say you are something else, you lose the people you have won over. It takes 4 times as much to win a new person over than to keep an old one.
Adaora M.D: In fact, I see Eugene’s Point. E.g. If Hugh Hefner became a pastor.
Akinlabi: I believe that there are ways to still stick with your essence while staying relevant with the times
Dele: I guess being prepared for the evolution is another angle to it.
Adaora M.D: But this is why it’s very important what a BRAND is built on
Valentine: Evolution isn’t just changing who you are it’s becoming a better you
Eugene: In the end. Yes.
Adaora M.D: No matter your evolution, people will move with you, because they trust and love you.
Eugene: The foundation sets the stage for everything else.
Akinlabi: A great example is Google. Their brand is built on undiluted search. In their words…. They must not be evil.
Adaora M.D: Take Trellis for instance. All our companies and platforms have evolved over time and are still evolving but our Promise is the same.
Akinlabi: They are currently building a large facility that allows people search DNA. It is still built around the same essence…. undiluted…no evil search.
Adaora M.D: And it is this promise that keeps people working with us. This means even if we re-brand 100 times, People will move with us.
Akinlabi: in 20 years from now…we will know them for other things but the essence will remain
Adaora M.D: Or if we become a sports company. Same.
Akinlabi: Truth!!!!!!! The challenge I have always had with companies who develop intense brands for themselves is … the need to keep up
Damola: True say
Akinlabi: Most of the time it is because these promises are a lie and so keeping up isn’t effortless.
Damola: We know them. Lol. But yes so it’s when the brand promise and the product service just don’t match. There’s nothing to connect with the customer
Adaora M.D: Let’s round up the conversation. So, we’ve identified that often times while a Brand is absolutely necessarily for sustainability of any idea, project, company… The Value created and /or Product is a key determinant of Brand Trust. Ultimately, the foundation on which a brand is built is the real Koko of the matter.
Adaora M.D: See how you guys all disappeared once 1 hour was over. That’s because part of our Promise as Octagon is the convo should end in 1 hour.
Eugene: Man’s not hot.
Tomisin: Hahahahaha!!!….man’s not hot. lol
Adaora M.D: Yuuuup. Thanks for chatting guys. Session has ended!
Eugene: Thanks for having us.
Tomisin: It was quite engaging, thanks!
Akinlabi: Thank you
Valentine: Thanks. It’s been a good experience
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