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Innovation & Marketing: Two Peas in a Pod

Business owners need to know that any innovation that is not making life easier or better for the customers is a waste, and any marketing that is not focused on the pain of the customer from the very design of the “Solution or Product” is a waste.
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The 90’s was awesome.

We had brands that literarily got their market named after them, we had brands that were icons, brands that we could recite their “commercials” from beginning to end, we knew certain brands without even knowing the companies…

We enjoyed the competition between Lux and Joy soaps

Lifebouy and Imperial Leather were in a class of their own…

Planta did it for sandwiches, Blueband chased

“Fido Dido”, and 7-Up made the difference clear…

Miranda held us in awe with the three orange men

Crush pressed to maintain its position

Fanta turned our tongues yellow… we liked it!

Limca made us reach for our dancing shoes when their commercial played.

Tandi Guarana and Dr. Pepper were the choices of our uncles then who are now Grandpas

Mcleans made us call all toothpaste “Mcleans”

Close-up pressed with red freshness

“OMO”  made us call all detergent “OMO”

“Elephant” pressed hard with the blue granules, same quality but cheaper!

What a time! If you grew up in the early 90s in any of the metropolitan towns in Nigeria, I am sure I took you down memory lane, you could remember these brands and the “feeling” they created, and I am sure you smiled. Now, let me ask the pertinent question;

Three decades from now, would we have the brands we have now create such memories?

I will leave you to answer that question.

These companies from the 90s excelled at differentiation prompted by innovation, telling marketing stories that created lifetime customers who transferred the culture to the following generation. They were customer-focused, and they did so well with the “Mass Media” and outbound marketing channels they had then.

They Innovated for the Customer, then loyalty followed

They told family-friendly stories, the marketing worked, and sales surged!

No wonder Peter Drucker famously piped “The purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.”

So these brands focused on not just marketing but marketing right! ,  Marketing right is telling the customer (the way they want to hear it) that you have them in mind and created (innovated) a solution to solve their pain! , Their Pain!, going further to innovate some more as customers send in feedback.

Business owners need to know that any innovation that is not making life easier or better for the customers is a waste, and any marketing that is not focused on the pain of the customer from the very design of the “Solution or Product” is a waste.

So Dear SME owners, that product or solution you designed was it because you genuinely want to see the pain of that client lifted or you wanted to find a way to scheme out more money from them.

In HXafrica, we had to learn this last year and asked ourselves that question. Are we pain relievers for our clients? We know this is the only we can become a “love brand”

When you are a “Pain-reliever” clients will pay you and keep paying you!

I heard someone mutter, that the brand examples I gave above are in the 90s and times have changed. Well, times may have changed but the principles stay the same, so let me give you a more recent brand; MTN, MTN caught the bug of the 90s and told us stories that captivated us, they showed how “cellular connectivity” eased our pains, Remember, “Mama it’s a boy? , remember, “Come outside, I have something to show you”, that’s why almost everyone you know has an MTN line, because they were “everywhere you go”

Now you get it for sure.

Love your clients, innovate for them, then tell them passionately, they will pay you!

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