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At Brandcom Awards, industry players speak on how brands

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President, Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) and CEO, X3M Ideas, Steve Babaeko; President, IAA Nigeria Chapter and CEO, Verdant Zeal, Dr Tunji Olugbodi; Convener, Brandcom Awards and Publisher, brand communicator, Joshua Ajayi and CEO, Mediacraft Associates, John Ehiguese at the 2020 Brandcom Awards held in Lagos… recently.

Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) players have said that in order for brands to survive the current recession, it is imperative they re-rethink their business models.

The National Bureau of Statistics had recently announced that the country’s GDP declined by 3.62 per cent in the third quarter of 2020. It is the nation’s second recession since 2016.

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In a chat with The Guardian, Chairman, Lagos State Chapter, Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Segun Mcmedal, advised that investors must adjust their business models — cut down overheads, including downward review of salaries.

He also said they should seek to own revenue-generating platforms, embrace a tighter governance structure, stricter cost management, and control.

Mcmedal said brands must embrace collaborative business. In a collaborative business, he explained, companies coordinate with other companies to maximise their efficiency and profitability.

He said, “Collaborative business is used by companies to team up with competitors and suppliers for efficiency, and it can also be used as a sale’s strategy to capture more market share.”

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Brands, Mcmedal added, must protect business cash flow. According to him, cash is the lifeblood of every business to take care of overheads and keep business healthy. But the harder times get, the harder it can be to keep the cash flowing in.

For him, free cash flow; equity, and debt financing are the best sources of working capital. However, these options may not be available for all businesses in challenging times.

Also speaking at the Brandcom Awards held in Lagos recently, CEO DKK, Temitope Jemerigbe, noted that it didn’t come as a surprise when the news broke.

“All the signs were there,” Jemerigbe said.

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As a way out, she said there is a need to realise that the world has changed, and the old ways of doing business will have to give way to new ones. “We have to come up with creative ways of practicing our trade. It might indeed become necessary to find ways of helping our clients’ customers to earn more if they are to keep our clients in business. That’s our new normal. We must also expand our base of operation — go further afield to look for new business opportunities.”

Similarly, Chief Creative Officer, X3M ideas, Steve Babaeko, said, “nobody saw this coming. I’m a very optimistic person but I won’t be too confident. Oil prices are affected and that is our major source of revenue. Like I always tell people that if an earthquake occurs, what should scare people is not the earthquake but what happens after the earthquake. So, investors must spend wisely.”

In his speech, convener of Brandcom Awards, Joshua Ajayi said the platform was created to recognise deserving brands, agencies, and individuals that have been contributing immensely to the growth of the industry and the country at large.

He said since its maiden edition last year, the awards have proven to be the most credible platform for rewarding deserving individuals, brands, and agencies working on the mantra of prestige, integrity, and credibility.

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“In line with our tagline of prestige, integrity, and credibility, we had a panel of assessors set up to painstakingly review our nominations. The result is all the agencies, brands, and individuals here present to receive one form of recognition or the other for their performances this year despite the challenges and peculiarities that came with the year 2020,” he explained.

Three recipients were inducted into the awards’ hall of fame. They are CEO Casers Group, Enyi Odigbo, Chairman, C&F Porter Novelli, Nn’emeka Maduegbuna, and Managing Director of New Crystal Communications Limited, Mbanefo Dozie.

In the brand category, JOTNA (The Lacasera Company PLC) brands won big with Bold emerging Brand Launch of the Year, Lacasera Hero/TINAF winning the CSD Campaign of the Year and SMOOV crowned the Chapman Drink Brand of the Year. X3M Ideas clinched Best Agency in Sustainability and Marketing Communications Agency of the Year while OUTORI was awarded the Most Outstanding Activation of the Year for its initiative Sweet6ixty and Hibrid Studio by Abelinis emerged the Below the Line Innovation of the Year among other awards received by some other agencies.

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