Gaining market penetration through brand ambassadors
For instance, aside the use of advertising and experiential supports, promoters of the brand, through their agency have invested hugely in sponsorship and celebrity endorsement.
The height of this was when the company unveiled a credential campaign through which Trophy was christened ‘The Honourable’.
Its spin-doctors also played a fast game when they settled for a suave Nollywood personality –Femi Adebayo, as the face of ‘The Honourable’.
The decision was applauded by industry watchers because the actor is believed to represent the best in the new generation of theater practitioners in the South West.
The two strategies didn’t only cause a stir in the market place, it boosted the profile of the brand and took it to the premium position.
Last week in Lagos, the brand promoters took the strategy a notch higher when they signed on three ambassadors (Falz, Joseph Yobo and Femi Adebayo) for the 2019 marketing year.
The unveil heralds a 5-a-side football competition sponsored by Trophy, which starts in March this year. All lovers of football have been encouraged to participate in the competition, either as fans or as players.
According to a statement by the company, “There are designated bars where interested teams and individuals are required to pick-up forms for registration to participate, once they meet the criteria of submitting 36 crown corks. Plenty gift items and monies will be won during the competition, while the icing on the cake is the fact that the overall winner will represent Nigeria at a continental 5-a-side tourney in Tanzania. All three ambassadors will feature in communication materials that will be deployed for the competition.”
At the unveiling, President West Africa, International Breweries, Annabelle DeGroot, said: “At International Breweries, we put our customers first and strive to give them all round value whether in an experiential manner or otherwise. That is why we are happy that the Trophy 5-a-side Field of Honour tournament will resonate well with our people who are also football lovers.”
Also, Marketing Director, International Breweries, Tolu Adedeji, remarked that the company knew that Nigeria is a football-loving nation, stating that the Trophy 5-a-side Field of Honour campaign is not just another soccer tournament.
“It is designed to create an opportunity for our customers to celebrate and represent their communities. It is designed to tap into the passion many Nigerians have for soccer as they enjoy the beer they love,” she said.
On the Prize money, she disclosed that the winning prize would be N3m with all expense paid trip to Tanzania for the continental finals. She also pointed out that the winning team would also have bragging rights as the best 5-a-side football team in the southwest.
With the recruitment of the ambassadors, it is believed that it will help the brand to consolidate its foothold in the Nigeria market and serves to widen the spread of the brand’s key expression of ‘live with honour’ in three critical sectors: Music, Movie and Football.
Without any form of ambiguity, the brand can easily claim to have the biggest haul of contracted ambassadors in Nigeria – a clear testament of its leadership credential in Nigeria’s beer market.
Last year, the brand erected a giant Trophy monument at National Stadium, Lagos, during the world cup in Russia – as a demonstration of support for Nigeria’s participation at the tourney.
Also, last year, the company opened the second biggest brewery in Sub-Sahara Africa – at Sagamu, Ogun State. These are loud statements about the brand’s leadership credential in Nigeria’s beer market.
But since 2011, when AbInBev Nigeria, acquired majority share in the International Breweries Ilesa, manufacturers of Trophy Larger and took control of the ownership of Hero, a popular brand in the Eastern market, the game has changed.
Within three years of the acquisition, top strikers in the nation’s beer market were not only tackled by Trophy and Hero, the two brands assumed good positions among the middle class consumers.
A development, which sent handlers of the existing market leaders back to drawing board to come out with strategies that could help them control their dwindling fortune and market share.
To this end, industry watchers have consistently argued that the threat posed by these challengers led to recent decision by the giants in the industry to focus on brands that will appeal to middle class consumers.
Since AbInBev‘s entry, NB and Guinness have had to tighten their belts, re-strategize, and launch a series of campaigns to remain relevant in the market.
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