Brand repositioning critical for SME survival, says expert at Ecobank MySME Growth Series

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Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country have been advised to embark on brand repositioning to survive the current competitive environment.

General Manager, Enterprise Marketing, MTN Nigeria, Charles Okonkwo, made this submission in his presentation titled: Positioning your brand for a success in a competitive market, delivered at the Ecobank MySME Growth Series webinar. He stated that it was important for SME promoters to play closer attention to their brands to foster deeper connections with customers and differentiate them in the crowded marketplace.

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According to him, “navigating the intricacies of a fiercely competitive market, SMEs must know how the brand is perceived by the target customers. They must humanize and position to make strong brand statements. Ultimately, success in a competitive market hinges on the ability to carve out a distinctive and resonant brand identity, positioning the brand strategically, and effectively managing resources to achieve desired outcomes.” 

He explained that a brand is not about the logo or tagline but everything the company stands for and how it shows up at all times, adding that customer feedback and engagement was imperative to ascertain the brand’s strengths and weaknesses. Mr. Okonkwo further called on SMEs to leverage digital and traditional channels to reach their target customers to share their stories and reinforce their brand promise, listing the core areas of strengths and competitive advantage such as price, service delivery, innovation, and brand strength as product differentiation to address customers’ ‘unmet’ and emotional need.

Ecobank MySME Growth Series which started in February this year is designed to empower SME operators across the country. It is part of the bank’s commitment to train over 1 million SME operators in various sectors of the economy in 2024.  The training will provide resources for starting a business, registration processes, industry statistics, and essential considerations for running a business. The series cover key topics such as accounting, credit, sales & marketing, taxation, and inventory management.

Additionally, articles on key topics like increasing sales, advertising ideas, business management practices, case studies, and leveraging technology will be provided.  Ecobank also plans to launch an SME Mentorship program to collaborate with successful entrepreneurs. Taken together, the MySME Growth Series reflects Ecobank’s dedication to fostering growth and success within the SME community.

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