When it comes to cars, luxury and showing off, Nigeria takes the lead in the world. It is only a Nigerian that will have 3 to 4 cars and still stay in a rented apartment, no wonder the likes of Kia, Toyota, and the likes take Nigeria as their second home. Lagos especially being the commercial city of Nigeria boasts of roughly 5 million cars.
When Goodluck Jonathan administration signed the automotive law last 2 years, it was greeted with mixed feelings as Innoson was on the lips of many Nigerians that it will help boost its local productivity, but this seems not to be the case as the only indigenous automobile company, Innoson Motors is struggling to catch up, it was reported last year that the company was considering closing its factory and sacking all its workers which the company later denied and released a statement.
1. Customer Care/Social MediaA Chinese proverb says, “If you don’t know how to smile, don’t think of opening a shop.” Nothing amounts to great customer service and relations, a cross check at Innoson Motors website is nothing to write about, the site was linked together with its parent company. Innoson is a brand itself and so should be made to stand out, the navigation, the contents there are just too boring to read or to assimilate. It is being expected that Innoson website ought to have a functional chat, email and social media that is up and running. A visit to their Twitter page shows that they last tweeted on 11th of Feb., 2017 and their facebook page 20th August 2016, where companies like Toyota, Peugeot, etc. tweets at least 5 times daily. Nothing amounts to having an excellent customer care, a responsive website, and a proactive social media personnel.
2. Show RoomsI smiled when I checked for Innoson showrooms, and I can only see four in the whole of Nigeria, I said to myself, these guys are not ready for business yet. Lagos is a cosmopolitan city. Therefore, this is where your marketing strategy has to come in full force. Innoson only has one showroom in Lagos and its not even in a high brow area like VI or Lekki area, they went and site their showroom in Oshodi-Apapa Expressway. A school of thought says you take your wares to where you know your clients will be able to see them. Even if you are trying to be relevant, you need to come up with the marketing strategy to attract the high-class men you made these cars for. How many people will find you in Oshodi? BMW has at least 15 showrooms in Lagos state alone and they are located in high brow areas like Lekki, VI, Ikoyi etc. Even if you can’t open a shop there, you can partner with likes of Lanre Shittu, Coscharis Motors etc. Innoson, time to wake up.
3. Spare Parts/AccessoriesOne of the worries of car owners is finding spare parts for their vehicles, a check at spare part dealers at Ladipo market, the largest in Africa shows that the parts are not available. I was talking to a friend who is a driver, I asked him if he has heard of Innoson Motors and he said he is just hearing the name for the first time, how can you expect someone of that caliber to introduce the brand to his company talkless of finding the spare parts in the market. I think the firm can collaborate with the spare part dealers and make these parts available to them in bulk.
4. Advert! Advert!! Advert!!!
Nothing sells in this world without an advertisement, Innoson has been behind in promotion and advertisement, I wonder if the firm is afraid to spend or partner with media houses. Last week when Mercedes-Benz wants to release its new models to the market, it invites newsmen, bloggers, and lots more. Advert can be in form sponsorship, beauty pageant etc5. Create a niche of your brandI see most of Innoson vehicles as a replica of some other cars I have seen before. Take for example the Innoson G-Wagon is a complete replica of Mercedes-Benz and some of their cars, it’s quite essential for them to produce something unique and relate with.