This article marks the third in the series of the Renewed Cola War in Nigeria and it is also the concluding part. There have been a lot of feedbacks on the previous two and this has encouraged me to give my best to this third part.

Here are links to the 1st and 2nd Series:

  • Part 1:
  • Part 2: 

As it was mentioned in the second part of the article, the practice of the mentioned strategies or the neglect of same will determine the winner of the Cola War. The battle is getting hotter with a lot of activities noticed by the leading brands on Twitter and this is actually getting interesting.

The below listed are highly important to the competing brands.

Social Media Engagement

The new medium of reaching a lot of consumers in this age of technology is the new media. A lot of engagement is going on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other media and any organization that is not taking advantage of this is missing out of the opportunity to engage with a lot of audience. Social media has a lot of users and the brand that can meet consumers on this medium will surely be on top of the minds of these consumers. Brand managers need to use the social media much more than ever.

Youth Target

The ability of an organization to target the youth segment is very crucial to the success of its products. The reason for this is because the Nigerian market is a youthful market. This is a market in a country whose population growth is skewed towards the younger generation. Therefore, to excel in such a market, the targeting of the youth must be put into consideration in the launching of any campaign or the launch of any new product

Prompt Response to Market Dynamics

Survival in marketing in the present age and time is traceable to the flexibility of the management team to be able to tweak their strategies in relation to the changing market dynamics in the environment. The environment includes the competitors and how they price their products, economic realities, socio-cultural activities and the political climate of the market. There must always be a prompt response to these conditions as soon as they change. The dynamism of an organization in the present day of fast and ever changing economic, environmental and political climate is what keeps the company ahead of its competitors

Quest for Alternatives

Due to increase in the awareness of health consciousness, consumers are shifting to more health conscious drinks and therefore looking for alternatives. Organizations need to tailor their products to this change in the preference of consumers for health conscious products. Any company that can get this done ahead of its competitors will surely have an edge at the end of the day. Today, consumers prefer to take water rather than carbonated soft drinks however, there is this local drink made from Hibiscus sabdariffa flower popularly called Zobo in Nigeria. It is gaining traction as a lot of consumers see the health benefits of the product and it is cheaper than the carbonated soft drinks. The recent decrease in the purchasing power of most Nigerians has seen this product selling more. The other side of the story is that only one corporate organization, Chi, has produced a product similar to this.

Corporate Arrogance

There is this act which I have called Corporate Arrogance which has been exhibited by many organizations and this has resulted to their fall. It is the act or feeling that we are the leading brand and there is nothing that can bring us down. This feeling is also responsible for the late response to changing market dynamics and the activities of competitors. This attitude was seen in Nokia (I will be writing on the “Fall of Nokia” shortly) and they stumbled in the market place. There are other companies in Nigeria that has expressed this however on the international scene; a brand like Kodak which was the leading film company is nowhere today because they acted arrogantly when the dynamics in the market were changing

Above all, the power of a brand is one of the most crucial in this war. The brand value of each of these competitors will determine the sustainability of any of the earlier discussed strategies. Brand managers should watch their brands closely and do everything possible to boost the brand value hence the product becomes the preferred choice of the consumers

Written by: Oluwole Dada, (Regional Sales Manager at Nestle Nig. Plc; Member, Chartered Institute of Marketing (UK))