Cola War in Nigeria (Day 7)

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Today, we continue with strategies that can enable any of the brands to win this fight. Some of these are in use now by the big brands and it’s working. This strategy is called exclusivity in outlets & channels. It could be hotels or restaurants.

Similar to the exclusivity with distributors, this strategy is for channels servicing consumers. It could also be industrial users supplying large consumers of the product. It could be direct supplies to hotels, restaurants and major canteens.

Such arrangements require a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the chosen outlets. Outlets presently in these arrangements include Coca-cola and Chicken Republic (a major restaurant in Nigeria), Coca-cola and Coldstone (a major ice-cream point in Nigeria), Pepsi and KFC.

There are some others but time and space will not allow their names to be mentioned. Many more of these exclusivity arrangements can help your brand lock down a particular outlet in your favour. It may require you parting with some incentives for these outlets.

Cola War in Nigeria (Day 7)

Ensuring exclusivity in outlets for your brand increases your negotiating power. It allows you to optimize supplies into such outlets and achieve maximum efficiency in such outlets. This means you have been able to edge out your competitors from such outlets.

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One other strategy that can enable your brand winning the war is preventing espionage. You must do everything possible to guard your trade secrets and strategies. Your trade secrets are the arsenal that keeps you winning in the market place.

Cola War in Nigeria (Day 7)

You must protect your trade secrets from getting into the hands of your competitors. That remains the secret of Coca-cola as a brand and a recipe on an international level. Reports have it that only two people know the secret of the recipe and they don’t fly together.

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Each brand must not allow the competitors to know what makes them tick in the trade. Competitors are ready to pay any amount to get at what is making you succeed in the market. The market leaders want to know the secret of the new entrants and vice versa.

Every succeeding organization must prevent its trade strategies from leaking out. One way of preventing espionage involves employee engagement to prevent employee turnover. These employees may eventually be recruited by competitors and that may be catastrophic.

Similarly, your suppliers may leak your trade secrets and you must do all you can to prevent this from happening. There are many more things to do to prevent espionage but we will take that discussion out of the so as to remain focused.

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Tomorrow, we continue the series. I’m sure it is getting more interesting.

Written by: 

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

For more insightful conversations, follow Oluwole Dada on Twitter  @oluwole_dada

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