Estisalat Nigeria owned by three Major share Holders through Emerging markets Telecommunications Services EMTS ; The Fourth Largest Mobile operator in Nigeria has just announced its is pulling out its stakes in the Nigeria Business. Etisalat UAE, the parent company has sold its shares in the Nigerian subsidiary due to the controversy around its $1.2 billion loan which has led to constituting a new board and brand name(9mobile).
Though still sketchy, a new brand name-9mobile has been adopted to chart the company in a new course without the international Finesse of the Major Share holders of the parent Etisalat Brand. For new start ups, A brand name is not just about the company .The brand name goes a long way in affecting the success and future of the start up. Professionals in this field has continued to ponder on the effectiveness of this name to the brand and the long term effect of this sudden change.
Developing an effective brand is critical to the success of any business as it is a proven fact that consumers do not just buy products, they buy Brands!
Brand is what people say about you when you are not in the Room – Jeff Bezos (Amazon).
Branding answers the question of Who I am and what I do. It is the DNA of the business that gives the business a direction while creating its own Niche in the market Place.
Most Start Ups see brand building as not being cost effective and would rather want to pull funds into other areas of the business instead of building a brand name.
Yes, it is generally agreed that most start ups do not have the time and budget for high cost conventional means of branding like advertising that can help promote the brand name but the essence of a brand is not just the outward elements but how you feel about the product or service and the desire to continue with the particular company or brand.
Branding for Start ups is about having a focus and direction of the business ; Sticking to a carefully laid out plan despite the distraction from the industry leaders will keep the business sane. Branding will help a Business to identify its competitors making it to choose its fights wisely with the correct ammunition to use .The key to branding for start -up is consistency in delivering a Brand Promise. When consumers come to see that previous brand promises have been kept; They will be willing to trust the business when it introduces new product.
Living up to consumers consistent whims and demands is definitely not an easy task but like daily exercising which pays off in the long run, start-ups who want to build a strong and lasting business must put time and money in selling the best product and rendering the best service as best as it resources and budget allows.
Few pertinent questions to anser are, would 9mobile make it back to the heart of Nigerians, can the level of damage the brand has suffered within this period be restored? can they still be the strongest competitor to MTN?