TITLE: Strategic Repositioning of Nigeria in the Global Market”
Author: Kazeem Ademola Adio
Reviewer: Abdulwaheed Olaniyi
Despite the abundant human and mineral resources, Nigeria as well as other African countries has been given sobriquets which often prevent her to rise economically. Why? Absence of image credibility is one of the major obstacles to the economic progress of the African countries, especially Nigeria. Expectedly, each country in the world has her own “brand image” for the sustainability of her economy. For Nigeria, such image is being tarnished due to poor economic management by the people of the country, making other countries, outside African continent to see the brand image of African countries from a negative perspective. To reveal this, Kazeem Ademola Adio identifies the cause of the problems and proffers lasting solutions to the negative image on Africa. He summarizes the way Nigeria as well as other African countries can reposition herself in the global market.
In marketing, branding is necessary. A brand can be referred to as a name, term, symbol, or design or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors. The author says that facing a negative image is a very tasking challenge, and that some African countries, such as Turkey, that even claim have a longer coast, unpolluted waters and superb archeological sites to delight any visitor is losing the trust. Thus, larger number of vacationers seeking sun and antiquities pick Greece instead of the neighboring Mediterranean country. The author notes that brand position on the mind of customers is very essential, because it determines the country’s survival or failure. Therefore, the author’s aim of the book is to: further emphasize the impact of “Branding” on the concept of “place marketing”;
explore the possibility of treating Nigeria as a single branded place with its characterizing image and equity; diagnose the major constituting elements, which have been responsible and still contributing to Nigeria’s image using the United Kingdom for cross referencing; and
to proffer customized solution to the Nigerian image crisis with the view to reposition it as a brand with enormous potential and equity.
The author then opines that “the country’s image results from its geography, history, proclamations, arts and music, famous citizens and features.” While noting the opinion of Martin and Eroglu (1993) “A country’s image or equity is influenced by external factors such as the country’s economic status, technology, social desirability, the characteristics of its people, natural image and so on.” However, the distinction between a brand from its unbranded commodity counterparts, according to the author, is the customer’s perception and feeling about the products’ attribution and how they perform.
No matter how the world sees Nigeria or Africa’s image from a negative perspective, there is the need to suggest lasting solutions that will redeem the image of the country. The author then suggests that a good brand name should be unique/distinctive, extendable, easy to pronounce, identified and memorized. It should give an idea about the product’s qualities and benefits, easily convertible into foreign language. It should also be capable of legal protection and registration. It should suggest product/service category, indicate concrete qualities and not portray bad/wrong meaning in other categories.
While a country is looking forward to getting “place marketing,” it is necessary to do the following as the author quotes Kotler et al., (2002): developing a strong attractive positioning and image for the community;
selling attractive incentive for current and potential buyers and users of goods and services; delivering a place’s products and services in an efficient way; and
promoting a place’s attractiveness and benefit in such a way as to ensure that potential users are fully aware of the advantages.
Nevertheless, the effort to re-direct the Nigerian image using the element of place marketing, as the author says in the book, may be arduous and not achievable in a short time, but the author recommends that:
A planning group should be organized and that it should include both the Federal Government, citizens and other stakeholders;
There should be a re-orientation of the people and effective, transparent fight against corruption should be embarked upon;
Government should provide adequate infrastructural facilities to ensure enabling environment for the business and both local and foreign investors should be called to invest in the country.
These and more will redeem the brand image of the country. There is an urgent need to take proactive/pragmatic step to ensure the world change its perception on the brand image of the country.
This book, Strategic Repositioning of Nigeria in the Global Market, is written in simple language. The book is an excerpt from the author’s Post Graduate thesis. Being a book that focuses on the issue that concerns every Nigerian/ African, the language is accessible to everyone to understand the content.
Being a kind of summary of what the author focused in his thesis, there is the need to produce more contents in order to make people know more about the place-marketing, brand so that the country will be able to compete globally when it comes to economy.
This is a book that everybody has to read. The necessity to know the message of the book is not limited to masses alone. It is a book that everyone in the government has to read. It is therefore suggested that the author has to make the book available in major bookshops across every state of the Federation and online copies should be made available too.