By Azeez Disu
In the words of Stephen King “A product can be quickly outdated, but a successful brand is timeless.”
In this respect, brand handlers globally deploy series of strategy from visual branding to advertising and brand development in a bid to make their brands timeless, accepted by customers and achieve return on investment (RoI).
Interestingly, brands (globally) spend $13bn (£8.7bn) a year on visual identity, according to language consultancy Lingua Brand. The figure shows the importance of images, logos, photos and designs to the reputation of brands.
Excitingly, visual brand tell the story of businesses including their values, personality and purpose, and it can be one of the best tools of communicating with customers.
In Nigeria and other African market, brands from multinationals across all strata of businesses are constantly seeking for new ways to creatively connect with their customers and Mooreadvice has proven to be one of the preferred destination where brands turn to for visual branding purposes, due to their expertise and sundry competences. In essence, the agency is synonymous with visual branding in Nigeria today.
Mooreadvice is a 460 degree visual brand communication agency that specializes in integrated marketing communications, offline advertising and consultancy. It provides organizations with sales driven inspirations to achieve measurable impact.
“Simply put, we are a multimedia communications firm integrating multiple disciplines with the goal of creating unique branding solution experiences for our clients. We offer services in diverse areas of expertise from Branding & Marketing Communication, Outdoor, Retail design & Build and finally Technology.” Anthonio Okojevoh; Group Director, Business Development and Operations, Mooreadvice disclosed.
The Journey So Far
The duo of Anthonio Okojevoh and Kola Moradeyo; Group Director, Innovation and Business Strategy opened the multimedia communications support firm in 1998. Over the years, the agency has grown to become Nigeria’s numero uno in visual branding and creation of retail brand experience.
The meaning and concept behind the name ‘Mooreadvice’ reveal more about the agency’s modus operandi and relationship with clients and their brands. Okojevoh explains the rationale behind the name: “Basically the name Mooreadvice is a play on the words ‘more advice’. Emphasis is on the word ‘more’ with a double ‘o’ to show that we go more than the single ‘o’. That is because we give more advice for a lot less. We believe as an agency that you come to us for advice. So, our professionalism and understanding of your business are what we will give back to you as more advice and that helps you to replay whatever you have captured internally and externally to your clients and customers or whatever your target market is.”
Explaining further, he said, “Understanding that we are not your typical IMC agency, the journey these past years has not been a walk in the park. More like running a steeplechase race with all sorts of hurdles and obstacles, but we are proud of our journey so far.
“Our growth has been in stages, we have had to discover and understand who we are, what we offer, the type of solutions the corporate world needs, the right process to raise a diversified workforce while at the same time merging different marketing tools to get results. We had to thoroughly study the industry, various communication processes as well as create our own solutions.
“From the innovative big ideas we’ve birthed that helped our clients solve their communication needs and grow their brands to mixing the right marketing communications tools needed for a project, we’ve had a thrilling journey and the reward is evident in our diverse and growing clientele from every sector of the economy.
“The hack is to understand the strengths and weaknesses of every IMC tool and evaluate their effectiveness in creating the desired solution when merged. The number of years we’ve spent in the industry has provided us time and experience to familiarize ourselves with the various marketing communication tools. We are not a new agency but we are constantly evolving with time and trends,” he stated.
How It Is Giving New Experiences To Client’s Project
The agency’s clients cut across telecoms, financial institutions, oil & gas, pension and automobile among others.
Tolulope Odunsi Morakinyo, Assistant Director, Operations pointed that the agency ensures that its gives every client’s project a touch of excellence as well as exceed their expectations.
“Every project we have worked on has come with its own unique challenge and notable moment, at Moore Advice we focus on making sure that the services we provide give new experiences and excitingly exceeds expectations.
“We are very proud of our projects in retail design and build because of the creativity it requires from conception to designing and building. From our futuristic design for MTN Opebi shop to winning the pitch and designing Etisalat shops across various states when they launched in Nigeria and later redesigning when they decided to have flagship shops four (4) years ago in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. This flagship shops became the talk of the retail community and Etisalat Global especially when the CEO came in from Dubai and gave us accolades for them. Also, the challenging but rewarding execution of the Apple project is a memorable experience for us here.
“Winning the Swazi Mobile account amongst many other agencies for the launch of the mobile network is another notable project that we will not forget in a hurry. In 2016, we got an open brief from a telecommunication company in Swaziland asking us to come down to their country to pitch for an account. So, we put a team together, prepared our proposal, set out to Swaziland and we won the pitch. We had to set up an office in the country, recruit local staff and some of our people from Nigeria had to relocate”.
“We have handled their whole account from designing their main logo and products logos, corporate branding which is inclusive of brand collateral, advertising and the building of their kiosks and experience centres. With this account, there is a lot of online collaboration between our team in Nigeria, the one in Swaziland and the client. Our major challenge with this account is when we have to design and build a shop, because for quality sake we build here and transport to Swaziland. This account is also very memorable because it paved our entrance into the country,” she emphasized.
Operational Philosophy And Competitive Edge
The agency’s mission is solely “To become the premier provider of visual communication branding and corporate communications services across West Africa by consistently providing the highest level of quality service to Africans by Africans.”
Amazingly, it has already spread its tentacles beyond the Nigerian market and as it is operating efficiently in other African markets like Swaziland and Cameroun offering international services.
Also, with Mooreadvice core value of confidentiality, creativity, daring, teamwork and modesty it has been able to help brands connect with their target market with resonating communication messages.
According to Okojevoh “The agency drive is to see the potential of our clients realised by helping them communicate their messages in a manner that will connect with and resonate within their targets. We believe that we can do this – offer our clients much ‘Moore’ by giving a little ‘Advice’,” he hinted.
Adding that “The fact that we are a 460 degrees brand is what distinguishes us from other agencies. Simply put, we always go beyond the limit to help clients win the market place, achieve results while providing excellent services. Our people and process also gives us an edge over others. Our team of exceptionally creative, and strategic thinkers develop the best strategies and ideas that proffer solutions to clients’ desires. Our people are diverse in their thought process to a fault that whatever segment of the economy our clients belong to, whatever region and whoever the target market is, we would constantly construct dynamic cutting-edge creatives that does the communication trick. When we talk about our process, we mean the steps we take in developing the creative as well as the fact that we are ‘The’ one stop agency for all communication solutions; Marketing communication and brand development, retail and space designs, web and mobile development, project management and customer experience solution. Our insightful approach to diverse problems sets us apart from other competitors in the industry.”
Similarly, he said “Our branding and marketing unit is in charge of helping clients express their essential messages in the right way through different marketing channels and tools. We have outdoor locations around different cities in the country and outdoor digital trucks. Mooreadvice’s retail design and build unit designs, builds and fits retail locations, shops and other places where you have large amount of footfall daily like banking halls, experience centres and points to mention a few. With our Technology unit we develop present day business solutions both for web, mobile and the corporate world.
“Our well-blended process is strategic and exceptional enough to reach the client’s target and effectively trigger positive reactions which in turn increases profit, solves the client’s communication needs and builds affinity for the brand in the clustered market.
“Our mastery and integration of diverse disciplines is what makes us a 460 degrees agency.”
Meanwhile, Mooreadvice’s deep expertise in websites and apps development, digital signage and brand management has helped it serve a broad range of clients from financial institutions to telecommunication industries, Mobile & PC Companies, Government & NGO’s to mention but a few. In specific term, some of it clients are Fidelity, First Bank, Diamond, GTBank, Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers, Etisalat (now 9mobile), MTN, Glo, Airtel, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Federal Ministry of Information, National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB), P&G, UAC, among others.
Today, the agency is implementing various levels of communication projects for clients.
According to Moradeyo, the agency’s process revolve around creativity and innovation “Our process revolve around creativity and innovation and we are always willing to explore new ideas. In 2017, we introduced a few innovations to business problems. We introduced the Doyoulikeus.com (Dulu) app, an innovative customer experience feedback solution that provides immediate feedback of customers’ experiences directly from them to the client in real time. In the past months, this feedback solution has evolved from just onsite use with our various terminals to having an Omni channel enterprise that prompts and sends feedback in real time across various customer touch points and channels anytime, anywhere. The aim is to overcome whatever barrier that might prevent clients from getting feedback on their customers’ experience. Dulu enterprise which is multilingual gives room for customers’ to send feedback on their experience through WhatsApp, email & SMSes, website and mobile app, onsite location terminals. Dulu events allows attendants rate an event or exhibition, ATM & kiosks, QR code scan, customer support and many more. Dulu is a very interesting solution because it helps clients monitor staff efficiency, product and service satisfaction, book appointments as well as improve service and solve customers’ issues in real time with a solution package for every business.
Asides Dulu, the agency also developed REPORT2HQ app, a cloud based platform. Speaking on the initiative, Moradeyo said, “Another one of our solution in the past year is the REPORT2HQ app. A cloud based platform that helps brand team, maintenance team and clients send report on location maintenance and general reporting in real time to the main office. It allows brand team and agency monitor consistency across its channels and allow the clients react and monitor the sites and location(s) they paid for. With this solution, management is always in the know of what happens in various locations and can monitor the brand team efficiency and activities,” he stated.
In addition, he said that “Moore Advice also introduced a Digital Signage app which uses LCD and LED. This app allows users manage their communication across digital channels; in store digital channels, office reception digital channels etc. with ease and convenience. With the app, clients can manage communication, fill in new content and display different promos across all sites.
“This year what we have done so far is to consolidate the operations of these applications, expand the features based on the requirements of clients and push availability of the apps.
We are excited about all the possibilities we will uncover and more excited to share them with everyone.”
Recognitions and Awards
Through dint of hard work and tireless dedication, Mooreadvice has earned both local and international recognitions for its remarkable works for clients and brands. It was nominated for BBC “Best Website Design in Africa” award for the design of a data-driven website for Cool FM in 2002. In the same year it won two plaques at the Philips Consulting Web Jurist award: Most Functional Website in Nigeria (First Atlantic Bank) and “Most Interactive Website award (Financial Standard).
Among its other notable awards are: Brand Icon for the year 2011, West African’s Merit Award of Excellence in Retail Space Implementation & Visual Brand Communication Services in 2011, Overall winner and Best Customer Experience Website in 2012, Consultants of the Year 2012 and West Africa’s World Class Visual Brand Communication Activation consultants of the year 2012.
Meanwhile, in 2013, it received the All World Network Award for being one of the top fastest growing companies in Nigeria in an award which was organized by All World Network in conjunction with the Tony Elumelu Foundation. Also in 2014, Samsung awarded the agency the Outstanding Performance Partner Award while in 2015, it received the award for the Best Brand Consulting Agency of the year at the Nigeria Brands Award Updated Awards: as well as West African Direct Marketing Award 2015 from The Institute of Direct Marketing of Nigeria as West Africa’s Brand Signage & Activation Services Consulting Co. of the year 2015.
In 2017, they were awarded the Management Personality leadership Prize Winner of the Year by African Prize for Leadership Excellence as well as winner of Customer Services Category of West Africa Innovation Awards as the Best Brand Management Company in West Africa in that same year. In 2018, they got the African Brand Leadership Merit Awards as Africa’s Most Innovative Marketing Communication/Brand Development Agency of the Year 2018.
Human Capital Development Initiatives
The agency top management executives are Kola Moradeyo, Anthonio Okojevoh and Tolulope Odunsi Morakinyo, Assistant Director, Operations.
As part of effort to develop and motivate its workforce, Okojevoh said “Our people make us and for this we believe so much in helping them maximize their full potentials. We acknowledge that growth is a must and there is no better way to achieve this than giving each other a hand. This is why we have in place different measures to ensure that our staff make the most of their capabilities because their growth means more productivity for the agency and more productivity means everyone is happy.
“We have a bi-monthly training where every staff learns how to develop necessary professional and personal skills. We also have a comfortable work culture that promotes diversity, mentoring and learning. We are not a “face your department” agency, that’s why in any sector you find people that have worked here, you will find the Mooreadvice grace and ethics that makes them excel. Our staff have the best HODs to guide them through projects and attain professional growth.
“We also have monthly appraisals and appraisal discussions that helps our employees know what they are doing right and where they need improvements. The agency also ensure that the employees have all the resources they need to work smoothly and comfortably,” he elucidated.
Strategic Partnership And Affiliations
“Like building a cathedral, building a brand is a collaborative project” Marty Neumeier once said. The quote restates the importance of collaboration and for Mooreavice, collaboration has been a driving force for its operational successes. It embarked on some strategic partnerships which have helped the agency in no small measure. From its partnership with Invue to Doyoulikeus and Samsung, it has been able to serve its client better than its competition.
“We are a fully blown partnership integration organisation. We have various partners that we have developed over the years in private and government sectors both locally and internationally. And we will continue to develop those relationships and attain new ones as we move into the future because our goals are centred on growing and expanding our reach and exclusive services so that every time people think of quality communication services, they think of Mooreadvice as the go-to agency,” Moradeyo disclosed.
Speaking further, he said the agency will embark on more partnerships in the future in as much as such partnerships would improve its businesses and service delivery for its clients.
“If it is a partnership that improves business and services, we will be happy to be a part of it. As Retail design and build experts, we have designed and built various retail outlets and experience centres for various clients like Samsung, Slot, MTN, Airtel, Etisalat etc.
In our interaction with these clients, we discovered that a lot of them, if not all have the fear of theft or “accidental “damages especially because they sell merchandizes that are always on display in their shops. They needed a solution that protects the devices and allows unrestricted movement for their customers. This is why in 2012, we entered a partnership with InVue, providers of innovative merchandising software and security solutions. It is a one key ecosystem solution which allows any client use one key to open and close all security systems that have being installed to secure all merchandizes in their retail locations. This partnership links our client to a process that makes business easier and safer in their retail space and outlets.
“Also like we stated earlier, we are a partnership integrated organisation and are in various relationships with different organisations,” Moradeyo stated.
How It Weathered The Storm During Recession
Speaking on how the agency was able to survive during the recession in Nigeria that started in 2016 according to National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and ended 2017, a period many businesses recorded low patronage while some had to close shop.
Okojevoh said “The recent recession in Nigeria was not peculiar to any industry as it had sundry effects on all. Most of our clients had to cut down budget and frequency of engagement and this had its effect on the agency but like the relentless fighters that we are at Mooreadvice, we had to use it to our advantage. We had to be more creative, constructive and precise in our approach. We had to think of innovative solutions that solve clients’ needs for example, our Technology unit developed two (2) world class products that brings our clients closer to their target market. The honest truth is no matter how bad the economy might be, these brands need to communicate their products and services as well as sustain relevance but they will not want to spend their marketing budget on average creatives, so we had to step up because competition doubled. It’s the typical “when life gives you lemons, you make lemonades” scenario. This is what has kept and still keeps us afloat.”
In the words of Alan kay “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”
Mooreadvice has been growing tremendously and expanding to other markets asides Nigeria and so the above quote aligns with the agency way of inventing and taking advantage of opportunities.
Speaking on this, Moradeyo said “Our expansion to Cameroun and Swaziland is strategic to achieving our major goal as a brand. Our mission is to become the premier provider of visual communication branding and corporate communications services, providing quality services to Africans by Africans.
“Our entry into Cameroon through the MTN account for over a year now is our base to expand to other clients in the country. Prior to this, we created an on-going presence in Liberia and consolidated plans into Ghana with First Atlantic Bank with the aim to use it as our first base to pitch for other clients.
“The goal is to have our “eyes” branded on the map of every country in Africa, Cameroun and Swaziland means we are on the right path to accomplishing our mission.”
“The business of business should not be about money. It should be about responsibility. It should be about public good, not private greed” Anita Roddick once said.
As part of its effort of giving back through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, Mooreadvice has been contributing immensely to its immediate environment.
“At Mooreavice, impacting lives especially the next generation of world leaders is something we anticipate with excitement, which is why our last memorable CSR was at a secondary school in Ilupeju. We donated refrigerating units for their laboratory experiments and funded a security system with gate and fence so the students could learn and play freely in an invulnerable environment, free from unauthorized and unrestricted access.
“It was a life changing experience and we look forward to other projects that help better our community and influence lives of the people around us,” Okojevoh disclosed.