Molfix @ 5: The Rise And Rise Of Nigeria’s King Of Diapers

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By Jeremiah Agada

Statistics indicate that the first four to five years of any business are its “survival years.” Each year, one out of 12 businesses in the United States for example, closes its doors, but this rate is one in six in the first four to five years. However, that is not the case for the Molfix diaper brand, produced by FMCG giants and leading manufacturer of home care and hygiene products, Hayat Kimya Nigeria, a subsidiary of the global Hayat Kimya company. The journey for this brand in the Nigerian market has been phenomenal as its five-year journey into the Nigerian market has been from one milestone achievement to the next.

Barely two years after it entered the Nigerian market, premium diaper brand, Molfix, assumed the leadership position of the diaper category with 44.3% of the total market share according to the Q3 2017 Nielsen report.

Doruk Emiroglu, MD, Hayat Kimya Nigeria

The report also indicated that Pampers, the hitherto leader in that category, was trailing with 37.3% of the total market share while Huggies, Nice Baby, Dr. Brown, Dry Love, Little Angel and other brands share the remaining 18.4% of the total market share.

At its launch into Nigeria five years ago, the brand had through its management projected reaching 30% of the market share in Nigeria in three years. The implication of this is that the Molfix brand has surpassed its projections by 14.3% in less time.

Interestingly, the MOLFIX diaper brand made a grand entrance into the Nigerian market the same month the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was inaugurated into office. At that time, the business environment was still lying comatose as many brands adopted what the current AAAN President, Ikechi Odigbo, had called the ‘wait and see’ posture. It was also a period in which Nigeria stood at the very brink of recession, before eventually sliding into one of the worst economic downturns in the country, with the FMCG segment-where the MOLFIX brand plays, most affected.

Prior to its entrance, the diaper market in Nigeria was saturated with over fifteen brands jostling for the share of the market, with the biggest being P&G’s Pampers, a brand that made its entry into the Nigerian market 15 years prior, in 2000 specifically. It controlled the most market share in the country from then till last year when it was displaced. So strong was the Pampers brand that it became the generic name for diapers within Nigeria.

Beyond the stiff competition, unfavourable business climate and crippling recession marred by scarce forex, the brand came in at a time when foreign investors were skeptical of coming into the Nigerian market, the brand regardless plunged in with an audacious investment of $100 million into production and the erection of an ultra-modern diaper/tissue factory in Agbara Industrial Layout, Ogun State.

For its disruptive exploits in the marketplace, the brand has been recognized and awarded severally. In its first outing at the gathering of Nigeria’s top advertising brands under the aegis of the Advertisers Association of Nigeria, ADVAN, during its prestigious Awards for Marketing Excellence, West Africa 2017, the Molfix brand and its sister brand, Familia, emerged as brands that jointly carted home five astounding awards amidst strong industry giants across multiple categories.

Molfix got three (3) of the most-sought-after awards at the ADVAN Awards. It emerged winner for the  Experiential Marketing Award Category for 2017, 2nd Runner-Up in Consumer Promotion Award Category and also the 3rdBest Brand of the Year 2017 in West Africa.

Other awards bagged by Molfix include the African Products Award as the Best Baby Diaper of the Year 2016 by the Institute for Government Research Leadership Technology within its 1st year of launch in the Nigerian Market, Africa’s Most Preferred Premium Quality Diaper Brand of the Year 2017 by African Quality Institute (AQAA – African Quality Achievement Awards 2017).

In 2018, the Molfix brand was crown the ‘King of Brands’ as it won the most coveted award of the event by emerging the most valued and celebrated Brand of the Year ahead of other mega brands that have been in the market for years.

Outside winning the Grand Prix of the awards, the Molfix brand also came first in the Experiential Category of the ADVAN Awards based on its engagement with consumers. This is the second year the brand is winning in this category and the first time any brand is winning this category consecutively. The result of its experiential drive is also visible in the marketplace. According to a 2018 IPSOS brand health report, the brand today has a 100% awareness and an unprecedented consideration of 100%. Today, brand loyalty has grown to over 70%. The brand was equally awarded the first runner-up position in the Digital Category of the awards as well as the first runner-up position for the CSR category. By virtue of winning the ‘Brand of the Year’ award, the Brand Manager for the brand, Chioma Mgbaramuko became the ADVAN Brand Manager of the year.

Asides wining the Brand of the year award, Molfix won in the CSR category beating Guinness and MTN which emerged 1st runner up and 2nd runner up respectively. Similarly, it also emerged the winner of the Experiential Marketing category beating Hi-life and Heineken that emerged 1st runner up and 2nd runner up respectively.

Remarkably, the night was a night of celebration for Hayat Kimya company, the owners of Molped, a new brand under the stable of the company clinched the second position while Schweppes and Orinjin clinched the third position and first position respectively in the New Brand/Extension/Rev category.

Outside ADVAN, Molfix won the Global Quality Awards 2018 As the Global Most Leading Premium Quality Baby Diaper Brand of the Year 2018 given by the World Quality Alliance and Marketing Edge Innovative brand of the year 2018.

In 2019, the brand was awarded at the prestigious Brandcom Awards Diaper Brand of the Year and the Grandprix prize of Brand of the Year for its disruptive exploits in the market. Similarly, the brand was also awarded at the prestigious Women in Marketing & Communication Conference & Awards, WIMCA.

The secret behind the brand’s success in the Nigerian market is not farfetched. Roseline Abaraonye, Marketing Manager, Hayat Kimya Nigeria, a versatile professional with vast experience in the marketing communications industry, had in an interview with Brand Communicator spoken on this: “We came into the market not blindly, we knew we were coming to offer value to Nigerians and so, we went first to do our homework. We identified the gaps within the diaper category, did our research, spoke to mums, found out their frustrations and then offered a very good product that met their demands. We also avoided going the conventional way by thinking outside the box and coming up with our own unique strategies which cut across the 4Ps to ensure we stand out, recognized and heard.

“In our road to marketing and consumer engagement, we are also different and even with the partners, we work with. They are flexible, run with us when we want to, and jump with us when we want to. I believe that was one of the things that helped us as they were very adaptive, flexible and creative as they work tirelessly outside the norm.”

Motayo Latunji, the Sales Director of Hayat Kimya who is also a seasoned professional with track records had also revealed the brand’s secret to Brand Communicator:“We have a strong route to market that keeps evolving in line with the underlying forces of the market. We have adopted a unique Distribution strategy that is as dynamic as the fragmented Diaper market.

“Most important to us is to get the product to the consumers with a guarantee of convenience in shopping irrespective of the channel where they plan to buy. We have gone past the stage where the sales team places the product at the points of sale for consumers to pick, we are now at the stage where excited Nigerian consumers join our sales team in ensuring our products are always available for them to pick. This is a great experience I must mention!

“When your value proposition is good and accepted by the consumers and your trade partners, you find yourself in a more competitive situation. So for me, not only my sales team are responsible for Molfix sales, we have recruited many Nigerians who are actively selling Molfix through the powerful word of mouth. This is part of our success story,” he had said.

The Molfix baby diapers are produced by Hayat Kimya. The company commenced operations in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry in 1987 as manufacturer of goods in hygiene, tissue and home care categories offering well-established brands such as BINGO (detergents and home cleaning), Molped (feminine care), Papia, Familia, Focus & Teno (cleansing tissues) as well as Joly and  Evony (adult diaper). The company’s brands are favourites of consumers in more than 100 countries across five continents.

Hayat Kimya is a strong establishment in the regions in which it operates, with approximately 14,000 employees and their 22 manufacturing sites, a S$3 billion revenue, and S$4 billion in assets.  Headquartered in Turkey, Hayat Kimya manufactures in Turkey, Egypt, Algeria, İran, Bulgaria, Romania, Bosnia Herzegovinia and Russia. The company manufactures its products in 14 plants and continues its international investments at full speed.

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