Pat Utomi Tasks Brands on Storytelling, Creativity, Focus In Times of Volatility


Popular Political Economist and Professor of Entrepreneurship, Prof Pat Utomi has urged brands to rethink their strategy, business model, and embark on impactful storytelling to remain relevant in a volatile economy.

He gave this advice at the second edition of Brandcomfest 2021, organized by Brand Communicator, the annual gathering of stakeholders in the brands and marketing communications landscape, held at D’Podium Event Center, Ikeja, Lagos where he was the key speaker.  

The theme of this year’s conference was, “Dissecting the Prism of brand building in a volatile economy.”Utomi who is also the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Centre for Values in Leadership, Prof. Pat Utomi said the wrong perception aboutNigeria at the international scene is due to poor storytelling,  which is affecting economic growth.

So he urged brands to project positive realities on Nigeria to improve economic growth through their products and benefits.He also outlined some areas that can create positive and negative disruptions in the marketing communication landscape that brands should watch out for. According to him, they are technology, leadership failure, and collapse of culture in Nigeria.

He added, “Brand grows fastest when companies take consumers’ concerns and empathy as theirs. Consumer empathy on health, safety, and income status drive more sales and brand loyalty for companies”Utomi stressed that for brands to survive in a volatile economy like the type we are currently experiencing in Nigeria, they need to come under drivers that can bring creative  disruptions.

He also added that storytelling plays a vital role in brand building most especially at this time, “the story you tell about your reality is what the world will believe about your realities.” 

He specifically noted that the tech-space, for example, is growing remarkably in the country and that led Facebook now Meta founder, Mark Zuckerberg to visit the country and he took a long walk around some parts of Lagos freely with excitement.  “That moment”, he postulated, “could have been used to sell the state and the country at large with just a picture of him in Lagos promoted across international media platforms”. 

Speaking on the significance of brand loyalty, Lampe Omoyele, Managing Director of Nitro 121 and one of the panelists of the session, explained that it is a continuous project as brands are expected to be honest with their brand values and promises and deliver them as expected if they want to retain positive impressions and remain consumer-centered brands. Consumer experience and engagement are factors that sustain brand loyalty, Lampe stressed.

Other panelists also dissected the main theme of the conference with Utomi. They urged brands to be customer focus, innovation-driven, and stay consistent with the winning formula while understudying consumer behaviour, changes as they respond to changing times. 
The panelists include Nsima Ogedi-Alakwe, Marketing Director/ Country Project Lead, Unilever; Victor Afolabi, GCEO, Hazon Holdings; Ilyas Kareem, Group Marketing Director, Eat ‘N’ Go Africa and Emmanuel Agu, Group Marketing Director, Jotna Nig.

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