Recession: Brand Strategists Identify SMEs as Key to Economic Recovery
Some prominent brand strategists at this year’sBrand2Wealth Seminar organised by a notable Nigerian brand management company, USP, have stressed the importance of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in efforts that would take the country out of its current economic challenges. In a well attended event held at the MUSON centre, Lagos, on Thursday, the brand strategists who were led by the Chief Executive Officer of USP, Muyiwa Kayode, unanimously declared that SMEs are vital to the nation’s economic recovery at this crucial time.
In his opening remarks, Kayode stated that with good branding knowledge, SMEs can be developed to significantly contribute to the national economic growth. While branding itself, as a concept can build a great nation.
“Every recession creates business opportunities, it is now left for a brand to be well-positioned to identify and resourcefully make use of the available opportunities. And more so, branding lies at the root of every human success and some of the countries we aspire to emulate have successfully applied the laws of branding.” He said.
Speaking under the main theme of the seminar, “Brand Promotion for SMEs”, the keynote speaker of the day, the Chief Executive Officer of X3M Ideas Limited, Steve Babaeko said SMEs are the backbone of the advanced economics.
Giving some statistics to buttress his point, Babaeko positioned that SMEs constitute the most significant portion of every economy, therefore, if the sector is well positioned and supported with adequate branding it can lift the nation out of its current economic doldrums.
“According to US census bureau data, businesses with less than 20 workers made up 89.6% of US economy in 2012/13, also, 97% of all businesses in Nigeria employ less than 100 employees. With this, you can observe how important and significant SMEs are; it is obvious the sector represents the largest chunk of business establishments. Therefore if given adequate attention, the sector would do a lot in lifting the country out of its current economic challenges.” He said.
In the same vein, the Founder, Customer Attraction Academy, Anurika Azubike in her speech which was centred on “how to attract and keep more paying customers in your business-even in recession”, educated the participants on five business models that would keep their business going, even in difficult economic situation.
“Wallowing in the thinking of economic recession won’t get us anywhere. The best thing is to look at the opportunities therein to advance our businesses.” She advised.
Also in his presentation, National Sales Manager of Emzor Pharmaceuticals, Folorunsho Alaran encouraged the participants to see effective marketing as a way to promote their businesses and brands.
“Just as the way we do at Emzor, we identified a need, and seized the opportunity through our mass market brand approach, I advise you to look beyond your present status and see opportunities available around you.” He said.
Meanwhile, a representative of the Bank of Industry at the event, Raymond Adenuga has urged SMEs owners to always see the bank as partner in progress and provide the bank with authentic information whenever they approach the bank for loan facility.
“Our major objective is to grow the economy, generate employment and take people out of employment by building genuine businesses. We are not out to frustrate anybody or business, so anyone approaching the bank should give us genuine information as required for easy and prompt access to any loan facility applied for.” He stated.
Brand2Wealth was established by USP in 2007 to empower SMEs with branding knowledge they need to build competitive businesses and develop strong product and service brands.