While some brands in the beverage market are working to improve on their market share, some are struggling for visibility. But for Bournvita, the ambition is to consolidate on its leadership position, writes Raheem Akingbolu
With many business owners within and outside African continent looking in the direction of the Nigerian market, the terrain has become more competitive. Consumers too have become more sophisticated and selective. As a result of this, each of the players is engaging the market through different positioning tools to gain competitive edge. Of course, some have come out with feedback of good results while some have failed.
Some experts have linked the failure of businesses to poor approach of the players. Those who hold the belief have often argued that most businesses fail because their promoters have little or no understanding about branding and repositioning. In the Nigerian Choco beverages market, where Bournvita, Ovaltine and Milo are the major players, the competition to win consumer loyalty is strong. For some time, Bournvita, which has remained a household name for years, appeared to have allowed complacence to weaken its brand equity. In particular, Bournvita and Milo have been at ‘war’, in the quest to be crowned ‘King’ in the market for years. From any angle one chooses to look at it, the intense competition has not been helped by the incursion of other popular Choco beverages like Ovaltine, Hollicks, Richoco and Suco, which have punctured on the market share of the market leader. Brands like Pronto and Vitalo have gone into extinction along the line. For Bournvita, its popularity got to the peak when it suddenly became a tool in the hands of playwrights and filmmakers across the market. First, it was mentioned in Indian romantic comedy film, ‘Partner and ‘Looking for Isabella’ and later, the late Nigerian writer; Chinua Achebe mentioned it in his short story ‘Civil Peace’. While ‘Civil Peace’ mentions it passively, a character in the Indian play called Rohan tells a classmate after a small fight to drink Bournvita to become stronger.
Having been a household name for several decades in several countries across the globe, Bournvita was quick to bounce back and reclaimed its market territories after a little sleep. Among other tools, the brand has in recent years engaged in repacking, re-branding and sponsorship to connect Nigerians. As a customer focused company, with a brand essence that focuses on satisfying the taste needs of its patrons, the leading beverage is appeared to be more than ever poised to deliver on its promise to consolidate its leadership position. At a recent event to refreshed the identity of the brand, its promoters declared that they wanted their numerous customers and all Nigerians to know that their Bornvita brand is alive, exciting and always improving. Among other objectives of the rebranding project, the handlers reinforced the leadership position of Bornvita and recreated a new excitement around the brand to further connect with the brand’s primary target.
At the re-launch of the brand in Lagos, which witnessed the unveiling of a giant inflatable replica of the new Bournvita jar, stakeholders and regulatory agencies, including the director generals of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Consumers Protection Council were on hand to give their endorsement. In a way, the re-launched was depicted by the unveiling of the 30M high and 31.5M circumference inflatable jar.
With a new pack to go with it, the handlers disclosed that it has been fortified with more vitamins, minerals, cocoa and milk to make it more chocolaty and creamy. This, according to them, is in line with consumer’s preferences, with the aim of providing the best in nutrition and vitality to develop both the mind and body of the consumer.
While commending Cadbury for its various CSR projects, wife of the Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode Bolanle noted that Nigerians including her children consume most of the company’s products, which attests to the company’s good quality products.
Speaking on what informed the rebranding exercise, the managing director of the company, Roy Naaman, said the company has a great commitment to growing the Nigeria food industry and remaining steadfast despite the very challenging environment. He also pointed out that innovation was a major tool in the company’s toolkit and that it informed the new development.
On the largest Cocoa-Beverage inflatable jar, Naaman explained that Cadbury is attempting to set a world record by unveiling the jar measuring 30m tall.
With a new factory which was launched a few months ago and a rebranding exercise to follow, Bornvita is believed to have changed the tone and ready to take the market to another level.