Rewarding Loyalty in the Hair and Beauty Industry

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Mary Ekah

A woman’s hair, they say, is her crowning glory. So to encourage women to be the best they can through their hair and beauty, Kaneka Corporation Japan, manufacturers of Kanekalon hair fiber will once again be crowning the African queen at the second edition of its Miss Kanekanlon pageant billed to hold in Lagos by November.

The pageant will also encourage loyalty to as well as create awareness about Kanekalon as a brand, while also giving back to ladies and at the same time.

Speaking during a meeting organised by the organiser of the pageant, STB McCann and publishers of African Hair and Beauty Magazine with the Associations of Hairdressers, Barbers and Cosmetologists in Lagos, the Managing Director, STB McCann, Lagos, Mrs. Mowunmi Owodunni said, her company has decided to use the pageant as a medium to encourage ladies and show them how beautiful they can actually be, increase their confidence and elegance through braids and competition, which why the first edition of Miss Kanekalon Pageant came up last year.

This year, she said, the pageant is coming out bigger and better as the competition is expanding to Ghana so that competitors from Ghana can also participate, adding, “so we are coordinating from both Nigeria and Ghana at the same time.”

Describing the outcome of last year’s event, Owodunni said, “It was a very successful event, even though it was the very first edition. We were so excited by the turn out, the number of applications that we received, indicating that there was a lot of interest in the competition and it turned out to be very successful.”

She explained that STB McCann is fully involved in organising Miss Kanekalon Pageant because, “We at STB McCann are not the regular adverting agency, we are an idea generating agency and what that means is that we have moved into an era of marketing whereby it is not about advertising alone, because adverting alone does not achieve the kind of objective we are set out to achieve. We are now moving into a more dynamic marketing environment whereby you need different tools of communication to get your message across to your audience. So for us, the Miss Kanekalon Pageant is one means of communicating what Kaneka Corporation Japan, manufacturers of Kanekalon fiber are offering to enhance the beauty of African women.

“We have actually been working on the business since 2009 and when Kanekalon approached us then, they had this raw material called Kanekalon and the idea for them was how they could establish their product in the Nigerian markets and also elevate it to a brand status. We have had this relationship since 2009, we started out on the onset with advertising; ironically, we knew that advertising was not enough to achieve the objective of elevating the product to brand status and so what we had to do was to come up with some ideas around the hair, engaging all the stakeholders. Back in 2010, we had a hair parade by hairdressers/stylists with the aim to create awareness on the Kanekalon brand and engage them in that process,” she noted.

The STB McCann boss revealed further that over the years, the company has also engaged brand ambassadors where Stephanie Okereke was made Kanekalon Brand Ambassador, all in a bid to ensure that Kanekalon became a very big brand in Nigeria.

“We have done ‘Nite of a Thousand Braids’, which has engaged consumers, we have done educational campaigns over the years as to what Kanekalon is and we have constantly educate the stylists and consumers about the new development within the Kanekalon terrain,” she said.

To further make the Kanekalon brand to stand out as number one in the Nigerian market, Owodunni said the company decided therefore to engage young ladies in a hair beauty pageant, which will not only encourage loyalty to the brand and also create awareness about Kanekalon as a brand, but will also give back to ladies while encouraging them to be the best they can through hair and beauty.

Stressing on the significance of the meeting with the hairdressers/stylists associations, Owodunni said, “The associations are where you get the hairdressers/stylists who make these beautiful styles for ladies, so you cannot do a competition of this nature without carrying them along and besides, the finalists are all coming with their stylists, so there is need to educate the stylists properly in what the objectives of the competition are and how they need to make the hair of the contestants to ensure that they turn out to be beautiful queens.”

The prizes for this year’s competition are bigger and better than the previous year as a brand new 2016 Altima Nissan car with N2 million cash are up for grasp for the ultimate winner of the 2016 Miss Kanekalon competition. The 2nd prize comes with #1.5 Million while the 3rd prize is #1 million with other consolation prizes.

A prominent stakeholder in the industry, Mr. Anthony Smith and Publisher, Hair and Beauty Magazine, described the Miss Kanekalon pageant as real, noting, “Everyone here witnessed the first edition of the Kanekalon pageant last year. You followed through and witnessed it through. You knew the pageant was real and the prizes were actually given out. The reigning Queen, Miss Esther Chiamaka Chukwujekwu, won a brand new Toyota Yaris 2015 and went home with the sum of N2 million.”

Speaking further Smith said, “I have witnessed pageants where after three years after one kobo has not been given out to the winner, the car that was promised was not given out but rather they ended up in Court but Miss Kanekalon is not such.”

He said therefore that his company, FirstChoice Communications Limited, is proud to be associated with STB McCann and Kanekalon in ushering in the second edition of the pageant, tagged, “Crowning the African Beauty 2016.”

He explained that after a successful run in 2015 which saw Miss Esther Chiamaka Chukwujekwu emerging as the first Queen, Miss Kanekalon pageant is back with full force as beautiful and talented African ladies and creative stylists will once again have a unique opportunity of exhibiting their talents as Kaneka Corporation Japan, the proud manufacturer of Kanekalon fiber offered through the ladies’ favourite hair products such as Darling, Nina and X-pression, concludes plans for it’s 2nd edition of Miss Kanekalon pageant billed for November this year.