Raheem Akingbolu appraises the timing and approach adopted by the promoters of Trophy Extra Special Stout and hip-hop icon, 2Baba, to approach the market and connect consumers via e-concert this weekend
For any new product just gaining entry into the market, a grand launch amidst pomp and pageantry is a usual tradition.
Considering the long tortuous journey through the new product development process before safely landing on the shelves, a wild celebration is often expected to usher in a new product.
Therefore, all across the world, consumers and industry watchers always look forward to innovative concepts and ideas of launching a new product, and they are sometimes seen as case studies for research work by marketing students and brand enthusiasts alike.
But all that is now being temporarily halted as the breakout of the novel COVID -19 pandemic is altering social life and gatherings among people.
With a global figure of over one and a half million people already infected and over 65,000 deaths from the pandemic recorded so far, it is certain nothing is going to remain the same again.
Social gatherings, including but not limited to product launch celebrations, have been negatively impacted as government directives are discouraging them to prevent the spread of the virus among people.
With almost 318 cases already confirmed in Nigeria, the federal government has had to give a ‘stay at home’ order to further stop the spread of the virus while the relevant health authorities have gone on massive campaigns on social distancing and reeled out a series of safety instructions.
It is on account of this new reality that Trophy Extra Special Stout, a new product from the stables of International Breweries Plc, has to be introduced into the market in an ingeniously unique manner, notwithstanding the pre-COVID-19 plans of the brand management team.
As a responsive and responsible corporate organisation, International Breweries felt it would be insensitive to go ahead with the initial launch plans while the pandemic continues to ravage the populace. The health of the people, according to the company, was more important than any product launch.
For the brewery giant, the journey to the production of Trophy Extra Special Stout started after it noticed a gap in the stout segment of the beer market.
Consistent feedbacks from consumers through series of studies and observation had pointed to need to disrupt the stout market, which had remained static for some time. This inspired the move that, today, had materialised in the new Trophy Extra Special Stout being berthed as a brand extension of the highly successful Trophy Lager beer.
After months of getting the new product ready for introduction into the market, the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic made its debut into Nigeria, prompting rapid review of the grand launch plans already put together.
But Brand Trophy and International Breweries Plc, as disruptors, were not done yet as they realised that the situation only presented an opportunity to come up with a creative and inventive way to launch the product, which the market had been yearning for, without necessarily gathering people together in blatant disregard of the government anti-COVID-19 directive, which virtually banned public social gathering, among other measures.
And realising that the new product is a reflection of the brewer’s goal of bringing people together for a better world, Trophy decided on a campaign that would show support for the ‘stay at home’ directive in a bid to prevent the spread of the virus.
It was at this point that the idea of an e-concert was mooted. In the Nigerian entertainment circle, e-concerts are new and almost alien, but with the premium placed on satisfying the yearnings of consumers, embracing it to deliver the new Trophy Extra Special Stout into the market had become imperative and apt.
An e-concert is all about virtual entertainment which is achieved digitally without any need for human gathering.
After thorough planning and consideration of all variables, the choice of Innocent Idibia, popularly known as 2Baba, to anchor the concert was said to have been unanimous. 2Baba is easily one of Nigeria’s best in the entertainment world. What ordinarily was a challenge has now become a big opportunity to launch a new product the consumer has been yearning for with a message that is most appropriate to the peculiar times, delivered by a most followed personality in a refreshingly unique delivery format!
And so, the idea of rallying Nigerians behind combating the spread of the novel coronavirus by simply staying at home and observing social distancing, as directed by government and health authorities, became the message on which the e-concert was themed.
What a way to build affinity between a new brand and consumers!
The Afro hip hop legend will use the e-concert to rally support and unify Nigerians against the spread of the dreaded COVID 19 virus in Nigeria even as the new Trophy Extra Special Stout is subtly but emotionally announced as behind the concert.
2Baba, at the concert, will encourage people to stay safe during this period by obeying the stay-at-home directive of government while keeping them well entertained with his usually awe-inspiring musical performance.
The e-concert, will be streamed live on Tuface’s social media handles (@ official2baba) and that of Trophy Extra Special Stout (@trophystout), and is expected to create an extra special moment for the people, while they stay at home this period.
In addition to getting people to stay at home, Trophy Extra Special Stout, together with Tuface, will be making a donation of N10million to support initiatives combating the COVID-19 Pandemic. In a chat with an excited 2Baba, he revealed that the idea of the e-concert is for him to lend his voice to the call on Nigerians to come together to combat the global pandemic by heeding the stay-at-home directive of the government, so that the spread of the virus can be reduced to the barest minimum. He added that the e-concert will provide a moment of hope, optimism, and comfort to everybody in this trying time. He also called on other celebrities, businessmen and women and corporate organisations to support the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in any way they can.
Trophy Marketing Manager, Bamise Oyegbami, said “We have decided to partner with Tuface in this quest because we acknowledge the importance of the initiative.”
Oyegbami acknowledged that a healthy population was key for any nation to grow and develop and that the novel COVID-19 pandemic threatening lives in the country is a vicious enemy that must be curtailed by getting all hands on deck.
He said: ‘’We are not in business just for profit. Our ecosystem is very key to us as our corporate purpose is bringing people together for a better world. This can only be attained if and when necessary support is given to people and the society whenever it is needed, which is what we are trying to achieve with this e-concert.”
‘’We realise that with everywhere being on lockdown as part of measures to arrest the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, we can make people’s stay at home more comfortable by partnering with our own African music legend, 2Baba to deliver a live e-concert that not only entertains, but educates and motivates, at the same time,” Oyegbami concluded.
According to handlers of the Trophy brand in Nigeria, viewers will during the e-concert, have the opportunity to engage and interact with 2Baba online and also stand great chances of winning freebies, which can help support their stay at home.