‘Businesses Need Customer-focused Innovation to Withstand Competition’

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Dike Onwuamaeze

Nigeria’s business leaders have been advised to define innovation from customers’ perspective in order to provide value to their clients.

The advice was given yesterday by a Professor of Innovation and Marketing and Founder/President of the Nobel International Business School (NIBS), Accra, Ghana, Prof. Kwaku Atuahene-Gima, during a virtual presentation of a paper titled: “Innovation in Crisis Environment: The Role of Corporate Directors,” during the 2020 edition of Fellows’ Investiture ceremony of the Institute of Direcrors (IoD) Nigeria in Lagos.

Atuahene-Gima said it was important for businesses to define and understand competition from customers and not products’ perspective by focusing on creating and delivering unique value that makes competition irrelevant.

“Differentiating your products or services from competition is best achieved by adding new tangible features,” he said while emphasising that, “value to the customer should always be tangible and something that visibly adds to the customers benefit.”

He also added that not every customer would be satisfied merely with a product or service that is of high quality, reliable, durable and error free.

“What customers want from the core product,” according to him, are, “the features that make the product or service work, which are always the most important to customers and should receive the most attention from the company.”

Speaking during the investiture ceremony, the President and Chairman of Council, IoD Nigeria, Mr. Chris Okunowo, charged the recipients of the awards to continue to uphold good corporate governance principles and be guided by the ethical code of the institute at all levels in their work places and in their business affairs.

Okonowo said that it was important to note that despite the COVID-19 challenges, the IoD Nigeria has continued to demonstrate greater concern and commitment to work with all stakeholders in order to engender a business-friendly environment for a robust economic growth.

He said: “More particularly, we have continued to canvass for good corporate governance of all private and public sector organisations in the country and will continue to partner with all business and thought leaders from both the public and private sectors to push forward innovative ideas for our collective benefits.

“I, therefore, implore both existing and new Fellows to be alive to their duties and responsibilities by rising up to the challenge by supporting the Institute and also continue to be great mascots of our Institute and wear this badge of honour with a consciousness that we look up to you as the custodians of our heritage.”

The recipients of the fellowship award were Ms. Ngozi Chibututu, Mr. Ben Onuora, Dr. Ebun Sonaiya, Mr. Victor Eburajolo and Mr. Edmund Yomi Jones.