Building Brand through Empowerment Scheme

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Raheem Akingbolu writes on how promoters of Amber Energy drink appear to be gaining market traction through an empowerment scheme designed to lift both the brand and its patrons.

Amber Drinks Ltd entered the Nigerian market at a time many analysts had dismissed the energy drink market as being saturated. However, while observers saw obstacles, the spin doctors behind the brand saw opportunities.

“We believed and still believe in the quality of our brand and were eager to come up with a far-reaching marketing strategy that would give us competitive advantage.

“Since the first day in the market, our determination is to grow the brand and grow the trade partners, hence the empowerment scheme through which we are lifting up our brand as well as the businesses of the patrons of the brand,” General Manager of Amber Energy Drink Ltd, Ms. Lola Adedeji, had stated at the 2020 flag-off of the empowerment scheme which was designed to create a bond between the brand and consumers.

This was the beginning of a journey that has consistently created the expected affinity between the Amber brand and the Nigerian market.

According to the brand owners, the empowerment program is designed to empower students, retailers, startups and unemployed Nigerians
At the maiden class, organised for 400 hundred Nigerians in the Start-up loan’ and two hundred Nigerians in the ‘Business Support’ program, Adedeji pointed out that with the current economy, Amber Drinks found it necessary to alleviate the pain of the average Nigerian by providing the opportunity for Nigerians to own and grow their businesses through soft loans and business support initiatives”

With the goal to make Amber a legacy brand, Amber was launched in July, 2020 in an exclusive media event due to the prevalence of Covid-19 and other attendant government protocols with a promise to impact the Nigerian market.

The expectation from watchers and players in the energy drink market then was that the product would just make a few buzz and fizzle out as some analysts said it was a ‘crazy’ risk to take especially at that critical period. Quite unexpectedly, the Amber brand has proved many doubting thomases wrong considering its massive penetration into the competitive energy drink market.

In an exclusive chat with THISDAY, Adedeji, provided insight into the strategies, growth and plans of the Amber brand in the competitive energy drink market.

Commenting on the phenomenal success of the Amber brand, Adedeji said: “I think for a new brand we have done quite well. So, I know that if you ask one in ten people, they must have heard about it. I will say, one in twenty five must have tasted the drink. I think we are doing quite well and we are getting our feet in the energy drink market in Nigeria now.”

She added: “I always say that the brand takes on the nature of its owner.

The owners of Amber are fearless, resilient and dedicated. Regardless of what the situation is, we focus on our focus, where we want to be disregarding the obstacles. Or more succinctly, using the obstacles to our advantage, which is what we have done with the time when we launched”.

On strategies deployed to promote the brand at the critical period of Covid-19, Adedeji said: “We explored both Below the Line (BTL) and Above the Line(ATL) marketing; we have digital marketing and the main media marketing. The drive was to make sure that anyone who interacts with our brand can easily understand what we are communicating. The next question is how?

“When you go on the landing pages of all our social media; on our website; you can even go on our helpline; these are all available to let you know that every step of the way you can get Amber to release the energy in you.

In every aspect of your life, right from waking up from your bed Amber is available to stimulate the energy you need for each day. It is also there to unleash the energy in you to take you from one level to another. That’s what we wanted to communicate to our consumers.

Responding to an inquiry on where sees the brand in the future, the debonair serial entrepreneur had this to say:

The amazing thing is that Amber is less than six months old in the energy drink market in Nigeria. When you ask about it, you almost get a response of a drink that is like two years old. That tells you that we have started making our marks in the market but our plan is to make Amber a legacy brand.

“This means that we are not rushing to do anything. We are taking it step-step to ensure that we are ingrained in your mind and we stay with you for life. Amber is available in at least six other states outside of Lagos and we are enrolling more states afterwards and then Pan-African. We are going to be all over Nigeria.

Speaking further on the empowerment programme embarked upon by the brand, Adedeji noted that the programme has been a phenomenal success and the brand is in it for the long haul.

She said: “We are going to continue to empower Nigerians. As at today, we have enrolled over 4,000 people. It’s an on-going project of a life time. It’s not a one-off. Every year, people are losing their job. So, Amber is always there to help people.”