Loya Milk Promo: Positioning the Brand or Repositioning Competition?
Experts in the field of marketing have opined that there may be more than one reason why a company may decide to embark on a promotional effort. It could be to create awareness, encourage trial purchase, communicate information about the brand to its target market, build brand loyalty, and more and more. There is no hard and fast rule about which type of promotion a company may decide to embark on. The determining factor is dependent on what the company intends to achieve for a particular brand. More importantly, the attitude or reaction of consumers towards the brand may trigger a conscious promotional effort, especially in a market where there is stiff competition.
Recently though, there has been a spate of promotional efforts from different brands especially those within the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) category. Notably, the dairy market is flooded with a wide array of milk brands, with each battling for consumers’ mind and pocketshare. Some of the brands in this category are Peak milk, Loya milk, Three Crowns, Nunu milk, Dano milk etc. Among these brands, consumers have different perceptions of each brand. And they are the ones qualified to determine which is good or better. After all, Al Ries & Jack Trout, the marketing gurus, have once said that marketing is not a battle of products, rather, it’s a battle of perception. In this light, it may be difficult to conclude that one brand is the best.
Best in what sense? Is it in price? Taste? Quality? Packaging? Branding? Or what? No matter the level of research conducted to determine which is the best, one thing is sure: these brands have very close, likely unnoticeable differences as perceived by consumers. And more so, ‘best’ is a thing of the mind.
To eke out a sizeable portion of the market, some of these brands have engaged in some promotional efforts in recent times. And some are still running their promo. One of such is Loya milk, a brand from the stable of Promasidor Nigeria Limited.
No doubt, Loya milk has once been in the market sometimes ago. We may not be too sure of what led to its exit. But, suffice to say that the brand which was re-launched into the dairy market in September 2010 is on its second coming either to reposition itself or reposition the competition. Nobody knew the exact motive until the brand launched its advertising campaign few months ago. The campaign saturated virtually all the electronic media with one key message: Loya Premium is a brand of full cream powdered milk with a new calcium formulation called Hi-Calcium.
To communicate this additional benefit to the consumers, Promasidor decided to embark on a consumer sales promo which is geared towards encouraging consumers to try the new Loya premium milk formulation. That was why the general manager marketing of Promasidor Nigeria Limited, Mr. Kachi Onubogu, while fielding questions from journalists on the motive of the N50 million consumer promo, said it was to drive awareness for the brand, encourage Nigerians to try the brand and also set the brand as an establishing brand that will keep growing in the mind of the Nigerian consumers, adding that, the promo was aimed at ensuring that the brand gets to the Nigerian consumers, thereby encouraging trial purchase.
On the contrary however, some industry observers hold that the Loya milk promo may be counterproductive. This school of thought claims that Peak milk, Dano and Richmilk are the market leaders in this category, and that Loya is making frantic efforts to pull these market giants down – a total violation of branding laws. They have also raised a point of view that the re-launch of Loya milk in September 2010 with the intention of repositioning and strengthening the brand’s equity in the dairy market, is not realisable, adding that just a few Nigerians were enthusiastic about the N50 million promo, and perhaps it must have been a miscalculation for Promasidor to introduce a brand in the premium milk category.
While debunking these insinuations, the GM, Marketing, says it may be out of place for anyone to say that the N50 million Loya promo wasn’t a success. “This is because many of the early adopters and conservatives of other milk brands have been embracing the brand. The promo has been successful and what would drive continual growth of the brand is the content and quality the brand delivers overtime”.
Confirming that the brand cannot perennially be hooked on promotions, he promises the brand will continually meet consumers’ needs everyday for the rest of their lives. “Our consumers will get a brand full of 28 vitamins, a brand high in Calcium, a brand that is the creamiest with consistent high quality. That is what we promise and we will deliver”.
“The promo has guaranteed a reasonable market share”, according to Onubogu, all efforts put in place were just to introduce the brands benefit to the consumer by offering an incentive.
In the words of Onubogu, “at the onset of the promotion, we guaranty to deliver N50 million to our consumer. As a matter of fact, N50 million wasn’t all we spent it was just for the gift we were giving out. Our motive is to improve the business. When we went on this journey we understood that we would spend on it and also that consumers will be excited to buy the product. For now we have been able to manage and supply the brand to the consumers. Our job is to check the growth of the brand as long as it continues to grow we will ensure that we meet the needs of the consumers”.
Realistically, there may be other brands that have stronger presence in the market than Loya does. But, if the brand continues relentlessly to meet the needs of Nigerian consumers through proper differentiation, it might just be able to garner points against major market leader provided its refrains from head-on attack on the market leader.