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Welcome to the year of the sachet

My Kenyan colleague at the now defunct marketing research firm Research International once joked about how everything in Nigeria comes big. According to Joseph Ogeto now chief operating officer at Research Path in Nairobi everything in Nigeria is big. According to him our freeways are massive, same for our universities, gated estates, buildings and sarcastically he is fond of adding corruption in Nigeria is also massive.

The tendency to have things big is a product of the power of the economy. Nigeria’s huge population coupled with its being the largest economy on the continent are its biggest selling point to consumer good players. However, the double whammy of weak consumer wallets and the high poverty rate has made this less compelling. The situation is further worsened by the arrival of the coronavirus, a pandemic that caught the peoples and governments in Nigeria pants down. Apart from the state of Lagos, most of the country is not in a position to survive this type of health shock.

Therefore with the Brent crude and by extension Nigeria’s Bonny light selling at $35 per barrel as against $60 per barrel anticipated by government, economic experts are rightly predicting a recession in the horizon. Many state governments are revising their budgets down ward for the year and the federal government is expected to follow soon.  The power to do things big has suddenly diminished and salvation may lie in doing small things smart until we are out of this pandemic Therefore the interest of today’s Brand Talk is the appropriate or advised response by brands to the anticipated reduced spending that would usually follow such an economy slow down.

Since Nigeria’s emergence from economic contraction in second quarter in 2017, the disposable income of consumers have continued to tank in real terms, largely due to double- digit inflation rate, worsened by sluggish economic growth.

The way forward for brand custodian beyond showing empathy and offering promotional discount is to effectively use the power of numbers in favour of the brand.  As is usual in period of uncertainties consumers would spend less either because of the unknown or because they simply don’t have the money to spend. Playing around our packaging (SKU) could be the miracle strategy in these uncertain times.

Sachet can be beneficial to the business and consumers in several ways:

First, sachet requires minimum packaging materials, less storage, low shipping and transportation cost and most importantly it is pocket friendly to the end users. Where disposable income is low brand custodians must look the way of sachet. This is not limited to tangible products only. Services can also come in sachet too we just need to think hard and smart about it. Sachet could save us as much as 40% of the cost of traditional packaging.

Second, sachet enables us to customise our products to the various segments in the market place ensuring there is an affordable size for everybody in the society. Where properly executed this would enable a brand to get a competitive edge.

Third, sachets are environment friendly and take less space and can help preserve quality. In a country where power is not steady, many women have told us in focus groups that the biggest attraction for them about sachet is saving them the stress of storage.

In summary, consumers love to invest on small sachet packages due to their compact size, affordable price , quality of the product and most importantly the luxury of use the products as you buy.

As usual, share your reactions with me at my new boutique home: 08023117969 / michael@ayisireconsult.com.

-               Michael Umogun is a Director @ Ayisire Consulting