Director of Strategy, Brand and PR Consultancy, Phenom Communications,  Teresa Aligbe, has said that businesses are failing to account for today’s customer.

 In an interview with The PUNCH, Aligbe, who has almost a decade of experience in brand-building and PR industry, regretted that  a lot of Nigerian businesses are still sales- and marketing-oriented, often thinking of branding as cosmetic or simply a nice thing to have.

“This is an approach to business development that focuses on product/service first and assumes having a notable brand name is enough, but it is not.

 “Today’s customer in the B2C space is less bothered about how old and tried your name is, and more occupied with the experience your brand delivers to them, how it improves their lifestyle, and how it affirms their identity. These are value propositions communicated not through sales or marketing, but through PR and brand development strategies such as storytelling, experience design, and brand community building.”

 She said these concepts are key to non-superficial conversion, brand loyalty, and sustainable development insured by cross-generational brand relevance.

 According to her, branding helps today’s customer to sort through the noise and provides a context for decision-making.

 “If a customer has 14 products or service offerings before them, to narrow down the playing field, they’ll start with the brands they know, trust, or have heard people within their community talk about,” she said.

 Aligbe said the next generation of customers is emerging but a lot of firms aren’t taking cognizance of them.

“I believe in the next decade, we’ll see a lot of notable organisations scrambling to correct the market gap they are creating through brand positioning and PR efforts that do not adequately cater to the needs, interests, and values of a new generation of customers.

“I also believe, on the other hand, that this error will lead to the rise of new formidable players who are either squarely focusing their communications efforts on the Millennial and Gen Z customer or have adequately expanded it to cover them.”

She said Gen Zs have already defined themselves as far as consumer habits are concerned, noting that they have continued to drive the rise of ‘the experience economy.’  She explained that based on research, 74 percent of Millennials prefer experiences to products.

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