Innovation, quality and newness have become latest marketing strategies in the present day sophisticated market where customers are more demanding. Every product that must remain relevant and continue to appeal to customers must adopt freshness in its product offering.
According to studies, organisations have continued to realize that though efficiency is essential for business success but in the long run, it cannot sustain business growth. Research has indicated that competition combined with strong demand is a major driver of innovation.
It was in this spirit that Lafarge Cement Wapco last week unveiled a new look pack and new logo for the 50 year old cement. It introduced an active looking dark coloured elephant as logo against the unexciting former green elephant. The new elephant looks active and energetic with lively trunk against the old design that was sluggish with weak trunk.
Explaining the reasons for the changes, the company’s Senior marketing manager, Rilwan Yusuf told BusinessDay that African elephant is dark and the colour resonates strength, reliability and resilience. The objective of the innovations, he said was to refresh and reposition the brand to align with the constantly changing features of the marketplace.
The new elephant logo is super-imposed on the green and grey designed popular cement bag and the Supaset brand bag. Supaset brand is special cement for block molders because when it is used for block molding, it thickens quickly and gives the molders the freedom to pack the blocks.
As competition gets fierce in the cement sector, Yusuf said the dominant green colour on the popular bag is for market visibility and appeal. “All the new changes show renewal of the company’s commitment to excellence, quality and customer satisfaction’, Yusuf said.
On the use of below- the- line marketing strategy by Lafarge Wapco cement, Yusuf said the industry targets markets where the product is more used than the mass market.
Looking into the future of cement market, the marketing manager was more optimistic of buoyancy in 2012. “With the plans by government to stop importation of cement next year, local firms will be challenged to meet the demand of consumers and this will increase local capacity and possibly employment”, he said.
The company last week commissioned its multi-billion Naira new plant in Ewekoro, Ogun State. The project which its construction started 2009 was conceived in 2007 to build a new cement plant which will add an extra 2.5 million tonnes of cement annually to the Nigerian cement market. “The investment pushes the annual capacity of Lafarge WAPCO alone to 4.5 million tonnes, and to 8 million tonnes for all of Lafarge’s Nigerian operations.
The “expanded operations Ewekoro, the chairman of the company, Olusegun Osunkeye said will employ almost 1,000 people and inject over 6 billion Naira into the local economy every year through salaries, taxes, the use of local contractors and suppliers where possible, and partnerships with the community”.