Nigerians are a unique and a dynamic set of people known for their openness and receptiveness. Our communal way of life will not allow an opportunity to greet friends and family in warm embrace and catch up on ‘gist’ and gossip, go bye.

In the face of the current Covid19 pandemic, social distancing is the new reality. The Nigerian Consumer being diligent, may, post Covid19, extend this distancing to some products and services. ‘Product and brand distancing’? How would this affect brands in the long run? How can a brand remain close to her Consumers even in the face of the current Covid 19 pandemic?

We may be faced with some ‘price distancing’. Nigerians are very likely to isolate from brands that are pricy, in the face of limited resources chasing too many needs as well as the existence of a variety of alternatives that offer perceived similar value. Some may down trade from super premium to premium ore even mainstream or from mainstream to discount brands as a coping mechanism at this time.

There is observable shopping pattern change (See our downloadable Report on Naija Lock Down Life). Covid19 has encouraged greater appreciation of the neighbourhood store as well as the online store as people try their best to minimise physical interaction and stay home and safe, at this time. We can be sure to expect ‘location distancing’ even in the post pandemic era.

This means that if your brand is mainly available in the Hypermarket or Open market, for instance, and you do nothing to address the route to market, at this time, target consumers may distance themselves from it, inevitably.

The Covid19 lockdown means no/very limited income for many Nigerians who earn daily income from Trade and other self-employment. Shopper Dads and Moms have become ‘Expert Money Managers’ in their homes. There is relevance and value check for every item purchased, therefore, many brands may experience ‘value-related distancing’ too. Where does your brand, currently, stand in rationalisation and value analysis on-going in the Consumer’s mind? This is a pertinent question at this time.
In the lock down and partial lifting of the lock down period (and who knows for how long this will last!), it is survival of the fittest for Nigerian households. This analogy is also true for brands. It will be survival of the fittest brands and perhaps, death to the weakest ones where there is ‘connection distancing’ and Brand Owners and Managers put no measure in place to stem the tide.
Brands that seek understanding, at this time, are able to identify and exploit key connection touch points to win in a crowded market.
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