Henry Uche, Lagos
Following protests across the country by aggrieved Nigerians seeking an end the brutality of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a brand strategist, Gidyon Thompson, has called on brands to take a decisive stand on the issue at hand.
In an interview with Daily Sun in Lagos, Thompson said that it was high time brand strategists defined their purpose and core values and stand by them even in the face of a global pandemic.
According to him, Corporate Social Responsibility is no longer about providing basic amenities to the poor or sponsoring music concerts and the like, but about lending a voice to the plight of consumers and members of host communities.
The brand strategist emphasised that it is not just about money spent by a business organisation, but about how well an organisation’s action is felt by stakeholders in the long run.
The co-founder of Eikon Grae, Thompson maintained that multiple Twitter users have called on brands to step up and be counted or risk losing patronage. He explained that there may not be a mass exodus from brands that refuse to support the on-going protest, saying it takes more than social action to get sustained patronage, adding that the problem is not losing patronage, but losing brand equity.
‘The protests are led by Millennials and Generation-Z, which accounts for the highest consumer audience. I, therefore, advise brands not to turn a deaf ear, particularly those aspiring to grow rapidly in the nearest future,’ he said.