Brand­zone: Chang­ing brand­ing and de­sign land­scape -the mak­ing of Nestoil story

El­iz­a­beth Aje­tun­mobi is the chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Aymie Staffing So­lu­tions and the pres­i­dent of the As­so­ci­a­tion for House­hold Em­ployee Man­agers (AHEM) while Emem Nwog­wugwu is the vice-pres­i­dent of AHEM. In this in­ter­view with JOSEPHINE OKOJIE, they b

Business Day (Nigeria) - - BRANDING - DANIEL OBI

Brand­zone has been able to carve a solid niche for it­self, not just as an agency pro­fi­cient in brand­ing and de­sign but as a full-fledged brand­ing, mar­ket­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions and con­sul­tancy firm, build­ing and man­ag­ing suc­cess­ful brands within the last 11 years of its ex­is­tence, us­ing unique pro­pri­ety tools.

For Brand­zone, its unique method­ol­ogy is not lim­ited to an or­di­nary logo change, web­site re­vamp or so­cial me­dia en­gage­ment, it in­volves an in­side-out ap­proach to strate­gi­cally po­si­tion the brand, by in­no­va­tively in­te­grat­ing strat­egy, ideas and a well thought through im­ple­men­ta­tion. This method­ol­ogy has proven suc­cess­ful for Brand­zone as it prides it­self with the ex­cel­lent re­sults it has ob­tained when it ap­plied it on sev­eral or­gan­i­sa­tions that are de­sirous of sus­tain­able growth – not a mi­crowave or ‘flash in a pan’ kind of suc­cess. A very good ci­ta­tion of Brand­zone’s foot­print of suc­cess was its ap­proach to brand­ing and de­sign in the ‘Mak­ing of the Nestoil story’.

In The Be­gin­ning

Brand­zone came out tops in the se­lec­tion process among other com­pet­i­tive agen­cies who had ap­plied for the project with Nestoil. Brand­zone won the con­tract and was com­mis­sioned to spear­head the Re­brand­ing of the Nestoil Group.

Nestoil, is an indige­nous EPCC, con­struc­tion and Oil ser­vic­ing firm with op­er­a­tions domi­ciled within high-rise lo­ca­tions in Nige­ria. Nestoil has been a sig­nif­i­cant con­trib­u­tor in Nige­rian Oil & Gas sec­tor with its in­no­va­tive so­lu­tion spread across the en­tire value chain of the in­dus­try.

In spite of its strate­gic ge­o­graph­i­cal po­si­tion­ing, Nestoil sought to be recog­nised in the space which it op­er­ates. It de­sired to carve a niche for it­self and cre­ate an iden­tity that will po­si­tion it as not just an­other indige­nous en­ergy com­pany but a com­pany that stands out with its own unique value propo­si­tion. Upon com­ple­tion of the project and ap­pli­ca­tion of the rec­om­men­da­tions made by the Brand­zone team, Nestoil was able to trans­form it­self into an ex­cel­lently po­si­tioned en­ergy com­pany, while strate­gi­cally pro­mot­ing its sev­eral busi­ness units, port­fo­lio, ser­vice of­fer­ings and its laud­able in­dus­try mile­stones.

The process of Re­brand­ing didn’t kick off with an ex­ter­nal al­ter­ation of the ex­ist­ing Nestoil Brand iden­tity such as a logo change or a web­site re­vamp, but in­stead, work be­gan with an ex­ten­sive trans­for­ma­tion of the Nestoil brand in­side-out. This stage of the process was a deeply im­mer­sive, in­tel­lec­tual and thought pro­vok­ing, in­volv­ing all the stake­hold­ers and key de­ci­sion mak­ers to col­lab­o­ra­tively work on de­vel­op­ing the Brand DNA, Brand Story, Brand Po­si­tion­ing and Brand Ar­chi­tec­ture of the Nestoil Group un­der the care­ful guid­ance of the Brand­zone team. It was im­por­tant to get the stake­hold­ers of the busi­ness in­volved in the recre­ation process so as to pro­mote brand own­er­ship across all lev­els of the busi­ness upon com­ple­tion of the project.

Cre­at­ing The Im­age

Un­known to most peo­ple, the process of brand­ing and de­sign is a mar­riage of art and sci­ence. This among all other unique meth­ods, is one of the things that has set Brand­zone apart in the in­dus­try. In recre­at­ing the Nestoil Brand, Brand­zone moved to the next phase which was the point where sci­ence met. This marked the be­gin­ning of the Brand au­dit/brand re­search phase car­ried out by Brand­zone. This stage pro­filed the Nestoil in the in­dus­try it op­er­ates, and con­sumer/ client per­cep­tion of the Nestoil brand. These were con­sol­i­dated into the unique Nestoil brand strat­egy which har­monises the his­tory, busi­ness model, cul­ture and ethos of the Nestoil group. Af­ter care­ful study of the Nestoil busi­ness model, Brand­zone de­vel­oped the brand ar­chi­tec­ture based on the struc­ture of the busi­ness. The ar­chi­tec­tural model de­vel­oped for Nestoil adopted the ‘House of Brands’ struc­ture. This po­si­tioned the Nestoil group in a man­ner which the ‘mother brand’ was clearly struc­tured along with the other sub-busi­ness units (sis­ter brands) ex­ist­ing within its busi­ness struc­ture bear­ing in mind the busi­ness re­la­tions and the var­i­ous lev­els of mar­ket dom­i­nance in which these sub-busi­ness units op­er­ate.

Go­ing fur­ther in the cre­ation of the rich Nestoil brand ex­ist­ing to­day, Brand­zone be­gan the brand po­si­tion­ing phase through which the core at­tributes of the brand was re­born and es­tab­lished. This made up the care­fully thought out Nestoil cul­ture. These core at­tributes were in­fused into the cor­po­rate phi­los­o­phy, thereby pre­sent­ing the vi­sion, mis­sion and core val­ues in a man­ner which truly con­veys the brand’s prom­ise. From these at­tributes came the uniquely crafted new pay off line; ‘De­liv­er­ing ex­cep­tional value’. Ev­ery word in this pay-off line was de­lib­er­ately cho­sen to rep­re­sent the value propo­si­tion, mis­sion, vi­sion and cor­po­rate ethos of Nestoil.

The fi­nal phase was cre­at­ing a unique brand iden­tity be­gin­ning with the pri­mary logo of the brand which would em­body and speak to the brand essence of Nestoil. The process was not mere graphic re­design of the old Nestoil brand iden­tity but a grad­ual un­bundling of each el­e­ment of the former logo and the rec­om­men­da­tion of a wide range of de­sign routes which ranged from evo­lu­tion­ary (a mod­i­fi­ca­tion of the ex­ist­ing logo de­sign whilst main­tain­ing its key el­e­ments) to the rev­o­lu­tion­ary de­sign routes (a clear de­par­ture from the orig­i­nal logo de­sign). The evo­lu­tion­ary de­sign route was cho­sen which in­volved the to­tal re­fresh of two im­por­tant fea­tures of the ex­ist­ing logo which was its iconog­ra­phy (the sym­bol it­self ) and the ty­pog­ra­phy (the type­face which ac­com­pa­nies the sym­bol). Com­bin­ing the up­date of these two key fea­tures with­out to­tally de­part­ing from the old brand iden­tity, the new and more con­tem­po­rary logo was cre­ated to rep­re­sent the Nestoil brand.

The Adop­tion

Fol­low­ing the recre­ation of the Nestoil Brand Strat­egy,

Brand Po­si­tion­ing and Brand Iden­tity, the Brand­zone team took the in­ter­nal stake­hold­ers of the busi­ness through a unique brand adop­tion ses­sion which aimed at pro­mot­ing brand cul­ture strength­en­ing and brand iden­tity own­er­ship while en­sur­ing brand preser­va­tion in a prac­ti­cal man­ner. At the end of the process, the in­ter­nal stake­holder sof the busi­ness un­der­stood their role in pro­mot­ing the Nestoil cul­ture. They em­braced their roles as brand am­bas­sadors and set out su­per­charged, ready to live out the brand at any level of the busi­ness they op­er­ate.

Af­ter 28 years of in­cor­po­ra­tion, Nestoil was re­born and has full em­bod­ied all of its po­ten­tials, by ob­jec­tively al­low­ing Brand­zone take her through the process of re-emer­gence.

‘ Brand­zone has acted as a cat­a­lyst for most brands, so it can see all the pos­si­bil­i­ties open to them as a brand and make them into the best in their cho­sen area of play ‘

The Cat­a­lyst

Brand­zone has acted as a cat­a­lyst for most brands, so it can see all the pos­si­bil­i­ties open to them as a brand and make them into the best in their cho­sen area of play. The ‘ Nestoil story ‘ built and de­vel­oped by Brand­zone is one of the many sto­ries with which Brand­zone has es­tab­lished it­self .

Even presently in the eye of the storm al­most sub­merg­ing busi­nesses with its pro­pri­ety tools , in­sights and abil­ity to dig in and know the brand/client, Brand­zone has been able to save a lot of busi­nesses from go­ing un­der and give them the no­ta­bil­ity and recog­ni­tion they re­quire and de­serve which has in turn given prof­itabil­ity to such busi­nesses.

ECan you tell us about AHEM? liz­a­beth: The As­so­ci­a­tion for House­hold Em­ployee Man­agers (AHEM) was borne out of the need to es­tab­lish a struc­ture and or­gan­i­sa­tion in the area of hu­man re­sources and de­vel­op­ment, specif­i­cally for do­mes­tic staff. The vi­sion of the as­so­ci­a­tion is three- im­proved ca­pa­bil­ity and wel­fare for house­hold em­ploy­ees, sat­is­fac­tion and safety of em­ploy­ers, and the growth and reg­u­la­tion of do­mes­tic staffing agen­cies in the coun­try. The fo­cus of the as­so­ci­a­tion is to cre­ate a struc­ture and pro­fes­sion­alise Nige­ria’s do­mes­tic labour in­dus­try. AHEM is cre­at­ing struc­ture and stan­dard op­er­at­ing pro­ce­dures for the in­dus­try as a whole while ad­vo­cat­ing for the rights of do­mes­tic work­ers (es­pe­cially in terms of abuse) in the coun­try.

Can you tell us about Nige­ria’s do­mes­tic staffing in­dus­try? El­iz­a­beth: The do­mes­tic staffing in­dus­try is an un­tapped seg­ment be­cause it has not been ex­ploited yet and this is due to lack of struc­ture and poor data col­lec­tion. Nige­ria has a huge hu­man re­source reser­voir that can fill in this in­dus­try if prop­erly har­nessed with the right train­ing and sys­tem sup­port.

Can you tell us the ar­eas the as­so­ci­a­tion in­tends to im­pact? Emem: The as­so­ci­a­tion in­tends to im­pact the struc­tural cre­ation and or­gan­i­sa­tion in do­mes­tic staffing na­tion­ally. We in­tend to de­velop a pat­tern that is civil and safe for both par­ties ( that is em­ploy­ers and em­ploy­ees) - in their rule of en­gage­ments. To pro­vide a law that pro­tects both par­ties and a stan­dard that will be laid out na­tion­ally on how do­mes­tic staff should be treated and how they should also treat their em­ploy­ers and chil­dren.

How do you in­tend to gain sup­port and recog­ni­tion from the govern­ment and other par­ties? Emem: We in­tend to let them know the vi­sion and mis­sion and carry them along. Also, we would tell the govern­ment-re­lated agen­cies the im­por­tance of sup­port­ing the or­gan­i­sa­tion and how we can pos­i­tively in­flu­ence the na­tion at large, fam­i­lies, their do­mes­tic work­ers, and ev­ery­one in­volved in a safe and pro­fes­sional man­ner. We in­tend to or­ga­nize meet­ings with the govern­ment, come up with poli­cies that would or­ga­nize all do­mes­tic staffing ac­tiv­i­ties in Nige­ria, and dis­cuss how we can cre­ate new laws that pro­tect the fam­ily and do­mes­tic staff. This will bring in struc­ture and safety in the na­tion and pro­fes­sion­al­ism in the in­dus­try, just like the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try.

Why is AHEM rel­e­vant? El­iz­a­beth: There is a need to cre­ate a fu­ture for ser­vice work­ers. With the grow­ing preva­lence of pre­car­i­ous em­ploy­ment, there is a need to im­prove out­comes for do­mes­tic work­ers, find new ways of en­hanc­ing the cre­ativ­ity con­tent of ser­vice jobs through cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, bet­ter train­ing, and job de­signs which in turn in­crease vo­ca­tional ed­u­ca­tion to help cre­ate a ded­i­cated and pro­fes­sion­al­ized rou­tine-ser­vice work­force.

Do you think with AHEM, Nige­ria’s do­mes­tic staffing in­dus­try can be reg­u­lated and stan­dard­ized?

El­iz­a­beth: Yes, with a for­mal body com­pris­ing of pro­fes­sional play­ers in the in­dus­try, there will be im­proved reg­u­la­tion con­sid­er­ing that we all have the in­ter­est of do­mes­tic work­ers and em­ploy­ers at heart.

How will AHEM ad­dress the is­sue of un­der­age chil­dren as do­mes­tic help?

El­iz­a­beth: AHEM can end the use of un­der­aged chil­dren as do­mes­tic help firstly by fur­ther en­hanc­ing knowl­edge on child labour and its reper­cus­sion, then rais­ing aware­ness and ad­vo­cacy to trans­form so­cial at­ti­tudes of com­mu­ni­ties, es­pe­cially fam­i­lies. Adop­tion &en­force­ment of leg­isla­tive and pol­icy penal­ties should be taken se­ri­ously; also a com­pli­ant mech­a­nism should be de­vel­oped.

Tell us about your chal­lenges in the in­dus­try and how you have ad­dressed it as an as­so­ci­a­tion? Emem: Our chal­lenges have been peo­ple hir­ing un­der­age work­ers, sex­ual abuse of both do­mes­tic work­ers and chil­dren who some of these work­ers abuse. Un­der­min­ing the do­mes­tic work­ers, theft, un­der­pay­ment, lack of proper data­base and pro­fes­sion­al­ism in the rule of en­gage­ment from the do­mes­tic work­ers and their em­ploy­ers are some of the crit­i­cal is­sues in the in­dus­try.

We have been able to ad­dress them by cre­at­ing tai­lored train­ing and ad­vo­cacy ses­sions, life coach­ing ser­vices, and emo­tional heal­ing ses­sions. We cur­rently have a pool of hu­man re­source com­pa­nies that have helped with the hir­ing pro­duc­ers and data col­lec­tion.

The as­so­ci­a­tion has found a need and come forth with so­lu­tions and ser­vices that will help us com­bat these chal­lenges. We still need more hands and sup­port. There are many ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties that need help with set­ting up the right law for hir­ing do­mes­tic work­ers.

AHEM Nige­ria’s mem­bers have pro­vided train­ing, coach­ing ses­sions, and con­sul­ta­tions. We also have books to help par­ents stay or­ga­nized to re­duce the bur­den and stress of their em­ploy­ees. All these ser­vices are pro­vided by most of the mem­bers of AHEM Nige­ria. We have dif­fer­ent or­ga­ni­za­tions that pro­vide these ser­vices amongst

Is your or­gan­i­sa­tion open for col­lab­o­ra­tions?

El­iz­a­beth: We will reach out for sup­port through part­ner­ship be­cause we can­not do this on our own. We will do our best in or­ga­niz­ing pro­grams and ful­fill the goals of the as­so­ci­a­tion and we are very much cer­tain our work will speak for it­self and the com­mu­nity and govern­ment will rec­og­nize us. We be­lieve if we get it right as a coun­try, other coun­tries in Africa will also fol­low suit. We will be part­ner­ing with the Govern­ment and other agen­cies to spread in­for­ma­tion and help them see the need why they should be part of us. The as­so­ci­a­tion will be ben­e­fi­cial to them in terms of na­tional iden­tity that opens ac­cess for job op­por­tu­ni­ties, skill de­vel­op­ment, pro­tec­tion, and sup­port.

What role can tech­nol­ogy play? El­iz­a­beth: The world is ad­vanc­ing and at a very high speed, it is left for us to catch up with it. Our pas­sion is driven by our vi­sion to im­pact lives pos­i­tively in the do­mes­tic in­dus­try, and for this to be sus­tain­able we have to work as a team that’s why we have a lot of amaz­ing agen­cies putting in their all to take this as­so­ci­a­tion to the next level.

‘ The do­mes­tic staffing in­dus­try is an un­tapped seg­ment be­cause it has not been ex­ploited yet and this is due to lack of struc­ture and poor data col­lec­tion

Emem Nwog­wugwu us. We want to carry out all these ac­tiv­i­ties at the na­tional level.

El­iz­a­beth Aje­tun­mobi

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