In recent times, brands’ marketing strategies have shifted focus from direct sales to relationships and value creation directly linked to brand loyalty. It has, therefore, become natural for marketers and brand managers to treat brands as having both a rational and an emotional component. In turn, this has contributed to creating more complex surroundings, especially for marketers and brand managers confused about the necessary components to encourage customer loyalty.

For brand managers, it can be a task transforming brand awareness to customer commitment and loyalty to a product. Customers may appreciate specific products for the value or experience, but intense competition calls for companies to keep them interested and engaged. Strategies such as giveaways, social media contests, and Q & As which marketers execute daily, weekly, annually, or on special occasions to attract new customers.

Asked if it matters that brands organise social media contests or giveaways, 63.4% of our national focus group said ‘yes’, 29.3% said ‘maybe’ while 7.3% said ‘no’. On whether they would love a brand or an organisation more because of its giveaways to customers on social media, 78% said ‘yes’, and 14.6% said ‘maybe’. Still, another 7.3% confirmed ‘no’. On whether they had a favourite brand (Nigerian or foreign), just 49% confirmed that they did, 38% said ‘no’, while the rest of the focus group were uncertain.

“Call it the corporate one-night stand. It’s the campaign that brands can quickly execute to improve consumer interest, boost clicks, social media followership or website visits,” said an expert. “It’s a low-hanging fruit that, if executed effectively, would look great in a quarterly report. When brand managers are constantly pressured to deliver quick wins, the easiest route becomes very attractive. But a strategy to build or improve brand loyalty is a long-term game that covers factors like values, trust, brand experience and perceived quality”.

Social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and even TikTok have become recognised powerhouse resources for brands and businesses. Companies also engage influencers to boost activity on their social media channels or raise awareness around specific services. Over the past decade, these platforms have become measuring tools to determine consumer relationships and attachment to a brand, especially the extent to which the consumer identifies with the brand.

Our experts also recognised the importance of such campaigns while highlighting that such strategy becomes ineffective because it is not connected to a long-term marketing goal.

“It is fundamental: When you see Nigerians at parties, you’ll easily understand why brands spend so much on giveaways,” said our brand expert, who also manages a tech business. “We all love free things, but brands have simply forgotten, or never knew, how to execute such campaigns strategically. They can turn on the faucet and keep the money flowing. Still, there has to be a clearly-mapped path to ensure that the investment flows to the stated goal – customer growth, retention, brand awareness or whatever the marketing goals are. Nigerians love free things, but they know how to keep it moving if you waste their time”.

Culture Intelligence from RED supports companies, governments, and change makers with data-backed insight for evidence-based decision-making. It aggregates consumers’ ideas, opinions, and behaviour to solve problems and identify growth opportunities.