10 Ways to Beat Competition: Way 9 – Using Endorsements
Have you ever wondered why some adverts end with ‘endorsed by ***”? Well, that’s because some businesses know that most customers rely on approvals from other people before they spend their hard earned money on goods/service. Customers would prefer to buy tested and trusted goods/service; no one wants to be the guinea pig.
Endorsement according to Cambridge dictionary can be explained as the act of saying that you approve or support something or someone. Endorsements of goods/service can therefore be defined as the process by which a body or individual, authenticates, approves or validates for use or consumption a particular product/service. For the purpose of competition, endorsements give customers the confidence to patronize your product as against competitions’ product, on the strength of what a respected body, person or authority said about your product.
For instance, before most people opt to watch a movie, they first check what “Rotten Tomatoes” has to say about the movie. Also in Nigeria, before people buy consumables (especially packaged items) they confirm if such product has the NAFDAC (approval) number. In case of services, telecommunication for instance, I have heard people who claimed they are using Glomobile Network because ‘Jenifer’ (Funke Akindele) endorsed it.
Endorsement can come in two forms; Endorsement by recognized body and Endorsement by respectable personality.
- Endorsement by Recognized Body: For every product/service, there are recognized bodies who have been sanctioned by ‘law’ to investigate and validate them. These bodies ensures that the minimum standard are conformed to, the right production or service environment maintained and the outputs fit for human consumption after which they endorse such product/service. These bodies may be instituted by government or an association to regulate the market.
Examples of these are NAFDAC for food and drugs, Manufacturers association of Nigeria (MAN)/Standard organization of Nigeria (SON) for manufactured goods, Pediatrics Association of Nigeria for children related items etc. The approval of these bodies give your product/service an edge over unendorsed competition’s goods/service.
- Endorsement by Respectable Personality: This is like the new trend in the Nigerian business industry, and it was actually made popular by Nigeria’s telecommunication giant Globacom. Nigerians’ love their celebrities cannot be overemphasized; most people want to be, feel and live like these celebrities, hence people tend to want to use same product as them, use the same service as them and even visit same places as them. Getting a celebrity or a respected personality to endorse your product will go a long way to help your business beat competition.
For instance, a makeup artist that uses a star like Mona Lisa Chinda as a model will definitely become the star of the makeup industry overnight, customers will believe that he/she must be very good before such a star can patronize/endorse the service. Other instances include Davido’s endorsement of MTN, Wizkid’s endorsement of Pepsi, Don Jazy endorsement of Loyal Milk etc. Personality endorsement somehow gives your product legitimacy, especially in the eyes of people who respect such personality.
Beating competition requires that you tilt the scale in your favor, by making sure it is no longer a level playing field. You ensure that some factors work in your favor to help redirect customers to your own business till you claim the largest share of the market. You too can also get a recognized body or a respectable individual to endorse your business. A friend of mine who is into religious writing, was able to get a Bishop to review his book and that made the difference in sales for him. The key is how much respect the body or personality commands? The more the respect, the more you are able to sway customers’ affection (ultimately purchases) in your direction.
Endorsement is a tactical capital investment that is most often worth every penny. However, I still implore you to stay tuned for the final nail on the coffin, in 10 ways to beat competition.