Friday, 25 March 2011
we were everywhere and no where sales were tanking but every where you looked you saw our "product" being used , We had two large stores in the two largest markets that handled our retail distribution , a brand that was Known all along the west coast of Africa, and stood for a fair price for a high quality product, word of mouth endorsement like the church, and an economic situation that had just shaken off the stifling dust from over a decade of military paralysis and was jittery with democratic hope.
What could possibly be wrong ? a chance meeting with a customer/friend who complained about the quality of the product he bought from the market ,caused us to pause and for once not assume the painters had tampered with the product but question whether their could actually be something amiss.
We had recently lost one of our main Distributors who controlled our biggest market, Mushin, in the heart of lagos mainland , His death would leave us at the mercy of the market the adultrators had free reign as there was no one to effectively replace his oversight functions.
We at that time where copying the brewery/pub model where we developed a site and gave it to a distributor to run , rent free ,dealing exclusively with our product.
on further investigation and a bit of sleuth work we discovered the new freedom , and rule of law had enabled a host of new players to enter the market ,these new players were capitalising on the loop hole provided by the ubiquitous white plastic buckets that where used to package paints and the simple screen printing process .
Many of them had grown up in the markets and had ties to brands like ours which they now exploited .They simply made their low quality paints filled it in to the buckets and printed our name and presto they were in business .
We now knew who was eating our lunch but the battle had just began ,the damage done to our reputation was critical .But once we had our enemy insight the war could begin in earnest ,their have been many battles fought so far but finally the war is over and the process of rebuilding has begun .