TBWA, MADE, Abia start branding campaign to grow Aba-made shoes, other products
by GODFREY OFURUM, Aba
November 15, 2017 | 12:45 am| | | Start Conversation
TBWA Concept, an advertising and public relations outfit in conjunction with Market Development in the Niger Delta (MADE), a DFID sponsored project and the Abia State Government, has initiated a branding campaign programme, geared towards authenticating shoe, belt, bags and trunk box products made in Aba.
The branding campaign is the second phase of the ongoing “Proudly Made-in-Aba project, aimed at promoting goods made-in-Aba.
Kelechi Nwosu, managing director, TBWA Concept, who led a team from TBWA at a two-day workshop on branding tagged, “Polishing the Ivory”, organized by the firm in conjunction with MADE, advised the Aba finished leather operators to believe in themselves, by embossing their company logo on their products, to market themselves.
In his words, “You have done well as businesses, but you need to create an identity for yourselves, to grow your businesses and compete with foreign brands.
“Let us build better brands from Aba. Aba can be better than Lagos, but you need to believe in yourselves for that to happen”.
He thanked MADE for making the branding seminar possible
The purpose of the branding campaign according to Nwosu, was to make the Aba finished leather operators, to grow their already established businesses and create brands that would outlive them.
It is estimated that about one-million pairs of footwear are informally exported from Aba, to other African Countries, through Cameroun, which serves as a transit market, weekly. However these finished leather goods are not traceable to Nigeria, because they often bear foreign labels, a development Okechukwu Williams, president, Leather Manufacturers Association of Abia State (LEPMAAS) attributed to Nigerians desire for foreign goods.
He appealed to Nigerians to patronise locally made shoes and other finished leather goods to stimulate growth in the sector.
Williams in an exclusive interview with Orient Daily in Aba, stated that a little action towards domestication of local footwear production, would save Nigeria foreign exchange and provide jobs for the country’s growing population.
The Aba finished leather sector, said to be the biggest in West Africa, with about 40,000 people directly engaged in the production of shoes, belts and bags and a production capacity of about one million pairs of shoes per week, currently produces for local and international markets, although unofficially.
Aba made shoes and other finished leather products are popular in Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and other West and East African countries.
He urged local shoe manufacturers to be proud of their products, by inscribing Made-In-Aba or Nigeria on their products, saying that proper branding of locally made finished leather goods and formalization of export trade in the sector, would not only increase Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP), but also help the Federal Government in economic planning and job creation.
GODFREY OFURUM, Aba
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