In today’s fast-paced world, consumers are the driving force behind any successful business. They invest their hard-earned money in goods and services with the expectation of a satisfactory experience.
However, not all brands live up to their promises, leaving consumers disappointed and disheartened.
Addressing this issue, BrandXchange, an innovative platform, has taken the bold step of empowering Nigerian consumers to give feedback on brands across various categories. Through their Consumer Value Awards (CVA) program, consumers now have a voice in determining the value of brands in 2023.
BrandXchange’s initiative seeks, in the short term, to protect consumers and eventually transform the consumer experience in Nigeria.
Understanding the Need for Consumer Empowerment
The driving force behind BrandXchange’s mission lies in understanding the significance of consumer feedback. Feedback, according to experts, serves as constructive criticism that enables organisations to make necessary changes for growth.
By empowering Nigerian consumers with the ability to voice their opinions and experiences, BrandXchange strives to hold brands accountable for their promises. There is no better definition of feedback. Plus, this approach ensures that consumer concerns are addressed, resulting in better products and services and boosting consumer confidence.
The Journey of BrandXchange
Founded by Akonte Ekine, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Analyst, BrandXchange began its journey in the marketing communication practice. However, Ekine’s personal experiences with inadequate service compelled him to transform the platform into an advocate for brand excellence and consumer rights. His passion for empowering consumers led to the creation of the Consumer Value Awards, where consumers can nominate and vote for their preferred brands.
The first edition of the Consumer Value Awards was a resounding success, with an impressive turnout of attendees and positive feedback from regulatory bodies. BrandXchange’s efforts were commended by the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria, the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, Nigeria Broadcasting Commission, National Food and Drug Control Agency, and Nigeria Communications Commission. This recognition bolstered the platform’s credibility and motivated them to refine the awards process for future editions.
The Criteria for Entry and Assessment
BrandXchange’s awards are open to all brands, and consumers have the power to nominate brands based on their personal experiences. The voting process spans over three months, during which brands are encouraged to promote themselves to consumers for support. Transparency is maintained throughout the process, as voting results are published in real-time on the platform’s website.
For the second edition of the 2023 Consumers Value Awards (CVA), as of the first week in July, over twenty thousand consumers had cast votes in the fifty-two different categories of brands listed as value-for-money brands. The awareness is growing, acceptance is rising and the consumers are beaming.
The theme for this year’s edition, scheduled for Lagos on Thursday, September 7, 2023, is Consumer Satisfaction Index. 53 brands are expected to be honoured with Badges of Best Value-for-Money during the prestigious event.
Challenges Faced and Future Initiatives
BrandXchange acknowledges that any venture comes with its set of challenges. Initially, the initiative faced scepticism and credibility concerns, but by ensuring transparency and sincerity, it has gained trust among consumers and industry players.
The endorsement from several regulatory agencies, last year, also helped in no small measure.
Going into the future, BrandXchange plans to engage regulators in consumer management, encouraging better collaboration between regulatory bodies to safeguard consumer rights. Additionally, it seeks to recognize and commend state governments and individuals who champion consumer protection through legislation and exemplary actions.
BrandXchange’s commitment to empowering Nigerian consumers through the Consumer Value Awards reflects the growing need for consumer protection in today’s competitive market. By providing consumers with a platform to voice their experiences, the initiative drives brands to improve their products and services.
This movement is essential in fostering a culture of accountability and quality assurance among brands, ultimately leading to a more satisfying consumer experience. As the platform evolves with the market, it promises to inspire companies and regulators alike to prioritize consumer protection and raise the bar for service excellence in Nigeria.
Elvis Eromosele, a corporate communication professional and public affairs analyst, lives in Lagos. He can be reached via email@example.com