By Elvis Eromosele
The value of a thing is intrinsic. It is hidden yet visible. It is the ‘why’ of a product or service. It is what it is purpose-fit for. It is said that value determines the acceptance or otherwise of a thing.
Typically, when awards are conferred, they are usually based on value, whether real or perceived. While the producer or supplier of a product or service can provide information about its product or service but only the user can effectively testify of its actual value.
The day the consumer’s evaluation of a product or service gains attention and brings recognition for it, is when the consumer is truly king. The Consumer Value Award represents this paradigm shift. It is unique precisely because it empowers the consumer. The award is not conferred on the strength of a focus group, a judging panel or even a popular vote alone, it is strictly through the attestation by the end users, the consumers.
The Consumer Value Awards is an offshoot of the Consumers Value Broadcasting (CVB) platform. The CVB is an innovative online platform that enables consumers to vote for their favourite brands and personalities based on their experiences and interactions with them. Essentially, it means that four times a year (each quarter) consumers get the opportunity to vote on the platform for brands of their choice across various categories and sectors.
While the CVB provides quarterly insights into the mind of consumers concerning certain brands and the companies behind them, the Consumer Value Awards is an annual event to formally recognize and celebrate the brands that the consumers have voted for.
The organiser confidently revealed that a portal was set up within a timeline to ensure that the awards experienced the endless power of consumers through a credible and transparent process with an online engagement where the consumers served as the juries while deciding who was to win. Brands were listed while consumers were contracted to vote for their value-for-money brand without any interference.
The inaugural The Consumer Value Award held in Lagos weekend and was attended by the who-is-who in the Nigerian, nay Africa’s branding circles.
Awards, you will agree with me, are a great way to recognize excellence, celebrate value and promote innovation. The Consumer Value Award epitomize the very essence of awards; it is about value; it is about the consumers. It may well be Africa’s premier consumer award.
In truth, every brand that received awards at the August event truly deserves to be proud. They were a part of something innovative, new, fresh and exciting.
In all, some 26 leading brands emerged as pioneer Best Value for Money brand winners. Some of the winners included Toyota, the leading automobile industry which emerged at the top in the automobile category as the Value for money Automobile brand of the Year 2022.
Knorr Cube and Sunlight, both from Unilever, led the seasoning cube products and detergent categories. In both the Telecommunication Industry and Data categories, MTN Nigeria was crowned as the Value for Money Telecom Brand and Data of the Year.
Other winning brands include Checkers Custard; Dulux Paints; Mr Chef; Coca-Cola; Dangote Sugar; Lush; Amstel Malta; Interswitch; Origin Bitters; Golden Penny pasta; Reload Multivitamin; Dangote Cement; GTBank (GTCO); Milo; Kellog’s Corn Flakes; Lucozade Boost; Chivita Fruit Juice; Colgate; Power Oil; Dano Milk and WAW Detergent among others.
In addition, Special Recognition Awards were conferred on a select group of notable personalities for their strong advocacy about value for money and quality service offering in the marketplace. They were recognised for being relentless in the pursuit of the consumers’ right to uninterrupted and undiluted satisfaction to enjoy quality goods and services for their money.
Personalities in this category included Babatunde Irukera, Chief Executive of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, FCCPC, Dr Lekan Fadolapo, Director-General, Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria, ARCON, Sola Salako Ajulo, human rights activist and president of Consumer Advocacy Foundation of Nigeria and Dr Balarabe Shehu Allah, Director-General, National Broadcasting Commission, NBC. Each of these Special Category winners is a titan in the nation’s branding and consumer relationship sphere.
Adedayo Ojo, Chairman, Consumers Value Broadcasting Limited noted that the award initiative was spearheaded to celebrate brands who hold value for consumers’ rights and also to help consumers exercise their rights to satisfaction of value by providing the required guidelines that will ensure the producers of these products are accountable to consumers.
According to him, “In Nigeria’s business environment, consumers are inundated with almost too much hype, publicity and promotions, many of which are not even approved by regulatory authorities. Our role as an organisation is to lead the conversation between products, services, brands and consumers. More importantly, we are committed to doing this transparently.”
This is the major highlight of the CVB – transparency. It is truly every consumer’s dream. It is within reach; it is virtual and the voting is periodic.
Brands must now seat up and take cognizance that the Consumer Value Award is here to stay. As long as there are brands in the market, the Consumer Value Award will remain relevant.
Every good idea deserves support to help it grow. The Consumer Value Award needs support to be able to continue to grow and do its good work. It will continue to empower the consumer. It will persist in celebrating true value.
Undoubtedly, with the Consumer Value Award, brands must prepare for a new phase of engagement. The Consumer Value Award will become the hallmark of recognition for any brand that seeks to be regarded as trustworthy, reliable and reputable. Recognition from the consumer is always huge. Plus, it is also a great way to boost the confidence and trust that customers have in your business.
This award may be the first but it is not the last. In the days and years ahead, it will continue to empower consumers to tell their stories through voting. But most importantly, it is a proactive measure to enlist mass awareness of consumers to their rights as consumers. This is significant.
It is worthy of note that four regulators in attendance at the maiden edition of the Consumers Value Awards remarked that the award is a commendable programme that will enhance the conversation of the consumers within the eco-system. The Nigerian Communications Commission, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, the National Food Drug Administration Control Agency and the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria were all on hand.
The role of the Consumer Value Award is essentially to facilitate the conversation between products, services, brands and consumers. And it is committed to doing this transparently, ethically and with integrity.
Elvis Eromosele, a Corporate Communication professional and public affairs analyst, lives in Lagos.