In view of the raging war between leading milk brands, Hollandia and Peak, with the crux of the matter being the use of ‘Wazo’ and ‘Wazobia’ respectively in their commercials, fresh information offers insight into the seeming marketing debacle.
Hollandia Evap 65g pack that retails for N50 in its commercial finds expression with the saying which claims good things come in small sizes. Although, the N50 price mark is never an exclusive preserve of the brand or its promoters, as other similar brands sells at same price point, the Hollandia ‘Wazo’ pack has the advantage of an extra 15g more. Therefore, the commercial in question was structured to tell consumers in a big way that Hollandia Evap 65g is the Correct Wazo Milk a sources hinted explaining how the ‘Wazo” tag came about dispelling insinuations of violation.
The Hollandia Evap “Wazo” commercial is a TV led 360 campaign developed and being bullishly deployed to establish Hollandia Evap Milk as the correct Wazo Milk. The commercial depicts everyday people from different walks of life proclaiming Hollandia Evap Milk as the Correct Wazo Milk while relishing in the quality and quantity of the milk as they enjoy different meals that can be had with Hollandia Evap Milk.
This commercial which is thought to be in bad taste and possibly a pass-off on the assumed market leader has drawn the ire of the competition through insinuations that Hollandia Evap’s “Correct Wazo” is a pass-off on the Peak brand’s “Wazobia” campaign and also assaults the reputation of the Peak brand. While this position may not be entirely right or totally faulty, some industry pundits hold that “Wazo or Wazobia” are both common place street language in Nigeria as relates to pricing, so claiming an exclusive right to it might not arise.
Following this line of thought, the message of the “Correct Wazo” TVC is rather inspired by the unfortunate rise in the cost of living in the country that compels most Nigerians to be on the lookout for best ways to get the most out of their spending and derive more value for each purchase. The campaign which is being vigorously pushed across all media vehicles by reminding consumers that unlike competing milk brands, Hollandia Evap is offering more value for money with the “Wazo” pack.
According to an A C Nielsen report on retails research, there is most likely a new leader in the milk segment of the market as the report points out that Hollandia Evaporated Milk has been consistently gaining market share while Peak holds the short end of the stick.
For instance, aspects of data claims in the last 12 quarters, Hollandia Evaporated Milk has increased by 7.4 MS points while Peak Regular has dropped by 7.9 MS Points. If the figures are anything to go by it suggests that there is a new leadership in the Nigerian milk market. Suffice it however, to say that Peak remains the premium brand in the sector.
Some of the matters arising from the debacle include the lax in the control and regulation of the online advertising. The truth of the matter is that the Hollandia commercial that led the uproar was a YouTube ad as published the initial story on the issue.
Although, Hollandia team declined comments on the insinuation of contravention on its part, but the infringement might have been inadvertently impressed by the brand owners’ ‘inadvertent’ desire to enforce their new found market leadership in the sector.
To do this, the brand uncanny deployment of the online means, explored the loop holes it offers to make a mess of the Peak’s 60 years’ experience and claim to quality. While the Hollandia Evap may not be totally free from the offence, the onus however rests on the regulatory council, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) who are yet to find a way around regulating online advertising to guide against infractions. Although, this is still largely a global issue to contend with in marketing, APCON must be held accountable as the regulator.
Secondly, the new milk war is throwing up a new issue in the milk market. Figures and statistics being thrown up is compelling industry watcher to take a second look at the players and their positions in the market leadership. The lesson here is that a supposed market leader may be compelled to look the other way in instances of infringement or assault on the brand personality mostly if the figures are no longer in its favour. It may be more honourable to keep silent while it plots its way back up the market ladder. It may be a lot easier to reassert the brand’s premium position and prestige, if personae maintains a dignifying silence with unblurred differentiation traits in the minds of the consumers. Reacting to competition might open the leader to unpalatable scrutiny with its unsavory result. The follower or attacker in this case might afford to fight dirty, the leader may not have this ‘luxury’. Although, Peak’s response through the Facebook’s mechanic setting arm-wrestling competition between Quality Vs Quantity jolted the challenger – Hollandia, taking its own pound of flesh, it is reasoned that it shouldn’t have been.
There is no gainsaying the fact that Hollandia has succeeded in dragging Peak into an undue duel, the market leader has to retract its steps, restrategise and comport itself as a leader by maintaining its differentiation as a premium brand in the market and most importantly in the minds of the consumer. The mechanic setting arm wrestling response tactically okay but strategically awful.
Peak guided its premium position successfully during the Cowbell insurgency. Why did the “Peak of the park” suddenly lose its head in this current debacle? This is however, not to say Hollandia Evap is totally right in this challenge as it attacked the market leader headlong throwing all cautions to the winds which goes against rules of marketing a la Al Ries, the marketing guru and author of the classic marketing book, “Positioning – The Battle for your mind”.
May be and just may be, Hollandia’s recent leadership in the Nigerian diary market is giving Peak milk a cause of concern as never seen before as the drastic consumer conversion to the Hollandia milk brand is an unexpected development to the owners of Peak milk
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