Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Most Valuable African Nation Brand 2012 announced

Brand Africa in association with Brand Finance have named South Africa as the Most Valuable African Nation Brand. The event hosted by Brand Kenya, was organised by Brand Africa's secretariat, Brand Leadership Academy and Africa Practise, an investment and development communications advisory practice at the Intercontinental Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, recently.

The Global Nations Brand League is based on Brand Finance's comprehensive analysis of the impact that a country's reputation and image have on foreign consumers and investors. It combines a range of economic, demographic and political factors, and is based on in-depth research by Brand Finance's global network of offices.
Christian de Faria, Senior Vice President for Commercial and Innovation MTN Group and Jen Roberti, Group Marketing Executive at MTN Group receiving the award for the "Most Valuable Corporate Brand" from David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance and Thebe - Ikalafeng, Chairman of Brand Africa, at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on Africa - Day, 25 May 2011.


The top ten Most Valuable African Nation Brand for 2012 are: Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco, Algeria, Angola, Tunisia, Kenya, Ghana and Ethiopia. The Most Valuable African Nations Brands presented by Brand Africa, are derived from Brand Finance's Global Nations Brand League, now in its fifth year, which covers a global sample of 138 nations, including 36 African nations.

The research is based on a multitier methodology that encompasses qualitative, quantitative and secondary research. Each nation brand has been accorded a brand rating: a benchmarking study of the strength, risk and future potential of the brand as well as the brand value: a summary measure of the financial strength of the brand.

The Most Valuable African Nation Brands's list, now in its second year, feature a new entrant on the list, Ethiopia, which replaces Libya on the tenth spot, with Ghana and Kenya swopping positions. Kenya moved one spot up from their ninth position in 2011, to eighth spot and Ghana moved one position lower to occupy the ninth spot. The rest of the countries still remain in the same position as last year's rankings.

Image source: www.brandafrica.net

Samsung Partners Spinlet to Unveil Galaxy Pocket Smartphone

Samsung Electronics in collaborated with Spinlet to unveil party for the Samsung Galaxy Pocket today as part of the high profile, on-going Industry Nite series that attracted music and entertainment execs at the Oriental Hotel, Lagos.

The mobile music download and streaming application company, Spinlet, partnered with Samsung Electronics to launch the brand’s new Samsung Galaxy Pocket S5300 in Nigeria. The Galaxy Pocket come with a preinstalled Spinlet application loaded with five songs and enough credit for consumers to purchase five additional songs from the massive music catalogue available through the Spinlet app.

The partnership of the recently launched cloud based service, Spinlet, and one of the forerunners in digital design and technology, Samsung, allows for a ground-breaking opportunity for consumers to enjoy their favourite music on an advanced new smart phone with TouchWiz UI multi-tasking and Wi-Fi capabilities.

The market for digital music in Africa has been untapped by any of the major music services to date. This opened the door for the partnership with Samsung to once again be a trendsetter. The Spinlet model allows independent musicians and bands in Africa to sell their music alongside other more prominent artists in Africa and from around the world.

Spinlet also provides artists with tools to better understand their fan base and interact with them through social media. By providing the application pre-installed, Samsung significantly increases the amount of listeners and potential buyers of these artists’ music. “In a country riddled by piracy, the free streaming and pay per download model that Spinlet and Samsung are providing to the market really helps create value in fans eyes and a revenue stream for artists,” says Eric Idiahi, Spinlet Chairman.

Airtel Ranked Amongst Top 100 Global Brands

Airtel has been ranked ahead of top global brands such as Citi, Sony, MTN, China Telecom, and Volkswagen. According to a release in Nairobi, Kenya on 24 May, 2012, the global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, said that the Airtel brand has joined an elite club of global brands by making it to this year's BrandZTop 100 Most Valuable Global Brands list.

With an overall ranking of 71 and brand value of USD 11.5 billion, Airtel has been ranked ahead of top global brands such as Citi (82), Sony (86), MTN (88), China Telecom (90), and Volkswagen (96).

The BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands study conducted by leading global research firm Millward Brown. It is the only brand valuation that takes into account what people think about the brands they buy alongside rigorous analysis of financial data, market valuations, analyst reports and risk profiles.

The ranking is arrived through a continuous in-depth quantitative research on a category-by-category and a country-by-country basis. The research covers some 2 million consumers and more than 50,000 brands in over 30 countries.'

Domino's Pizza Trains Nigerian Managers in Miami, USA

(L-R) Miguel Llano, Trainer Domino's Pizza International, Oscar Varona,Trainer
Domino's Pizza International, Kunle Gbadamosi Manager, Domino' Pizza Nigeria, Ghanem Jaber Consultant,
Domino's Pizza International and Arnaud Gadiax Director, Domino's PizzaInternational at the Domino's Pizza
training for Nigerian Managers in Miami, USA
Domino’s Pizza, the world number one pizza Delivery Company through its Nigerian franchise partner Eat ‘n’ Go Ltd is set to enter the Nigerian market in grand style. To demonstrate its readiness and commitment to the Nigerian market, Eat’n’Go has recently trained eight of its Nigerian managers in 2 Domino’s stores in Miami, USA. The aim of the training is to become experts in the concept of pizza making, pizza delivery, hygiene, cleanliness and customer service.

Speaking at the training, Domino’s Pizza International Director, Mr. Arnaud Gadaix disclosed that, the 6 weeks intensive training was hands-on, technically robust and designed to impact cutting edge professional knowledge to the participants. He said that the training was specifically aimed at exposing the Nigerian managers to industry best practices as found in other parts of the world. “We cannot shy away from the impact of globalization on the service industry, especially in the area of world class delivery of products and services to customers.  The training was very successful and instructive, as it has exposed the Nigerian team to new trends and modern processes - that will address the need of the demanding fast food industry”.

In his comments, the Managing Director of Eat‘n’Go, Mr. Eric Andre, stressed the company commitment to develop the best team with local talent and “we sent our employees to Miami in Florida for training not only to learn Domino’s Pizza best in world class pizza making and service, but also for the Nigerian team to get integrated into the Domino’s Pizza culture best described in their motto “sell more pizza, have more fun”.

Mr. Eric Andre, added that  Domino’s Pizza Nigeria is ready to give Nigerian the best pizza, recruit, recognize and retain the best people, deliver quality, punctuality and innovation at all time and ensure high standards at our stores and Take time to enjoy ourselves.

Human Resources Manager of Eat’n’Go, Mr. Olusola Adeeko, noted that the mission plan of Domino’s Pizza Nigeria and Eat’n’Go is to achieve a leadership role in the Nigerian market and to ensure that Nigeria contribute to the international Domino’s Pizza success story.

Ibrahim Babatunde, one of the participants, commented: “this six weeks long training in USA has enhanced my life adventure of becoming an expert in the Pizza making industry’’.

Other participants declared their passion and commitment to assist Eat’n’Go business to grow Domino’s Pizza as the number 1 pizza delivery company in Nigeria. Domino's Pizza vision illustrates a company of exceptional people on a mission to be the best pizza delivery company in the world and in Nigeria.

Nokia Has Publishes 2011 Sustainability Report

Mobile phone manufacturer, Nokia has unveiled its 2011 Sustainability Report, which shares with publicity the facts about Nokia’s relation to the ethical, socio-economic and environmental areas. Last fall, the company was listed as #14 brand in the 2011 Top100 Global Brands List.

The report features two themes: the People section, which covers the topic of the positive effect that mobility has on standards of education, health and economic well-being globally; and the Planet section, which describes Nokia’s sustainable devices and its impact on the environment. It also shares Nokis’a environmental strategy.

“Nokia strongly believes that access to communication and information is a right, not a privilege. Mobile communications technology has the power to strengthen public life and role of citizens around the globe, and it has proven time and again that it can democratize the spread of information,” Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop said in the report.

In 2011 Nokia produced its Policy against Illegal Trade of Natural Resources and joined the Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Mineral Trade to prove its products are free of conflict-minerals.

Last year, the company also released its Nokia 700, an industry leader in the use of bio materials and recycled plastics and metals. The low-priced Nokia Asha range phones are also were added to the company’s eco products list. Last year, the company also introduced its first onsite installations for generating renewable energy: fuel cells at the facility in Sunnyvalein the US and a biofuel station at the factory in Chennai, India.

Benetton Commence Global Kids Community

An international community which reaches out to children all over the world: kids.benetton.com is a magical, colourful space where children can share photos and drawings, play, read, express their creative vein or find lots of flavour-packed recipes prepared especially for them. A fantastic world where they can dream and become painters, chefs, photographers. Constantly updated games and content are a source of endless fun, alone or in the company of mum and dad.

Parents can sign up their children (maximum three) in a safe surfing environment where each participant has a personal profile to which photos, pictures and drawings can be added and shared online. According to the press release, “much of the online content is original, the fruit of Benetton’s collaboration with major publishing houses and children’s animation firms.”

Content ranges from drawings to colour, organic recipes to make and enjoy with parents to online games like Memory, Puzzles, Spot the Difference to test players’ memory and instinct. Not forgetting downloadable wallpapers, fairytales, stories and fun frames for decorating photos.

Much of the online content is original, the fruit of Benetton’s collaboration with major publishing houses and children’s animation firms. A guarantee of quality and trustworthiness to give children an active, stimulating and protected Internet space.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Etisalat Launches Easy Business Suite for SMEs

Telecommunication Operator, Etisalat has launched a scheme for small and medium enterprises called Easy Business. The suite is designed to add value to SMEs, increase their profitability and serve as a one-stop-shop for all their communication needs.

Chief Commercial Officer of Etisalat, Mr. Wael Ammar says the solution comprises of premium, compact and complete variants, all with bonus minutes and free monthly SMS. Also the suite boasts a call rate of 25kobo.second to all networks in Nigeria. The rate also applies to international calls in China, USA, UK landline, India and Canada.

Ammar said, “We have considered that most SMEs have limited budget, and based on this, we have decided to improve our package for SMEs so that they can minimize the telecommunications cost for doing their business. The most interesting part of the package is that it is easy to use, requires little or no customization and skill because we understand that business owners are usually busy and may not have the time for high technological products.”

Pampers Sponsors 7 Nigerian Doctors for Overseas Training

Procter and Gamble’s Pampers brand, has announced that it is set to sponsor seven Nigerian pediatric doctors to the United States of America (USA) for observership and research scholar programs.

The program is part of a partnership between the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) and Pampers – with an objective of contributing towards improvement in the healthy development of infants and children worldwide.

Six pediatricians will benefit from the ‘observership scholarships’ while one would take part in the research program. The programs would enable these doctors travel to Cincinnati to share knowledge on medical advances and administrative innovations at the Cincinnati Children’s and other hospital institutions in the surrounding area. The beneficiaries of this program would be selected from hospitals across Nigeria through collaboration between CCHMC and PAN.

P&G West Africa’s Associate Marketing Director for Baby Care, Jaweria Ali commented on the sponsorship saying, “Pampers is committed to advancing the happy, healthy development of infants and children; this is why the brand entered into this partnership. By giving these seven Nigerian doctors the opportunity to enhance their medical expertise through the research and observership programs in CCHMC, Pampers would be helping Nigerian children have access to even better health care.”

The Head of External Relations for Procter and Gamble West Africa, Mrs. Temitope Iluyemi commented on the program saying, “As a company we are inspired by our purpose to ‘Touch and Improve lives.’

Procter and Gamble recognizes there are several challenges that face the Nigerian child today and it is focused on programs that help improve life for the Nigerian child and that contribute to the attainment of the ‘Millennium Development Goal’s.”

“This program, aimed at nurturing child health and development provides an excellent platform for the transfer of global best practices in child health care and management from CCHMC - to the benefit of the Nigerian child.” This is also just one of the ways Procter and Gamble on the platform of Pampers is helping to develop human capital in the country.”

Image source: jwillowb.blogspot.com

NBC partners Rivers State Government on ‘Define My Tomorrow Project’ Career Counseling

Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) Limited is collaborating with the Rivers State Government to hold the third edition of its career counseling programme, ‘Define My Tomorrow Project’ for 120 senior secondary school students from over 10 public schools in the state.

In a statement signed by the Company’s Head of Public Affairs and Communications, Mrs. Adeyanju Olomola, she noted that as a youth-friendly organisation which has Youth Development as one of its key Corporate Social Responsibility pillars, the Company has been holding the ‘Define My Tomorrow Project’, a career counseling event, with senior secondary students to mark Children’s Day since year 2010.

“Define My Tomorrow Project (DMTP) was designed to assist Government and the Ministry of Education in addressing the challenge of active career counseling in most public schools for senior secondary students as they reach the points in their young lives when they have to make the critical and far reaching decision of what careers to pursue to fully express their individual talent in the dynamic and contemporary world they live in.” Olomola explained. She added that the project is executed through a one day motivational workshop with the students followed by a six week long interactive post-workshop course on choosing the right career. A robust monitoring and evaluation took kit is also administered on the participants to track and measure the impact of the entire project on their career decision making process.

The annual project brings accomplished professionals from various disciplines from traditional careers such as banking, health-care and manufacturing as well as entrepreneurship to more contemporary careers as sports and entertainment to interact with select senior secondary school students from various public schools in a state. The overarching objective is that the interaction will empower the students to think more broadly by opening up their minds to various career options that are available to them given their varied and unique skills set to make more intelligent, creative and rewarding career decision in the future.

For 2012, NBC will hold DMTP in Port Harcourt, Rivers State in collaboration with the State Government for 120 students drawn from 12 public senior secondary schools in the state.  Speakers at the this year’s event are Dame Alice Lawrence-Nemi, Commissioner of Education, Rivers State; Mr. Cobhams Asuquo, celebrated music producer and Founder of Cobhams Asuquo Music Productions; Dr. Ola Orekunrin, a young entrepreneur and Founder and Managing Director of Flying Doctors; Mr. Nwachukwu Obi, a young entrepreneur,  Ms. Toyosi Akerele, a youth leader and Founder of RISE Networks and Funmi Adefeko, Plant Manager of NBC’s Jos bottling operation and currently the only female Plant Manager in the company.

NBC partners with Kasher Consulting, a CSR and community development consulting firm, in the development and execution of the  project, while Junior Achievement of Nigeria, a not-for-profit organisation that focuses on the balanced development of young people, provides the six week post-workshop interactive course.

The previous editions of the project were held in Lagos and Abuja with over 700 senior secondary school students in 20 schools. Senior secondary students in other parts of the country will also get a chance to be selected to attend the programme as the project train moves to other parts of the country to mark children’s day in the coming years.

NBC was incorporated in November 1951 and is a member of Coca-Cola Hellenic S.A, an anchor bottler with the franchise to bottle products of The Coca-Cola Company in 28 countries in North, Central and South Europe, Asia and in Africa with over 560 million consumers in these markets. 

Starcomms’ S-Credit service is now ‘Talk Now Pay Later’

Nigeria’s leading Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) operator in the telecommunication industry, Starcomms Plc, has adopted a new name for its S-Credit value added service. It is now known as ‘Talk No, Pay Later.’ This is in a bid to simplify it and make it more consumer friendly.

Talk Now Pay Later was introduced last year to ease customers of the problems associated with recharge card purchase and distribution, especially when there is need for emergency calls, and access to recharge cards is difficult or impossible. Mr. Logan Pather, Chief Executive Officer of the company said the value added service is an emergency credit or electronic credit solution that allows customers to access instant airtime on credit, which can be paid back when next a top up is
done.

According to Pather, “today, the telecommunication industry needs innovative yet reliable solutions for prepaid recharge. Traditional recharge card purchase and distribution is cost intensive and lacks flexibility in terms of intelligent sales support. Also, airtime runoff is mostly the case with customers. Alternative top-
up solutions and simple airtime credit borrowing systems are starting to replace traditional recharge methods. That is why Talk Now Pay Later was introduced”

He further explained that it would also assist customers to do much more with their mobile phones and help alleviate the challenges associated with credit downtime at critical periods. Customers who are in urgent need of credit can dial *411# and will receive airtime worth N80. However, on next recharge, N100 will be deducted from the customer’s account. N20 being the cost of the service.

The service offers absolute convenience to pre-paid customers, an opportunity to make calls even with zero credit balance, and it is easy to use any time of the day.

Starcomms is a leader in Nigerian economy in the provision of mobile datase rvices and has received consistent recognition and accolades for services in this space since 2007.

Promasidor launches Cowbell Football Academy

Chief Keith Richards, MD of Promasidor with the team players at the official launch of Cowbell Football Academy last weekend in Lagos.

(L - R) - Dudu Orumen, Managing Director, Multisports Services & Entertainment Limited; Chief Keith Richards, Managing Director of Promasidor Nigeria; Aisha Falode, Renowned Sport Journalist; and Kachi Onubogu, Marketing Director of Promasidor Nigeria, at the official launch of Cowbell Football Academy last weekend in Lagos.


(L - R) - Dudu Orumen, Managing Director, Multisports Services & Entertainment Limited; Chief Keith Richards, Managing Director of Promasidor Nigeria; Aisha Falode, Renowned Sport Journalist; and Kachi Onubogu, Marketing Director of Promasidor Nigeria, at the official launch of Cowbell Football Academy last weekend in Lagos.

Microsoft’s Social Network So.cl

Microsoft appears to be building a social network of its own, after their reported $250 million dollar investment in Facebook a number of years ago which saw them take a 4% stake in the company.

The technology giant have announced they quietly launched “So.cl” last year, which they described as a social-search tool that allows users to share information and meet people with common interests. Microsoft were keen to protect their investment in Facebook and highlighted their venture was not a rival to Facebook.

“So.cl is an experimental research project focused on the future of social experiences and learning, especially among younger people,” read a Microsoft email statement.

“We expect students to continue using products such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other existing social networks, as well as Bing, Google and other search tools. We hope to encourage students to re-imagine how our everyday communication and learning tools can be improved by researching, learning and sharing in their everyday lives.”

Users can sign in service with their Facebook or Windows Live account that recognize the service as an app. Once you’ve logged in, you can choose topics and followers you’re interested in. Topics include Travel, Photography, Science, Animals, Cars, Architecture etc. Clicking on the topics you can see users’ searches on it. Users can share their search results with others using Facebook and email. There is also a So.cl bookmarklet available.

So.cl is an experimental service that  allows people to view each other’s searches and be available to third parties. So.cl is open for people aged at least 18 years age.

Image source: the so.cl interface, a snapshot

Starcomms Partners DexterSIM for Global Roaming

Starcomms Plc is partnering DexterTech, a universal GSM operator to enhance global roaming via a new Starcomms service, called DexterSIM.

Mr. Logan Pather, the Chief Executive Officer of the company disclosed this in Lagos, remarking that, the service roams on more than 580 networks, with FREE roaming on more than 100 networks.

The service comes with a Nigerian, UK and optional USA line bundled on a single SIM. DexterSIM offers exceptional call quality and reliability.

Some of the countries that the service allows FREE roaming include South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey, United Kingdom, USA, Vietnam, Zambia, UK, USA, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Rep., Denmark, Estonia, Faroes Island, Finland, France, French Guyana, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadeloupe, Hungary , Iceland, India and several others. Terms and conditions may apply.

Pather also explained that the partnership will allow cheap local and international calls directly from your mobile phone, reduce your international business mobile phone charges by up to 80 per cent, you could make calls while traveling at a cheaper rate since DexterSIM works in more than 80 per cent of the world's most popular destinations with more countries being added on all the time.

Adekoyejo Odunaiya, CEO of DexterTech said the alliance has worked tirelessly, in order to create this outstanding Starcomms service. Odunaiya says that Nigerian subscribers will for the first time, be able to take their Nigerian number abroad and roam absolutely FREE. The value-add makes for a most compelling service.

Odunaiya explained that Starcomms is poised to revolutionize Nigerian telephony with the DexterSIM service. “Global web, talk and text have been bundled on a single SIM, to ensure that the savvy customer can choose to remain ubiquitous – despite their current location. They remain local, regardless of where they are on the planet. Most importantly, they are charged local fees, even when abroad!”

The service costs N15, 500 for a starter bundle (includes handset and UK/Nigerian SIM, with roaming pre-enabled) or there is a FREE Solo package (Nigerian SIM without any roaming features) available, when N500 credit is purchased. To subscribe to this service, a customer can visit the nearest Starcomms shop in Lagos, or text their current location to 08191026999 for details of the nearest DexterSIM dealer.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

La Casera Thrills Consumers with New Thematic Campaign


Affirming the popular axiom that Life itself is a collection of stories, La Casera Apple Flavour carbonated soft drink is set to further thrill and engage its teeming consumers with the introduction of its new‘Apple Story’ thematic campaign in continuation of its year-long 10th Anniversary celebration.

Asking the consumers a simple rhetorical question – What’s your Apple Story? the new thematic campaign is designed to promote interaction with the target audience and encourages them to participate in the conversation.

Flagging off the campaign, The La Casera Company Limited organized an unconventional media parley where select members of the Press were treated to an exciting Boat cruise on the Lekki coast of the Lagos Lagoon on Saturday May 12, 2012 thereby upholding their right to be the first to know.

The Chief Operating Officer of the company, Mr. Prahlad Gangadharan explained that the La Casera ‘Apple Story’ campaign is to bring about a better connection between the brand and the target consumers in an exciting way. It is also held  in furtherance of the year-long celebration of La Casera’s 10th Anniversary which is pivoted on Excitement, Energy and Fun, the three major intrinsic brand offerings of La Casera Apple Drink.

The campaign is geared to encourage participation by sharing personal and exciting stories for a chance to win great prizes.

According to him, consumers will have the chance to participate in special Radio Hypes on the La Casera‘Apple Story’ during select popular Radio Phone-in programmes on leading Radio stations in key cities in Nigeria for a period of 4 weeks. Consumers are expected to call into the programmes to share their Apple Stories and also log on to the company’s website at www.thelacaseracompan.com to read exciting Apple stories. Prizes will be given out daily on each Radio station to the consumer with the most exciting story while the three overall most interesting stories will be selected for grand prizes at the end of the four-week duration of the hypes.

With the launch of the new ‘Apple Story’ Thematic Campaign, La Casera has proven to be a consumer-centric brand that values the relationship with its esteemed consumers by being the first in the CSD category to engage consumers with such a campaign.

CNBC Africa Celebrates Five Years of Excellence in Continental Broadcasting

Africa’s first and only real-time continental financial and business news network, CNBC Africa is celebrates five years of existence and business strides in the continent.

On any given day, CNBC Africa covers business and financial markets news from three regions across the continent, telling the story of Africa on the move. It is the forum where the news of Africa’s business world is announced and debated, presenting a view of the continent that simply cannot be found anywhere else.


Part of the global CNBC family, which reports around the clock from major financial centres worldwide, it boasts bureaux in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Nairobi, Lagos, Abuja, Windhoek, Libreville, Lusaka and Maputo.

CNBC Africa co-founder and chairman Zafar Siddiqi said: “Africa’s business and economic leaders have the opportunity to change the economic landscape and perceptions about the continent, which will pay dividends for generations to come. But to do so most effectively, they need access to reliable, relevant information as it happens. For the past five years, CNBC Africa has given them exactly that – and we look forward to continuing to providing them with this critical news service for a very long time to come”.

The channel’s chief editor, Godfrey Mutizwa, says the past five years have been marked by in-depth coverage of Africa’s economies and CNBC Africa plans to extend that to 12 hours in the next two years, while at the same time diversifying the channel’s content.

Rakesh Wahi, co-founder and vice-chairman of CNBC Africa also affirmed: “CNBC Africa grown beyond all expectations since it was launched five years ago, and everyone on the CNBC Africa team is justifiably proud of the respected media brand that they have all helped to create. Through accurate and incisive reporting and analysis, and an attractive and dynamic programme schedule, CNBC Africa has clearly positioned its elf as the premier African news and information resource for CEOs and senior corporate executives, financial houses and investors across the continent”.

“Our mission remains unaccomplished as long as there are markets and economies that go unreported in Africa. We see our role as providing our viewers with comprehensive information that is actionable, helping their businesses grow further across the continent,” Mutizwa says.

Microsoft Upgraded Bing search engine, makes it more social

Microsoft has unveiled a new version of its Bing search engine. It makes easier for users to go to their Facebook, Twitter and other social networks accounts and attempts to demonstrate users that it’s better than rival and leading Google.

The new design features three-columns including a traditional search bar, a column called Snapshot that adds information such as maps and reviews, and Sidebar, which pulls comments, photos and links offered up your social platforms friends. Users can add Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, Foursquare and other networks to the search engine. The redesigned Bing will go live in the coming weeks.

Image source: searchengineland.com

Promasidor Supports Supermom Celebrity Show

Onga, a brand of Promasidor Nigeria Limited, a fast moving consumer goods company, is partnering with ‘The Supermom’ a reality TV show, which celebrates mothers to host the third edition of the show, themed ‘The Celebrity Edition.’

Mrs. Abiola Inawo, brand manager of Onga Food Seasoning, said they have continually supported and sponsored the programme because they believed that it helped them to reach their consumers across the country and it also one of the ways they give back to the society.

She said Promasidor Nigeria is a notable player in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector with premium brands all over the country, adding that the provision of nutrition and food value for all is the vision of the organization.

“People and the environment are the basis for our business and our success is directly or indirectly linked to the fortunes and well being of the community,” Inawo said.

According to Mr. Sola Fajobi, the managing director of Digital Interactive Media, producers of the show, the company initiated the special reality TV show to celebrate African mothers for the undaunted love and uncompromising care for their children.

“Throughout the world, mothers are seen as a poem that cannot be written and are regarded as the tireless workers who never go on vacations. Our mothers are the source of joy and the most essential gift of nature to mankind. They are the prominent things in our lives and key role players in the development of child. They are the firm rock of the society and we say in one word, our mothers are peace.”

The Celebrity Edition will feature celebrities including Chico Ejiro, Binta Ayo Mogaji, Cobhams Asuquo, Julius Agwu, Foluke Daramola, Kenny Saint Best, Obesere, Kefee, Olu Maintain, Flavour, Jaywon and Seyilaw, amongst others.

The Supermom TV Series is a reality show that was berthed in 2010 and it is aimed at celebrating African mothers. It has been continually supported and sponsored by Onga, a brand of Promasidor Nigeria Limited among others.

Infrastructure Projects and free Trade Zones to Drive Africa’s High growth

Despite the global economic crisis, Africa’s growth and development trajectory remains positive with sub-Saharan Africa set to grow at more than five percent. This was the conclusion of international investors, business and political leaders at the 2012 World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa in Addis Ababa on Africa’s remarkable transformation.

Africa offers the highest returns on investment of any region and is home to seven of the ten fastest growing economies in the world. The Economist projects that WEF Africa hosts Ethiopia’s economy will grow at 8.1% between 2011- 15  making it the 3rd fastest growing economy in the world. Over the last decade the continent’s economic output has tripled while sub-Saharan Africa is set to grow at about 5% for the next 10 years, second only to emerging Asia as the fastest growing world region.

Yet, according to Miller Matola, Chief Executive of Brand South Africa, “Africans have not defined their economies and growth prospects to the world but have allowed international bankers, political analysts and credit ratings agencies to take the initiative and write up, or sometimes even belittle, the African growth story”.

Speaking in Addis Ababa, Matola said Africans were now demonstrating greater confidence in their continent. “According to recent Ernst & Young research, three of the top five fastest growing investors into new projects in Africa from 2003 to 2011, were the African economic power houses: South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.” South African investment into Africa has grown at a rate of 64.8% in this period.

Explaining the many factors behind Africa’s phenomenal growth since the turn of the century, Matola said these included greater democratisation and stability, economic reform, urbanisation, improved uptake of ICT and financial services, a younger, growing and more affluent population, and the on-going resources boom.

“Over the last decade South Africa has been the leading foreign direct investor in Africa though it is now being joined by China and other developing nations. Now our state institutions have been authorised to invest – particularly in infrastructure and industrialization,” said Matola.

DN Meyer holds 2012 Dealers Forum

DN Meyer Plc, manufacturers of top quality paint in Nigeria , hosted its customers across the country to its annual Dealers Forum in Lagos recently. The highly interactive session which witnessed a large turnout, provided both DN Meyer and its customers an opportunity for honest feedback and discussions on ways to improve their already great business relationships.

The goodwill message of the Chairman of the company, Sir Remi Omotoso, MFR was delivered by the MD/CEO, Mr Adeola Omosebi, that the "forum was an opportunity for us as a Company to intimate the dealers with the progress we have made so far, the current policies of the Company, the focus of the Company this year and the outcome of the various researches being carried out by the Company with respect to new products".

The Chairman, Strategy, Finance, & General Purpose Committee of the Board of DN Meyer Plc, Prof. Wale Omole, OFR, in his opening speech said, “As a Company, we are totally committed and now poised more than before to meet the yearning and aspirations of our stakeholders especially our customers. This is the basis for this forum so that we can brainstorm and cross-fertilize ideas on how to grow. “

He revealed that the company has continued to carry out various research with respect to new product development “outcomes of this effort is the birth of a new product called "Gladiator" which is about to be introduced to the market. Similarly, one of the existing products –BENIP –‘Beautify Nigeria Paint’, which is an Economic Value Paint has been repackaged to support people’s derive towards affordability/maintenance of new and existing projects.”

Speaking at the forum,  the Managing Director/CEO of DN Meyer Plc, Mr. Adeola Omosebi,  disclosed that the company was moving from being customer focused to being customer led. According to him, “We are not here just to meet needs and exceed our customers expectation but to delight. We will respond to our customer’s needs and deliver quality service.

He presented a six point strategy that captured the DN Meyer’s visions for a better future together with the customers and these Moving from being Customer focused to being customer led, Increasing the market share through product development and repositioning, Inaugurating of Meyer Paints Ambassadors/Apostles hall of fame for volume participation and contribution and remaining competitive through quality.

Image source: tritech-computers-ltd.com

Saturday, 12 May 2012

BlackBerry Appoints New CMO

BlackBerry owner Research in Motion has appointed former Vodafone and Orange marketer Frank Boulben to fill the chief marketing officer role, vacant for more than a year, as it steps up preparations for the launch of the new operating system it hopes will help revive flagging sales.

Boulben will oversee global marketing strategy for RIM including activity for the launch of the BlackBerry 10 platform, which the company told Marketing Week earlier this year would be “its biggest ever”.

The company has suffered several marketing mishaps in the past year. Sales of its first tablet, the PlayBook, launched last year as a rival to Apple’s iPad, are said to have been disappointing, while a global service outage in October last year hit perception of the brand.

Earlier this year, chief executive Thorsten Heins announced BlackBerry would focus the majority of its marketing efforts on business customers in the wake of declining profit.

Boulben, who joins from broadband company LightSquared and is a former global director of commercial strategy for Vodafone and executive vice president of brand and consumer marketing for Orange, replaces Keith Pardy, who left in March 2011.

He is joined at RIM by Kristian Tear, who has been hired from Sony Mobile as chief operating officer.

Heins said of the two: “Kristian and Frank bring extensive knowledge of the rapidly changing wireless global market and will help RIM as we sharpen our focus on delivering long-term value to our stakeholders,” said Thorsten Heins, RIM’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Most importantly, both Kristian and Frank possess a keen understanding of the emerging trends in mobile communications and computing.”

HP Unveils New Powerful and Stylish Technology

HP has showcased its unparalleled line of computers and printers, the first show of resolve for the newly created HP Printing and Personal Systems group. More than 500 media influencers from around the world gathered at the Shanghai Expo Center to view the new products, which include:

HP SpectreXT an ultramobile premium Ultrabook(tm) that delivers an overall premium experience with extraordinary design and performance;

HP ENVY Sleekbooks and HP ENVY Ultrabook systems, providing the ultimate combination of style and substance for entertainment experiences;

HP EliteBook Folio built from the ground up to be everything a business Ultrabook should be with security, manageability and reliability;

HP t410 All-in-One Smart Zero Client, which features single-wire Power over Ethernet;

HP Z220 Workstations and HP EliteBook Mobile Workstations with professional-class features;

HP Officejet 150 Mobile All-in-One, the world's first mobile all-in-one printer,(1) and an ideal companion for business professionals who need a compact, durable solution for printing, scanning and copying while on the go; and

Four new HP LaserJet printers and an HP Scanjet, providing small and medium businesses (SMBs) and enterprise customers professional-quality documents and fast print speeds, along with the ability to extend the office beyond its physical location.

The newly merged HP Printing and Personal Systems group, announced March 21, enables HP to rally more energy and resources in service to customers.The combined organization enables greater investment in innovation and marketing, as well as streamlines HP's collaboration with channel partners globally.

"The products we unveiled today are inspired by our customers, and confirm our passion to fuse form, function, style and reliability into great computers and printers," said Todd Bradley, executive vice president, Printing and Personal Systems, HP. "We are well positioned to continue delivering innovation in the future for customers in China and everywhere else around the globe."

Starcomms Rolls-Out Airtime Recharge on Quickteller Platform

Starcomms Plc, Nigeria’s leading Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) operator, has entered into a strategic partnership with Interswitch Limited for the sale of logical recharge (airtime) PINs on its value added service platform called Quickteller. Under this arrangement, Starcomms customers can conveniently recharge their mobile phones any time of the day via the Quickteller platform from the comfort of their homes, offices, across ATMs, POS and Online at www.quickteller.com.

Mr. Logan Pather, Chief Executive officer of Starcomms said the partnership is coming on the heels of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) introduction of a new policy to reduce the usage of physical cash in financial transactions across the country (using Lagos State for the pilot scheme.)
He further stated that Starcomms has demonstrated its willingness to provide its customers with a convenient means of staying connected to the network as they no longer have to buy and scratch recharge cards to top up their phones. With Quickteller customers can now top up via multiple channels which include ATMs, POS and Online and still purchase the different denominations at the respective face value.

Interswitch Limited is a Pan-African integrated transaction and payment processing company with a business footprint that covers the provision of shared, integrated e-payment solutions for financial and non-financial institutions, enables electronic payments to facilitate e-commerce, and provides value-added services as well as real-time online electronic reporting and monitoring to various corporate organizations. Interswitch in its innovative way has continued to develop and improve on existing products and services to meet the needs of various industries.

Starcomms, Nigeria’s 4th largest telecommunications operator and leading “triple-play” (mobile, fixed wireless voice, wireless broadband) provider, is quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Its shares were listed on the Nigerian house on July 14, 2008.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Indomie Kick Off Search For New Heroes

Indomie, noodles brand from the stale of Dufil Prima Foods Plc, has announced commencement of the search for three new heroic children for the fifth edition of its laudable Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, the Indomie Independence Day Award for Heroes of Nigeria (IIDA).

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Deepak Singhal explained that the main objective of the award is to identify, recognise and celebrate Nigeria’s heroic children who have exhibited acts of heroism and bravery at one point or the other.

“As a brand with children as our primary consumers, we believe that in every child lies what it takes to become great. However, many brave children today live an extraordinary life without ever being recognised or celebrated. We have responded to the call by many to recognise and celebrate the acts of bravery and heroism exhibited by Nigerian children,” he said.

Singhal noted that the award has so far recorded a huge success in the last four editions producing a total of 12 winners in all who were rewarded with scholarship prizes of N1 million, N750, 000 and N500, 000 for the first, second and third winners respectively.

While commending the media for their unalloyed support for the initiative since inception in 2008 as well as their support for other brand activities, Singhal described the media as a strategic partner on the project and solicited their continued support on the fifth edition of the award not only in providing adequate publicity for the project but also by helping to identify heroic stories in the course of their duties.