Marketing Lessons Big Brands Can Teach Nigerian Startups

A lot of big brands today started from humble beginnings. Did you know that Apple was started by Steve Jobs in his garage? Amazon, Google and Disney also started small.

This means that it is possible to achieve the same level of success they have because they have gone through what you are going through now. As long as you keep learning and working hard, you will achieve success.

Every business survives on how well it markets its product. Learning the best marketing tactics from big brands should be your top priority. Learning from our “elders” can be a great way to get ahead. Entrepreneurs are guided by advice from people who have been there before them.

8 Marketing Lessons Big Brands Can Teach Nigerian Startups

1. Use Content To Increase Visibility

The more content you have, the more visible you are to your target audience.

NaijaBrandChick is a pillar example for this. She has built her audience and branded herself as an Instagram expert. She posts videos and images on how to help businesses use Instagram market their products. She also hosts live session daily to better connect with the audience.

So how can you produce so much content?

Document your journey as an entrepreneur. If you talk to someone about your business, record it. If you go to a conference, take a photo. By recording, taking photos and publishing massive amount of visual content, you brand yourself as an expert worth listening to.

Take live videos and publicly document your journey as a professional in your field. You can also start a blog. This is my favourite way of content creation because it shoots two birds with one stone, branding you as an expert and improving your search engine optimization..

2. Delegate Content Creation

Content Marketing is the top priority for big businesses because it increases the chance of your potential customers finding and engaging with you.

content marketing

Nigerian startup founders tend to do all the content creation themselves. Unless this is your strong suit, you should allow others to do it and create a reliable process for generating it.

Remember, the more sections of your business you delegate, the more productive you will be.

3. Develop a Brand Promise

A strong brand promise is one that connects your purpose, your positioning, your strategy, your people and your customer experience. It enables you to deliver your brand in a way that connects emotionally with your customers and differentiates your brand.

Steps to Building a Brand People Love

MTN’s is “Everywhere You Go.” What does this tell consumers?

It tells them that whether they are on the highest mountain or deepest ocean, they will get an MTN connection.

Make a promise and sell your product.

4. Create a Hashtag Campaign

Hashtags increase brand awareness. They bring people together for a common cause. Creating a hashtage campaign unites people together around your brand name and can even increase your customer base if it is compelling enough.

Coca Cola was able to generate massive amount of social media content with the #ShareACoke campaign. Consumers felt like they were not promoting the Coca Cola brand but starting their own social media conversations. This  the brand connect with consumers on a personal level.

The slogan “share a coke” is a great call-to-action, it prompts consumers to buy a Coke bottle to share with someone and also share online.

With hashtags you get a lot of user generated content which is the best type of content. They also solidify your brand’s identity.

5. Build a Community

It is easier and cheaper for an existing customer to buy from you than for you to get a new one. Research shows that 80% of sales come from 20% of customers.

80 percent of results come from 20 percent of efforts
80 percent of results come from 20 percent of efforts

People will keep buying from you when they trust you and your product is good. Build a loyal online community by providing value. Show your customers you care about them.

6. Be Creative

If there’s one thing lucrative businesses can teach you , it’s adding a little bit of creativity in your marketing efforts can make all the difference.
Think of ways your target audience can better connect with you, something no one else does. Stand outside the crowd so your brand can be embedded in their memory.

7. Give Away a Free Product

People love free things, especially Nigerians (lol). On the surface, freebies look like obvious money losers. But when handled wisely, giveaways are all but guaranteed to boost sales.

When consumers get something for nothing, they respond in a host of surprising, mostly unconscious ways — and the net result is often that the companies handing out freebies are rewarded well for their “generosity.”

8. Use Influencers

Influencers have a huge impact because their audience connects with them. By piggy backing on these connections, big businesses have been able to humanize their brand, product and experience.

Diamond Bank connected more with millenials by using famous funny girl, Chigul for their online campaigns.

Find an influencer who is in line with the brand image you are trying to potray; funny, smart, sexy, healthy, etc.

Many companies have used influencer marketing to rise to the top of their industry. You can do the same thing.


There a couple of marketing lessons to be learned from big business leaders who have been around for quite some time now.

Learn from other people’s wins by creating a brand promise, using more video, giving out freebies and so on.

A lot of these tips can be quite expensive so use only ones you can afford and keep the others for future use.

The person who goes from startup to thriving business is the same person who listens to the lessons of successful business people.

Listen well and listen hard. And who knows? Soon, you might be giving the advice.

What marketing lessons will you be using today to be like the big brands?

Also published on Medium.

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