04 Mar Mediocre Gets You Nowhere; Nigerian Businesses Should Strive To Be Better
Before I begin, please note that this is an opinion piece. That said, do you ever notice how every new business owner or potential business owner entering into a new business in Nigeria usually wants to just do the exact same thing the market leaders are doing? In many cases they even do less and sell products for cheaper.
It is no surprise most of these businesses fail… Some however, do not fail. They just exist and make no profit and the business owners continue to pump in money from other sources just to keep the business afloat. Businesses forget simply doing exactly what everyone else is doing does not give you any unique market offerings of any kind. Why would I leave a product I have tested and trusted for your cheaper and less properly thought out offerings?
Lets dabble into the entire Samsung—Apple copy cat situation. Basically Samsung would simply copy the specs on the latest iPhone, maybe change it in a few places here and there and put it inside a plastic body and sell it for around the same price. This worked for a while, Samsung made so much profit it made no sense and their market share kept climbing and climbing and … well you know the rest. Until the profits began to drop and market share began to drop, they made the S5 and it was terrible. I have personally not met one person who said the S5 as a flagship was a great phone. It was plastic, it felt cheap and the specs were nothing you could not easily get from an iPhone. So Samsung had begun to fail and it was obvious, they took drastic measures from this point. They fired their lead designer or said he “resigned”, and they began to look to produce some unique offerings. They came with the Note Edge which was one of a kind and it got heads turning and only 2 days ago they came out with the Galaxy s6 and the s6 edge. Some of the most beautiful Samsung phone ever made. Made entirely in metal and glass and complete uni-body build — meaning no more removable battery or expandable memory for that matter.
Lesson here is Samsung had to basically let go of 2 of its core selling points on its new flagship phones in an effort to play catch up on the iPhone 6 and the HTC one M8—M9 lines. And this has pretty much upset a lot of their current customers. As it stands, even though they have finally tried innovating something for the first time in ages, they have begun to play catch up in a bid to be cool. They will probably be expecting a few record breaking law suits going forward seeing as their new phones have already been dubbed iPhone copy cats as well.
It never pays to copy, if you can’t be different then at least “don’t be the guy that does the mundane sh*t” – my boss said that to me once. Businesses in Nigeria can learn from Samsung’s mistakes. Stop trying to come into a market doing the exact same thing 300 people are already doing. HTC seemed stupid when they were being unique making the best smartphones in the world with no profits… until everyone started paying attention and realized ok—these guys are the real deal.
Don’t wake up one morning and say I want to start my own cement business and go to the guy making your logo and say “Yes I want it to look just like Dangote’s logo” or go to the person designing your website and say “Dangote’s website just copy everything there and put it on our website too”. Don’t be the business that has nothing innovative to offer. If you intend to succeed you MUST do something different!