The Ogbunike Anambra Footwear Makers on March 5, 2022, mounted an impressive exhibition of their products at Golden Tulip Agulu, same day the Anambra 2022 Transition Committee rounded up their deliberations and submitted their report to Governor-Elect Cee Cee Soludo. They said it loud and clear that they have the capacity and expertise to meet any order, quality and quantity wise. Their coordinator and managing director, Anambra Small Business Agency, Clem Chukwuka, affirmed their optimism, noting that both quantity and quality will receive further boost when the state-of-the-art machines already procured are put to use. Soludo on arrival at the venue inspected the products and expressed satisfaction with the quality and innovations.
Almost all the members of the Transition Committee who visited the exhibition stand also expressed surprise that the world-class products are made in Anambra. This is understandable because Anambra does not scale up on the supply side when footwear is on a consumer’s mind. He or she would naturally think of markets like Italy, Spain or Aba which have long been associated as sources of footwear. This perception needs to change as precondition for Ogbunike footwear to fully exploit opportunities in the local and global footwear markets.
The reassuring news is that the products are of international quality and standards. Seriously, what we need now is to build brands from the products. Grouping them under one generic made-in-Anambra name is not the way to go, though Anambra remains the source of authority. The foremost footwear makers should be encouraged to develop their brands with a view to partaking in the global market. Thereafter, three critical factors are needed for success, namely: imageries, associations or celebrities’ endorsements and wider user experience.
Soludo, in line with his commitment to be the Chief Marketing Officer of made-in-Anambra products, is already massively taking care of the association factor. He wears only Anambra made shoes as he travels around the world. This is rubbing off finely on sales. Now, Clem and his crack team will have to figure out how to take care of consumers’ experience and imagery concerns. Once done, they will be on a rollercoaster bringing foreign exchange and fame to Anambra and Nigeria.
Be of good cheer!!
Joe C Anatune
Writes from Awa.