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Can GidiCab revolutionize cab hailing services in Nigeria?

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GidiTraffic started in 2011 as a traffic observer in Lagos which, till date, continues to experience some of the worst gridlocks in the world. It gets its traffic update from different Twitter users reporting on the traffic in their location.

But today, GidiTraffic has evolved to become so much more. It monitors the traffic situation in other parts of the country.

It shares interesting stories, videos, and pictures to possibly keep its 1.63 million followers entertained in whatever situation they may be at the moment, including traffic situations; users can come to the platform to ask whatever question they need answers to and get responses from other followers, and just yesterday, it launched its own cab-hailing app, GidiCab.

Launched on the 28th of March 2019, Nigeria’s newest cab-hailing service, GidiCab promises to be everything Nigerians have always wanted and more.

Perhaps, its most appealing feature is ‘Borrow a ride’ which allows users who cannot afford to pay for their trip at the moment take a free ride and pay later. But there are other interesting features.

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Users do not have to carry physical cash or their debit cards around just because they want to move from one point to another. By funding the wallet on their app, riders can pay for their trip conveniently.

They also have the opportunity to earn tokens for each trip taken on GidiCab which is then converted to credit on their app and which they can use to pay for a future trip.

But that is not all.

Nigerians who are regular users of either Taxify or Uber, the two most popular cab hailing services in the country may have at one point or another been overcharged for trips mostly because some of the drivers have found a way to make extra cash by installing a third party GPS which doubles the distance of the route.

GidiCab, however, gives users the opportunity to see just how much they are getting charged for their trip with the live billing features. Riders can detect if something is amiss and request for the trip to come to an end if they are not comfortable with the amount they can see.

Touting itself as the “most affordable cab hailing service out there”, GidiCab’s other features include favourite destinations, which allows users preset places they go to regularly, as well as the “home-zone” feature which are locations designated GidiCab. On both of these features, riders would enjoy discounted trips.

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How sustainable is the GidiCab idea?

GidiCab is unique from all other cab hailing services that have been birthed in the country because it already has its platform. Would its popularity, however, help it stand out and remain valuable in the Nigerian market?

Probably not.

I recently had to use Bolt (former Taxify) over the last two days to help a friend transport her goods from the point where it was cleared to its final destination in Kwara state. And no, I did not use Bolt to transport the goods from Lagos to Kwara.

One of the major complaints I got from the drivers was the amount they get from the company. When I was trying to transport myself from the area around the airport to my house, I called the designated airport cabs that are painted navy blue. One look at me and the large sack beside me and the driver shouted: “your money is ₦5000!” No amount of negotiation and pleading could get him to go below ₦4000.

Frustrated, I booked a Bolt lite and saw that it would cost me between ₦600 to ₦1000. When the driver came and saw my sack, he was disappointed, and before the journey ended, he told me that he was sure the blue cabs would have charged me ₦5000 for the trip, making more than him who would collect less than a thousand Naira for the same trip.

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If GidiCab plans to be cheaper than even Bolt and offer regular discounts, how much do they expect their drivers to make at the end of the day, putting into consideration the traffic situation in Lagos which may limit the drivers to less than 10 trips a day?

It is hoped and expected that the cab service has a watertight and surefire way of collecting their cash back on borrowed trips. This is Nigeria after all, where the word database continues to remain a strange term and people can literally disappear without clearing their debts. This is one feature that should be highly restricted if they plan on being around for a very long time.

Finally, GidiCab should remember that one of our greatest problems with other cab-hailing services is the drivers. Has GidiCab trained its drivers? How do they plan to keep a majority of their drivers in check and ensure that they offer good services as much as possible? With stories of drivers on other cab-hailing services using the platform to sometimes kidnap people, what measures have been put in place to avoid this kind of occurrence?

Definitely, only time would tell.

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How ‘Big’, ‘Strong’ And ‘Reliable’ Union Bank Really Is?

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There is no doubt that the quality of banking services in Nigeria has improved quite considerably.

There was a time when bank customers stood in long queues for hours waiting to cash cheques drawn on their own accounts in over-crowded banking halls; it used to take a whole week or more to process local cheques and more than 21 working days to clear inter-city cheques!

Everyday banking operations were performed manually then. All that is now history, many thanks to IT and the general advancements in banking practice where the new operational ethos is efficient and instantaneous services.

It is however unfortunate that not all the banks have fully keyed into this new business culture and, in this regards, Union Bank Plc is an inscrutable straggler.

It appears to be suffering from an unusually degenerative inability to keep pace with evolving industry standards, an unfortunate development which necessarily impacts negatively on its customers and shareholders both of which I am one.

Customer, they say, is “King” and any corporate entity that fails to satisfactorily meet the needs of its customers is not likely to survive in today’s extremely competitive business environment.

The same glacial-like descent into moribundity such as happened in the larger Nigerian governing system is also possible in the corporate world, excepting that business misdemeanours are not always the subjects of beer-parlour gossips as it is often the case in politics.

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Union Bank may claim that it is “big”, “strong” and “reliable” but my personal experience, amply corroborated by those of others, indicate that in spite of the various reforms that have taken place in that sector, it remains an exceptionally primitive entity.

A bank that still manifests the antediluvian go-slow “Tally Number” mentality, characterised by an all-pervading nonchalance and a demonstrable lack of business ethics at this era clearly constitutes “clear and present danger” to itself and its corporate community, economically speaking.

On the 28th of February, 2020, I made some online orders with a Union Bank Mastercard. Within minutes of the order, I discovered that I have mistakenly included an item which I bought earlier and I immediately cancelled the item from the order list and, as usual, Amazon straightaway informed me of the success of my cancellation and then issued another invoice which reflected the new order via an email dated 29th of February, 2020.

When later I checked my account, I noticed a considerable difference between the value of what I ordered and the balance expected on it and I quickly emailed a “To Whom it may Concerned” letter to its Customers Service, stating that what I am seeing as “balance” on my account does not reflect the value of the transaction that I have just made.

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I was replied through an email signed by a certain Mr. Abuchi Okoye admitting that “there is a hold” on my account because of an “online transaction done using your Mastercard yesterday in which we are yet to receive the clearing message from the merchant”. I replied that the merchant has since issued another invoice reflecting the new reduced value of my invoice which the bank is only obliged to honour.

In another email dated the 29th of February, 2020, I was asked to forward the email from the merchant showing the successful cancellation of that order which I did immediately.

A print-out of my statement also did not help. I should also emphasis here that I have had cause in the past to timeously cancel some online orders (made through other Nigerian banks) and there has never been any problem like this.

I made several phone calls, visited the bank and wrote emails demanding for a refund but nothing sensible came out of all my communications with them.

Take, for example, a letter which I signed off as “Professor Michael A. Ikhariale, (which is the name with which I opened and operate the account) being carelessly responded to as “Dear Prof Michael”. That is an unpardonable misnomer in any serious business communication because I am not Prof Michael.

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– Daily Independent

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How to Create a Brand Name for your Business

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How does a name influence a brand or what is really in a name that makes a brand stand out?

Well, the power of a name cannot be over emphasized just like its value.

The question of the influence on a brand cannot be separated from each other because the identity of any brand or personality is in it’s identification hence it is safe to say that what distinct a product or service to another is the name!

Knowing fully well that a name is everything, what then is in a brand name? How do you develop or come up with a name to link your brand to your product or service so there is a connection?

As a common norm, most are cool to choosing a nickname to their offerings or an acronym of their names even some use their names while choosing their brand names but what is really best or ideal one may ask!

There is really no outright given on this as there are no wrongs either but it is great to have something that resonate round it all. In creating your choice brand name, the following are ideal:

  1. KISS your Name – Keep It Simple and Short. Using a descriptive name that is long enough to break the jaw can piss off prospects in calling or referrals for example, having something such as The Ideal Business.
  2. Think Outside the Box – Find a name that will appeal to your prospects’ or target market. Such can be metaphorical that will also bring a connection of feeling to your customers
  3. Consider the Context – Imagine a connection with your product/services and website or social media
  4. Develop a strategy and seek support from a consultant, if need be.
  5. Protect your name/Copyright it! – simple, copyright your name. If for any reason your brand name conflicts with another one especially a reputable one, you may be sued for theft or have legal battles so it is fine to have a good name that is better than gold!

READ  How to Create a Brand Name for your Business
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Tiger Woods’ Comeback: 7 Marketing Lessons Brands Can Learn

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Well it is very hard for a champion to return to winning ways after many losses and defeats; this applies to humans and brands.

The story of Tiger Woods, an American professional golfer, remains an inspiration for many brands and individuals who are on the verge of giving up, shutting down production, closing shop, or jettisoning that idea or strategy. The story of Woods calls for a rethink.

Brands face turbulent times, for the Golf legend, his career was on the verge of total collapse before he spanned back to his winning ways.

Excitingly, he ended his 11-year drought to win his fifth Masters and 15th major title to seal one of the greatest comeback stories in sport.

Woods’ career became plagued by trouble with the police, a crippling injury and a string of affairs. He soon lost his winning strides, fans, friends, brand endorsement and others.

Today the world stands in applaud for the legend considered one of the greatest golfers of all time.

His story is also a source of inspiration for any brand or anyone who wish to dream and strive.

After winning the Masters, he was honoured with Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Donald Trump among other recognitions.

Of interest, there are some marketing lessons brands can learn from Woods’ story.

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