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



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



How to Create a Brand Name for your Business



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!

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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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Which is your preferred drink on the street?



Pepsi – A worthy rival to the Coca-Cola, always in a comfortable second on the street mainly due to its pricing policies and the product being a close substitute to most of NBC offerings Bigi Cola – The newest kid on the block easily the new king of the street.

They had an almost perfect strategy for the street, low pricing, coupled with an increased margin for the retailers with respect to other brands. It’s a double attack.

A retailer will always prefer you buy Bigi than any other product because he makes more money. So he’s always shoving it in your face and doesn’t really care for the rest of the brands.

The brand will have reduced returns to improve on the other aspects of business though like R&D, packaging etc.

Its however almost perfected its logistics in a very short period. The market penetration strategy is strong Coca-Cola – The ultimate soft drink in Nigeria.

Although losing its hold on the street, it’s still the preferred at most social events probably because of its perceived premium status.

Good Brand positioning by the way. What is lost on the street, it made up for in events Verdict – Bigi is king of the street Pepsi close second Coca-cola pivoted with Lacasera at a distance too.

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Credits: Seyi Ojeleye

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