Procter & Gamble’ s Associate Director for Brand and Commercial in Nigeria, Tolulope Adedeji, in this interview speaks on the multinational’s values for the Nigerian consumer
Tell us a bit about yourself and your background at Procter and Gamble
My name is Tolulope Adedeji I have been working with P&G for 13 years. I worked in the finance department for 4 years and I have been in the marketing department for 9 years. I’m currently the Brand and Marketing Associate Director for Nigeria where I manage both the brand and the commercial teams.
What has been your most profound moment at P&G?
In P&G, every day is profound, I am always delighted to see how the lives of our consumers are being transformed by our amazing products during our Corporate Social Responsibility Programs. For example, our ‘Always School’ Program, where we educate girls about puberty and female hygiene.
Inspiring moments happen every time we improve the quality of lives of our consumers. With Pampers, lives have been made easier for the Nursing mums and their babies. We get inspired to do more by all these visible results.
P&G is a company known for superior products, how have you been able to maintain the standard over the years?
Everything is centered on the consumer, in P&G, our Consumer is Boss, just like every other country where P&G operates around the world. We give Nigerian consumers the best no matter the location or amount of disposable income. We are a global company, we manufacture quality products with local insight for our consumers. Our understanding of the consumer has been helpful in maintaining our standard over the years.
Nigerians are fascinated with the new pampers baby dry can you share the success story since itlaunched in 2015
It has been incredibly successful, a lot of mums have embraced it. We recently hosted a few moms at our manufacturing plant in Agbara where they got to see how we produce quality diapers. They were really impressed and a lot of positive reviews and testimonials were shared by the mums
Is there a particular class of people who use Pampers?
Generally speaking our products are affordable to every consumer who prefer quality.
Our products are premium brands, but not niche brands, we are not selling our products to people that live in a certain area and it’s not targeted at a certain demography of consumers.
There are different ways through which an average consumer can afford to buy pampers. There are different sizes and prizes, so if a consumer cannot afford to buy the jumbo pack, he can opt for other lower priced variantsIn some stores now, the store owners have found a way to retail the big box due to the demand from the consumers.
Nigerian mums want the best for their babies, even if it is not convenient, they know that having a good night’s sleep is critical for a baby’s development, and Pampers baby dry gives up to 12 hours of overnight protection.
What is the market share of Always?
Always is the leading sanitary product in Nigeria mainly because are the first to introduce sanitary protection into the market. With constant innovation, we have created the Always ultra which is much slimmer, more discreet and also gives a very great sanitary protection for girls for up to 8 hours, No Check, No Stains. Always is available in almost any store because ladies have a preference for it.
Are your products available to girls and women in rural areas?
Always is available in every store that sells sanitary pads either in the cities or the rural areas. Today,the number of girls using pads in Nigeria generally is lower than similar markets, such as Egypt, Pakistan or Morocco. There are still huge opportunities to introduce the use of sanitary pads to more girls and ladies. People today still use other protection methods such as cloth, tissue, foam, which are not the most hygienic options. There is a lot of collaborative work to be done by mothers, healthcare professionals and relevant stakeholders to drive awareness on the importance of good sanitary protection for our girls.
Ariel, the best stain remover in one wash, what differentiates Ariel from other detergents in the market?
Ariel removes stains with just one wash. Ariel stands for absolute brilliant cleaning, not just in Nigeria, but all over the world.
P&G products are used by many people how have you been able to put the consumer’s wellbeing into your products?
Like we always say in P&G, we have absolutely the best quality and safety standards. There is an in-house safety department that ensures compliance to standards in all our operations. We have a state of the art facility in Agbara that was commissioned in recent years with up to date global technology. Everything we do is based on the best quality and the safety of the consumer is very important to us. We don’t sell defective products to our consumers, we believe our consumers deserve the best at all times.
At this time of economic recession do you think that consumers have been loyal to your products?
Generally I’d say yes, because even in this time of recession, consumers cannot afford to buy low quality products. During a recession, people need to buy quality products that can actually deliver the benefits that they promise and will last long, that’s why we remain the best option for our consumers even in these tough times.
Nigerians want an improvement in their quality of life, what new products are you working on to improve the quality of life of consumers?
It’s not about the introduction of new products that affects the quality of life, the fact that we already have very strong products – Pampers, Always, Ariel, Oral B, Gilette, Safeguard, Fairy- all of these are improving the quality of life of consumers daily. That being said, the company is constantly reviewing the market for opportunities. In Nigeria today, we have only a fraction of the leading brands we have globally. There is a lot of opportunity to grow our business in Nigeria by serving and creating value for more consumers. As we continue being in touch with our consumers, delighting them and understanding how we can better satisfy their needs, the insights we get would continue to inform our strategic choices to introduce new products and new innovations in our existing markets.
What’s your outlook for P&G as a company?
In the short-term, we would continue to make our brands more accessible to our teeming consumers in Nigeria.. It’s also about continual support from our, customers and building a relationship so they continually choose our brands repeatedly.
Also being an employer of choice, like we are, we would keep recruiting and growing Nigerian talent into leadership positions with the organization. P&G grows from within and promotes from within the company, I joined P&G as a fresh graduate 13 years ago and today I am a marketing director in Nigeria, with experiences across different markets. That is a major improvement to our corporate environment, the fact that we have Nigerians doing well here and growing to leadership positions and also going outside Nigeria to represent the country within the P&G global space. We would equally continue with our CSR programmes in order to reach our consumers, this include the Always school program, the Pampers pre-natal program, Oral-B mobile dental clinic, we would keep them strong and running and we would not compromise on being a good corporate citizen.