A professor of Marketing at the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), Mrs Lydia J. Price, has advised all local industries in the country to avoid direct competition in the market.
The professor, who spoke to the GRAPHIC BUSINESS in an interview, pointed out that local industries should spend more time on how to make themselves different from the others.
She said there were many gaps and opportunities in the market yet to be identified, and urged local industries to look out for those gaps and opportunities, add value to their products and set it aside from other products to avoid direct competition.
The call comes at a time when people are being urged to develop taste for made-in-Ghana goods to enable the local industry to grow.
According to Mrs Price, “there are many products in the country but if people are just doing it the same way then it becomes very difficult to make money because customers will want it at the cheapest price.”
However, she noted that: “if they try to be innovative and produce something different from what is in the market, their products will attract higher prices.”
The marketing professor also advised businesses to lay more emphasis on branding through creative advertising and building personal trust.
She said many products were very similar and if emphasis was not laid on branding, “then they will all compete on prices. However, proper branding will make the world appreciate your product more than the others.” she said.
One major failure on the part of industries in the country is their inability to brand their products to make it attractive.
As a result, the locally manufactured products are unable to compete with the imported ones.
Then again, due to poor labelling, local products are unable to match what is on the international market.
The advice in that direction could help industry compete favourably locally and on the international market.
Mrs Price also noted that from the interactions that she had had with her students, she had realised that there was a good understanding of the Ghanaian market.
She said local businesses knew their customers, the suppliers and the market very well, and if advised properly, they could learn to see some of the things they could do to improve their services to their customers as well as develop new opportunities and ideas.
Mrs Price was also optimistic that there was a lot of opportunity in the market for people to improve their ability to look around and see the opportunity in front of them and how to differentiate themselves by providing something that was different from the competition and would attract a higher price.
“It could be through branding, through new services or better distribution services,” she added.
Touching on the issue of market strategy, Mrs Price said there were a number of dynamics of marketing strategies “so if these local businesses want to be strategic, then they must be looking forward and must know how the market is changing in order to prepare for the next stage of evolution.”
Mrs Price also disclosed that there was a huge potential for some of the natural food products in Ghana. She said there was more premium on natural products that a lot of developing countries did not have access to.
According to her, in China, there is concern about pollution making the natural products unhealthy while in America there is concern about the products having so much fat and sugar.
She said there was therefore great opportunity out there hence the need for the local industry to take packaging seriously to be able to enter the foreign market.