Tips to improve your online fundraising efforts.

Last year, Nigerians gave out over 4 billion Naira on social media to people, causes and issues they care about not because they expected anything in return but because they believed in a cause so much that they were willing to spend their hard-earned money on social causes. Putting this trend in context, what can non-profits in need of funds to drive their projects learn?

Let’s talk about 5 tips to help improve your online fundraising efforts.


1. Craft a simple and compelling message.

The success of any fundraising effort starts with your message. In most cases, the decision to give for social causes is an emotional one so people will only give to causes they connect to and to issues that they understand. Before considering to donate, people need to have a clear and consistent understanding of what your organization is all about, why they should care and the impact their donation will make.

All these questions can only be answered by investing your resources in a building a well-thought-out communications strategy that wholly communicates your impact.


2. Invest in Building Credibility and Accountability.

Credibility is at the top of the mind of any donor. The moment a donor develops an interest in a cause the next question is – Can I trust this organization? To answer this question, non-profits would have to project credibility and trust as they engage with potential donors. Depending on the type of donor, you might need to even acquire necessary certifications, affiliations, and endorsement from credible bodies.

It is also important to adopt an open financial reporting system to establish financial accountability to your donors.

You can do this by either sending out project quarterly reports to your donors or setting up an online portal where they can access all your financial records. This keeps existing donors in the loop of how their funds are spent and your ability to showcase how well you have utilized funds entrusted to you in the past can actually inspire more people to donate.


3. Make donating secure and easy.

Going through a rigorous payment process can be very discouraging for a willing donor and having scammers profiting from a successful fundraising campaign can be demoralizing as well for any non-profit. However, advances in Fintech is making e-transactions easier and has given non-profits numerous options to receive donations while ensuring that the transaction process is not just seamlessly easy and secure for your donors.


4. Communicate impact using visual Media.

As the saying goes “seeing is believing”. People are innately visual and so are your donors, more than telling them, you can actually show them the need you trying to address and the impact of their donation, through visually engaging content like pictures, videos, documentaries e.t.c.

Producing and distributing visually engaging content that communicates the need and your impact across your digital media assets is something that every nonprofit should do to amplify your fundraising efforts.

And lastly,


5. Reward Your Donors.

Everyone loves a pat on the back, set-up a reward system for your donors, it could be gifting merchandise, souvenirs, or even honorary plaques. Anything to make them feel special.


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Sustainable Development Goals; Coordinating Action For Continuity

In 2015, the United Nations set a global blueprint of 17 sustainable development goals to urgently address environmental, political and economic challenges facing the world, as a replacement for the millennium development goals (MDGs) which ran its course from 2000 to 2015. So far, the project has been a crucial tool used in bringing the world closer as a global village where distance, languages, colors, and status will not be a barrier or limitation to individual and national development.


Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

These global goals designed to promote peace, prosperity, and dignity in all its forms are as follows: No poverty; Zero Hunger; Good Health and Well-being; Quality Education; Gender Equality; Clean Water and Sanitation; Affordable and Clean Energy.  Decent Work and Economic Growth; Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure; Reduced Inequalities; Sustainable Cities and Communities; Responsible Consumption and Production; Climate action: Life below water; Life on Land; Peace and Justice Strong Institutions; Partnerships for the goals.


Pre-SDG Background Information.

At the UN millennium summit of 2000, the ensuing millennium declaration gave birth to eight-millennium development goals(MDGs) which 189 UN member states committed to achieving by the year 2015. These eight goals had specific indicators and targets that were designed to guide governments and the world in combating poverty, hunger, diseases, environmental degradation, and discrimination etc. Although the MDGs did mark huge strides in combating child mortality, the dismal out-of-school children rates. malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS incidence, to mention a few,  the MDGs was notably unilateral in delivery, in that individuals and organizations had different ideas and action plans in executing the goals and so there was the absence of coordinated efforts.

In 2010, the UN General Assembly conducted a High-level Plenary Meeting to review the progress of the MDGs and draw up plans to advance the development agenda beyond 2015. Ban Ki-Moon, the then United Nations Secretary-General assembled a task team and facilitated initiatives to ensure inclusivity and coordinated action for global development. First, the UN engaged in 11 global thematic consultations and national consultations in 88 countries that was facilitated by the United Nations Development Group (UNDG). This was complemented by the collaborative effort of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Millennium Campaign, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and the World Wide Web Foundation in launching the “MY World Global Survey”, a global campaign survey designed to collate priority perspectives, “A Million Voices: The world we want” from over 1 million people around the globe. The results of this survey contributed to the framework for the post-2015 development agenda.

This proved to be a step in the right direction for the success of the SDGs, as it provided global leaders with valuable lessons and a comprehensive view of the challenges the MDGs faced and contributed to the design of a development agenda that factored in these challenges and the innovate solution to these challenges to global development.


Building A Clear Vision Of The Future And Ensuring Everyone Is On Board.

Under the leadership of UNDP, the integrated SDGs was rolled out and communicated with clarity to the world at large. It also proposed practicable ways and initiatives through which challenges and difficulties that may undermine the desired future can be resolved.

To achieve this, some countries have come up with an idea of inter-ministerial commission for sustainable goals. Agencies and ministries under the government that are crucial to each goal are working together under the commission in order to bring up different policies and programmes to address a particular goal. In China, for instance, there is an inter-ministerial commission comprising 43 ministries and agencies, led by the Ministry of Finance. Mexico is another example; the country has assigned each SDG indicator to a specific ministry for follow-up after consultation with various ministries and agencies represented in its Specialized Technical Committee on Sustainable Development Goals (quote or para). The Inter-ministerial Commission for SDGs in different countries are, are among other things, working as an advisory body to the govt; developing or coordinating SDGs implementation strategies; engaging with key stakeholders; developing a national monitoring and accompanying a set of national indicators; following up and reviewing the SDGs and targets. With these functions, they are able to build a clear vision for the future that carries everyone along. The holistic approach by this commission ensures that everyone, regardless of age, gender, status, and nationality is captured in the process.


Coordinating Action For SDG Progress In Nigeria.

It’s been three years since world leaders including Nigeria committed to ending extreme poverty everywhere, fighting inequalities and tackling climate change through the implementation of the 17 SDGs and yet reports show that the world is not on track in the journey to fulfilling the 2030 agenda. Rather, negative indicators of these development challenges seem to be on the rise.

It has become imperative that we look introspectively into the goals; reflect on the achievement made so far, and proffer insights that can ensure the speedy realization of the goals going forward.

While we have witnessed progress in key areas of the goals, many observers are, however, of the opinion that present efforts aren’t sufficient for the full realization of the goals by 2030. For every progress made, there are lots of issues causing setbacks from different angles, due to either human or natural disasters. In the goal that deals with climate change, for instance, occurrences of hurricanes, earthquakes, flood, and other natural disasters, are biting hard on people from different places in the world, and also causing economic loss to many countries, which is surely taken its tolls on the government, and thereby causing setbacks and sometimes distraction from the SDGs focus. Contributing to this are the many unrests in different parts of the world. Conflicts, terrorisms, insurgencies, and other unrests are still also a major challenge to many people in the world. For every progress recorded, there seems to be some setback causing the 2030 agenda to lose momentum. All these problems make the goals appear very difficult to achieve in the next twelve years.

In evaluating the progress report of action on SDGs in the country, its important to acknowledge the fact that as opposed to the preceding millennium development goals(MDGs), the SDGs has relatively enjoyed mainstreaming for adoption in Nigeria, not just the primary agencies involved but across the private, public sectors, governments, non-profit organizations etc. The question is, how do we increase the mainstreaming of SDGs conversations beyond the civil society, NGO and government worlds?

In Nigeria, the Office of the Senior Special Assistant To The President On SDGs (OSSAP-SDGs) has the mandate to provide leadership and guidance in the adoption of the SDGs through strategic direction and planning, monitoring and evaluation, resource mobilization and management, advocacy and partnership development. They also work at integrating the SDGs into Nigeria’s national development plans and priorities and develop an actionable framework for implementation at national, state & local government levels. In addition, an Inter-Ministerial Committee on the SDGs was established to serve as the nucleus and focal point for ensuring inter-agency cohesion and coordination as well as to develop operational guidelines that coordinate engagement with Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).

The OSSAP-SDGs has highlighted the introduction of program delivery mechanisms and institutional frameworks to foster multi-sectoral collaboration and achievement of the SDGs in its voluntary review report to the UN on the SDGs. It also draws a supporting benefit of the government’s medium-term development plan- Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (NERGP) for 2017-2020 aimed at managing the country’s economic growth for inclusive, sustainable and a more assured trajectory of universal prosperity and development.

The report also outlines challenges in the implementation pace of the goals. It posits that Nigeria will most certainly need support even as it races to the implementation and realization of the SDGs. The first arises from the reality of the current economic recession which implies that the country will need all the support it requires in mobilizing adequate financial and other resources; including from domestic sources and through the traditional (North-South, South-South, and triangular cooperation) partnerships.

The second area relates to the matter of Technology Transfer and Capacity Building in, among others, data, information and performance management, all which are urgently needed so as to support both the SDGs implementation agenda as well as the attendant process of accountability and tracking of performance.


Effective ways people and agencies can key in to take coordinated action on the SDGs

  • Understanding of the goals: There’s an all too important need for everyone to actually understand the goals in order to effectively contribute to the achievement of these sustainable development goals (SDGs).

How do we get people to care and actually drive sustainable development if there is a disconnect between these goals and the people you intend to run with them? Understanding is therefore instrumental for adoption. The UN has made it very easy for everyone to understand the goals, the goals have also been translated into several languages.

Strategic orientation and mobilization exercises can also be conducted across communities and echelons of society to bridge gaps and facilitate a comprehensive understanding of the goals of all people for ultimate action..


  • Resource sharing: The purpose of setting up SDGs cannot be achieved if countries and organizations are using the individualistic approach. Knowledge sharing is the best way to carry everyone along in the global goals. To this end, different stakeholders are usually brought together on various platforms to share expertise that will be useful to the world at large. One of the organizations championing this cause is the Bill and Melinda Gates’ foundation’s NGO called The Goalkeepers. The project has made tremendous progress in its bid to ensure that the goals are achieved leaving no stone unturned. The Goalkeepers, which was started in 2017 has recorded outstanding achievements. It has served as a catalyst for action in bringing world leaders to share what is working and what is not, and to forge new partnerships for progress.


  • Partnership for the goals: In considering the 17th sustainable development goal- Partnership For The Goals, it is clear that the success of the SDGs lies in a working partnership of all the actors. Its necessary to build formidable partnerships of organizations, individuals and stakeholders in the plan to ensure

Howard Zinn says, “Small acts when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world”

  • Role of influencers and advocacy in coordinating the adoption of SDGs for social change: There are always key drivers or actors for every event in history. Beyond the government, CSOs, public and private sector, the role of influencers is gaining traction in driving action for development. As such, it would be doubly beneficial to leverage the tremendous power of these influencers to amplify conversations and unify voices around issue awareness, advocacy and widespread adoption of the SDGs.

In conclusion, the SDGs is an agenda for everyone. We must ensure that we leave no one behind. No one regardless of gender, age, or race, can afford to fold his arms or sit on the fence. There is work to be done to make the world a better place to live in. All forms of poverty must be eradicated; illiteracy must become a thing of the past world over; sustainable energy must be achieved, and the world must experience peace.

All these and many more can be achieved if we all work together to coordinate action and ensure continuity, especially by driving inclusivity. Every man, woman, and every child should have an elementary understanding of the SDGs and how they can contribute in little ways in their communities in taking action towards achieving sustainable development goals. Mainstream conversations around the SDGs should happen through the schools, media, community forums, religious places of worship, government etc.


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Why KONGA’s New Strategy Might Work.

A while ago while heading to a cool evening dinner, I happened upon a standard sized KONGA offline store with a regular storefront inscription like any other retail store’s. This seemed novel to me and many who are familiar with the old KONGA e-commerce business model can attest to that. Most Nigerians who have noticed the new Konga offline stores, either in a suburb or commercial district are likely to do a double take for two reasons:

  1. the fact that the store is so conspicuously positioned and fully stocked with cutting-edge products for sale as is any other retail shop.
  2. the colour of the brand. The resplendent pink brand colour of the new KONGA is a polar opposite of it’s classic blue and this is sure to raise a couple of eyebrows.

I’d like to note here that I pride myself as being a tech enthusiast so even though, I was rooting enthusiastically for Konga’s platform and buying a few things online, most times I made purchases predominantly in offline traditional stores for the following reasons:

  • the fact that most products require about a 5-7 working day delivery window and on occasions where I needed the commodity immediately, Konga wasn’t a top choice.
  • Buying is often impulsive, so I felt there was a demerit of the long delivery window in the sense that when the product comes, you may have changed your mind as to if you really need it, or might have secured an alternative, or the money at hand to pay for the product may not be within reach because some other priority may have come up.

So, in spite of my tech inclination, my default buying pattern was more regularly offline.

In light of this, when I saw the physical Konga store for the first time, one thought that struck was the fact that this new strategy was going to be a winning strategy in the long term.

The Backstory

But first, let’s look at the Konga story. What is Konga and what were they about?

Konga is a Nigerian e-commerce company founded in 2012 by Sim Shagaya. Ranked as the largest online mall in Nigeria, it was created to offer a gamut of products ranging from electronic devices to household wares, clothing, computers and mobile phones, beauty products etc, purchased at the buyer’s convenience.

If you go back in time, Konga’s overarching vision was to be an engine that powers Africa’s commerce. I remember learning this from a Channels interview the founder once gave. Sim wanted Konga to be a platform that powered Africa’s commerce and he did a remarkable job of pursuing that vision. Working with the best developers and minds, KONGA built KongaPay, a remarkably strong and secure CBN-licensed payment platform, it built a solid delivery and logistics system; KOS-Express, it had one of the largest catalogues of products with large warehouses located in major cities across the country and it invested largely in marketing, trying to create awareness via traditional and new media outlets. Virtually, almost every Nigerian in one way or the other has heard about Konga.

Konga’s process was simple; you visit the website, place an order for a product, make your payment and it is delivered to you. The team’s novel strategy made e-commerce easy and convenient with you receiving your purchases at your doorstep, without you leaving your home. In no time, KONGA evolved into an online marketplace hub where the products of other merchants were hosted and it began facilitating the buyer-seller relationship between the merchants and consumers.

With its newly expanded market base, Konga encountered an interesting consumer behaviour challenge: most Nigerians were wary of online services and didn’t trust paying for products they couldn’t see. Also, they had to deal with the hassle of making complaints and seeking a refund if something went wrong. All these birthed their payment on delivery (POD) option and with this innovation in place,  it invariably seemed like KONGA was becoming the engine that will power e-commerce across Africa.

In early 2018, shock swept across the tech industry when the news of the sale of Konga to Zinox went public. Although it was a sad day for me because of my belief in their potential, it raised a couple of observations in my mind.


“At the point where Konga seemed to be going through a trying phase and eventually an acquisition by Zinox, it seemed like physical superstores like Shoprite, Next Cash ‘n’ Carry were becoming more viable, with new ones like Miniso Nigeria coming up. “

The Sociology Of Buying; Traditional & Modern Consumers

In trying to understand this surprising development, I got to thinking and I observed that, just like Zinox’s e-commerce platform, BuyRightAfrica.Com which was launched over 12 years ago didn’t perform so well owing to the absence of credit cards and an e-payment infrastructure, the market was not yet ready for Konga’s revolutionary idea in spite of their strong product and value proposition.


According to the Euromonitor-reports-on-nigeria-retail-market article published on website, despite the economic recession the country experienced, at the end of their financial year in July 2017, Shoprite recorded a rise in profit with a 48.2% increase in sales and a 38.2% increase in customer base. In addition, Nigeria and Angola were key markets outside of South Africa reported tohave contributed to the group’s full-year earnings pegged at N3.86 trillion.This was also reported by the website. Miniso Nigeria, a Japanese multinational lifestyle designer retail chain, with over 2,250 stores in 41 countries launched six stores in Nigeria in September 2017.


From an end user perspective, I realised that there were several factors preventing this remarkable commerce strategy from gaining traction.

According to the April edition of The Communicator, an online publication of The Nigerian Communications Commission, the number of internet users in Nigeria is about 98.3 million. For a country with an estimated population of over 190 million, that amounts to about 47% internet users in total, pointing to the fact that there are more people offline than online and so the default buying culture is offline. As at December 31st, 2017, the number of Facebook subscribers in Nigeria was pegged at 17million according to the Internet World Stats Website. Between then and May 23rd, 2018, an article on reported that Facebook’s Developer Programme Manager, Chukwuemeka Afigbo stated that about 26 million Nigerians are now active on Facebook. Although the increase in internet subscribers is encouraging, it’s still a far cry from the prevalent population realities of the country.

This explains why superstores like Shoprite, Ebeano and even the typical Igbo man’s shop in Alaba market and several other markets are gaining traction and expanding.


So a major element of our buying culture as Nigerians is trust, and so, even though technology is powerful, Cash and Carry is still king. I see a product, I like it, pay and take it home. No stories, no extended delivery window. If it’s faulty, it can be fixed right there or another, given in exchange. 


There is a major issue of trust embedded in the average Nigerian’s psyche. Trust is a significant factor that influences a brand’s acceptance and as such, crucial for business transactions. The absence or presence of trust contributes to consumer confidence in the medium of purchase.

In addition, the demography of internet users, tech-savvy individuals and their purchasing predilections are also influential factors.

First, online malls may only be attractive to the younger age bracket whose disposable income can easily be channelled to online shopping because their expenditure is limited and they don’t have the added responsibilities of children and dependants that those in the older age bracket do.

Secondly, individuals within the age bracket of 25-34 are typically young, working-class professionals and although they are tech-savvy and inclined to online shopping, they are located within the low-middle income bracket which in turn, affects their disposable income level in comparison to the disposable income of those individuals within the age bracket of 34-50 who may be tech-savvy but have years of offline buying behaviour ingrained in them and so prefer to buy from that friend that sells London wears brought from their Dubai trip or Turkey wears.

On the flip side, some of the individuals in this older age-bracket haven’t gained a strong grasp of technology and internet usage yet, they don’t make up the tech user demography. Most of them are only just beginning to appreciate WhatsApp, so this affected the adoption of the Konga product. These are prevalent realities.


The New: Foresight For Best Practice in E-Commerce

Now, looking at Konga’s new strategy which involves the combination of their strong online presence in addition to an investment in physical, offline convenience stores, I think that this acquisition of Konga by Zinox, now turned merger between Konga and Yudala, the e-commerce brainchild of Zinox will be more viable in the long run.

Why? What this new strategy does is that it creates a strong brand trust for the consumer.


“The concern of brand trust is addressed in that people feel like that they can visit the online store, check out the prices and walk into the offline store close to them to make purchases directly, for the same price. This gives room for a new kind of experience that puts into context where Nigerians are and where they should be. “


What this portends for the entrepreneur or innovator in the Nigerian business or tech space is that as an entrepreneur looking to revolutionise and disrupt the market, it is paramount that your business framework caters to the prevalent cultural realities of your target market, putting in context their unique peculiarities. In essence, introduce the unfamiliar with the familiar.


Strategic Hindsight

Imagine if Konga had started with physical franchises strategically positioned across the country while building their strong online presence, it would have formed the formidable conglomerate of a SHOPRITE-like and Amazon-like venture. It would inevitably get to the point where people would no longer visit the physical stores and would be comfortable making purchases online because they know they can easily walk into a physical store in the event of a defective product as opposed to waiting for a long-drawn-out response from a customer care rep. you can’t see physically. thus increasing the value of the Konga product.

Lessons For The E-Commerce Space

In light of this, I think entrepreneurs can learn from how this affects the dynamics of businesses in Nigeria. Whilst we are leveraging the power of technology to disrupt and cause change and advancement in any industry, whilst we advocate the merits of digital marketing and technology it is important to understand that Nigeria is still largely an offline powered economy, with limited internet usage. As such, whatever strategy you are building should factor into the question of how to reach the unreached, how to reach those who don’t use the internet or aren’t tech savvy.

Secondly, your strategy should take into the consideration the socio-cultural factors that affect buying or consumer behaviour and at every step of the way, your strategy is designed to consistently inspire trust in the buyer’s mind. It goes beyond you knowing this internally as a brand, you have to intentionally ensure that your strategy makes it very easy for your customer base to hold you accountable.

In addition, your strategy should address the challenge of instant gratification that is characteristic of most Nigerians; I want the product now, I buy it now, I get it now without waiting for too long a delivery period to access value.

In the end, in trying to create something new or pioneering a shift, its okay to begin with the normal.

For example, when Facebook began, it was pretty boring, just one page. Imagine if all the exciting features that Facebook currently has were introduced from the onset, most users would have found the experience daunting or wouldn’t have been engaged.

Sometimes starting old school and innovating your way up may be a viable strategy.

What do you think?


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Is the Hustle offline or online?

Have you ever wondered why the spare parts dealer at Oshodi, who doesn’t have a website, even a logo and does not understand how the internet works still rakes in huge sums every day from his little shop in Oshodi? He doesn’t have on online presence. Slot commands most of its sales offline and sell more gadgets a day than most e-commerce companies. Jumia, an online e-commerce company recently announced a loss of over 60 billion naira but if you visit offline mega stores like Shoprite and Next, you will still witness long queues at cashier points. Clearly, customers haven’t grown wary of buying, but an important question this raises is: Is the push towards online or e-commerce overrated, especially in the Nigerian context?

Before rushing to an answer, let’s take a little step back. The 21st century ushered in a huge technological disruption – the internet, with the push of a button, brands are able to spread news of their products and services. With a small budget, small brands can now compete for attention almost fairly with big brands; the internet indeed levelled the playing field.

This led to a strong push and attention towards the new media. Most businesses (and in most cases emerging ones) now think Digital, first and ignore or really do not think critically of their offline channels and strategies. More focus is put on having a sleek website, getting featured on top blogs and having many likes, retweets and shares rather than on how to reach out to people physically in their immediate space. But the reality is that the hustle though gradually moving online is still very offline, especially in the Nigerian context and here’s why:

  1. A major chunk of the market is Offline.

Despite the exponential growth in internet penetration, a large number of Nigerians are not yet online. For those online, they are still trying to understand the online system. Out of a population of 200m people, only 16 million Nigerians are on Facebook, the number is even lower for twitter. According to Google’s Consumer Barometer, 22% of global consumers purchase products or services online, while the remaining 78% stick to offline.

  1. “Buy, Pay Cash and carry”Is still King in Nigeria.

The fact is, people are in a hurry and crave for instant satisfaction but online channels are yet to keep up with the instantaneous gratification that offline channels present: I see it, I like it I buy it and I take it home with me.

  1. The issue of trust.

Offline channels still command more trust than online channels. A typical example is the fact that Nigerians still prefer payment on delivery than paying outrightly for goods bought online.

Now, this is not to imply that small businesses should neglect their digital marketing strategies, the point here is that neglecting the offline behaviours of your target audience or failing to have an offline strategy that is in sync with your online strategy can prevent a business from achieving greater success and that is why our products – content and loudspeaker employ a coordinated dual approach i.e online and offline, to solving our client’s need. In essence, it is not old school to still knock on doors, send out souvenirs and gifts to potential clients, go out of your way to form new friendships and relationships that can lead to more business, print and distribute fliers, call that your old contact up, take that business executive you have been trying to woo to a dinner. Etc.

We are Endgame. The Strategy Company, using a mix of strategy, marketing, media and digital design, we can help you succeed.


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Common scenarios that can weaken your value proposition.

From our recent experiences with clients and considering the enormous feedback we got on our article about weakening value propositions, we decided to put up this list of some common scenarios that can weaken your value proposition.



To be very blunt, No one really cares about how passionate you are about your business or the unique set of skills you have acquired over the years to provide value to your target audience (except of course you offer a professional service). If what you are selling about your product is not addressing a need, people will not buy, no matter how much they love your ‘passion’.


Most businesses tie their value proposition to what they cannot deliver on, they over promise and under deliver.  It’s very important that you sell a value proposition that you can deliver on.


Your value proposition should align with your company’s strategic goals, whatever you sell to your client, ensure that it tied to what your company intends to achieve.


Do not limit your venture by selling a value proposition that targets a very small fraction of a market whose size cannot produce the level of revenue you are targeting.

You have to very strategic in defining your value proposition.  This is why Strategy is a key driver of all our products from Jumpstart , Growth, Content to Loudspeaker this enables us to continually work towards helping our clients grow and succeed.


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Can perfection and beauty be a burden on your brand ?

So recently,we had an internal debate on why some brands that look not so attractive, using 21st century design standards, gain so much traction and growth, while their classy, built to perfection looking competitors still struggle with growth. For example why are the likes of and with websites that don’t necessarily meet world class design standards and aesthetics still have lots of user interactions and thousands of daily visits? In trying to reconcile this paradox, we unlocked this insight:

The more similarity your brand persona shares with your target audience the more their interaction with your brand.

so in essence,


A brand is not just a definition of a business or a perception painstakingly built by a brand manager(s), it is a persona your target customers interact and communicate with subconsciously and consciously.

A brand is more effective if its target users are very comfortable with it. To do so, it’s important you understand who your target audience is, as you craft your brand. It is crucial to factor in their background and worldview in your brand creation process.

Now picture this hypothetical situation:

A young man who has lived in the village all his life, in a twinkle of an eye is transported to a high brow hotel to live in. Chances are that he will find it very difficult and uncomfortable to adapt to his new environment immediately. He will grapple with the feeling of not belonging for a while until he gets to adapt.

Away from the hypothetical, in business, as a brand your target audience will not try to adapt to your brand, if they feel more comfortable with a competing brand, they will simply switch. This means it is very important to create a brand that does not make your target customers feel uncomfortable.

In essences, It is okay for your brand to be ugly if that is what is needed to appeal to your target audience, it is okay for your brand to be beautiful if that is what is needed to appeal to your target audience:  It is okay to be what your target clients want to interact with.

At Endgame the strategy company, we typically consider this while deploying our products Jumpstart, Growth, Loudspeaker and Content to help Start-ups, Small businesses, NGOs build brands that appeal and resonate with their target audience and achieve their growth targets.


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Can your value proposition be your strategic weakness?

On a recent project, we were tasked with helping a client grow their product sales. They intended to spend quite a huge sum on marketing and publicity to drive up sales. Before accepting the client’s brief, we asked our client some very critical questions:

‘Is marketing and publicity the real solution to your problem?’

‘What assurance do you have that on investing such a huge amount on a marketing campaign, will yield results?’

As is our common practice, we started from the basics. Using our growth-strategy framework we audited the brand and the product. In doing so, we realized that the value proposition that was being sold by our client turned out to be a strategic weakness of the product.

Our client, a producer of staple food products tied its value proposition to some genuine healthy “benefits” of the product. Their product was sold as a fresh product that lacked preservatives. While these were good qualities of the product, it also implied the product had a shorter shelf life, the side effect mainly being that suppliers would be afraid of stocking their product. Consequently, consumers will not be given the chance to purchase their product if retailers were afraid to stock the product.

Therefore the real challenge affecting their product sales was not with their secondary consumers, who care about the brand quality and product nutrition but with intermediaries such as suppliers and retailer (their primary target), who were more interested in a product with a longer shelf life rather than a fresh product with a shorter shelf life or better still a fresh product with considerably long shelf life.

This typical scenario taught us that as a business what you consider your value proposition can be your strategic weakness and may be the key reason why your business is not reaching her target audience and no amount of money spent on publicity and brand awareness can fix this.

But first what is a value proposition?

“Your value proposition is a clear statement of the value or benefit that your business will provide to your prospective clients in exchange for their money.  It is the reason you are in business.  It also embodies your competitive advantage. “

It answers the question of – What do you have to offer, why should your target clients care about it, and why should they do business with you as opposed to your competitor?  Your answer to these questions will determine if you are going to meet your growth target by next quarter or close shop in the next 6 months.

For our client, it became obvious that first fixing the product to be ‘supplier-friendly as well as consumer-friendly’ and repositioning their brand to appeal properly to the needs of their target audience became more paramount as no amount of marketing and publicity will drive sales for a product if suppliers are afraid to stock it.

In summary, what you consider as your value proposition may not be best suited for your target audience, the current position of your business and the kind of market you are in.

This thinking and approach powers how we deploy our products: Jumpstart, Growth, Content and Loudspeaker in enabling our clients to grow and succeed.


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