‘Wine & Spirit Intake Is On The Increase In Nigeria’

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Paul Wilson is the Managing Director of Brain Munro Ltd, the proud distributor of one of the world finest spirit, Campari. His leadership style is like that of Mahatma Gandhi who said leadership is not about muscles but it means getting along with people. In this exclusive interview with www.societyreelnews.com, he speaks the success of the just concluded Consumers and Trade Promo, the secret of the success of brands in Brain Munro’s spirit and wine collections and why there is increase in the intake of wine and spirit by Nigerian consumers.

How successful can you rate your recently concluded promotions on Campari and what propels such a promo?

Campari is an alcoholic spirit obtained from an infusion of bitter herbs, aromatic plants and fruits in alcohol and water with its distinct color and flavor. It comes in 20cl and 100cl bottle. Campari is a well established brand in Nigeria. Its the first choice quality drink in the Alcohol and Spirit category to launch a Consumer and Trade promotion across five major cities in Nigeria. These cities are Lagos, Aba, Onitsha, Port Harcourt and Warri.
The 8 weeks promo aimed at rewarding Campari loyal consumers and stockiest and it took place in open markets, grocery supermarkets and bars.
For the Trade promo, wholesalers and retailers were encouraged to stock and creatively display Campari and it was a beautiful experience. Points were awarded to traders daily based on the quantity and creativity of Campari displayed. Prizes won by traders with the highest creative display includes Deep freezers, Generators, Nokia phones, to mention a few. For the Consumer Dare To Mix promo, consumers were encouraged to purchase shots and bottles of Campari, which they can mix with their Beer, Stout or Chapman. Consumers who purchased a shot of Campari were issued raffle tickets; the purchase of 20cl bottle will attracted three raffle tickets and face cap; the purchase of 100cl bottle will attracted seven raffle tickets, T shirt and face cap.
There was weekly draw in each city at a designated location where prizes that includes; I-pads, Blackberry Phones were given to consumers. We held the grand final draw last week, June 8, 2012 precisely at King Size Bar & Lounge in Oregun where we rewarded our loyal consumers. The star prize winner, Michael will be presenter the Kia Rio car at his convenient time.
What propelled the promotions was that we think if we have broad base grass root approach, it will create brand awareness which we really achieved. We rewarded and engaged the retailer and distributors of our products. We saw very nice display around the market and I’m confident the promo has given us a mileage.
Apart from the promo we supported other activities the is adding positively to our brand, the likes of Anioma Cultural Festival for this year. The Anioma cultural festival is an annual event of the Anioma people of Delta State organized by OFAAC to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the people. The sponsorship was born out of the desire to promote the rich culture and historical achievement of the Anioma people. Campari being a brand with a strong heritage, it is important that we recognize the significance of culture in the overall development of a nation.
This year’s Anioma cultural festival which was the 9th edition, show cased dance, songs, drama, traditional wrestling and folklores to remind fun lovers present the rich culture of the state and Campari, an alcoholic spirit obtained from the infusion of bitter herbs, aromatic plants and fruit in alcohol and water which is nature too was happy to be part of it.

You’ve been in the Nigerian market since the 60’s but you’ve been silent. Is this your selling tactics or strategy?

We have a dichotomy, a manufacturing company where we produce our own range of nutritional products. And in addition to that, we import a wide range of wine and premium spirit. Which we‘ve been doing from the 60’s.
Its not necessarily our startegy. We are not an ostentatious company; we’ll like to think while our brands do the talking for us, Brain Munro is really about that premium brand. We can say with complete confidence that no brand that Brain Munro handles is anything other than a premium global brand. What Brain Munro enjoys is a good reputation, code of conduct and a good ethical behavior in the trade and the market place. We don’t blow our trumpets, we like our products to speak for themselves. We are the leading spirit and wine distributor, even in Africa.

Which are the brands that you have under Brain Munro?

Starting with the premium spirits, we have the Campari groups of spirits which include Campari, a brand that has been in Nigeria for many years. We are celebrating the 250th anniversary of Campari and with its wonderful profile; these products have been known in the Nigerian market. We also have whiskey, American honey (a mixture of whiskey and honey etc. We also have a wide range of Faustino wine and spirit, the popular B&G wine with many varients

How challenging has it been operating in Nigeria?

Like Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th American president, youngest ever though said “The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it”. These words rightly describe my attitude toward my member of staff and work generally.
Life is full of challenges. There are lots of challenges and it’s been competitive; It’s been challenging especially since the subsidy removal issue began and one has to economize with minimal budget. Brain Munro has been in Nigeria for 60years now and we try to promote our brand in spite of these challenges.

In your words, what gives you the competitive edge in the Nigeria?
We have a lot of experience, our staffs are well trained and highly motivated people. I think we have a well rounded strategy and work with credible people who are loyal; it’s a good chemistry

How have you been combating counterfeits of your products?

That’s a very good question. Our products are hard to be faked and we advise our customers to be vigilant. Another thing is that we work very closely with the traders in order to detect counterfeit products. But the most important thing is that if you have a quality brand and its in supply, you don’t give room for counterfeits. It is important that as you build brand you popularize them in the market place. You also support the distribution channels. One can never say that 100% you can keep mischief makers out. If you can provide good products and sustain its availability in the market, then you can curb the activities of counterfeits.

Apart from keeping the equity of Campari as a brand, what are your plans to bring other brands of the company to the same level in the face of consumers?

Campari is just one brand in our stables and we are have several others, our job is to make sure that every brands is as big or even bigger than Campari, we started the journey with B&G red wine and we have seen transformation on the brand, it’s now an household name in the wine industry.
We are transforming Campari brand and we are looking at every opportunity possible.we have started the journey with Campari and with time it will be the turn of other brands on our shelves.
We will continue to be the leading wine and spirit brand in Nigeria, and my projection is that Campari becomes the number one. The essence of the campaign is to showcase the product which has a great quality; It has a very unique flavor. It has the potential of being the number one brand in the federation of Nigeria.

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