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BrandReview: Vitafoam – The Iconic Brand in Foam Manufacturing

By Nathaniel Udoh 

In today’s world, branding has become an intrinsic part of our lives and life styles. Despite this consciousness, one can count those brands that are able to clearly set themselves apart.  These brands have come to represent something more than a product or service. Following some deft and astute steps, they have become brand icons. Iconic brands can evolve from products, real people, companies and non-governmental institutions or organizations.  Such megabrands do not just emerge from the blues but through differentiating attributes or a deviant personality; making them stand out in a cluttered market place where many brands are chasing the attention of the consumers. Looking at this, it’s   not out of place to say that among the array of leading brands in foam making in Nigeria, Vitafom Nigeria Plc stands like a colossus by exhibiting the attributes of an iconic brand namely:

Constant Refinement:  Vitafoam Nigeria Plc has constantly refined its products through branding processes to meet consumer’s needs in the highly competitive market place thus the brand,  an award winning company  is a force to reckon with in the foam manufacturing  industry not only in Nigeria but in West Africa as a whole.

Vision and Consistency: Any brand that cannot stand for something falls for anything.  Also, having the accurate vision of what to stand for is equally essential. Its vision has served as a compass and as an energizing force for this brand.  The strong resolution for this commitment is seen in the vision of the brand “to be the foam manufacturer of first choice” so as to be able to serve customers in the consumer and industrial market segments with leading edge products that give them value for money.

Legacy: Iconic brands must elicit joy and impact his society. Iconic brands are not just so called because they have become household names but because of the impact the have made. Vitafoam has left a legacy as the Nigeria’s most prominent and leading producer of Polyether, foam products, furniture, upholstery products and adhesives. Its success and performance as the fastest growing icon in foam manufacturing was rewarded with series of award and encomiums from the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and the President’s award for excellence in Corporate Financial Report and Annual General Meeting in 1999. In addition to this, were several awards of silver certificates from Standard organization of Nigeria (SON) for its manufacture of high quality products. In 2000, Vitafoam capped it all by becoming the first foam manufacturing company in Nigeria to win the much craved international quality awards NIS 9002 Certificate for its manufacture and sale of flexible and rigid polyurethane foam, fiber pillow, underlay and adhesives.

Selflessness: Clearly, no brand can become iconic if the main motive is to amass wealth at the detriment of the consumers or stakeholders. While profit making is essential to progress of any endeavour, extreme concentration on this often leads to selfishness, greed as well as malpractices. Vitafoam’s vision is never driven by selfishness. This is why the brand, right from 1962, initiated the expansionist philosophy through the installation of its first factory in ikeja in 1966. This was followed by establishing the Aba Factory (Eastern Nigeria) in 1972 and Kano Factory (Northern Nigeria). Mr. Norman Grimshaw (co-founder British Vita), on his visit to Nigeria, innovatively initiated an expansion programme for Vitafoam. Still on the expansion train, in 1979, and 1982, Sapele and Jos factories respectively, were established. The orthopedic mattress branded “Galaxy” was introduced too in 1982; and the establishment of Vitafoam Ghana Limited and Vitafoam Sierra Leone in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

Constant evaluation: Any iconic brand must understand the dynamics of his environment, its real market value and change its “dance steps” in the marketplace to move to the next level before it’s late. The brand has understood the importance of rebranding and offering wide range of products as a way of continuing to maintain its brand leadership in the market. However, trading the expansion trail further, in 2010, Vitafoam became a major shareholders of Vono Products and established two sister companies; Vitapur Nigeria (an insulations products manufacturing company) and Vitablom (fiber processing and soft furnishing company). Finally in 2012, it established its youngest inclusion; Viavisco for production and sales of Visco elastic foam and Latex products as a way of maintaining its leadership position in the market. 

Vitafoam has become Nigeria’s most prominent and leading producer of Polyether, foam products, furniture, upholstery products and adhesives. Its initial breakthrough however, was as a result of an appointment of G.B Olivant Nigeria Limited as a sole distributor in 1962, and an installation of a continuous polyether foaming plant in its first factory in ikeja in 1966. With an inevitable urge to expand its fast-growing business, Vitafoam took a notch up the ladder by establishing the Aba Factory (Eastern Nigeria) in 1972 and Kano Factory (Northern Nigeria). Mr. Norman Grimshaw (co-founder British Vita), on his visit to Nigeria, innovatively initiated an expansion programme for Vitafoam. With the Nigerian Promoter Decree No. 3 of 1977, companies were mandated to sell sixty percent of their share to the Nigerian public, thus in compliance with the decree, Vitafoam became a public company in 1978. Still on the expansion train, in 1979, and 1982, Sapele and Jos factories respectively, were established. The orthopedic mattress branded “Galaxy” was introduced too in 1982. In spite of the gigantic economic and industrial unrest experienced in the country amidst internal issues in 1986, Vitafoam experienced a quantum leap to economic growth with recorded revenue of N 1.02 billion in 1995.

Nathaniel Udoh, BrandiQ Researcher and Writer

Its success and performance as the fastest growing icon in foam manufacturing was rewarded with series of award and encomiums from the Nigerian Stock Exchange, and the President’s award for excellence in Corporate Financial Report and Annual General Meeting in 1999. In addition to this, were several awards of silver certificates from Standard organization of Nigeria (SON) for its manufacture of high quality products. In 2000, Vitafoam capped it all by becoming the first foam manufacturing company in Nigeria too win the much craved international quality awards NIS 9002 Certificate for its manufacture and sale of flexible and rigid polyurethane foam, fiber pillow, underlay and adhesives. In 2004, Vitafoam transferred her share registration portfolio to UAC Registrars Limited whilst its growth and expansion were continually in motion.  These new developments set off the need to further broaden prospects, thus, in 2008 and 2009, Vitafoam Ghana Limited and Vitafoam Sierra Leone respectively were established. However, trading the expansion trail further, in 2010, Vitafoam became a major shareholders of Vono Products and established two sister companies; Vitapur Nigeria (an insulations products manufacturing company) and Vitablom (fiber processing and soft furnishing company). Finally in 2012, it established its youngest inclusion; Viavisco for production and sales of Visco elastic foam and Latex products. The brand has further confirmed its iconic nature through the establishment of Vitapur- which specializes in the production of insulated roofing sheets.

Commitment to excellence, service reliability, international standards and integrity are the guiding principles of this brand. In more than 50 years of existence, resilience, integrity and value adding to customers has been the mission of this company. The company Group Managing Director /Chief Executive Officer Mr.Taiwo Adeniyi is a rounded professional in the industry with strong strategic planning and conceptual skills with more than 25 years industry experience. From inception till date, Vitafoam Nigeria Plc has continued to make a mark in the foam industry as an iconic brand. For being an iconic brand in foam manufacturing in Nigeria and beyond, Vitafoam is our brand personality of the week.

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