How Goldberg’s Unique Cultural Drive is Reinforcing Consumer Ownership  

By Gilbert Alasa.
Douglas Holt, in his text, Cultural Brand Strategy, argued that cultural innovation has its pivotal role in launching and reinvigorating billion dollar brands. But many brand handlers and marketers have failed to maximise the benefits of this blue ocean strategy.  Holt showcased tangible examples of how multi-billion dollar brands like Coca-Cola, Marlboro, The Body Shop, Polo, Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, American Express, Virgin and Volkswagen explored a compelling cultural ideology to leapfrog the dull cultural orthodoxies of their categories to achieve premium positions in the minds of consumers.
In what turned out as findings by Holt and his team of collaborators in over a decade of academic research, conducting detailed comparative historical analyses of more than thirty important cultural innovations, Holt noted: “these businesses have been every bit as innovative as the technological and mix-and-map businesses celebrated by innovation experts. But what was radical about them was what the product stands for – its ideology, which, when staged through myth and cultural codes, becomes a distinctive cultural expression.”
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Indeed, band analysts agree unanimously that there is a strong relationship between winning brands and their connection with the culture of their consumers. For ages, what has assumed a consensus among brand experts is how consumer culture has continued to influence the strategy map of every consumer-centric brand.
And to build brand equity, many brands have come to understand that fostering passionate attachments around the brand – be it experiences, emotions, cultures, tastes patterns and preference – are vital ingredients for thriving in this increasingly competitive business landscape.
Examining deeply the trajectory of Nigeria’s beer brands, Goldberg, from the stable of Nigerian Breweries Plc, remains the only brand that has successfully immersed itself into the rich culture and traditions of its sprawling consumers in the South-west region of the country. Not only has this move resulted in unrivalled brand loyalty, it has also grabbed the towering appraise and endorsement of the new Osun monarch, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja 11, Ooni of Ile-Ife.
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By blazing a trail and treading an uncommon path, Goldberg became the first beer brand to visit the traditional ruler just few days before the commencement of the coronation rites as a mark of respect and celebration with the AroleOduaOjaja II. The visit provoked a paradigm shift in how brands could maximise the levers of traditional institutions to distil their essence on the hearts and souls of the consumers.
As the forces of globalisation continue to spur a clash of civilisations and homogenisation of cultures, brands occupy a strategic position to promote distinct identity. In essence, the transition from a world of numerous cultures into a single consumable global culture leads to evolved forms of self-expression and the quest for identity. To this end, Nigerian Breweries Plc has made a bold statement with its value-for-money Goldberg beer to create and recognise the distinct identity of beer drinkers in South West Nigeria.
Generally, alcohol is as old as the history of human civilisation and its consumption in different socio-cultural settings far extends beyond the last ten thousand years, according to studies. In African societies, alcoholic drinks – whether in wine, beer and spirit variations – serve as reminder of our friendships, traditions and common heritage. By recognising that cultural expressions form the foundational materials for belonging, recognition, status, how we interpret the world around us, what is moral, what is worth striving for, a brand, by default, becomes a chaperon for turning these compass points.

Since its grand entry into the Nigerian beer market in 2011, Goldberg has continued to embody an authentic, tangible reflection of deep respect and recognition of the rich culture of its consumers. That explains why the brand has always been associated with the historic Osun Osogbo festival, Oke Ibadan, Ojude Oba in Ijebu Ode and Fuji T’o Bam talent hunt, Coronation of Deji of Akure, which is part of the continued celebration of the culture of the people. In essence, Goldberg is shifting the brand ownership principle from the custody of the company to the consumers – who own, use, diffuse its essence and preach its gospel.

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