At the end of my interview with Adil Douiri, we asked Moroccans if they place their trust fully in Moroccan brands or Moroccan brands still need to do efforts to be fully trusted.
I have partnered with Cashpub, a startup that pays you to watch ads online and guarantees to brands audience attention and targeting, to ask the question to a sample of 10 000 people. The question we asked is “Do you trust Moroccan brands?”. 2 answers were possible : 1. YES, 2. YES, but efforts must still be made. The result still casts a shadow on Moroccan brands’ credibility as only 33% of the respondents declare that they do fully trust Moroccan brands. [NB: when we first checked with 1800 responses, the rate was shockingly below 9%].
Now this is a serious problem as trust is the very basis of every transaction included in a company’s turnover. Trust is at the core of the virtuous circle of customer loyalty that brings him to :
- Buy more : a customer will think of a brand he trusts first which translates into frequent purchases and recommendations to his peers, hence more sales.
- Try more : a customer will give new products and services of a brand he trusts a chance
- Pay more : a customer will pay more products and services of a brand he trusts.
Thus lack of trust simply decreases companies’ sales and sustainability.
Let’s look at trust levers and see why Moroccan brands find difficulties harnessing them. It is stated that the following drivers when combined do enhance brand trust :
- Stability and consistency
- Innovation & product development
- Customer relationship
- Practical value of products
- A guiding vision
The Moroccan market specificities and structure present limitations to almost every one of these levers.
- For starters, the Moroccan market has a souk culture driven by the laws of supply and demand. Demand primary expectation being suppliers providing the lowest prices possible, the market is very price sensitive. This fact contrasts with the culture of a guiding long-term vision to build a brand for which customers are willing to pay more. In fact, very few brands invest on quality packaging, communication and customer relationship or even a mere website. For instance, to date, August 2015, 30th (21st century), the first economic group of Morocco, does not have a website.
- Speaking of which, one other limitation of Moroccan brands trust is the market being dominated by monopolies or at best oligopolies (often still owned by the same shareholders). Let alone the fact that there exist in the Moroccan market companies that hold monopolistic positions in several industries and on the whole value chains. Monopolies domination has detrimental impacts on brand trust building :
- Naturally monopolies do not feel the need to focus on brand trust, product development, innovation, competence, customer relationship…. as long as their unsatisfying ‘ok’ products sell, no need to meet customer expectations and deliver on its promise in every interaction.
- Monopolies also suffocate the market and stand in the way of innovative and independent brands development.
- This problem is compounded by the fact that the Moroccan market is a limited size market with low consumer spending, which definitely limits independent brands financial stability and consistency.
- Last but not least, legislation is badly carried out due to a lax approach of rule of law. Efforts to apply regulations would definitely help enhance brand trust. For instance, if Moroccan customers were sure that sanitary controls are carried out rigorously, their trust would naturally increase.
That said, I do not think the keys to restoring Moroccan brands trust rely in the ability of addressing the market shortcomings and hurdles, because no one can beat the market rules -that is a golden rule-. I think the path to sustainable and trusted Moroccan brands resides in their ability to enlarge their market perimeter and export an innovative and reinvented Moroccan know-how.
Fostering ‘national champions’ with order books capable of consolidating the fabric of SMEs would be a faster way to implement this idea provided that their shareholding is totally independent from the political power.
I will host soon on Entrepreneur Talk Adil Lamnini, founder of Madeinmorocco.org, a private label that advocates and promotes Moroccan products and MADE IN MOROCCO, to tell us more about Moroccan brands trust and the brand trust culture among Moroccan brands.
I am curious to know your feedback and impressions! Please share your thoughts and ideas directly in the comments. Links to other posts, videos, etc. may be deleted as they can come across as spammy.
Kenza is an entrepreneur, communication expert and social activist. She started her career as a Private Equity analyst and took the plunge of entrepreneurship back in 2011 when she founded an innovative beauty e-commerce and a beauty brand. She is the founder of eEducation.Africa, an NGO that gives talented individuals access to emancipating online education in line with their culture and market needs.