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Nigerian Breweries: Promoting Cultural Heritage with Goldberg and Life Continental Lager Beer

Globally, companies that are growing are always on the lookout for new opportunities. Some of these opportunities present themselves in the international market, while others exist right in the local market. In either case, focusing on specific cultural groups can open up new markets for brands.


In fact, to develop a successful marketing strategy, an organization must take into consideration the cultural influences of the society where a new product is being introduced. People make decisions about consumption of a product based on these cultural influences.


It’s important to understand that, culture refers to the influence of religion, family, education, and social systems on people, how they live their lives, and the choices they make. Marketing always exists in an environment shaped by culture.


Organizations that intend to market products in different countries are always sensitive to the cultural factors at work in their target markets. Even cultural differences between different countries–or between different regions in the same country–seem small, marketers who ignore them risk failure in implementing their programmes.

Culture is complex, and to appreciate its influence takes significant time, effort, and expertise. Various features of culture can create an illusion of similarity, but marketers need to dig deeper to make sure they truly understand the people and environments in which they work.


The Nigerian Breweries Example

One of the companies that is belling the cat of promoting cultural heritage in Nigeria is Nigerian Breweries PLC.


In fact, the Nigerian Breweries is a classic example of companies in Nigeria that has consistently promoted and appreciated cultural heritage with its Goldberg and Life Continental Larger Beer.


It’s worthy of note that, the company has in recent times gone beyond providing excitement level to its esteemed consumers, to giving meaning to people-driven activities, enabling Nigerians to achieve their dream of socio-economic empowerment that enhances their standard of living through cultural affinities.


Life Continental Larger Beer

Life Continental Larger Beer is one of the brands from the stable of Nigerian Breweries PLC that focuses on the Eastern market, and tells a story that has the universal truth about the Igbo people.


As a leading South Eastern beer brand that is promoting Hi-Life music, beliefs, tradition and cultural values of the Igbo people, Life Continental Lager Beer has also been at the forefront of stimulating the progress of its consumers through its numerous grassroots initiatives.


The brand also stretches its warm hands across areas to meet friends and families of Igbos who live outside of Eastern Nigeria, while cementing its identity as proudly “Eastern.” It continues to spread its impactful messages of hope and resilience, solidified with its ground-breaking illumination project of the popular Niger Bridge which was commissioned in 2020, and the ‘Turu Ugo Lota’ commercial campaign.


In a chat with MediaConsortium team in Nigerian Breweries’ head office recently in Lagos, the Senior Brand Manager, Life Continental Larger Beer, Ekundayo Oluyemi disclosed that the Life Continental Larger Beer Brand also showcases how the Igbo people dress, the food they eat, how they relate with themselves and other ethnic groups, noting that, the brand also shows that relationship is very important to them, family is important to them too, and success is important to them, the reason why they remain very hard working as a people.



According to him, “The story of the brand is a success story of an ethnic group that believes it can survive anywhere in the world. It’s about consumer insight of a consumer who gets validation for hard work from his community which is very important to him, because even though he travels out of the shores of this country, his home still remains very important to him. And that’s why when he gets home, he tries to build a mansion. He tries to get a chieftaincy title, he tries to say that, I have gone out and I have made it out, this is my success story.


“Another important thing with the Igbo people is trade. Entrepreneurship is a big deal for an average Igbo man. They have a model of entrepreneurship that has been studied even at the Harvard Business School of this world. They have a template that is unique to them. They lay emphasis on the fact that you need to learn and understand the craft. They believe that after mastering the craft, you need to bring others into it to also learn the process. This is in sync with the saying of Nigeria’s popular Afrobeat Singer, Davido that: “We live by lifting others.” This is the story of progress and positivity.


“I have lived in the north in the past, and one of the most important things I saw was that the presence of an Igbo man in a community stimulates commercial activities. When you need anything, you will find it in an Igbo man’s shop, and that’s the beauty of the people,” he added.


He goes further, “We will continue to affiliate ourselves with Igbo people through festivals which mean a lot to them.


Goldberg Larger Beer

Goldberg Larger Beer is a regional brand positioned for the South West. However, the brand has been able to travel beyond the shores of the Yoruba land, and that’s why the brand is seen in places like Warri, in Delta State and Markurdi, Benue State capital among other states. Despite the presence of the brand in other regions, Goldberg Larger Beer is predominantly found in the South West.


The brand has also deepened cultural heritage in the Yoruba land by having Goldberg Omoluabi Day. A day set aside to recognize and celebrate individuals who have stayed true to the Yoruba tradition of hard work and good character, known as Omoluabis.


The Omoluabi Day commemorates the value of hardworking Yorubas who deserve to be recognized, acknowledged, and celebrated for their efforts. The Omoluabi Day honours diligent individuals by acknowledging the roles they play in preserving culture. It dedicates a whole day to every Omoluabi, giving them the limelight and recognition that they truly deserve.


Also speaking on how Goldberg has been promoting cultural heritage in Nigeria, Senior Brand Manager, Goldberg Lager Beer, Kunle Aroyehun stressed that Goldberg has been a Yoruba Brand. The brand also believes in connecting with what makes an average Yoruba man unique – which is respect. “We look at it from two different perspectives. The first is respect for culture which defines who a Yoruba man is, what he believes in, how he lives basically, and how he sees life.” He said.


According to him, “The second part is respect for self. Respect for self would come from the angle of a provider for the family, and a desire to be seen as somebody that is actually responsible and has the capacity to cater for the needs of the family, which is where working harder actually comes from.”


He continues, “An average Yoruba man believes he should work hard to fend for his family. An average Yoruba man does not have an attitude of begging. The brand then recognizes the fact that it is key to speak to the Yoruba people in the language they understand. The brand needs to stand for something in the mind of the consumer. Hence, our reason for tapping into the respect space which is really strong among the Yorubas.”


He also stresses, “While Yorubas believe in working hard, Goldberg brand recognizes that and say ‘Eku Ise’, recognizing the fact that you are striving really hard. If you check our campaign out there you will see its written boldly. This campaign has connected heavily with the Yorubas and the reason is that the ethnic group get praised for working hard.


“There is also a place for enjoyment. When you work very hard you need to enjoy yourself. Goldberg is that brand that recognizes hard work. For us to practice what we preach basically, we decided to come out to consumers in different ways. From the enjoyment part of it, we have a platform called “Takeover Parties.” It is basically about parties that move from location to location. This is to give consumers a space to come and enjoy the brand and enjoy some really good music, comedy and a couple of other things. Part of our plan to also practice what we preach is the introduction of Goldberg Enjoyment Centre which is right at the heart of the National Theatre. It would be launched on 29 of this May. This is us staying true to what we preach and showing people that while you work hard, they also need to enjoy themselves,” he noted.




Weaving into the cultural fiber

A culture operates primarily by setting loose boundaries for individual behaviour. Culture, in effect, provides the framework within which individuals and households function. A major consequence of culture is its impact on the consumption patterns of individuals and institutions. Depending on the underlying cultural philosophy, consumers tend to follow certain consumption patterns. Successful brands have been able to adapt their branding strategies in line with this dominant cultural philosophy and weave their brands into the cultural fibre.


Interestingly, the Portfolio Manager, Mainstream Brands, NB Plc., Ita Bassey said in Nigerian Breweries “We are brand builders and in building a brand we look at three steps. We look at the life of the consumers. We look at the category that we are playing and then, we look at the brands that we are trying to sell. So, when you look at brand Life, we found a sweet spot that is credible, that we can connect with consumers, and a space that is authentic for them. There is something we refer to in our slogan as the ‘life we chose.’ If you look at the Ibos very well, you will see that they are industrious and it manifests in the way they propel as a people, it’s the life that they chose. Talking about their brotherhood, family, culture, marriage ceremonies, naming ceremonies, all of these define them as a people. Interestingly, what we have done as a brand is to tap into that whole space and follow them on that journey. So, when you say life, people in the East will respond progress,” he added.



Giving back to the society

Nigerian Breweries Plc has been in the vanguard of giving back to the community and this they have done in several ways through various brand outreach campaigns. Head of Marketing Communications, Nigeria Breweries Plc., Sandra Amachree said, “Our brands believe very strongly in giving back to the community. Over the years, Goldberg and Life Continental Lager beer have rolled out initiatives focused on rewarding and supporting entrepreneurs. Through the Goldberg Isedowo and Life Progress Booster initiatives, both brands have reinforced their heritage and deep connection with people by extending business grants to small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs), giving beneficiaries the required to scale up their businesses”.


For instance, the story of Life Continental Larger Beer cannot be complete without talking about the Life Progress Booster. Speaking on Life Progress Booster, the Brand Manager, Life Continental Larger Beer, Caroline Mbanu disclosed that, Life Progress Booster has to do with the apprenticeship story.


According to her, “the Igbo man is industrious, but in a unique way. He is industrious because he wants to create public wealth and his way of creating public wealth is to say my child or my brother’s child will inherit from me but, before doing that, they need to know how I go about making my wealth. Almost like saying, don’t give me fish, but teach me how to catch the fish.


“The man owns a business, he is selling tyres, and spare parts, and he brings in his brother’s children five or six of them who will begin to trade with him. He doesn’t pay them for this because it’s a learning curve. They stay with him for a specific period of time based on the agreement, and after that, there is what they call freedom. At the freedom level, instead of the master giving them money, he opens a shop for them and stocks it with goods. For this master, he has passed on wealth that cannot be gone in a short period of time,” she stressed.


Continuing, she pointed out that, “for us in the progress booter story, we talk about that rich Igbo process of learning and serving after which the apprentice will come out successful and pass on the same chain to the next generation. We also have a live radio programme where people will share their success stories, and we amplify that with a tour to different states, talking to people on how to manage such resources.”


On her part, Brand Manager Goldberg, Titilayo Odekunle, said; “talking about hard work we also created a platform that recognizes hardwork and also supports the hardworking Yoruba people. We know that businesses are really struggling, some are also trying to build up their businesses. So, what we do is to identify some of these businesses, and try to listen to their business ideas and where they want to take the business to in the nearest future. And we try to provide some capital to support these businesses.”


According to her, “we have done this in the past, this year is not going to be different as we are going to be rolling out our ‘Isedowo’ platform. Again, what this means is that, we look for artisans and we tell them to write proposals as to what their business is all about, where do they see it in the future and how can they also impact on their immediate community.


“We will recognize some good ones among them and offer them some grants to boost their businesses. These are few initiatives that Goldberg brand is trying to bring to life, while we ensure that you are working hard, we say well-done and also support them to grow their businesses,” she added.


Continuing, she pointed out that, “at the same time, we are also saying well-done and to also enjoy themselves by reaching them through different platforms. Our campaigns are majorly in the West. From Lagos down to Akure to Ekiti, but of course, lately, we are also going to locations where we see some uptake for the brand as well. For example, Benin to Makurdi, by also looking at how we can actually communicate this in our ‘Eku Ise’ 2.0 to them.


“This is because Yorubas are not the only people that recognize well done, basically it’s everybody because we all work hard. So, when someone says well -done or ‘Eku Ise’ it gives a sense of recognition and at the same time gives us that courage to actually do more,” she pointed.



With the Nigerian Breweries’ example, understanding cultural nuances mandates that brands be sensitive to different cultural heritage to connect with consumers on a deeper level.  Tapping into these cultural values, traditions, and beliefs will also enable consumers to reciprocate by increasing loyalty to the brands that are showing greater concern for their culture and welfare.

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