Commodity Boards And Branding In Commerce (Nigeria As a Case Study)
COMMODITY BOARDS – Nigeria is a major producer of agricultural goods, many of which are sold on world markets, The markets for these goods are very complex and competitive. However, many producers are such small-scale units that, on their own, could not operate in these markets. To overcome this problem the government has established many Commodity Boards. The Boards buy produce from farmers and sell them on the world markets.
They offer the farmers a fixed minimum price at the beginning of each season and thus provide them with a buffer against the large fluctuations that occur in the prices of commodities. They are also responsible for the grading of the produce in order to comply with world standards. Another function of the Boards is to provide advice on modern farming techniques and to encourage educational training in agriculture. They are also able to provide farmers with capital loans for improvement schemes.
Commodity Boards(previously called Marketing Boards) should not be confused with the marketplaces in the larger towns where traders sell their wares.
Branding refers to the selling of goods under a distinctive brand name. Legally speaking the brand name is a form of trademark. The purpose of branding is to distinguish one manufacturer’s products from those of another. This allows the producer to advertise his products and to encourage increased sales.
Advertising is almost pointless without branding, for if Mobile were merely to advertise the virtues of petrol then this would increase not only sales of their own product but also those of their rivals. Consumers may benefit from branding, for they are then able to distinguish the manufacturer’s products that they like best. This encourages the manufacturer to maintain his standards. Branding is criticized for encouraging too much costly advertising and for forcing retailers to stock a large number of different brands of each type of product when it would be cheaper for them to stock just the one.
Branding refers to specific goods and must be distinguished from a trademark which refers to the entire range of a manufacturer’s products.
One result of the expansion in the branding of goods has been the growth of packaging, for branding involves markings, and in many cases it is not feasible to mark the good itself. Advertising also encourages the use of packaging for it is important that the product look attractive in order to live up to its image Packaging also makes the transportation, storage and display of goods improved by reducing the possibility of contamination.
Packaging has been criticized on the grounds that it adds substantially to the cost of the product. Customers are also unable to inspect the actual product beneath its packaging, which some times may give a misleading impression as to the quantity or size of the goods.