OPINION: Reinventing The Obudu Ranch Resort As A Flagship Brand

By Kanjal Awam

Repositioning The Obudu Cattle Ranch brand is a deliberate strategic marketing concept. The objective is to influence sales volume for product and services, drive traffic in the industry and yield returns on investments. The Obudu Ranch was not just a beehive of tourists frolicking the Resort to relax, catch a glimpse of nature at it's peak and discuss business but an ideal place for International Conferences. All that glee seem to have fizzled out. It's obvious the lull is partly a result of failed strategic marketing or mismanagement of the infrastructure.

The Ranch, christened "The Paradise Brand", the former managers Protea Hotels were not just good in the hospitality business but had an edge in international best practices.

When a new consortium Zedici Capital LTD, was contracted thereafter to rehabilitate, remodel, finance, manage and transfer Obudu Ranch Resort. Zedici Capital LTD did not only fail in the contractual agreement but killed business at the Ranch. Since the termination of that contract in March 2018, the Ranch is yet to gain its lost glory and it's huge potentials remain untapped.

Repositioning the once investors Haven and tourists first port of call, is not rocket science, much needs to be done. Mr Joseph Lashakara Edet, Special Assistant on Obudu Ranch Resort who has just been engaged with the task of rebranding and repositioning The Obudu Ranch Resort is a refined brand strategist who will not fail.

For him to succeed he has to adopt a marketing concept by deliberately undertaking a survey to forestall investment losses. Understand the needs and wants of the target market is a sense of responsibility to scale up the traffic.

Decoupling the poor negative perception or brand personality of the Ranch Resort is the first task. A lot of damage has been done by the previous manager. Blue chip organisations always protect their brand personality to earn brand equity. A positive brand equity for Obudu Ranch Resort will translate to tourists willing to pay a high price for it's services, even though a competitor is offering them less.

Investors want to put their money where they can sleep with their eyes closed. Attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) through Investment Promotion is a surest way to build investors confidence on Obudu Ranch brand.

In outsourcing for a new facility manager for the Obudu Ranch Resort, a careful marketing mix should be carried out to forestall incompetent investors from taking over the Ranch.

Finally, in managing this facility a PPP Model of REHABILITATE-OPERATE-TRANSFER should be carried out with a clear cut terms agreed on financing mode, risk sharing, ownership control, management of cash flows andtax administration.

Kanjal Awam
Policy Analyst, writes in from Calabar.
Politics 1897969475835040901

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