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Opinions Sun, 18 Jun 2006

How Could Ghana Create A Competitive Advantage in the Global Market (II)

Other dimensions of Tourism


Do we have Aquarium in Ghana given that we have different variety of fish in country?


Have we also considered a 10 acres land to be designated for bird world with facilities such as restaurants, souvenirs shops, and mini shop within the grounds selling bird food? The tourist could buy bird food to feed the birds, and have it printed on post cards instantly, encouraging tourist to perhaps adopt an animal for a year on sponsorship deals.


Competitive Strategies


The secret of being successful in the global market is having strategies that will strongly position Ghana against competitors and give us the strongest possible strategic advantage.


It appears though Ghana has ?Kola? it is the American who have snapped all the competitive advantage that we have in Northern region thus gaining that competitive advantage. Over Ghana.


It is about time now for Ghana be patenting all its main products from now, the kente, certain cocoa products, etc. Ghana needs to be a market leader in something at least!

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Identifying Ghana?s competitors


Which country is our competitor that we know are stronger than us by far? With this knowledge Ghana would need to determine this competitor?s objectives and also their strategies in order to assess their strength, weakness to gather the competitive intelligence necessary to gain competitive advantage to decide whether to avoid or attack.


Market-leader strategy


What does it take to be a market leader? As a leader in a specific field for example exotic chocolate Ghana would expect to have the largest market-share and which leads the other firms in price fluctuations, new product introduction, distribution coverage, and promotional spending.


I think the late President Kwame Nkrumah had a vision of Ghana being the market leader in Africa.


Ghana needs to expand its total market in something??


This could be, by introducing existing products to a new group which many Ghanaians all round the globe are doing. An example, the introduction kente festival which happened recently in Chicago, the kente was re invented into the Chicago society as a Kente dance festival.. This initiative would certainly ensure that many groups have usage of our kente. Ghana needs to be smarter these days. There are so many players on the same field. We want to be noticed when we are around.

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Why don?t we introduce the history of cocoa making into primary schools in Ghana and internationally. Teachers or presenters would be jetting off to different countries selling Ghana in schools and recruiting the youth across the world to think of Ghana?s chocolate, its benefits to the body and other augmented benefits. Dried cocoa beans husk are currently being used in gardens and in barbecues the aroma has the chocolate smell. There are many other uses too we may need to adopt the tabacco companies strategies. Hook the youth young to be hooked unto Ghana ?s new direction into a real transformation.


Expanding the markets


Introducing the drinking of cocoa as an afternoon snack drink in caf?would expand our market share. Chocolate cakes, cooking dinner with an element of cocoa powder, skin products, etc. There should be a high profile marketing strategy for the promotion of our products our Airports, hotels and other opportunistic spots.


A proper marketing plan would ensure that enough emphasis is on sales promotion at strategic spots globally. Our foreign embassies around the globe should do some form of marketing around their foyers. Other spots like bus stops, Cinema theatres and on prime time TV programmes in Ghana. Making deals with companies who use our raw material to publicly advertise Ghana is the birth origin of the product used with in labelling strategy.


In the long term, our market share gains would be achieved by investments, in quality, innovation, or branding.


If Ghana were even smarter we would be able to win our own competitors rather than customers. Making deals with Cadbury?s and Nestle perhaps would increase our share of the cocoa market.


Improving productivity

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There are many strategies that could be used in achieving this as market productivity means squeezing more profits out of the same volume of sales.


One example is changing the product mix giving it a new release of identity, or focusing on a less price sensitive ? customers such as the Scandinavian countries prefer quality products and happy to pay the maximum for a quality product. Or add value to the existing product for example, a classic bar of chocolate to be served on the business class only of airlines.


Britain introduced chocolate for a specific occasion such as Easter, thereby increasing sales during this season.


Team communication is not a natural gift. Ghana may need to sharpen those skills and learn to work together efficiently whilst staying calm. The less we assume what we think about our customers and co-workers, the more likely they would tell us about themselves and the better.


Using other strategies such as the guerrilla, confrontational and others will keep us firmly focused and have a significant market share of any product we would like to be in. After all, if we take cocoa, it is naturally grown from our lands so Ghana needs to flaunt it to its maximum advantage. Perhaps through tourist and other avenues.


Ghana has more areas of grave concerns to sort out for example, food hygiene, sanitation, effective transport system, customer service, and our general approach to business. In addition regions way of speaking appear to be more aggressive than others how better customer service training would address this area.


As Ghanaians we need to acknowledge our faults when it is highlighted to us through evaluations, open feedbacks and addressing them straight away instead of playing a victim blaming tactics.

Another important factor many tourists complain about is our open food vendors, restricting hawkers to sell at certain given areas would offer the toruist some sort of privicy and encourage the m the freedom to explore Ghana from a different perspective instead of being bombarded by hard selling hawkers.


Currently, many countries are joining forces with the experience market leaders in this New World, reinforcing the need to get things done right from the start. One hopes as a nation we learn to explore best practice globally and benchmarking key areas to help us in our bid to have a competitive advantage in tourism industry.



Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.


Columnist: Bolus, Mercy Adede