Money and the Unique Branding of Ijebu Garri

If you are a lover of Ijebu garri, have you ever been to the market to buy Ijebu garri but had something else sold to you?

This happens to me every time I attempt to buy ijebu garri on my own. I get to the market, ask for Ijebu Garri, tastes it to confirm, confirm wrongly, buy it and then realize I bought the wrong type.

Just Last week, I went to the market and intentionally asked for Iwo garri. The woman said she only sells Ijebu garri. I was skeptical about what she gave me but she assured me that the only reason it wasn’t as I know it was because of the weather (lol). Well, I bought it and as usual, it ended up being a counterfeit.


One question I ask is this - Why do most garri traders want to trade under the ijebu garri brand name?
The ijebu garri actually has a good brand equity and these traders know that associating any type of garri with ijebu garri could make people purchase it, especially those of us who find it hard to properly identify it.

What makes the Ijebu Garri so special?

The Process

I discovered that what makes the ijebu garri different from the rest is in its preparation process. The sour taste of the ijebu garri, which is its uniqueness, is due to the fermentation process it passes through. The cassava is soaked and left to ferment for about three to four days before it is grounded and fried to get the flakes out.
So, Ijebu garri is not special because it is made by the Ijebu people or because of a special cassava type. It is because the makers allow for a longer fermentation period. This means that any garri can actually become ijebu garri if it goes through the same process. Think about it!

 It is very interesting how a detailed and careful attention to process can make all the difference. I hear people ask all the time:

What’s your unique selling proposition?
How are you different from other similar brands?
What makes you stand out?

I see people do deep analysis to come up with a unique characteristic which is good. However, sometimes what would actually make you stand out are those little things you pay attention to. Those things you discover by looking from the user or consumer’s perspective. Interestingly, those things are actually things that can be easily copied by competitors. They are things they know but might never want to adjust to.

For instance, if you work in an industry that disappoints like Amaka, your USP might actually be that you always keep to your words. If you promise you’ll deliver on a set date, you actually do. Seemingly small things.

What makes the Virgin Airline unique? Its superior model of planes? Or exotic on-air food? No. It’s aggressive customer service.

Take a lesson from the Ijebu people and the special attention they give to the processing of Garri to produce a superior product.

P.S:  if you know any hacks to correctly identify Ijebu garri, help a sister and share!

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