Between 2010 and 2012 I was in charge of sales operations in Makurdi Region for Flour Mills of Nigeria PLC (Pasta Division). Golden Penny Noodles had just been introduced and it was my responsibility to ensure the product gained good market share in the territory.
I used to drive to Abuja with my van to bring the noodles to redistribute in Makurdi. At the time the brand was relatively unknown in Benue. I got some sales reps to help me hawk it on the streets as no shop owner wanted to stock this unknown brand.
I would park my car, open a carton and sell them in packs of 4 or 8 in polythene bags along the street. No one would buy a complete carton. They didn’t know this “Golden Penny Indomie”.
One day I got to somewhere in High Level and these girls were making someone’s hair in front of a house. I approached them to buy my noodles, they refused.
They said, “Give us some free. If we prepare it and it’s nice, we’ll buy next time.”
I said, “Bring me pot and stove now. I’ll cook for you. If you like it, you buy. If you don’t, I go.”
Brethren, that’s how I started cooking noodles for these girls I didn’t know in High Level.
FunFact #1486 about me: NOBODY prepares noodles better than I do.
Las Las I finished cooking. They tasted it and loved it. Then they bought some cartons there and then.
There were several other “guerilla tactics” I employed to push that product.
By the time I left Flour Mills in 2012, I had 10 major distributors of Golden Penny Noodles in and around Benue State. They were buying thousands of cartons every week.
What does the story teach you?