The Alder State of the Church Report



About The Alder State of the Church Report

The Nigerian nation is a religious one, no doubt. With an almost equal spread of Christians & Muslims and a dedicated indigenous faith population, the subject of religion is taken very seriously and permeates every aspect of the people’s lives.

According to the Pew Research Centre, Nigeria has the largest Christian population of any country in Africa. In Nigeria, the church has experienced several transitions and evolutions in demography, theology, membership, leadership, style of worship, culture, technology and public perception, to mention a few. The impact of demography for instance is reflected in the rise of “New Generation” churches, prevalent in major cities. These churches hold a strong appeal for youths who make up 65% of Nigeria’s population while orthodox churches maintain their strength as bastions of religious tenets and tradition. The rise of 21st century technologies and cultural imperatives has also impacted the church. Churches are now tasked with responding to social media and the interactivity it brings. Churches are also grappling with new family sociologies and sexuality.

The Alder State of the Church Report investigates how churches in Nigeria have navigated these trends and are viewed by their followers and the public in general.

Report Highlights

The Report examines the demographic distribution of those who go to church and the perceived impact of the Church on culture, morality & values and socio-political issues. It measures the willingness of individuals to discuss sexuality issues in church and explains how young people would like churches to engage with them on social media.

The survey for the State of the Church Report was done in two parts: an online general survey and an offline regional survey in Nigeria’s 6-geopolitical zones. The 2,805 respondents for the survey were 57% male and 43% female. 73% of the respondents for the survey were below 35 years old, while 60% were single and 40% married.

Top 10 Stats from the Report

  1. It would seem attending church twice a week is a predominantly Southern phenomenon. Attendance in the North East, North Central and South East seems to be largely once a week.
  2. Overall, Entertainers are most relevant to youths (among six audience groups). Pastors rank 2nd, Business icons 3rd, Activists 4th, Journalists and Bloggers 5th, and Politicians rank last.
  3. The Church is ranked high on values and welfare issues but low on youth issues and cultural influence.
  4. Overall, Pastors are ranked high on knowledge of the Word of God but low on compassion and integrity.
  5. Youths say the Church should focus on good works & spirituality and leave policy matters alone. This is at variance with the youths rating the Church’s influence in governance matters high.
  6. Sex (and relationships) is important to those in the South East, North Central and North East. Education is a key issue in the North East.
  7. There appears to be little willingness to discuss troubling issues with Pastors. Scores are below 50% across all regions.
  8. Entrepreneurship and career development are very important to the South South and South West.
  9. Young people believe strongly in no-sex before marriage, across the regions.
  10. The Youth believe social media should be used to teach the word and evangelise.

For inquiries about the report and to discuss what Alder Consulting can do for churches, please email


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Brand Narratives and Social Media Imperatives

StarbucksHoward Schultz is the CEO of Starbucks, (the largest coffee making company in the world). He’s also a social activist who believes corporations have an obligation to society beyond commercial activities that impact their bottom lines. According to Schultz, the role of a corporate leader is evolving and leaders now have the capacity to spark conversations on social issues. The initiative, “Race Together”, emerged from this belief.

The objective of Race Together was to spark a national dialogue about race equality in America, in response to the killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown (two unarmed black men) in 2014. Because of these events and many others, racial tensions were high across America and Schultz felt Race Together would help dialogue and subsequently, solutions. As part of the initiative, Schultz wrote a memo to his employees asking them to inscribe “Race Together” on every cup of coffee purchased in Starbucks stores. Customers were also to be engaged in conversations about race. But there was a serious backlash on social media.

Race TogetherRace Together received 2.5 billion impressions in less than 48 hours mostly driven by negative tweets targeted at Howard Schultz. This was not Schultz’s first attempt at addressing social issues as a CEO, so why the backlash?

In 1988, motivated by an employee dying of AIDS, Schultz persuaded the Starbucks Board to extend full health benefits to part-time workers. In 2000, Starbucks started selling fair-trade certified coffee in the U.S and Canada to ensure that farmers were ethically compensated and educated in sustainable practices. In 2009, Starbucks partnered with Bono’s Red campaign to help provide anti-retroviral medication to people in Africa living with HIV and AIDS. So what went wrong with Race Together?

A significant contributor to the negative backlash was the failure of Starbucks to recognise how new media (particularly social media) worked and its role in shaping corporate narratives. The spread of information on social media is swift, decisive and many times out of the control of the initiator. Social media users “own” conversations which they can spin out of control and in directions not intended by the initiators. This can happen in minutes.

Access ad2An example of this was Access Bank Nigeria’s W Awards Campaign. The corporate communication which preceded the awards was meant to demonstrate the bank’s focus on women empowerment. However, the ad copy played to female stereotypes, negating the purpose of the campaign. This caused an uproar within the female online community, who thought the adverts were sexist. The bank was forced to discontinue the adverts, rescript and then reintroduce them. It also apologised.

These scenarios at Starbucks and Access Bank emphasise the need for better control of information dissemination online and institution of crisis management systems on social media.

The following pointers can help an organisation shape and control its social media narrative:

  1. Do not import offline campaigns to social media without first contextualizing them for a social media audience.
  2. Tell your story clearly using links to longer blog posts and articles which frame a complete picture of your message.
  3. Moderate your narrative and be ready to respond swiftly and dynamically to objections or requests for clarity.
  4. Cultivate strong supporters. Do not let social media trolls hijack your message.
  5. When things go wrong, promptly apologise and correct your course. Do not insist on a narrative simply because you’ve invested heavily in it.
  6. Social media users may spin your message in different ways but your official handles should stay on message and provide a coherent narrative for anyone to follow.

In conclusion, we believe social media use is important for organisations in the digital age. However, organisations must match the scale of their marketing spend with the sophistication of their digital strategies and the capabilities of those who implement those strategies.

© Alder Consulting 2015. All Rights Reserved.

AlderU is inspired by a monthly interactive session where Alder employees discuss insights on business and life.

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7 Reasons why a Church Should Brand

Alder’s Ecclesiastical Practice developed a cool infographic on 7 reasons why a church should brand.

Our Ecclesiastical Practice is focused on a single mission: To help churches tackle 21st century realities.  The Practice provides trend and issue research to help churches identify the real needs of society. It facilitates strategy and planning sessions. It also offers design, messaging and digital/social media support.

Here are some insights on Church Branding:

  1. Church is mission focused, outward facing and people oriented. Therefore, its brand must be approachable.
  2. A church’s message must be relevant and contemporaneous. Parables and stories can be used to illustrate truth.
  3. Language, culture and technology evolve. A church must therefore adapt its message delivery while retaining the essence.
  4. A church must be a true reflection of the standards and quality of its Principal.
  5. Standards and structure place a demand on accountability within a church.
  6. Branding provides visual and language guides for a church’s social media efforts.
  7. Branding helps a church articulate its message for a global audience via social media.

To see how the elements come together in Church Branding, read a live case study here:





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Global Impact Church (GIC): Brand Strategy & New Identity Development

Global Impact Church is a rapidly growing Christian Ministry located in the Lagos metropolis. The church desired a new brand identity to reflect its mission and global positioning and Alder Consulting was asked to help.

The overall objective was to design brand strategies with long term impact on the church’s programmes, processes and structures.

A critical consideration was why a church should undergo a branding programme. The rationale was clear:

  1. A church is a mission focused institution and therefore a market facing entity.
  2. A church must be in tune with the language of its audience to effectively communicate its message. It must be relevant and contemporaneous.
  3. In line with the concept of the “Logos”, a church must represent the excellent standards of its Principal (Jesus Christ) with its inscriptions, external manifestations and visual brand.

Elements of our Branding Programme

  1. Brand strategy development
  2. Visual identity development
  3. Website strategy development
  4. Social media strategy development


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AlderSMR Conversations: Conversations about Social Media Use and Impact

A Chat with Subomi Plumptre, Member of the Executive Committee at Alder Consulting and Head, Social Media Practice on the Rationale for the Alder Social Media Report (AlderSMR)

Alder Consulting: Thanks for joining us today on AlderSMR Conversations about Social Media Use.

Subomi Plumptre‏: Lovely to be here.

Alder Consulting: You are Head of Social Media Practice at Alder Consulting. What does this entail?

Subomi Plumptre: Just to be clear, I wear about 4 caps at Alder Consulting. Social Media is one of them. I head the corporate practice and the strategy unit and also serve on the Executive Committee where I oversee knowledge & HR.

In my social media role, I develop social media strategy for clients, oversee implementation and also curate the Alder Social Media Report (AlderSMR).

Social media is something I am VERY PASSIONATE about. So you could say I volunteered for the role.

Alder Consulting: Tell us about Alder Social Media Report for Nigeria & the rationale behind it.

Subomi Plumptre: At Alder, we’ve always been intrigued by phenomena that shape culture, economies and society. Social Media qualifies.

Subomi Plumptre: We released the 1st Brand Report in Nigeria in 2001, showing how the wealth of nations was powered by commercial brands. Social media has equally revolutionised society, fostering a culture of “nakedness” & access.

Our Alder Social Media Report (AlderSMR) will track the IMPACT of social media in Nigeria and the main players driving the impact. For example, we will show how social media helps citizens become political campaigners, advocates and journalist.

We’ll showcase how brands are being held to account by customers; how new jobs are being created by bloggers, social media managers and online “activists”.

Alder Consulting: Yes, social media is changing the fortunes of many individuals and brands in Nigeria e.g. #SaveOke and #DanaCrashAction.

Subomi Plumptre: Also, Alder Foundation and Ms. Ifeoma Obinani (Hip Replacement Surgery) is an example of how lives have been saved through crowdsourced donations.

The AlderSMR will also show how elections have become more transparent through citizen monitors armed with mobile phones. All of these form the rationale for the Alder Social Media Report.

Alder Consulting: The Alder Social Media Report features social media articles & analyses as well as a popular ranking. Why a ranking?

Subomi Plumptre:  Why a ranking? Simple. Social media is consumer-led and consumer-driven. Trending topics and memes are driven by consumers. Brands serve CONSUMERS, therefore consumer voices MUST count in determining the top social media brands.

Those are our reasons for including a ranking section in the Alder Social Media Report (AlderSMR).

Alder Consulting: With public polls open to manipulation, what measures were put in place to prevent this for the Alder Social Media Report (AlderSMR)?

Subomi Plumptre:  We put in place an IP lock to discourage repeat votes. We also have independent nominations by an expert panel. The report will be presented in 2 sections: popular & expert rankings. 2 perspectives. 1 robust report.

Alder Consulting: Tell us a little bit about who’s on the Alder Social Media Report (AlderSMR) independent panel & how it works.

Subomi Plumptre‏: The Expert panel comprises Brand, Communication & Media Specialists; Social & Digital Media Specialists and Media Academics.

They include Mo Abudu of EbonyLife TV, Yanju Olomola of Coca-Cola Hellenic, Olumide Amure of Bloomberg TV Africa, Idorenyen Enang of L’Oreal, Ali Baba – a renowned comedian and entrepreneur, Steve Babaeko – a frontline advertising guru, Enitan Denloye of Etisalat Nigeria, Chude Jideonwo of Red Media & The Future Project, Morin Oluwole of Facebook, Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade of Google, Gbenga Sesan – an ICT for Development Consultant, Japheth Omojuwa –  an African cyberpreneur & columnist, Kathleen Ndongmo – a humanitarian & social ventures champion, Kingsley Ezeani of Information Nigeria, Nnodim Blossom – an advocate of social media for social good, Chioma Chuka – a social media professional, Dr. Isah Emmanuel Momoh of School of Media & Communication, Pan-Atlantic University and Tomi Oladepo – a PHD digital media researcher.

Subomi ‏ Plumptre: The Alder Social Media Report (AlderSMR) expert panel will INDEPENDENTLY nominate top social media brands for impact on Nigeria, culture & society.

Alder Consulting: It’s been a pleasure speaking to you about the Alder Social Media Report (AlderSMR) for Nigeria. For more details, please visit

Subomi ‏Plumptre: Great to be here. Thanks!

AlderSMR Conversations is a series of QnA sessions between Alder Consulting and people who use social media. During the session, guests explain how they use social media as experts or as individuals whose lives have been impacted by social media.

Copyright Alder Consulting 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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Disrupt Your Industry

In the world of enterprise technology, one name towers above the rest – a mammoth. It’s a company whose hands are in so many profitable pies, it’s easy to wonder how it keeps up. Its product have changed the way we live, learn and interact. It has opened up tremendous opportunities for information distribution and sales.

Despite amassing huge wealth, the company’s motto remains “Don’t Be Evil.” That company is Google, a disruptive organisation.


Disruptive companies are the rave. They radically upturn existing ways of doing things. They look at business models and ask “Why are things done this way”? They say, “We’re going to do things differently and create new paradigms”.

Disruptive companies rip the corporate rule book to shreds, rewriting a whole new book.

According to Clayton M. Christensen who coined the term disruptive technologies, a disruptive innovation helps create a new market and value network, and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network (over a few years or decades), displacing an earlier technology. The term is used in business and technology literature to describe innovations that improve a product or service in ways that the market does not expect, typically first by designing for a different set of consumers in a new market and later by lowering prices in the existing market.


How low-end disruption occurs over time.

In contrast to disruptive innovation, a sustaining innovation does not create new markets or value networks but rather only evolves existing ones with better value, allowing the firms within to compete against each other’s sustaining improvements.

There are three lessons we can glean from Google’s disruption and apply to any industry or market. They are:

  1. Create a new market or ecosystem

Google created a profitable business from search and online advertising, deepening the industry and pioneering a new monetization model for “eyeballs” and “click throughs”.

The lesson here is that while product originality matters, the creation of a monetization model that actually works is what qualifies you as a disruptive innovator.

  1. Scale up to own the product pipeline

Google’s successful product offerings include but are not limited to:

  • Gmail
  • Google Drive
  • Google Docs
  • Google Maps
  • Google Now
  • Android [acquired in 2005]

Each product interacts with the other and the idea is to own the customer so completely that it would be disruptive (see what we did there…) to go elsewhere. So as you use Gmail, it makes sense to attach heavy files with Google Drive. You also use an Android phone so your Gmail syncs seamlessly.

Apple employs the same methodology with its “i-ecosystem” – you can seamlessly buy music on iTunes and sync with your iPod. You can even buy that iPod with Apple Pay.

While other companies may have their own versions of some of Google’s products, the inventiveness and originality of thought that goes into providing an interrelated pipeline of products which create a market system is the hallmark of a disruptive company.

Take Google Now for instance. Google Now is one of the more ambitious evolutions of Google’s search software. The idea is simple — it predicts what you need to know before you do based on your habits, stored information and search history. It will show you upcoming appointments or tell you when you need to leave to get home on time.

It will give you a preview of your route, with one-button navigation. It will also show upcoming birthdays and anniversaries. Or, it can display weather information for upcoming travel destinations. A bit creepy…yes. And that’s just the beginning. Using its advantage in search and its rich store of consumer data, Google is set to create new markets in data mining and predictive sales.

  1. Drill down to develop promising new markets

Although Google is known for big bets, it also has incredible depth and coverage in niche areas. For example, the company created an interface for Cherokee speakers (a language of about 20,000 people). In doing so, it is poised to become a preferred service provider in that market.

If Google’s tremendous success over the years is anything to go by, disruptive innovation is definitely the way to go for organisations that wish to make big plays into new markets and industries.

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Personal Brands as Political Equity



The election season is almost over in Nigeria and political jingles will soon cease renting the air. Until then, the usual suspects huff and puff as they jostle for the limelight of public attention.

Elections in Nigeria are typically colourful for many reasons – the promises made by candidates; the achievements adduced as reasons for votes and the social media bants amongst others. They also throw up personalities – the old guard reasserting their relevance and upstarts who scream, “away with gerontocracy”! This time around though, other personalities have jumped into the fray. The political stage is playing host to crooners, thespians and comedians – and not just as brand ambassadors or endorsers. The Glitterati, banking on the power of their personal brands are determined to actively trade them for political equity.

Abolore Adigun (9ice), Desmond Elliot, Kate Henshaw and Tony Tetuila to name a few are towing the footsteps of their western counterparts – Al Franken, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronald Reagan and Clint Eastwood as they make the transition from big screen and stage to Government house.

A famous example of an entertainer turned politician is Arnold Schwarzenegger of the Terminator Trilogy fame. In 1990, President George H.W. Bush appointed him to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, in which he served from 1990 to 1993. He was Chairman of the California Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports under Governor Pete Wilson and in 2003, he won the recall election against Governor Davis to become the Governor of California. Schwarzenegger was then re-elected in California’s 2006 gubernatorial election, to serve a full term as governor, defeating Democrat Phil Angelides, who was California State Treasurer at the time. However, his approval ratings hit an all-time low of 27% in 2009 and 22% when he left office in 2011, with a state budget deficit of $28 billion.

Another example of an actor turned politician is Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan initially chose a career in entertainment, appearing in more than 50 films. While in Hollywood, he served as president of the Screen Actor’s Guild. In 1964, he began his political career as a Democrat. He announced in late 1965 his campaign for Governor of California. Ronald Reagan accomplished in 1966 what US Senator William F. Knowland in 1958 and former Vice-President Richard M. Nixon in 1962 had tried: he was elected, defeating two-term governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown, and was sworn in on January 2, 1967. Shortly after the beginning of his term, Reagan tested the presidential waters in 1968. He was re-elected Governor in 1970. Reagan became president in 1981 and served for two terms. His approval ratings in 1988, shortly before he left office, were at 63%.

So, can personal branding readily translate to political success? Here are a few considerations:

  1. The political system must be mature enough to give political neophytes a shot. The rules must be clear and celebrities must meet the requirements.

In 2001, Wyclef Jean, a Haitian rapper, musician and actor established “Yéle Haiti” a charitable organisation known legally as the Wyclef Jean Foundation and incorporated in Illinois. The foundation became active in the aftermath of 2004’s Hurricane Jeanne, when it provided scholarships to 3,600 children in Gonaïves, Haiti with funding from Comcel. On August 5, 2010, he announced his bid to run for President but on August 20, 2010, his bid for candidacy was rejected by Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council. He was turned down because he did not meet the residency requirement of having lived in Haiti for five years before the November 28 election.

  1. Making the leap to politics takes a lot of planning no matter how strong a personal brand is.

Voters need to buy into the ideas and promises of celebrities. Volunteers must be organised and political apparatuses set up.

  1. Celebrities must have a clear and working knowledge of the issues and challenges faced by their would-be constituents.

To succeed in politics, Nigerian celebrities will need to address all three of the foregoing considerations and add a big dose of tenacity to garner the political equity required to successfully run for or perform well in office.

Sometimes, celebrities are called upon to play the role of technocrat and not politician like Richard Mofe Damijo (RMD), in the role of Commissioner for Culture and Tourism in Delta State or Weird MC, vigorous campaigner for Rauf Aregbesola, Governor of Osun State and a Special Assistant for Culture and Tourism.

In conclusion, a strong personal brand is potent political equity and is an incredible asset if parlayed alongside other political structures.

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BrandIQ | 11 Rules For Naming Your Brand

Does your brand name ring a bell? What message does it convey? These are some questions to ask when assessing a name. When naming your brand, there are really no hard and fast rules. A brand may be named after the founder as in the case of Dell, Ford and Dangote or after a geographic location just like Eko Hotels and Suites or Bank of America. You can name your brand after countries, for example Nigerian Breweries and American International Group or even after its operational definition. University Press is an example of a brand named after its operational definition.

Although the decision is yours to make, there are certain “christening” rules that should guide you.


“First” is a common example of such words. Today there are a lot of brands that have “First” in their names.


Never give your brand a name without thinking through. You don’t want to end up with a name that is unpleasant to consumers.


Using shock strategy may grab attention but shocking brand names can also backfire. French Connection UK, FCUK as originally spelt, initially had this problem.


Consider the environment in which your brand operates. This matters as certain cultures may not accept some names. Find out if your brand name will be accepted in your area of operations.


A name can mean different things to different people. If you intend to operate beyond your immediate environment, you will need to consider what your brand name means in your target countries or across different cultures.


Don’t copy names of other brands especially well known brands. It is wrong to do so. You may get away with it when you are not well known but the moment you become successful, you could have a law suit on your hands.


Not every name can be a brand name. While there is no harm in naming your brand after yourself, don’t do so unless your name has “brand quality”. Also, stay away from native names that are difficult to pronounce.


Naming your brand is serious business. Don’t fool around with your brand name. For example Common Sense Limited is not a good name because it says nothing about your brand.


Religion is a sensitive issue therefore there is a need to be careful about names with heavy religious implication. You do not want to put off people with a different faith unless it is a religious brand.


Check for the availability of your name as a domain on the internet. Since most internet names have email extensions, you should consider limitations you will face if your domain name registration presents difficult options.


Consider how your brand name sounds particularly over the phone. You don’t want people making faces each time you mention your brand.

In conclusion, a name says a lot about your brand and can be the deciding factor between customer attraction and repulsion. Choose wisely.

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