Subtle Brand Lessons from Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Libel


Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a former Nigerian minister of finance was recently announced as the first female Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO). While Iweala’s emergence is historic, it is imperative to note that she is the first African to lead the WTO body.

From Abuja, Accra, Cairo, Nairobi, Kigali and the entire African soil, our forefathers will be beaming with a sparkling smile right now, reason being that Ngozi has made the whole continent proud.

Ngozi leads a life of excellence. She is a constant reminder to women across the world especially the Nigerian and African girl child that their dreams are valid and anything they set their heart is achievable.

For a woman who has worked and garnered experience in the world bank, and spearheaded several World Bank initiatives, it is only right to say that she truly deserves the position as DG-WTO.

A closer research about Ngozi’s life opened me up to the other side of her life. She is very intentional about her life in general. Ngozi is a good case study and practical example of a successful personal and global brand.


Brand Voice

For a solid Brand like Ngozi, it is interesting to note that she has built a strong brand voice which has become easily recognizable overtime. Just like Nike’s brand voice is Inspiring, positive, and powerful, it will not be out of place to say that the characteristics of Okonjo-Iweala’s brand voice are ‘Bold, Goal-driven and intentional’.


Brand Persona

A brand persona is a collection of personality traits, attitudes and values that your brand showcases on a regular basis to help connect with a certain audience segment on an emotional level. Also, a brand persona can be a person, character, or an idea. A good brand persona is one that you can almost visualize as someone you know.

Ngozi’s personality trait is infectious and inspiring. Immediately after her announcement as the new DG of WTO, Nigerians took to social media to launch #BeLikeNgozi challenge in a bid to celebrate the life and strides of Okonjo-Iweala.

The challenge saw thousands of Nigerian women coming out virtually to celebrate Okonjo-Iweala’s achievement by copying her style of dress, often characterized by a native “Ankara” print with a scarf to match.



One of the key elements of branding is consistency. For a brand to have global relevance, it must be one that thrives in consistency. I mean, consistency in identity, approach and execution. Ngozi, a Nigerian-American economist and international development expert is a fellow who has shown consistency in all her dealings.

Just like Experts across the world are projecting that Okonjo-Iweala’s appointment would boost the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement, it is worthy of note that the life she leads would continue to be an inspiration to the African girl child, both alive and the unborn generation.

Written by Iddy Brown

Iddy Brown is Copywriter, Brand & Communications Strategist.


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