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Founders Spotlight

Toluwase Olugbemiro: Pioneering Visionary of BCP

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Toluwase Olugbemiro

In the founder’s spotlight, we spotlight Toluwase Olugbemiro, the visionary behind BCP (Brand, Customers and Products). This event defied expectations and brought the conversation of customer-centric branding to Akure, Nigeria. It was a one-of-a-kind event that caught everyone by surprise.

Who is Toluwase Olugbemiro

Toluwase Olugbemiro is a brand communicator with close to 5 years of experience building global communities for startups, offering strategy, and telling great stories.

In the past three years, he has consistently told the story of the impact of mentorship on women in technology. Through storytelling, he has grown the email community to over 5,000 women in technology across five continents worldwide. He has increased brand advocacy and turned customers into evangelists preaching the gospel of what they are enjoying from the brands.

But beyond just writing, he has leveraged his storytelling skills to secure partnerships across all the places he has worked.

Presently, he runs a creative storytelling brand named BCP Origins. he leverages storytelling across physical and virtual events, writing, and audio podcasts to tell the stories of inspirational Africans and teach people how to build global brands.

What is BCP about

Brand, Customers, and Products [BCP] is a platform that leverages creative storytelling to teach people how to build global brands. Our focus is on the relationship between brands, their customers, and the services/products they offer to their customers.

Birth of BCP

Brand customers and products (BCP) were first viewed with skepticism, with many reasons not to start. Toluwase found an enthusiastic supporter in Adeleke Favour, known as “Shleem.” This simple reaction of “let’s do this!” was all it took to keep the idea moving forward. 

The goal of the first edition was to teach people how to build a customer-centric brand optimized for success. No one cared about such an event happening because rumor has it that such events do not happen in Akure.

So, with an attendance of barely 150 people, BCP 1.0 happened in April. 30, 2022.

Setback and Challenges

The journey towards the BCP vision was riddled with challenges and setbacks. Things didn’t happen the way and the time they were meant to happen. People said things like “events like this don’t happen in Akure,” “nobody will pay for this,” and even “the school won’t let you use their biggest auditorium!” But these doubts only fueled his resolve. He had already begun sketching the blueprint for BCP23 nine months before conversing with anyone.

As Toluwase approached his goal, life threw hurdles his way. Potential partners and sponsors became unavailable or faced challenges of their own. However, these setbacks did not deter him. He raised some money from acquaintances, though only a fraction of what was promised materialized. He even had to seek last-minute support from his line manager at work.

In 2022, he hosted BCP’s first flagship event, focusing on the relationship between brands, customers, and products. With an audience of 120 people, we considered our pilot edition a success.

In 2023, BCP 23 took place in Akure, Ondo State, with an audience of 2,170 people, including startup founders, freelancers, business enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, and students. A small percentage of people from the government were also represented.

 Toluwase is promising that BCP ’24 will focus on educating and informing its audience on accessing global opportunities. They will cut across opportunities on the Internet and beyond it—the Web 3 ecosystem.

BCP24

We need to hear his personal thoughts, too.

Interview with Toluwase Olugbemiro

Question: What should we expect for BCP 24?

BCP ’24 is going to be massive. It would be like an experience never seen before. The lineup of speakers is a mix of experts and trailblazers across different industries with varying years of experience.

BCP ’24 will take place over two days. Day 1 will be fully focused on opportunities in Web 3, while Day 2 will focus on opportunities prevalent now and in the near future.

Question:  How would you gauge the success of BCP 24?

    Success, to me, is a result of people being impacted and ideas being birthed from such an event. I have always wanted to give people the tools they need to go above and beyond themselves.

Question: Was there a moment you doubted the event’s success, and how did you overcome it?

Yes, there were moments like that. They even still exist. However, I am of the opinion that whatever needs to be given to ensure my vision is achieved will be given—time, energy, resources, etc. I am one of those people you will say has blind faith in his ideals. I have blind faith in BCP. Only in the face of insurmountable obstacles will I ever consider giving up, and even then, I won’t.

What drives me beyond the fear of failure is simply the feeling of fulfillment when I eventually pull off such feats. For example, last year, a lot of people said that BCP ’23 was impossible. Nobody has ever done this; nobody has ever done that. Someone even told me, “We understand students; they will not come for an event in the midst of exams, postpone it.” Call it stupidity, but I simply believed that with the level of work I had put in, the only option was that we were going to have a successful event. That’s precisely what I told my team.

Question: Were people who came to BCP 23 impacted, and were there testimony or feedback from attendees? 

The impact is still being felt, so the answer is definitely a yes. Some people found clarity, some inspiration. Others found a reason to keep fighting. Some reached out to me, telling me they met people they believed were out of reach.

That’s really what BCP is all about daring the impossible and giving people a reason to go above and beyond. One of the best feelings I have since BCP ’23 is when someone randomly calls me up on the road to say, “Thank you, I was at BCP ‘23.”

Question:  What does it feel like being at the front row of something great, and do you think the expectation is higher now

Well, this is a case of perspective. To me, this is just a day in my life. What really matters to me is what’s ahead of me. I can say it’s lovely that people perceive what I do as great, but I don’t see it as that. I want to do really great things, and BCP is actually just a preparation for what’s really in my mind to achieve.

As regards expectations, the only one that counts is mine. I am fortunate to learn early how to set my own goals and not pander to the voice of the public. My expectations for myself have always been high. I have a bad habit of never being able to meet my expectations; when the results are out, people are super excited, and they call it great, but to me, it’s a call to sit up and put in the work again.

Question: Have you gathered speakers for the event, and can you give hints?

We have 90% of our speakers already confirmed. As I mentioned earlier, they are trailblazers in their industries. My guest speaker list is nothing to hide, and it’s a lot of work to confirm the caliber of people coming around. Hence, it’s not something I hide.

However, to mention a few of them, we have Kennedy Ekezie of Kippa, Gabriel Balogun of Moniepoint, Ayomide Aregbede, Tunde Onakoya of Chess in Slums, and many others.

Question:  Are sponsorships better now?

   Sponsorship is still a ground I am yet to figure out entirely. I have learned to avoid leaning into the pressure of looking for money to fund my vision. I have been asking for help anywhere and everywhere I go. I am raising 15 million naira. It’s the largest sum of money I would set my eyes to have so far. Subsequent events might demand more, but for now, I am looking for 15 million naira, and I know I will get it.

Question:  What would not have made BCP 24 hold?

Nothing. Well, let me not be so arrogant. However, I don’t see anything happening that would stop the event from holding. Maybe if the world comes to an end or I die. But, if I have breath in my lungs and light in my eyes, I will pull my weights to ensure BCP ’24 holds.

Question:  What do you think is your cheat code for holding an event also, tell us three things nobody says about hosting an event.

I don’t have a cheat code per se. I am only a person who’s not afraid to fail again. Smart people can evaluate the level of risk involved in embarking on an adventure like this and then choose to go or drop it. I am not like that; more often, I don’t even think about it a whole lot. If it sounds like a great idea in my head, I attempt to bring it to life.

Question:  What does nobody tell you about events? 

The aftermath is crazy. All the glamour that people see is not what it is. The aftermath of an event is the most tedious. When everyone goes home and is happy that they had a great event, that’s when the real work starts.

Secondly, you can never satisfy the audience. No matter what you do, you will never meet all their needs. So, steel up your nerves and do what you can.

Lastly, prioritize the experience of your speakers and audience. The goal is to ensure that most of your audience has a positive experience and that all your speakers feel they were treated special. It is important to ask and get feedback, no matter how it sounds.

Question: Five years from now, what should we expect from BCP 24? Also, are you planning on bringing it to other schools?

My plan for BCP is that in the next 5 to 10 years, BCP will happen simultaneously across different regions of the world. We currently have a model we are testing out, BCP Origins Mini Experience, that has happened across Akure, Ondo City, Lagos, Ife, and Ekiti for now. These are all independently hosted mini editions of BCP.

Question: Looking back, what would you have done differently in the first edition to further enhance the experience for attendees?

The first edition was 2022 actually. What would I have done differently? Get a team early on, and that’s what I did last year and this year. I am actually new to this; I have been hosting events since 2017. In 2020, I started hosting my own events. So, I am relatively new to this. There’s a lot I don’t know, and with each event, I am learning to be better and improve the experience of both my speakers and attendees.

Question:  As a brand strategist, how do you think that influences your event?

I think it’s the other way around. The event has given me a platform to experiment brand building ideas. Things I can’t try with my employer’s business, I go all out and radically experiment with my own brand. BCP has helped me become a better brand strategist. I know the grounds better because I am walking there daily.

Question: What are your predictions for the future of customer-centric branding? 

 When you say customer-centric, you mean brands that lead with the needs of their customers. They are optimized to ensure they improve their customers’ experience; they build for what the people need.

I really don’t know. But I feel you can’t be invested in only one direction. Human needs are insatiable, except as a brand, you have a strong guiding compass. If you live each day trying to catch up with the needs of your customers, you will be run into the ground.

Question:  What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out in the field of customer experience or marketing? 

Ask questions like a shameless person. Ask genuine questions, stupid ones, crazy ones, etc., just as questions. Also, never be afraid of saying you don’t know.

Question: What’s the goal for BCP 24

BCP ’24 is focused on teaching people how to recognize and utilize global opportunities.

Having heard all, don’t miss out on the awesomeness brewing for BCP24! With mind-blowing goodness lined up, you’ll kick yourself if you miss this event. Secure your spot by registering now – the hype is real, and seats are filling up fast! Be a part of the action by claiming your ticket to the branding extravaganza of the year. Get ready to have your world rocked at BCP24!

Register at https://tix.africa/bcp24

Taofeeqoh Oriyomi is a creative and passionate writer who has always used words to express her emotions since her younger years. She has continued to develop her skills, presenting a unique style that resonates with any audience. Taofeeqoh is a part of a research team for an SDG club in her school, and she also serves as the team lead for content creation at a non-profit organization.

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