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Spreading the Word

Spreading the Word

Companies in the Middle East are getting a crash course on the advantages of branding, thanks to global firms operating in the region.

February 28, 2011 3:38 by

So if 2010 was Branding 2.0, it is fair to say that 2011 to 2015 will be about Branding 3.0. Branding 3.0 will be about creating not just an image of success and a better reality for customers (the same is true for b2b clients), creating a brand which is not just about differentiation but is also about relevance and not just making big promises but delivering on the promise. The changes are exciting and we are seeing the start of shaping up of the branding strategy in 2011, says Wright.

The future also depends on the decisions taken by top management. Roll, also the author of Asian Brand Strategy, says brands are not only, if sometimes at all, built from traditional advertising and promotions, but are rather built using a comprehensive range of corporate-wide
activities. The crucial balance between brand promise and brand delivery has implications for all company functions and it becomes a managerial responsibility reaching far beyond marketing and communications departments. Therefore, branding can no longer be delegated to the mid-level marketing function in the typical Asian organization. Instead, the boardrooms and the C.E.O. must take charge of the brand strategy, lead the brand development, manage its implementation and be fully involved in performance tracking and benchmarking.

The branding process cannot reach its logical conclusion unless the chairman and the C.E.O. buy into it and back it up with the required resources. But merely having the branding knowledge will not suffice. Leaders need to have a holistic vision and an in-depth understanding of the discipline. One also has to be an excellent business leader and brand marketer with a truly international edge, says Roll.

The VentureRepublic chief executive spells out a few strategies for C.E.O.s in 2011 for branding that include developing a customer-centric organization; investing, nurturing and building resonating brands; harnessing domestic and regional markets, having chief executives as the main brand ambassadors and strategically glocalizing for the bottom of the
pyramid markets.

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