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Celebrating E.A’s lead brands

By Vision Reporter

Added 28th June 2014 01:01 PM

Superbrands East Africa recently recognized 15 Ugandan brands, for producing quality products. The number of brands has risen from seven to 15

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Superbrands East Africa recently recognized 15 Ugandan brands, for producing quality products. The number of brands has risen from seven to 15

By Brian Mayanja

Superbrands East Africa recently recognized 15 Ugandan brands, for producing quality products. The number of brands has risen from seven to 15. This is a significant progress and attests the growing sophistication of locally established enterprises. The brands were awarded for being among the top quality brands in East Africa and the world at large in the event themed: “the Oscars of branding in East Africa”. Superbrands is described as the world’s largest independent arbiter of branding.

It has identified and paid tribute to exceptional brands by recognising, rewarding and reinforcing leading brands from all over the world since 1995. What started as an industry award has become a globally recognised barometer of the region’s strongest brands.

At the colourful event held in Kampala recently, organised by Fenon Events, 86 companies from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania were awarded a plaque and the Superbrand logo which can be attached to their products. Tanzania had 16 companies while Kenya took the lion’s share with 54 companies. Super brands East Africa runs the Super brands UK award schemes and promotional programmes in the region. Super brands status strengthens a brand’s position, adds prestige and sets the brand apart from its competitors

The CEOs of top companies in the region graced the event. At the function, the Superbrands East Africa Volume III Book, was unveiled, the book which narrates the stories of the region’s amazing brands. The book also talks about home-grown brands that have fought their way to the top through hard work and the determination to provide quality. According to Jawad Jaffer, Superbrands project director, the process of choosing a super brand saw almost 1,000 companies surveyed, but only 86 were chosen.

Jawad urged the winners to jealously guard the mark they received by continuing to be relevant. “A great brand is a symbol and a whole web of positive association, never underestimate the power of symbols,” said Jawad. The New Vision, was one of the recognised super brands. This is a mark of distinction that signifies the customers’ acceptance of the media house’s products and its relevance to them.

The status also reaffirms the paper’s number one position as readers daily vote for it as the lead product using their pockets. Finance minister, Maria Kiwanuka described a superbrand as a unique, but tangible personality; “More than just a service, food, drink, it is someone you can trust, who lives on after the founder has gone.” “We look forward to introduce you to the opportunities in Uganda,” said Kiwanuka. 

 

Branding from the inside out

By Chris Harrison.

Of all the conversations I have with marketers, the vast majority focus on branding as an external issue. The company’s corporate brand, and its product or service brand offerings are seen as the face it presents to the market place and its various publics. Very few conversations are about the role of brand within the organisation. This is a pity, because brands are an expression of a company’s business strategy.

But the reality of businesses across Africa, and indeed much of the rest of the planet, is that the majority of their employees don’t know even an outline of their company’s strategy. So how can they be expected to deliver their brand promise to customers? For Marketers, finding the opportunity to intervene with internal audiences is fraught with danger. Internal communications is seen as the preserve of the HR function, and marketers often face a sterner gatekeeper in the shape of the finance director.

Very often marketers are told to concentrate on external publics and ‘leave the staff to us.’ But Professor Nader Tavassoli of London Business School encourages marketers and HR professionals to seize the opportunity. ‘A recent study by The Brand Inside (www. thebrandinside.com) noted that in 60% of the UK companies sampled, it was unclear who was responsible for building the internal brand to deliver the external promise,’ he reveals. Tavassoli says, employees are often left with only a fuzzy idea of what the company is, at heart, all about. Take a look atmost recruitment ads you see in press or online. They are largely generic and don’t reflect any brand character at all.

Bland rather than on-brand communication — and at the very beginning of a company’s employee engagement process. However, in companies where the staff members are well-engaged on brand, significantly better business results are the real return. UK retailer Marks and Spencer measured outlet performance over a four-year period. They found that stores where the staff had a better understanding of brand promise contributed on average 62m GB Pounds better sales than stores where staff were less clear. (Source: Engage For Success) Professor Tavassoli says, for really successful engagement, internal communications campaigns have to take employees on a journey that he refers to as the 6 ‘A’s. Attention, awareness, acceptance, advocacy, action and adherence.

One look at the list tells you that not all employees will complete the journey. But they don’t all have to. The answer lies in identifying those people who can become brand champions; catalysts for their fellow workers. And in any business you will find them. They tend to display greater enthusiasm than their colleagues, and a greater interest in the world. Surely the people best placed to identify such champions are the HR professionals? If so, the gap to be closed is the one that prevents HR and Marketing from collaborating.

The closer their collaboration; the clearer the message to employees. Marketers can help HR people to edit out the hackneyed phrases we’ve all seen on internal notice boards. You know, the ones about partnership, integrity, and innovation. I wonder what Nike’s internal communication is like? I’ll be willing to bet it includes their brand’s call to action: ‘Just Do It. Chris Harrison has 30 years experience of marketing and advertising

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Celebrating E.A’s lead brands

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