Thursday, March 23rd, 2006

Brand Image is the Best Investment a Company Can Make

Develop brand strategy before spending a dirham on advertising or public relations

23 MARCH 2006 - DUBAI 

Brand strategy is vital for massive business investments. Creating or revitalising a positive brand image is a basic component of every business as it lays a foundation on which companies can build their future. This was highlighted at 'The Leading CEO Summit' at the Burj Al Arab yesterday.

In the session on 'Branding Strategy in the Real World,' Steve Cranford, Chief Executive Officer of Whisper Brand Strategy Consultants said: "Develop a brand strategy before spending a dirham on advertising, public relations or news media. Brand strategy drives topline and eliminates advertising expense and is equal to core business strategy."

According to Cranford: "The key to any effective brand effort is to change and take ownership of the conversation within an industry on behalf of the client. So much of advertising today is wasted as an advertising strategy rather than a branding strategy.  It institutionalises large year-over-year advertising expenses and/or fades into the white noise of contemporary culture. Most organisations are populated with leadership that understands how to do things right. In contrast, we assist organisational focus upon the right things to do."

Steve Cranford also provided the secrets of great branding and cited examples from the top 10 regional and global brands. Whisper's client list includes Amway, Bank of America, Canon, Cisco Systems, GAP, Intel, Nike, and the state of Kansas.

Analysts believe that a brand is a promise made to its customers and shareholders. Promises that are kept yield loyal customers and produce steady streams of profits.

Apart from this, the event aimed to identify and outline key issues facing today's leaders in government and business organisations.

Joschka Fischer, Former Deputy Chancellor and Foreign Affairs Minister of Germany, highlighted the role of the region's top chief executive officers in the development of business and he urged an audience comprising of top decision makers from various Middle East organisations to think globally.

He also urged regional CEOs to take their efforts and business to the next level to meet challenges.

The summit also discussed the challenges faced by chief executive officers in business and government sector as decisions that were taken in months are now taken in days.

There is added pressure on the CEOs, so their organisations image and future depends on their actions.

The Leading CEO Summit attempted to examine the issues that signify success of failure for a CEO in the Middle East.

Dr Mike Bebb Founder, Centre for Vision and Leadership, New Zealand, addressed the strategies to sharpen the leadership skills of CEOs.

He explained the importance of Diamond model in improving the leadership efficiency for CEOs.

The summit provided an excellent knowledge-sharing platform for the C-Level executives in the region, to interact with top leaders and experts from all around the world.

Khaleej Times

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