Thursday, November 27, 2008
Branding & Malaysia
I agree that there is a shocking lack of branding awareness among Malaysian companies. In fact, many do not even know that its an important asset, or how a brand can be leverage for market penetration, market acceptance and improved margins. Many local companies do not appreciate branding as they never venture outside their own ponds. Having a good brand allows for scalability to expand regionally and globally.
Hence I applaud the initiative by 4As (the Association of Accredited Advertising Agents Malaysia) and The Edge.
Naturally the judges will have their own set of criteria in assessing which brands are valuable and they try to ascribe a figure on the brand's value.
Somehow when I looked at the list, I can only disagree with most of it. To me, the value of a brand is in:
a) the potential and positioning - the potential to be leveraged further and a strategic cohesive vision on how their products and services are to be positioned vis-a-vis the competition
b) the clarity of what it represents - a brand must stand for something, and it must be clear not jumbled
c) positive reaction - a brand must give the viewer, the listener or any potential client a warm, feel-good, positive attachments whenever they use/buy or even just visualise the product or services
d) management's strategy and vision - there must be clarity and deliberateness in the management's vision and strategy in promoting the brand, knowing fully well where they are headed
I don't have the tools or metrics to come up with my own paradigm, but here are my rankings:
Top Of The Class
6) Hong Leong
8) Eu Yan Sang
9) Sin Chew
10) Bank Negara
13) Zaid Ibrahim
14) Securities Commission
15) Mah Sing
Grossly Under-Leveraged Brand
1) Brand's Essence
3) Yeo Hiap Seng
4) Dutch Lady
7) Public Bank
8) Raja Nazrin
Trying Too Hard
Don't Have A Clue What Branding Is
1) Lion Industries
2) Country Heights
3) B Group
Some companies have tried to improve their tainted brand image, and were successful like MAS and Mah Sing. Lion and Parkson have the same owner, but seriously, Parkson is run by someone else, which may explain the disparity in ratings.
Branding is too much associated with just companies. I always see branding in other things as well, in particular your own self. Like it or not, we are branding ourselves. Are we consistent, unpredictable, part of the crowd, never standing out or standing for something... mention your name among your colleagues, what does that convey, mention your name among your relatives, what does it convey ... I am not advocating putting up fronts here, I am asking that we should be aware we are judged all the time, we need not be slaves to them but we need to be aware of that. Be honest in your credentials and be consistent in the image you portray. Branding is highly essential in your career path.
Even my blog has a conscious branding strategy. Its all explained as the vision on the sidebar. I hope I have been consistent in selecting beautiful Asian ladies, it all becomes part of what is expected and you must deliver - that's branding. How's your own personal branding?
p/s photos: Carmen Soo