Before we proceed any further, it is important to understand the value and need of branding: both on local or international levels.
As one might realize, branding is one of the most essential assets of the company, economic sector or even a country as a whole – if we are aiming higher touching the national level of a brand management. While branding is additionally contributing to a share-holder value and valuation itself, one might want to take this management tool quite seriously in order to derive better business results.
In other words, brand is a foundation of your company’s concepts and its future success. The better the branding – the higher is the return on your invest-ment, the bigger are the sales and product/service identification. The key aspect here is to create a good association and relation of a certain personality or character to your business that is going to be identify-ing it and linking into the consumer mind-set as something qualified and authentic.
The perception of a brand’s action is related to the brand experience which is then linked to the brand image and psychological relation between the consumer and the company itself. Which is why, branding is directly and inevitably crossing with the advertising industry, as it shows what a company can offer to its consumer – where the quality is not the only vital point. These days branding is all about feeling and associating you with a company’s products, services or the message it sends into the open.If we look at the Gulf region, where the business flows naturally and the number of brands is erupting by multiplying and outperforming itself literally every year; the art of branding has become one of the focal targets to develop and enrich. First thing one might want to look at, is the nature of Arab World and its unique mentality combined with its essential aim for its brands to become bigger, better and stronger.
While building a brand’s trust, and leaving an important impact on a consumer behaviour towards the brand, the goal of any Gulf company that remains – is to make a smooth transition from a simple brand awareness to a customer’s devotion and commitment to what the company is doing or providing him with. Once the brand is stable and finds itself on a mature level of a development stage, the international expansion of the Gulf brands across its region – is what local companies look at, now that they can attract broader media attention and communicate the brand’s message faster.
The reason why branding of one national product from a certain country across the Gulf is not just benefi-cial, but also way easier – is because there can be minimal or sometimes simply lack of a cultural conflict over the brand’s transmission, as it might be when bringing a certain Western concept and trying to adapt it for the Arab mentality. To prove the statement made above, one can simply look at the evolvement and further successful develop-ment of certain concepts from one Gulf country to another. Similar visual brand language engages and spreads out easier once it finds a common ground, which in this case would be due to a similar if not the same brand orientation of the GCC.
To intensify that, certain brands migrate and appear all across the region saving the same appealing concept as it was showed in the mother-country. And one of the new targets for the cross-branding experi-ence is Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The cooperation between Saudi Arabia and the GCC is one of the visionary points for the country’s develop-ment. As the Crown Prince Abdullah said in his speech:
“The GCC has not yet accomplished its projected aspira-tions”, aiming at the further chances for a better business and strategic union between the countries. To ease its dependence from the oil & gas industry, Saudi Arabia is now one of the most eye-attracting, evolving markets, that is able to offer its high quality diversified brands all over the Gulf. And as the research shows – first steps towards Saudi brand’s recognition already take place here and now.
Let’s have a look at one of the Saudi world-re-nowned premium confectionery industry brands – which is called Bateel. Having started its operation in Al Ghat, KSA – it now has opened its regional office in the Emirates and successfully operates throughout 16 other countries including UK and Jakarta. As the company’s representatives mention themselves:
“Bateel’s success is anchored on a strong production and marketing organization. But its appeal is based on its ability to consistently develop and produce the highest quality products while maintaining a passion for innova-tion”.Additionally, Bateel shows some multi-branding – having expanded into the restaurant industry by devel-oping so called “casual diner concept”.
Moreover, in 2008 Bateel was awarded the prestig-ious Arabian Business Achievement Award for the “Business of the year”; in 2011 Bateel received the SME Stars of Business Awards in the category best Retail and best manufacturing in Middle East. The Ahlan Best in Dubai 2011 Awards rewarded Bateel Cafe with the 3rd place for the Best Casual Dining Restaurant.
However sometimes, branding can touch a financial spectrum too. Let us take a look at the Saudi’s Samba Financial Groupthat is largely expanding over the last years throughout the GCC and Asia. As the Samba Bank identifies itself: “Mergers and acquisitions as one of the means of expanding its operations and footprint. Acquisitions have helped Samba to increase its reach, fine tune service delivery and achieve synergies across client segments”. In the year of 2008, Samba has opened its first Gulf branch in the UAE, after receiving a full commercial banking license.
“Dubai is key international footprint for Samba in the high growth markets across the GCC and larger Middle East region… Through Samba’s investment in superior technology and decades of experience our multi-channel marketing and service distribution helps us move our banking solutions closer to our customers”.
In other words, the bottom line here would be that branding is a very useful strategic tool on its own, but especially when it comes to a further brand or even multi-brand expansion throughout a certain country or region. It would be fair to admit, that the acceptance and better understanding between the Gulf countries enables them to build a solid ground for a further coop-eration and sound social-economic growth.
As the successful development of multiple Saudi brands abroad shows, these branding opportunities might bring a bright new touch to the cross-regional activities and enlighten new phase of strategic relation-ships first within the Gulf, and then based on a better experience – further overseas
For more information please visit our official website Integrity.ae
Author: Nayira Tillyaeva.
On behalf of Intergrity Marketing.