Own It!

For the past two decades the most common word among professionals in Branding and Marketing is Differentiation, well it’s obvious with the current cluttered market Differentiation alone is not enough. One of the most important element in ‘Create your Space’ is Ownership. Yes! own the space, the dominance is what your Brand needs

Today most brands share almost everything, even if you look close at a few of the categories such as beverages, dairy, frozen food or mobile communication. Brands are led to propose constant price reduction to influence engagement. If you own your space, you will maintain leadership and Brand Affinity

Brands such as Starbucks and Apple created the space and own the space, they’re beyond Differentiation, they’re the reason and the purpose why consumers and users connect to them without the need to propose price as an influential factor. Consumers, users and customers are more aware of the values each Brand brings for the category

When values are shared then categories are shared. Consumers, users and customers are left with options and these options could be of any value. Brands are about values and how those values, if they’re unique, manifest with the target audience to create great affinity

Said Baaghil is the ‘Unconventional’ Branding and Marketing Adviser to reputable companies in the Middle East, author of many reputable books including the ‘The Power of Belonging’ and a Speaker. Baaghil appeared in books published by America’s experts on Branding and Marketing such as Dan Hill and Libby Gill. Most recently Baaghil was interviewed by world renown Branding Consultancy firm Siegel+Gale on Branding in the Middle East

He can be reached on AskBaaghil.com

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The article was first published on Linkedin Pulse on 30th June, 2015

Something to think about

Uber, the little App on your smartphone is in 57 countries and makes more revenue than most rental car companies in major airports across the world. When you come up with a great Business Model, you need a great Brand to sustain the proposed value. Business strategy and Brand Strategy are inseparable

To ‘Create Your Space’, you need both knowledge and expertise to revolutionize the market. Today Uber brought a new meaning to transportation and how we move from points A to B, Uber has evolved the Taxi experience

In few months from now Saudi will witness a new incoming transportation app named ‘Honk’, third to enter the game after Careem and Uber. Interesting days ahead of us, time to ‘Create Your Space’ or fold

Said Baaghil is the ‘Unconventional’ Branding and Marketing Adviser to reputable companies in the Middle East, author of many reputable books including the ‘The Power of Belonging’ and a Speaker. Baaghil appeared in books published by America’s experts on Branding and Marketing such as Dan Hill and Libby Gill. Most recently Baaghil was interviewed by world renown Branding Consultancy firm Siegel+Gale on Branding in the Middle East

He can be reached on AskBaaghil.com

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The article was first published on Linkedin Pulse on June 29th, 2015

My Mind Predicts…

Within the next 10 years Facebook messaging will take over Emails. Furthermore, the number of social media users will most likely equal the population of the entire Asian continent. Facebook will maintain its position as the largest outlet of Social Media and instantaneous communication

Social Media’s interactiveness, one on one and channeling will be the number one source of reference and trust for consumers to relate their Brands with. Public Relations, as an industry, will flourish thanks to Twitter, while traditional Advertising, as an industry, could hit the slumber, but what will top them all is The Power of Belonging on Social Media.  The Middle Eastern social media users will grow in numbers and might even reach to 50% of the regional population in areas such as North Africa and the Levant, also witnessing steady growth are the Gulf States. The leading saleable industry from the Middle East on social media will be companies that root their marketing in Social responsibilities due to the current changes and public demands. On the global front, the following industries will flourish enormously on social media: Education, Apparel, FMCGs and Entertainment

Let’s take the Banking industry as an example. It will change its image from Conservative to Liberal specifically on their spending outlooks. The change will also be on products and services, which would include the fall of the ‘Grand Pa Joe’ as a logo. If the CEO is a social media addict and smart to follow the trends then consider seeing pictures of more relatable logos on several funds. The Credit card market will witness astonishing growth in the Middle East, while the ecommerce industry will witness substantial growth. The regional Financial industry such as Investment Banking will suffer to capture the new generation of audience unless they follow the current trends and believe in Marketing

The cell phone users on Data packages will double in numbers and we will witness an enormous decline on landlines, but the question still remains: would the landline become extinct? All regional newspapers and magazine will head online and print copies will be at minimal, some might even just disappear with the wind. I might sound ‘off the wall’ to you right now, but reality will demonstrate what I just said, so catch the drift before it’s too late

Oh, one more thing, PayPal is now fully operational in Saudi. Our foresightedness will change the region and a new generation of proactive minds will lead our Brands to be consumed by global audience. I’m lovin’ it!

Said Baaghil is the ‘Unconventional’ Branding and Marketing Adviser to reputable companies in the Middle East, author of many reputable books including the ‘The Power of Belonging’ and a Speaker. Baaghil appeared in books published by America’s experts on Branding and Marketing such as Dan Hill and Libby Gill. Most recently Baaghil was interviewed by world renown Branding Consultancy firm Siegel+Gale on Branding in the Middle East

He can be reached on AskBaaghil.com

Arab CEOs’ Great Challenge: Traditionalism vs Professionalism

Arab CEOs are confused about what Marketing really is. Are Arab CEOs so simplistic in their analysis that they believe Advertising is the ultimate solution? There is an underlying issue here and it seems to be repetitive through generations or quite frankly inherited; the mindset of a ‘Know it ALL’ (preventing from listening and adhering to the advice of Experts). Such behavior has held most of the Growth dormant to the point that few had to break away from this grid in order to seek development and sustain growth

Along with these sentiments, another hindering quality is the ideology of bringing Traditional culture into the work place, which controls much of the internal processes. In other words, having the Traditional culture take precedence over the Corporate culture is counterproductive because with two competing methods of operation in one environment it can leave one company fragmented thereby increasing inefficiency resulting from demotivation of the most important stakeholders: The Employees.  Furthermore, these companies are run similar to the Arab CEOs home environment, so there is a refusal to accept alternative solutions that will enhance their organization

Also, something that’s a common trend is to claim to hold a position and not have a clear cut job description. This can truly undermine the internal operations, because some talk about policies and others talk about expansions, while the head of the Marketing department thinks Logo is the Brand and the Brand is the Logo while the Advertising agencies are pitching for Advertising contracts centering around Communications and Promotional tactics. To top it off, the organization is only hiring individuals based on favoritism (personal relationships be it family or friends) over credentials and qualifications. Nationality does play a role as well whether if they are well informed about the subject or not, it doesn’t matter

Lets look at these issues within the context of Marketing. Marketing, as a field, is profoundly misunderstood. Confusing Marketing with Advertising is a fatal mistake that continues to affect businesses across the region. For example, the Marketing department is often allocated resources to simply Advertise or even worse, conduct Ad Sales. This critical department, often the revenue generating one, is so mislead by upper management that the companies see very little or no progress

The question I would ask here is: if you have unqualified employees, impossible CEOs to work for and your Corporate culture is driven by Traditional culture, then what do you expect your operation to look like? Secondly, what do you expect from Marketing or rather any department, when you have such an inefficient operation?

The responsibility that the CEO takes is that he or she is leader of the organization. The CEO must accept diversity and implement the proper changes in order to achieve results. A smart CEO won’t act like Jack of all Trades but he would listen to his advisers to cut the cost of his own error and produce results

The questions one should ask are:

  • Where do you want your company to be tomorrow?
  • How competitive would you like your company to be?

AND finally, realize that Marketing is the source of your income, NOT Advertising or your Cost-cutting Finance department

Said Baaghil is the ‘Unconventional’ Branding and Marketing Adviser to reputable companies in the Middle East, author of many reputable books including the ‘The Power of Belonging’ and a Speaker. Baaghil appeared in books published by America’s experts on Branding and Marketing such as Dan Hill and Libby Gill. Most recently Baaghil was interviewed by world renown Branding Consultancy firm Siegel+Gale on Branding in the Middle East

He can be reached on AskBaaghil.com