Branding, Marketing

7 Strategic Lessons Inspired by The Egyptian Army

Every time I am asked to recommend business or, marketing book, I always say, read “The Art of War.”  As…

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Every time I am asked to recommend business or, marketing book, I always say, read “The Art of War.”  As I strongly believe that the success or, failure of any marketing plan is basically devoted to the strategy and tactics then comes the implementation and execution. I always find the elite strategies ever been developed was always a military strategy where you can learn the basic concepts and easily make use of them for your business success.

The Art of War was written by a Chinese general named Sun Tzu more than 2,500 years ago, possibly in the 6th Century BC. The book has long been heralded for its advice on military success. And this advice has since been co-opted by legions of armchair soldiers and generals in the business world. The themes in “The Art of War” seem to run parallel to those in the business world, with the fight to be the leading company seen as the war and the competition seen as the enemy troops. There are several quotes used by Sun Tzu in his book that can be used to motivate managers and other businessmen in order to achieve ultimate success.

I am writing this trying to find a different approach for the same events we have witnessed over the last few days and avoiding any political analysis focusing on the tactics, maneuvers and strategic plans implemented by The Egyptian Army to deal with the 2nd Egyptian revolution started on 30 June.

I. Inspire by Action //

Motivate others with your words and actions. Give them courage; instill in them a sense of possibility. Every action that you take will lead to a learning opportunity and will encourage moving forward movement in others. Teach others by example. If you do it, they will follow.

[blockquote style=”quote” align=”” author=”Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi”]It would be an honor to die rather than subject the Egyptian people to threats or terror.[/blockquote]

General Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi [The Egyptian Colonel General and the current Supreme Commander of the Egyptian Armed Forces] since took the position since 12 August 2012 have sent the message to Egyptian people that The Egyptian Armed Forces will be always supporting the people’s will. His strong words stating that The Egyptian Army is ready to sacrifice by souls to protect The Egyptian People was a strong message to state his decision clear. This words was translated by actions 2 days before the 30th of June protests when The Egyptian Air Forces on 28 June took the initiative to secure critical establishments started by The Egyptian Media Production City (EMPC).

II. Become A People’s Person //

Millions on the streets marks the beginning of the end for Morsi and his party Freedom and Justice, The political Arm for the Muslim Brotherhood whom claimed to be the masters in gathering people in protests and ware always bragging of mobilizing their supporters. This all was proven wrong and seems like The Egyptians played with the same weapon of  the Muslim Brotherhood !

Millions of Egyptians celebrating in Tahrir Square ousting President Morsi
Millions of Egyptians celebrating in Tahrir Square ousting President Morsi

In His speech, which was loud and passionate, Morsi blamed loyalists of Mubarak, his predecessor, for fighting against democracy and challenging his leadership through the current wave of protests. This was not an acceptable excuse for The Egyptian people but! even was an additional reason why he admits his policies faliures and it even urged more Egyptians to follow Tamarod movement which announced it reached up to 22 Million signed petition and inspired by mass protests against ex President Morsi.

It was very provocative action when Morsi supporters started an early proactively protests in 28 June and it even urged anti-Morsi for massive protesting.

The Egyptian Army have presented an incredibly dynamic leadership example and was able to motivate an entire country to work together and move forward a very difficult time in the modern Egyptian history.

III. Communicate //

Communication is the simple act of getting a message across clearly and unequivocally to other/s. This sounds simple in theory but communication is one of the hardest things to do because there are so many things in play (body language, cultural idiosyncrasies among others)

Military Helicopters fly over the square with huge Egyptian flags hanging below them
Military Helicopters fly over the square with huge Egyptian flags hanging below them

While Military Helicopters might be a source of fear for civilians in any country, The Egyptian Air Forces was pointed by The Egyptian People in Tahrir square as a savior. The Military Helicopters used to fly closer to the people giving them feeling of security and throwing The Egyptians flags to the protesters was a strong supportive message while the protesters salute the helicopters back by the green laser beam. It was a amazing moment to witness a 2 ways non-verbal communication between The Army and The People where the messages understood with zero words !

IV. The Essence of Strategy is Deciding What Not To Do //

 That’s a quote from strategy guru Michael Porter of Harvard’s famed business school, one I think makes a lot of sense and always an inspiration for your Marketing Plan. It is a critical process in the strategy success to decide when you will stop and not to chew more than you can swallow.

[blockquote style=”quote” align=”” author=”Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi”]The armed forces couldn’t plug its ears or close its eyes as the movement and demands of the masses calling for them to play a national role, not a political role as the armed forces themselves will be the first to proclaim that they will stay away from politics.[/blockquote]

V. Strategic Alignment //

The strategic plan must be created against the backdrop of the organization’s values; its morals. Alignment is vital in executing strategy. Often, strategic planning efforts fall short due to skipping the strategy alignment process. To drive successful implementation of the strategy, we focus on aligning individuals and teams towards the organizational vision.

Egyptian Air Forces above Etehadiye Palace - The configuration with Egypt name in Arabic [مصر]
Egyptian Air Forces above Etehadiye Palace – The configuration with Egypt name in Arabic [مصر]

The Egyptian Army was quite challenged to keep its unity and avoid falling into a destructive scenario such as the Syrian Army. It was important when dealing with such critical milestone in The Egyptian and Middle East history to keep all the army ranks starts from Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to Th solders ranks on the same wavelength and on one man’s heart without cracking or finding a fracture to split The Egyptian Army.

VI. Credibility and Deadlines //

Once you have established your commitments, You should deliver what you promised. Although successful strategies always include a degree of flexibility and maneuvering, the military has said it will impose its own “road map” for the future if Morsi does not meet the protesters demands Wednesday.

[blockquote style=”quote” align=”left” author=”Sun Tzu- The Art of War”]An army does not maintain any constant configuration of power; water has no constant shape.[/blockquote]

The Egyptian Army had to meet the Egyptians expectations as he announced that the given chance for the presidency is 28 hrs. Any delay would have been a fire back for the Army credibility and it would have generated a vast disappointment as people recognized The Army as the last hope to get rid of the failure management of the ex-President Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood cabinet led by Dr.Kandil.

VII. Good Strategies Attract Allies //

 This image made from video shows Gen. Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, (C) flanked by military and civilian leaders in including reform leader Mohamed ElBaradei, (1L) Tamarod leader Mahmoud Badr, (2L) Grand Sheik of Al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb, (3R) and Pope Tawadros II (2R). Al-Sisi addresses the nation July, announcing the appointment of Adly Mansour as Egypt's interim leader.
This image made from video shows Gen. Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, (C) flanked by military and civilian leaders in including reform leader Mohamed ElBaradei, (1L) Tamarod leader Mahmoud Badr, (2L) Grand Sheik of Al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb, (3R) and Pope Tawadros II (2R). Al-Sisi addresses the nation July, announcing the appointment of Adly Mansour as Egypt’s interim leader.

Braining more allies always a good source to collect view information from different perspectives and points of view, to interpret implications, and to make appropriate recommendations.

Effective strategy results from the varied input of a diverse group of thinkers. While ex president Morsi was insisting to get biased to The Muslim Brotherhood, The fist thing to avoid by the army was to collect all the political opinions under one nation flag and to make sure that all the colors of the Egyptians ware involved in the decision making process while announcing the road map.
It was a very smart move to give a speech to  Grand Sheik of Al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb, and Pope Tawadros II to send a message to all Egyptians whatever his/her religion is that The Egyptian Army respects every one. Also giving the chance for #Tamaroud representative to give 2 speeches was a clear message to the young generation that thy will play a role in the new political map.
This speech was very smart and tactful that meant to give a proven evidence to anyone who would claim its a military coup, That 30 of June was a Nation’s Coup made by Egyptians and supported by the Armed Forces to obey The Egyptian people demands.
What do you think?
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Enthusiastic young man who is Passionate about the power of Digital Marketing and always hungry to grow my expertise. With excellent Digital Marketing, project management and relationship building. Non-traditional 24X7 Strategic Thinker | Analyzer | Informative | Ideas Igniter | e-Strategist.
Branding

Hassan Allam Properties rebranding campaign reflects the brand’s heritage and future

Since its inception back in 1997, Hassan Allam Properties (HAP) has carved an enviable positioning of an exclusive boutique developer…

Since its inception back in 1997, Hassan Allam Properties (HAP) has carved an enviable positioning of an exclusive boutique developer whose name is synonymous with credibility, trustworthiness and commitment. HAP values family tremendously and creates hand-picked selective communities where homogenous friends and neighbors become the chosen family. With its nationwide portfolio of projects in the city and by the sea, HAP has become an influential leading mover in the local property scene, making some wonder why it hasn’t had its own true spotlight?

Well, HAP has recently stolen the limelight, with its brand-new rebranding and awareness campaign. The campaign is finally letting HAP shine on its own, with a brand-new logo and signature line, and we’re giving you the breakdown.

New Key Messages and Slogan

Starting with, what seems to be, their  signature line, “From our family to yours.”

Looking deeply into the words, it would easily seem that the brand is aiming for a tighter focus on community, heritage and family-orientated themes. Their new social media posts are currently emphasizing the themes as well.

With the word “family” comes the connotations, or secondary feelings/meanings, of family-orientated, trustful, looking both to past and future generations, devotion, a caring nature, and legacies.

And as we can see from their current posts, they are definitely aiming for it.

The word “our” in “from our family” could also be used as a link to the company’s mother brand, Hassam Allam Group, as well as a close bond to their employees, family-orientated values and customers. Family-orientated values are also subtly used through all three texts used in their new ads.

New Brand Visuals

Starting last week, the new visuals have been released both online and on out-of-home advertisements.

The greyscale photos are immersion breaking, as not many brands are bold enough to attempt greyscale when most are looking for more vivid and bright ads. This helps the photos stand out among the sea of brightly colored real estate billboards.

The rebrand also comes with a new logo for HAP, a gold paper/sheet textured Monogram. At first glance, you can see Hassan Allam’s initials on the logo, but a small design trick reveals a final letter, P for Properties.

Logo-GIF.gif

The greyscale images show three different stages of life; youth, adulthood and marriage, and the elder stages.

They are depicted holding hands, displaying affection and familiar relationships, which symbolize care, love, trust, unity, heritage, and legacies.

These three stages, and images, may represent HAP’s influence on families and their connection to each other. This can be easily concluded with the company’s line of family-orientated housing communities such as their Swan Lake , Park View, Little Venice and Seasons properties.

Their first image, “For Generations to Come,” illustrates the relationship between the old and newer generations. Continuing with their new signature line, “From our family to yours,” the image then reflects the passing down of experience and the careful planning to ensure their future.

It also exhibits a timeless physical and emotional connection, a lasting partnership that will continue through generations, such as HAP’s properties (which can be passed along, just like knowledge, through the generations).

“Beyond a Lifetime” has a symbolic message with its strong imagery. The powerful imagery of the young hand this time closely grasping onto the old, carries the depiction of guardianship and compassion.

The last image in the series so far is “Investing in a Lifetime,” which attempts to present the vows and duties that come from a lifelong bond and agreement. This can refer to people’s investments in HAP’s properties, which can be perceived as inseparable, full of devotion and harmony that lasts a lifetime.

Along with the three images comes a navy-blue banner, highlighting the company’s wide breadth of works, whereby we found out that HAP encompasses underneath it lots  of projects [Seasons, Swan Lake Katameya, Swan Lake 6th of October, Swan Lake North Coast, Swan Lake Gouna, Park View and Little Venice

Final Thoughts

The use of Golden assets imparted a sense of high-quality service or products, which isn’t too far off when it comes to the popularity and quality of Hassan Allam Properties.

Their use of black and white photography could get them a lot of attention OOH, although not as much online.

The new branding, complete with logo and slogan, is a nice touch on this real estate powerhouse’s path, and will definitely make it more distinguishable from its competitors. And their new logo will become one of the more recognizable real estate logos on our highways.

 

With over eighty years in the industry, the Hassan Allam Group has become one of the region’s top construction and property developers, who have been producing top-quality residential and resort projects. You can find their other properties here.

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Branding

70 years of Pepsi in Egypt and the brand journey continues

We all have a distinct memory with Pepsi. Whether it’s mothers, fathers, grandparents, teenagers, children; every single one has their...

We all have a distinct memory with Pepsi. Whether it’s mothers, fathers, grandparents, teenagers, children; every single one has their own memory of when they first fell in love with Pepsi taste and for marketers, we fell in love with Pepsi slogans.

Pepsi started its business in Egypt back in 1948. You may have noticed the recent #Lovely Campaign launched to make the year no. 70 for the giant soft-drink brand in the Egyptian market.

For over 120 years, there have been many events and historic moments witnessed in the Egypt, but for sure boring wasn’t one of them. From the birth of Youssef Wahbi, to World Wars, allot of events happened on 1898 that reshaped our life.

Pepsi has been there for unforgettable moments. And today we’re here to go down memory lane and see how the Pepsi brand actually started and evolved till 2018.

In the unforgettable moments, in the moments of deep sadness and in moments of high celebration, Pepsi has been there for all of it.

The global campaign, Pepsi Generations, aims to connect all the generations of Pepsi drinkers, through its newest content, ads and some fun and exciting activities throughout 2018.

So, what is the history of Pepsi brand and where did it all start?

When we think of Pepsi, we envision a red, white and blue circle, waving like a flag. But a version of the iconic logo that we now attribute to the soda didn’t exist until over 50 years after the company’s conception.

Initially dubbed “Brad’s Drink,” Pepsi was created in 1893 by a pharmacist named Caleb Bradham. It was renamed Pepsi-Cola, a title that was trademarked in 1903. Although the brand’s name hasn’t changed since, its logo has undergone a number of tweaks and major revamps.

timeline_pre_loader

1898

The original Pepsi Cola logo was a simple cursive red typographic logo, which would be adapted later on by rival Coca Cola. The typography was indicative of the popular handwriting style of the 1800s.

1905

1905 saw a more simplistic and easier to read logo, tightening the text and swashes to create a more streamlined look.

1906

Only a year later, the logo went through another redesign, condensing the logo to a more compact size for bottling.

1940

During World War II, in an effort to support the American troops, Pepsi changed its main colors to red, white and blue. This would also be the last lone typographic logo for the brand.

1950

1950 saw the birth of what would become a popular trend with Pepsi logos, introducing the logo in a bottle cap. Circular shapes would soon become a tradition with their future logos.

1962

To keep up with more modern times, Pepsi dropped their famous cursive typography for a simpler sans serif font. This was also the time when Pepsi let go of the word “cola.” The stripe design would soon become more popular than its original typography.

1973

The first real look at the now famed Pepsi Globe, this minimalist design boxed in the text logo in what would become one of their most recognizable logos yet.

2003

This redesign opted to focus on increasing the 3D effect of the Pepsi Globe, and increasing the logo’s visual impact.

2009

Although launched late 2008, this logo was officially on cans in 2009. The globe gets a revamp, bringing a smile to the logo. This minimalist, and flat, approach was well received. You may also find the small hint of a water-like wave on the Pepsi’s “E.”

The PEPSI Journey Continues…

So there you go, the evolution of how Pepsi brand connected with people like you and I over generations.

It’s an interesting journey to see how it all started from a little pharmacy, becoming a patriotic symbol to finally bringing in big names of entertainment to collaborate with business. Making this little product, a big empire and part of every family’s home.

What are some of your favorite memories with Pepsi?

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Branding

Infographic: The original names and logos of famous Egyptian brands

There are many reasons an organization or a famous brand would decide to rebrand. The main reason is when it…

There are many reasons an organization or a famous brand would decide to rebrand. The main reason is when it needs to create a greater sense of brand unity across its business to reflect differentiated identity in the minds of consumers.

For new marketers and experienced professionals, it can be difficult to keep up with the changes that occur in the market. From classic brand names getting uplifts, to brands completely going under the knife and getting a new identity, we are tasked to keep documenting the changes.

We at Think Marketing are working on developing new indigenous content initiatives that meant to provide valuable help for both local and international businesses to better understand and track the Egyptian marketing scene.

In the last 25 years, some Egyptian brands implemented new rebranding strategy which involved a new logo design uplift while others got a totally new brand identity. To make it easier for you, we’ve made an infographic! *

*Give it a moment, it may take a moment to load.

 

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Featured Stories, Inspiration, Marketing, Strategies

Step into 2018 with a plan; 10 easy ways to improve your content marketing strategy

The year is coming to an end, the cold is starting to seep in and the streets are getting closed…

The year is coming to an end, the cold is starting to seep in and the streets are getting closed from the winter weather. As we prepare to move forward to a new year, we’d like to help you out with a few ideas.

We’re all looking for to reach out KPIs and goals through out the year. We try this and that to improve our content, to improve our rates and etc.

So, to help you out, here are some content marketing tips and ways to improve your content for the brand-new year!

 

1- Have the Looks and the Feels

2017 was the year in which marketers scrambled to push visual content.

It was a year where we saw many companies move from text or simply images to well-polished designs and posts.

If 2017 was the year of the visual, 2018 moves it into another level.

A new tactic that is bringing its way to the social market are Tactile photos.

Create and distribute images that not only touches the visual senses, but the other senses as well. Create images and content that make us hear, remember the touch and sensation of an object, or let us feel the wind in our hair.

 

2- Lend a helping hand

For those new into Content Marketing, or may need a small reminder, Content Marketing is all about providing your audience with information and content they are searching for.

Sometimes, without them even knowing they wanted it in the first place.

Millennials and Gen Z (Millennials’ children) are skeptical about marketers. The main ways to get around their expectations?

Give them content they are searching for, or better yet, align yourself with a cause they can get behind.

 

3- Talk about the pain, and let them know you’re here for them

Content themes save you a lot of trouble.

They save time, effort, and brainstorming whenever you have a content plan to fill, or new content to create.

Many of us have our themes on backwards apparently. Raise your finger, so no one else sees, if you’re themes are centered about marketing your product/service and its many benefits.

Let us say, we saw you, and we’re here to let you know you’re not alone.

For 2018, let’s take a step back and truly look at our consumers.

What are their issues? Their problems? What can we do to help? Sure, we ask these questions when creating the product or service, but now we have to think about it during our content process.

Directly talk to your consumer next year. Tell them you understand and you’re here to help.

 

4- Augment and change the world

Augmented Reality (AR) has definitely made an impact this year, even stronger than its top contender Virtual Reality.

Both Facebook and Google released AR services or products this year at their respective annual developer conference. Not to mention that Snapchat’s success came from their innovative use of AR.

Take a look at IKEA’s successful IKEA Place app, which uses AR technology to help users see how the brand’s furniture will look at home.

From either simple AR photo-frames to crazy face-changing AR filters on FB or Snapchat, Augmented Reality is popular and here to stay. Not only that, it’s cheaper than making stickers to hang out the city, and cheaper than an extensive paid campaign on social.

 

5- Get Personal. Really. Please do.

Although we marketers may say that brands need to become more grounded, more in-touch with consumers, many actions may not be heading in that direction.

This year, a lot of platforms are coming to our aid.

With Facebook Live really starting to show off its power, to Instagram’s stories, getting personal with consumers are getting easier and easier.

Creating dynamic content, content that makes the brand “alive,” gets easier with these new tools. Tools also include the new Live Photo feature by Facebook, and FB stories.

While recorded and pre-prepared videos are still a great way to promote your brand, personal live-videos are an even better way to connect with people.

Behind the scene videos, behind the curtain, or even the people behind the brand, are all dynamic video content-types that you could use to get in-touch with your audience.

People want to purchase from brands they care about, so let them know you so they can.

 

6- Or don’t get personal, get others to influence them instead

While influencer marketing in Egypt is still a growing field, there are many other ways to spread content around the web.

Creating content strategies that include using 3rd party websites and influencers is still going strong.

In 2018, we are going to see an even larger growth rate, especially as more and more content websites and social pages pop up and grow in credibility.

Don’t be afraid to have other people review, video, test, and write about your products/services. If you’re confident in its quality, then this should be a no-brainer.

 

7- Updating Communication

Communication channels keep growing with each new step and technology we create. A new channel that not many leveraged this year is through online messengers.

Facebook’s Messenger’s chatbots, as well as AI website messaging, are making a strong case this year, and they’re here to stay.

Content marketing with Messenger’s chatbots is easy to do. Simple tap on the Discovery tab for inspiration, from restaurants to online stores, there is a wide variety of uses.

Website AI messaging can help aim customers through your website as they go through their buyer journey. A cleverly written script and direct questions can lead your customer from browsing to buying, answering all (or as many as possible) of their questions on the way.

 

8- Break it Down

One of the main ways to fill out a content calendar?

Update, reuse, break down.

Update, reuse, and break down large and deep content into separate content pieces.

If you want to go into 2018, you have got to have a plan. If you don’t have enough content, then plan ahead by breaking down already existing content.

A Press release or informatic video can be broken down into multiple pieces of content. Videos can be broken down into articles or multiple image posts, and etc.

Why spend more when you can do more with less?

 

9- Stop closing the box and be open to the long-term

Although Content Marketing has become one of the top buzz words in our community, as well as quickly becoming one of the industry’s top strategies, we are still treating it as if it is advertising.

It’s not.

Most companies still push content in the same way as an advertising campaign, locking themselves in a box without more opportunities. Create short term content, such as a 6-episode video series, market it through the usual channels, and then when it finishes we stop.

What should be happening is a complete switch. Content marketing may be cheap, almost to the point of free, but it is something that takes long-term planning to truly appreciate it.

Plan at least 6 months ahead to truly capture your target audience. Get your content rolling, and keep it rolling! Show 2018 that you have your content down, with only a little bit of planning, and a lot of faith and data.

 

10- Let’s get on it!

There you have it, easy ways to improve your content without a lot of work.

The new year is right around the corner. What are you doing to prepare?

 

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