Brand Management, Marketing, Sales & Marketing

The Branding Instinct

Attracting the attention of others has always been an instinct which lies deep inside human beings but with varying intensities,…

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Attracting the attention of others has always been an instinct which lies deep inside human beings but with varying intensities, sometimes it is just for the sake of attracting attention and sometimes it is for the sake of proving differentiation.

It accompanies the human being nearly in all stages of his life cycle, look at the baby who tries to attract his parents’ attention by all means, he attracts their attention when he needs anything and even when he needs nothing, its just his instinct that forces him to do so, look at the same baby when he gets a new brother or sister to share him his parents, he tries more aggressively to attract his parents’ attention, but this time for the sake of proving something, which is Differentiation.

Be Different
Attracting attention for the sake of proving differentiation

When this baby becomes a teenager, this magical instinct (of attracting attention for the sake of proving differentiation) is growing with him dramatically to the extent of imposing a totally new lifestyle; a weird hairstyle, wearing a low waist jeans that shows his underwear, heavily smoking, he is always trying to attract girls’ attention in school or university, when he is at home, he is always isolating himself in his room either chatting on the internet or listening to a very loud music, he always refrain from family gatherings, because he prefers his friends who are not like other creatures, but they are just like him, Different.

 


fingerprint-registered-identity-imageWhen this teenager passes this critical stage of his life cycle, he starts a brand new stage of his life, which is his career life, the magical instinct starts a new dimension at this stage, a dimension that appeals to only aspirers, not all human beings discover their magical instinct at this stage, but only aspirers do, they try to differentiate themselves by all means and attract their employers’ attention to them being different, they are always studying and reading in their specialty field, they are trying to be creative in their work, they are very keen to get promoted and step up the career ladder quicker than others, No wonder, they discovered the magical instinct that lies deep inside them and continuously shouting, Be Different.


In the business world, this magical instinct has another name which is ‘Branding’, in other words, it’s a must for survival, the ‘Branding Instinct’ exists deep inside every business’s psyche, but unfortunately few who succeeded to remove the dust that covers it and brings it out to the business world, of course these ‘few’ are the ‘aspirers’ who have a long term vision for their businesses. Logic implies that, since this instinct is an inseparable part of our human psyche, then it should be an inseparable part of the business psyche as well, because we ‘human’ are the owner of these businesses either as shareholders or as customers.


Unfortunately the ‘Branding Instinct’ glow has not been discovered yet in the Middle Eastern businesses’ psyches, on the contrary, huge multinational players discovered this instinct long time ago and they transferred its impact to the Middle East region.

Middle Eastern Businesses in general and Marketers in particular should be keen for differentiation, they should work hard to differentiate their values and offerings and they should work hard to communicate their values and offerings in a very different, emotional and creative way to their target market, integrating the value you offer in your target market’s lifestyle is no longer an option for marketers in the Middle East, but it is a must if they want their businesses to survive in this severely competitive market.


Let’s remove the heavy dust that covers the ‘Branding Instinct’ and get it out of our businesses’ psyches for the prosperity of our region.

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Brand Management

Juhayna steps in 2018 with bold yet humble campaign to support Baheya hospital

A fundamental quality of successful marketer is the mindset and willingness to do whatever it takes to build a solid…

A fundamental quality of successful marketer is the mindset and willingness to do whatever it takes to build a solid brand that makes revenues and changes the world.

Juhayna has decided to take its sponsorship of the beloved Al Ahly team and use it for good by launching national donation campaign to support Baheya hospital.

For years Juhayna have been doing whatever necessary to increase the brand value. Hiring Sherif Ekramy to promote Juhayna Mix, Dora as Juhayna Pure’s brand ambassador, the controversial Dundo Advert and major sponsorship deals.

After 19 years of being the most visible logo on one of the most watched teams in the country, Juhayna is taking a step back and letting someone else get the limelight.

Throwback ► Juhayna Cheering Egyptian Mothers in Emotional TV Commercial

Juhayna teams up with Baheya Hospital & Al Ahly in long-term plan which aims at delivering a bold yet humble marketing message with much emotion involved. The move definitely will re-capture the audience attention to Juhayna’s logo and strengthen the long-term sponsorship to Al-Ahly SC.

Early yesterday morning, Reporter Sara Fouad posted a small teaser of Juhayna’s new campaign.

كلكوا عارفين أنا زملكاوية قد إيه.. والإنتماء ده موضوع بجد مفيهوش هزار.. لكن في حاجة بتجمّع كل الناس أيًا كان إنتماءهم ا…

Posted by ‎Sara Fouad – سارة فؤاد‎ on Monday, January 1, 2018

 

The post states that for the first time in 19 years, something was going to change with Juhayna and Al Ahly.

Fans questioned what would happen, the brand has been a main part of the uniform for so long. Many wondered if they would change logos, or focus on a certain product instead of the company as a whole.

Juhayna themselves, later the same day, posted a short video/would be GIF on the topic.

Stepping back for 90 minutes

The FMCG company has decided to take a step back in order to lend a helping hand. So, after 19 years of unchanging visibility, the brand is partnering up with Breast Cancer NGO Baheya.

The partnership allows Baheya’s logo to sit upon Juhayna’s place to help 4000 of those afflicted with the disease.

For 90 minutes, during the match between Al Ahly and Al Masry on the 12th of January, Juhayna and Baheya hope to receive donations of up to 19 million EGP, which will be spent on helping more than 4000 Breast Cancer patients.

 

Only 7 hours in, the video already has over 5k reactions and over 400 shares.

People have reacted positively to the change, some stating that it’s honorable to use the money Juhayna uses on being on the uniform for some change and good in the world.

Baheya is a non-governmental organization that aims to help spread awareness of Breast Cancer, and the importance of early detection through testing. While Breast Cancer can be beaten at later stages, with lower rates of success, early detection provides up to a 98% chance of curing the Cancer.

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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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Events and Awards, Featured Stories, Marketing, Recommended Stories, Social Media Intelligence

5 interesting Social Media lessons from Marketing Kingdom Cairo 2017

P World’s Marketing Kingdom Cairo 3 was a resounding success as members of the marketing community gathered to hear from…

P World’s Marketing Kingdom Cairo 3 was a resounding success as members of the marketing community gathered to hear from international and local speakers. The event, held earlier this week, was filled to the brim with top hats of various companies and organizations. From agencies to companies, many were attracted to Marketing Kingdom’s third visit to Cairo.

With topics ranging from leadership, the use of AI in marketing, audio marketing and content marketing, the conference had knowledge in abundance.

Providing knowledge to the audience were speakers such as Ian Manning (Facebook), Priya Patel (Instagram), Scott Thwaites (Twitter) and Mohamed Abo El Fotouh (PepsiCo MENA).

Here are some of the things we learnt at this year’s Marketing Kingdom

1- Create Snackable Content:

According to Ian Manning, Head of Agencies, Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan for Facebook, 80% of people use secondary devices while watching TV, causing a separation of attention.

So how should we avoid the same thing on social media?

“On average, people scroll through their newsfeed at about 2.5 seconds on their desktop device. Let’s say I am scrolling, it takes about 1.7 seconds on average on mobile.” Says Manning.

So how do we capture their interest?

Create snackable content, content that can be taken, absorbed and understood in almost a blink of an eye. Short form video content such as Cinematographs, as well as fast and exciting vertical videos are great for on-the-go audiences.

Create content specifically for mobile and social media, this makes sure you are really reaching those audiences.

2- Create for Passion:

“Passions thrive on Instagram” says Priya Patel, Business Development Lead, Middle East, Turkey and Africa for Instagram, and just how true it is.

Read more on Passion ➤ Steve Jobs explains the rules for success. It’s all about Passion!

Instagram has grown itself on this particular word, Passion. Passion for food, animals, cars, and self-styling. What is to say that we cannot use the same thinking when it comes to other platforms?

Patel speaks about some creative considerations that we should think about

a: Use all the storytelling capabilities of your platform

Whether it is Instagram/Facebook Stories, Facebook Live and etc, use as much of it to get your story across.

With so many options, it has become both easier and harder to produce passionate content. Live or Stories can help provide an authentic and more down-to-earth tone, while 60 second videos give us more structured and polished works.

b: Use Time as a creative tool

Many of us are still held down by the 30-60 second rule that has been handed down to us from traditional marketers. We still need to get it through our heads, we can do better with less!

During his talk, Manning gave multiple examples on how brands can create amazing content in less than 10 seconds. The thing is, so can we. With some deep creative planning, and testing, we can get our brand messages to audiences in 3 blinks of an eye.

c: Visual Expression inspires visual action

In a world full of selfies, personal and “special branded” Instagram accounts, and imaginative use of video and photography, visual expression has become a popular thing. It is so popular, that multiple social media networks have been introduced to fill that gap.

You can also read more here ➤ Priya Patel from Instagram: Say no to anything that doesn’t have impact!

With visuals, people are more likely to take action. With visual expression and passion, that is authentic (at least to some degree), we can create visual action.

3- Use Arabic More:

It may seem like a contradiction, with many parents now opting to focus on English rather than Arabic for their kids, Marketing Kingdom speakers have come to this conclusion. We need more Arabic content.

Arabic is Twitter’s 3rd most used language, states Scott Thwaites, EMEA Partner Manager from Twitter. 5-6% of international content is in Arabic. There is a barely touched market out there, unfortunately many of us avoid it on social media.

Maybe it’s because Arabic is a hard language to get a message across to younger generations, or maybe it’s all the different types. Either way, there is a wide opportunity for those willing to go completely Arabic in all their social media work.

4- Each Platform has its own theme; use it accordingly

The 3 main social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat) all have a certain theme to its platform. This theme is why users flock to these specific places.

Facebook has always worked on connectivity or connecting people. People go on to Facebook to connect or even disconnect; from the outside world through memes and viral content, or connect with friends and family across long and short distances.

Due to its popularity, large amount of users and easy-to-use newsfeed, messages can easily be sent to the mass public.

Marketers are already (mostly) well focused when it comes to Facebook’s need for connection and brand building. It is with the others that we need to look out for.

Instagram, on the other hand, is all about passion. Just as Patel said, Passions thrive on Instagram, unfortunately the reason why many marketers don’t do well is a lack of understand and implanting this idea.

Many of us continue to simply copy and paste posts from Facebook to Instagram, but unless your posts are already colorful and passionate, this type of strategy won’t get you far.

If your other platforms have simpler tastes, then go WILD on your Insta.

5- Big Budgets Aren’t as Sexy as They Sound

Although we should take into account that many clients still currently will not create a big enough budget to include separate work for each platform, Patel does state that Instagram is platform where big budgets aren’t a need. They’re a want, and you can always work low-budget or even with no budget for your Instagram.

Twitter may not be the biggest talk of the town, but it still has a large enough Egyptian following to think about. With Arabic as its 3rd main language, Twitter has a lot of eyes on it.

“Twitter is an engine of Mass Influence” states Thawaites, and that it is.

Twitter is famous for being used as a tool for breaking news, and 35% of users are simply looking to be entertained and engaged in something.

For years, we have seen products breaking out on the platform. Apple famously uses the platform as a first-reveal platform for new products, as well communicating with their fans. We’ve also seen impactful news being broken out and shared on the platform.

Twitter can make an impact ➤ Barack Obama just broke a Twitter record with 3.6M likes

For the everyday though, posts that link to new releases (products or otherwise) would be a great option for marketers.

 

Overall, Marketing Kingdom was able to provide a wealth of industry statistics and information, as well as interesting insights both in the minds of top agency heads and marketing tools such as AI and Social Media.

This is the 3rd year in which Marketing Kingdom has been held in Cairo.

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Brand Management, Featured Stories, Public Relations

Protecting brand reputation in the MENA, are you doing it right?

As marketers, we always strive to communicate with consumers in different ways, specifically, in ways that they prefer. In fact,…

As marketers, we always strive to communicate with consumers in different ways, specifically, in ways that they prefer. In fact, marketing today is becoming increasingly consumer-driven and with the rise of social media marketing, brands can communicate directly with their customers to develop products that sell.

But that usually comes with a price tag attached to it.

This ease of communications is a double-edged sword. Today everyone with a smart phone is a journalist. Both governments and businesses need to maintain an open communication channel with their customers and exercise more transparency and openness.

The need for clear and effective crisis communication strategies has never been more critical to the survival and success of organizations and the protection of their corporate image.

Over the past few years, the Middle East region witnessed immense economic, social and geopolitical volatility affecting governments, businesses and individuals at all levels. Leaders’ ability to communicate effectively and handle crises has never been more important.

FAILING TO PREPARE IS PREPARING TO FAIL

The topic of Crisis is one that is usually shied away from, yet it is of great importance to talk about. Crises are critical for any institution, company, country, even an individual. Although they are often associated with tension and insecurity, they are also an opportunity to build and improve.

From a leadership perspective, we always need to be prepared, as Crises do happen and succeeding in a crisis is not only about how professional an entity is in handling the crisis, but also how prepared it was to handle such a crisis before it happens. Reputations are built over a long time, and are a result of continuous and effective communication with stakeholders, excellence in customer service, and well prepared crisis planning.

ARE WE DOING RIGHT?

A key question to ask ourselves: Are brands communicating effectively and are we doing Crisis Communications right in the Middle East region?

The Middle East region is a vast conglomerate of markets with different cultures, history and varying stages of market development. It is mostly mistaken that the all the markets in the Middle East are the same and that it’s a once size fits all when it comes to communicating or managing and protecting brands. Unfortunately, that is the illusion. Our region speaks the same language and may be culturally and historically close, but when it comes to doing business, each country is completely different and requires a different approach that suits the local market and audience.

For brands to communicate more effectively and navigate successfully through Crises, understanding the cultural differences, geo-politics, media, and public sentiment is a key enabler.

Our region has seen a significant increase in the number of crises across all industries. With the public sharing opinions and communicating over social media, managing brand reputations especially during crises has taken a whole new direction. A lot of organizations may ‘think’ that they are doing it right. It is an area that is constantly evolving, and hence the need to constantly be looking at updating and upgrading their practices and protocols.

As we move forward, Crisis communications needs to keep evolving in line with the changing environment. Effective communication has never been more important to protect a brand’s reputation and not just with external stakeholders but even more importantly with the internal audience – employees.

Employees are the organization’s most trusted and most reliable brand ambassadors and the biggest impactor on its reputation. Many organizations today still don’t appreciate the importance of the role of internal communications and may not realize the impact of not having an effective internal comms strategy in place.

COMMUNICATION IS COLLABORATION

If an organization doesn’t communicate, and effectively as well, with its employees it runs the risk of losing a lot more than just a reputation. It may lose the entire business. Well informed employees will deliver the right message to the external stakeholders and that in my opinion is the most effective way for a brand to communicate, even more specifically during a crisis.

Another key obstacle lies in the misalignment of communication channels within an organization, and its agency partner especially in times of Crisis. Communication is all about collaboration. Today, many clients still view the agency as an outsider and third party.

From a client perspective, many agencies are more concerned with bringing in more clients, and making more money rather than working closely with the client’s team to develop customized communication protocols that suit the needs and requirements of these clients. Unfortunately, there are still many agencies that work with the concept of a one-size fits all approach and focuses on selling ready-made solutions to their clients.

Some agencies position crisis communications as a product that they could monetize on through off-the-shelf modules or training, rather than a value-added service to the client.

Both clients and agencies need to shift their mindset around their relationship from one of ‘service-provider’ to one of partnership. Agencies need to be immersed in their clients’ business from day one as a partner that fully understands the client communication and business objectives as well work hand-in-hand to ensure that clients’ brands are communicated effectively and in a manner that preserves and protects its reputation.

Only then will the real benefit of a partnership be achieved. Only then can agencies really communicate, manage and protect their client’s brands and reputations effectively and efficiently. Reputations today need a lot more work to build and protect especially with the increasing digital transformation we are witnessing.

Today we are living in a digital era where we are swimming in a sea of stories, real and false news and truths and half-truths. The accessibility of social media, and its power in giving a voice to all stakeholders, on any topic and at any time, has made communication professionals jobs a lot more challenging.

The digital media landscape has brought with it a mass of data to the forefront. Brands today have a tougher job communicating their brand to their consumers. One may think that social media has made it easier to communicate, but that ease comes with a hefty price tag. Many clients are still struggling today to communicate effectively online and more importantly, protect their brand’s reputation on the digital platform.

Without the right processes and protocols to communicate effectively online, clients and agencies alike will suffer the consequences.

During a crisis, and today more than ever, communicators should be advising their leaders to go back to the core basics and more importantly adapt them to suit the digital landscape. They need to be truthful, authentic, prompt, brief and always accessible.

The news-cycle today moves at a much faster pace than before. And hence, the speed of collecting facts, and all ‘sides’ of the story are key to delivering a well-rounded story to the public. Brands need to realize that to communicate effectively with their stakeholders they need to be quick, efficient and deliver the right message at the right time.

Long gone are the days when consumers would have to wait for their voice to be heard and then wait for the response if any. Today they have their own social platforms where their voices are heard instantly and not just by the brands, but by other consumers and stakeholders who will react to it immediately.

There were times when business or media controlled the narrative. Today, it’s the public who controls the stories; they are not only a source of information but also demand information, they dictate the pace and hence they now control the narrative.

For more information on the conference and training, please visit the website: www.letstalkevent.com

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