Saturday, June 28, 2008

Malaysia Brand Vs Other Brands

Najib maybe talking about RPK's SD to Musa

Najib said at the opening of the International Conference on Meeting of Minds: Developing the Malaysia Master Brand:
“To effectively position Malaysia in this globalised arena, we must be characterised by a unified core of competence and unique selling proposition that fits all levels of economy and society.”
More Here
Someone wrote regarding branding destination:
Destination branding is no enviable task, as I found out during the past week when I went through hundreds of websites, brochures, articles and a couple of books. More so for a nation as varied as the United Arab Emirates, where identifying a unique characteristic which can generate a positive emotional response from a person is only a part of the task; but also involves addressing issues like the volatility of the middle-east and cultural sensibilities.
Nations has increasingly resorted to the “We have everything” or a “We are different” angle which did nothing more than to get fairly easy approvals from governments and other decision-making bodies. Among Uniquely Singapore, Incredible India, Enchanting Finland, Wonderful Greece, Magical Kenya, Dynamic Korea, Naturally Nepal, Uruguay Natural, Wow Philippines, which one will actually generate a positive human response from a citizen or a tourist is debatable.
Others have resorted to their regional significance – Tanzania claiming to be ‘Authentic Africa’ while Rwanda urges you to ‘Discover a new African Dawn’ (featuring a Gorilla naming ceremony!) and Zambia reckons you can Experience the Real Africa’, Samoa is ‘The treasured island of the South Pacific’, Grenada is the ‘Spice of the Caribbean’ while Dominica is ‘The Nature Island of
the Caribbean’, Malta is the ‘Heart of the Mediterranean’ while Croatia is ‘The Mediterranean as it once was’.
Still more get philosophical and poetic- Macedonia is the ‘Cradle of Culture, land of nature’, Maldives claims to be ‘The sunny side of life’, Nicaragua is ‘A country with heart’(Sorry Dubai), Cayman Islands is ‘Close to home, Far from expected’, Niue Islands is ‘Undiscovered Unspoiled Unbelievable’, Thailand offers you ‘Happiness on Earth’, Vietnam is ‘The Hidden Charm’ while Panama takes up the clich├ęd ‘The road less travelled’ tag.
Others can simply be mistaken with products like mineral water, television or even shoes - like Seychelles claiming to be ‘As pure as it gets’ (or sometimes a little less) while New Zealand is ‘100% Pure’, South Africa says ‘It is possible’, Hungary has a ‘Talent for entertaining’.
Only a few has managed to stand out and make an impact– either due to their long-term vision or with the help of a bit of creativity shown while making their identities, executing campaigns and ensuring some level of consistency. Malaysia's ‘Truly Asia’, despite its obvious simplicity has proved to be a winner. Alaksa, which has a predictable tagline,
‘Beyond your dreams, Within your reach’ came up with an excellent Alaska B4UDIE campaign to boost tourism revenue. Ethiopia’s questionable ‘13 months of sunshine’ may not have prompted a huge tourist influx, but is nevertheless unique, but has not been marketed well. Latvias ‘Land that Sings’ is delightful, Cyprus’ ‘The golden apple’ is intriguing, Ireland’s ‘Your own Ireland’ works well combined with its identity, Jamaica’s ‘One Love’ is representative of the nations fun-filled outlook.
Australia emerges the winner of the pack with excitement always present in its identity and campaigns that generate discussion, not to mention the popularity of the destination itself. Poland used a plumber and a nurse to inject some fresh lease of life into the tourism industry. Bahamas has a unique and contemporary logo, but it is doubtful whether it portrays a national identity as well as Spain’s does.
Britain, one of the first countries to take destination branding seriously did not create much excitement in terms of creativity. ‘Visit Britain’ promised to be as boring as the country was perceived to be, while the pretentious ‘UK OK’ was typically unimaginative. And in case if you were wondering who was behind Saudi Arabia’s innovative tourism strategy, you are welcome to the lovingly named ‘Supreme commission for Tourism’.
Truly Asia is a good brand for tourism and has been successful in promoting Malaysia as a destination especially in this part of the world. However, comparing to Dubai which only 'emerged' recently on the world map, Malaysia still has lots to learn.
As reported by Gulfnews recently:
Today, Dubai is the most talked about city in the world; conversations about development and rapid prosperity are never complete without mentioning something exotic and dynamically different about this place. People all over the world are fascinated when sharing their encounters, responding to the outflow of promotions on just about everything that's happening in the land of Dubai.
The conversations often describe iconic achievement in great detail, describing either a world-class hotel that looks like a ship and how magnificent it appears on the waterfront, or talking about the rapid construction of the world's tallest tower that has now surpassed the CN Tower of Toronto. The global masses are also fascinated when referring to the cluster of man-made islands that have taken the shape of trees and atlas in the ocean, where people inhabit exotic villas, walk glittering streets and visit shops where gold overflows in jewellery that dazzles the mind.

But all over the world, what all this phraseology often very seriously lacks is the clear mention of names and the exact brand name identities attached to each project, as most have no recollection as to how to differentiate or even address these icons. Most cannot appreciate generic name brand like "World" to describe the cluster of islands, nor can they explain the "South American" region to tell others that they want to live in "Brazil, Dubai".
Similar difficulty exists with tree shaped islands as there is at least one Palm housing project in almost every city of the world. The name of the Burj Al Arab hotel is rarely used, and if referred to as "Burj", it is easily confused with Burj Dubai, the world's tallest tower. With so many other Burj name brands, the grandeur of the name is lost as the meaning becomes watered down.
These massive undertakings should not be branded as such and not in a way that does not set them apart from hundreds of similar, generic, mundane words that detract from their aura. Not to mention the translation difficulties, where Arabic names and meanings lead to confusion in foreign markets, resulting in unintentional abbreviation that only adds to the confusion.

Study findings
In a recent select study of the Dubai Brand Name-Identity Profile, conducted by ABC Namebank, Toronto - New York, the most significant observation was that there is a strong awareness of the number of Dubai's projects around the globe, but a serious lack of clear brand name identity recognition.
With some another 1,000 projects on the ground ranging from series of magnificent towers to highly complex, highly focused range of entire cities under development there's a lot to be said about the current nature of name-identity and brand positioning of such iconic structures.

In Dubai and also all over the GCC, the first generation of the branding wave is almost over, where massive colourful campaigns were created to boost the image and visibility at the local level with all the tools of traditional advertising deployed resulting in some hugely successful projects.
Now it's time for the second wave, as now, the focus is to attract more global customers, the issue of highly efficient global brand name identities for the global populace has moved to the forefront. With hundreds of similar Arabic-based name identities in the region, most of the current names in the UAE or GCC of the billion dollar projects will not become exclusive icons, rather they will stay trapped in intense global competition from other similar or identical marks.
A quick search of Google will instantly prove this serious dilemma in a few seconds.
The rules of global name branding demand the full application of the laws of corporate nomenclature. This highly specialised subject is often sacrificed over short-lived logo driven promotion. If great projects were not related to their names for whatever reason, their iconic value would become a serious marketing blunder, leaving the global customer with obscure, nameless structures that they won't bother to remember.
What can businesses and developers do, and should they change now or not at all?
This is a serious question and demands a highly qualified independent name-identity audit to ensure that from now on going forward only the globally acceptable and globally workable name identities should be adopted especially for any project that has any potential to get world's attention.
While Dubai's success has set the best examples it is important to note that because of its success some 100 plus cities around the world are already trying to adopt the same Dubai's blueprints, which will further intensify the competition to seek attention of global customers.
Therefore, global marketing of image and international naming are two essential components for the entire GCC and the leaders must tackle them head-on and with full force, confidence and knowledge of global name-identities.

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