By Christine Muchira
Brand Kenya Board, in partnership with Deloitte EA, Inter-Brand EA and WPP Scangroup undertook a country branding workshop on June 9th 2016 at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC).
Having commenced this process more than 8years ago, the country branding journey remains misunderstood in Kenya.
The workshop sought to review Kenya’s branding journey, looking at what Kenya needs to do to improve its Brand and borrow a leaf from other successful country brands in Africa.
The objective of the workshop was to understand what country branding really means, what it takes to brand a country and the state of marketing Kenya today.
The training enhanced the efforts being undertaken by the Brand Kenya Board to enhance the country’s image, national identity and managing its international reputation as well as rally citizens together for greater social harmony and cohesiveness.
Dr. Chris Kiptoo, the Principal Secretary, State Department of Trade while officially opening the workshop said “Kenya is one of the best countries to invest in. I am keen on formulating plans and policies that will help claim a place for Kenya in the international market to improve the balance of trade and grow export figures.”
He challenged the Board to develop a branding blue print for Kenya.
The sessions were coordinated by Mr. Douglass de Villiers, the CEO Interbrand Africa, the world’s no. 1 brand consultancy firm with over 22years experience in the field of Country branding. Their annual survey the Best Global Brand in its 16th Cycle highlights the most valuable 100 global brands.
This was conducted in partnership with Deloitte East Africa’s Dr. Martin Oduor Otieno, Partner and Advisor and Rodger George.
Mr. Douglass noted that a visitors or investors moment of truth is in his or her first experience in that country and therefore Kenya should strive to make it smooth and memorable at all touch points.
The branding workshop will empower Brand Kenya Board with the necessary technical knowledge to pave a roadmap for positioning Kenya optimally in terms of Trade Tourism and Investment. Brand Kenya Board continues to establish meaningful networks and partnerships with individuals and organizations for a harmonized and integrated branding initiative.
Dr. Kirubi Business man and Chairman Brand Kenya Board, noted that Kenya is a vibrant country steadily growing and therefore requires a positioning vision to set it apart from the rest of its competitors.
The Board’s responsibility therefore is akin to a mother responsibility towards her children because their image and behavior is a reflection of her role in bringing them up.
The Board’s role is to remove all barriers related to the country’s image and to make it known that all Kenyans as Public Relations persons for the country.
Others present during the event were Sam Onyango CEO, Deloitte East Africa, Julie Gichuru, Media Consultant and Board Member Brand Kenya among others Board Members and a team from Deloitte East Africa.