Innovate to build successful brands – Ashigbey

Business News of Thursday, 19 February 2015

Source: Graphic Online

Ashiegbey Gra.MD

The Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited, Mr Kenneth Ashigbey, has said called on Ghanaian businesses to desist from copying what others have done and be innovative.

According to him, there was the need for continuous innovation in every part of business, adding that it was only through that process that brands could be built in Ghana.

Mr Ashigbey made the call when he delivered a paper at a branding summit organised by Generic 7 Consult on the theme, “The critical future of brands for the republic, – Enduring brand values for the future.”

The summit was to educate Ghanaians on the importance of branding and it brought together experts in branding to educate people on the values of branding, for both individuals and the nation at large.

“We are in a country where we love to copy, we start off with filling stations, and everyone is doing it. We start off with ‘space to space’, and everyone is doing it. There is no innovation,” he said on February 12.

Explaining how copying was affecting the newspaper industry specifically, Mr Ashigbey said radio presenters review stories in the newspapers once it comes out every morning and that was killing the industry.

“In other countries it doesn’t happen like that, so we need to find a way to go about this, we need to force ourselves to innovate. Most of the time it is those who are innovating that win. When you look at the newspaper industry, newspapers are going to die and the only ones that are going to survive are those that innovate and Graphic is one of them.

He said the brand value is the entire experience prospects or clients have with a product or company and to achieve that requires a detailed understanding of its target audience.

“The brand value is the experience you give to people who encounter you. As a country, we are not going the way we want to, we talk more and do less, we need to build brand value as a company and as a country,” he stressed.

He further reiterated that brand value was an important asset any company could own, adding that it was measured in terms of customer loyalty, staff retention and could influence either positively or negatively.

“How is Ghana going to stand out from the rest? What are we going to do to ensure that investments come to Africa, our competition is not only Africa, our competition is global, the United States equally wants to attract those investments so what are we also doing to attract the investments”, he quizzed.

“We have to go back to our values, we always talk about building brands; if it is so then values are the foundation on which brands are built. The way to build an enduring brand is to build a brand that supplies a need. Go into the market and find out what is it that people want and deliver it consistently,” he added.

The Chief Executive Officer of Generic 7 Consult, Mr Sylvester Phish, explained that branding of one’s image was very necessary because a brand transcended fame.

He said most Ghanaians were used to the petty way of thinking, hence they tended to be satisfied with what they had attained in life.

“We have to change our line of thinking and increase the amplitude of our minds. It involves everyone. We have to change our attitudes and the time we even go to work,” he explained.

According to him, adopting high standards was the way forward for this country, stressing the need for everyone to create some value that would benefit the next generation.

The Minister of state in charge of Public-Private Partnerships, Mr Rashid Pelpuo, said it was high time Ghanaians changed their attitudes and rebranded themselves because the country was lagging behind.

“Change does not occur with the masses doing the same thing. It happens when a single person is doing something different,” he said.

He urged all to embrace the idea of rebranding, stressing that, “We all must listen to someone telling us who we really are and do a U-turn and take the right route.”