Part 3 of a 3 part series on visiting Nigeria.
Does it snow in Buffalo? Of course it does. And branding always matters when a destination, a person, or a cause competes. Just like with businesses, products and services. Brands are cumulative mental impressions and serve as an edge to connect with the market.
Strong brands make the choice easy, whether you are seeking votes, support or investments.
As many of you know who read my blog, I was recently in Lagos, Nigeria addressing the Brand Journalists Association on branding in government. This is the final blog post in series of three. To read the previous posts go to: Part 1, Part 2.
Highlights from my presentation included:
The difference of commercial branding verses government branding are:
- Goals for government branding should be to provide: public service, help all people and be cost effective
- Selling proposition is also different. In most cases, it is: trust, certainty, integrity
- And the outcome is: confidence and loyalty with the brand, progress with urgency, unity of stakeholders and community pride
My recommendation for improving any brand, commercial or other is to follow this formula. Great brands are molded by these four factors.
- Unity of voice
- And consistency
While the focus of my program was on government programs, the topics of country branding, leadership and commercial branding were also addressed. To see my PowerPoint on government branding, click the image below.
My trip to Lagos, Nigeria was memorable and very eye opening experience. The event that I was speaking at had an audience of over 500 marketing, PR, branding journalists and practitioners, and government leaders. An elaborate production, it included a big band and two comedians before my talk, food for miles and room decor like the Oscar Awards. I was seated at the head table with former Minister for Information of Nigeria, Chief Alex Akinyele, Governor Ikedi Ohakim of Imo State and the husband of Professor Dora Akunyili, both were honorees of the event.
My program was well received. I closed with The Bob Marley parody I produced called Stand up! Brand up! Tell your story Right. The crowd went crazy as everyone stood up and danced along with me, singing the words to the song. Seeing a room full of professionals so excited about the branding field and wanting to learn how they can do it better and can help their country change its perception was amazing. It’s moments like this as a speaker that are truly priceless.
My new friends 5,000 miles away have place in my history and my heart. I will forever be grateful for this very cool opportunity. I hope you enjoyed this journey as much as I did. I look forward to sharing others with you soon! Within a few weeks, I will post the full speech and night on my Youtube channel.
Closing insight I learned from this trip as a speaker on branding.
1) Press conferences are excellent opportunities to promote an event like this when you are visiting a foreign country. Be prepared with your key points and have copies available to provide journalists too.
2) As a presenter in a foreign land, customize your program to the market. I redesigned all of my images to reflect the local culture and received many compliments and accolades about this extra touch.
3) Always carry a printed introduction with you to provide the MC, even if you sent the organization one weeks before the event.
4) Be prepared to shorten your presentation at the moments notice. One of the honorees was three hours late for the event, which meant the program was delayed and the audience was drinking and getting tired. I condensed the content and adding even more energy to grab everyone’s attention.
5) Keep a Powerbar with you, so if things run behind, you are fueled up and not starving.
6) If you are seated with high ranking government officials or celebrities, be ready for extremely aggressive paparazzi and make sure your hair curls are pinned on tight.