AWiB’s February Monthly Event ReCap “Branding: What’s in it for You?”

In alignment with AWiB’s theme of the year, “Visibility”, the topic “Branding” was chosen to kick off the series of monthly seminars that are all geared towards providing our members, and others interested, with tangible experience sharing from various experts and prominent leaders in the business world. AWiB’s February monthly event entitled “Branding: What’s in it for You?” turned out to be a truly interesting experience sharing of the invited speakers for both the personal, and the professional aspects of branding. 

Haile Gebreselassie held a very modest demeanor as he spoke of his experience as a businessman after succeeding as an athlete for so long. Following his trailblazing international long distance track running records, Haile became a household name. A motivating name that carried with it a powerful message “yichalal” directly translated to “its possible”. This is how the branding of Haile began, per say, his sensational running skills and achievements as an athlete led him to become the face of many international recognized products and eventually to him building various businesses that has now produced over 2000 jobs for the Ethiopian community. He said, one of the most important elements of branding is the trust people have in your product, of which you must first have full trust in. He talked about his attitude, an I-am-going-to-win attitude, whenever he was about to race and how he never focused on the money he was going to make off of any given product’s advertising deals but always, always, only focused on his race and his race only.

Mekdella Mekuria was very enthusiastic as he shared his experiences and knowledge of branding geared towards global impact and self-branding in general. In addition to being a marketing professional and a branding advisor, Mekdella also serves as coach for personal development. Thus he was able to speak, not only on specific “branding” terms, but also had a touch of his motivational element that inspired many to look beyond and find what he called “essence of your uniqueness”. He spoke of the importance of consistency in product and/or service offering, all the while finding the needs of clients for better marketing strategies. 

Selamekristos Belay, also another marketing professional with a wide range of experiences, shared very substantial information on branding from his perspective as the current Brand Building Manager of Unilever in Ethiopia. With his vast understanding of customer service, relationship and channels management and more importantly brand management, Selamekristos took “branding” personally. He was adamant about the importance of the individual connections with clients and even more so about the need for an emotional connectedness with the business endeavor. One of his first comments was on the importance of understanding the reason of why you exist as a business, and with that understanding of your purpose as a business, how you need to channel that purpose to a clear vision. “It all starts with the, why?”.

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