Thursday, November 01, 2007

Oman Manufacturing Group Talks Branding

According to Mr. Hilal Al Ahsani, CEO, Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (PEIE) and organizer of the quarterly Oman Manufacturing Group seminar program: “This is a time of competition and differentiation for Oman’s manufacturers. This is a time for manufacturers to shape the future of their brand in an intelligent and inspirational way.”

Twenty years ago, manufacturers spent little on marketing and branding. Lacking technological resources, they focused on their traditional core markets and seemed unable or unwilling to compete. Nowadays, Oman-based manufacturers are aware of the necessity for a strong brand as a way of creating sustainable value. Led by S. Gopalan, CEO, Reem Batteries, Monday night’s OMG seminar examined the importance of brand development and its relevance to Oman’s growing manufacturing sector.

According to research carried out by Ernst & Young, up to 40 per cent of the 'average' company's market value is based on intangible assets, such as its brand reputation. In Al Ahsani’s view, when manufacturers develop a brand-based marketing plan, it is critical they think about every point at which their target audience may come into contact with the brand. “Every interaction or point of contact with the target audience is an opportunity for manufacturers to enhance their brand. These points of contact, or touch-points, include a wide spectrum of elements from corporate events, advertising, brochures, website, media and even the attitude of clients.”

Commenting from the OMG seminar, Dave Pender, Advisor, PEIE said: “this evening’s discussions clearly demonstrated that marketing isn’t a controlled process in an insulated lab. Manufacturers need to realize that marketing activities are prone to mishaps, last minute changes, conceptual shifts, the volatility of markets, natural disasters, social change and the vagaries of human nature. Some marketing efforts will backfire while others will yield great results. It was evident from tonight’s panel discussion that marketing requires constant fine tuning and adjustments to reflect and respond to the kaleidoscopic environment of our times.”
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