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Kenyan firms told to focus on brand perception

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 8 – The business community in East Africa is being encouraged to build better brand perceptions instead of focusing on short marketing campaigns, if they are to benefit from returns on investment during the prevailing tough economic climate.

Speaking while announcing the 2008/2009 Superbrands in East Africa on Monday, the chairman of the UK Superbrands Council Stephen Cheliotis said it was prudent for companies to build strong brands.

He said that such brands help companies especially during harsh economic times to enhance their reputation, which results in increased cash flow for the company.

“Strong brands help businesses retain market leadership and advantage in the market place, which results in higher turnover compared to rival companies,” Mr Cheliotis stressed.

He pointed out that companies with superior brands had an effective and motivated workforce behind them.

“If your employees are happy to be there they want to recommend their company to their friends and other potential customers resulting in returns for the company.”

“Employees like to be associated with superior brands,” he highlighted.

During the awards, Nokia emerged as the top brand in the East African region according to a survey commissioned by Superbrands East Africa and co-ordinated by the London-based The Centre for Brand Analysis (TCBA).

Mr Cheliotis said: “Nokia has performed strongly with both the marketing experts and the consumers within East Africa who believe that it fulfils the requirements inherent within a Superbrand, namely offering quality and reliable products that are truly distinctive.”

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Blue Band emerged second while household cleaner Omo came third followed by global leader in the beverage industry Coca-Cola.

Rounding off the list were Colgate, Panadol, Bata, Kimbo Mercedes Benz and Milo.

Over 1,000 brands were considered in the research but only the top brands will be invited to join the local Superbrands programme, a sub-set of the prestigious global project that recognises brand strength and is viewed as the elite club for the world’s strongest brands.

The chairman of Brand Kenya Hannington Gaya observed that apart from Nokia, all the brands have been in the market for more than thirty years.

He urged companies to capitalise on national pride associated with their brands to come up with products that rival those from foreign markets.

98.4 Capital FM is a past recipient of the Superbrands tag having been recognised as the top radio station in 2007.

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