By Yemisi Abah-Suleiman
Princess Adesuwa Obaseki is the CEO of BraveHearts CommunicationÂ an integrated Marketing Communication outfit that is into Brands consultancy, organizing, revitalizing and repositionning brands. Armed with certificates in several professional courses and also from the institute of branding in Vega South Africa, Ms Obaseki is posed to changing the face of Brands and Branding in Nigeria as she initiates the Magic Workshop to help participants at the workshop to have a clear understanding of what brands are, and also help them to do an update of their company especially at this times of recession.
Renowed Brands Communications expert Gordon Cook, the nationalÂ School Navigator for Vega, the Brand Communications School South Africa, is the facilitator for the two days workshop billed fromÂ Wednesday 15th to Thursday 16th July 2009, at the Sharaton Hotel and Towers Ikeja.. Obaseki, throws more light on the essence of the workshop and the importance of Brands and Branding.â€Branding starts from the human resource department. It is more like the human resource manager sitting down to interview an applicant, if the brand has core values they know what they are shopping for, and if a candidate does not fit in to their vision theyÂ do not employ such candidate.â€
How do you identify a brand?
A brand is more than a Â Â Â product;Â a brand is more than colour as a slogan. A brand is something and someone, a system people can trust, if you say a company is going down today, if it is a brand people can still associate with it because they have come to trust the brand, this one I am going to stick with them, but when you are not a brand people shift from you easily. With this workshop we want to help enlighten people, like CEOs of companies, Senior marketing managers, brand services managers, marketing managers, marketing assistants, for themÂ to know what exactly brand is all about. We want to help them have better communication, not jumping from one place to the other, after attending this workshop; they would start doing things in the right direction.
That is what we intend doing with is workshop. We want to expose people to know what brand is all about, giving them a renewed and a new refreshed perspective to what exactly branding should be. Even with the old fashioned method of branding, we want to show them the difference between a brand and branding. Because most people understand branding as using papers and stickers; branding is more than this.
What exactly is the difference betweenÂ advertising andÂ Branding?
Advertising is not branding, it is a tool in helping a brand communicate to the people what the brand is all about, that is not branding. As I told you earlier on, branding is involved in making use of advertising, marketing communication to help the brand. IMT tools, employs the senses, like the visual, the hearing, touching you can feel the brand, smell the brand, and hear the brand. You can go the nine yards to ensure that this brand is repositioned properly and succeeds in the eyes of the people, as they are supposed to be and not just changing its colour or package. Part of IMT is identifiable, for example if I want to reach out to a certain class of people, like reaching out to Nigerians I will employ the services of the media both print and broadcast to ensure that the brand is heard and felt. But if I need to reach out to a selected few then I will need to use another tool to ensure that the brand is touched. I might not use the broadcast media. Advertising is talking about the brand but, it is not branding. There is much more to branding.
Who are those to attend the workshop and what should they expect?
The workshop is meant for , Senior management, General managers, Strategic planners, Marketing Managers, Brand Managers and other top executives. Topics to cover include Context of branding, Barriers to branding, Structure and Language and much more.
Those who attend this workshop would be armed with a lot of information that cannot be quantifiable in terms ofÂ money. They should be expecting the Aâ€”Z of branding durring times of recession. We areÂ going to teach them how to maximize their communication using Marketing Communication as a tool. In the communication segment, we also have the dos and donâ€™ts of re-branding. Common ingredients of power brand, measuring brands, brands strategies versus brands. This is very important inÂ re-lunching, revitalizing brands; how and when to do it. That is for the ABCs of brand management.
We would be having two sessions; the first is the â€˜Brand Managementâ€™ course while the second is â€˜Why Brands are CEOâ€™s assets of building successful Organizationsâ€™. These are the things that take brands up and off the value chat, also the brand questions current business models which also contains banks dealing. It also deals with the cost effect between brands and business, the role of brand as a driver of revenue and as driver of reducing marketing cost. Now that we know the role of a brand, everybody wants to record success. You want to have money, we want to enjoy success in business and at the same time you want to reduce your marketing cost. Sometimes you need to spend money to get money back now we are going toÂ also teach participants ways brands can be used as a revenue raiser and as a driver of marketing, they are going to learn, brand values and how to measure a brand internally and externally. It is going to be an enlightenment session. And it is a step in the right direction for those who will attend as we are re-branding Nigeria. Those re branding Nigerian should also come and be part of the workshop. Because if we really want to re-brand Nigeria as a nation, it is because we have realized that we have a flaw and for goodness sake Nigeria is made up of people. So re-branding should start from the root. If we break it down we have the local, state and federal government but apparently it is an exclusive thing and it is open to all but at the same time it is limited because we want people to feel free in a relaxed atmosphere when they come and be able to benefit from the seminar.
Apart from the seminar, there would be breakfast, tea break and launch. The brunch would be a buffet and then question and answer section.
How would you describe your style?
My style is princess Adesuwa Obaseki.. I am like nobody and no body is like me. I can wake up in the morning and feel like dressing in a Victorian outfit and then goÂ oriental tomorrow. I wear whatever suits my mood.
What are you passionate about?
I try to carry on change. My passion is change, I believe I am quiet young in the industry and we have people in the industry that have done so far great things and we respect them. But we need change, we need people that can think outside the bar we need new things, we need innovation and that is why I am really passionate about my work because we want to raise young talented people that can touch lives.
What challenges do you face on the job?
The challenges that we face everyday is that some clients would want to dictate to you how you are going to do your job and not allow you to do your work professionally. If you know better and had the time, you come to me. And if you can, leave your brand consultant to help you express yourself with what they know you to be. And some how I might know you more than how you know yourself because I am the one doing the judgement and I am looking for hard facts. And we can only grow stronger ifÂ you allow us to use our professionalism completely in what we are doing. So most times the challenge comes when the client who is inexperienced tells you to do it like this or that. Because having come this far there are do(s) and donâ€™t(s) in the branding world.
If only a client would say I trust you that is why I have called you to help re-position my organization then allow me to do my job. Also convincing clients that they need one or two innovation here and there has not been too easy but, we have been able to achieve success and re-position brands turning them around into mega brands.