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Nigerian SME Business Leaders gather at Inaugural SME Brand Leadership Workshop organized by Brandzone

A HIGHLY innovative Brand Leadership workshop recently brought together leaders, business visionaries and investors of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMES) from diverse backgrounds at the ‘SME DIY Branding Workshop’

Organized by Brandzone Consulting, the inaugural workshop tagged Branding for Growth was designed as the first ever broadly inclusive workshop that creates an atmosphere of interactive and practical engagement as a learning methodology for SMEs.

The Brand Leadership Programme attracted participation from diverse backgrounds including Agriculture, Supply Chain Management, IT Solutions, Security and Systems, Tourism & hospitality, Oil & Gas, Manufacturing & Production, Retail, Fashion & Life Style and Logistics Management.

L-R:Co-founder and Executive Director, Falcon Corporation Ltd, Audrey Joe-Ezigbo; Founder, Teeky Magazine and Teeky Group, Doris Akpovwa; Managing Partner, Brandzone Consulting LLC and Convener, SME DIY Workshop, Chizor Malize; TV Personality, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Today’s Woman Magazine, Adesuwa Onyenokwe at the SME DIY Brand Workshop in Lagos.

Speaking at the event, Audrey Joe Ezigbo, Executive Director of Falcon Corporation, remarked: “Brandzone did a remarkable job of lining up thought-provoking and stimulating agenda with subject matters that were of great interest to the participants who were very keen on leveraging branding to achieve increased growth in their various operations”.

It was obvious from the content and workshop scope covered that the workshop was designed to stir and stimulate knowledge amongst entrepreneurs who are seeking to remain ahead of their markets particularly within the highly competitive landscape faced by every sector of the economy.

Competitive landscape

In her opening address, Managing Partner, Brandzone Consulting LLC and the convener BrandPlatform, Chizor Malize, stated that the SME-Focused Brand Leadership Program was conceived out of the desire to provide a platform where SME businesses can converge to exchange skills in the areas of Branding and Brand Management that keeps them focused on maximizing the inherent opportunities that branding can create for their business, their products and their overall operations.

“The  role  of  Small  and  Medium-Sized  Enterprise (SMEs)  in  the growth of our  national  economy  cannot  be overemphasized. Increasingly across the third world countries, SMEs are being given policy attention as their impact is felt more in the overall economic development of nations. Today, more than ever before, we see SMEs expansion boosting employment and economic growth. The opportunities inherent in this market segment is huge- however it is still a far cry when it comes to quality and competitiveness compared to the developed nation” she states.

Malize noted that the Brand Leadership Programme, is the first of a series of programmes designed to provide the SME key insights for building, managing and leading with branding equipping them to promote and drive quality and position the SMEs for competitiveness and growth the 21st Century.

In her remark she noted, “technology has penetrated into virtually all areas of life; it has created opportunity for connectivity through an explosion of new technology tools thereby making consumers engage with brands differently. Leading brands must be digitally visible as today’s consumers are technologically savvy.

There is now a change in their lifestyle, their consumer patterns, engagement modes and attitudes to brands. It becomes necessary that the SMEs are adequately equipped to leverage the new opportunities and platforms that technology has created as they seek opportunities to boost their business”

The programme shared ground breaking and innovative strategies to fuel the SMEs success in a digitally driven age. Digital Marketing and Social Media optimization was one of the ways identified through which SMEs with very limited marketing and communications budget can drive their brand stories thereby gaining greater brand visibility by exploring the high reach which the social media platforms present.

Greater brand visibility

Speaking about the programme, Catherine Bickersteth, Founder, Strategic Educational Advisory Services Limited said “The Brandzone SME DIY Brand Leadership workshop was timely. It was highly engaging, inspiring, interactive and stimulating. My team found particularly insightful the opportunities in Digital Marketing and social media optimization which we plan to doggedly embrace and apply all the learning inherent as we maximize our market potentials”.

A key segment of the programme promoted the needs for brand to embrace insights in engaging with the market. Customer and market insights aid the design of cutting edge consumer engagement programmes that keep brands relevant and endearing.

The programme through its unique methodology demonstrated to participants the importance of market and consumer insight. It provided toolkits with which brands can recapture and rediscover themselves.

Speaking on her personal experience at the Brand Leadership Workshop, TV Personality and Publisher Today’s Woman, Adesuwa Onyenukwe, shared “It is amazing how branding can be a journey. The experience was mind-blowing and totally different. Brandzone took all the participants on a journey of self discovery”.

Participants at the Conference were full of commendation for the knowledge filled sessions and the interactive and networking platform the conference offered.

According to Mr. Denis Osadebe, Managing Director and Founder, Deo Science Discovery World. “The Brand Leadership Programme has opened my mind to the great opportunities that branding can bring to any operations.

There is so much learning all packed in one programme that has equipped us sufficiently to position to become competitive to any educational science centre anywhere in the world. Besides the learning opportunities from this programme, I would cherish the connections I made with people from diverse areas of business from agriculture, production, logistics, retail and technology”.


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