SLIM Brand Excellence Panel of Judges Head shares key insights

Monday, 20 October 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Following are excerpts of a discussion with Bimal Silva, Director/CEO, Hayleys Consumer Products Ltd and Head of the Panel of Judges of the SLIM Brand Excellence 2014 on the judging process and the awards ceremony scheduled to be held on 21 October at Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Hall, BMICH Q: What is the significance of SLIM Brand Excellence? A: Very briefly, SLIM Brand Excellence Awards provide a platform to reward the most powerful brands in Sri Lanka – brands which showcase world class demeanour and timeless ambition.   Q: How is the judging done? A: The brands are judged on four key criteria – Brand Intent, Brand Content, Brand Process and Brand Performance. These in a broader sense determine how the evident brand strategy has been crafted out of its’ philosophy, resulting in revenue generation, market share and brand value relative to the competing brands in each category of awards. The judging process is executed by an esteemed panel of judges, who themselves are champions in their respective fields of work and with their vast experience have imparted their prudent judgment to select the outstanding from the best.   Q: How do you rate the response of the applicants this year? A: The response this year is overwhelming. We have received entries from brands operating in different industries ranging from single owner businesses competing in the SME category to leading local brands and MNC to international brands competing for the coveted award. Overall we surpassed the 100th entry this year with brands operating across 40 diverse industries in Sri Lanka, vying for 12 award categories.   Q: Quality of their presentations? A: The quality of the entries received this year was very impressive. Year on year we have witnessed how applicants have stepped up their standards. A majority of brand custodians were able to provide deeper insights within the success story they presented, which required prudent evaluation by the judges to assess each brand within varying market conditions and segments. There were some exceptional cases of ‘brand champions’ whilst in most award categories the competition was so intense, there was only a very thin line between the coveted winner and the non-winner.   Q: Any advice for the participants? A: This year there was lot of emphasis on standardising the market research information submitted by including a standard template for submission of research data with the help of Market Research Society of Sri Lanka. Yet this is one area of inputs we expect the applicants to pay more attention to, in the years to come. There were some outstanding cases on ‘excellence in brand building’, but in some cases it was about organisational or business excellence, where organisational capabilities and competencies were presented as those of the brand without verification on how organisational capabilities add value to the brand proposition. Marks allocated for brand health parameters such as brand awareness and brand equity in the performance section is significant, yet many applicants did not present such findings, which undermined the strength of a brand from consumers’ point of view.   Q: Looking at the future? A: With the country booming with an unprecedented development road map, every brand should aspire to reach the international arena capitalising on the fast-paced development of our nation. There is opportunity for many more brands to take part in the competition especially with the expansion and growth that is significantly evident in the leisure and tourism sector, exports and the SME sector which compose the backbone of our economy. Brand building strategies of global repute is of paramount importance and Brand Excellence Awards provides a platform to compete and benchmark against outstanding brands in Sri Lanka, which set the bar and inspire many other brands to pursuit leadership in the future.   Q: When will the awards ceremony take place? A: The SLIM Brand Excellence awards ceremony will be held on Tuesday, 21 October at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Memorial Hall at BMICH. Aptly themed ‘Are You Only a Contender or Are You the Champ?’ the gala awards ceremony will see an audience of over 800 attendees – the glitterati of the country’s marketing fraternity.