The Management Club facilitates unleashing the Sri Lankan brand potential to the world!

Tuesday, 22 March 2011 00:02 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Author of the bestselling book ‘Asian Brand Strategy’ Martin Roll, the renowned branding strategist, thought leader and corporate marketing advisor, who runs a global consultancy business based in Singapore – travelling the world, is in Sri Lanka and will address the Sri Lankan business managers and CEOs today at the Cinnamon Grand.

The Management Club (TMC) affiliated to the Chartered Management Institute UK – Sri Lanka branch, formed and run by professional managers in the country for networking and knowledge share amongst the management fraternity in the country, has facilitated his visit and the two highly sought-after sessions this morning and evening.

The foresight and rationale of the TMC in bringing Roll into the country is to enrich the Sri Lankan business managers and CEOs with the necessary strategic insights and secrets of the art of brand building in this progressive era of new hope in the country’s business and industry to capture world markets.

Roll’s valuable visions on value creation through brand equity driven by over two decades of tremendous global experience “have facilitated business leaders and organisations to think bold on future strategies by building iconic brands,” enabling businesses to enhance shareholder value and create sustainable competitive advantage. The need of the hour in this country as all would agree.

Roll says: “In the next 10 years, a rapid changing landscape will emerge in Asia where the opportunities for Asian companies to benefit from branding efforts will be larger than ever before. The growing emphasis on better financial value creation, competitiveness and differentiation through brand equity will move up the boardroom agenda. Brand leadership will become one of the most prominent management issues in Asia Pacific.”

But before this new momentum shift can take place, changes are necessary, he says. Roll will talk about these changes that are necessary in his presentations. The morning seminar aimed at marketers and senior managers will focus on ‘10 Steps to Build Strong Global Brands: A New Approach’  (9 to 11 a.m.) where he will explore the importance of an unique brand promise, achieving outstanding brand delivery and how the entire company can ensure that its multiple and cross functional actions are channelled to this end.

The evenings CEO forum (5 to 7 p.m.) focused at the CEOs and corporate management/board levels would be on ‘Business and Brand Leadership: A New Paradigm for CEO Success’. Here Roll will examine the fast-changing face of business in Asia and the benefits of brands and innovation in the emerging Asian business landscape.

The CEO forum will be followed by a panel discussion to context and further align how Sri Lankan businesses should embark on auctioning this new found knowledge. This discussion would be moderated by our own marketing guru and practitioner Prof. Uditha Liyanage – Director of PIM, attended by Roll and three other leading business personalities – Rajan Britto, Deputy Chairman and MD of Aitken Spence conglomerate, Amal Cabral, Chairman Unilever Sri Lanka and Nimal Gunawardena, Chairman/CEO Bates Strategic Alliance representing the communications and PR industry. Thereafter a networking session and cocktails would follow.

Martin’s book ‘Asian Brand Strategy,’ which became a best seller, has been acclaimed by many leading personalities. Some appraisals are highlighted below:

Dominic Barton – Worldwide Managing Director, McKinsey & Company: “Building successful global brands is – and will be – critical for the rapidly increasing number of Asian champions on the global stage. Martin Roll provides a compelling and practical roadmap on how to do this based on his extensive experience advising Asian corporations.”

John A. Quelch – Lincoln Filene Professor of Business Administration Harvard Business School: “Asian Brand Strategy is an important handbook for Asian executives aspiring to build strong brands. It provides a solid foundation for future success in the global market place.”

N.R. Narayana Murthy, Chairman and Chief Mentor, Infosys Technologies Ltd.: “An insightful look into branding as a strategic tool for Asian companies - Asian Brand Strategy by Martin Roll is a brilliant, incisive read. A treasure of ideas and case studies, this compelling new book discusses the challenges Asian corporations face to stay relevant in today's dynamic, global market.”

Roll highlights in his book that there is an erosion of “the Asian low-cost advantage” and a “lack of value creation” now evident in the region and in fact “there are less than 10 global brands originating from Asia”.

He says: “In a study measuring the financial value of worldwide brands conducted by Inter brand and Business Week in 2004, one important finding was that only four of the top brands originate in Asia. Three classic brands come from Japan and a fast-growing ambitious brand comes from South Korea: Sony, Honda, Toyota and Samsung. Looking at the region as a whole, there are less than 10 powerful global brands originating from Asia. Brands like Singapore Airlines, Shangri-La Hotels, Banyan Tree, Acer, HSBC, Shiseido and a couple of others are powerful global brands with a strong Asian heritage.”

A simple question then remains: What about the rest of Asia?

Rolls’ reasons for the lack of strong Asian brands

There are many reasons why Asian companies have not fostered many global brands until now. The appreciation of branding as a strategic concept can be influenced by:

• The stage of economic development of societies

• Less focus on innovation

• Broad diversification of businesses

• The Asian business structure

• Implications of intellectual property (IP) protection.

But given the size and volume of Asian business today, it is evident that Asia could build many more prominent brands and capture more financial value from better price premiums and customer loyalty.

What of Sri Lanka?

Are we on the right path? What have we done right so far? Where have we gone wrong? What can we leverage to take our brands to global acceptance?

Branding can become an important driver of shareholder value for Sri Lankan companies in their quest to reach and reign supreme in the global arena of trade and business.

Roll is equipped, energised and ready to show the way through the two epoch-making not-to-be-repeated sessions scheduled for today.

The sponsors of the programme are Sri Lanka Insurance as Principle Sponsor, Airtel and Bartleet Trans Capital as Co Sponsors and Dimo, Odel, Richardson Projects, Vision Care, Ceylon Biscuits and Alpha Industries as Supporting Sponsors. Also, Ninehearts, Sharp Graphics, Pan Audio and Sign Tech as Service Sponsors and B-Connected as Event Coordinator.

The partners are Daily Financial Times, Sunday Times/Business Times – print media, Cinnamon Grand – the official hotel, MTV/YES FM – electronic media and Bates Strategic Alliance – Communication & PR.