Creating Power Brands for SMEs

| 27/06/2008 | Reply

Discussions on creating powerful brands were held yesterday to assist Brunei’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The
Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources and Asia Inc Forum organised
the SME Programme Branding Forum and Workshop to better help Brunei
realise its vision for a diversified, sustainable and competitive
economy.

They
partnered with Baiduri Bank Berhad and the Brunei Economic Development
Board, and are supported by the Young Entrepreneurs Association of
Brunei.

The forum provided SMEs with ideas to innovate and to overcome the challenges of branding in a competitive market.

“Enhancing
our competitiveness involves finding and developing our niches. It
requires us to invest in researching and developing products and
services that are up to world’s consumers’ standards and expectations
and include a marketing strategy that can deliver the best possible
prices for products and services,” said Dato Paduka Awg Hj Mohd Hamid
bin Hj Mohd Jaafar, MIPR Permanent Secretary.

He
highlighted the importance of branding in enhancing competitiveness in
today’s global environment, and how branding is very much a part of his
ministry’s overall strategy.

He identified two aspects of branding that plays a significant role in realising Brunei’s vision in diversifying its economy.

“The
first is developing Brunei into a serious player in the global Halal
market.” Brunei, a Malay Muslim Monarchy, has every chance of success
to be a “true global player” in the Halal market, he said.

He
felt the Halal standards and guidelines that have been published by the
relevant authorities would “definitely” give Brunei a boost in becoming
one of the global Halal players.

“It’s
credibility will also be further enhanced with the rapid development of
its Halal science capability through working closely together with the
higher learning institutions such as the University of Brunei
Darussalam as well as the network of well developed laboratories in
Brunei Darussalam and abroad,” he said.

Brunei
has all the ingredients to succeed and with its current progress,
everything should be in place for the upcoming 3rd International Halal
Products Exposition this August.

He
called for SME’s, particularly those in the food production sector, to
join the ministry in taking the opportunity to benefit from the Brunei
Halal brand.

The second example of branding work carried out by the ministry encompasses Brunei’s tourism industry.

“Our
success in sustainable forest management and our active involvement in
the Heart of Borneo initiative that has captured global attention has
turned Brunei into a new exciting eco-tourism destination,” he said.

He
referred to the tourism sector’s achievement of a 13 per cent growth in
tourist arrival for 2007. “We developed the Taman Negara Ulu Temburong
into the Ulu Ulu Resort through the Public-Private partnership. We are
exploring the same possibility with yet another gem in Brunei, our
beautiful Tasek Merimbun in Tutong.

“I
believe with a proper branding image that represents the promise that
we can consistently deliver, we should be able to position ourselves
towards making Brunei Darussalam a Kingdom if Unexpected ‘natural’
treasures.”

Yesterday’s
participants are expected to be able to come up with strategies to make
them stand out from other organisations, especially in such a
challenging market in Southeast Asia. SME’s need to have
differentiation not only in their products, but also in the delivery of
their products to ensure sustainability.

“In
terms of branding, it is very important for SMEs to brand themselves,
especially in a growing competitive market, and especially so if they
want to go abroad,” Asia Inc Forum Chief Executive Officer, Allen Lai,
said yesterday.

Category: Asia, Media & Events

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