The future generation holds the key to unlock the potential success in branding. For successful branding, things should be focused and target the audience. Being aware of the origins of the business and following certain norms intact where one has to follow religiously is perfectly alright.
For sustaining in the ever-changing global arena, necessary changes should be taken in order to fit into the current global market that keeps on altering its ways. In the past, the means of communication and making a statement were newspapers and radios but now, it’s all about going live on Facebook and updating all necessary information on social media.
Prof. Dr. Jonathan A. J. Wilson, Professor & Consultant expert in ABCDs of Business & Culture, Halal, Muslim & Ethnic markets at GSM London said this in an interview on the sideline of the Communication Summit held in Dhaka recently.
Jonathan’s career started working in advertising in London over twenty years ago. His areas of interest, as he calls them, are the ABCDs of business and culture: advertising, branding, communications, and digital. He has spoken at conferences across the globe on over 100 occasions, and published over 200 pieces of work.
Jonathan, a globally-recognised and award-winning Thought Leader on Halal Branding is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Islamic Marketing by Emerald Publications Groups. He has won awards for his work on Inconspicuous Branded Consumption and Luxury. Jonathan, a Scottish born and raised in Manchester, and likes manga, matcha, maguro, kendo, coffee, rugby, rendang, marzipan and guitars.
Jonathan attended the Communication Summit in Dhaka recently. He, for the first time travelled to Bangladesh. The excerpts of the interview follows:
Question: As a specialist in advertising, branding, communication and digital, how promising do you see the South Asian foothold in these sectors?
Dr. Jonathan: The South Asian foothold is full of potential but however it varies from one region to another. If you compare it with the western culture, boldness plays the key to advertising but in Asia emotion is the power that triggers marketing.
Question: How do you think we can break the individual handcuffs that you mentioned in your keynote session here in Bangladesh?
Dr. Jonathan: Break the rules! You should do something out of the box, and that truly is the key to enhancement. For example – I have female working women at my workplace. Given the norm acquiring female for jobs, is already an eye turning event especially in the east
Question: How do you think we can humanize our brands more for greater interaction and connection with our customers?
Dr. Jonathan: Target the audience who represent your story. Massive targets, high profile consumer base do not always bid well for prompt communication and they are hardly willing to carry the message. Like for an instance, brown people like myself come in different shades but we yet share the same color. They, similar to me can relate to the brown people struggles. If I wasn’t a business tycoon my life would have been just like them. This is how I use it for consumer interaction. I thrive for my audience to connect and relate with my message and that for me is humanizing communication with the audience.
Question: How has the approach of advertisement and communication industry changed?
Dr. Jonathan: From my experience, the change is a massive one! Consumers nowadays prefer the raw truth over coated ones. Today, the use of bold terms grabs their attention whereas, in earlier days ads and communication preferences were more sophisticated.
Question: Why do you think creativity is critical for business and brands in the coming digital age?
Dr. Jonathan: Creativity is very important. Grabbers and cliffhangers usually leave the consumer interested in what they are being offered. Following the usual path is old school and that it’s high time we try a different route.
Question: Since you are an expert in Halal branding and Ethnic Branding, what are the recent trends seen in this market and how is it affecting the entire market?
Dr. Jonathan: If I use the west as an example, the new trends are more loud and colored. Today, branding isn’t just a logo and selling your pitch. It is about carrying your message in the most discreet way possible and still keeping it simple for the consumers to decode.
Question: How would you inspire the upcoming leaders to participate in the creative industry?
Dr. Jonathan: It is the future generation who hold the key to unlock the potential success in branding. They should be focused and must know their audience. Being aware of the origins of the business and following certain norms intact where you have to follow them religiously is perfectly alright. However, necessary changes should be taken in order to fit into the current global market that keeps on altering its ways. For example- in the past the means of communication and making a statement were newspapers and radios but now, it’s all about going live on Facebook and updating all necessary information on social media.
Question: What is your opinion on the summit?
Dr. Jonathan: The summit is a great place to collaborate and engage yourself with all the talented people of the corporate world. It is a learning session where I got an insight on how activities are taken with a different approach based on the culture and roots. This helps everyone to see the areas that they are lagging in and help them to enhance more through this Summit.