The world in the 21st century has the strongest potential to create a trade network. Countries are trying to promote and sell their unique products representing the brands of their countries. If a country doesn’t build a brand for its unique product, it becomes more susceptible to negative commentary.
Warren Buffett, the famous 5th richest billionaire in the world, said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it.”
This famous billionaire took the global economic crisis as a good opportunity to build his company brand. He believed that the main reason for the 2008 global economic crisis was the unjust tax payments in developed countries around the world.
He said,” When the income tax rate of America increases, the tax rate decreases, which is the cause of the economic gap between the rich and the poor.” In Buffett’s famous interview with CNN he explained how he paid less taxes than his secretary. Wise people, companies, and countries use this situation to elevate the recognition of their organization. This needs to be verified; can’t find any sources where Buffett said this quote.
Wise people, companies, and countries use this situation to elevate the recognition of their organization.
In this era of globalization, many countries promote their brands to be competitive in the world market and take advantage of bigger opportunities. Government organizations, private sectors, and civil society work collaboratively to identify one unique product/service to represent their country and build a brand to be recognized throughout the world.
They build a system with stakeholders to evaluate the branding process and its achievement. Brand professionals argue that It is very common yet wrong to use different brands for a country’s product or service because customers can’t identify the product easily. For instance, tourism might be the brand of the sector, but it cannot be the brand of the country because it will not be effective. An example of this is Egypt.
When Egypt promoted its tourist attractions, it included the national and traditional dishes, but this situation created confusion among tourists, which had an adverse effect, the opposite of what was intended.
As reports say, it is advisable for countries to identify a single product that best represents the country as a brand. Therefore, our country, Ethiopia, should choose one iconic product or service as our country’s brand export. We can consider coffee, teff, athletics, and others. We must work on this area and start applying the branding system to be a strong competitor in the world.
The writer of this article believes that coffee must be the brand of Ethiopia for the reasons listed below:
- Ethiopia is the origin land of coffee. The word “coffee” in English and “bunna” in Amharic are easy to catch and pronounce.
- 3 billion cups of coffee are drunk hroughout the world daily. One hundred billion-dollar business transactions are made on coffee, next in size only to petroleum.
- Coffee is known as an energizer drink. It cannot be substituted by other crops or products. When we compare coffee with other crops, its price volatility is very rare.
- According to a report, 50% of the American population 18 years old and above drinks coffee on a daily basis.
- In addition to this, China is a rapidly growing country; If we can take at least 10% of the Chinese population who drinks coffee daily, it will create a new market opportunity. To support this, we have to give free coffee to Chinese who live in Ethiopia.
- To make the brand strong, we have to create different coffee days, hold workshops, and present about coffee at international meetings. They help to promote coffee. We can use famous athletes and celebrities to promote Ethiopian coffee and build our brand.
The product/service that represents the country as a brand must be known and utilized by people all over the world. Otherwise, it will not be effective. When we consider the case of Ethiopia, coffee is known all over the world, so there are not so many products to compare coffee with. It is reported through international media that Ethiopian coffee has a unique taste and aroma, and there is substantial research that links coffee consumption with health benefits.
It is very important to use the following public relations tools to promote Ethiopian quality coffee.
- Let famous people and athletes promote coffee on international media.
- Use local and international media reports, monitor messages, and invite reporters to come to Ethiopia to witness the coffee production process.
- Organize large events and exhibitions and promote Ethiopia coffee
- Engage all government leaders and ambassadors to create a global market network.
- Advertise on less expensive international media.
- Promote Ethiopian coffee in local governments and private media entities, ministers’ offices, tourism organizations, investment commissions, the Ethiopian tea and coffee development and marketing websites, social media etc.
- Work with an organization that commits to benefiting the coffee producers, like Oxfam.
- Work with international public relations institutes to promote coffee with high technology and professionalism.
It is better for all stakeholders to participate, discuss the country’s brand, research, and come to a common understanding. It is also very important to establish a committee focused on brand building.
According to Wally Alina, there are seven steps to promote a country’s branding:
- Governmental bodies, industry representatives, artists, educators, and media representatives must participate in creating a branding program.
- Conduct research on how local and foreign citizens perceive Ethiopian coffee.
- Discuss and compare the results with highly influential people by analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the country.
- Encourage professionals and brand counsellors to create a central brand establishment strategy. This main strategy must be strong and catchy to identify the country’s goodwill/image.
- Identify different techniques to promote the branding strategy and our logo.
- The message to be promoted should be interesting and attractive to catch customers’ attention, and it must be built with different sectors like tourism, investment attractions, and exportation in mind.
- Finally, establish a program that connects with the branding team.
This articles was provided by: SintayehuGirma Aytaged
Ethiopian Coffee & Tea Authority Ethics & Anti-corruption Directorate Director
sintayehuGirma76@gmail.com Phone number+2510900065962