Growing up in Africa I have seen the power effective marketing and branding can have on a product or company. Within the last twenty years a lot has changed. It is not unusual to see a teenager living in the city drinking a soda pop or eating at a fast food restaurant. Even those not exposed to the hustle and bustle of the city wear shirts and other articles of clothing designed solely to advertise a particular product or brand. And although advertising to new markets is nothing new, the internet and a global market has changed the way some companies are able to do business. In most instances the bigger the company the more likely they will succeed. This places thriving local businesses at an automatic disadvantage unless they too are able to develop a dynamic brand and marketing campaign that gets the attention of customers all over the world.
While most would assume that in the age of technology and the global market establishing a brand name couldn’t be any easier, many would be surprised as to how difficult it can be. Unlike marketing locally to consumers who are most likely in need of the product getting the attention of a consumer base that is already receiving an overwhelming amount of product placement ads favoring one brand over another requires an ability to read and analyze market trends, create, implement and analyze current marketing strategies. So while technology has made it easier to make products available to a broader audience it has also made it more difficult to decipher between competing brands.
In addition to competing with brands with international recognition, smaller or family owned businesses must rely on the services of a marketing and branding specialist. This is especially true in Africa, a county that is historically not known for product or brand development. For some, this isn’t a very high priority, but for others, like myself, who wish to see the current local businesses grow and thrive I want to be part Africa has the potential of becoming a more stable economic region. Although it will most likely pale in comparison with global marketing giants like the US, China and the EU for many years to come, Africa the resources and the skills to produce marketable products on a global scale.
It is my goal to make this idea a reality. I want to help make Africa a better place to live by creating opportunities for economic development by implementing strategic marketing plans aimed brand recognition for top companies in the country. Therefore instead letting things remain the way they are I want to learn effective techniques, basic principles and proven methods necessary to creating innovative, original, attention getting marketing that sparks positive brand recognition. The skills I will learn in your graduate program will enable me to work with African businesses, firms or brands to help improve the local economy while competing in the global market. It will provide me exposure to new techniques and strategies that are implanted by the large international brand moguls whose efforts I will be able to adapt to meet the needs of local business. Even though I know there will be challenges I know from previous experiences how to think creatively to overcome them.
Most of the large projects I have worked on have been run very smoothly, but there was this one project that seemed doomed from the start. One of my top clients had placed an order to have a billboard installed; however once the order was paid and processed it looked like there was no way to complete the project by the deadline. At one point the client even asked for a refund and I told them a refund could only be issued after a deadline was missed. With that in mind, I was determined to complete the project on time. I organized a group of contractors who were able to take the job and complete is as promised. This experience taught me the value of developing strategic alliances with other companies to ensure project completion as well as it taught me the need for teamwork and the ability to follow through.
After working in sales, marketing and branding I have a unique perspective on brands which has allowed me to develop campaigns that improve business for my clients. These experiences along with my academic record make me the ideal candidate for the graduate program you offer. In your program I will be exposed to brand management, marketing concepts, and business principles and data analysis. The courses offered in the program will further develop my skills in analysis, assessment and brand development. In addition to building a solid academic foundation it will also provide countless hand-on experiences that I will help me get that much closer to meeting my long term goal of improving the image of African brands.
Just like most people I want to see my community thrive. I don’t want to see so much of our money go into the pockets of international brands. Instead I want more African companies and products to have highly recognizable brands. I want more Africans to support these small businesses and watch them grow. In addition, I want to help these same businesses develop brand recognition so that they can compete in the global market. I know that if I can improve a company’s sales earnings by 27% within one quarter, given the best education possible I will be able to do that on a wider scale, working as a consultant in more rural areas in addition to cities throughout the continent. I look forward to being able to give local businesses a completive edge in the global marketplace.
Since I was a little kid I have had lofty plans; however, using my degree to change the economic future of Africa by doing something I enjoy is quickly becoming a reality. The quality of education I will receive from your program in combination with my experience will provide me with the tools necessary to develop, implement and assess effective branding and change the continent one small business at a time.