|Rugby Sevens: Kenya's Pride Photo: AE graphics|
Despite the war cries from various sectors, the Brand Kenya initiative is raring to go to make Nairobi a major tourism and investment destination. The reality is that to market
With the back drop of over 1000 murders in Post Election Violence, food insecurity, increased crime levels, elusive constitution and politically standoff, the query pops out clearly- is Brand Kenya a waste of time and resources or a step in the right direction? The failure to capture the Obama sensation might have caused the government to wake up to smell the coffee. Coupled with the coming of the World Cup in few months time, the opportunity cannot be squandered.
State branding aims to appraise, build and maintain the reputation of countries. It borrows various approaches from saleable brand management practices in an effort to build, change, or protect their intercontinental reputations. Brand images of countries are just as imperative to their success in the global marketplace as those of products and services.
An increasing importance of the symbolic value of products has led countries to accentuate their distinctive characteristics. The branding and reflection of a nation-state "and the successful transference of this image to its exports - is presently as important as what they actually produce and sell."
Nation branding appears in the United States and United Kingdom (where it is officially referred to as Public Diplomacy,) South Africa,
Across the Indian Ocean is Singapore, a classic example. It has run successful six-year highlighting of its unique blend of the best from the modern world and rich cultures and how visitors could be enriched by experiencing the city’s diverse offerings.
For Brand Kenya, where do we need to start? The nitty-gritty things taught in business schools may not go down to quench the thirst of those who seek enlightment on such a maneuver.
When Kenya Airways- the pride of Africa- lands in any part of the world, those who can read gain the knowledge of Brand Kenya. When Kenyan tea is drank in Texas or
Kenyan ambassadors in word or deed –the Politicians, the sportsman, the academia, and the businessmen give Brand Kenya prominence but the marketing activities will give Brand Kenya eminence which is the trick of what a brand is all about.
Branding Kenya is a step in the right direction but it must not be made a short term work. We must demand responsible leadership, upholding the rule of law, maintaining investor confidence and form a culture that the populace of
By Zephania Thaisaiyi Opati
The writer is a postgraduate student at Universiti Teknologi Mara –Malaysia.