Archive for April 8th, 2010



By: Ibrahim Lahoud

As a university instructor in branding and marketing, I do enjoy an amazing reward, one that I don’t get anymore, one I did not get for over 30 years.

The reward of learning.

Yes, you heard right, “learning”. All along my 10 years of teaching, my own learning experience hasn’t been less rewarding that my students’. And why?

As a branding consultant, and when people ask me where I have studied or what degrees I have, I answer that I am a child of the street. What I meant is that the cumulative learning never happens at school or university. The latters provide you with a base, a springboard. The rest is up to you.

Learning never ends, and that includes me. I have to admit that my best learning experience happened through teaching.
It was the perfect research ground for by branding consultancy. It provided me (and still does) on the market, the audience, the trends and the psyche.

Every exchange brings something new. University students possess an amazing quality; the quality of rebellion. And God knows this is seldom so hard to find.

In branding, rebellion is a key asset. Brands that are not rebels, are not leaders. Brands that do not dust off the routine, will always be followers.

And that’s why, my friends, the university where I teach, is my best school to learn.

So, to my students: Thank you for being a great teacher.



The Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

The Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

Egypt’s authentic consumer society creates perfect breeding ground for development of world-class local brands
Brand expert seeks to boost brand loyalty among Egyptian consumers for locally manufactured products

With the sheer size of its population, Egypt has been recognised as the largest and a truly authentic consumer society in the Arab World, creating the kind of environment wherein competition thrives and consumers have a real choice. The same competitive environment also serves as an ideal breeding ground for developing world-class brands, especially since the Egyptian market has thousands of brands that are only waiting to stand out, according to a branding expert.

Although it is already a highly self-sufficient economy, Egypt can further enhance its overall economic performance by helping local manufacturers and business organisations cultivate brand loyalty among the country’s millions of consumers, which will help create powerful local brands that can compete internationally and reduce the Egyptians’ reliance on international brands.

“Egypt has always been the focus of most industries as it is the largest, real consumer society in the Arabic speaking world. It is one of the oldest economies too. The one thing that is still missing in Egypt is a culture of branding within the local business community. Brand loyalty is not yet well established in Egypt, which is why Egyptian consumers are loyal to very few local brands that enhance Egypt’s image. In reality, there are thousands of brands in the market that are waiting to shine,” says Ibrahim Lahoud, Director of Strategy and Brand Communication, BrandCentral.

Egypt’s consumer market is dependent largely on price or on various benefits being offered by certain products, which is, strictly speaking, not brand loyalty, BrandCentral explains. In this system, clients can easily shift allegiance to a new brand if the competition offers a better price or a new product. Nonetheless, BrandCentral points out that it expects a gradual paradigm shift as Egyptian businesses are now increasingly appreciating the long-term, strategic value of branding.

“Based on our experience, there are several businesses that are pushing for reforms in their branding strategies. Somehow, the market is realising how important branding is, not just as a visual manifestation, but mostly as the expression of the business organisation’s soul and philosophy, and as a powerful instrument to get closer to the consumer’s heart,” says Lahoud.

“BrandCentral’s work with various local business organisations has achieved tremendously positive results. As a brand consultancy and design communication firm, our goal has always been to help local businesses create brands that are truly relevant, emotional, perennial and act as vehicles for values and attributes that their businesses stand for. Furthermore, our clients appreciate the fact that we are an Arab company that identifies with and understands the Arab market. We are here because BrandCentral truly believes in the long-term potential of the Egyptian market,” added Lahoud.

BrandCentral also pointed out that the value of branding becomes even more apparent in the aftermath of the global economic recession, as consumer spending trends now favour the more reliable, tested and proven brands that give greater value for money.

“Smart marketers know that in order to make money, they have to spend money. Where do they spend that money? The answer is branding. If brands that are currently suffering from the depression had been thoroughly developed much earlier, they would have certainly enjoyed a huge competitive advantage during the economic squeeze. The fact is that in bad times, nobody spends on trial and error; instead, we consumers spend on reliable, tested and proven brands. This illustrates why creating wonderful, memorable and visible brands must be a top priority for any business entity whether it is during a boom time or a downturn,” concluded Lahoud.


April 2010
    May »

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,248 other followers


Top Rated

Follow me @ ebyking

wordpress stats plugin

Creative Commons

Creative Commons License
Reason To Believe by Ibrahim N. Lahoud is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at htt://

%d bloggers like this: