In a globalized world with more competitors vying for shelf space across the globe, consumers are overloaded with information and continue to place increasing importance on brands. In all types of daily decisions – not just purchasing – the average person relies on heuristics that minimize the amount of information required to reach a conclusion and minimize uncertainty. One of the signals that consumers use is the origin of a brand.
Every country is a brand. Some places do a better job at branding themselves to the world than others.Each of us have certain attributes/perceptions that come to mind when we think of different countries: France is “perfumes”, Italy is “fashion and design”, Sweden is “simple and functional design”, Germany is “great engineering”, India is “spices”, Argentina is “tango”, Switzerland is “watches”, China is “low cost manufacturing” what if, if “Coffee’’ is for Ethiopia.This is known as “place branding”. Many brands “borrow” these common perceptions and transform them into differentiating elements that help them compete locally and internationally.
Ethiopia Coffee and Tea Authority should start working on coffee as a global brand of our country because Ethiopia is the original home of the coffee (Arabica) plant. The south-western highlands where they first blossomed, gave its name to coffee. The formal cultivation and use of coffee as a beverage began early in the 9th century. Prior to that, coffees trees grew wild in the forests of south-western highlands and may in the region were familiar with the berries and the drink.
What is Branding?
Branding is the process of creating a name, design or symbol that identifies and differentiates a company from its competitors. A good brand reflects the benefits of a product or service and builds recognition and loyalty in customers. However, branding is an expensive process and is difficult to undo if the company’s direction change. Madison Garcia (2018)
Creating a global brand for Ethiopian Coffee presence in one or more international markets isn’t cheap or easy. But it is worthwhile for the country, provided you understand the reasons why. Here we spell out what a global brand is. A global brand is one that has a consistent identity with consumers across the world. It can be the use of a name, term, sign, design or combination thereof intended to identify one seller and differentiate it from competitors.
Few Reasons Why Coffee representsthe Country Brand
In the 21st century all world integrated in strong market linkage. Especially in this globalization season most countries tries to promote and sell their unique products as a brand of their own country brand. If a country didn’t build its own brand for a unique product it allows others to talk negatively.
In this globalization season, many countries promote their brand to be competitive in the global market and win the opportunity. All governmental organization, private sector and civil society work collaboratively to identify one unique product/service to represent their country and build brand to get acceptance throughout the world. They build a system with all stakeholders to evaluate the branding process and its achievement. As brand professional argues “It is very common yet wrong Using different brand for a country’s product/ service because Customers couldn’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. You can take Egypt as an example, when Egypt promote its tourist attraction it include the national and traditional dishes but this situation create discomfort among its tourists and they are complaining about it. As reports says it is advisable for countries to identify relatively best product to represent the country as a brand; regarding this our country Ethiopia must choose one icon product or service among coffee, Teff or athletics etc. We have to work on this area and start applying the branding system to be strong competitor in the world.
The writer of this article believes that due to a number of reasons coffee must be the icon brand of Ethiopia. Some of the reasons are listed below
- Ethiopia is the origin land of Coffee
- The word “Coffee” in English word and “Bunna” the Amharic word is easy to catch and pronounce.
- 25 billion cup of coffee is drunk throughout the world daily.
- 100 billion dollar business transaction has made on coffee next to petroleum.
- Coffee is known as energizer drink it cannot be substitute by other crops or product. When we compare coffee with other crops its price fluctuation rate is very rare.
- According to a report from the total population 18 years and above of the American people 50% of theme drinks coffee in daily basis.
- In addition to this china is a rapidly growing country, if we can take at least 10% of Chinese who drink coffee daily, it will create new market opportunity. To support this we have to give free coffee for Chinese who live in Ethiopia.
- To make strong we have to create different coffee day, held workshop and present coffee in international meeting. It helps to promote coffee. We can use famous athletes and celebrities to promote Ethiopian coffee and build our brand.
The product/ service that represent the country as a brand must be known and utilized by the over the world otherwise it will not be effective. When we see the Ethiopia case coffee is known all over the world so there so not any product to compare coffee. It is reported thought international media that Ethiopians coffee has unique test and aroma and also researchers proved that Ethiopian coffee is also good to our health.
Major Benefits of a Strong Brand
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There are endless benefits of building and maintaining a strong brand. Here are five of the major benefits you can expect to see when you have a strong brand.
- Customer recognition.As it is known in the world Ethiopian coffee has its unique test and aroma. If we globally buildEthiopian coffee brand, it will be easy to build customer recognition. This means when a customer is shopping for coffee,they recognize your organic product in the running. Consumers are far more likely to choose a brand that they recognize over something unfamiliar, even if they don’t know a great deal about your product at the time.
- Competitive edge in market.Your brand is what differentiates you in the marketplace. When customers recognize and back your brand, it helps lend a competitive edge to your product. The more recognition you receive and the more you build your brand, the more you will find that your brand elevates and is competitive with other well-known brands.
- Easy introduction of new test of Ethiopian coffee.When you already have a strong brand and loyal customers, it is often easier and less expensive to introduce new products or test them out before you further invest in them. For instance, Ethiopia has organic coffee that grows in different part of Ethiopia example, “Sidamo Coffee”, “Harer Coffee”, “YirgaChefe Coffee” or “ Jimma Coffee”. If you have a loyal brand following, your customers will often be interested in your new products and even anticipate them being released.
- Customer loyalty and shared values.The recognition and elevation that a strong brand builds upon all lend to greater customer loyalty. Customers are attracted to brands that they share values with. When you build a strong brand, you need to convey these values to build an emotional connection with customers. Brand loyalty often lasts a lifetime and even transfers to future generations.
- Enhanced credibility and ease of purchase.Having a strong, well-known brand enhances your credibility with customers, your industry, and the marketplace as a whole. As you build your credibility, you also build recognition, loyalty, and competitiveness. Everything goes hand-in-hand, and you’ll find that your credibility has a direct connection to customers ease of purchase. We want to buy from companies we like, know, and trust. If you’re brand is credible, you’re far more likely to get the sale.
Economic Benefits of Creating a strong Brand
According to Bill Chiavravalle (2015) Great brands create consumer trust and emotional attachments. As a result, they foster relationships between consumers and products that lead to the following valuable benefits:
- Premium pricing: Consumers pay more for branded items that they believe have higher value and lower risk than lesser-known alternatives.
- Lower cost of sales: Consumers of valued brands make repeat and frequent purchases. As a result, customer-acquisition costs are amortized over a long-term client relationship.
- Lower cost of promotion: Consumers of valued brands become ambassadors who spread positive word-of-mouth at no cost to the brand.
- Higher market share: Valued brands acquire loyal customers who recruit more customers to the brand, increasing the brand’s share of market while reducing customer-development costs and building immunity to competitive attacks.
Public Relation tools to Promote the Ethiopia Coffee Quality
Generally, it is very important to use the following public Relation tools to promote the Ethiopia coffee quality.
- Let famous people and athletes promote coffee on the international Medias.
- Use local and international Media’s reports and monitor the message and invite the reporters to come in Ethiopia and visit the coffee production process.
- Organize huge events and exhibition and promote Ethiopia coffee
- Engage all governmental leaders and ambassadors to create global market linkage.
- Advertise on less expensive international media.
- Promote Ethiopian coffee in local governmental and private media, ministers’ office, tourism organization, investment commission and the Ethiopian tea and coffee development and marketing website, social media etc.
- Work with an organization that works hard on the benefit of coffee producers, like Oxfam.
- Work with international public relation institute to promote coffee in highly technology and professionalism.
It is better to participate all stakeholders and discussed on the country brand research and come to a common understanding. It is also very important to establish a committee working on the country branding.
According to Wally Alina, there are seven steps for a country branding promotion.
- Participate governmental body, industry representatives, artistes, educators and media representative to create branding program.
- Conduct research on how local and foreign citizen perceive Ethiopian coffee.
- Discuss and compare the result with highly influential people by analysis the strength and weakness of the country.
- Participate professionals and brand counselors to create a central brand establishment strategy this main central strategy must be strong and easy to catch to identify the county good will/image.
- Identify different technique to promote the branding strategy and our logo.
- The content of the massage that is going to be promoted should be interesting and attractive to catch customers’ attention and it must be build from different sectors like tourism, investment attraction and export…
- Established lazing program to link with the branding team.
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