The role of brands in enhancing the country’s reputation and strengthening its competitiveness

first_imgThe nation brand concept has been around for almost two decades and continues to attract interest due to the very nature of its dynamism. Brand South Africa is mandated with managing the country’s image and reputation and as such, continuously seeks to engage in public and private collaborations to strengthen relations and promote a cohesive approach.Place branding has many similarities with product branding. The general definition that a brand communicates a ‘promise of the rational and emotional benefits that customers can expect’ also holds true for place branding. The difference is that in place branding, delivery of the brand ‘promise’ is constantly affected by the behaviour and actions of a multitude of stakeholders. Those range from the highest levels of politicians, civilian leaders and business people to the person in the street who interacts with visitors.One cannot be dismissive of the fact that in product branding the value chain is far more controlled, manipulated to some extent and the brand promise can be delivered more consistently, whereas with place branding this is far from the truth. Place branding is a long-term process of getting as many brand influencers to adopt and commit to delivering on the brand promise, from the high powered-influencers that have the biggest media following and reach, to local communities and citizens.It has been said several times, that place branding goes far beyond the nice logo design and slogan. While the logo and slogan are important symbols of a brand identity, they usually have a very limited bearing on place brand credibility. Brand experience and brand credibility become the defining pillars that influence a decision to visit a country.The actions and conduct of government, business and community leaders are the real factors that affect brand credibility. This has been evident in our country as we have witnessed our vibrant constitution and democracy in action.The most difficult task in country branding is about proactively canvassing a broad spectrum of brand ambassadors to adopt and ‘live’ the brand; expand the brand communication in a controlled manner and do damage control when the brand image and reputation is threatened. The positioning needs to be converted into a catchy and creative brand essence that is easy to communicate. A marketing strategy should be devised to promote the brand message to selected target markets and segments.  It is all part of an integrated approach.There is now more than ever, a need for more awareness and understanding of the importance and relevance of the value of the country’s brand by stakeholders – both public and private. This includes a great variety of sectors, such as tourism, exports, investments, culture, sports and international relations, with whom we can achieve a common message, alignment of contents and a common graphic expression of what South Africa stands for and what it offers to the world. An untapped opportunity is the country of origin though there have been a number of brands who naturally found brand fit with their brands and have encapsulated the South African identity into their communication messages.Country Brands like Chile and New Zealand have been successful in adopting and implementing the country of origin approach in telling their brand promise story. Additionally, a strong incorporation of the country brand has been generated at the level of different companies highlighting the country-of-origin. In the long run, this has a positive impact on the reputation of these countries and the country is able to build strong brand constructs or association.The same opportunity exists in South Africa. We strongly believe that South Africa is a country that punches above its weight and there are thousands of successful stories that when put together under the umbrella of a “brand promise storytelling” can fast track the association of our country brand with inspiration, talent and admiration.  Our country brand’s image and reputation will be enhanced in a way that encourages each and every South African to be a positive ambassador, reflecting the attributes of the brand.The brand of a country is a tremendously powerful tool for the promotion of exports, the attraction of investments, the attraction of talent and, most importantly, to favour business and the development of countries. With appropriate management of a country’s brand and strategic collaborations, it is possible to promote and position the differentiating attributes of a nation audiences.Our vision as Brand South Africa is to create a Nation Brand that inspires its people and is admired globally. The time for this vision to come alive is now as we partner with MAA to get SA corporates to play their part and rally behind their country brand.Public-private partnerships: private businesses have most contact with potential customers, both at a business-to-business and business-to-consumer level. It is extremely important that the government and private sector marketing parties should agree on clear brand messages and should apply and use these consistently. After all, when the country succeeds, the economy improves and the brands prosper.The role of brands in enhancing the country’s reputation and strengthening its competitiveness play an integral component in showing off a country’s capabilities. The value and quality of these brands are a reflection of the country’s brand. They tell the story of a strong Nation Brand which is experienced by both domestic and international audiences.Words by: Sithembile Ntombela, Brand South Africalast_img read more

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3 Major Ways Tech Is Making Your Life More Convenient

first_imgSmall Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to… Tags:#modern tech Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts Follow the Puck John Occhipinti John Occhipinti is the Founder of Wheelhouse Partners, an investment firm focused on defining a new category of micro private equity. He is an investor in several Silicon Valley companies.Prior to his investment career, John was an early executive at Netscape Communications. John’s was an early executive at Netscape that went public during his tenure. Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… The media loves to play up the ways technology complicates our lives: Nearly 10 billion data records have been stolen or lost due to breaches since 2013, and the average person spends almost two hours on social media each day. And while we’ve increased our efficiency, we haven’t actually gotten more time back — the majority of Americans work more than 40 hours per week.But we can’t deny that technology has made things better in many ways. We no longer wash our clothes on washboards, we have access to communication devices at all times, and many of our workflows have been automated. Tech exists to enhance our efforts and allow us to shift our focus to the things only we can do — and many companies are working to bring us back to that view of technology.Multivendor AppsOne of the most frustrating tasks that remains, despite technology, is the need to coordinate different service providers for a big effort. For example, a company putting together an exhibition often has to work with not only its own staff, but also the event organizer, an AV vendor, a marketer with expertise in booth design, and a manufacturer/distributor for swag. After identifying good school districts and purchasing a new home, individuals moving from one house to another still have to coordinate with realtors, hire a moving company, pack, and set up utilities. Reading that list is enough to make anyone tired.For that reason, tech-focused companies are developing apps that enable people to accomplish many things at once. Moved, for instance, aims to create easy, stress-free moving experiences by offering a concierge service, complete with a dedicated personal assistant to manage the multitude of tasks and a portal to add services, such as hiring painters or buying insurance.Likewise, MobileSuites is creating a one-stop hotel shop by going beyond the straightforward booking experience to include room service, transportation, and checkout — even simple things like requesting extra towels. For those taking on massive projects such as home building or remodeling, Porch combines the expertise of builders, architects, interior designers, and other specialists like drywall installers to offer a hub with dozens of resources and tools in one spot.These multivendor apps appeal to users because they take several (often simple, occasionally difficult) tasks and remove the time-consuming work required to tackle each individually. Not only are the apps’ users benefiting, but the apps are, too: In a three-year span, Porch captured data on 132 million projects and attained a $500 million valuation.Smart Home TechSmart home technology is all the rage, with 45 percent of homeowners intending to incorporate smart devices in their homes during their next updates. That’s because these technologies take on duties homeowners had to carry out themselves or hire separate service providers for, from ensuring home security to making energy-efficient additions. These devices save homeowners money — for instance, LED bulbs (the kind used in connected lighting installations), use up to 80 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs — and they also help homeowners make money when it comes time to sell. The majority of homeowners would spend a minimum of $1,500 to make their homes smart if they knew doing so would help them sell their homes faster.To meet the demand for self-monitoring homes, companies are developing tech that can take on traditional homeowner tasks. SkyBell, for example, has created a smart video doorbell that doubles as a security device, allowing homeowners to see who’s visiting their house — regardless of their own location at the time. Owners can speak to people on their doorstep through the device, which also records visitors and enables neighborhoods to gather information, such as footage of a suspicious person who’s visiting every home.The Nest thermostat takes on old-school energy monitoring by allowing homeowners to control the temperature of their house through an app — and if they add a Nest Temperature Sensor, the house can identify the correct temperature without manual intervention. Meanwhile, the Amazon Echo promises to take multifaceted smart devices to the next level. With its assistant, Alexa, serving as a hub for other smart devices, users can change channels, set timers, or control their lights through Echo. Not surprisingly, Alexa is paying off for Amazon as much as its customers: The company has snagged up to a 76 percent share of the smart home market.Everyday Problem SolversTechnology is great, but it doesn’t prevent humans from, well, being human. We get frustrated because we can’t find our keys, leave the house on time, or find the location for the work happy hour — and we blame technology for not anticipating our needs or simply driving us where we need to go so we can give our brains a break.While self-driving cars are on the way, there are several tech companies looking to solve everyday human problems today. Google Maps and its GPS brethren have all but eliminated paper maps, verbally giving directions to users in unfamiliar locations (or those who simply struggle with geography). Tile works to cut down the 60 hours per year people spend looking for their keys by pairing a Bluetooth tracking system with an app for easy searches. And services like Dropbox empower users by storing their data, photos, and files in the cloud, allowing them to quickly organize their content and keep working — no file cabinets needed. In fact, Dropbox has had so much success in helping people streamline their work that it went public earlier this year, achieving an expectations-beating valuation of more than $12 billion in its market debut.While we constantly hear about how much harder things have become as technology has infiltrated our lives, that’s only part of the story — many of us are truly dependent upon technology for things we now take for granted. Tech companies are working to make our lives simpler, but we’ll only feel gratitude when we embrace the technology and figure out — ourselves — how we could better spend all that saved time.last_img read more

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NHRC asks Odisha govt. to pay ₹6 lakh to victims of witchcraft

first_imgThe National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the Odisha government to pay compensation of ₹6 lakh to victims of witchcraft who were forced to consume human excreta.Eight villagers, including two girls of Olapur village in Ganjam district, were allegedly tortured and forced to eat human excreta in full public view by fellow villagers who had accused them of practising witchcraft on January 19, 2015.No securityHuman rights lawyer Radhakanta Tripathy had moved the NHRC pointing out that the State had failed to provide security to victims and prevent violence associated with the blind belief.Mr. Tripathy had informed the panel that following the incident, four of the victims had fled to Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, while the whereabouts of the two victims, Jhunu and Susama, were not known.He had sought a thorough investigation into the case, action against the culprits and compensation for the victims, besides a report on steps taken by the State government to prevent sorcery and violence associated with it.The Commission had got the incident investigated by the Superintendent of Police, Ganjam, which admitted that victims were tortured.Mental harmDespite existence of the Odisha Prevention of Witch Hunting Act, 2013, many women were branded as witch and thereafter they as well as their family members had been subjected to various kind of atrocities and tortures, including physical (rape, killings and disfiguring their body parts), mental and economic harm, observed the NHRC.Show-cause notices It was of the view that the State had failed to discharge its constitutional duties, resulting in violation of human rights of the victims. The NHRC had issued show-cause notices to the State Home Department as well as the Ganjam district administration.When the panel did not receive a satisfactory reply, it directed the State Chief Secretary to pay compensation of ₹75,000 to each victim and submit a compliance report along with proof of payment within six weeks.last_img read more

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10 months agoHakan Calhanoglu insists he’s happy with AC Milan

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Hakan Calhanoglu insists he’s happy with AC Milanby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveHakan Calhanoglu insists he’s happy at AC Milan.There’s been claims he will be sold next month.“I’m happy at Milan,” Calhanoglu told DAZN.“I’m happy with [Rino] Gattuso and his staff. I feel at home here in Milan.“The relationship [with Gattuso] is really good, even when he gets angry with me. I accept that, because he’s a good Coach with a winning mentality.“When it happens you’re better off not saying anything, otherwise you’ll get a clip round the ear…” last_img read more

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Keppels BrasFELS Delivers FPSO to MODEC

first_imgzoom Keppel Offshore & Marine’s subsidiary Keppel FELS Brasil’s BrasFELS shipyard in Brazil has delivered the Cidade de Campos dos Goytacazes MV29, a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, to MODEC Offshore Production Systems (Singapore), an EPCI arm of the MODEC group.After its completion, the FPSO departed the shipyard recently for the Bananal Bay in Brazil.Being the fifth FPSO project for MODEC, Cidade de Campos dos Goytacazes MV29 will be subsequently deployed in the Tartaruga Verde and Tartaruga Mestiça Fields, in the Campos Basin, off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.“This is … BrasFELS’ 9th FPSO project for Brazil and it demonstrates our commitment and reliability in supporting the country’s oil and gas industry,” Kwok Kai Choong, CEO and President of Keppel FELS Brasil, commented.BrasFELS’ workscope for the FPSO Cidade de Campos dos Goytacazes MV29 included the fabrication of nine topside production modules as well as integration works.The FPSO has a production capacity of 150,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) and 5 million cubic meters of gas per day, and a storage capacity of 1.6 million barrels of oil.last_img read more

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GoodBulk Looking to Buy Up to 13 Capesizes

first_imgzoom Owner and operator of dry bulkers GoodBulk Ltd has entered into an agreement to acquire 7 to 13 Capesize dry bulk carriers from entities managed by CarVal Investors. Funds managed by CarVal Investors will receive for the initial 7 vessels up to 10.5 million common shares in GoodBulk, with USD 61 million of existing borrowings expected to be refinanced under current and new GoodBulk credit facilities.Upon completion of the base transaction of 7 Capesize vessels, GoodBulk will control a fleet of 19 vessels with an average age of 9 years, consisting of 16 Capesize, 1 Panamax, and 2 Supramax vessels.Delivery of the vessels is expected to occur during the fourth quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2018.GoodBulk will have the option to acquire up to an additional 6 Capesize vessels.“We are excited to partner with CarVal Investors in this transaction as we continue to execute upon the company’s strategy of building an industry leading platform for investment in dry bulk vessels,” John Michael Radziwill, Chairman and CEO, said.The transaction provides GoodBulk’s shareholders with increased Capesize exposure at “an opportune time in a recovering market,” the company said, adding that the purchase is expected to be immediately accretive to Net Asset Value per share while reducing GoodBulk’s normalized break even cost by ship ownership day and reducing the average fleet age by approximately 1.4 years.“Furthermore, with a significant share component priced at a premium to NAV this transaction underscores the value of the GoodBulk platform,” Radziwill added.The company’s leverage ratio of net debt to gross asset value is expected to remain below 30%.Following completion of the transaction, funds managed by CarVal Investors will be GoodBulk’s largest shareholder.“CarVal’s decision to partner with the company in this transaction further validates GoodBulk’s market positioning and ability to develop into a landmark dry bulk shipping platform,” Milos Brajovic, Partner of Lantern Capital Partners, said.last_img read more

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Walgreens expands prescription delivery program nationwide

first_imgWalgreens is joining drugstore competitor CVS Health in expanding home deliveries for prescriptions nationwide, as stores continue adjusting to a retail world made more customer-friendly by online competition.Walgreens said Thursday it will partner with FedEx to deliver prescriptions as soon as the next day for a $4.99 fee, and it also is providing same-day deliveries in several cities. The Deerfield, Illinois, company started offering deliveries in several markets last October.CVS Health Corp. announced similar nationwide prescription deliveries last June.Retailers have been breaking out more customer-friendly services in recent years to hold Amazon.com at bay. The online retailer offers members same-day deliveries of goods typically sold in drugstores in some places.Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and CVS Health both run more than 9,000 U.S. locations.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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EU unveils ethics guidelines for Artificial Intelligence

first_imgBrussels: The European Union presented ethics guidelines Monday as it seeks to promote its own artificial intelligence sector, which has fallen behind developments in China and the United States. The European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, unveiled a framework aimed at boosting trust in AI by ensuring, for example, data about EU citizens are not used to harm them. “Ethical AI is a win-win proposition that can become a competitive advantage for Europe: being a leader of human-centric AI that people can trust,” Commission Vice President Andrus Ansip said. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalThe guidelines list seven key requirements for “trustworthy AI” established by independent experts consulted by the Commission. Among them is one ensuring that data about citizens will not be used to harm them or to discriminate against them. The measures also call for mechanisms to ensure accountability for AI systems and for AI algorithms to be secure and reliable enough to deal with errors or inconsistencies. The Commission now aims to launch a pilot phase in which industry, research and public authorities test the list of key requirements. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostIt will also involve companies from other countries and international organisations. The Commission aims to improve cooperation with “like-minded partners” such as Japan, Canada or Singapore and continue working with the G7 and G20 groups of leading economies. The updated guidelines flow from the Commission’s AI strategy unveiled in April last year, which aimed to bring public and private investment in the sector to at least 20 billion euros annually over the next decade. Europe is trying to catch up with both the US and China. A study published last month showed that China is poised to overtake the United States in artificial intelligence with a surge in academic research on the key technology. A burgeoning sector, AI is already used to recognise people in photos, filter unwanted content from online platforms and enable cars to drive themselves.last_img read more

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Varun triggers yet another controversy

first_imgLucknow: BJP MP Varun Gandhi has mastered the art of creating controversy after controversy. The young Gandhi is currently campaigning for his mother Maneka Gandhi in Sultanpur that goes to the polls in the sixth phase on May 12. Varun said on Monday that people should vote for ‘Bharat Mata’. “My mother is contesting from here and she is a noble soul. You all should vote for ‘Mata’ that is ‘Bharat Mata’. You are living in Hindustan and you should vote for Hindustan. If you vote for others (read SP-BSP alliance), you will be voting for Pakistan,” he said. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework Earlier, Varun Gandhi had said that those who are contesting against his mother were the ones who used to tie his shoe laces. The reference was to the BSP candidate Chandra Bhadra Singh a.k.a. Sonu Singh and his brother Yash Bhadra Singh. Sonu Singh was a staunch Varun loyalist when he held the Sultanpur seat, but is now an alliance candidate. In yet another controversy, Varun lashed out at the Yadav clan of the Samajwadi Party. “Till about 10-15 years ago, these people were making cow dung cakes in Saifai and today they are travelling in cars worth crores. Whose money is this? Is it not public money?” he asked. Varun Gandhi’s statements in the past 24 hours in Sultanpur have generated considerable heat in the constituency.last_img read more

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Hyderabad missed Warner-Bairstow magic at top vs DC

first_imgNew Delhi: Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) failed to go past Delhi Capitals in the Eliminator of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Wednesday in Vizag and while pundits spoke about how the DC youngsters put up a brilliant show, one cant ignore the fact that SRH missed the services of the duo of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow at the top of the innings. With both Warner and Bairstow leaving for their respective preparatory camps for the World Cup, Hyderabad were forced to open with Martin Guptill and Wriddhiman Saha. And the duo failed to recreate the magic that saw Warner and Bairstow take the opposition bowlers to the cleaners at the top of the innings. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: RijijuBatting at the top for SRH, the duo of Warner and Bairstow scored 1145 runs with Warner getting 692 of them and Bairstow hitting 445 runs from 10 games. They played an integral part in SRH starting the season on a winning note. While the performance of SRH deteriorated after their exit, the early kickstart ensured the Hyderabad-based franchise qualified for the playoffs with just 12 points. Guptill and Saha failed to rise to the challenge and the responsibility seemed to be too huge for them. While Guptill could manage only 81 runs in the three matches that he played, Saha hit a dismal 53 runs in his three innings that he opened in. The result was there for all to see as SRH could manage only 54/1 in the powerplay, having lost the wicket of Saha for 8 in the fourth over against Delhi Capitals. Williamson too accepted that the team missed the two swashbuckling openers at the top of the innings. “Warner and Bairstow were brilliant when they were here and they were prolific with the bat. We were without them for the last two or three games, but we still played very well despite missing them,” he said.last_img read more

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