Things to Consider in Building a Global Business Relationship for Your Brand.

Richmond Engel Bennah

The role of Cross Cultural Communication in stakeholder relationships

Any business that seeks to go global and reach a wider network of customers must be willing and prepared to satisfy customer needs based on the demographic factors of culture especially.

Business relationships differ across countries as culture plays a central role in helping business leaders understand how customers from diverse socio-economic, cultural and political backgrounds react to their products, services and business relationships. Service companies especially must tailor their services to suit unique demands of their customers from different backgrounds. Cultural differences must be recognised by business leaders and married into company policies when conducting business or building a business relationship outside an organization’s traditional market or home country. This will help businesses from offending their customers through the delivery of their services. Customer assessment surveys and reviews can be conducted to test the market before penetration.

Also useful feedback from similar expatriate companies in the same industry can be used to understand the consumer behaviours of customers living in countries the business wants to enter in. Entering into a new market with an existing product or service can be tricky because of factors such as customer perception of a product or service. Thus businesses can first visit the countries they want to do business in as tourists to understand local customs and traditions relating to the way of doing business in those countries. Also, identifying key stakeholders and consumer segments that readily identify with the company’s product or service can easily help a business with market penetration in a new market. Essentially, services should be tailored to feedback or results analysed from data on user customization preferences.

Employing a diversified workforce, especially a greater percentage of employees in the new market can help the business scale up quickly and also promote trust in the business relationship between an organization and its local market.
Various communication tools and channels can be used by an organization seeking to enter into a new market. Aside organising hands-on and periodic customer care training for its workforce to meet the different needs of doing business with customers from diverse backgrounds in a new market, face-to-face interaction with indigenes or citizens in the new market will help identify the right questions and factors that businesses must consider. To make this effective, organizations can build local connections in the new market for over a year before entry. This will help them gather all the relevant information necessary to successfully launch and become sustainable in the new market.

Jennifer Wealth

Culture, Ethics and Social Responsibility

Being socially responsible is fundamental to the growth of every organization. Although most business entities see social responsibility as a mere legal chore to avoid a bad name, others actually capitalise on social responsibility to promote brand equity and brand power. Social responsibility does not only help an organization enlarge its market share. It also gives businesses a foothold in their respective markets and indirectly sets them above competition. For example, a business that is highly socially responsible would not have to spend more money on advertising campaigns to push away competitors and promote their products because instinctively, customer perception of brand equity and the socially responsible activities of the business will make customers patronise their products. Socially responsible businesses enjoy more customer goodwill as compared to businesses that are not in their entirety socially responsible.
Ethics is generally what people or society views about being right or wrong in any given situation. What is considered ethical behaviour or as being right and wrong varies across various cultures. For example, a business could require its employees to dress a certain way or give favours to certain classes of customers based on the core values or policies of the business. This specific way of dressing or service approach may be seen as insulting in a different market based on culture. For example, in the USA a customer service attendant may engage a customer using hand gestures such as a thumbs up to appreciate the customer.

This may however be seen as insulting in Asian countries like Japan. Company policies for an organization should differ when doing business in different socio-economic, cultural and political backgrounds. Also, stakeholders such as governments play a key role in ethical decision making for businesses. The way a company may publish its annual reports or findings may be seen as ethical in one country and unethical in another. This may be because of the channels used in communicating the reports or the tone of language in the reporting structure. Global businesses can do well and understand matters involving ethics in doing business across different cultures generally through observation. This is because what may be considered ethical may not always be written down in an “ethical handbook”. With time, expatriate companies in new markets and cultures can analyse and understand issues on ethics generally by observing customer reactions and government behavioural responses to their business activities.

The brand as a means of international communication

The power of a brand is key in determining the useful life of the brand. A brand should communicate clearly what it stands for without creating any room for assumptions or uncertainty in the minds of its target market. “Born-global” organizations are organizations whose structure and business activities are specifically tailored to reach a globally diverse market. Thus, for born globals, marketing campaigns such as advertising and promotion are done differently based on the type of market in which the advertising is being done. This helps the brand prevent any forms of scandals that may tarnish its brand image. For example, in marketing a skin product in western European countries, models used for the advertising campaigns may be allowed to show a bit of skin as they apply the skin products on their body surfaces. This may be seen as acceptable because of lifestyle in those countries. However, the same advertising videos and imaging will not be acceptable in Arab countries where women especially are required to cover their bodies extensively. Thus, a different approach to branding and advertising will be required in this case.
Branding speaks a lot and creates an impression in the minds of customers. Factors like customer care experiences are usually top of the pile on the reasons why customers may patronise an organization’s product or service from another organization. Information on brand perception can be conducted through surveys and mystery shopping.

By: Richmond Engel Bennah & Jennifer Wealth

Richmond Engel Bennah (Writer, Business Developer, Brand Evangelist)
Contact:richmondbennah@gmail.com

http://www.amazon.com/richmondengelbennah

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Exclusive!! itel Debuts Three Smartphones on Android™ Oreo™ System (Go edition) in Ghana!

itel, a mobile phone brand committed to providing budget-friendly, high quality products boasting excellent user experience under TRANSSION Holdings, has announced to launch its first three smartphones which run on the Android™ Oreo™ operating system (Go edition) – itel P32, A32F and A15, into the Ghana market.

itel is one of the first global mobile phone brands to partner with Google on the Android Oreo project. In line with itel’s commitment, this initiative aims to benefit the brand’s millions of consumers in global emerging markets and empower them to enjoy mobile life at affordable price points.

itel P32, A32F and A15 which feature the new Android™ Oreo™ operating system (Go edition) will present a number of benefits to consumers including:

A smooth and fast experience tailored to devices with 1GB of RAM. New and reimagined Google apps for entry-level smartphones including Google™ Go, YouTube Go, and the Google Assistant for Android™ (Go edition)

Enhanced data efficiency

“We are delighted to launch the first batch of itel smartphones powered by the Android™ Oreo™ operating system,” said Stephen Yang, General Manager of itel, “We believe that the mobile communication device that has revolutionized human social life should belong to everyone. Through this partnership with Google, we will make it easier for consumers in emerging markets, especially in Africa regions, the opportunity to afford an efficient and user-friendly smartphone.”

Njoroje Martin, West Africa Partnership Manager, Google, said: “Android Oreo (Go edition) is specifically optimised to bring the magic of Google and Android to smartphones with limited memory and processing power. We’re excited to see itel take the next step towards bringing computing to more people by launching Android Oreo (Go edition) phones.”

“The specifications and features of each of the launched smartphones have been specially built for our consumers in Ghana. The new Android™ Oreo™ Operating System(Go edition) opens a new world of convenience for users of these 3 itel smartphones”

itel P32

The itel P32 comes with the 5.5-inches IPS 18:9 full screen display with a 5MP/5MP rear dual camera and dual flash lights. The device is packed with 1GB RAM and 8GB ROM, powered by MT6580M Qual-core 1.3GHz processor. It houses a 4000mAh big battery with one charge for 3 days, as well as a fingerprint sensor for easy access to the phone.

itel A32F

itel A32F comes with 5.0-inches big display and 5MP AF rear camera with 1.4μm big pixel and 2MP selfie camera with 1.65μm big pixel. It supports 1.3GHz Quad-Core MT6580M, 1GB RAM + 8GB ROM (expandable to 32GB of storage), and 2050mAh battery. Especially, this device offers multi-functional fingerprint sensor at affordable price to allow users to program up to five fingerprints and quickly access to their favourite apps, calls, cameras with security.

itel A15

itel A15 also comes with a 5.0-inch display screen and 5MP AF rear camera with 1.4μm big pixel, and a 2MP selfie camera with 1.65μm big pixel. It supports 1.3GHz Quad-Core MT6580M, 1GB RAM + 8GB ROM (expandable to 32GB of storage), and 2050mAh battery. The device will be available in three colours – midnight black, starry blue and rose gold.

According to the Public Relations Manager, Michael Tuekpe said, “The devices will be rolling out in May in Ghana and promises an exciting and intriguing smartphone experience”. He continued that the phones durability is highly guaranteed and still has twelve months warranty.

About itel
Established in 2007 in Hong Kong, itel Mobile is an innovative brand specializing in mobility solutions. With its brand philosophy “Join · Enjoy”, itel endeavoured to empower every individual by providing best in class, reliable and trendy communication devices at an affordable rate. Its product portfolio comprises smartphones, tablets and feature phones.

Over the past decade the brand has become a household name in the industry spreading its presence in 40 countries across the globe. In 2016, itel reached a landmark sales volume of 50 million handsets, claiming to be among the top 3 mobile brands in Africa. As per “African Business”, most influential business magazine on the continent, itel ranks 25th Most Admired Brands for African consumers.

Checkout more pictures below:

New Reality show – Brands Ambassador Africa Press Launched!!

Screenshot_2018-03-03-13-18-30-1

Brands Ambassador Africa is a PR marketing, brand communication reality show that seeks to divulge an icon who will serve as a commercial broker to restore young and dying brands to foster global socio-economic enhancement was launched in Accra on Friday, the 2nd of March 2018 at Tomreik Hotel-East Legon.

The show, a top program organized by Media Men Ghana Ltd, a media consultancy ultimately aims to interlink the social and corporate sectors, while impacting positively on its associate brands, immediate communities and charities (how). It is also to promote diligence, professionalism and excellence among young professionals to serve as a platform for displaying quality employee materials who are scouting for employers and build an outstanding trade icon for the locally produced products.

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The reality show is of essence and relevance and was birthed from the desire to reduce unemployment rate among the African youth from tertiary institutions, educate the public with regards to the difference between brand image and brand ambassador, and to give relevant knowledge to the consumer in order to inspire an informed consumer choice, healthy lifestyle and acquiring quality and value for money. It will also serve as a platform for the display of their skills and talents to make them employable to foster significant growth in Africa.

Madam Efua Jecty, the Head of Corporate Operations of the Consultancy said “It is in this vein that Media Men Ghana developed the concept of a PR/Marketing reality show to nurture ideal brand ambassadors. It is a special initiative for corporate Africa with prime focus on corporate Ghana in its first instance”.

She said the show is distinctly designed to realize the most outstanding candidate, unparalleled in “looks and competence”, to be the face and mouthpiece, as an ambassador for the associate brands, to help boost the brands’ market appeal, market value and productivity. The event’s activities are designed to ensure quality return-on-investment and productivity of its associate brands to enhance socioeconomic growth across board.

She continued by saying “Twenty-two (22) most outstanding, smart and presentable young professionals and wannabes with excellent knowledge and exceptional niche in brands communication between the ages of 18 and 35 years, with tertiary qualification or its equivalent shall be selected from 20 African countries, housed in Ghana and groomed for 13 weeks to unearth Africa’s first youth oriented Corporate Model”.

‘The 20 African countries have been grouped into four (4) zones with GHANA, BENIN, TOGO, COTE D’IVOIRE and BURKINA-FASO representing zone 1, NIGERIA, CAMEROON, GABON,

CONGO and ANGOLA representing zone 2, MALI, LIBERIA, SENEGAL, SIERRA LEONE and GUINEA representing zone 3 and SOUTH AFRICA, CONGO BRAZZAVILLE, BOTSWANA, ZAMBIA and KENYA representing zone 4,’ She said.

Meanwhile, the entire operations of this organization shall be under the supervision of a set higher body dubbed the “Supreme Counsel”, made up of selected heads of brands communication and marketing departments of sponsoring institutions.

‘The auditions will take place in two phases. Phase one comprises of 3 online (social media) dynamics or steps that will be executed by applicants on our website, Facebook and or Instagram handles. Phase two is the zonal audition and will take place in the designated countries or zone centres for each zone. The final audition for zones 1, 2, 3 and 4 will be held in Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa respectively. Details of each phase will be publicized as and when necessary. In the first instance one candidate will be selected from each country with the exception of Ghana as the host country, where three candidates will be offered the opportunity to partake in the competition. After the second edition of the show, the other African countries will ballot to host the show and each year, the hosting country will have leverage thus, have the highest number of entry or contestants in-house. The main launch of this novelty will be organized in September to usher the qualified contestants into the house after the overall scouting’, she said.

Madam Jecty mentioned that the Brand Ambassador Africa winner would have a car, 12 months working contract with the major brands, a cash prize of Gh₵ 100,000.00, a fully furnished apartment for a year, a laptop, mobile phone & tablet, gets to be the host of the Brands Ambassador TV Show as well as the co-host of the next season. He or She will also manage a highly patronized online sales and marketing portal and be the cover-model for a trendy BAA magazine for the targeted industry and associate brands.

In lure of demonstrating the event’s vast and clear motive of revamping the distinct brands of Africa, the event in its inception has adopted the most promising African spirited musical brand – SHERIFA GUNU- as its major art brand, who shall be projected on all event major platforms in other to entrench the brand to elevate the spirit and ingenuity of the African art. This gesture will be accorded to every country that is privileged to play host to the Brands Ambassador Africa Reality program.

The brands to be featured on the show have been categorized into 6 main sectors namely food, water and beverage as one, media and IT as another, telco and finance as the third, real estate as the fourth, bedding and decor as the fifth and finally automobile. No two competing brands will be featured on the show as such each major brand will benefit from exclusivity’.