Ugandans urged to brand, boost the country’s image

Kampala. The Minister for Information and National Guidance, Maj Gen Jim Muhwezi, has encouraged manufacturing Ugandans and public relations practitioners to brand their products with a mark indicating Uganda as a sign of patriotism and a way of promoting the country.
“We must have an interest in protecting Uganda, so brand your products with the word Uganda, “he said.
Mr Muhwezi added that branding adds value to a product and value addition allows one to sell their products for more money.
The minister was speaking last week at Kampala Serena Hotel during the inaugural public relations over coffee event, a pioneer information empowerment forum created to promote and stimulate the growth of Uganda’s communication industry and client brands.
“As government, we are also rebranding the way we communicate. In the last general election, we realised a communication gap and as a result, people were fed on lies,” he said.
He added: “We shall work with the private sector to change the way we communicate in the ministry.”
Renowned brand architect and founder of the influential brand leadership group, Thebe Ikalafeng, who delivered a keynote address, noted that while other attributes such as passion and availability of funds play a vital role in growing businesses, the important aspect is branding. He also cautioned entrepreneurs to stop imitating if they were to succeed in their endeavours.
“Find what it is you can do different, not better because better can always be bettered. Find your competitive advantage and then build on that,” he said.
According to Ikalafeng, only 30 per cent of the brands admired by Africans are from Africa.
He advised that Africans have to brand appropriately if they are to be appreciated and realise their full potential.
He also cautioned: “We should not be enslaved to aid. Aid only succeeds in breeding corrupt leaders.”
Kin Kariisa, the chairman Uganda Broadcasters Association, said a brand must be able to grow. And as such he challenged entrepreneurs to invest heavily in marketing and promoting their brands to realise profits and growth.
Sharing Monitor Publications Limited (MPL) success story, Mr Richard Senkwale MPL general manager commercial, said as a brand, one has to create an image that speaks for itself.

Is the marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products. An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets.