“Today we have books on branding in Arabic. When I first started in Saudi Arabia, people didn’t know what branding is. They think it’s all about logo.”
“Unfortunately also, one of the guys who wrote about branding in Arabic just took it from Google, which is wrong. His first edition is just from Google which is wrong ethically, morally.”
And that’s what we battled with. “
We spoke with Said Baaghil, branding expert, consultant, speaker and author of several books. He is based in the Middle East, where he has over 23 years of experience in branding and marketing and has helped launched several successful brands there such as Femi9, Vivid Flair & Code Red.
Brand Building For Startups
“Startups need to focus on growth. Brand building for startups come naturally when it focuses on delivering values.
If your values are unique, then branding comes automatically. But if you focus on branding, instead of value, which is branding in terms of advertising, marketing, then you’re missing a point.”
The biggest mistake startups make today is the notion, “We need to build our brand.”
According to Said Baghil, it should be the other way around for startups. Startups can’t build a brand without growth.
“You first need to deliver your value.”
“For instance, you can move from a commodity to a brand, but it can’t be done without growth.”
Create Your Space
Said Baghil has created his method for startups and companies to create their own branding, called Create Your Space.
“If there’s one thing in life that is constant, its change.”
But change isn’t easy and for marketing, it means to break the traditional rules of marketing.
“In today’s highly competitive market, it requires a business to offer far more than just quality, price and availability. It’s the values you bring to your current existence as a brand.”
“Why are we adapting to somebody’s ideas instead of creating our own? Why do we follow trends instead of creating trends?”
The four cornerstones to creating your own space are:
- build momentum to carve out a niche in the market
- brainstorm big ideas
- identify new revenue sources
- have a culture of innovation.
Patience Is Key
“If you have fear in your heart, do not get into a business.”
“More importantly, Allah loves those who have patience. Because everything on earth has been created through a process that they need to grow. Plants, bodies, hair and nails, all grow through a process. Nothing grows in a day.”
“How do you expect results to grow in a day?”
“You don’t expect to succeed by having a business you launched just a month ago. Or if you just started your career, and you say, ‘Oh it’s been three months and I got nothing.’ No, you didn’t fail, you just stopped. You need patience. “
Keep Your Focus
Said Baaghil on his advice for personal success.
“Allah loves patience and I will be patient and I am going to be rewarded [by Allah]. Let me tell you something very important…”
“I have struggled with people hating on me, even threats. I got insulted, they insulted me personally and my family. These are some horrible people who work in my industry.”
“But with Allah’s patience, and not responding to them, not even in a day, throwing back negative to them, but spreading my knowledge, Allah every day is giving back tenfolds. I’m always happy, Alhamdulilah. “
“And that should be a lesson that should be shared. Whenever somebody brings you down, or try to make you feel bad about yourself. don’t let them. Just ignore.”
“But don’t respond back to them, because you’re gonna deviate from your purpose, your focus. Stay, drive, live, achieve! “
“Success is not about making money. Success is when your purpose meets your destiny.”
Farah Ishak is a Content Writer at Halalop. She grew up in the United Kingdom where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Management. Later, she completed her MBA and held senior-level positions in Malaysian based MNC. She left the corporate world to be with her young kids. She is passionate about issues concerning Muslim women, Startups and Muslim businesses in general.