To flourish and compete favourably against other East African companies, firms with operations in Uganda have been encouraged to build strong brands as the region moves into the common market.
The call was made by Jawad Jaffer, project director and associate publisher, Superbrands East Africa, on a recent visit to Kampala. Jaffer said branding "is critical" for business and consumer development in the East Africa Community (EAC), which is set to become a common market next month.
The common market will facilitate the free movement of labour, goods, services, and capital originating within the five EAC states, including; Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi starting 1 July 2010.Role of Superbrands
"We are opening a common market and if you are not a strong brand, how will you be able to sell beyond your borders?" he asked at a workshop to sensitise the Ugandan media about the role of Superbrands in the region.
He urged Ugandan companies to consider branding as a "very important" component of their businesses. This is because their products are set to compete for a market of up to 131 million people against other strong international and regional brands and across borders. EAC top 10
The EAC's top 10 brands, as chosen by consumers are mostly international brands with Nokia, OMO, Colgate, Coca-Cola, Bata, leading local brands like; Kenya Commercial Bank, Mukwano, Bidco, MTN and Zain.
Jaffer urged Ugandan companies to enhance their brands by selling quality products, utilising the services of strong and effective brand agencies in the region.