SLIM Brand Excellence to focus on ‘Catapult Your Brand Beyond’ | Sunday Observer

SLIM Brand Excellence to focus on ‘Catapult Your Brand Beyond’

Project Chairman, Ahamed Aroos
Project Chairman, Ahamed Aroos

* Workshops targeting SME brands

The SLIM Brand Excellence Awards 2019 was launched in June. For the past 17 years the SLIM Brand Excellence Awards have served as a platform upon which brands, marketers, brand custodians and entrepreneurs gain recognition and entrée into the international market.

Entries are now being called for the program and all brands in the country, especially the brands in the highlighted categories of SME, Local and Export brands are urged to step forward to make use of this unique brand platform, which is the country’s only national event that recognizes the achievements of brands and brand marketers. A series of workshops targeting SME brands will be conducted within the next few weeks in many parts of the island to promote and create awareness about this endeavour.

This year’s Project Chairman of SLIM Brand Excellence, Ahamed Aroos, discussed his plans for the program this year and the means by which he and his team intend to continue the event’s success.

Aroos said this year’s theme, ‘Catapult Your Brand Beyond’, is an interesting one and is based on the concept that the Sri Lankan consumers’ and marketers’ mindsets are somewhat challenged by the many macro factors currently affecting market conditions.

“These challenges, which are faced by many corporates, pose the question of the exact role of marketers when it comes to addressing these issues. We thought the best course of action was for organizations and marketers to push Brands beyond their comfort zones by breaking boundaries.

“As we know Brand positioning based on the brand’s country of origin is at the center of attention in the international market. It is evident that global brands constitute of critical intangible assets for businesses and the economies of their countries of origin.

“Through this year’s Brand Excellence theme, we’re trying to convey the message to all the marketers out there to take on any challenge as an opportunity to ‘Catapult Your Brand Beyond’ what you ever thought was possible. Beyond your boundaries and comfort zones, making use of the robust Brand Excellence platform,” he said.

Last year SLIM revamped the program. New categories were also introduced and there was a focus on the SME sector. The entire identity of Brand Excellence (BE) was changed with a modern twist according to an ancient Sri Lankan concept - ‘Sakwala Chakraya’, teleporting Sri Lanka to the outside world.

“Taking up the same message this year, we are emphasising the importance of taking Sri Lankan brands to the global stage through our campaign theme,” Aroos said.

The committee has focused on introducing a more comprehensive judging panel this year, under the leadership of Tilan Wijesekera, the Deputy General Manager of Retail Banking at Seylan Bank PLC. The jury will comprise an eminent panel made up of well-rounded professionals who will judge the brands and their performances.

This year too SLIM Brand Excellence will focus on Brand Marketers with special financial acumen and to top it up Entrepreneurial Marketers who have built some of the best Sri Lankan global brands. Many Brand Excellence winners will share their experiences via multiple awareness fora to promote the benefits and values that can be harnessed for brands through this platform this year.

“SLIM always aspires to promote and facilitate the SME sector to make use of our national event platforms to transform their brands and marketing thinking. In line with SLIM’s focus this year as a ‘Year of Transformation’ we will also put special emphasis on homegrown local brands and export brands in order to serve as a ladder, guiding deserving brands, brand custodians and entrepreneurs into the national spotlight and eventually the global sphere.

“We believe that driving value through SME branding will have a significant contribution towards our national economy. Knowing the importance of building export brands to uplift the Sri Lankan economy, we need to ensure that we overcome the gap caused by targeted export promotional support, which focuses only on a few enterprises and markets due to limited resources.

“The insufficiently focused and coordinated promotion of Sri Lankan brands and enterprise support in trade promotion activities curtails the development of sustainable demand for Sri Lankan products. Hence, the platform focuses on promoting more export brands to be a part of the platform to receive its benefits,” he said.