Spark Series: Inspiring the UAE's SMEs - Itani & Company

Spark Series: Inspiring the UAE’s SMEs

Oct 3, 2017 | Spark Stories | 0 comments

On September 26, 2017 we launched our Spark Series, which is an event series aimed at helping SMEs harness the power of marketing. These events will focus on educating SME business owners about different aspects of massive marketing world and how they can be applied to their businesses. Practical, informative, and transformative sessions is our goal.

The inaugural session was titled “How to Build a Brand that Builds Your Business” and brought together three industry experts and panelists from three amazing UAE based SMEs: Coffee Planet, Careem, and The Happy Box. All talks and the panel were documented and we aim to upload the videos in the coming few weeks on our YouTube channel. 

Itani and company marketing consultants

The vibe was INCREDIBLE! 70 engaged business owners, marketing practitioners, and interested learners came together in the beautiful Courtyard Playhouse for 3 hours of branding talk. The talks brought to light important branding considerations for businesses, and the panelists were able to detail first hand how their companies leveraged strong brands to beat out their competition. Add to that some thought provoking audience questions and you run an hour over the expected end time of the event!

Here are some key takeaways from the event:

Maya Itani’s “Branding Matters” talk: 
Maya tackled many misconceptions about branding, and the main message of her talk was that a brand is an entire concept surrounding a product or service that evokes emotions and associations- not just the visual elements. It is built at every touchpoint of your business and by ever person in your business.


Jennifer Watson’s case study on The Lighthouse Arabia
The Lighthouse Arabia represents a true holistic branding transformation. The Bloom Branding team was hired by the client once the clinic had truly outgrown its current branding, and the update has helped them better reflect their ethos and caliber in every aspect of their business. One of the main success factors was a committed management team that understood the true power of branding.

Matt Wilson’s “Principles of Brand Design”
The main message that resonated with the audience was the need for clients to do their homework prior to briefing a designer in order to achieve the best and most efficient results. Matt also stressed the importance of “keeping off the grass” when it came to branding, which means that businesses should do their best to protect the visual identity of the brand and not allow others to alter or abuse it.

From Steven Worobec of Careem
Steven stressed the importance of onboarding every member of your team to properly understand your brand, which ensures consistency in the way it is presented to your customers. He also shared the various ways that the local offices (affectionately referred to as the “mountain peaks”) are empowered to live the Careem brand to best resonate with their local audiences.

From Jumana Al Darwish of The Happy Box
Jumana was clear that she never had a branding objective when she started her business 3 years ago, and yet it has become one of the strongest regional brands due to her insistence on staying true to her vision for what she wanted her company to become and achieve. While tying her personal brand to her business has helped it gain awareness and consumer affinity, she does admit it forces her to be comfortable with being vulnerable.

From Mike Butler of Coffee Planet
Mike is the Commercial Director of Coffee Planet and stated that in his opinion the top three things for business success are cash, high quality product/service, and then branding. He explained how Coffee Planet focused on raising cash and perfecting its product before they began thinking about branding 5 years into their journey.


These are only a few of the insights, so keep an eye out for the videos in the next few weeks. For now, enjoy some more snaps and join our newsletter to stay updated about upcoming Spark Series events.





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