Inaugural Brand Sri Lanka Creation Symposium entailed a panel discussion which featured (from left) Brand Finance Place Branding Director Konrad Jagodzinski, Rich Life Dairies Ltd Chief Operating Officer Dinesh Nalliah, Advocata Institute CEO Dhananath Fernando, SLIM Immediate Past President Thilanka and SLIM Past President and Brand Finance Chairman Ruchi Gunewardene
- Bring together branding experts, business leaders and policy influencers by launching ‘Brand Sri Lanka Creation Symposium’
- Express confidence in having resources to rectify Sri Lanka’s image with a branding strategy and not necessarily a marketing campaign
- Outcome is to enable world to see Sri Lanka through a new paradigm
- Stresses need for policymakers to join in an effort to make initiative effective
Sri Lanka is in dire need to correct its image in the eyes of the international community, given the negative sentiments that are still largely prevalent, as stepping up efforts in this regard is the marketing fraternity of the country.
The national body of marketers, the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM), kicked off a fresh initiative that will focus on rebranding the island nation. The institution unveiled the inaugural ‘Brand Sri Lanka Creation Symposium’ by bringing together the experts in branding, business leaders and policy influencers, to roll out
Accordingly, efforts are underway to explore and pool in innovative ideas and strategies that can help crisis-struck Sri Lanka to stand out, as it looks to start a new chapter in its economic development and growth agenda.
As several attempts by diverse stakeholders in appropriately branding the island nation have failed in the recent past, SLIM expressed confidence in having what it takes to fix Sri Lanka’s image in a global context. “We have the resources to rectify that (Sri Lanka’s image) with a powerful nation branding strategy, which is not necessarily a marketing campaign.
Over the last many months, SLIM has been trying to create awareness about the need for such a nation branding strategy. It was also important to understand where we actually stood in the eyes of the world and for that we had to immerse ourselves in a worldwide research,” said SLIM President Nuwan Gamage. He added that in the next few decades, the national marketing body hopes to leverage the resources available to co-craft and assist those in power to lead a policy-led strategy that is also anchored on sustainability and solving issues that are not just relevant to Sri Lanka but the rest of the world.
“This should ideally enable the world to see Sri Lanka through a new paradigm,” said Gamage. According to Nation Branding Project Chairperson Kavi Rajapaksha, the initiative aims to curate and adapt the right nation branding strategy, which would organically reinstate respect and consideration for our mother Lanka and its creations. “Our commitment is to keep running a string of innovative initiatives alive that will place Sri Lanka on the minds of the world but we need our policymakers to join hands in this effort to really make it effective,” she said. Sri Lanka’s brand as a country has been doing poorly since it was hit with the political and economic crisis last year. Poor
policy decisions taken by the head of state resulted in the quality of life of the citizens of the island nation falling to a new low. Due to the boom in social media, the struggle of the people was very much noticed by the international community, which has led to the perception that the country is witnessing amplified poverty. Poorly constructed comments by politicians in international fora have added to the problem, making it only difficult for the island nation to emerge from its image that has taken a massive hit.
PIX BY KUSHAN PATHIRAJA
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