In bid to diversify income sources: Oman signs deal with world leading branding firm
An agreement for developing a comprehensive branding strategy for the Sultanate of Oman was signed Monday with Landor Associates, a world leading branding firm. The agreement was signed by Maqbool bin Ali Sultan, Oman's Minister of Commerce and Industry, Chairman of Oman Centre for Investment Promotion and Export Development (OCIPED) and Head of the Sultanate’s branding committee.
According to ONA, Maqbool said the agreement aims at promoting the image of Oman and would focus on the four major sectors of tourism, information and communication technology (ICT), trade and education.
The Minister said the targeted sectors would mainly help in diversifying sources of income and will play a complementary role with gas-based and other industries the government has initiated. The Minister added that these sectors and the oil related industries will together promote the Sultanate’s investment and tourism potential to the world.
Maqbool said the branding strategy will be completed in two stages. Research phase, which will take six months, aims at conducting studies to identify the Sultanate’s competitive advantages on which the planned brand for Oman will be based. In this stage, mechanisms will also be created for implementing the strategy. In the second phase, the branding program will be carried out.
The Minister of Commerce and Industry said the idea of the project is in line with a trend among states to present their competitive advantages by developing national brands. He said opening up of markets and the competition resulting from globalization made it imperative for governments to undertake the marketing of their national products and services.
The Minister added the government had developed in recent years the ground work for promoting the targeted sectors. He noted the Sultanate, in its bid to diversify its income and develop human resources, will not only focus on creating a brand for the Sultanate as a tourism destination but will also seek to market Oman as a regional and international hub for investment, ICT, trade and education.
On his part, Andrew Blakemore, Landor’s Nation Branding Specialist, said the goal of his company is to create a positive image of Oman in the targeted markets. He said the Sultanate “is clearly a unique country and will have enormous appeal to market on a global scale”. He added that needs a strategy based on the Sultanate’s advantages.
The company official said branding a country requires a very different mindset to branding a product or a corporation and a great deal of collaboration between many different stakeholders. He added the first part of the job of developing the strategy is to do a great deal of listening. (menareport.com)