Commentaries | Nov 30,2019
Oct 31 , 2020
By Kidist Yidnekachew ( Kidist Yidnekachew has degrees in psychology and journalism and communications. She can be reached at email@example.com. )
It is not a secret that a lack of creativity in industries extends to their marketing strategies. Logos, slogans and corporate identities are shamelessly ripped off. It has become a common phenomenon.
While studying for my communications master's degree, I came into contact with many of the industry behemoths that are behind the larger advertising campaigns scattered across the country. The common consensus is that while there are agencies capable of delivering original branding and corporate identity guidelines, the market is just as well awash with freshman graduates of computer science looking to make a quick buck.
Proper branding is not some slapdash quickie logo that is put together from easily downloadable images and designs. It is actually a long process that involves - after client consultation - a team of experts working long hours together to develop a corporate identity that reflects the product or service.
An account executive, creative director, copy editor, art director, graphic artist,and general manager are just some of the people involved in this process. It is a lengthy process that involves a great deal of time, resources and energy. Typically, an agency can charge upwards of half a million Birr.
Some people may be utterly shocked by this figure: after all, it is just a logo, right?
This lack of understanding of the value of corporate identity and effective customer acquisition is why we are in our current position. It is more likely for companies to go to their neighbourhood computer whiz and fork out 50,000 Br and get their logo done with downloaded elements for subpar results than to pay the right people to develop a well-thought-out corporate identity.
It is then not hard to see why some of our most successful state and private enterprises, and even some political parties, all have logos that were copied. This cannot be completely laid at the feet of the companies but the individuals they hire. The problem starts mostly from the decision to be cheap on the section of the business that is integral to long-term survival.
The story does not end there. Many may look for cheap alternatives, forgoing the originality and enhanced performance market recognition affords them in taking the business forward.
Banks though are not cheap. They spend millions of Birr in brand redesigning, consulting fees and system upgrades. They have the money to spend liberally. But even they sometimes hit and miss. They end up with brand logos that bear too much similarity with entities outside of the country.
What is one to do when even reputable agencies fail to deliver?
This calls attention to the need for due diligence, which always falls to the company at the end of the day. Making use of test groups to screen new ideas, especially having to do with the image of the company, does not hurt either.
Indeed, it may be the case that the company’s intent is to bandwagon off another more reputable and successful international company. Some of the logos may have been intentionally copied as a marketing strategy aimed at getting customers to purchase these products by means of association.
This is probably most true of local fast-food chains that blatantly use logos and names of international restaurant brands. There is not even the effort to hide one’s intention in several of these cases. They plagiarise brand identity mercilessly out in the open to generate sales. These saves them time, energy and money, as building on an already known brand is easier than starting from scratch and building a new one.
This is not just a phenomenon in Ethiopia. Chinese companies are famous for playing the same game, which has led to the country getting major criticism from the likes of the United States.
There is an excellent lesson to take out of this. Indeed, China's manufacturing industry is something to be jealous of, but they have also become notorious for the questionable durability of their products, especially when they are on the cheap side.
There is even an Amharic saying, “Ye China iqa ayberkitim,’’ meaning that products made in China do not last long.
It is only ironic then that Ethiopia’s tourism motto is “the Land of Origins.” The intention is to convey the nation’s ancient natural and human-made riches. But the disparity that is felt is loud and clear. When it comes to present-day Ethiopia, there is little originality going around.
PUBLISHED ON Oct 31,2020 [ VOL 21 , NO 1070]
Commentaries | Nov 30,2019
Radar | Aug 27,2022
Commentaries | May 25,2019
View From Arada | Aug 03,2019
Viewpoints | Sep 07,2019
Radar | Jan 29,2022
Radar | Jun 12,2023
Radar | Jan 09,2021
Fortune News | May 15,2021
Agenda | Nov 28,2020
Photo Gallery | 77108 Views | May 06,2019
Photo Gallery | 69112 Views | Apr 26,2019
Fortune News | 55915 Views | Jul 18,2020
Fineline | 54930 Views | Oct 03,2020
Commentaries | Sep 23,2023
Life Matters | Sep 23,2023
My Opinion | Sep 23,2023
Sunday with Eden | Sep 16,2023
Agenda | Sep 23,2023
Editorial | Sep 23,2023
Dec 24 , 2022
Biniam Mikru heads the department of cabinet affairs under Mayor Adanech Abiebie. But...
Jul 2 , 2022 . By RUTH TAYE
On a rainy afternoon last week, a coffee processing facility in the capital's Akaki-Qality District was abuzz with activ...
Nov 27 , 2021
Against my will, I have witnessed the most terrible defeat of reason and the most sa...
Nov 13 , 2021
Plans and reality do not always gel. They rarely do in a fast-moving world. Every act...
Leaders of the National Election Board are in a charm offensive mood, of a sort. Last week, they organised a rare tour for members of the me...
When the country's most senior diplomats and envoys return back to their posts after two-week debriefings, they leave behind a point or two...
Sep 23 , 2023
Ethiopia's contemporary political leaders and the policy wonks under their command ha...
Sep 16 , 2023
The Ethiopian economic narrative oscillates between pockets of resilience and signifi...
Sep 10 , 2023
Earlier this Ethiopian fiscal year, the heralding of a peace deal became synonymous w...
Sep 2 , 2023
An unfolding horror story revealed the human cost of desperate migration in the arid...
Heading to an unfamiliar destination recently, I ordered service from one of the taxi-hailing companies. I had a chance to discuss several a...
Sep 23 , 2023
In the misty break of dawn, the usually scuttling Lamberet Bus Terminal in Addis Abeba stood comparatively quiet. This terminal serves as a...
Sep 23 , 2023 . By AKSAH ITALO
In the wake of a devastating two-year war, SUR Construction Plc, one of Ethiopia's premier contracting fi...
Sep 23 , 2023 . By BERSABEH GEBRE
The Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) executives were taken aback by an unexpected decision from the Sta...
Sep 23 , 2023 . By MUNIR SHEMSU
Ethiopians living abroad for over a year and non-residents of Ethiopian origin can now deposit foreign cu...
Or see contact page