Safeguarding our local brands
A good brand is built on the ability of an organisation to deliver on its brand promise over and over again. It is this promise that connects the client and organisation over the years to the point that a relationship is created. It is for this reason that, when one thinks of our local brands, quite a number of them come to mind.
However in the tourism industry, within the State Owned Enterprise area, Air Namibia and Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) are some of the most recognisable brands in the country.
For instance, anytime an individual arrives at the Frankfurt International airport en-route to Namibia, there is a nostalgic feeling one gets when you see the Air Namibia Airbus A330-200 ready to take you home.
Similarly, when a tourist arrives at the Okaukuejo resort within the Etosha National park, there is feeling that they get when they go sit at the famous flood-lit waterhole and look at the wildlife there. The same can be said when a tourist sees the sunrise or sunset at Sossusvlei.
The memories attached to these experiences are unexplainable. These feelings further connect the tourist to the NWR brand.
It is therefore essential to note that, the Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) has played a significant role in marketing these brands all over the world. What remains true is that these brands operate in an unpredictable industry and require the support of not only the international tourists but the domestic market as well. Because both these markets make sure that these brands continue to operate and contribute to the local economy.
On numerous occasions, I have often said that our brands are like the stock exchange, they can either go up or down depending on the news that is said about them. Warren Buffet is quoted as saying, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently”.
In conclusion, our Board Chairperson, Ambassador Leonard Iipumbu has often said that, as individuals, when we travel internationally to market these brands, we are representing Namibia’s hope and dreams. Therefore, the manner we present ourselves ultimately determines how Namibia is viewed by the outside world.