Meet Anthony Ebow Spio, Head of Ashesi’s Business Administration Department. In the recently launched book, Positioning Ghana, Challenges and Innovations, Anthony Ebow Spio, co-authors a chapter, Branding Ghana: An imperative for country development that aims to provide direction on how we can more effectively build and implement the Branding Ghana initiative….
“The message we aimed to put across in the chapter is twofold,” “The first is to make a case for nation branding to be considered as complementary to other initiatives and strategies that the government may adopt to achieve the development aspirations of the people or country. The second is to prescribe an approach for the Brand Ghana Office to consider in executing the country branding program.” Anthony Spio
Early on in his marketing career, Spio helped position some of Unilever Ghana’s products as staples in households and believes branding should come from within. “Branding Ghana is about mobilizing Ghanaians to create a unique, strong and favourable identity that makes Ghana an attractive place for people to invest or visit or make Ghanaian products and human capital the preferred choice both locally and internationally,” he explained. “The creativity, participation and efforts of Ghanaians are critical to realizing the goals of any country branding assignment or exercise.”
At Ashesi, Anthony Spio’s students learn to create these unique, strong and favourable identities he touches on in their Startegic Branding and New Product Development classes. Within the chapter, he shares some of these tenets his students learn to apply to their work.
Students pitching a produce in Anthony Spio’s New Product Development class
“Substantial knowledge from the branding class was incorporated in the approach we prescribed in the chapter,” he explained. “One of the ideas from the branding class we brought to bear in the book is promotions. We dubbed it conscious country promotion. Just like branding in commercial enterprises, conscious country promotion is about deliberately propagating Ghana’s identity, products and progress to all stakeholders especially its citizens. The rationale is to establish a desirable image and relationship with stakeholders that engender favourable attitude and behavour towards Ghana.”
While Spio believes positioning Ghana will require intentional and conscientious effort not only on the government’s part, but also from the people, he shares steps necessary for this position to be attained. “The first is getting to know your target audience, and then developing and articulating a brand strategy we want to project,” he shares. “Then we need to engage the people in what is called purposeful country culture. This is an initiative to get Ghanaians, particularly the youth, to be involved in the branding effort especially in terms of commitment and portraying appropriate behaviour. Finally, we need to consciously promote Ghana.”
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