“Products are made in a factory but brands are created in the mind.” – Walter Landor, Founder, Landor
Mr Landor wasn’t mincing words when he said this. The founder and CEO of globally renowned brand consulting firm Landor emphasizes the importance of perception in the marketing and advertising realm. People’s perception of a brand can literally make it or break it.
With the advent of social media, people are constantly connected to each other and to the brands that they love. If you can create an aspiring and inspiring image of your brand in the minds of people, then your brand is already successful.
Just like every country has its own unique language, culture, and cuisine, every country also has its own bespoke marketing dos and don’ts. To make the most out of a market, a brand needs to be sensitive towards this, and work alongside to create maximum impact.
Saudi Arabia, also popularly known as the KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) is famous for many reasons such as oil, Arabian coffee, the world’s largest sand desert, the world’s largest oasis etc. With a population of 34.54 million, it’s also an emerging marketing and business sector. The land of Sheikhs have about 72.38% active social media users. Globalmediainsight.com which makes it a marketer’s dreamland who is looking to put their brand out there.
Social media for branding. Really?
A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn a reputation by trying to do hard things well. – Jezz Bezos, Founder and CEO, Amazon
You name it. And social media has it. Every product that you can ever think of, is now active on social media. And why not? With the arrival of technology, everything is online and it becomes imperative for a brand to have and maintain a relevant social media reputation.
With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the world, it has now become the need of the hour to give consumers an insight into your brand story, right in the palms of their hand, in an electronic device of their choice.
Consumers are adapting to the changing times, and it’s important for the brands to keep up and innovate and invent to continue being a part of their consumer’s life.
Just like any other market, the KSA also has some cultural nuances that should be kept in mind while curating a brand story.
Some ground rules before you break ground with your brand
Arabic is the primary language in Saudi. A large number of Saudi Arabians use Arabic in the common parlance.
Saudi welcomes people from all over the world therefore English becomes the secondary language because many of these expats use English for their everyday communication. Keeping your brand bi-lingual and using both English and Arabic SEO keywords is your best bet to ensure that it is inclusive and reaches a large and diverse audience.
Just like a lot of countries in the gulf, Saudi Arabia strongly adheres to local customs. Traditional viewpoints and customaries are followed in dressing, salutations, hospitality etc. Although no laws specifically regulate the culture content of ads, insensitivity may destroy credibility and prove to be a strong blow in your overall brand story. The moral of the story is steer clear of ambiguity and stick to the things that will respect the local customs and affirm the consumer’s faith in your brand.
Out of all the social media platforms, YouTube scores the highest when it comes to consumption by the Saudi Arabian population. The users spend a notable amount of time on the website, making it a lucrative avenue to explore for your brand. So the next time when you think of an idea, ask yourself “Can I make a YouTube video of it?” and if the answer is yes, reach is almost guaranteed provided you use the right media mix to deliver your message.
In general, the social media users in the KSA are increasing at a rapid pace. No matter what you do, having a relevant social media profile will allow people to get a glimpse inside your brand and its story before they decide to delve deeper. As a brand, it also enables you to be present where your audiences are, so even before they interact with the brand, you can use this opportunity to engage with them by becoming a part of their lives.
So keep an eye out on the latest geographical trends and curate a story that your audiences will understand and love.
At Vowels, we live and breathe the beauty that is Saudi Arabia. We are constantly learning and widening our horizons about the KSA. And the more we get into the bloodstream of the culture, customs, and heart of the country, the more we are able to create a bespoke brand that aligns with the values of the locals and delivers the brand truth in an honest and sensitive way.
If you have been planning to launch a new startup or rebrand an existing one, now is the time to get started. Whether it is a logo redesign, a website redesign, refreshed messaging, or a complete brand makeover, it’s time you get in touch with professional branding agencies like Vowels to make your vision come true. We specialize in brand consultancy, strategy, brand guidelines, CI manual, brand presentation, and corporate branding.
Learn and grow with us. Stay connected and master the art of branding in the KSA with Vowels.