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Reorient minds to sell the Ghana brand – Esther Cobbah charges gov’t

The CEO of Stratcomm Africa has charged government to reorients the minds of the citizenry to build a brand that can work for the country both locally and internationally.

Esther Numaba Cobbah said government should lead the way for the country to know what it is as a brand, nurture it and put it out as a product.

According to her, branding the country should go beyond the tourism ministry doing something to attract tourists but tasked families, society and businesses to do their bit as well.

“Tourists come here and they relate to individuals, society and businesses, what do we sell to them? If we decide on a brand that is positive, it works for us and we grow,” she said.

Speaking on the sidelines of the annual conference of the Executive Women Network (EWN) last Friday in Accra, she said for such a campaign to succeed, it must start with the reorientation of the individual.

Addressing the delegates on the theme ‘Implementing Brand Ghana: The Role of Women Leaders’, Ms Cobbah said Ghana should not only develop a brand just for the sake of it.

According to the 2012 Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana (CIMG) Marketing Woman of the Year, a brand is not only a symbol, motto, tagline or a slogan but what one continuously live.

“Stratcomm Africa, the communication, brand building and reputation management agency that I started over 24 years ago has been working with numerous individuals and organisations, public and private, local and international on their brands. Building a positive brand and communicating it effectively to meet the client objectives and for social benefit is a passion.

“We often proudly proclaim that Ghana was the first African country south of the Sahara to attain its independence. We express pride in the fact that our first President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, was recognized as the outstanding African personality of the 20th century in a BBC poll at the turn of the century.

“The Black Star has been an expression of our pride in the light that shone from our country into the rest of the African continent and, indeed, throughout the African diaspora. We know that some of the projects that were named to highlight our national aspirations – like the Black Star Line, our national shipping line did not survive. We are disappointed that our Black Stars did not make it to the World Cup this last time round and were in the headlines in the previous World Cup for the wrong reasons.

“Nonetheless, the Black Star in the flag means so much to us and we know that aspirations associated with Ghana’s leadership on the African continent in attaining independence and helping other African countries in their struggles for freedom remain central to our identity as a nation,” she said.

The GNPC pioneer believes “we have to develop a brand because it is good for us, we just don’t build a brand because we like it. We should know what works for us internally as well as externally in branding our country.”

The EWN Chairperson said it is important for Ghanaians to be nurtured to understand what Brand Ghana is so they will live the brand every day of their lives.

Regarding the filthy nature of the country and how negatively that is impacting on tourism, she charged individually to be disciplined to do the right thing.

“We need to take control of our sanitation as individuals and not leave everything at the doorstep of government…it is key for families to orient the minds of their members to do the right thing especially the children,” she said.

She also tasked government to have systems, processes and infrastructure in place to facilitate the realization of a clean environment.

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