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Branding Industry a Pillar in Economic Development

Branding industry has emerged as one of the strongest pillars for the economic development of any country and the world's largest economy — the United States — has over 50 percent of the global brands share, making it a trendsetter in this highly specialized but vital business worldwide, the president of the International Advertising Association (IAA) Bahrain chapter, Khamis A. Al-Muqla said at the opening of five-day workshop of regional public relations conference being held in Bahrain.

The branding industry is a multi-trillion dollar industry worldwide and now coming big way in this part of the world and has a bright future due to latest means of communication, i.e., electronic, print and ICT infrastructure development.

Al-Muqla said that the GCC countries need to concentrate on branding and public relations as effective tools for enhancing the businesses while living in a cutthroat competition environment.

"Brands, "branding" and brand equity have become increasingly important components of culture and the economy, now being described as "cultural accessories and personal philosophies.

"Brand recognition and other reactions are created by the use of the product or service and through the influence of advertising, design, and media commentary. A brand is a symbolic embodiment of all the information connected to the product and serves to create associations and expectations around it.

He said: "Public relation and communication are vital subjects and need to be taken seriously in this part of the world where we are still in early stages of developing our own brands. The political, economic and social reforms can be made more meaningful by using the latest tools like branding, public relations and mass communication."

Al-Muqla said "Bahrain's advertising industry showed modest growth compared to other markets in the GCC last year, with 3.8 percent growth in Bahrain's advertising market in 2006 compared to Qatar's leading the field with a remarkable 101 percent increase."

The Gulf advertising sector saw a 21.9 percent growth last year to $5.4 billion. Oman, the UAE and Kuwait recorded increases of 32 percent, 22 percent, and 12.7 percent, respectively, and Saudi Arabia's advertisement sector grew seven percent."

According to figures, Bahrain's advertising market now stood at $107 million. Al-Muqla hoped that the year 2007 would be a good year for this sector.

"Our industry is growing, but our responsibility is also growing at the same time, so therefore we need to move forward and benefit from the IAA and address the key issues relating to our industry and our community." (ARAB NEWS)

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