The Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship of the University of Ghana Business School held its first Distinguished Marketing Practitioner Seminar (DMPS) on the theme ‘Storytelling and Brand Building’ with Mr. Bharat Avalani on 22nd May 2019 at the Executive Hall.
The Head of Department (HoD), Professor Robert Ebo Hinson, who served as the Master of Ceremonies, welcomed and introduced the Chairman, Ing. Kenneth Ashigbey, Former Managing Director of Graphics Communications Group Limited (GCGL) and CEO of Ghana Telecommunications Chamber. The event was also graced by a Special Guest of Honor, in the person of Mr. Joel Edmund Nettey, Senior Vice-President and President-Elect of the International Advertising Association (IAA).
In his welcome address, Ing. Kenneth Ashigbey expressed his warmest appreciation to Professor Hinson and applauded the Department for initiating the first ever Practitioner Seminar. He opined that universities should use storytelling to transform and build the brands of their institutions. Again Mr. Ashigbey emphasised that it is crucial for all organisations to learn how to enhance the art of storytelling in relation to marketing, in order to measure the organisation’s return on investments. He concluded then that, storytelling based on empirical differences and theoretical perspective helps solve challenges.
The Guest Speaker, Mr. Bharat Avalani expressed his gratitude to the Department for inviting him He began his presentation by highlighting on the importance of leadership citing the late Mr. Kofi Annan, former United Nations General Secretary as his role model. He stated, “good leaders are those who take responsibility for their mess, clean up their mess and clean the mess of others”.
On storytelling, Mr. Avalani indicated that stories are facts wrapped in context and delivered with emotions. He stressed on the powerful role that storytelling plays in marketing and further added that whilst data talks to the mind, stories talk to the heart. He suggested that both academia and corporate organisations must teach marketing infused with stories and numbers and to inject and inculcate emotions and ideas into their brands. He believed that marketing done well can impact people in a positive way and that institutions must use stories to build a culture of respect to inspire memories and actions in order to build an enhanced marketing brand. Mr. Bharat Avalani ended his presentation with these profound thoughts “speak to express and not impress, be perfect with imperfection and be comfortable with being vulnerable’.
The Chairman, Ing. Kenneth Ashigbey in his closing remarks emphasised that both organisations and academia should learn and use the power of stories to solve challenges and effect changes. He added that it is imperative for both academia and organisatons to take responsibility for their actions and to harness good brands that are authentic. On his part, Professor Robert Ebo Hinson stated that every good brand is a functional selling proposition and an emotional selling proposition, adding that good brands are stories well told. The event ended with a vote of thanks from Ms. Awura Abena Agyeman of Wear Ghana.
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