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Why Are Developing Countries Losing The Five Star Status Race?
By
Naseem Javed -- September 12, 2007
The race for the global image repositioning is getting fiercely competitive as more and more countries are improving their softer image, claiming the right to produce good quality exportable brands for the international markets. Poised and confident, they want to play the marketing game on a global scale. The West, in the meanwhile has almost abandoned manufacturing, ignoring research development and creating vacuums, which have resulted in global shifts, which have been moving rapidly towards Asia and other regions. As this tectonic shift continues, it will have opened doors among the highly entrepreneurial companies of emerging regions to capture new image positioning opportunities and, as they enter the game that was formerly reserved for select Western countries.  

Naseem Javed

At a time where it's all about ultimate power demonstrated by the success of brand name identities in combative plays with other competing countries, a majority of developing countries have somehow failed the acid test of global branding stature. The Five Star Standard of Naming was established two decades ago to help young and old corporations devise sharper and better global image and brand identities, seeking a unique position in the global marketplace.

The big question of today is why only less than 1% of high maintenance brands in most developing countries have achieved Five Star Status, while the rest are too far below to ensure any significant global victory. Today, playing the global branding game demands following global branding rules, otherwise the sheer cost of promotion or the lack of global acceptability will eventually kill the project.

The principal concept behind this ranking standard is all based on ownership. Simply put, if you have a super brand, let the whole world see it. If you think that you have an exclusive and absolute 100% Ownership to that brand name identity, then you must prove it. Today, 99% of some of the most advertised and intensely promoted name brands cannot. Names like Rolex, Sony, Panasonic or PlayStation can. Such brand names are exclusively and absolutely 100% owned by their respective corporations, giving them global respect and an undisputed understanding of their ownership to customers all over the world, resulting in global power and a Five Star Standard.

The process of the Five Star Naming Standard awards earns the First Star for being easy and simple, a Second star for being one-of-a-kind, a Third for being highly related to the business, a Fourth for being globally protected, and a Fifth for having an identical, matching dotcom. For those lucky few with a Five Star Standard the brand feels globally secure and free to travel, while a Four-Star rank is seriously lacking. A Three-Star name is injured, while the Two and One-Star names are seriously damaged and dying. The test is stringent but paints a very clear picture, with this deeper understanding corporations can guide their brands to appropriate winnings, with modifications or establishing a stronger platform from which further name identities can be built upon with a higher degree of confidence.

The Five Star Standard of Naming has been originated and developed by ABC Namebank, who has defined these five characteristics as primal traits among powerful brand identities. The current market demands powerful names based on originality and simplicity in order to attain success on a global scale. Despite common sense simplicity and a pragmatic approach to this ranking process, most corporations are not fully aware of the gravity or the risk of advancing their weaker and injured name identities on the global battlefields especially when their aggressive pushes to boost are often simply increasing the brand's mortality. The west is already littered with thousands of unheard mega branding project failures, especially when creating a Five Star Standard Name Identity is not an expensive exercise, and considerably less than the promotion costs used to push a struggling identity.

Under the present situation, the real winners will be the nations that recognize the global branding and image challenges that face their domestic corporations, and provide effective platforms to cultivate these brands to overcome these global realities. There is a strong need for mass-educational programs to train armies of branding and marketing savvy students, who in turn, become local champions that produce success stories. Establishing national institutions with sophisticated programs on a large scale will ensure an image-savvy culture. Despite these institutions, the global battle of brands will intensify when thousands of new global-reach, brand name identities emerge from India and China, which will dwarf the current landscape of western brand name establishment, as the new winners and losers are divided based solely on absolute, 100% global ownership.

Currently, the Top 1000 Brands of the world mostly enjoy their Five Star Status, but it's the tens of thousands of other young and old brands that remain in the race, struggling to gain some attention, that are caught in serious global challenges for either being too difficult or obscure to be understood around the world, or too simple and cute to be protected by trademarks. Without a Five Star Standard, most brands in search of global fame will stay entrenched in a losing war with their struggling identity.
Copyright 2007
All Rights Reserved
Naseem Javed
About the Author
Naseem Javed is recognized as a world authority on Corporate Image and Global Cyber-Branding. Author of Naming for Power , he introduced The Laws of Corporate Naming in the 80's and also founded ABC Namebank International, a consultancy established in Toronto and New York a quarter century ago.

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