How the principles of branding can be applied to help ports and logistics centers become more successful



Better branding
From Port Strategy
24 Jun 2013

Like it or not, how a port brands itself is crucial to success in today’s image-conscious world. Felicity Landon reports

Who are your customers? What are they looking for? What do you do different or better? Branding decisions should start with the customer, not with yourself, says marketing expert Florian Clemens. “When creating your strategy and sharpening your brand, I would always start from specific groups – who exactly are they? What are they doing today? What is your right to win among them?”

Mr Clemens, director at global marketing consultancy EffectiveBrands, says branding is becoming more and more important in business-to-business (B2B) marketing. “Making a clear promise to your customers and actively managing your reputation has always been important, but many of our B2B clients now see the need to upgrade their marketing strategy, organisational structure and marketing skills,” he says. “Competition is raising the bar, new communication opportunities require new skills and business contacts are becoming much more market-savvy.”

Klavs Valskov, head of communication and branding at Maersk Line, believes that for port companies competing in a global market, it is crucial to have a clear and distinct brand proposition. “The global port companies’ key customers are operating all over the world and they need to be met with the same propositions and services no matter what port they berth in,” he says. “Of course you can add local flavour to the offering, but if the experience in one port is ‘first class’ and in another it is more like ‘economy class’, then you end up confusing both your own staff and your customers over what you are all about.”

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