Les PME doivent mettre l'accent sur leur image de marque pour percer sur les marchés internationaux (anglais)

26 September 2014
ITC News

Creating a strong brand is key to increasing exports of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), according to speakers at the World Export Development Forum (WEDF).

At the parallel session on ‘Building a brand: export marketing for developing countries’ on 17 September, industry experts emphasized the importance of communication through the selection of colours, packaging materials and text fonts when SMEs present their products and services to buyers.

SMEs are increasingly looking for markets outside their national borders, so the need for a brand is essential. Mary Petitt, a Global Coffee Issues Adviser, said that SMEs should work to understand what makes their products and services special.

‘You need to be able to clearly articulate what benefits your product brings to the customer and communicate it well, consistently and persistently,’ she said.

Fellow panellist Janet Nkubana, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Gahaya Links, a Rwandan handicrafts company, advised other SME owners to study branding and to become a reflection of their businesses.

‘Ladies and gentlemen, be the brand,’ she said.

Building a brand requires not only time and research, but financial investment, as well. Bandula Egodage, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Sri Lanka Export Development Board, said that export development agencies and other organizations that support SMEs can use a portion of their budgets to link local SMEs with international designers to help them in packaging design and labelling. The Sri Lanka Export Development Board, for example, allocates 15% of its budget to SME branding.

Marcus Hopperger, Director of the Law and Legislative Advice Division at the World Intellectual Property Organization, pointed out that SMEs also need to protect their brands by registering them as copyrights in all the jurisdictions they do business.

Read the full summary of the parallel session on ‘Building a brand: export marketing for developing countries’.

WEDF is organized by ITC, the only United Nations organization with an exclusive focus on assisting SMEs. The event is hosted by the Rwanda Development Board.