Branding For Female Entrepreneurs in The Middle East
We can’t ignore that branding for female entrepreneurs is a confusing task to perform.
But we also believe that big achievements start with passion, patience, organization, and hard work, in order to submit small goals on the road, to reach your planned objective.
Do you come up with many business ideas for your startup that you believe in?
Then, you must be already attached and connected to your business personally and emotionally.
However, Does it seem challenging and scary for you to start your branding?
Don’t worry! You are not alone.
- What is branding?
- Women entrepreneurs’ power and challenges in the Middle East
- Personal Branding concept in the Middle East
- Steps of Personal Branding for Female Entrepreneurs
- Why should female entrepreneurs work on their personal branding?
- Inspiring Arab Female Entrepreneurs to learn from
What is branding?
“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Said Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon.com
Branding is a cool job to do and also it is critical for your success.
So you should care about doing it in a professional way, in order to stand out and to overcome your competitors in your market niche.
Then as a female entrepreneur, you need to overview your business, to be able to represent a strong, consistent, and most importantly, unique brand.
So, do you think that your branding is only about deciding and designing your logo and its color?
Branding is more than that, it is about shaping your brand in your customers’ perception.
It is a unique mix of messaging and visuals that are made and inspired by you, as you are the brand!
Therefore, in order to say that you are on the right track of branding for your startup, these are the two elements that you should develop, to able to show a clear brand image to your target audience.
It consists of your mission statement, core values, promise, and brand proposition.
It is a hard job that requires a lot of research to match and combine the customer, internal and market insights.
“64 percent”of people cite shared values as the main reason they have a relationship with a brand.
The customer perspective:
As a rule, do not ever assume!
You have to conduct surveys and interview customers, to get into their mindset.
You can figure out the keywords that they usually say by tracking their interests and behaviors on social media and real life.
As a result, you will come up with a template of your buyer persona that you can start with.
The internal perspective:
You have to be true, to win your customer fan-base.
This means that you should always meet the expectations that they have built based on your message and promise.
To define your message you should ask yourself and your staff to know:
- What is the value that your business creates?
- As a founder, what are the vision, mission, and values that drive you?
- What is the unique value in the product or the service that you are offering?
The market perspective:
It is the crucial part of your marketing research to read your competitors’ tagline, history, and the about page on their social media channels and websites, to benchmark your position in the market.
Most of the female entrepreneurs start their branding by this step because it makes them feel that their brand comes to life.
At this point, logos, colors, font, and overall visual style are the components of your brand visuals.
It must represent your vision, message, and goals, and also reflect the company’s personality.
To be effective, it should also elicit emotions and your audience must be able to recognize on all channels.
“At the end of the day, everything has to point in the same direction, saying the same message – either verbal or nonverbal.” Said Nadeena.
Then, as a part of your marketing strategy, you have to work on these ingredients:
Through it, you can leave a remarkable and unforgettable impression.
Visuals impact your customers’ perception of your company.
It should represent your message and bring a feeling of similarity to people at any place and anytime.
Customers connect and develop relations with brands that they recognize as authentic and trustworthy.
Visuals elicit our emotions faster than words so you should be aware of your brand’s message through your photos or designs.
Whatever the channel that you are using, it should help your customers in deciding whether your brand satisfy and meet their physical and psychological needs or not.
Clarity is your key to build your brand.
It must lead you, to come up with a genuine mix of messaging and visuals to attract your ideal persona.
But these are not the only that female face when building their company’s brand.
Women entrepreneurs’ power and challenges in the Middle East
Female entrepreneurs face the roadblocks of stereotyping in their societies.
They kick start their business and prove that they have the qualities of growing a successful business, based on their leadership and innovation.
Middle East Women can make it big.
According to the economist, one in three start-ups in the Arab World is founded or led by women.
They succeed in turning this obstacle to their benefit.
It is well known that females are fighting for equality, to get recognized and to thrive in the business scheme, they suffer from gender discrimination which may affect their professional image.
Despite the increasing pressure from society on female entrepreneurs to stay at home as housewives and that many women are financially responsible for others.
Many businesswomen in the middle east region run their business based on sole ownership.
The more challenges, the more the achievements.
A study finds that 33% of women-run enterprises in the UAE generate revenue in excess of “US$100,000″ compared to just “13%” in the developed US market.
Personal Branding concept in the Middle East
Personal branding is not bragging and you have to put an effort to manage your visibility, in order to communicate and connect with your audience.
Entrepreneurs mistakenly ignore the positive effect of personal branding.
They think it is not accepted in our culture for individuals to do it, as it is like to advertise too much for themselves.
Unlike men, women are not used to showing themselves or to seeking praise, so they start their startups’ branding by a catchy name while they hide their true personality behind it.
Steps of Personal Branding for Female Entrepreneurs
“It takes time, energy and focus to truly create a personal brand.”
Said Katie Bressack.
To support your business sustainability, you have to work on branding and selling yourself, to be able to communicate yourself, what you believe in and what you stand for, in order to deliver your value to the market.
Identify what you want to be known for
Personal branding is mainly showing your personality, lifestyle, vision, and self-perception to the world.
Because you want your employees, investors, and partners, not just your customers, to know who you are, and what you sell.
Formulate a personal story.
Write a single phrase to describe yourself, If it feels difficult, you can begin by writing your bio in “100-150” words.
Your expertise will complement your image and position as a leading entrepreneur.
Create a list of your knowledge, skills, and experiences, simply what you can do well, in order to match them with the requirements of your brand image and business goals.
Embrace the qualities that make you an engaging leader
Honesty, empathy, commitment, creativity, and passion are from traits that smooth your way to inspire others in your industry.
Never underestimate your power of storytelling or sense of humor, to attract and win your fan base.
It helps you to get more exposure by gaining and maintaining a strong word of mouth.
Know how you are viewed
Ask the people who know you well such as your friends and families and also others who don’t well about 3 adjectives to describe your personality from their point of view.
Compare their answers with your expectations, to see if there is any gap between them that you can work on.
Build business connections and grow your social network
You must attend workshops, seminars, national and international conferences in your industry, to give a talk or to discuss a topic that you have knowledge and experience in with the attendees.
According to a recent study done by Unilever Foundry, a collaboration by corporations and startups is growing so quickly that they might be sharing physical space by “2025”.
People remember how you made them feel and become loyal to those who give before they sell.
To build your personal branding, you can cooperate with a thought leader or social media influencer, to share tips and tricks with the audiences.
Empower your personal branding with online self-promotion
Start promoting yourself through social media channel that your target audience uses most.
You can grow a habit of publishing educational and entertaining content regularly.
Your online presence can also be your way to answer your fans’ frequently asked questions and to tell them about your upcoming projects, business challenges, and solutions.
Why should female entrepreneurs work on their personal branding?
To make a social impact
As an entrepreneur, you run your business for a reason, which is to meet the goals of your business with the needs of your audience.
But if you want to be remembered for who you are and what you exist for, you shouldn’t stop there.
You have to inspire, serve, and mentor your audience, especially women, in your society.
To capture attention and gain new opportunities
To reap the benefits of self-promotion, you have to reach more people, to pursue connections that you can benefit from.
For example, you may attract investors or win the opportunity of a TV interview through your online presence.
To secure their position in the market
Personal branding is your gate to win a loyal fan base who will be willing to buy from you and to promote your brand on their platforms.
They could help and support your business through their resources or network.
To acquire credibility
It is essential to create and maintain an impeccable reputation for yourself and for your brand as well.
In return, you will gain people’s trust whether they are loyal or potential customers because they are your fans who already know you and interested in your business.
Inspiring Arab Female Entrepreneurs to learn from
Sofia Al Asfoor
The Bahraini founder, designer and creative director of the international handbag brand: “Sofia Al Asfoor”.
She succeeded in expanding her brand across the world.
Her signature and luxury leather handbags are worn by national and international celebrities.
The Egyptian co-founder of the online platform and mobile application “Eventtus” for event planning, networking, and ticketing.
In 2016, “Mai” joined the discussion with “President Barack Obama” and “Mark Zuckerberg” and other international entrepreneurs at the “Global Entrepreneurship Summit”.
Ghazael Al Dossary
The first female Saudi entrepreneur to operate in the recycled industrial waste sector.
She works in the petrochemical industry and is the founder of “Oriental Promises Trading” company.
Her company’s goal is to reduce the amount of waste.
It delivers these waste to large manufacturers who can repurpose them according to their needs.
The social entrepreneur who has worked with several civil society organizations.
She has been chosen by “Forbes” as one of the most powerful Arab women for several years.
“Mary” also is the founder of landing hotels, the first five-star owned and operated hotel in Jordan.
As an entrepreneur, you have the courage to face your business challenges every day.
As an Arab woman, you are used to using your capabilities efficiently in multitasking.
In any industry, you have to keep your image.
Listen to people’s feedback on a regular basis.
Analyze their answers that are reasonable and related to your business objectives.
“As a woman, you have many factors holding you back and it is easy to fall into that comfort zone. But if you are a fighter and you are determined with that dream in your mind, you don’t let anyone get in your way.” – Dina El Mofty, director of Injaz Egypt.
Remember that women expect from you to support and believe in them so, be that one that inspires young females to follow their passion.
Finally, when you feel that you have fans that got your back then the efforts that you have devoted in personal branding pays off.