25 October 2011 16 Comments

Brand Communication: The Gaddafi’s Style

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

I was having a conversation with someone yesterday around the former Libya Head of state. Gadafi as a brand comes across to several people in different feelings. Some believe the brand was misrepresented while there had been praises for him in few quarters.  Brand Gaddafi started well and achieved some major feats  other African Leaders could not. For instance, Gaddafi Brand achieved highest GDP for Libya. It was also widely circulated that  he was able to maintain debt free profile for his country. The country literacy level rose from 10-90%, life expectancy also rose from 57 to 77.Gaddafi-leadership-in-african-Brand-and-leadership-communication-in-Africa..

Gaddafi’s socialist theory also encouraged free education, free health care among others. One of the downsides of Gaddafi’s brand was that the economy was controlled by his immediate family. In communicating his brand, Gadafi’s guerrilla tactic affected the brand’s image and perception from the international arena. The Western World never hides its reservation about Gaddafi’s negative and perception as the brand was often referred to as mad dog of the North. The lessons brand custodians can learn in better way of communicating brand’s usefulness are many. Today we will examine some of the pitfalls in Muammar Gadafi’s brand communication strategies.

State sponsored terrorism (Unusual corporate politics): brand Gaddafi missed greater opportunities in communicating his achievements because of his state sponsored terrorism well known to all. Every brand communicator, owner needs to work hard on ensuring he does not get carried away with the power, opportunity and position. Sponsored terrorism within corporate world may be unusual corporate politics that encourages divide and rule, inter-personal value destruction among the stakeholders.

Erratic statements: one other pitfall of Brand Gaddafi’s communication strategies was his erratic statements. Sometimes some of his associates felt he was a philosopher of a sought. But a breakdown of these erratic statements added no tangible value to the brand. How much do we think about the meanings and impacts of the messages we sent out? A brand noted to be erratic in approach never gained any meaning respect from stakeholders.

Lack of foresights:  brand Gaddafi had greater chances of finishing well. But he was quoted as saying he would rather die on the throne. This showed a lack of foresight especially during Arabs’ uproars. Gaddafi should have seen the handwriting on the world with uproars within the Arab world before his own began.

Excessive abuse of power: in some cases, there were claims of excessive abuse of power-even though this was not widely reported; especially in relations to Gaddafi’s female bodyguards popularly known as Amazons.  Brand communicators must realize nothing is eternally hidden from the public glare. Have you recently examined your brand communication style? What lesson(s) have you learnt that can be shared with the community?

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