Erika Engle

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Branding is more
than burning a symbol
into a cow’s hide

THE Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association and the state Department of Agriculture are sponsoring a seminar on branding and rebranding for business success.

Titled "Making of the Brand: Giving Your Product Star Power," the Aug. 25 event is one of a series of programs designed to help the association's members "get more of their product on the market," said Executive Director Katie Anderson.

Many Hawaii products are considered specialty items, so they must be branded and marketed in a particular way, she said.

Highlights will include details of the rebranding of Aloha Shoyu, reported on in this space on Sunday.

The de rigueur panel discussion will include John Tsukada, senior vice president of Aloha Shoyu; Blane AhQuin, sales manager of Aloha Shoyu; Kurt Osaki, president of California-based Osaki Design; and Noelle Baker, senior vice president of Starr Seigle Communications Inc., where she serves as managing director of the StarrMark Brand & Strategy division.

It is almost easier to explain what a brand is not, Baker said. It is not a logo, theme line, colors, advertising or awareness, she said.

"What a brand is, is really what you stand for."

"One of the strongest brands out there is Starbucks. What do they spend on advertising? Nothing. It's the relationship you have with the customer, the experience they have when they walk into your store and when they buy your product. It's something that we see companies paying more and more attention to today," Baker said.

The $35 event is open to the public and includes lunch and a luncheon address by Frank Haas, director of tourism marketing for the Hawaii Tourism Authority. His topic will be the rebranding of Hawaii. Reservations can be made by calling Anderson at the HFMA at 291-0727.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: eengle@starbulletin.com



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