KUALA LUMPUR: Former International Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz is the inaugural winner of The BrandLaureate Signature Award 2009.
The BrandLaureate Signature Award, initiated by the Asia Pacific Brands Foundation, recognises individuals who have stamped their mark in the country through their contributions and expertise. Their contributions have profound impact on the growth of the nation – economic, social and civil.
Rafidah was selected for her contribution to the growth of the country’s economy during her tenure as minister.
She positioned Malaysia as a favourable foreign direct investment destination. In the process, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been able to develop and tap on the opportunities available.
The award was presented yesterday at The BrandLaureate – SMEs Chapter Awards 2009 Gala Dinner, organised by the Asia Pacific Brands Organisation, to recognise the best of SMEs in Malaysia.
Over 1,000 nominations were received for the awards and the winners were selected based on brand strategy, brand culture, integrated brand communication, brand equity and brand performance.
A total 85 SMEs brands, which are brand leaders in their respective industries, received The BrandLaureate – SMEs Chapter Awards. The winners were divided into Corporate and Product Branding.
A special category, The BrandLaureate SMEs Brand Specialty, recognises brands that have a strong brand strategy, brand culture, brand communications and brand innovation in their organisation.
The most promising brand award was awarded to a press retailer, mynews.com.
Apart from the Corporate and Product Branding Awards, five illustrious Malaysians were also recognised for developing their organisations’ brands and contributing to Malaysia’s economic growth.
Joint group executive chairman and group chief executive officer of Naza Group, S.M. Faisal S.M. Nasimuddin was the winner of The BrandLaureate – SMEs Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.
The BrandLaureate chief executive officer Dr K.K. Johan said: “Their success is a testament of the hard work put in to build their brands.
“It is most meaningful as they have shown that in spite of the financial downturn, they have continued to build their brands.”
He reminded the SMEs that brands were the key drivers and catalysts of growth.
“Strong brands are not only profitable to an organisation but they contribute significantly to the country’s economy. In Malaysia’s quest to become a high-income nation, brands play a significant role in achieving this aim,” he said.
Johan said a brand that was relevant, functional and engaged the consumers would be able to command premium pricing and consumers were ever willing to pay for a brand which made them feel comfortable and good.
“Nations like France and Switzerland are well known for their luxury brands. These brands have premium pricing and are sought after by everyone in the world. These countries have high-income economies,” he added.
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