KINGSTON, Jamaica – Brand Jamaica is globally known for its exquisite quality and unique flair and has set itself up as a powerhouse name within international markets. Ms. Janine Fletcher-Taylor, Manager of the Marketing Services Unit at the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) says, “We now need to move from brand awareness to brand validation and be able to quantify exactly what it means to add that brand Jamaica seal to a product and consider how that is influencing the purchasing decision of the market.” She was speaking at a recent JBDC Business Dialogue Forum, held under the theme, Authentic Jamaican: The Manufacturing Dilemma.
Ms. Fletcher-Taylor, commenting on the topic ‘Jamaican versus Jamaican Made’, painted a picture of the current realities. She said, “The discussion about what is Jamaican has two sides to it. There is the side of the locals and what we perceive or understand from culture and history to be authentically Jamaican and then more importantly what we really want to understand is what the market perceives as Jamaican.”
Ms. Fletcher-Taylor created the context to remind participants of the strength of the Jamaican brand and what the perception in the market is. She said, “Globally what we have identified as key markers for our brand identity are reggae and by extension\dancehall, and with that comes an entire culture that includes merchandise, beverage and fashion and other items that can be leveraged on what is known as brand reggae. Then there is sports and of course we have long legacy of athletic genius in our DNA and so that is another feature of what makes brand Jamaica in the world. Then there is also our Blue Mountain coffee and our rum.”
Continuing to legitimise the strength of brand Jamaica, Fletcher-Taylor cites the national colours, our unique customer experience and the emotional appeal of happiness and positive vibes. She shared, “These are not things to take for granted and if we are to look at these features in the conversation of brand strategy, we would have achieved significant brand awareness. What I think we need to do is convert this brand awareness into key products that are using these key features and use that as some way to leverage competition.”
Ms. Marlene Porter, Manager, Sales and Promotion at the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) in her contribution to the conversation on the strong awareness of the Jamaican brand internationally, said “Jamaican-made is one of the strongest brands known globally but though we are such a strong global brand we have not yet been able to capitalise on the opportunities and reap the benefits for the goods producing sector and so we do have some work to do in that space.”