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Is Ghana Marketable?   
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Most people have answered this question from a political, economic, socio-psychology, cultural and emotional perspective.

Each time a statesman is given the least opportunity on any national or international platform and confronted with the question; “What do you have to say about Ghana?” They quickly jump to the easiest of answers; “We have a stable political climate.” This must, however, be noted as a prerequisite in the development of any nation in these enlightened times. It is therefore, not a ‘selling proposition.’

Undisputedly, most Africans cry for peace, but peace is not a strong marketing message. It is simply no unique selling point. The scholars from economic backgrounds have answered this same question usually with the undertone; “Attracting businesses and investment to Ghana is easier than before.”

Today, the Ghanaian economist will easily tell you the micro economic indicators are right which swiftly reflect a fairly stable inflation rate and one of the fastest growing economies in the world. These answers may be impressive but are not tools marketable enough for any country that wants to promote itself again in these competitive times.

Instead, we should be looking at what makes brand Ghana unique and valuable to prospective investors and how we stand to benefit our clients better than anyone else can.

The socio-psychologists in their attempt to answer this marketing question have given a resultant psychological or sociological answer in the simplest form, “Ghanaians are hospitable people.” These four words have merely slipped our lips anytime we have the opportunity to sell Ghana to the outside world.

How marketable and indicative is this phenomenon?

The greatest harm one can do to the country Ghana is the failure to acknowledge how Ghana used to be marketed in the olden days. The strategic message was simple and straightforward, The Gold Coast of Africa. This message sounds simple but it falls straight into the bosom of marketing and, therefore, was greatly accepted nationally and internationally.

The answer to all these questions is the search for a strategic marketing proposition that will form the benchmark upon which all the available marketing tools can be applied to.

The message should be able to sit on any marketing platform, thrive and cause the anticipated action. We need to be able to list our biggest distinctive benefits and define our promise to investors.

The unique selling proposition is that specific statement which distinguishes Ghana as a country from all other countries. It should be capable of attracting investments to Ghana and growing our brand appeal as well as our revenue base.

The proposition must be one that competitors or other countries cannot do or offer. It must be unique—either in the brand Ghana or in a claim the rest of the competition does not make. Remember any marketing expenditure today is recognised as an investment, which must yield returns in terms of profits and revenue.

The greatest disservice we have done to ourselves as a country is how we have ignored professionals and made ourselves masters of all to disadvantage the country locally and internationally.

The advice I will send across to my fellow countrymen is that; let the politicians talk politics; let the economists talk economics; let the sociologists talk sociology and let marketers market the ‘Brand Ghana.’
Source: William Yaw Ansah - CEO of ORIGIN8, an advertising & marketing communications company operating in Ghana

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