CEOs and the top management of key companies, nice band music with Liza Bagrationi, a red carpet, representatives of the whole media sector - this is how the 6th award ceremony of Golden Brand started at the Radisson BLU Iveria Hotel.
The awards ceremony was held with the support of the Georgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham). The general sponsor was Georgian Water and Power. The project is supported by Tbilisi City Hall. The radio partners of the ceremony were Fortuna and Fortuna Plus. Special gifts for guests were made by Tamuna Ingorokva Fashion House.
“Golden Brand is the most important business award recognized in Georgia. Each year we try to put new elements in to it, making it more modern and dynamic. The major addition in 2010 was to increase the list of nominees, which is an indicator of Georgian businesses growing and becoming stronger. Moreover this year we had a new initiative and tried to award cities of Georgia due to new projects implemented in different regions of the country,” said Natia Jintcharadze, Director of Global Idea.
“While choosing winners experts’ opinions mainly evaluate the company brand and the activities they have conducted for brand popularization during the year. As we have observed, each year Georgian companies are paying more attention to branding and coming up with completely new and creative decisions for their popularization,” Jintcharadze added.
“Golden Brand is very important particularly now when the economic situation is a little bit difficult,” said David Lee, President of AmCham and Magticom. “It’s a wonderful idea and AmCham is delighted to be involved in it,” he added.
Mr. Lee believes the major challenge for the current year is probably the high prices of food and fuel. However, he remains optimistic about the economic situation.
“Golden Brand is a good initiative, already a tradition and many companies participate in it. Companies as well as the population need such kinds of golden brands,” said Jemal Inaishvili, President of GCCI.
“If we consider the fact that many companies were presented and awarded with Golden Brand 2010, I believe this year was pretty good for Georgian businesses despite many difficult aspects,” Inaishvili said. He believes that the major challenge for Georgian companies is still the effect of Russia’s aggression in 2008.
“After the August war businesses faced some significant problems and they used the year 2009 to gain strength and reach pre-war levels. Stable increase was observed in 2010 and branding activities consequently increased,” said Jintcharadze.
“There were new nominees added due to several sectors’ strengthening,” said Jintcharadze. Nominee categories included tea, chocolate, juice production, shopping mall, the boom of bonus cards.
The FINANCIAL interviewed the Golden Brand 2010 holders about the branding activities the companies are conducting as well as their expectations for 2011 and brief evaluation of the year 2010’s operations.
“Being awarded Platinum Brand for the third time and Golden Brand for the sixth time together with big motivation gives us huge responsibility, and the biggest thanks to our subscribers,” said Irma Tskitishvili, Head of the Public Relations Department at Geocell.
“Goodwill firstly promotes the brand with its good quality, European standards and its major concern - to maximally satisfy our clients. Moreover, great attention is paid to Goodwill production,” said Nugzar Maghularia, General Director of Goodwill.
According to Mr. Maghularia Goodwill spends up to 100,000 GEL annually on the brand’s popularization. In 2010 company sales increased by 50% and profit doubled. For 2011, Mr. Maghularia forecasts a growth rate of 30% and plans to implement new lines on the production side.
Pegasus, the only low-cost airline currently operating in Georgia, serves 7,000 passengers per month, according to Levan Elizbarashvili, Director of GASA, official representative of Pegasus in Georgia. The company spends approximately 10,000 per month, and together with banners, and advertising in print media it plans to have TV commercials on Imedi and Rustavi 2.
Mr. Elizbarashvili distinguished the first month of company operations when Georgian clients slowly got used to the new service. “We are considering adding day flights to Istanbul to provide more comfort to our clients. Moreover, we plan to appoint a second destination - Antalya - for our passengers,” Elizabarashvili said. He believes that being winner of Golden Brand means being a success among clients and having high public awareness.
Tbilvino, third time winner of Golden Brand, operates in 25 countries under four different marks, with 95% of company sales coming from export.
“The year 2010 was quite difficult in general,” said Zura Margvelashvili, General Director of Tbilvino. “The company is presented in 25 countries around the globe and due to the financial crisis we faced different challenges in different markets. However, despite this 2010 turned out to be a successful year for the company, sales increased more than planned and we have maintained the status of large-scale company among importers,” Margvelashvili added.
Tbilvino plans to provide three new types of wine in the market for 2011, moreover the company’s main strategy includes geographic expansion and increased sales.
“As the company operates in 25 countries, the marketing activities are quite different and vary across the globe. We are developing public awareness of Georgian wine in foreign countries and in parallel developing the company. Moreover, our local partner companies are investing actively in the branding of our product,” Margvelashvili added.
Unicard, whose number of cardholders has already exceeded 600,000 with up to 200 partner companies, conducts many activities for brand popularization. “The work of Unicard Group has been appraised by Golden Brand,” said Beso Abuladze, Director of Unicard.
“Unicard provides many activities for brand popularization. Together with branding we offer our clients different activities with partner companies. Till the end of the year we will be having up to 20 different activities. Moreover, we are starting a campaign with Elit Electronics,” Abuladze said.
Mr. Abuladze said there are huge sums being implemented for branding. “The company aims for clients to find the full benefits of having a Unicard, as well as its functionality, company face and image,” he added.
Except for the activities with partner companies, Unicard will implement new activities regarding product direction. “Currently clients have the chance to purchase services in an online regime via accumulated points. We plan to develop the product in several directions as well as provide easier delivery service for cardholders,” Abuladze said.
Mr. Zviad Kordzadze, Kordzadze Law Office, said that his advocatory field is restricted in advertising and all brand popularization is governed by satisfied clients.
According to Mr. Kordzadze the major outlines were to move to a new office as well as increase staff, forming an agreement with State University about a law clinic.
For the current year Kordzadze plans to make an office in Kutaisi and later in Batumi.
Medi Clinic, operating on the Georgian market for 10 years already, spends 5-7% of its total income on branding, according to Lia Sonishvili, Director of Medi Clinic. The chain includes 6 centres in Tbilisi , as well as in Kutaisi and Batumi. According to Sonishvili the clinic is focused on patients’ care and implementation of cutting-edge technologies.
“Medi has implemented two new technologies in 2011 already: a rehabilitation centre for the complex treatment of the spine and the second, vein treatment. Moreover from the branding side we are working on a new project - to offer a documentary film where all the procedures which Medi offers will be presented,” Sonishvili said.
Ramaz Kukuladze, Deputy CEO of Silknet, said that the company still has a majority of branding activities that it plans to conduct. “We plan to share the core values on which the brand is based with our clients,” Mr. Kukuladze revealed. The company started rebranding last year and plans to continue activities in 2011 also.
“The value of Silknet is hidden in its innovation. We promise constant novelties for clients, and will be offering additional products and services to them” Kukuladze added.
Paata Gigauri, Director of Ici Paris, said that the major activities of branding include advertisements and special offers on-sale places. For 2011 the company has already expanded the chain adding a store on Marjanishvili Street. Moreover, the company plans to expand product assortment.
Entrée, the bakery chain in Tbilisi , has increased assortment adding new cakes to the menu, according to Jean-Michel Charles, co-founder of the Entrée chain. The company currently operates four shops in Tbilisi and sets its major goal as expanding within the country as well as in the region.
“Entrée will continue to bring new assortments to its customers. We will produce a full range of chocolate in Entrée, will also start preparing hot dishes and supply our chain with French wine and champagne,” said Mr. Charles.
“Bank Republic, Societe Generale Group contributes the biggest share to CSR development,” said Irakli Aslanishvili, Commercial Director of Bank Republic. “CSR is one of the directions of BR, many projects are conducted within its framework and we will continue to work in this direction,” Aslanishvili added.
Tegeta Motors is spending approximately a million GEL annually on branding its products and services. “In the most recent period, we have seen requests from Azerbaijan and Armenia to operate companies under the brand name of Tegeta Motors. Moreover, we have invitation from Ukraine and Arab countries too,” said George Mshvildadze, General Director of Tegeta Motors. Mr. Mshvildadze admitted they are seriously considering the idea of expanding to the above-mentioned markets.
See below the list of Golden Brand 2010 Winners:
1. Electro Technology - Favourite Brand: Elit Electronics
2. Digital TV brand: Silk TV
3. Mobile Communications - Favourite Brand: Geocell
4. Auto Salon - Favourite Brand: Toyota Centre Tbilisi
5. Perfumery - Favourite Brand: ICI Paris
6. Wine Production - Favourite Brand: Tbilvino
7. Pharmaceutical Company - Favourite Brand: PSP
8. Supermarket - Favourite Brand: Goodwill
9. Dairy Products - Favourite Brand: Soflis Nobati
10. Restaurant - Favourite Brand: Tsiskvili
11. Clinic - Favourite Brand: Medi
12. Marketing Surveys, Advertising, Consulting - Favourite Brand: ACT Research
13. Bonus Card - Favourite Brand: Unicard
14. Tourism Company - Favourite Brand: InterContinental
15. Juridical Company - Favourite Brand: Kordzadze Law Office
16. Express Shipping and Logistic - Favourite Brand: DHL
17. Egg Production - Favourite Brand: Koda
18. Airlines - Favourite Georgian Brand: Airzena
19. Auto Spare Parts and Accessories - Favourite Brand: Tegeta Motors
20. Sunflower Oil - Favourite Brand: Mziuri
21. Bakery Chain - Favourite Brand: Entrée
22. Mineral Water - Favourite Brand: Nabeghlavi
23. Chocolate - Favourite Brand: Barambo
24. Alcoholic drink - Favourite Brand: Sarajishvili
25. The Best Telecommunication Decision - Favourite Brand: Silknet
26. Tinned products - Favourite Brand: Marneuli
27. Women’s and Men’s Linen and Accessories: Bruno Banani & Cervin
28. Beer - Favourite Brand: Zekari (Castel Georgia)
29. Shopping Mall - Favourite Brand: Karvasla
30. Public Transport and Service - Favourite Brand: TAV Georgia
31. Georgian Tea - Favourite Brand: Gurieli Export
32. Soft Drink - Favourite Brand: Coca-cola
33. Georgian juice - Favourite Brand: Kula
34. Company of hope: Silknet
35. The Brand with Highest Social Responsibility: Bank Republic, Societe Generale Group
36. Successful Debut of the Year Georgian Brand: G Mart
37. Successful Debut of the Year Foreign Brand: Pegasus Airlines
38. Jewellery: Zarapkhana
39. Construction Materials - Favourite Brand: HeidelbergCement Georgia
40. Sparkling wine - Favourite Brand: Bagrationi Gold
41. Platinum Brand: Geocell
Special nominations (were not included in Survey. As the rule awarded by organizers):
Hosting of international events: Batumi
Tourism city for year round: Mestia
Initiative for the project Anaklia-Zugdidi-Free tourist zone: Zugdidi
The most friendly city: Tbilisi
Trust and Quality - Favourite Brand: Georgian Water and Power