What is Brand Malaysia?

The Chairman of the meeting said (about the Head of a Sub Committee) “You have to excuse him.  You know this is our Malaysian way?”.  This was because the person who called for the meeting arrived late, and then made the rest of us wait while he had a personal conversation on his mobile!  I gently reminded the Chairman that there are others who are born and bred as Malaysians but who are punctual and respectful of their colleagues time.

On another occasion, staff had put up shoddy work in public of their company’s project, and the responses I received were “Oh they were not ready”, and “we have a lot to learn”  Sure, these responses were valid as excuses to me, but what do they say to customers?

Think about it:  What does this really mean to profit-making (which is the crux of Branding)?  It declares that the company or group culture is laid back and not too caring about details.

What does this really mean to economic value?  We have embarked on the Economic Transformation Program (ETP) which is about Malaysians producing world-class material for export, in competition to material already out there from developed nations.

The dilemma is, do we want to stay in our comfort zones and portray ‘anything goes’ because we are ‘nice, friendly people’, or do we want to do what it takes so be world class, like many Malaysians already are?

Here are some Malaysian Brand icons we can aspire towards if we are ready to be proud of being Malaysian: Robert Kuok, Jimmy Choo, Andanda Krishnan, Bernard Chandran, Chef Wan, Siti Norhaliza.

Brand Malaysia is whatever we announce to the world!  What is YOUR brand?  What do your want it to be?