Uncovering the sweet spot between Management Consultancy and Branding Agency.
Founder and CEO of Brand Lounge ME in Dubai, Hasan Fadlallah, believes in always being ready to pivot brands’ retail strategies in order to appeal to customers needs. Read more about about the branding consultancy below.
About Brand Lounge ME
We are an Award-winning regional branding consultancy & the designated partner of ‘Trout & Partners’ in the Middle East & Africa. Our purpose is to maximize value through branding by uncovering your point of differentiation in today’s increasingly competitive environment. We help companies develop differentiated brand strategies, design Human-centric visual identities, and deploy inside-out traditional and digital branding experiences.
1. If someone had to describe you as CEO/Founder in one sentence, what would that be?
“An energetic, ethical, continuously evolving, relationship builder, performance-oriented and growth-driven entrepreneur.”
2. Tell us about your experiences working in renowned communication agencies in the past—what learnings did you take along the way that helped you grow Brand Lounge?
Without a doubt, my professional career has shaped who I am today and what I have managed to bring to the table when founding and growing Brand Lounge. The people I’ve met and worked with during my tenure in leading communication agencies contributed the most – and each in his own specialty.
The lessons are out there, but what’s important is what we do with those lessons. I learned the importance of strategic thinking and planning, and that it is paramount to anything we do especially in an extremely visual-led market like the Middle East. I learned the importance of financial management and cash flow, in particular, as a recipe for success or failure for any business. I learned the value of building a performance-oriented culture, of hiring and working with like-minded team members.
Finally, I learned the real meaning of working in a service industry; it is not merely about performing the service – it is about service excellence and quality performance during the lifecycle of the business, an area for personal branding and relationship building in the journey for differentiation.
3. Tell us about Brand Lounge and why you launched the business.
Brand Lounge is an Award-winning regional branding consultancy & the designated partner of ‘Trout & Partners’ in the Middle East & Africa. Our purpose is to maximize value by uncovering your point of differentiation in today’s increasingly competitive environment. Brand Lounge was launched to help individuals, companies, destinations, products and services differentiate themselves within a sea of competitors competing for the same audience, market share and brand position.
4. Brand Lounge is not your standard Branding Agency; you call yourself a Consultancy. Can you explain the difference?
True. We believe in the power of differentiated positioning, being part of Trout & Partners; the global leaders in strategic positioning, the consultancy that the late Jack Trout founded to differentiate brands and has since coined the term “differentiated positioning”. This shaped us to find our desired position within our industry to act as a branding consultancy – a sweet spot between branding agencies and management consultancies.
Our methodology, process, output and actions are very strategic and delivered in a form of ongoing senior level consultancy and advisory to help business owners and C-suite management stakeholders follow through the brand strategy articulated post our unique co-creation model. As such, our outcome is continuously impacting the culture, image and communication, growth and innovation of every business we lay our hands on.
"The lessons are out there, but what's important is what we do with those lessons."
5. Describe the types of retail clients who would benefit most from working with Brand Lounge.
Any business today requires the support of a branding consultancy like Brand Lounge. Retail, in particular, will need to rethink and rework their strategy moving forward in such times. We will help them answer the key questions related to why they exist as a business? Where do they play and who do they play against? And how to win? Our strategy-led proven methodology has been designed and tested to differentiate brands, maximize value, and deliver results time and again. We are able to discover and audit all areas of the business, develop differentiated brand strategies, design human-centric visual identities, and deploy inside-out traditional and digital branding experiences.
6. What advice do you have for other aspiring innovators in the region looking to disrupt the industry?
There is no doubt that the current situation will impact businesses in general. Some industries may be reshaped completely, and others will need to adapt and jump on the new “normal” wagon. Brands are here to stay and will become even more vital and synonymous to the people behind them, as businesses continue to communicate and operate remotely, hence creating positive brand moments or rather brand experiences. At Brand Lounge we look at a multidimensional ecosystem of the brand experience through differentiation:
• Purpose: The Soul differentiator
• Image: The Shallow differentiator
• Innovation: The Radical differentiator
• Culture: The Core differentiator
These dimensions are impacted by major shifts in customer behavior and trends that will be further witnessed during and post COVID-19 pandemic, they were going to be disrupted anyway, without a pandemic, which has only accelerated the change and the rate of adoption.
As such, the essence remains, but the focus and weight of each dimension should and will change. Have a solid purpose, build a culture around a team that buys into your vision and supports you through thick and thin, and reciprocate this on a daily basis. Your image and identity as well as your communication should be a true reflection of your purpose and positioning, and it should design your organization around innovation – it is not a “nice to have” function, it is the essence of existence in the near future.