Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) recently held an eventful Open Day for the first and only branding qualification in Sri Lanka, the Diploma in Strategic Brand Management (DSBM), ahead of its next intake.
A large number of prospective DSBM students and future branding professionals attended the event, which was packed with engaging activities and knowledge-sharing sessions. The highlight was a ‘Blind Test’ where participants sampled two multinational soft drinks brands in an attempt to differentiate one from the other. The results amply demonstrated the power of branding and its psychologically manipulative effect on consumers.
The Diploma in Strategic Brand Management is the only avenue open to marketers in Sri Lanka who aspire to become brand managers. In addition to the theoretical element, the DSBM programme includes experience sharing sessions featuring eminent personalities in branding and an added focus on practicality to prepare students for the challenges of the corporate world.
Speaking of branding in the local market, SLIM President Ruwan Liyanagamage said, “Even though branding has long been a vital component in global marketing, Sri Lanka has suffered from a lack of qualified branding talent for many years. DSBM was designed to address this need and empowers local marketers to build valuable brands by utilising internationally proven, innovative branding strategies and practices.”
The DSBM course covers important areas such as the role of a brand manager, brand marketing, branding in merchandising, campaign planning and process, strategic level branding and brand finance.
Addressing the gathering at the open day, SLIM Secretary Pradeep Edward said, “I welcome you to this open day, which will enable you to experience the quality of the DSBM programme. I am confident that this event will open everybody’s eyes and minds to the power of branding and inspire you to study it with the aim of developing world-class brands in Sri Lanka.”
Extensive research and surveys conducted by SLIM among professionals in various industries has led to an improvement in the quality of the programme and added value to the qualification. The programme includes a practical exercise in which they are required to launch a brand in a real-life scenario, thereby calling on the students to apply and demonstrate the knowledge of branding that they have acquired.
SLIM Chief Executive Officer Sanath Senanayake elaborated further on the focus on practicality in DSBM.
“We have enhanced the practical value and real-world application of DSBM by identifying the needs of industry, in order to ensure that we produce diplomates who can cater to the demands of modern marketing. Therefore, DSBM diploma holders have immense employability value, both in the corporate sector and beyond.”
The open day, which took place at SLIM Business School Colombo, was attended by Edward, SLIM Lecturer and Ceylon Pencil Co. (Atlas) Manager Consumer Insights Chandana Fonseka and Fonterra Brands Lanka Marketing Manager Pradap Devaraj as the guest speaker.
Fonseka used his extensive experience in the corporate sector to conduct the Blind Test and present the results as strong evidence of the power of branding. Devaraj spoke about the branding strategies he employed to overcome the DCD crisis which greatly affected Anchor’s brand image, as the Brand Manager in 2013.
SLIM is the national body for marketing in Sri Lanka and has been promoting marketing excellence and elevating the status of marketing since 1970. It is a member of the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL), Organisation of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka (OPA) and Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL).