Nike guru: ditch the celebrities, Dubai

Authorities should stop focusing on promoting Dubai as a fun destination that is favoured by international celebrities if it wants to become a successful global brand, according to marketing guru Scott Bedbury.

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By  Richard Abbott Published  December 4, 2005

Authorities should stop focusing on promoting Dubai as a fun destination that is favoured by international celebrities if it wants to become a successful global brand, according to marketing guru Scott Bedbury. The American, who created Nike’s ‘Just do it’ slogan and was a driving force behind the emergence of the Starbucks coffee chain, said the emirate needs to create a Dubai brand that was sustainable in the long term. Speaking exclusively to Campaign after appearing at last week’s Leaders in Dubai summit, Bedbury said: “Dubai is a brand and the development and effort that is going on here I admire because there is a long-term view. “But I hope that they don’t fall into the trap where it just has to be validated by a group of celebrities. It should not just be a place to go to have fun. To be sustainable it needs something more. You need people who can be here for long periods of time.” Spencer Johnson, author of the change management parable ‘Who moved my cheese?’, said Dubai needed to be patient in creating a long-term brand positioning. “There’s good news and bad news,” he told the Leaders in Dubai conference. “The bad news is that you really need to think through the scope of what you are doing a little more patiently and quietly and question where is something of this scope going? “The good news is that you are thinking on a scale much grander than anything I have ever seen.” Another speaker, management guru Kenichi Ohmae, who has written more than 140 books, warned against Dubai trying to be all things to all people. “The progress today of Dubai probably is a very good example of globalisation of economy and of a country that can clearly position itself on the world map.” But he warned: “You can no longer be a Jack of all trades —that’s now a no-no in attracting foreign direct investment.”

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