Bin Laden bread a hit for Malawi bakers
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Bin Laden bread a hit for Malawi bakers

Blantyre : Malawi | Dec 01, 2011 at 4:48 AM PST
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Bin Laden Buns

Naming a merchandise subsequent to the world's most ill-famed terrorist might not appear like an assured path to commercial achievement.

For bakers in the Malawian city of Blantyre, nevertheless, this marketing ploy is assisting to swag in customers while assuring that their create has an unmistakable individuality.

"We make bin Laden buns," stated Mahomed Hanif Valimamade, co-owner of a patisserie within the city named the Portuguese Bakery.

The standard bread rolls -- which are not limited to any one company and are created by a selection of outlets in Blantyre -- were primarily given their improper moniker by consumers who compared their look to similar bread made in the Middle East, states Valimamade.

The tag rapidly caught on, and when businesses realized how their goods were being branded, they start on to label them as such, to great result.

On a good day, Valimamade claims, small bakeries like his own can put up for sale as numerous as 2,000 "bin Ladens," adding that a huge part of what makes them excel is their attention-grabbing label.

He is fast to remark, though, that the name has nothing to do with an admiration for or expression of unity with the now-deceased al Qaeda figurehead.

"The majority of people like this name," Valimamade clarifyied. "It seems to me this is nothing to do with politics. Malawian people are very pro-Western."

In view of the fact that getting onto about the commencing of the Afghan war in 2001, the improbable achievement of brand bin Laden has not gone unnoticed by other enterprises in Blantyre. A lot of have even adopted similar identification conventions for their own products.

There are now baked goods and breads named after George W. Bush and Barack Obama, states Valimamade -- even though these do not sell as much as bin Laden due to the fact they are somewhat smaller.

There is also a mobile phone named subsequent to the Malawian president, Bingu wa Mutharika.

According to Valimamade, such originative naming policies are a root of enjoyment and playfulness that stress Malawians' "unique sense of humor."

To other local business analysts, nevertheless, they symbolize a savvy adaptation to customer recognition processes by businesses eager to provide their goods a competitive edge.

"The naming, though often spontaneous and accidental, is appealing" to local consumers, stated Collins Namakhwa, a lecturer in marketing and branding at Malawi Polytechnic University in Blantyre.

"In Malawi, people are so taken up by the popular frenzy that they may try a product just because it is popular," he added.

Namakhwa give details that businesses that have renamed their goods to take on names like "bin Laden" and "Obama" are proficient to hit into publicly motivated events or popular trends that reverberate with customers in their daily lives.

This, he states, makes the items more identifiable, easier to identify than their more traditionally titled competitors and, most significant, more probable to sell.

Although at the same time as eager regarding the creativity of Blantyre's businessmen, Namakhwa is knowledgeable that outside observers may see it as tasteless -- and bad business practice -- to name goods after figures such as Bush and bin Laden.

The details and complications of Malawi's marketplace, nevertheless, in addition to its remoteness from the subjects of their naming policies, assure that whichever disconfirming intensions at hand in other environments are immaterial, states Namakhwa.

"In Malawi, the strength of political opinion against a controversial figure is not as high as in the Western world," he stated.

He added that outside aspects such as a turn down in Obama's status in America wouldn't inevitably direct Malawians to discontinue purchasing a bread called after him in their country.

Valimamade agrees, stating that although a few may respond unenthusiastically to the merchandise labels, the greater part of local people will carry on to insist or respond optimistically to them.

Provided that there is rivalry to make eye-catching merchandises, he stated, "this type of name will always exist, (and) as a business, we must follow the winds."

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Bin Laden Buns. Naming a product after the world's most notorious Islamic terrorist is a big success for bread. For bakers in the Malawian city of Blantyre, however, this marketing ploy is helping to reel in customers. "We make bin Laden buns," said Mahomed Hanif Valimamade, co-owner of a patisserie within the city named the Portuguese Bakery. The standard bread rolls which are not exclusive to any one company and are produced by a variety of outlets in Blantyre were initially given their unconventional moniker by customers who likened their appearance to similar bread made in the Middle East, says Valimamade.The tag quickly caught on, and when businesses realized how their products were being identified, they began to label them as such, to great effect. There are now baked goods and breads named after George W. Bush and Barack Obama, says Valimamade although these do not sell as much as bin Laden due to the fact they are slightly smaller. There is also a mobile phone named after the Malawian president, Bingu wa Mutharika. Pol Pot pickled peppers, Son of Sams Jams, Hitler's Hot Dogs.
Jeronne Zamora is based in Manila, National Capital Region, Philippines, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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