Thomas Jefferson has said, “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal,” which has been the case for Ahmed Shereba, founder of Brand Me Up. Starting to build up the right mental attitude when he was fourteen, Ahmed lost fifty-five kilos and while he improved his physical status, he also developed a strong mindset to conquer any challenges. And for the past thirteen years, he’s been creating brands. Going through a transformation as a teenager taught him there are no limits to his abilities. Having put that confidence into his work, Ahmed has a sense of gratitude for his job, family and side hustle:
I always try to strike a balance between family time, work, sports and my side hustle, Brand Me Up.
The entrepreneur’s journey
Ahmed admits having a dynamic and robust lifestyle that has helped him sustain a work-life balance. He starts his day at 5 a.m. every day and his day ends by 8:30 p.m.
He studied Economics at the American University in Cairo, then completed his MBA there, too. He believes that studying economics was very useful to his career: “Studying economics gave me a solid foundation; I can easily understand charts, demand and supply curves, breakeven points and elasticity modulus. All these have helped me in decision making, pricing products and marketing analysis.”
The idea of starting his own business flourished when his friends and acquaintances started asking him to help them put together marketing strategies for their businesses and create brands. He decided to turn this into a business and he chose the name “Brand Me Up” for his company to resemble building the brands up. In the past four to five years, Shereba has helped create various brands, most of his clients were from the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry.
When you’re creating a new brand, you don’t need to hire someone to work every day from 9 to 5. It is a meticulous process that needs to be given to the right people.
He hopes that his side hustle will expand to be the branding innovation hub for local and multinational companies in the region. So, whenever a company wants to create a brand, launch a new product or even rebrand; they can outsource his services.
The process of creating brands
According to Shereba; a brand is a product that is characteristically great. So, a brand is just like a person with certain characteristics; you’d want them to act a certain way during certain situations and expect them to as time passes. “It’s the same with brands,” he explains. “They’re like characters; they need to have certain guidelines and attributes that grow over time.” He believes that a lot of brands fail because they don’t have the fundamental understanding of creating brands. He adds that building brands is like building a block; there are certain foundations that you need to begin with to have a well-established brand.
As a branding expert and marketeer, Shereba says that most investors’ understanding of creating a brand is limited to coming up with the brand/product’s name, logo and designs.
He explains that only one out of ten new products succeed, so the chances of creating a successful brand is pretty slim. It takes a lot of effort, understanding and prerequisites to launch a brand. Brands are more than logos and product names, and the brand owner’s job is to build the right persona, characteristics and send the right messages to represent the brand’s purpose and articulate that purpose into the brand’s lifestyle.
Creating Brand Me Up’s digital identity
When Shereba thought about creating his own website for Brand Me Up, he thought that it would be challenging because he wasn’t tech savvy. In the past, he hired a company to build his website, which was costly and took a long time. So, he started looking for alternatives.
I’ve been seeing some ads about building your own website using GoDaddy’s Website Builder tool, so I decided to try it. And although I am not technically experienced, I found the experience of building and managing my website using that tool to be very smooth and easy.
Ever since he built at brandmeup.co, he managed to easily show his clients what he does through his website. It eased the process of introducing his business and what he does to the potential customers as he sends it to them to showcase a portfolio of his work.
Shereba has been a loyal GoDaddy customer since 2011. He already owns a couple of domain names and multiple professional emails. He trusts GoDaddy’s reputation and he’s been fond of their user friendly and reliable tools and products. Moreover, whenever he faces a technical difficulty the customer support team always assist him. He adds, “When it comes to providing an easy and smooth user experience, I believe that GoDaddy is quite dominant. “
He’s also a firm believer in the importance of having a digital identity for businesses. He thinks that in the current digital world that we live in, it is crucial for businesses to have a website. Here is how he explains the importance of having a solid digital identity to his clients:
Creating brands 101 guide
Shereba thinks that there is a misconception in the marketing and advertising industries; that brands need to create funny adverts to succeed. He, on the other hand, believes that a successful advert or campaign needs to communicate what the brand is actually about. He explains:
In order to make the consumer believe in your brand, you need to create a marketing campaign that reflects the brand’s purpose and markets the brand’s features.
His final advice to brand owners and marketeers is to stay true to the sole purpose of the brand. Each brand has to have a purpose and brand owners, managers or CEOs have to stay true to that purpose no matter what cost. “This is where Brand Me Up comes to help, by assisting brands in identifying their preposition and building this proposition into a very strong marketing strategy and a well-established brand.” he says.
If you want to learn more about creating brands you can check out this beginner’s guide to branding your business and you can also check out Brand Me Up’s blog where Shereba dissects and analyzes different brands from a marketing perspective.