‘Brand South Africa’: is 2010 the key?

first_img‘Place branding’ – the branding of a nation, town or even a continent – is an area of branding that has undergone huge growth in the past five years. In the case of Africa, branding its nations is currently a popular topic. Many, including the rock star Bono, argue that perceptions need to start changing about Africa – moving away from the charity image to, instead, portraying its various cultures, economic strength and highlighting the positive stories about Africa. Yet it seems that South Africa, as a leading African nation, has always managed to sidestep the downtrodden image that other African nations are burdened with. South Africa, since its transition from apartheid in 1994, has created a strong identity for itself. Figures like Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu are practically international celebrities; South Africa’s sporting teams are internationally recognised, and successful country exports, like its wine, have all contributed to build a positive side to South Africa’s ‘brand’.However, years of poor leadership under President Mbeki (a leader who started with great potential); the country’s HIV crisis; increasing disparities in wealth and subsequent high crime rates, along with recent political upheavals have weakened South Africa’s brand internationally. To many an outside observer, South Africa looks like a nation in disarray – one that had been full of promise but has yet to deliver.But next year South Africa will be hosting football’s World Cup – an international sporting event that, executed well, could turn around perceptions of the country. The World Cup in 2010 has already led to a surge in infrastructure and development, creating jobs during a recession that has hit South Africa hard. The event, many South Africans believe, offers the country a chance to demonstrate its strengths and a new face – under a new political leadership – to the rest of the world. “2010 is the platform for a gear change for South Africa – it is the launch into the next phase of growth,” says John Battersby, UK country manager for South Africa’s International Marketing Council. “All focus is on the World Cup. South Africa is gripped by 2010 fever.”Sport for a nationInternational sporting events, if planned and executed well, can have the potential to boost a country’s image and economy. Generally, the upswing lasts for a year after the event has taken place. The key for countries (or cities) is to ensure that there is a long-term communications strategy in place to build on the surge of national pride and growth. In some cases – like China’s hosting of the Olympics – the hosting of an international event has the potential to transform existing perceptions. China’s goal was to demonstrate its progress to the world. It succeeded.South Africa’s goal, through its hosting of the World Cup, should be to demonstrate its unity as well as its potential in areas such as economic growth – after all, football is a uniting sport in South Africa, played across all sections of society. To date, the most memorable international sporting event for South Africa was the Rugby World Cup in 1995 that followed Mandela’s election as leader. While that is a hard act to follow, the 2010 FIFA World Cup could tap into that history – to show that the ‘Rainbow Nation’ proclaimed by Mandela in 1994 is still a possibility, or even a growing reality. As Battersby says, “We can use sport as a way to unite people – to recapture the unity of 1994. Football in South Africa is bigger than anything else and unifying people around ‘feel good’ factors is an important legacy. It can lead to a more united country that has shared this experience and has a shared future.” Demonstrating this unity will need to be made tangible during 2010, for example, by making matches accessible to all South Africans and not just to international visitors.South Africa also has the opportunity to confront misleading perceptions about Africa as a continent, by opening people’s eyes to the rich culture of the African continent as well as celebrating its own culture. But if South Africa as a nation is on the cusp of a transformation for the better, then it needs to tell its story beyond the World Cup. The country has already made history by being the first African country to host a football World Cup – an event which many believed would not happen. From a nation brand perspective, its hosting of the World Cup is timed well, following a strong leadership change and offering an ideal opportunity to challenge current international perceptions of the country. The key is to ensure that positive transformation continues beyond the FIFA World Cup.Melissa DavisDirectorTruebrandingShort biog: Melissa advises global companies on brand strategy. She is author of two books –‘More than a Name: an introduction to branding’ (AVA Books, 2005) and ‘The Fundamentals of Branding’, (AVA Books, 2009).Courtesy: Designdb.comlast_img read more

Nitrogen management, redux

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest With a slow start to spring corn planting, we also do not have our pre-plant nitrogen on yet in many cases. For both economical and environmental reasons it is better to wait to apply, so this may be a win-win.Yes, phosphorus (P) is a big concern for Lake Erie, but nitrogen (N) is also another culprit in excessive algal growth both to the north and to the south. And while we lose 1.5 to 2 pounds of P per acre we may lose 35, to 55, to 165 pounds of nitrogen or even “everything you applied.” This adds up to real money, if N is priced at fifty cents per pound — maybe $18 to $90 an acre. These warm spring rains are also a reminder of why we do not apply fall nitrogen in Ohio.So what is the right rate for nitrogen on corn? Table 9 of the Tri-State Fertilizer Recommendations, written in 1995, says to use a yield goal approach for your nitrogen recommendation — for example with corn yield goal of 180 bushels per acre you would need 190 pounds of N in a corn-soybean rotation. I spent the winter trying to convince farmers that we are pretty confident in our use of the Tri-State soil test values to set recommendations for P and K, not so for nitrogen however.Since the early 2000s, soil fertility specialists have been saying it’s not about setting a yield goal and then determining your N rate because too many factors other than yield determine your N needs. Weather is the big one.Chart 1 shows Ohio nitrogen rate studies conducted over the past five years with little response to increasing the rate once we are above 100 pounds of N. If you look closely you can see the high yield for zero N on the left is about 160 bushels per acre and the low yield for 250 pounds of N on the right side of the chart is also about 160 bushels per acre. Unless we can do a better job of predicting when these two occurrences will happen, we really cannot get the right N rate for corn. Chart 1. Nitrogen rate trials at Western Agricultural Research Station, 2010 to 2014.Chart 1 N trials at WARS So how do we make N recommendations in Ohio? We use statistics to determine the range over which we get the greatest response from our nitrogen. We use data from trials in Ohio so we also have our weather included as part of the equation. And we factor in the price of nitrogen and the value of corn to bring in the economics. Chart 2 shows that our best economic return to nitrogen for $3.50 corn and $0.50 N is at about 161 pounds of N per acre. With a range of 15 pounds to either side giving us about the same return — within $1. The top line (gross return) does go up with increasing N rate but is not economically wise, as more N makes more corn but with decreasing return for the dollar spent. Chart 2. Maximum return to N rate chart for Ohio corn.Chart 2 Ohio N rate curve Current recommendations from Ohio State University are to use this economic model to set our corn nitrogen rate. The Maximum Return To N (MRTN) concept was developed by soil fertility specialists from across the north central region. This is a regional Cornbelt wide approach for nitrogen rate guidelines.The calculator for this MRTN is available on the Iowa State University website: http://extension.agron.iastate.edu/soilfertility/nrate.aspx. You can go there to get the best suggestion on your nitrogen rate, even run some different scenarios. You’ll need to know:Your statePrevious crop — corn or soybeansPrice of NExpected sales price for a bushel of cornThe MRTN housed at Iowa State does use Ohio data from a range of years that we provided after conducting trials on Ohio farms across several years.Another good place to find Ohio N rate recommendations and discussion of why we no longer set rates by yield goal can be found on the Agronomic Crops website under the Fertility section: http://agcrops.osu.edu/specialists/fertility/fertility-fact-sheets-and-bulletins.Here you will also find the Ohio Economic Nitrogen Based Recommendation Calculator, an Excel spreadsheet, as developed by Robert Mullen our former soil fertility specialist. Results look a lot like the Iowa State University model because Robert prepared the data for that tool from Ohio trial data, too.So as you apply your nitrogen this year, think about what rate you should apply to get maximum benefit. The way the old-timers did it or by understanding that just yield goals are not the only factor in choosing that N rate. Think also about delaying the majority of that application until sidedress time, to reduce the likelihood of N loss to the environment.last_img read more

2017 Corn Planting Cab Cam – Ohio State Speed Trials

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest This Spring, the Ohio State University is testing out the new Early Riser high speed planter from Case IH. The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins found Andrew Klopfenstein, Project Coordinator with Ohio State’s Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department, as fields were being planted at speeds ranging from 5 mph to 12 mph+ in Fayette County.last_img

You Need to Know How to Close and Control the Process

first_imgQ: Why did you write The Lost Art of Closing?A: There is a massive gap in the area of closing. The ideas that are available to salespeople no longer match the reality of selling today. The idea that the one final commitment is what is necessary to win business is no longer true. There are at least ten commitments in a complex sale, and many of them are much tougher to gain. The truth of the matter is that gaining the earlier commitments makes the final ask simple and straightforward.Q: That’s a good reason.A: Yes, but that isn’t all. I write books for salespeople. One of the things that I have always struggled with was reading books that didn’t provide me with the answers. They were more theory than action, and while no one loves theory more than I do, I want to be able to put what I read to immediate use. So both The Only Sales Guide (TOSG) and The Lost Art of Closing (TLAC) are prescriptive. They’re the books that I would have wanted when I started selling.Q: What’s wrong with the old closing techniques?A: The closing techniques from decades ago are transactional. Most of them were developed to work in a B2C sale, and they’re based on tactics, tricks, and tie downs. Listen, there is a reason that salespeople have a negative stereotype, even if it no longer matches reality. A lot of that negative stereotype is the direct result of how we sold, how self-oriented we were, and the hard sell tactics we used. Those techniques are relics of the past, and they have no place in the present.Q: You also believe the idea of “overcoming objections” is no longer accurate.A: I do. That language suggests that you are doing something to someone. It hints at a contest, and that is how it was taught and trained. It’s no longer useful. The right way to think about what we do now is that we are resolving our client’s concerns. They aren’t objecting; they’re expressing their fears, what they perceive as risks. We have to help them resolve these concerns so they can move forward and make the changes they need to make to produce better results.Q: That sounds soft.A: I assure you it isn’t. I want to be very clear in what I say here. You are going to have very difficult conversations with your clients, and it can be a real challenge to help people do what is right, even when they believe they need to change. The Lost Art of Closing deals with those conversations because that is what is necessary to win deals and make change. If you think that anything here sounds “soft,” wait until you start dealing with gaining the commitments. There is nothing soft about helping people change. What this book is about is the skillful means for doing so.Q: Why do you work so hard on a book launch?A: You write a book so that you can help people with some idea, some way of thinking or doing something different. You write with a group of people in mind, the people you want to help. You want to get the book in their hands. That doesn’t happen by accident or chance. I market the books because I want people to do better work, to produce better results now. Plus, I am a salesperson. Why on earth would anyone buy a book on sales from someone who won’t try to sell their own book? Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Mercedes-Benz to increase investment in India by 2014

first_imgLuxury car maker Mercedes-Benz India has decided to increase its investment to Rs 850 crore by 2014. The German car maker has already made an investment of over Rs 480 crores spread across its 31 showroom and 41 service outlets located in 31 Indian cities.MBIL pioneered the luxury car industry in India by starting its India operations in 1994. The company moved into its production facility spread over 100 acres in Chakan in year 2009. Mercedes-Benz India is setting up its own technologically advanced paint shop, which will be operational by October, 2012. The new paint shop will have an annual capacity of 20,000 units.Mercedes-Benz India locally manufactures its flagship sedans the C-Class, the E-Class and the S-Class sedan in its Chakan plant near Pune. ‘”We are bullish about the Indian market and this is reflected in our long term commitment towards the dynamic Indian market. The investment of Rs 850 crores will help us strengthen our production and operational capabilities with regards to our existing products and our exciting and aggressive product offensive which we are readying for the Indian market,” said Peter T Honegg, Managing Director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India, while talking to a business daily.Mercedes-Benz India ‘s sales reportedly fell nearly 24 per cent to 1,633 units during April-July, compared with 2,141 units sold in the year-ago period.”The rupee has had a terrible impact on the company. We are close to catastrophic mood means we are cutting costs wherever possible, our guys are flying economy (class), we are going to cheaper hotels, we are cost cutting wherever possible,” a news report quoting Peter Honegg, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mercedes-Benz India, said.    The report said the company is forced to absorb Rs 3 of every jump of Rs 10 in prices to avoid impacting retail demand which has been under pressure.In order to counter BMW and Audi’s rise in volumes riding high on the back of demand for cheaper sports utility vehicles (SUVs), Mercedes is also gearing up to launch a compact SUV in 2014-15 in India.Besides, the German company has also opened its first showroom in Lucknow, the first such dealership by a luxury car maker in Uttar Pradesh. The luxury car maker is expanding its footprint to Tier-II cities despite facing a stiff competition from rivals BMW and Audi.The company has recently launched such dealerships in Indore (Madhya Pradesh) and Karnal (Haryana), plans to sell 50 cars by December through the Lucknow dealership, ‘Smart Hoops’, and double the sales in 2013.With Agency inputsadvertisementlast_img read more

SELECTORS NEEDED FOR 2006 NTL

first_imgTouch Football Australia (TFA) is seeking nominations from SELECTORS to officiate at the 2006 Senior National Touch League tournament being held from 15-18 March 2006 in Coffs Harbour. The TFA will be selecting the following squads in preparation for the 2007 World Cup in South Africa in January 2007:* Senior Mixed:* Mens and Womens 30’s:* Mens 35’s:* Mens 40’s: Your nomination MUST reach the TFA Office by COB Monday 16th January 2006. The TFA will advise you of the outcome of your nomination.Please note: the respective State Director of Selectors must approve and recommend all nominations prior to it being forwarded to the TFA (see attached form).Click here for the: SELECTORS NOMINATION MEMOClick here for the: SELECTORS NOMINATION FORMlast_img read more

10 months agoFulham defender Chambers: We’re improving under Ranieri

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Fulham defender Chambers: We’re improving under Ranieriby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFulham defender Calum Chambers is adamant the club are improving despite Saturday’s 2-0 loss to West Ham United.The Cottagers are still bottom of the Premier League, having conceded 42 goals in 17 games.But Chambers, currently on loan from Arsenal, says the club are making strides under new boss Claudio Ranieri.”We’ve improved a lot of things over the last few weeks,” Chambers told Standard Sport. “Things are changing, things are looking positive. “We feel we played alright against West Ham, we created chances but we just didn’t put them in the back of the net. We’ve got to stay together, be positive. “We’ve got an important week coming up next week and we have to be ready for that.”We knew how important a game this was for us. We created a lot of chances and didn’t finish them, you can get punished in this league for that.” last_img read more

10 months agoLiverpool top of table for Christmas after victory at Wolves

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Liverpool top of table for Christmas after victory at Wolvesby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool are four points clear at the top of the table after their 2-0 win at Wolves.Mohamed Salah inspired Liverpool to a victory at Wolves that took them four points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.The Reds went ahead when Fabinho played a one-two with Sadio Mane and crossed for Salah, who flicked the ball into the net with the outside of his foot.The Egyptian set up Liverpool’s second with a wonderful lofted pass over the home defence, allowing Virgil van Dijk to side-foot a six-yard volley past Rui Patricio.City, the defending champions, play their game in hand on Saturday when they host Crystal Palace, but this victory ensures for Jurgen Klopp’s side will be top on Christmas Day. last_img read more

9 months agoBurnley boss Dyche: Luck was with us

first_imgBurnley boss Dyche: Luck was with usby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBurnley earned victory over Fulham thanks to two own goals.Andre Schurrle’s wonderful early strike was cancelled out in the 20th minute when Jeff Hendrick’s effort went in off Joe Bryan.And three minutes later it was Denis Odoi who inadvertently beating Sergio Rico, heading in after Hendrick crossed.Burnley boss Sean Dyche said afterwards: “They were very tough conditions for both teams and it was a very tough win, for many reasons.“I didn’t think we played as well today as we did in the previous two wins, but the mentality to come back from a goal down for the second game in a row was terrific and I thought we grew into the game and ended up being the more progressive side.“We got a scratch of luck, but I’m not going to cry that one in because I don’t think we’ve had our share this season.“And towards the end James (Tarkowski) does what we maybe weren’t doing enough of at the start of the season, by making an absolutely fantastic block to make sure we go and win the game.“That’s as good a goal for me!”Dyche added: “They threw caution to the wind in the second half and why wouldn’t you?“They haven’t won away all season and they are trying to get a foothold in an important game, so they went very expansive, but I don’t remember them opening us up too many times.“The resilience, character and energy is back in the side and we are doing all the details better.“Earlier in the season we were conceding a lot of soft goals. We have to continue, of course, but what it does is provide a mental shift.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

2 days agoChelsea won’t consider offers for N’Golo Kante

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Chelsea won’t consider offers for N’Golo Kanteby Paul Vegas2 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea won’t consider the sale of N’Golo Kante.The midfielder continues to be linked with a move to Juventus, but reports claim the star is not up for sale.Juve coach Maurizio Sarri is said to be keen on reuniting with Kante in Turin.He is said to have told the club’s vice-chairman Pavel Nedved that Kante should be high on the club’s list of targets.But now according to Sky Italia’s Fabrizio Romano, there is no truth in the rumours.Romano told Calciomercato that there is no negotiations to bring Kante to the Serie A giants despite sporting director Fabio Paratici being a big admirer of the 28-year-old. last_img read more