Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Ekrem Dupanović
Photo by: Jasmin Fazlagić
On Friday, 2 June, Sarajevo will host the 7th Branding Conference organized by Via Media Agency. There’s a saying that an agency which doesn’t have its own brands doesn’t deserve to have clients either. Only when an agency has its own brand, it can understand the client and the path they go through towards success of their brand. And the Branding Conference is a successful brand. Created at a time of the greatest crisis in the advertising and communications industry, Branding Conference has grown into a brand that keeps its promises. By the number of registered delegates, this year will be the most successful so far, and judging by the names of the speakers, it is certainly the most attractive to date.
If we add to this the partnership with the Cannes Lions Festival, and the project Young Lions for Bosnia and Herzegovina, the impression of the grandeur and importance of this year’s Branding Conference becomes much clearer.
Read on to see what Vesna Beganović, initiator of the conference and the brain behind it, has to say about this year’s Branding Conference.
Media Marketing: Seventh Branding Conference. There’s an old saying that when you push through the seventh year, all the crises are behind you. Is this true for the Branding Conference, and how did the idea for this event even came to be?
Vesna Beganović: Judging from the record number of registered delegates, this old adage is true for us since the sixth year, because I can already say that the 7th Branding Conference has surpassed all expectations. I believe it’s not a coincidence that the first questions includes the notion of crisis, given that the idea of a conference that would drive and improve the market was actually born in perhaps the most difficult times for our industry. The decision to launch an optimistic project that would build the market proved to be the right one. So we no longer think about the crisis, and as we go through the final details of this year’s conference, we are already planning innovations and changes for the next, eighth Conference.
The most important thing for me is that the Branding Conference stays a brand that keeps its promises, and represents an excellent platform for promotion of strategic creativity, development of advertising market, education, following trends and excellent networking.
Media Marketing: When you look back at the previous six years, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
Vesna Beganović: Hours and hours of strategy and creativity, numerous challenges and all the wonderful people who have offered us support while we were growing. Also, the stellar names of speakers from around the world, who without many questions and special requests gladly came to Sarajevo. I also remember the support of our local and regional partners, media, professional associations HURA, SOZ, Golden Drum, Kaktus; And the excellent Via Media team, which invests great efforts with an incredible dose of true joy – a team that pushes the limits!
Media Marketing: And what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the conference that will be held this Friday?
Vesna Beganović: I can’t wait for that morning excitement, and the special energy that comes with the Branding Conference.
Media Marketing: We remember each year’s Branding Conference for a message that is sent to the communications industry. What kind of a message can we expect this year?
Vesna Beganović: Brand New Jungle sends a strong message about the new market and the position of brands in it. Due to globalization, digitalization, rapid and huge changes in the world of communications, the game played by big and small brands alike has become unpredictable and merciless, with constantly changing rules. There’s a shift of generations, new media channels, strong tech presence, and the big budgets are no longer a guarantee for success in the market.
The industry of market communications is abandoning the conventional models, and new marketing strategies include technology and sales, and connect it all with the new channels of communication and the consumer’s way of life. Safe communication solutions are being left behind as the market turns to more riskier creative concepts that have the power to drive the entire business of a company. It’s time for the companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina to leave behind the conservative, tested approach. We have to change our tactics, because otherwise consumers will shop anywhere in the world, and will not wait for our companies to change.
Media Marketing: Branding Conference is a regionally recognizable Via Media brand. I doubt that this is a commercial project for the Agency. It consumes a lot of your time and energy. What motivates you to dedicate yourself to this conference each year?
Vesna Beganović: Ekrem, you of all people know how much energy and investment a project like this demands. However, it’s much easier to carry this load when you are surrounded by “adrenaline junkies” who thrive in challenges and creative processes. Thus, along with all the projects for our clients, we prepare the conference with a special elation. It was never a commercial project for us. Via Media, as the leading marketing agency in Bosnia and Herzegovina, has a certain responsibility for the development of the market in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We are aware that education is a key link in development, so our role is to educate our people, to transfer knowledge and to share the experiences of those most successful. We are motivated by the fact that our actions give contribution to the development of local brands. We are motivated by the fact that we can be creative and entertaining. In addition to all that, the Conference is a kind of a testing ground on which we can test our craziest ideas, strategies and visuals, which we later successfully apply in campaigns and events that we organize for our clients.
Media Marketing: Branding Conference is something special for the entire Via Media agency. I have a feeling that this conference is not a work related task for Via Media staff, but something more like a festivity – something they look forward to all year. And this positively affects the entire atmosphere surrounding the Branding Conference, which can be felt from your communication.
Vesna Beganović: It’s the key part of our identity. We try to remain honest and faithful to ourselves, and that can be seen and felt. That’s something you can’t fake. We are excited and happy, regardless of the fact that the last couple of days are grueling 16-hour working days. It’s hard, but no one sees this process as an additional obligation, but as a project which has no brakes and limitations – a project on which every department in the agency can show its creativity. Everyone wants it to be excellent, interesting, inspiring… With each passing conference, the expectations grow higher, and with it grows our desire to meet those expectations and offer quality. Each member of the Via Media team lives the values that we have set, and through the synergy of digital, event, PR, production, creative and account departments, we transfer that to the market.
Media Marketing: There’s only five days left until Branding 07. Here’s your chance to send one of the last calls to the industry to join the conference.
Vesna Beganović: I believe that the roaring program, created in collaboration with the Cannes Lions, is an invitation enough. We have also organized the Young Cannes Lions BiH, a competition through which our young professionals have the chance to test their mettle against teams from around the world. A new generation of brave advertisers is coming! Let’s help them grow! They deserve a better, more quality market, and it is our duty to provide them that.
See you on 2 June in the Youth House (Dom Mladih, Sarajevo).