Yangon, Myanmar (25 February 2013) – “What is the purpose of your brand?” This question was posed to 20 senior and middle managers from Proven Technology Myanmar at a half-day Shape the World Discovery workshop.

Proven Technology is behind Toyo, the No.2 battery brand in Myanmar. The workshop was held at the company’s premises and aimed at enabling leaders to look at their business with new eyes through a business design approach.

Participants were invited to share their hopes and concerns to encourage sharing of business concerns and aspirations. Workshop leader, Lawrence Chong, CEO of Consulus, led the group through a series of slides to drive home the point that Asian companies like Proven Technology need a new type of mindset to shape the world if it wishes to become a global brand.

Through lively anecdotes and stories from Consulus’s experience in the region, Chong highlighted three common challenges plaguing Asian companies which result in loss of revenue:

  1. Poor Internal CollaborationMany Asian companies have no strategy to nurture a creative and collaborative culture. This stems from a lack of internal emphasis on the purpose and meaning of work. This discourages staff from establishing a sense of ownership, undermines the need for collaboration and is not conducive for innovation.
  2. Lack of ExperienceAsian companies do not realise the power of developing a sensory experience for their customers. They struggle with this due to a lack of talents who appreciate the value of experience design and the power of creative thinking. This affects how people perceive the value of their brands, limits their growth potential in terms of pricing and business opportunities, and does not assure the end-user that they have competent and professional brands.
  3. Lack of InventionAsian firms also lack the courage to imagine different approaches to doing business and developing products. This is due to a culture that encourages work efficiency rather than value-creation. If Asia wishes to be on par with the West, it must adopt innovation with determination and encourage risk-taking and deeper reflection on the meaning of our work.

The participants then engaged in a thought-providing exercise to reflect on the meaning and purpose of the company using Consulus’ proprietary 3-state model. The exercise required participants to reflect on the unique abilities of the company, deeply held beliefs and the difference that the business brings to the market. That was the first time the leadership team came together to reflect deeply on the role and impact of the brand on staff, customers and society.

Participants engaged in a thought-providing exercise to reflect on the meaning and purpose of the company using Consulus’ proprietary 3-state model.

Participants engaged in a thought-providing exercise to reflect on the meaning and purpose of the company using Consulus’ proprietary 3-state model.

The second exercise invited participants to re-imagine the desired experience from engaging with customers. Through a combination of pictures and videos, Chong showed how design, when used in the context of business, has the power to decide price, drive emotions and leave an indelible mark in the hearts of people.

The participants then engaged in a lively discussion on what they imagined the brand can be. It was a cheerful atmosphere and many were surprised at how far they could bring the brand if they put their minds to it.

Mr. Alan Lwin, Chief Operating Officer (Group) shared that the workshop was an eye-opening experience and they plan to take what they have learnt to bring the brand forward.

Mr. Alan Lwin, Chief Operating Officer (Group) shared that the workshop was an eye-opening experience and they plan to take what they have learnt to bring the brand forward.

At the conclusion of the workshop, Mr. Alan Lwin, Chief Operating Officer (Group) shared that the workshop was an eye-opening experience and they plan to take what they have learnt to bring the brand forward. Chong shared that it was heartening to see that many Myanmar companies are taking international competition seriously as the country opens up. Their desire to build professional practices and think strategically will help them profit from the growth in Myanmar and in South-east Asia.

This workshop was conducted in English and was translated live by an interpreter into Burmese.

About the Shape the World Discovery Series

An introductory workshop on branding for senior and middle management leaders seeking new perspectives on how to transform their business models and experiences. The workshop is conducted based on a proprietary approach by Consulus called business design. The approach is a double-barreled formula combining the power of business thinking and the magic of design. This enables business leaders to think creatively about their strategy. STW Discovery Workshops has been conducted for organisations in Myanmar, New York, Philippines and Singapore.

Shape the World Discovery is an initiative of Shape the World Conference.