A vital aspect of branding and staying relevant in your particular industry, is making sure to understand the state of that industry within regional parameters. For us, this means continuously researching, exploring and innovating within the branding industry in the UAE. This has lead us to asking the core question of ''What is the current state of the branding industry in Dubai, and as a whole, in the UAE?''
Currently, the market is saturated with all sorts of branding, design, creative agencies and even freelancers, yet just over a decade ago there weren't any specialized branding agencies in this region - cue the real estate boom and the trend of international branding agencies opening up a Dubai office. Then cue the crash and the shutting down of of same international offices. Which, in retrospect, was something beneficial for the regional branding industry as it gave way to smaller, niche, branding agencies and boutiques - catering to clients on a much tighter budget.
Which leads us back to the current state of the branding industry - Dubai has become a hotbed of creative talent in a city packed to the brim with creatives, agencies, and niche studios. Yet this has also lead to the rise of the so called branding 'experts' - small agencies or freelancers without the specialized skills, knowledge and experience needed to successfully conceptualize, create and design an effective branding strategy. Branding gone rogue, Dubai style.
In fact, Dubai as a whole in relation to brands and the branding industry, has evolved into something much more ownable and modern yet still with touches of Arabian culture - just look at Box Park. A district made out of steel containers in one of the most expensive areas in Dubai. Startups, like the F&B brand 'TOM & SERG' ( who have a waiting list to enter compared to the Michelin-starred
When it comes to evolving as a brand in Dubai, sometimes you just need to step outside the cultural cliches and focus on your target market and communities need for something 'different'. Of course, creating a branding identity involves a number of complex steps so sometimes it really is best left to the experts. The challenge here for most brands is finding the right kind of branding agency that isn't intent on playing it 'safe' and is willing to think outside the box and innovate in line with consumers' needs.