Nairobi — Many business owners think that salesmanship and marketing are enough for one to succeed.
And although these two aspects play a major role in the growth of any business be it big or small, others think that creating and maintaining a brand name is a successful way in promoting ventures.
Mr Dominic Kosen, the owner and founder of Kula Korner, a chain of restaurants with six branches located in Nairobi, Kakamega, Nakuru and Narok, is an entrepreneur who firmly believes in the power of branding.
He has been in the restaurant trade for the past five years and says that branding is not only a logo but also one's business name.
The hotelier by profession who has worked in many hotels both locally and abroad including Serena, Holiday Inn and Kengeles, finally quit and ventured out to make his own dream come true in Kula Korner with its slogan Chakula Tamu Bei Bora.
"Great names (brands) evoke intrigue, savvy and class, and tell customers a lot about who you are. Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer.
It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be," he says.
In 2005 Mr Kosen, pooled his savings and borrowed loans from family and financial institutions to open Kula Korner. That is after he left his job as a permanent employee in one of the big hotels in the city.
Mr Kosen says that opening a business is not an easy undertaking. "Starting a business, particularly a restaurant, is a capital intensive venture and I needed to be focused and patient. I almost gave up, but with a dream like I had, there was no stopping or giving up and I eventually managed to expand it to other towns in Kenya," he says.
I do encourage my employees
The businessman, says that having a brand and getting systems running is his huge achievement so far. According to him analysing the importance of branding and determining how you can use your name to promote positive qualities equals marketing is very crucial.
"I do encourage my employees to learn about the importance of branding and to put the branding message out to the consumer. I also believe in my brand name what it means, and most of my consumers love it," says Mr Kosen.
He is also says that internet has been a big marketing tool for his business. "In the modern world you can't work without technology. We use technology 24/7.
"Our website www.kulakorner.co.ke is updated regularly, all our systems are computerised. You can order a steak from the restaurant to the chef and never even see him! We intend to go completely paperless.
"Initially we needed a lot of space but thanks to technology we actually closed two offices; we realised we did not need all the space. We even plan in future to offer e-food services using mobile money transfer services like M-Pesa and Zap," says Mr Kosen.