Cul­tural brand­ing

From greet­ing cards in­spired by Arab tra­di­tions to fash­ion ac­ces­sories that cel­e­brate life in Dubai, a grow­ing num­ber of start-ups are em­brac­ing lo­cal cul­ture in cre­ative ways. Hala Kha­laf talks to some of the en­trepreneurs

The National - News - Arts & Life - - Front Page -

The start-up cul­ture across the Mid­dle East is grow­ing but not new. Young men and women across the re­gion have long been suc­cess­ful at cre­at­ing new prod­ucts, start­ing new com­pa­nies and in­spir­ing an en­tre­pre­neur­ial and e- com­merce scene that is ever-evolv­ing.

We spoke to some of the lo­cal en­trepreneurs who are us­ing el­e­ments of Arab cul­ture in their prod­ucts, pro­vid­ing a slice of Ara­bian life not of­ten found on store shelves through prod­ucts that of­fer an in­tu­itive, ac­cu­rate and some­times play­ful take on the re­gion’s tra­di­tions.

Yis­lamoo

in Morocco and moved its head­quar­ters re­cently to Dubai. Its videos, cre­ated by and for Arabs, fo­cus on brands and is­sues rel­e­vant to them. “We try to un­der­stand what makes peo­ple happy, what en­gages them, and we work with brands to help them cre­ate videos that help en­gage with their con­sumers,” says chief ex­ec­u­tive and founder Me­hdi Benslim. Buz­zk­ito cre­ates more than 20 videos a day and their con­tent reaches 27 mil­lion peo­ple a month on an av­er­age.

“We work with psychologists who try to un­der­stand and then ex­plain to us what makes Arab peo­ple happy,” says Benslim. “Based on that, we cre­ate con­tent based on each re­gion or coun­try. We rely strongly on plat­forms such as Face­book and In­sta­gram.

“There is a lack of orig­i­nal Arab con­tent in the re­gion so we are do­ing very well by tak­ing into ac­count the dif­fer­ences in lan­guage and cul­ture be­tween each coun­try.”

www.buz­zk­ito.com Bil­ba­reed

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