No longer just a 'passive' brand, Malaysia Book of Records rejuvenates identity to be more marketing-centric

Malaysia Book of Records (MBR) has refreshed its brand positioning to be more marketing-centric instead of merely being a certification body. For 25 years, MBR has been the only official national record keeper  and its team's only function was to process and research applications. Jwan Heah, director, marketing solutions of Malaysia Book of Records told A+M that the brand has been a passive one and has not "optimised its 25-year brand history and resources."

With the new direction, more dynamic team members were brought on board to be outward-facing, establishing customer service to provide applicants more value with basic advice on production and execution, benchmarking, marketing, and most importantly personalised service. The team has also added on new services such as turnkey creative consultation to execution, inter-client collaboration efforts, events, PR, and media buy. Its marketing team currently comprises four individuals and is led by Heah. According to him, MBR is currently trying to grow the team with positions available in social, content and growth. It is also establishing a small video and multimedia team in 2021.

Heah also added that the company aims to consult Malaysian companies on how to leverage a record breaking campaign or event to engage their employees, attract mass participation or gain deserving exposure and mileage. Among the list of agencies and clients it is currently working with right now include F&N, Etika, Lumos H+K, Ogilvy, Minggu Music Malaysia, Shopper360, Hotshoes, VOMOS, Tourism Melaka, Media Prima Digital, ARISSTO Malaysia, TarC, Invest Selangor, WCT Malls, and Vanilla Crepe.

Some projects that it has offered creative marketing solutions to include stay home MCO challenges for Li-Ning #wallrallychallenge and Osteo Care, charity treatment events for ChunkBits Pet Food, the launch and press conference of the Ulisses world tour for BioTech USA and Muscle Mania Club, as well as on-ground events for Ambank, Coca-Cola, and One Universal Productions.

The change in brand positioning came about after MBR was under new ownership in 2019.

Heah explained that three observations were made: 
1: While there are many records being made and broken, most do not know how to leverage their extraordinary achievements.
2: On the other side, many Malaysians and brands do not know they had an achievement worthy of accreditation.
3: Brands are always looking for ways to stand out in the market or engage their employees.

"With today’s landscape being heavy content driven, a recent realisation came about that MBR with its over 7,000 national records in the database, was in possession of a mega content bank. Prompting a mindset shift that MBR is not merely a file keeper but it is a content house and a new team, thinking, hardware, and strategies are needed," he added.

"To many, MBR serves as an icon of the 'Malaysia Boleh' spirit, a source of inspiration to achieve more, it invokes a sense of pride, and stands as a symbol of 'I did it'. The team and I have a vision to reshape and move the organisation into the digital sphere, to be more appealing to the masses especially the younger generation, and to be able to continue to edutain generations to come on the extraordinary things Malaysia has achieved," he added.

When asked about the marketing plans MBR will implement to promote the new brand positioning, Heah said the team will be working with professional publications, strategic collaborations, establishing a digital and social presence, participation in industry events. "Due to the nature of our work, MBR will be very highly account based in terms of our marketing," he added.

That said, Heah explained that the team must first get better internally before it can serve externally. As such, it is making efforts to market the future of MBR internally before fully embarking on its marketing plans. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in several virtual events and Heah said brands should do something unique instead of a green screen with animation that everyone is doing.

"Be the first to create something that has not been done in Malaysia, and have a unique draw to attract larger participation in your virtual event by inviting guests to be a part of a record setting attempt," he said. Heah added that brands should give consumers more than just a show to watch, but instead create lasting memories by actually being involved in, contribute and be recognised as having played a part in creating national record. Besides offering creative and marketing solutions, MBR is also focusing on areas such as esports, influencers, MBR Co-Lab, and its industrial training programme UNITY25.