Ziyad Organji: A Multitalented Exemplary Pioneering the Branding Space in Saudi Arabia

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Ziyad Organji

Passion serves as a powerful element for entrepreneurial success, providing the energy, resilience, and commitment needed to overcome challenges and adapt to dynamic market conditions. Passionate entrepreneurs are driven by a strong desire to achieve their goals and visions. Such an attitude helps them to approach problems and difficulties with a fresh perspective, bring forth innovative and creative solutions, and change the status quo. It is their determination, agility, and ability to take risks that help them to navigate through the industry complexities leading to significant and often transformative changes within the landscape. 

A perfect example of passion leading to ultimate prosperity is Ziyad Organji, the founder and chairman of Brandship Consultancy, Saudi Arabia. Known as the ‘Guru of branding’ in Saudi Arabia, Ziyad is passionate about brands and brand strategy. His deep interest in this field led him to author the first Arabic book about branding which is now used as a reference in Arabic universities. Through his phenomenal works, he intends to teach and make people aware of brand building, its strategies, and the science behind it.

He is a multi-skilled acclaimed entrepreneur who is also an artist, an author, a pioneer brand expert, a knowledge transformer, and an international public speaker. In 2017, he was awarded The Kotler Award for marketing for the most powerful marketing initiatives as well as for his impactful books.

Ziyad’s expertise and knowledge are celebrated in the Saudi business space and therefore he is involved with many organizations and corporates. He is a notable member of Misk 2030 Leaders, Saudi Leadership Society, Minaret Business Organization, Tomouh Community of Leaders TCL, and an advisory board member at Jeddah College of Advertising (UBT), College of Design & Art (Princess Noura University), AutoHub (ALJ) and board member at Entrepreneurs Organization EO Jeddah chapter. He is also a jury member of the MENA Effie and Pioneer Marketing Award (PMAWARD).

Childhood Fascination Paves the Way 

Hailing from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Ziyad Organji is an artist at his core. He developed an interest in art from a very young age and was always mesmerized by the colors and paintings. His parents, especially his mother, who discovered his talents at an early age, supported him throughout his creative journey. By mastering such a specific skill, he was able to unlock his potential and cultivate innovative thinking, patience focus, and attention to detail. He was exposed to new experiences, perspectives, and ideas which boosted his confidence. The immense encouragement Ziyad Organji received from his parents led him to find ways to expand his horizons and chase opportunities that aligned with his passion. 

In 1996, Ziyad Organji went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in art education. With the help of his father, he eventually entered the world of design and printmaking through the Saudi Airlines Printing Office. Later, he joined IKEA as an interior designer and became the first Saudi to work in this field. 

Even though he was quite successful in his career, Ziyad always knew he was destined for more and was capable of creating something extraordinary. Drawing inspiration from his parents who were business leaders in their respective careers, Ziyad kept looking for opportunities and experiences that would lead him to entrepreneurship. “I wanted to become independent by the age of 30”, says Ziyad. As a result, he began to create small online companies and thereby pave a pathway for his transition to entrepreneurship. A turning point in Ziyad’s career path was in 1999 when he switched to the field of advertisement. It was during this period he found his interest in branding. He worked for several companies both local and international and those experiences helped him gain enough insights to know that the future of his entrepreneurship was in branding and brand strategy building. Finally, his perseverance and hard work came to fruition in 2007. 

Ziyad Organji started his own company, a pioneering company with a focus on building and designing businesses, brands, and products. 

Being a business owner, Ziyad understood the significance of academic knowledge of the business world and that in order to effectively run his company he needed to upskill himself. For this, he went on to pursue a master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) and another degree in strategic management from the Harvard Business School. This education helped him gain a better understanding of the market and other companies with a new perspective combining art, science, and experience. 

Slowly, Ziyad started maturing in his field as a pioneering entrepreneur. He explored every opportunity that came his way to nurture and polish his skills. His every step was calculated and he was determined for success. For instance, he knew only a strong portfolio could help his venture to kick off its journey in such a competitive landscape. “I was very keen to start on the right foot and build the right portfolio in the best possible way. I wanted us to have an impressive portfolio to showcase when we approach our next clients”, explains Ziyad. For this, he took up projects even the small ones, and carefully built a name for himself in the marketplace. 

Besides he designed special workshops for over 7 countries and 13 cities. One of his workshops titled ‘Think Branding’ was to spread awareness in the Arab world about branding and its importance. He intends to educate them on how crucial it is to build brands strategically and that branding goes beyond just designing logos. The workshop was presented in several Arabian universities, Arab countries, and the US as well. Also, ‘The branding wheels’ is one of his many famous initiatives about branding, which is presented to university students in the Middle East. 

Becoming the Voice for Branding in the Arab Space

As a successful business leader in the Arab branding space, there was one thing that always bothered Ziyad. It was the lack of Arabic branding content. Even though the Arabic language is rich in vocabulary, there were no books or Arabic resources for branding enthusiasts to look forward to. As a pioneer in this space, Ziyad Organji felt that it was his responsibility to properly guide the upcoming generation interested in the marketing and branding sector. Consequently, in 2014, he published the first Arabic book in branding – ‘AL-Eysaam’. It explains the methodology of branding and how brand building is done the right way. The book was launched at TEDx Jeddah conference and was widely received in the Middle East winning multiple awards. Notably, one of the attractive factors of ‘Eysaam’ is the interview Ziyad had with Rob Janoff, the designer of Apple’s logo. The interview comprehensively covers the principles behind the famous logo’s design and how the concept was initiated. The whole conversation was attractively translated into Arabic making it effortless for Arab readers to understand the science behind branding. “I made sure that every single letter in that book depicted my point of view about branding and how I approach brands. I wanted to share such information specifically in Arabic language and in the simplest form”, Ziyad clarifies the motive behind his authorship. The book is purely dedicated to brilliant minds enthralled by branding and its strategies. Ziyad carefully composes every one of his experiences and knowledge along with several in-depth case studies of Saudi brands. 

Later in 2017, he launched another book making branding simpler for the Arabic audience. Today both books are used as learning resources in Arab universities. Not only that, there is even a curriculum in many universities called Eysaam that aims to teach students the nuances of branding and brand-building strategies. Both books are narrated in a captive manner in terms of look, design, feel, and content, making them friendlier for the target demographic. Undoubtedly, Ziyad’s works and initiatives are recognized in the Arab community fulfilling his dream of leaving a legacy behind.

Building Iconic Saudi Brands through Brandship Consultancy 

Brandship Consultancy is a brand consultancy company with over 17 years of experience in the field that focuses on brand strategy building with its own methodology and sets of workshops to provide a full solution that facilitates the needs of any corporation, products, and services. One of the issues brands face in the Saudi space is poor brand management. This is exactly where Brandship Consultancy comes into the picture. The firm acts as a brand guardian and helps its clients to execute the right brand strategy meeting their requirements and expectations. Some of its services are brand strategy, brand consultancy, brand audit, brand architecture, brand analysis, brand identity, and many more. The key differentiating factor of the company is that it acts as a brand consultancy in the market rather than just designers or advertisers. This implies the clients are offered all the advice, experience, and expertise to manage their brands efficiently. When approached by a client, the firm does thorough market research on the client’s brand. They offer assistance in understanding how the brand should be positioned in the market, how it should be moved around, effectively naming the brand, and building an identity for the brand. “We pride ourselves in building iconic brands that will drive the vision and ambition of KSA and its people”, Ziyad declares. 

Furthermore, the firm works closely with the Saudi government and actively participates in mega projects and initiatives of the Saudi Vision 2030 launched by the Saudi crown prince and Prime Minister Mohammed Bin Salman Al Saud. “We are proudly doing our part in the whole transformation and development of our kingdom. We will continue to offer our best to help reposition Saudi Arabia in the global market so that the world will witness us with a different eye and new perspective as envisioned by our crown prince”, affirms Ziyad.

Over the years, Brandship Consultancy has successfully built a name for itself as a Saudi-based international branding consultancy in the branding global space. Today, the company operates in different parts of the world such as Saudi, Brazil, Spain, and Australia. The firm plans to become the strongest and largest company in the kingdom that solely focuses on Saudi brands and building a global image for these brands. Ziyad Organji, as a responsible citizen and an entrepreneur understands his duties to his nation. Through his venture, he intends to help build and develop the country and leave a legacy for the coming generation. For that reason, they continue to help the brands even after a contract ends. “We are involved in many destination projects. We work to rebrand a city, a brand, or a destination. It has become our specialty”, Ziyad Organji enthusiastically chimes in. 

A Word of Advice to the Young Generation

As an eminent personality in the Saudi business realm with over 24 years of experience, Ziyad Organji states the core values that shaped him to be the business leader he is today. He embraced commitment, respect, and empathy among his peers and team members. He was steadfast in building trust with his clients and stood as an inspiration to his team by leading them by example. Holding such qualities close to his heart helped him create an extraordinary and remarkable business career. To young business owners, Ziyad Organji reminds to stay focused on their core expertise rather than losing themselves trying to achieve skills or things that might not add much value to their identity as entrepreneurs.  

At the same time, he adds it is the quality of one’s work that helps one stand apart in competition. With Brandship Consultancy, Ziyad and his team are always diligent in delivering the highest quality service to their clients which has significantly helped them in obtaining more projects and being on par with international brands. Currently, the firm owns the biggest portfolio in Saudi when it comes to mega projects. 

Over and above that, Ziyad Organji shares his excitement to be part of the Saudi Vision 2030. Saudi Vision 2030 is a government program launched and developed by the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, chaired by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The program is designed to achieve the goal of increased diversification economically, socially, and culturally. This historic vision is built around three primary themes – a vibrant society, a thriving economy, and an ambitious nation. Saudi businesses including Brandship Consultancy are actively working together to reach this milestone. “Our root is here. Our heart is here. We will continue to help as much as we can to add value and enhance the image of our country on a global scale. That is our main purpose”, concludes Ziyad.

Ziyad Organji | The Gulf Entrepreneur

“We are proudly doing our part in the whole transformation and development of our kingdom. We will continue to offer our best to help reposition Saudi Arabia in the global market so that the world will witness us with a different eye and new perspective as envisioned by our crown prince”.

“We pride ourselves in building iconic brands that will drive the vision and ambition of KSA and its people”.

“Our root is here. Our heart is here. We will continue to help as much as we can to add value and enhance the image of our country at a global scale. That is our main purpose”.

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