The Lebanese Laila : 5 Lessons in Marketing & Personal Branding


Disclaimer: I am aware that most of my dear readers are nothing like the Lebanese Laila I speak of. In fact, my readers are amazing bright Lebanese women who reject being branded with media stereotypes and have worked hard to become well established respected  professionals .  Male readers, especially those from outside of Lebanon, may not believe that such a species of women actually exists here, but it DOES… And unfortunately,  it co-exists with the cliched “Haifa like” “Lebanese Laila”. Images and personifications of which are all too painful for true Lebanese women to see. So I am really sorry my dear readers for delving to explore this cliche, I do not abet Laila or aspire to be like her, but I  I believe that the Lebanese Laila is a brand. A brand which in spite of all of the harm caused, can teach us a lot!

This post is part of the Kolena Laila Campaign.


Yes the “Lebanese Leila” gets a lot of laughs and criticism from us women for being silly, superficial, unambitious, short-sighted… But then again, doesn’t Laila always get what she wants effortlessly? And isn’t that what everyone, not just a marketer, wants? … Now you’re listening? Well, take notes:

1) Be where you community is.

No my dears, Laila does not Blog! Laila does not even Twitter! Some of you may say it is because she does not have much to say… But no, it is because she knows all too well her target audience. And she knows that her target audience of Don-Juans and starlets does not read, does not spend time in soul digging and does not have an artistic streak. She knows that her audience is on Facebook, and she makes sure to have a very attractive profile there. Which brings us to point two.

2) Always give your audience what they want.

They don’t read, but they have eye-balls and curiosity. And Laila always makes sure to have a great set of profile pics of her at “such and such party” or “such and such wedding” make-uped and air-brushed to perfection.  Her fans, her target audience, her prospective husband to be, will devour these photos  and comment on them (audience engagement). Moreover, these photos together with the comments will enlarge her footprint on the web and spread her content through her audience. And that is what every brand wants!

3) Be active in connecting to your audience.

Laila is always the first one to wish you a Happy Birthday, give you a nudge / missed call if you have not connected in a while and adding you on facebook after meeting you after a random gig in Gemmayze. And that is how she retains a “loyal” network of connections. [Chuckles of Disbelief in background] Well these strategies are exactly what allow Laila to get extra $$$ on her mobile phone credit whenever her heart desires, get a free invite to a party, or even get that necklace that she put as her display photo for a week on facebook with a tag ” I WANT THIS” instead of slaving for months to buy it…Sad, But True.

4) If you can’t create  – imitate.

To us mere mortals, Laila seems like a fashion victim, with her Haifa lips, tatooed eyebrows, Shakira Curls, Rihanna Shorts… Then again, doesn’t Laila make heads turn in the mall (product placement)? Doesn’t she have her photos all over Layalina and Mondalite (free PR)? Doesn’t she have more friends on facebook as a result (brand equity)? And eventually more choice of rich cavaliers for her to choose to be-wed (product demand) ? And keep in mind this is what she wants!(achieving marketing objectives)

5) Know your competition.

Even Layla knows, that in today’s open age it is a loss not to keep track of what your competitors are doing and using it to your advantage. She will always text you when Celine’s dress is too short, Jana’s husband is cheating on you, or email you and another 100 of close friends a video of Dana wasted at a party. She would always go shopping with her drop dead gorgeous cousin, whom her fiance adores, just to advise her to buy the ugly top and last season boots. And yes , when she was 16, she would spend hours browsing through her “frenemies’” new photos, because if just one of them got their nose done this year, she also had to do it.

So you see, if Laila can do it and achieve her marketing objectives, you with YOUR BRAIN can as well, just play by the rules of the New Media Age.

So tell me, have I missed anything?

P.S. I Found this FANTASTIC lebanese blog all dedicated to Lebanese Illustrators, check it out:

Images via: Maya Zankoul, and  Stavro .

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  1. Mireille’s avatar

    wow ! nice :D
    great article and very smart
    hats off


  2. nightS’s avatar

    The problem is that when I meet new non-Lebanese people they always give me this “Come on, bring out the Haifa in you” look or something. And some of them even get disappointed to figure out I’m not like her (or Elissa in other cases). Some one once told me after his “disappointment” : “I thought you were stupid!!” And that was the worst “compliment” I’ve ever heard :D

    (Well when you told me about your idea I knew it was going to be good. And it was! Good Job!)


  3. Lara Z’s avatar

    I love the marketing aspect of your representation of Laila!


  4. NaLoves’s avatar

    Very insightful…. I met many Laylas in High School & uni and I became good friends with some of them. This marketing approach is a very good depiction of reality.

    But there’s more: managing to pay for the beauty salon, the newest phone, and an Aishti wardrobe when you have less than $100 left in your bank account (not exaggerating), dealing with other people’s mean remarks and conservative parents who want to get you married and pregnant at all cost when your goal in life is to have the career of Oprah Winfrey and the social calendar of Paris Hilton.

    Nothing in her life is really effortless, she just has great strenght and panache.


  5. Saad Al Dosari’s avatar

    This is a brilliant post; you’ve been able to tackle a social aspect and elicit interesting marketing techniques out of it. Actually, most marketing activities should be revolving around these points you have mentioned.

    Really great post …



  6. Jessie’s avatar

    nice one!! i really like it…
    i’m just taking a marketing course for the first time, so i really liked how you made the connection between the two! :D


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