B R A N D S

Once again life has taken me on a rollercoaster ride, this time through thousands of brands. This post is perhaps a bit random, but mostly motivated by “storing” and documenting moments experienced in the lives of the B R  A N D S  I have worked with – ultimately shaping the way I view and contribute to the world of branding.

brandz 100

Apart from the logo, the packaging, the emotional & inspirational elements, communication and associations, modern brands are becoming real identities striving for integration into our lifestyles.
So before I embark on a journey with one of my favourite South African Brands – I thought it will be worth my while to list the brands that helped to bring me to this point. The knowledge, experience and ultimately insight derived from working with the brands below, is definitely worth capturing in my snap store ☺
1.    Cell C  –  gospel market
2.    T-Systems – employee involvement
3.    Dunhill – the power of design
4.    MTN – infrastructure
5.    Amdec – heritage
6.    Melrose Arch – style
7.    Evergreen – niche markets
8.    Nokia – trends
9.    Tom Ford – innovation
10.    Gateway Shopping Centre – customer relationship management
11.    Cape Town Alive – passion
12.     Blues Restaurant & Bar – repositioning
13.     Glaceau vitaminwater – real public relations
14.     Sirdar – corporate governance & vision
15.     Lifebouy – CSI
16.     Colgate – product
17.     Tastic – health trend
18.     Revlon – glamour
19.     ProSano – no nonsense
20.     Spekko – variety
21.      Twenty – south african
22.     Camel – activation
23.      Sanex – functional benefits
24.      Maggi – convenience
25.      Amstel – experiental
26.      Windhoek – target market
27.      Foundry – finding the gap
28.      Strongbow – branding
29.      Heineken – knowing their “flavour”
30.      Smirnoff – reach
31.      Johnnie Walker – the power of aspiration
32.      Jose Cuervo – calling it by name
33.      Captain Morgan – appeal

My involvements with each of these brands have been to a different extent, but each one taught me the power of a different branding element. Viewing, analyzing and simply being exposed to the “innerworkings” and blue prints of all of the above brands is really what got me thinking.

HOW REAL & HONEST are South African brands? Do the story really exist, or is it simply made up by a bunch of marketing guru’s in the chase for yet another award? I couldn’t help but notice that the Brands succeeding to connect with me on a level that will make me “live the brand” far beyond the little work I did for it, are the one’s who told a real story. It will be interesting to inspect the sustainability and success of these brands in the long term…
Yesterday I read a very interesting quote by Farran Adria –

“The only way to be creative is to be honest, and it is hard to be honest”

quote

I found this quote on one of my favourite websites – http://www.thefearlessexecutive.com/
–    a South African Strategic Agency which managed to break straight into my thought patterns with unconventional thinking.

Another addition to my “snap store” is from one of my favourite newsletters brightening up my inbox once a month – www.trendhunter.com
Disney, CNN, MTV, Hyatt, Burger King, FedEx, Microsoft, Apple, Gillette, AT&T, Texas Instruments, 20th Century Fox, IBM, Merck, Hershey’s, IHOP, Eli Lilly, Coors, Bristol-Myers, Sun, Amgen, The Jim Henson Company, LexisNexis, Autodesk, Adobe, Symantec, Electronic Arts, Fortune, GE, and Hewlett-Packard.

These iconic companies were all founded during periods of economic recession – I couldn’t help but share in the excitement for their upcoming Sept 1 book launch for EXPLOITING CHAOS, which has already been named one of 800 CEO Read’s books to watch in 2009.

A final addition to my snap store today is something I couldn’t help but to share –
http://huddlemind.net/profiles/blogs/top-brands-of-2009-report
– my ever so informative friend Chris Rawlinson brought this to my attention and it was with inner delight that I indulged in yet another brand bedtime story. The top 5 brands came as no surprise – but the rest of the report definitely contributed to how I am going to breathe light into my new baby brand… top5 brands

In a world where consumer preference is changing by the day, what are the special ingredients that keep the flavour of a brand sizzling? Perhaps something I will learn over time, but for now, it seems like one main ingredient – real honesty. Lets see which South African brands will manage to make it into the “Real Marketing” case studies…

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