Posts Tagged ‘ brands ’


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”


I found this quote on one of my favourite websites –
–    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 –
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 –
– 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…

The Line

i have not posted a blog in so long, i have a back log of content and thoughts and now i dont know where to start. one thought that did come to mind first, especially now living in johannesburg where it seems to be a lot more prominent – is the line.

Above the line, below the line, through the line, “on the line” what is this line we live by communicating our products and services?
In a world where access to information is a simple click of a button, it is only a natural progression for brands to be more authentic. It is all about being real and honest in communication, so how does this influence the way we market? And how long does it take for a brand to forget about the line and talk to the consumer like a real person?
My favourite brand I have worked on so far is glaceu vitaminwater. I have been lucky enough to experience a global strategy that is sure to make headlines in all modern marketing text books.  Like with everything in life, each situation is unique and it does not necessarily mean that what works for a will work for b. But, what I did learn is that if you focus on communicating the true value of your product in a way that is best suited for both the brand and the person buying, then, purchasing becomes the natural next step. Further down the line, innovation will deliver continuous satisfaction and creative ways of providing more for less will sustain sales. Energy and belief in the product from all involved will make sure that everyone wants to be a friend. So in essence, it is really simple. The moment brands stop trying so hard and let the consumers be part of their lives is when the brand will really become part of their lives in return.

This leads me to think about this line, which I have not figured out just yet, but at the moment see as the life path of the brand. Similar to the life of a person, it is all about where you are along the path of life and your own personality that will determine what is best for you. I think our structured conventional way of categorizing communication based on a line, is becoming an obstacle in reaching the right people and providing them with an opportunity to purchase. Merely moving “below the line” because of budget cuts is like feeding a baby cereal because food is too expensive, it is a dangerous thing to do, in fact it may kill you.  But truly understanding where the baby is a long the path of life will eliminate wasting money on incorrect nutrition and expensive doctor bills.

It is no different with brands, if a little bit more time is spent on truly understanding the brand, where it is in life, and who it is really “hanging out” with, it will be a lot easier to provide the perfect mix of everything it needs in order to be a good friend to everyone, those already a friend and every new person a long the way.

I am so happy that we are moving into an era where it is no longer about influencing people to buy products they don’t need, but rather providing the right people with the right information to make better purchasing decisions. Like the shift from fixed marriage arrangements to online dating ☺

It will be interesting to see which brands make a concerted effort to be a little bit more honest and organic in the way they let the lives of their brands evolve, and to see the line for what it really is – a life rather than another man made marketing criteria.

Lets take all the marketing jargon, forget it and start over swapping the  “strategically thought out headline”  –  for a simple, honest chat.

Just for fun – my two favourite online newsletters worth checking out – & the cool hunter! – see, a simple chat 🙂 happy winter everyone.