We tend to overlook local examples when doing case studies for clients, and instead use the oh-too-familiar global icons such as Apple and Coco-Cola. These examples of best practice are of course great and have rightly earned their titles as the most successful brands in the world, but if you’re looking to position your own brand within the South African market, surely it is best to look at some local winners?
Within this country we have a melting pot of cultures, languages, living standards and consumer needs and wants. So surely if brands can make it here, they can make it anywhere?
Themes common amongst SA’s top brands are:
Be challenging: Capitec has grown dramatically in the last decade as a result of their courage to turn banking on its head. By targeting a market that has previously not been correctly catered for, they were able to take advantage of the gap by using accessibility techniques such as retail outlets to satisfy consumers more easily. Their marketing, of including the bank in the story line of Generations, is well aligned and been successful so far.
Be bold: There’s nothing better than a brand with a little guts, willing to challenge the norm and be disruptive in everyday activities. Nando’s is the best example of this. Their boldness and courage has turned them into an icon, with consumers constantly forwarding their adverts relating to a current affairs topic. Their cheeky nature and political commentary have them making conversations throughout the world.
Be relevant: Relevance is differentiating brand around the world as consumers are well trained in filtering out information that doesn’t pertain to their individual needs. Checkers is a good example of using unfavourable economic conditions and turning this into positive opportunities for their brand whereby consumers don’t change their lifestyle but rather their supermarket. This understanding of the consumer’s mindset at this particular time has the business succeeding in numerous markets.
Be local: Embracing one’s roots and staying true to what you stand for rather than acting like something you’re not is a characteristic of great brands. Klipdrift has carefully used a tapping into of the local market to do this, while not over using sensitive stereotypes. Everyday characters makes the brand endearing, while few are able to order the drink without thinking ‘met eish ja, met eish’.
Hopefully in future we can learn more from these local successes, and prove that local really is lekker.
Bianca de Beer, OIL JHB internRead more
I guess it’s true when they say time flies when you’re having fun, in this case I can’t believe that it’s been 3 months already since I have been an intern at OIL. As this is my last day, I’ll take this opportunity to share my experience at the agency.
When I first came in, I remember thinking this is where I want to be and what I want to do, even though I did not know the in-depth details of what I was to do. Having studied Marketing communication from the University of Johannesburg, I thought with theory I could tackle anything thrown my way. Oh boy, was I wrong, theory is good and all but the practical part of any field of study is almost never what you expect it to be.
On my first day, I had exactly two seconds to breathe before plunging into work handed to me, which involved intense research and insight mining. Having had interned at another agency before, what I appreciate most about OIL is the liberty and responsibility given to interns to actually work on their own. Nothing feels more rewarding than working on a brief or a campaign and actually seeing where your hard work is going. And best of all you get acknowledge for the work you put in, and that is what kept me motivated to actually push myself to do better.
I have learned so much from Kath, who taught me how to write meaningfully, Mike who taught me how to think meaningfully and Sylvia, who taught me to always look for the “So what”.
So all in all… OIL Joburg rocks!
“Creative without strategy is called ‘art.’ Creative with strategy is called ‘advertising.)”
Jef I. Richards
Thobeka Sibiya, OIL JHB internRead more
Brands and Branding in South Africa publisher, Ken Preston, recently proposed the development of a not-for-profit ‘brand museum’ in Johannesburg. Much like the one in Notting Hill, London, the objective would be to conserve branding history for future generations of marketers and consumers, while also becoming a tourist attraction for the general public.
Preston believes that brands are the most powerful business idea in the commercial world, and need to be recognized for their influence on consumer behavior. He feels that brands are a “part of the social history of the times, reflecting the fashion, art, literature, technology, health, sport and social norms of the day.” I can’t agree more – the nature of brand communication has changed significantly to become more engaging and interactive. Some brands do it better than others, but consumers are increasingly becoming aware of the role that brands and marketing can play in their lives.
Preston also believes that every one of us are “subconsciously curators every day of our lives”, and as a result wants to open the floor to the industry and public to decide who should make the branding hall of fame. “By inviting people to become curators of the Brand Museum we are saying that this is their space to have an opinion, take a stand and leave with an experience.” Hopefully making the museum a creative and collaborative project will draw enough interest to validate it’s inception, amongst both industry and consumers alike.
With branding in South Africa dating back 300 years and iconic brands such as Nederberg, Mrs Ball’s, Old Mutual, Standard Bank and Pick ‘n Pay standing the test of time, there will be no shortage of those deserving of recognition. Apparently, locating the museum in Rosebank, Johannesburg, will ensure it’s accessibility, and already the project has received significant sponsorship. Coming from within the industry and admitting of my bias, I do think this initiative is a great idea with potential. Time will tell, however, whether consumers think the same and whether South African brands have the power to attract crowds as big as 80 000 per year, as seen at Notting Hill!
Bianca De Beer
Intern, OIL JHBRead more