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