8 March 2012
“South Africa: Inspiring new ways”, the new slogan for championing the country locally and internationally, has been approved by the Cabinet following extensive development and consultation by Brand South Africa.
Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane made the announcement on Thursday following the Cabinet’s fortnightly meeting in Cape Town on Wednesday.
Brand South Africa, the organisation charged with marketing South Africa at home and abroad, will drive the popularisation of the new slogan, Chabane told reporters in Pretoria.
Capturing the essence of the country
Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola said the Cabinet’s approval represented “the culmination of many months of research into what thousands of ordinary South Africans believe captures the essence of our country.
“As a country we continue to inspire both ourselves and the world with unique, new and better ways of overcoming our challenges,” Matola said in a statement on Thursday.
“‘South Africa: Inspiring new ways’ is both a description of the best of our national character, our values and the fabric of our people. It is a challenge to all South Africans: to business, government and civil society to build on our reputation for inspiration and innovation.”
New phase, new slogan
South Africa’s previous pay-off line, “Alive with Possibility”, ran from 2003 through to the end of 2010 and Africa’s first Fifa World Cup, and reflected the country’s position as the most-developed African economy spearheading the emergence of the continent as the globe’s last great market.
“The world saw the sense of the proposition,” Matola said, “and investors, businesses and tourists piled into the country – taking advantage of the possibilities.
“Now, our country has moved to a different phase of its development.” SA was now an important regional power, Matola noted, with a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council and a member of the G20 and the BRICS group of nations.
“South Africa has moved beyond possibility to delivery. Our delivery has necessitated a change in the brand positioning, to keep up with and lead the way that we are perceived by the world. It is for this reason that we have developed a new brand expression.”
Championing SA at home and abroad
Brand South Africa is best known locally for its Play Your Part active citizenship campaign, and its precursor, the hugely successful Football Fridays campaign that ran in the build-up to the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
Internationally, Brand South Africa lobbies and networks extensively among global opinion leaders to shift perceptions about the country and the continent.
Most recently, the organisation teamed up with London’s Financial Times to host a roundtable discussion on the future of mining in Africa at last month’s Mining Indaba in Cape Town.
The month before that, Brand South Africa partnered with TIME Magazine in bringing global business and political leader together to discuss the role of Africa in the “Global Transformation” at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
The organisation also regularly brings groups of international journalists to the country to give them exposure to South African government and business, experience local life and culture, and learn about the country’s latest technological developments.
SA climbs in the brand rankings
Its efforts have not gone unrewarded. In the latest release of the prestigious Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brand Index, made in October, South Africa moved up one spot to 36th out of 50 countries measured, confirming the steady improvement in the country’s brand reputation.
The index is based on an annual online survey conducted among respondents from 20 “panel” countries in which the 50 competing nations are ranked along six dimensions: tourism, culture, people, exports, governance, and investment/immigration.
While expressing satisfaction with South Africa’s ranking, Brand South Africa CEO Miller Matola pointed out that different branding indices tended to come to different conclusions. What mattered most for a nation brand was its “key differentiators”.
For Brand South Africa, this meant continuing to focus on positioning the country more as a business destination and an attractive emerging market on the African continent, Matola said.