SOUTH AFRICA BRAND ALIGNMENT PROJECT FAQ
What is the SA brand alignment project about?
As one country, South Africa needs a common vision portrayed through one brand. A single brand position and identity has therefore been created for use by any entity officially mandated to market South Africa internationally. The new logo seeks to align the South African nation brand, to enable global audiences to associate our country with a single, powerful image and corresponding messaging.
Why was brand alignment required for the South African national brand?
South Africa currently has over 60 different brand logos, with multiple messages being communicated to local and global audiences. This brand fragmentation has not only delivered a myriad of marketing messages relating to the country, but has led to a misalignment of the overall South Africa brand architecture.
The objective behind the creation of a single brand position and identity is to combine and unify international marketing efforts of various South African entities. Through this project, we have sought to represent South Africa in an iconic and memorable manner, simultaneously aiming to enhance the country’s global competitiveness. We are confident that we have created an icon that represents what South Africa stands for, what we have to offer and one that is representative of all South Africans.
Who is responsible for the creation of the logo?
In 2007, the International Marketing Council of South Africa (IMC), working in partnership with key national stakeholders including SA Tourism, the Government Communication and Information Service (GCIS) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) began the process of aligning stakeholders behind the use of one logo – a united Nation Brand architecture for the country. To date, the process has involved consultation between provinces, cities and national departments.
What does this new South Africa logo represent / signify?
The new, aligned Brand SA logo is based on the design of the South African flag – a symbol of national unity and one of the most highly recognised flags worldwide, despite its relatively short history. We wear it, we fly it and we are all passionate about it.
The logo is not a replacement of the Government coat of arms or any other institutional logo, but is to be used purely for the purpose of Nation marketing initiatives.
Can I use the logo immediately?
Following a two year partnership journey in order to research, conceptualise and finalise an united brand architecture for the South African nation brand, South African Cabinet approved the new international marketing logo in the first week of November 2009. Application thereof has commenced, with an open invitation issued to South African businesses, multi-national corporations, Government departments, cities, provinces and parastatals etc. to begin incorporation of the logo into collateral and stationary. Please note that though we would encourage early adoption, we do not encourage wastage of existing stationary. There is no deadline as to when the use of the logo must be followed.
Which criteria have been observed in the logo creation?
In creating the logo, it was imperative for it to be authentic and thereby, a trademark for the South African brand. We aimed to deliver an icon that is original, distinct, memorable and “ownable” to all South Africans who market themselves and the country to international audiences. The resulting logo is an evolution of existing logos with the highest brand equity in the market, and one that we are confident can be applied across all sectors and entities. Importantly, we strived to provide a logo that is easy to apply.
Who should be using the new logo and what are the benefits thereof?
Anyone mandated to market South Africa internationally, including tourism, sports, arts and culture, trade etc. is encouraged to use the logo. The benefits are four-fold:
- Increased market presence – Due to the oneness of the logo, extended market reach and awareness building is enabled.
- Consistent look and feel – South Africa will eventually gain a clear, unique and “ownable” identity that will be as consistently reinforced, simultaneously unlocking greater impact of messaging.
- Greater nation branding competitiveness – Due to our exercising of branding economies of scale, we will be better able to compete with bigger spending nations.
- Maximum return-on-marketing spend – This is an overall benefit that will be unlocked for all participating entities.
Where can I find the corporate identity guidelines for use of the logo?
The International Marketing Council of South Africa (Brand South Africa) will be providing an easy to use, do-it-yourself corporate identity manual, which will be made available for use by anyone mandated to market South Africa internationally.
Is there any specific symbolism behind the logo design?
The logo, which is based on the design of the South African flag points East. This suggests forward movement – which we believe embodies the future promise and progress of South Africa. The South African flag has always been and remains a powerful national symbol that has united our nation throughout our democratic journey. The design is modern, vibrant, bold and importantly a single icon that is true to the South African brand personality. We believe that it is a symbol that can be warmly embraced by all.
Who has funded the project?
The project has been initiated and driven by the IMC (Brand South Africa). The IMC is confident that this critical investment will be rapidly offset by the combined impact of previously separate branding initiatives, and views the project as a critical legacy driver for the South African brand.
What implementation plan is being rolled out?
Between November and December 2009, stakeholder engagement and consultation is being undertaken. This includes engagement with key national government departments, including provinces, municipalities and cities. As of January 2010, training of all relevant national and regional teams, with regard to the new corporate identity will be provided to front-line nation branding organisations, including the DTI, SA Tourism and GCIS. We aim to conclude all training by the end of March 2010. A formal SA logo launch event is scheduled to take place early in 2010.
What does the approval of the new SA logo represent?
Cabinet’s approval of this new icon represents a new era in nation branding. For the first time, South African entities will go to the world under a single, colourful and dynamic logo that is representative of the South African brand personality.
What future CI-related developments are being considered?
A central image library is in the process of being developed, with the objective being to showcase South Africa as an advanced, modern economy with first-class infrastructure, sectors and vibrancy. Further, a comprehensive Brand SA Marketers portal is in development. This resource will provide everyone mandated to market South Africa to international audiences with a web-based, secure information and resource portal that offers branding tools, statistics and information, calendars, contacts, success stories and a feedback facility. Its purpose is to enhance the task of those marketing the country to international audiences, alleviate dissemination of duplicate and inaccurate information and facilitate information sharing and collaboration.