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Brands of KwaZulu-Natal -Gayle Adlam

Brands of KwaZulu-Natal

[font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]CREATING A LASTING IMPACT

Few people can forget Wimpy’s recycling of Johnny Clegg’s classic hit, “Impi”, to promote its South African national breakfasts. Flighted over the FIFA World Cup 2010, on television and radio, the campaign drew on the South African sense of humour and Wimpy’s heritage and tradition in the country’s restaurant market. Paul Warner, chief creative officer at Metropolitan Republic said that the Wimpy national campaign was “a fitting tribute to a restaurant that has provided warmth, laughter and good wholesome breakfast to generations of South Africans.” As the Wimpy advertisement illustrates, brand names tell stories and are more than a logo or a slogan. Brands are a prominent part of the world in which we live, they incite beliefs, evoke emotions and stimulate behavior. Many brands are so familiar that few would believe the hard work that has gone into building the name. According to Ian Everitt-Penhale (Board member of The Advertising Standards Authority), brands are now true citizens of our society - with all the responsibility and complexity that that implies.

The International Marketing Council of South Africa (IMC) works hard at creating a brand identity for the country. Recently, South Africa was awarded the title of most valuable nation brand on the African continent. According to the IMC, joining the BRIC economic bloc - previously comprising Brazil, Russia, India and China - has come at the right time for the nation, which is bracing itself for further economic growth. KwaZulu-Natal, as part of the country, is set to benefit from this superior status but cities and regions also need to create positive image for themselves. Fortuitously, KwaZulu-Natal’s diverse legacies have already shaped its brand identity and allowed the province to make its mark on the global marketplace. That KwaZulu-Natal is also branded as a gateway to Africa and the rest of the world through the location of its two ports at Durban and Richards Bay is of great significance and adds value. In addition, a large number of components, from historic events, natural assets, sporting and cultural events, to the reach of well established companies and their sought-after products, have given rise to the success of the overall KwaZulu-Natal brand. Many brands are icons in their own right locally, nationally and internationally.

Durban has branded itself as “the warmest place to be” a reference not only to its year round sunny weather but to its vibrant culture, people and events, a slogan that is drawing interest from tourists as well as return visits. In a bid to package and brand the appeal of KwaZulu-Natal to tourists - both locally and from overseas - the KwaZulu-Natal Tourism Authority styles the province “The Zulu Kingdom” with an accompanying picture depicting a Zulu warrior holding a shield. According to Stephen Coan (2005) in the article, H. Rider Haggard and the Anglo-Zulu War in Fact and Fiction, “We should not underestimate tthe power these words - or the image - has over the overseas’ imagination - and market.” Certainly the names Rorkes Drift and Isandlawana the locations of famous Anglo- Zulu-battles conjure many emotive responses. Clearly “The Zulu Kingdom” is more than a logo and a slogan but embraces history, art, culture and locality.

To the tourism’s sector advantage, KwaZulu-Natal has many award winning destinations that rouse one to visit the region to relax, be pampered or enjoy some special cuisine which include:[/font]
[li][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]The Oyster Box (Umhlanga Rocks)[/font][/li]
[li][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Fordoun Hotel and Spa (Nottingham Road)[/font][/li]
[li][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Karkloof Spa (Karkloof)[/font][/li]
[li][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Phinda Private Game Reserve (Zululand)[/font][/li]
[li][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Hartford House (Mooi River)[/font][/li]
[li][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Elangeni Hotel[/font][/li]

Durban - the warmest place to be. Graeme Williams (
[font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Events are another way to brand a location and Durban is marketing itself as the sport and events capital of KwaZulu-Natal. A well organised sports event has the potential to create a positive image for the region as a tourist destination. It may also make the region more vibrant and instills pride and confidence in the host community. The success of the FIFA World Cup 2010 in KwaZulu-Natal went a long way to improve the region’s competitive position both within South Africa and globally. The purpose built Moses Mabhida stadium has become an asset and an iconic landmark on Durban’s skyline.

Successful recurring sport events such as the Comrades Marathon, the Dusi Canoe Marathon, the Mr Price Pro surfing event and the Midmar Mile, the world’s largest open water swimming event, confirm that sporting events inspire millions of people every year. Pietermaritzburg also hosts the UCI BMX World Championships, an event that in its own right is bringing millions into the regional economy. The Vodacom Durban July does much more than just attracts visitors to KwaZulu-Natal for the weekend. Tourism KZN CEO Ndabo Khoza said, “It brands Durban and the province as a slick, sophisticated and world class destination.” The real impact of the event lies with the global reach of the horse racing day which injects R500 million into the regional economy.

The fashion industry also gets a boost as the event provides a platform for established designers and self-proclaimed fashionistas to showcase their styles. KwaZulu-Natal has a number of fashion designers who market their own brands such as Amanda Laird Cherry, Leigh Schubert, Mike Narainsamy, Lindiwe Kuzwayo and Francois Vedemm.

Massive media exposure goes with all these events, and the television broadcasts in particular, actively endorse the region’s brand image as a premier tourist destination, triggering secondary activity in the local tourist market. In addition, the sponsors enjoy the substantial media exposure of their brands. As such many local business brands like aQuelle, Spar, Illovo and Mr Price have aligned themselves to sporting events, increasing their brand awareness and image among the general public.

According to Ian Everitt-Penhale, “Today’s customers evaluate their preferred brands not just on how well they live up to their promises, but also on the image of the companies that bring the brands to market”. As such the power of a company’s corporate brand has a direct influence on the value perceptions attached to its “purchase” brands, and to their profitability. One of the foundations of Tongaat Hulett’s success remains the powerful Hulett’s brand. The brand has been consistently voted by an independent survey as one of the most admired food brands in South Africa (and a leading sugar brand), measured in terms of loyalty and weighted by awareness as well as trust and confidence. The success of The Sharks brand continues to grow as rugby supporters throughout KwaZulu-Natal and indeed the rest of South Africa identify with a brand they are very passionate about. Over the past decade, The Sharks have evolved from a provincial rugby brand to a commercially recognised sporting brand of international acclaim, and sporting aspiration.

The AmaZulu Football Club brand currently has much potential to grow in a similar way.

Many corporate brands have a long history in KwaZulu-Natal and there are toomany outstanding brands who do deliver to mention all of them here. A few examples include:[/font]
[li][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Adams and Company, which was started in 1865 to serve the stationery, magazine and book needs of the colonial community and is still thriving today[/font][/li]
[li][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Randles, a brand associated with fine jewellery, since 1867[/font][/li]
[li][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Elgin Brown and Hamer, the oldest ship repair company in South Africa, having been in existence since 1878.[/font][/li]
[li][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]The name, Acutts, dates back more than 150 years and is synonymous with property and achievement.[/font][/li]
[li][font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Kingsgate Clothing, formed in 1955, over half a century ago, has developed into one of the leading clothing manufacturers in Durban as well as one of the largest privately owned manufacturers in South Africa.[/font][/li]

[font=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]Other more recently established companies have also become great success stories with great brand value. All brands need to be driven in order to part of the competitive market place. We are proud to showcase some of the other well known brands of KwaZulu-Natal through the pages of The KwaZulu-Natal Top Business Portfolio. Today, in a growing and vibrant KwaZulu-Natal, there are real opportunities to join in the legacy of the KwaZulu-Natal brand and make a lasting impact. Become visible, outstanding and different!

Gayle Adlam

Gayle - 09:23:23 @ Bafundise BLOG | Add a comment

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