On growth and Africa expansion
Human beings are a forward reaching species. We want more. We aspire for growth regardless of our circumstances. The cycle of growth and stasis is a natural state for natural elements that are wholly governed by the laws of nature. Human beings, though governed by the natural and physical laws of nature, have one key attribute that pushes against the laws, Thought & Intelligence. Honing these two took us to the moon and beyond.
Businesses are no different. They are forward reaching. Primarily congregated for growth and performance. The fiduciary laws of the land govern its behaviour but the power of its leaders, driven by thought and intelligence, gears it for growth.
South African businesses have had to, and continue to cope with change to keep growth steady. Change in leadership styles, change in legislation, change in labour laws, change in labour bargaining process, change in black equity scorecards, etc are key areas business had to and continues to adapt to. The response to these operating environmental changes makes South African businesses particularly robust and dynamic.
Grow, by investing in marketing and communications
In the pursuit of growth, businesses that take their mandate seriously, have continued to invest in marketing and communications. The past, of many years gone by, saw marketing as an expendable cost centre in times of fiscal contraction. Today, in our highly competitive markets, contraction in marketing spend is at great risk of loss of market share and continued relationships with consumers and customers alike.
The competitive space demands that the classic communication model be augmented. Social media and the immediacy of digital have fundamentally changed the consumer-to-business interaction. Consumer's voices are instantaneously transmitted and shared with peers. A brand's social currency of consistency and optimal performance has no room for "it will have to do". It must be perfect.
Brand experience agencies, such as ours, the VWV Group, have a keen understanding of this generally under-funded new frontier. Gathering the right audience and choreographing their brand experience in an environment that extols a brand or companies ethos, is priceless. It affords focused time to message without preaching, to inform without teaching and to allow a multi-sensorial experience that embosses meaningful brand affinity.
Whilst businesses are duty-bound to understand their business and consumers, brand experience agencies are duty-bound to maximally understand the experience pillars, along the 'experience curve', that makes brand or company investment work.
Brand experience agencies are businesses, and as mentioned in the beginning of this article, are in it for growth. The South African market, though still increasing its investment in brand experience crafting, should not be the single area of focus. For brand experience agencies such as VWV, with some 30-years of brand experience, expansion into the rest of Africa is key.
VWV Group is taking serious it expansion plans. We have been studying and analysing our growth options. Our first international expansion was into the United States of America were we continue to grow as we share our capability and brand experience excellence with choice selected clients. Our next area of presence-driven expansion is into selected Sub-Saharan Africa markets.
After thorough examination of key strategic options, formalising our footprint on the African continent was an easy conclusion. This is followed on the back of extensive work VWV has done in several African countries for clients like Samsung, Airtel, MTV, Redd's, Nando's, etc.
Our initial focus will be across the following territories, Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Our choice of the territories is guided by the following: We are very mindful of the global economic influences and the role the BRICS countries are playing in its contribution to global GDP. Africa is seeing and is poised to see incremental substantial growth across many sectors ranging from financial services, industrial to consumer products.
Fostering profitable relationships is vital
As the business-to-business and the business-to-consumer market continue to entrench, the need to foster profitable relationships for all businesses will become key. VWV is a leading global brand experience specialist agency that has honed and crafted the optimal mix of communication methodologies and experience dimensions to maximise message experience and comprehension. We are uniquely suited to assisting businesses to build strong and meaningful relationship.
As we build our presence in Sub Sahara Africa VWV will form key strategic partnerships with best of breed service providers in the sectors we operate. This is important because we are very mindful that building and transferring skills to local partners is critical. Further, VWV will ensure that it leaves a fair amount of financial resource in the countries where we do business.
We are in this for the long haul and that can only be delivered with high quality relationships.
About Kingsley PotterKingsley Potter is CEO, VWV Group.
At Vogue Communications Agency