Brand South Africa has announced the new slogan for the country, "South Africa: Inspiring new ways", as approved by Cabinet. It replaces the previous slogan, "Alive with Possibility". [video]
A year ago "More than you can imagine" was proposed as the replacedment but was shelved for being unoriginal, according to Fin24.com.
At the fortnightly post cabinet briefing on Thursday, 8 March 2012, minister in the presidency Collins Chabane said, "After extensive stakeholder consultation by Brand South Africa, Cabinet approved the new slogan for marketing the country." He also said that Brand South Africa, the organisation tasked with marketing South Africa both locally and internationally, would "champion the popularisation of this new slogan."
Commented Miller Matola, CEO of Brand South Africa, "We welcome the approval by Cabinet of South Africa's new country marketing slogan. The new slogan is the culmination of many months of research into what thousands of ordinary South Africans believe captures the essence of our country.
"A diligent management of its global brand has matched South Africa's remarkable transition from pugnacious pariah state to one of the world's most-important regional powers.
"Trade, tourism and investment"
"South Africa has recognised that every country in the world has a 'brand', a way in which the country is perceived and the active management of that brand brings trade, tourism and investment, resulting in more jobs and economic growth.
"When we embarked on the development of our new pay off line, our position as the most-developed African economy - spearheading the emergence of the globe's last great market -- saw South Africa adopt a brand position expressed in the phrase, 'South Africa - Alive with Possibility'. The world saw the sense of the proposition 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. We are an important regional power, with a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, a member of the Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of the leading world economies (the G20 group) and a member of the BRICS group of nations.
Moving to delivery
"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.
"As a country we continue to inspire both ourselves and the world with unique, new and better ways of overcoming our challenges. '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.
After exhaustive consultation with our many stakeholders in business, civil society and government, and international benchmarking, Cabinet has now approved 'Inspiring New Ways' as the new nation brand positioning which will orientate South Africa's marketing activities.
"In the coming months South Africans at home and abroad can look forward to seeing the new brand expression in advertising and promotional material that will be used to explain and promote South Africa's attraction to ourselves and to the world," concluded Matola.
Brand South Africa, previously known as the International Marketing Council of South Africa, officially changed its name to best align with its mandate of building South Africa's nation brand reputation in order to improve its global competitiveness.
Updated at 11.57am on 9 March 2012. Video added at 5.05pm on 13 March 2012.
Building strong, lasting, brands takes time. It is like planting a slow-growing tree that will one day provide a good shade. This tendency in South Africa to spend money on re-branding over and over again every other year or when a new CEO arrives, instead of investing in strengthening and positioning the brand, can be counter productive. There was nothing wrong with the old slogan, "Alive with Possibilities"; we simply needed to continue investing in it and exploring new, exciting media platforms to reach out to and engage with our target markets and audiences in all selected regions of the world. In branding timeframes, it was too early after it had been launched to even think of changing the old slogan. The key questions should be: what do we want to be known for? What sort of things should we be doing over time in order to close the gaps between our brand identity (how we want to be seen) and brand image (how we are seen)?
Now that the slogan has been changed, we cannot go back to the old one. Let us spend time patiently investing in the new one, planting the right seeds in the minds of the people that we want to target wherever they are located. The most valuable and successful brands have been built and carefully, jealously, managed over many years. That is why the level of confidence in them remains hard to shake even when mishaps take place.
The issue here is not the slogan or the change of a slogan. It is rather a case of extremely poor marketing! I am a South African, currently in England. Every day I search for marketing and advertising by SA Tourism, and every day I am dissappointed by the absence of advertisements. I say disappointed, but not suprised because the people in charge of SA Tourism are inefficient. Countless letter requesting information were ignored. When offering myself to work for them, once again no response was received. Why is SA Tourism allowed to perform so poorly?
It's scandalous! Who got paid to come up with such a vacuous and meaningless slogan, how much were they paid and who signed it off?
"Inspiring new ways" ? It's hardly a compelling proposition. And what does it mean?
Surely among the collective creative and strategic brains available, it should have been possible to come up with a much stronger and credible proposition?
How about something like "South Africa - simply jawdropping!" - at least it can be applied to things like wildlife, the landscape, great value for money restaurants, our entrepreneural spirit, investment and trade opportunities, etc.
But if this was the best they could come up with, then why not just be honest and go with "South Africa - sort of on the ball"?
I agree with all the comments; but the thing is that despite not liking the new slogan, I still think that it's silly to change these slogans too frequently. I repeat, it takes time to firmly position any brand. We have to decide what we want to be known for and start working (read 'investing') in marketing ourselves consistently over time on the basis of the chosen brand positioning. constant changes are not good because they confuse our target markets and make South Africans look like a confused, undecided, bunch of kids. There was nothing wrong with the previous slogan. The answers lie in more effective marketing!
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