Strategic branding and communication design consultancy, HKLM, has experienced an acceleration in brand activity from clients in several West African countries in what is indicative of the region's strengthening economy and a growing need for organisations to differentiate their offering and secure their competitive positions. This is according to HKLM director, Gary Harwood.
HKLM has delivered brand solutions for a number of existing clients as well as securing significant new business across the spectrum of industry, including banking and financial services, resources, property and telecommunications.
HKLM's work has been featured in Nigeria where headline projects included a new corporate identity, positioning and brand guidelines for Heritage Bank, an entity which took over the defunct Society Generale Bank of Nigeria's licence in 2004, as well as new brand platforms, corporate identities and brand guidelines for Kenna Partners, a prominent Nigerian law firm and for Nexus Alliance Limited, a technical service provider to the oil and gas industry.
Nexus also contracted HKLM to develop its first marketing strategy, including developing and implementing a 12-month PR campaign, website development and brochure design.
Other brand solutions for West African clients included annual report design and financial advertising for Conoil, and a new name and identity for Globacom's 3G service. Conoil PLC is reportedly the largest indigenous oil marketing company in Nigeria and Globacom is the fastest-growing telecommunications company on the continent.
The retail sector has also been very active, with HKLM recently being awarded the contract to develop a brand strategy, identity, packaging and environmental branding for haircare manufacturer, Recare's salon and training institute in Lagos.
HKLM's commitment to delivering sustainable solutions was clearly demonstrated in its new signage designs for telecommunications giant, Glo's retail outlets, which will be powered by the latest solar and LED lighting solutions. HKLM also designed new interior graphics for the company's Glo World stores and new vehicle livery for several different types of airport buses.
The importance of brand-building
Harwood said the volume and the scope of HKLM's recent work in West Africa suggested that a growing number of organisations were recognising the importance of brand-building as a competitive advantage.
"Most of the work we've done, and many of the proposals that are in the pipeline, are structured around delivering brand solutions that keep organisations relevant in a dynamic market and that produce sustainable value.
"The growth forecasts for the region are very encouraging," he added. "Nigeria, for example is forecasting economic growth of 6.9% for 2012, the government of the Ivory Coast is predicting 9% growth and Ghana's economy has exceeded analysts' forecasts, registering at 8.7% growth year-on-year for the first quarter of the year. HKLM has invested in developing relationships with key service providers in the different areas to bolster our resources and we are in a strong position to support this growth and the region's marketing momentum."