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Manufacturing Indaba 2018

A great brand won't come off in the wash

This is the line that we use as a reminder whenever we approach a project or idea. We are particularly critical when it comes to evaluating whether the campaign idea is strong enough to support the brand we are working with. Importantly though, it liberates us when it comes to our creative processes.
We have the privilege of working with many clients who entrust us with their brand identity and campaign work. We have spent countless hours with our clients and their brands, assimilating everything that we can about what their brands stand for. We have been gifted the opportunity to mould and shape ideas that best support our client brands.


It has been during these hours that we have learnt the fundamental truth that a great brand won't come off in the wash. For us this means that, in both good times and bad, a great brand is able to make it through. When your brand is "up against it" then the test will be if you able to emerge intact (even if it is own relatively speaking).

We have understood that if your brand is strong enough you are able to stretch the boundaries of creativity. You are able to involve yourself in the moral and social fabric of a country and you may even play a role in shaping some of the debate. You may not be able to do this for a sustained period of time and certainly some brands have learnt the terrible lesson of getting it completely wrong.


The strong brands are those that have understood that it takes time, it takes commitment and it takes a complete approach when it comes to developing yourself into a strong position. Stepping back and taking an overall view of where your brand is, is an important process. If you are not able to do this, you may be forced to do so, by your consumers, and then it may be too late.

Remember a great brand won't come off in the wash, but to achieve this is going to take commitment and an ability to take in everything that your brand is about.

About Mike Taberner

Mike Taberner is a Partner and Director at Brandesign, a brand development company. He consults on brand development and marketing channels to be used by clients. He is responsible for the strategy as well as the media portfolios. Contact details: Twitter @MikeTaberner