It was 20 years ago on this day that Jeremy Sampson returned to South Africa representing Interbrand - the world's leading design and branding company - to open the African arm now known as Interbrand Sampson.
What can be said about branding? Was the question posed to Jeremy Sampson (Chairman) and Blake Anderson (Design Director) founding members of Interbrand Sampson.
Well the industry back in 1992 was all about design, not the design we think of currently, design that took longer, was a slower process. Where you would have to think the entire process through in the creation stage. And an Apple was merely used for word processing and databases. Likewise the concept of branding has taken shape over the years with the start up of more and more branding only agencies, adding to the now buzzword "brand" being thrown around readily and watering down the dynamic entity. Today brand and design have largely merged.
One of the most impactful changes experienced is undoubtedly the shift into the digital and social world: opening up untapped avenues for both branding and design, stressing the need to be relevant and competitive in the industry. Not merely relying on past successes and expertise to keep the wave going. Understanding and tapping into the ever changing world and especially the changing face of consumers, has allowed Interbrand Sampson to maintain traction in the market place. We have had to overcome the complex, faster and increased volume of information to stay in tune and aim to be innovative amongst the newer and fresher peers. It allowed us to remain grateful and grow our footprint across Africa.
Some of the most memorable brands worked on are: the naming of Distell after the merger between Distillers and SFW, the branding of Sasol, City of Joburg and of course the development of the 8ta brand to name but a few. Brands with vast differences developed from one point showing the true challenge of growth being met: relevance, and consistent problem solving.
Gratefulness is just one feeling mentioned when thinking of the last 20 years, and when looking forward to the endless possibilities not only in South Africa but the entire under branded African Continent, opening new doors to put forward global best practices to our continent and leave behind a meaningful legacy.
Says Jeremy Sampson: "Africa is not an easy place, and it has been and continues to be hard work. But the future is mouth watering, and full of potential"
Adds CEO Doug de Villiers: " Twenty years is special, especially for a group that goes back to 1973. But what excites me is the next twenty years as Africa continues to blossom!"
About Interbrand Sampson
Based in Johannesburg, with offices in Accra, Gaborone, Lagos, Luanda, Maputo and Nairobi, we act as a hub for Africa. Interbrand serves the world with over 38 offices in more than 20 countries. Working in close partnership with our clients we combine the rigorous strategy and analysis of brand consulting with world-class design and creativity. This reach enables us to conduct global research, investigate emerging trends, introduce brands across markets, and better service our clients where they want to do business. Interbrand Sampson has won FinWeek's AdReview 'Best Branding and Design Agency' in 2009 and 2010. Interbrand is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Omnicom Group, the global leader in marketing and corporate communications.