New brand thinking for Africa
Newly formed heavyweight brand consultancy, Harwood Kirsten Leigh McCoy (HKLM), has set its sights on a dramatic shake-up of the strategic branding and design industry across the African continent.
Each of the founding members, Gary Harwood, Paul Kirsten, Graham Leigh and Sean McCoy is an established leader in his field with extensive experience in brand strategy and the full spectrum of design capabilities. No strangers to Africa, the founders have worked on brand solutions in countries such as Zimbabwe, Mocambique, Zambia, Nigeria, Egypt, Uganda, Botswana, Angola and the DRC.
The four were all former main board directors of the international brand consultancy, Enterprise IG Africa Middle East (previously known as Brown KSDP/Pentagraph) and believe their 'new brand thinking' provides a more imaginative and strategic approach to brand consulting and design solutions.
"Doing business in Africa requires a different approach," says McCoy. "It demands a pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit and an appetite for challenge. We understand that branding in Africa isn't about providing third world solutions," he said. "Clients have to be taken seriously, and we believe we can provide leading brand strategy, creative skills and world-class solutions to an increasingly aspirational customer base."
HKLM believes it has the ability to adopt – and adapt - international best-practice to suit the diverse local markets. "South African and global brands that are looking to penetrate Africa require unique treatment," McCoy said. "This involves an understanding of the diversity of the local markets, brand application in a challenging and unorthodox environment and an appreciation of the nuances and subtleties of language and culture." He said the HKLM approach allowed brand solutions to be truly 'glocal'.
HKLM believes its competitive advantage, apart from its strategic branding and design capabilities, will be in the company's commitment to establishing long-term relationships with its clients that are founded on trust and integrity. "We're not in this business to make a fast buck and an even faster exit," McCoy says. "Successful branding is about relationships and we're in this for the long-term. We're also an agile, focused company with hands-on management and our clients' bottom-lines at heart."
Holland Park Communication Group
(011) 784 3599
2 Apr 2003 13:16