Dr Sean McCoy Chairman BCSA - CEO HKLM
Integrated branding strategies where all the elements are cohesive, complementary and consistent will be crucial to brand survival – let alone success. All elements, from advertising campaigns, staff training and digital footprints to shareholder relations have to be created and implemented as integral parts of a holistic branding strategy – otherwise there's real danger of the brand promise being broken. And a broken promise can be a death knell.
Just as a choir can't sing in unison if they don't know the words – nor can companies have a strong culture of service and loyalty if their employees don't know what's expected of them. Employee engagement campaigns will be much more focused and designed specifically to meet brand objectives, plus organisations will be more actively committed to training their staff to be brand champions and empowering them to take responsibility for integrating the brand values into their workplace policies, practices, attitudes and behaviours. The ultimate measure of a brand should be whether or not it sustainably delivers on its promise and employees are integral to that. Leadership does not escape accountability however and the vacuum that exists in many quarters will need to be closed – the direct correlation between leadership and engagement is well proven and will be further tested in 2013.
Cometh the hour, cometh Africa
Africa's resurgence will continue – and so too will the continent's branding success stories. Experience shows that success doesn't come from imposing brands on a new market, but rather from adapting brand strategies to meet the needs and environments of this unique and complex continent.
Jeremy Sampson - Vice Chair BCSA - CEO InterBrand Sampson
Overarching everything is the impact of digital/social media with mobile especially the case in emerging countries. The developing world of apps. Digital agencies being absorbed back into the mainstream
The totality of the aligned brand experience is ever more important. Kill the silos. Always deliver on the brand promise and leveraging all touchpoints. Always stay relevant
Muscling into Africa
Africa is the next big opportunity. China and the FMCG Big Four (Unilever, P&G, R&B, Nestle) are all muscling into Africa
Retailers, moving from mortar and high rentals to clicks. And technology changing the way we live and shop. And the need to address sustainability issues and be answerable. Digital demands brands are nimble and quick to respond to any challenge
Marketers needing to market themselves
Never more have marketers needed to market themselves to their colleagues. That means more measurement and analytics and showing the results of all activity. Brands are after all the main assets of a company.
David Blyth - Group MD Yellowwood
Marketing & Brand Management
I'm hoping that 2013 will be a little more exciting than 2012 which was characterised by a lot of 'play it safe' marketing and not enough innovation and risk-taking.
As far as sectors go we foresee quite a lot of action in the Hotel & Leisure industry as players try to find their feet again in the cycle post 2010. Financial Services is begging for a more competitive response to the aggressive and successful FNB campaign and the Education sector looks ripe for re-invention as technology starts to play a real role in channel delivery. Mobile networks will up the ante in 2013 with new innovation and value propositions and the insurance companies will aggressively target the mid to lower end consumer. And then of course there's the retail sector that has been extremely bullish the last few years with many new entrants, international FDI (Walmart) and new market entry (Zara, Topshop etc…). The recent trading statement from Massmart was pretty average though…does this mean that the retail roller-coaster is slowing down and if so will marketing in this sector become even more price-led and tactical in the short-term.
Oh…and where are the 'parastatals'in this marketing milieu. Years of pitching and re-pitching at a number of these organisations and we've seen little change for the better. Will they finally emerge in 2013?
Mobile money and new identity smart cards might bring some smart new marketing opportunities – hopefully these have been baking for some time already.
On the agency side, digital will get the hot attention but we still wait expectantly for one of the big agencies to get digital right. C'mon guys where are the real experiential, high-involvement, co-created consumer campaigns?
The move toward more in-house agency services will continue as internal departments continue to prove their business cases and with that I'm wondering whether the ruling party is going to do their 2014 pre-election communication work in-house – I hear there are some candidates without work that are desperate for this job.
Glenda Venn - CEO It's a Go
What I think we will see
More generic, 'corporatised', bland branding and design programmes. Safe, easy and comfortable to deliver and maybe that's the way to keep business ticking in uncertain times. More talent going 'freelance' as they opt out of systems that demand big input on average outputs with little reward.
What I would like to see
Courage, conviction and determination to produce design that is unique, has impact and rises to the challenge of uncertain times. Business models that keep talent engaged in multi-disciplinary, collaborative environments where they can learn the craft of our discipline whilst feeling rewarded and recognized for their inputs.