South African designers add fire to branding debate

It was extremely thoughtful of The Identica Partnership to point out that brenda is the Russian word for brand (DW 5 January). Michael Peters never misses a trick.

To add to the confusion, in South Africa the word ‘brand’ is often used as both a christian name and a surname. Currently, the managing director of the largest motor dealership, and last year’s marketing man of the year, is Mr Brand Pretorius.

Last year Interbrand held its annual conference in Cape Town, based at the superb Grace Hotel. Co-incidentally, the founder and chairman of the Grace Group of Hotels is Mr ‘Chippy’ Brand. To complicate matters still further, ‘brand’ in Afrikaans (old Dutch) means ‘fire’.

So when you are next in South Africa and you see a bucket with the word ‘brand’ printed on it, it is advisable to neither kick it nor give it a new identity. Oh, the importance of local knowledge as we increasingly go global. Interbrand, with its 26 offices around the world, is better placed than most to advise their clients of what to expect as they stretch their brands, brendas or whatever.

Jeremy Sampson

managing director Interbrand Sampson


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