Generally speaking, our World is changing and it is hard for most of us to keep up with new developments, specifically when it comes to technology. In the World of Search, it is much the same and you have to keep on re-inventing yourself. If you don’t, you are constantly lagging behind and you have to work much harder to gain back some ground. Well, this is true, even for the leader in Search.
For those of you who couldn’t join us at today’s Mega Brand Forum you really did miss out! It was a great event, with wonderful insights and engagement from the Brand custodians and the Brand Champions.
There are however two more events coming up this year presented by The Journal of Marketing, so make sure you book early to avoid disappointment.
Suzanne Stevens is the General Manager: Marketing Services at Discovery Health and highlighted this about the brand:
Question from the audience: How to you deal with the fact that by not settling peoples claims you are perceived as thieves?
Suzanne: This really is a very complex industry and people don’t really understand how health care work. We pool peoples money and the way we pay out claims are regulated by very strict rules and regulations. Also you need to consider that there are really various stakeholders from the doctors /medical staff to the patients, it’s not that simple.
Enver Groenewald – GM Advertising Revenue @ Strategic Communications, Avusa Media LTD:If the Vitality program for some reason stopped to exist would your brand still thrive?
Suzanne: Absolutely Discovery can stand on its own two feet. In every dimension we track ourselves, on financial level, service level and product level.
A great and impressive speaker Xoliswa Ndungane, General Manager BMW Brand (South Africa) quickly made an impact on her audience. Here are some of the highlights:
Andy Rice – Chairman, Yellowwod Future Architects: How do you manage a local market strategy with such an international brand?
Xoliswa: We have input in that strategy, we are not all the same target audience and especially in South Africa that is very true. So we can take global strategy and apply to local markets but we have to add what the local market is looking for. We have always tried to make it our mission although we follow the global strategy it needs to apply and appeal to the local market.
Dr Thomas Oosthuisen – BrandWealth: Your Product design has fundamental impact on your brand, why is it so that difference between Mercedes and BMW is becoming less?
Xoliswa: At BMW we have always been about performance, we don’t built cars for sissy. The reality is that this is a very male brand. But our competitors focus more on elegance. And the fact of the matter is that we rather see it as they becoming closer to us rather than us becoming closer to them.
Some key point from Wayne Duvenage, Chief Executive of Avis-Rent-A-Car during his time in the hot seat:
Enver Groenewald – GM Advertising Revenue @ Strategic Communications, Avusa Media LTD: Anything you have done differently for international visitors coming for 2010?
Wayne: 2010 is going to be a sell out, but it’s also going to be a tough period for us because we can’t buy extra cars for just 6 weeks. But our focus is really on brand awareness for our international travelers. Making the whole experience quicker and more effective. There will however be a slight 25% price increase over the 2010 period, and we wont be able to offer any specials.
Jeremy Sampson – Group Executive Chairman, Interbrand Sampson Group: How do you as an international brand connect with the local market?
Wayne: We spend a lot of time understanding our markets, building our databases, we identify new markets all the time. The fact is most of our product innovation happens in South Africa.
Andy Rice – Chairman, Yellowwod Future Architects wants to know: Why after 26 years still so much confusion between Sun International and Southern Sun brands?
David Coutts-Trotter, Chief Executive (Sun International): There remains some confusion I agree but we are trying to create some strong association to the Sun brand. I think within the trade there is good knowledge, but the general public remains a challenge.
Jeremy Sampson – Group Executive Chairman, Interbrand Sampson Group: Do you have a post 2010 strategy?
David: I think it is one of our big challenges, but I believe we have strong locations and we are confident that we can fill them. We do believe that after 2010 you will see more international visitors in South Africa that will be great for the industry in general.
Sun International – David Coutts – Trotter, Chief Executive
History of our brand – Sun International as organization formed in 1983 when Southern Sun was in the process of spliting the brand. During the mid 90’s the casino industry become a very challenging business with illegal slot machines throughout the country. From there on the industry evolved to the regulated industry it is today.
Question from the Audience: What were the risk with using Gary Bailey as Soccer sponsorship for 2010?
Tristao Abro, Brand & Insight Manager: Marketing (BP Southern Africa):
Gary is a white soccer player your right and one of the challenges for us was to consider if Gary is representative of whole of South African market. And we believe so and that is why we have chosen to use him.