Connect with us

Snapshots

Rex Branding and Design: Rudo Botha & Olivier Schildt

Top designers get back to basics and provide branding solutions for business problems

Juliet Pitman

Published

on

Rudo Botha & Olivier Schildt of REX Branding

“Traditional marketing methods areexhausted and can’t meet the needs of new culture or engage relevantly with thenew generation out there.” It’s a bold statement, particularly considering itcomes from a company that makes its money in the branding and marketing space.But Rudo Botha and Olivier Schildt, co-founders of Rex Branding and Design,stand by their belief that branding and design need to change in order to addreal value to businesses. “In the past, businesses saw designers as people withponytails who drew pretty pictures and made things look good, but who weren’treally involved in the ‘real’ stuff of business,” says Botha.

But as the market has changed, so theapproach to branding and design needs to change as well. Botha explains: “For along time, marketing has been about a brand pushing itself onto themarketplace. But the new generation knows more, has greater access toinformation and choice and forms its own opinions. They have far greater powerto choose whether to engage with a brand or not.” Rex believes that brandingand design should be about helping companies to solve business problems.“Design is just the vehicle – it’s a reallysimple function that many branding firms have complicated over time. You take abusiness challenge and you solve it beautifully.”

Fulfilling this function is what Rex doesbest. The company was the only South African business invited by Coca-Cola,together with 125 artists from around the world, to participate in the remixand reinvention of 125 years of Coca-Cola marketing material. Each design team–which included the likes of Sir Peter Blake who designed the cover of theBeatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover – was briefed to reinvent the material to create a series of fresh visuals inspired by the brand’s‘Coke Side of Life’ positioning statement and reflect Coke’s ‘happiness in abottle’ mantra. Rex’s remix tells an African story using the universal languagecreated by Coca-Cola over the years.But, as Botha explains, the job was aboutmore than just ‘creating pretty pictures’. “Today’s audiences don’t have thesame emotional connection to brands that their parents did. For a lot oftoday’s kids, Coca-Cola is something you drink when you’re thirsty that comesin a red and white can. For Coke to be guaranteed a future, it really needed toengage with the youth market, to make a connection and give them a reason tostart engaging with the brand.”

How to do this? “By creating brandmeaning,” says Botha. Which brings him back to his first statement aboutexhausted traditional marketing methods. “In the design space, there are threespheres: traditional marketing, on which we believe far too much emphasis hasbeen placed in the past; brand visibility, which people are starting to use andunderstand; and brand culture.” For Rex, it is this third sphere that createsthe kind of meaning that will attract and engage audiences. “So, from Coke’spoint of view, yes you need to use traditional marketing methods and you needto increase brand visibility, but that’s only part of the solution. You need tocreate meaning for audiences first, give them a reason to feel an emotionalconnection to the culture of a brand. If branding companies can design suchmeaning and let the visibility reflect that meaning, then they’re really addingvalue to a business.”It’s the way this design team approachesall its work – from huge projects like Coca-Cola, to small jobs for one-manstart-up companies. “We first try to understand the business problem orchallenge. So a client may brief us to design a good-looking interface on theirATMs for example. We explain to them that we’ll get there but we need tounderstand the business issue first – the reason they feel they need a newinterface and what they hope it will achieve. For us, this understanding iscentral to designing a solution. It’s about beginning with the end in mind. Wecould of course, go straight to the design solution and create an interfacewith cool graphics, but it wouldn’t be adding any real value, and it’s not whatwe’re about,” says Botha. It’s simple stuff, he concludes, but it requires bigvision thinking. Contact: +27 11 781 5442; http://rexjhb.com

Juliet Pitman is a features writer at Entrepreneur Magazine.

Snapshots

How Nic Haralambous Launched His 6 Year In The Making, Overnight Success

Nic Haralambous launched 8 failing businesses. He used the lessons learnt from that failure to ensure the success of his new business Nic Harry.

CEOwise

Published

on

By

ceowise-entrepreneur-magazine-thumbnail-designs-nic-haralambous

Nic Haralambous, the founder and CEO of Nic Harry who started off selling bamboo socks online and now has brick and mortar stores with a larger product range around the country. Nic has also written a book titled Do. Fail. Learn. Repeat. which is a brutally honest look at entrepreneurship and follows Nic’s entrepreneurial journey. Learn from his failures and how he used them as the foundation of his success.

Related: (Podcast) Speak More Honestly

Continue Reading

Snapshots

Vuyo Tofile Of EntBanc Group Talks About Finding Solutions And Partnering To Offer The Most Value

Vuyo Tofile offers his advice on how to know if you’re ready to scale and how to get it right the first time.

CEOwise

Published

on

By

ceowise-entrepreneur-magazine-thumbnail-designs-vuyo-tofile

Vuyo Tofile, CEO of EntBanc Group (Pty) Ltd, which is a privately held enterprise and financial technology group. They empower small businesses with the right tools including products such as mySMEtools, which is used by over 46 000 small businesses. Learn about partnering for success, develop tools and resources that your customer base needs, and how can you scale?

Related: Do You Have That 1 In 100 Business That Can Scale And Land An Investor?

Continue Reading

Snapshots

Eben Uys Shares His Concept Behind Mad Giant Brewery And How You Can Make Your Business Stand Out In A Crowd

“You just need to start” says Eben Uys, don’t make up excuses why you aren’t ready. Just start.

CEOwise

Published

on

By

ceowise-entrepreneur-magazine-thumbnail-designs-eben-uys

Eben Uys, Co-founder and CEO of Mad Giant, a Brewery in the heart of Johannesburg, South Africa. Eben brings new life to craft beer and has made his brewery and restaurant Urbanologi, a destination hub. His advice: “You can do things that give you short-term gains, but it might not benefit you in the long term. Try a lot of things over a long period of time and build a reputation and a network.”

Related: 10 SA Entrepreneurs Who Built Their Businesses From Nothing

Continue Reading
Advertisement

SPOTLIGHT

Advertisement

Recent Posts

Follow Us

Entrepreneur-Newsletters
*
We respect your privacy. 
* indicates required.
Advertisement

Trending