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THINKERNEUR


I AM A THINKERNEUR Thinkerneurship is a new, vibrant and contagious concept. A Thinkerneur is three levels above the concept of brand strategist.

A #Thinkerneur is, to brand building and business growth, what entrepreneurs are to businesses. Every entrepreneur needs a Thinkerneur in his or her corner. So does every brand. Thinkerneurs think, and they make others think. A Thinkerneur is a great listener, because great listeners make great thinkers. I am a Thinkerneur and Thinkerneurship is about great thinking. What You Need To Know About The Thinkerneur: There are four aspects to #Thinkerneurship. Thinkerneurship is a culmination of four very important aspects, and they are: • Target Market • Ideas • Brand Building with a twist • Thinkerneur Model

Target Market My target market is divided into two levels; level ‘A’ and level ‘B’. Level A: These comprise of digital or design agencies that normally do not have strategic background. I provide strategic brand direction for them. Level B: Small enterprises, businesses and indeed entrepreneurs, often lack the vision of some of the most successful entrepreneurs. Through my

observations and realization about success – that when one fishes in one pond for prolonged periods, growth is not sustainable. It is therefore insanity to expect growth from that process of fishing in the same pond for prolonged periods.

I provide my brand building knowledge and skills to ensure that businesses are now seen as brands, which will then allow them to grow substantially and sustainably so. “…Brands sustain businesses…” (G. Cook, 2013).

Example, how many ideas do you generate in a month? And how many of those ideas do you actually implement? Exactly. Thinkerneurship is about helping you make those ideas happen.

Therefore, my services include extending their visions beyond what they have already started. I provide them with brand building strategies that are sustainable and will allow them delve into other markets.

Ideas

Brand Building With A Twist

‘Ideas’ is an interesting concept and aspect of Thinkerneurship. This aspect is elaborated on in the section where the model is explained. Essentially, Thinkerneurship is about making ideas come to fruition. Too many ideas are left and not pursued due to lack of a variety of issues, the most poignant being the lack action required to ensure that ideas manifest to their full potential.

There comes a point where just thinking differently doesn’t cut it. It’s one thing to think differently, and it is a whole new ball game to actually do differently. As a Thinkerneur, I provide that ‘doing differently’ mentality.

Some entrepreneurs and business people go into business with the mindset of generating profits, and what ever they start their businesses with (whatever products or services they offer) a certain mindset, and that mindset often becomes stagnant and they do not do anything else outside of what the started with.

ThinkerneurModel This is the model that I employ whenever faced with a brief or challenge. The model is explained and elaborated upon in the publication. The model is designed in a way that allows for innovative solutions to be born and ensures that no stones are left unturned.


INSIDE The Observant Thinkerneur DRAGON ENERGY DRINK THE GLOOMIES LUNCH BAR SUNLIGHT LIQUID

Thinkerneur Model IDEAS PEOPLE TRENDS INNER BEAUTY/BEAST COLLABORATION COMPETITION HEART OF ATHINKERNEUS THE THINKERNEUR

Vega Projects CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT 2012 BRAND STRATEGY 2013 INNOVATION + BUSINESS MANAGEMENT 2013 BRAND CHALLENGE 2013

The Beginning Future Plans YORAWECHO THINKERNEUR SESSIONS THINKERNEUR AWARDS THINKERNEUR AS A BRAND + BUSINESS OWEN KESSEL

DEDICATIONS


THE OBSERVANT THINKERNEUR Being an observant

Being an observant

As I travel everyday

Next are a few

brand strategist

Thinkerneur is about

through the CBD to

observations that stole

is one thing, but

seeing, analyzing, and

and from home, I

my attention.

being an observant

most importantly, it is

walk very conscious

Thinkerneur?

about taking action.

and cognizant of my

These observations

surroundings; firstly

illustrate my thinking,

Action can be in

because of my safety

my analytical

As more and more

the form of writing

(and that applies to

capabilities, and my

brand strategist,

about what you’re

every neighbourhood

level of awareness.

marketers and

seeing and offering

or suburb I find myself

researchers are

your opinions,

in) and secondly

These brand

churned out from

suggestions and or

because of the itch in

observations vary in

different learning

recommendations.

my brain.

terms of the industry,

That’s something else.

institutions (not just

and in terms of the

Vega), much like a

The Observant

Jozi, depending on

subject matter with

factory producing

Thinkerneur always

how you view it, has

regards to brand

products that look

questions the

the ability to give

building. The topics

and feel the same,

maneuvers of brands,

one multiple visual

range from brand

being a Thinkerneur is

questioning the quality

orgasms.

equity (Sunlight

increasingly becoming

of communications

more synonymous with

that brands engage

It is a fascinating

the way to distribution

innovation.

their audiences in.

place.

(Dragon energy drink).

It is more of a necessity than a luxury or a nice to have.

dishwashing liquid), all


“I hope that these observations give insight into how I see and interpret the things that I observe.“


OBSERVING DRAGON ENERGY DRINK

A lot of brand building activities take place in our industry. Some are obvious and others seem to occur or take place unnoticed – under the radar almost; even when they happen under our noses. But not when you are a Thinkerneur.

Remember that

Dragon energy drink

there is a difference

came into the market

between an observant

almost unnoticed.

brand strategist

Considering the type

and an observant

of market, particularly

Thinkerneur. As I

the category; where

already mentioned,

entry would require

some brand building

huge budgets in order

activities in the industry

to first build brand

happen almost

awareness, before

unnoticed. With that, I

you could even start

think that most brand

persuasion to take

strategists are oblivious

favourable action in

As a Thinkerneur, I

to the brand building

the form of purchase.

am always sensitive

occurrences. One

It is a very competitive

to my surroundings. I

such occurrence,

market that houses

As a Thinkerneur, I

am cautiously curious.

amongst many others

some of the well

ask you; you as a

Meaning; my curiosity

of course, is the rise

established brands like

brand strategist, as a

occurs unnoticed

of the Dragon energy

Red Bull, Play, Monster,

brand manager, as

(to others) and that

drink.

amongst others.

creative director, as

Traditionally, and almost inevitably, the obvious (and easy) thing to do is to undertake a major mass media above the line campaign that includes activations, advertising on print, radio, television and social and digital media engagements.

a financial person, is

allows for it simmer in my mind without

Also, as a new entrant

there a much quieter

any distractions and

or new player into the

way of driving brand

therefore I get to think

market, another major

awareness?

consideration for the

Is there a less

thoroughly about whatever it is that I would be thinking

brand, next to building brand awareness and familiarity (leading to brand

expensive way of driving and encouraging trials

about or observing at

testing = favourable brand

that point in time.

experiences = brand loyalty

for the brand or

(repeat purchases), is the

product? Is there a

distribution strategy they

way to drive familiarity

need to employ in order to

without bombarding

become a major player.

the consumers and


customers with mass

drink was still able

Play). Dragon is now

drink (R10 – R11)?

media messages on

to position itself as

a staple drink in the

I ask this because

TV, print, radio and

a considerable or

Johannesburg CBD.

if you have drank

outdoor media?

significant competitor

Instead of a coke,

the Dragon energy

within the market.

many grab a Dragon

drink, you will know

energy drink.

that there points of

If you answered yes to any of the

Dragon’s distribution

above questions

strategy is nothing

If energy drinks were

taste are so minimal,

(preferably all), then

short of amazing.

people; they would

they become almost

you are thinking like

Today, Dragon

write in their journals

non-existent. But

a Thinkerneur. Well,

energy drink finds

about the change of

perhaps the obvious

of course, there must

itself at every street

scenery from being

answer would be; the

be a thousand ways

corner in the CBD of

in bars, grocery

different brands are

to achieve that, and

Johannesburg. At the

retail fridges and

positioned differently.

Dragon definitely

selling price of R10

convenience stores,

They have different

found and used it.

per 440ml serving,

to be in transparent

identities and engage

their pricing strategy

plastic bags filled

in various marketing

Instead of fighting

has allowed them

with blocks of ice to

campaigns and that’s

a losing battle by

to penetrate the

keep them ice cold.

what the consumer or

looking for shelf

market and reach the

That certainly does

the customer pays for.

space in all traditional

deepest corners of

not go with the visions

I mean somebody has

channels of distribution

the city of gold. Even

and probably not

got to cover the costs;

like retail outlets,

in the townships the

supported by the

and unfortunately

convenience stores at

energy drink is finding

respective brands’

the end-user or buyer

petrol stations, events,

favour amongst

(Red bull, Monster,

always pays the buck.

etc...

residents.

Play) identities.

pricing & distribution

This may sound

Since Dragon is being sold

strategies that saw

insignificant to most

at every corner store in the

them penetrate the

people, but energy

market in ways that

drinks like Red bull and

the big players can

Monster are a luxury

only dream of.

for many. Drinking a

difference in terms of

Dragon constructed

CBD and by every street vendor or hawker; other brands have followed suit, and what is regarded informal distribution

Red bull for instance

channels is now a valuable

With no constructed

would require a

channel to distribute

brand messages,

certain occasion,

energy drinks.

brand personality,

because the pricing

brand image and

creates a barrier.

Now this begs the question; why are we

brand association (well at least

This has resulted in a

paying so much for

not explicitly

shift in terms of the

other energy drinks

communicated

distribution of the

and not paying similar

through advertising),

other top three players

amounts to that of

Dragon energy

(Red bull, Monster and

the Dragon energy

As a Thinkerneur I ask ; why are we paying so much?

photo taken at Dobsonville, Soweto image sourced from www. kingsleybev.co.za/productsenergy.php


OBSERVING THE GLOOMIES : WARMING UP THE LESS PRIVILEGED

An observant Thinkerneur is not just about being observant in the CBD. It is about being observant in all areas

With the Thinkerneur

of life.

The Gloomies. From

model in mind; I asked myself what was is it that was in my power that I can use to help, then I got the idea of the model, there’s an

One time at time, there

aspect that speaks

was a notice for a blanket

about collaborations.

drive. The school (Vega) was collecting clothes and

Collaboration

blankets for the Usindiso

amongst different

Shelter for Abused women

entities is imperative.

and children.

The problem at Having seen the

hand was that the

poster, I went to

school alone could

Shaina to ask how

not make significant

the collection was

contributions, so as a

going. Her (Shaina)

Thinkerneur, I came

response was that

up with an idea that

a few blankets and

would create an

clothes had been

effective collection

donated here and

process of blankets.

there, but it was obviously insufficient. The Thinkerneur in me started to kick in. I asked myself what is it that I can do.

WHAT THEY ARE.

I firstl called and

The Gloomies are

if they were willing

the equivalent of the Loeries. It is an initiative that looks for creative solutions that help other people. It is inspired or driven by a CSR thought or

asked a certain supplier of blankets to donate blankets, but unfortunately they were already committed to other charities. I then asked if it

strategy.

were possible to get

HOW IT WORKED.

purchasing; and they

I sent out e-mails to

a discount, and they

various agencies and asked them to either donate or buy blankets for the shelter. Here is the e-mail subject:

The Loeries extended? You can also enter “The Gloomies”? (Have you entered “The Gloomies”?)

The Loeries were being extended so I just played on that.

a discount upon (supplier) were more than happy to give agreed to sell each blanket at cost price. I then sent out my email to selected agencies...


//EMAIL //Subject : The Loeries extended?

You can

(Please forward to everyone in your #SharingIsCaring

entered “The Gloomies”?) also enter “The Gloomies” (Have you il)

agency once you have read the e-ma

cy are recognized. They are about agen llence and prowess, but only a few The Loeries are about creative exce are ‘The Gloomies’? and industry competitiveness. What positive days. turning gloomy days into bright and Definition: ‘Gloomie’ – a process of Entry requirements: cannot repay you. one with the knowledge that they • The need or desire to help some see each I mean all Loeries aside, aside and , egos all put to y rtunit oppo the For the first time ever, agencies have etitors. other as partners as opposed to comp , the thing being recognized b the about celebrating and recognizing are s, Loerie The like The Gloomies, much one is a winner. All nominees are tence. The only difference is that every human spirit and the prowess of persis winners. value winners. All agencies involved are with creative agencies look to add ive. Vega School, in collaboration initiat ol the The Gloomies are a Vega Scho help to her in a collaborative effort Gloomies is to bring agencies toget to the lives of people. The aim of The et. mark t targe their the society and en very same people that form part of ISO. This shelter houses abused wom r in the Jo’burg CBD called, USIND shelte a is There host: ) (2013 s year’ This t. moun para is warm e, winter is upon us, and keeping and their children. As we are all awar women this winter much warmer for these l.com) we are doing our bit to make women As Vega School (www.vegaschoo these on s smile rare put to like rtising and creative agencies, we would and children. With the help of adve warm, safe and happy. and children who just want to feel realising the importance of social innovation; whilst at the same time, and rship leade Vega is about brand responsibility. The Goal/target: 60 children. As a collective effort, ers fluctuate) houses 100 women and The Shelter on average (the numb r. With that said, we would like to for each human spirit that fills the shelte we would like to donate a blanket ously beyond the set target will be enorm That is our target, and any number donate 120 blanket to the charity. appreciated. Where:

off of the blankets The deadline set for the actual drop-

is: 7th June 2013 (Friday).

The math is • 120 blankets required • 6 agencies identified • = 20 blankets per agency ing more is well appreciated. NB: 120 blankets is the target, but anyth HOW TO DONATE? by Vega students from the respective the blankets can and will be collected For each agency’s convenience, agency premises. What has Vega Done? impact, shelter, but to create a significant es for the women and children in the As Vega, we have collected cloth of the identified agencies. we would like to the participation around The Supplier sell to retailers in Johannesburg and of the blankets. They produce and A. Moosa Blankets are the suppliers lier. supp to the up. So, the best option is go straight the country, who then sell at a mark R50; etc. R45; R40; R35; ): Price Cost (@ Their discounted unit price range cost s above are discounted, as they are the supplier and Vega, the unit price As per the conversation between increases. level of quality of the blankets also prices. As the prices increase, the that will cost R50 per blanket. one is et blank nt dece most the ses to So, in the price range above, per agency. And if any agency choo ets, that is 20 blankets x R50 = R1000 If each agency purchases 20 blank cy agen per R1000 will be less than R50 per blanket, then the total cost purchase less than the cost price of 3465 834 The supplier’s contact number is: 011 please reply to: If you are interested in collaborating, Bogosi Motshegwa #SharingIsCaring”

A total of 50 blankets were donated to the shelter by two agencies: • The Strategy Department and • McCann Erickson These are the two agencies that heeded the call and were willing to help and from the bottom of my heart I’d like to say thank you very much. The Gloomies were a success. I had an idea, I acted on it, and the results became evident.

the Absa towers, corner Alberts and Delvers (close to

in the Jo’burg CBD at As mentioned above, the shelter is the blankets will be donated. near Carlton Center). That is where When:

AND THE RESULTS?

That is what Thinkerneurs do – they make things happen.


OBSERVING LUNCH BAR Is this observation an obvious one? Perhaps not. In brand building and marketing, competitor analysis and tracking are non-negotiable. This allows brands to be in the know about what their competitors are doing, where they are going, how they are communicating with their target audiences (consumers and customers); but what does that mean?

theme that is unique captures that the brand’s essence. That’s ovious right?

We hope so. I won’t get much much into the intricate details of competitor analysis, but I’ll get straight into my observation. I’m sure that you may have come across Snickers’ brand communication; their advertisement on TV or print after almost

What are the consequences of tracking your competitors? What are the objectives of doing so?

every PSL soccer match. After each match; they identify a fan or a supporter that seemed to be unhappy. That is a great contact point as it is unexpected.

As a Thinkerneur, tracking your competitors and understanding them means that you are now able to better position yourself (as a brand); the operative word being ‘better’. Not just better though, but competitively so. You afford yourself the opportunity to occupy own a space or a

Anyway, Snickers has positioned itself as a chocolate bar that ‘Satisfies’. Satisfies is their slogan, and part of their brand communication is that “You are not you when you are hungry”. As a Thinkerneur, or even just a brand strategist for that matter, it is safe to assume that Snickers

did their own research

falls nothing short

and their positioning

of entertaining. In

was thus strategically

my mind, they had

informed.

positioned themselves as brand that gives

But what happens

you much much more

when a brand in the

or either a brand of

same category is

chocolates that solicits

communicating in the

you to eat much

same or similar tone,

much more.

language, and or is hovering in the same

Their (Lunch Bar)

space occupied by its

interpretation of

competitor?

that thought, by sponsoring SA’s got

Would you consider

talent. That was a

Lunch Bar a direct

good (not great, but

competitor to

good) collaboration.

Snickers? Obvious!

But recently, I was

I must say though,

shocked to see that

Lunch bar is one of my

they had switched

favourite chocolates,

their communication

and their advertising

to match that of their

and communication

competitor – Snickers.


Snickers says that you are not yourself when your are hungry, and that their chocolate satisfies that hunger.

no other brand

possibly understand.

valid. Perhaps Lunch Bar needs a new

(regardless of the industry or category)

Out of the possibilities

advertising or creative

owns the word either.

at their disposal and

communications

But that’s not the

opportunity to position

agency that will

point. The point is

Lunch Bar as uniquely

actually spend time

Snickers has already

as possible, relative

on the brand. Instead

‘owned’ the word;

to the competitor,

of copying what

and I use the term

they choose to exist

the competitors are

‘owned’ cautiously

and aim to thrive

saying, come up with

as in this context,

in the same mind

compelling innovative

You see, the

I mean own in the

frame as Snickers.

solutions. I have an

interesting thing about

minds of consumers

Why do they need to

agency in mind. Send

being an Observant

and customers. Or is

reference hunger? Or;

me an e-mail to find

Thinkerneur is that I use

just in my head? At

is the communication

out which creative

public transport and

the end of the day, I

strategically done

agency I would

therefore I become

am a sample of one.

so occupy the same

recommend.

exposed to certain

But that does not take

mind space occupied

things that no other

away from the facts

by Snickers? Why?

brand strategist is

and my observations.

exposed to. Perhaps

Brand building is about being different.

Speaking to my

It is about offering and

the argument could

The matter of the

lecturer Karen about

delivering products

be that I’m not

fact is, Snickers have

this; she suggests that

and services in ways

exposed to the things

positioned themselves

perhaps there might

that are remarkable,

that other brand

as a brand that

be some scientific

ways that make

strategists are exposed

satisfies and takes

proof that suggests

brands stand out.

to.

away hunger. And

that chocolates

Instead of standing

now Lunch Bar says

like Snickers and

out, Lunch Bar

that, as a consumer, if

Lunch Bar actually

consciously chose to

you are hungry, grab

do fill ones tummy

be Snickers’ shadow

a Lunch Bar.

up. The question

by copying them.

begged is then; did

In the Thinkerneur’s

The issue I have with

Lunch Bar get hold

book; that’s a no-no!

this sort of competitive

of the research only

behaviour is that not

recently?

As I use public transport, on my way to school one day at the bus stop, I observed a billboard and it had a Lunch Bar advert on it. Look at the photo of the billboard, keeping in mind what you have read about their competitors and tell me what you observe. Do you see anything disturbing?

Why did Lunch Bar feel the need to use the word ‘hungry’ in their copy? Granted, perhaps Snickers does not have copyrights to the word and maybe

You can track your competition and know

all options have been investigated. In such a

My observation may

what they are doing,

category, in contrast

be petty. But if you

but when you start

to the washing

really think about it,

doing what they are

powder category,

and what we are

doing; then there is

where perhaps

being taught at Vega,

absolutely no point

there is little room for

about being different,

in conducting your

differentiation – note

being unique, and

competitor research

I said little, and not

brand building, my

or analysis.

‘no room’ – I could

argument is quiet

CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE


OBSERVING SUNLIGHT DISHWASHING LIQUID : NOT SEEING THE LIGHT OF DAY

Perhaps the people – street vendors – in Jozi have heeded the call to go green. Sunlight dishwashing liquid is green already, literally. So, how much more green can a brand go? Recycling? That’s an option.

In the Johannesburg

the vendors use the

CDB, if you wanted

Sunlight dishwashing

to buy the iPhone 8,

liquid packaging as a

that’s where you’d

recognizable element

probably find it prior

for their second grade

to its release. Okay,

dishwashing liquid that

maybe that’s a tad

they sell.

of an exaggeration. But for real though, if

They use the sunlight

you want anything,

liquid packaging as

you’d probably find it

most consumers and

Brands spend millions

in the CBD, and that is

customers are familiar

on creating visual

not necessarily a bad

with the brand and is

identities, creating

thing.

easily and instantly recognizable upon

brand elements, on design and ensuring

Almost everything and

that their brands,

anything is for sale in

products and services

the CBD. I observed

As a Thinkerneur;

are easily identifiable

that most vendors

the question then

by either copy or

were starting to sell the

is; how does a

jingles or just the

Sunlight dishwashing

brand manager

visual language.

liquid. But on closer

guard against such

observation, it wasn’t

occurrences? All the

really the Sunlight

brand efforts done

brand. At least on

to create awareness

the outside – the

and familiarity for the

packaging and the

brand has worked and

visual identity, it is.

is being leveraged by

When consumers and customers are able to identify a brand by just engaging in a single element of an entire ecosystem of a visual identity, then brand strategist agree that it’s a job well done.

Being an observant Thinkerneur requires certain things to work in a certain way, for instance, when it comes to transport, I needed to use public transport like taxis and buses in order for me to be who I am today.

viewing.

others who have no What was understood upon further investigation was that

affiliation to the brand.


Sunlight dishwashing liquid has certainly

BAR ONE CONTINUED...

achieved the brand

There are too many

equity desired, and

ordinary things out

perhaps maybe too

there. There are too

much brand equity.

many products and

Is there such a thing

services that are the

as too much brand

same. Can at least

equity?

brand communication NOT be one of

Well, the brand

those things? And

building efforts were

that goes to the

so brilliant that the

washing powder

hawkers and vendors

category as well.

have taken upon

Please, someone say

themselves to execute

something different.

Sunlight’s CSR strategy

We know that washing

when it comes to the

powders are meant

environment by re-

to clean clothes and

using the containers.

make them white. In fact, if they (washing

At least the containers are not being dumped in the middle of nowhere.

powders) didn’t do that, then those washing powder brands would seize to exist.

photo taken at downtown Jozi image sourced http://www. satooz.com/products/ SUNLIGHT-DISHWASHINGLIQUID--400ML.html

Competitor analysis is meant to keep us upto-date of what the industry players are doing; and in terms of strategic planning, it should allow you construct innovative solutions that will catapult you into the mind space of being a thought leader amongst your peers. Isn’t that obvious?

Obvious!


THINKERNEUR MODEL.

+


The model provides a Thinking compass that gives direction and drives solutions. Every single project goes through this model and solutions that manifest are unique and relevant.

IDEAS

How many ideas do you come up with on a daily basis? 20? 10? 5? Okay, that’s a lot of ideas a day. Let’s just say you come up with one idea a day ; that’s 365 ideas a year. Minimum.

How many do you actually implement? How many do you sort of start to implement and then drop along the way? I hope you are starting to realise that implementation is very important to making ideas happen. The problem is not the quality (or lack thereof) of the ideas; but the implementation – the making sure that ideas come to fruition – stage or phase. The problem is that necessary and relevant actions are not taken. Thinkerneur is an entity that can help you to implement your ideas and ensure that your implementation rate is equivalent to the idea generation rate. If you think what you just read makes sense and you got even more ideas; and one of those ides is to contact the Thinkerneur, don’t waste your ideas – call or e-mail now. Take action. This concept is at the center of the model; this shows that ideas are the core of the process and implementation is imperative. All conjured solutions are implemented.

+27 79 058


THE THINKERNEUR MODEL. EXPLAINED

PEOPLE If you are providing a service or a product; then people (consumers, customers and or clients) should be at the center of your business. A business does not exist without people. The understanding of these people is imperative to thriving in the respective competitive landscapes and industries. Through their Thinkerneur Model, better understanding of the relevant people is established in order to come up with creative solutions that are relevant.

“If you understand people, you are on your way to become a great strategist” – Karen Roos.

TRENDS Relevance is today’s currency. Using the Thinkerneur Model, trends are analysed in order to ensure that brands are not out of touch. The twist comes in the hybridization of trends – analyzing trends in other industries not necessarily relevant to any brand – where we look at ways that help in crafting solutions. Thinkerneurs understand the value of trends in gaining competitive advantage.

Thinkerneurship is not about following trends; it’s about being the trend.


INNER BEAUTY/BEAST Think about it; everyone has those odd moments where they think that they are inadequate (inner beauty) and at other times, think that they are better than everyone else (inner beast). Through the Thinkerneur Model, it is easy to establish the inner beauty that brands possess but not fully leveraging. The inner beauty can either be something that the brand is not communicating at all or a mismatch between what the brand is communicating (effectively or not) and what people perceive.

COLLABORATION Thinkerneurs believe: it doesn’t matter who you are, where you are, where you come from, or how you got to be where you are, along the way, someone somewhere made a decision that benefited you. Someone helped you in anyways possible. With that understanding, it is no surprise that ‘Collaboration’ forms part of the Thinkerneur Model – it is undeniable truth. It is therefore an organic feature or characteristic in the model. As a Thinkerneur, collaboration is inevitable. Collaborations manifest in many ways – solicited and unsolicited. Unless you have all the skills and the resources in the world, yes, maybe, maybe you don’t need to collaborate. A lot of people have collaborated in my life to help me get where I am now, and a lot of collaborations, going forward, are inevitable. Please read the section: ‘Dedication’ in the annual first ever-digital publication of ‘Thinkerneur’. In this section, I give shout-outs to everyone who has collaborated on my journey.

Collaboration presents opportunities beyond the capabilities of an individual.


THE THINKERNEUR MODEL. EXPLAINED

COMPETITORS They say that if you know your competitors, you stand a chance to become competitive. Thinkerneurship is not about being competitive in the game, it’s about creating whole new games – in which clients/people set up the rules that the competitors will follow.

HEART

OF A THINKERNEUR

This layer, as it has been visually been demonstrated, is encompassing of all the above. Thinkerneurship is not just about walking in someone else’s shoes, it’s about walking in someone else’s shoes, creating better shoes, and throwing a pair or two of underwear, a shirt and a pair or two of pants in the mix. With that understanding, as a Thinkerneur, giving back comes naturally. There’s a saying: “You don’t need a reason to give.” I have one reason to give, and that is: I have been given life; and any thing that I can give, is the least that I can do. The most precious gift I have ever given is my smile and time – both timeless and priceless. I’m a ‘Time Philanthropist’.


THE THINKERNEUR Solutions for the respective project were either inspired by one, two, three, four or all elements of the model.


VEGA PROJECT 1 CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT 2012 2013

CHALLENGE PROBLEM Brands think that they know their customers and consumers, but they don’t. (It is understandable with all the resource constraints (time, human capital, skills, money, etc.). Too many brands are not getting intimate

Show that some brands only understand their customers or consumers from the surface – and that’s not enough. How do we show or prove that sometimes brands (or generally as people) easily assume that they know their

with their consumers

target market or

and customers.

audiences?

OBJECTIVE

TARGET MARKET

To show fellow Vega students and lecturers

Vega students and

how easy it is to miss

lecturers

the target market/ audiences and or people generally.

RESEARCH

INSIGHTS People: The truth is always told when there

Thinkerneur model –

are no witnesses –

People

Alone in your room, talking/thinking to yourself, thoughts and


conversations are driven by the truth and nothing but the truth – honest with self.

WHY VOTING • Voting is one way of expressing ones

CONCEPT

perception of the

Confessions

for. All the perceptions

party they are voting accumulated over

There’s a saying that a

time (subjective

man’s mind becomes

or otherwise) all

naked when sitting

culminate into that

in the toilet – comes

one cross made on

clean with self – this

the ballot paper.

is where thoughts of

• Based on our insight

honesty are conjured.

– when going into a

A sample of one

voting booth, there

can tell a story of a

are no witnesses, and

community – this links

therefore, your true-

to the idea that the

honest self comes to

quantity in terms of

the fore.

sample size does not

• My interactions

guarantee the quality

with people, whether

of the information

briefly or intensely,

gathered.

is equivalent to

EXECUTIONS

canvassing (active activations to shape

for people (students

The second question

and lecturers at Vega

asked whether I went

JHB) to cast their

to church or not.

perceptions of me.

This question was

This way, people will

strategically asked,

reveal their true inner

because it carries

views of me. Based

the momentum of

on the results, we will

the first question. It

be able to prove that

has a ‘therefore’

sometimes when you

effect. Based on

think you know your

their perceptions,

target audience, it

whether I went to

maybe based on

church or not became

assumptions. There

almost dependent

is no therefore in

on the perceptions

understanding your

cast. So, whatever

target audiences.

they thought of me; will influence

PERMISSION

their answers. If I’m perceived to be a

Much like how the IEC

good, caring and

is the governing body

respectful person,

of the election, Vega

the assumption – the

administration played

therefore effect –

that role, as I had to

would be that I do go

ask for permission

to church.

perceptions) that

to firstly set up and

Through the use of

political parties

promote the event.

Each ballot paper has

voting, I will show

engage in.

how easy it is for

• In the voting booth,

PROCESS

This will allow for easy

brands (and people

no matter what has

in general) to assume

been said nor done

Ballot papers were

that they know their

prior, only you truest

produced. Two

target audiences

inner thoughts will

types of ballot paper

needs, wants, and

prevail.

(questions) were asked. One was an

desires. THE IDEA....

open-ended question which asked: “What

Therefore, begging the question: “Are

All interactions with

brands having

me; whether briefly

relevant conversations

or not, allowed for

with their target

who I came into

audiences?”

contact with to form perceptions about me. The idea was

do you think of Bogosi” – based on the little or huge/multiple interactions, one was able to form an opinion.

a specific ballot box. counting and tallying. A couple of posters were put up on notice boards to encourage people to get to the poll and ‘vote’ for me, by casting their perceptions of me. They were used to promote the ‘elections’. Much like how it is generally and naturally done during election time in politics.


VEGA PROJECT 1 CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT 2012

VOTING

they push one to an assumed conclusion. Sixty-nine percent

The results have been

(69%) said that I’m a

categorized into 5

very nice person and

codes - view graphic.

sixty-nine percent (69%) said that I go

With regards to

to church. Since I’m

the first ballot

a very nice person,

paper (question/

it therefore means

questionnaire), where

that I go to church;

‘voters’ (perception

this is suggested by

casters) were asked

the results. There’s a

to put down their

correlation between

general perceptions

what they think of me

of me – what they

and whether I go to

thought of me – based

church.

THE OBSERVANT THINKERNEUR This proves that most brands are making assumed conclusions

on encounters and

about their target

interactions: sixty-nine

audiences based

percent (69%) thought

on the ‘therefore

that I was a very nice

effect’. This then

person.

therefore begs the question; are brands

55 people voted (this

having relevant

includes both lecturers

conversations.

and students) or in this case, cast their perceptions about whether I go to church or not. 69% perceived that I go to church. Call it coincidence or a miracle, but the results have proven the ‘therefore effect’ – when the results show something,


VEGA PROJECT 2 1 BRAND CREATIVE STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT 2013 2013

BRAND

CHALLENGE / RESEARCH OBJECTIVE

Lil’ Wayne (Recording Artist)

PROBLEM

TARGET MARKET

Thinkerneur Model – To (how do we)

Consumer/Customer |

The music of an artist

influence the brand

Inner Beauty/Beast

or the artist self (Lil’

image positively

Wayne), is seen as

without altering brand

Target Market/Target

an extension of the

Lyrical content

identity or personality

Audiences:

person (Dwayne

tarnishing entire

(without changing

• Lil’ Wayne fans

Michael Carter jnr. –

personal brand

lyrical content)?

who have started to

real name) – the artist

distance themselves

is not separated from

(unsavory or distasteful sexual and female

Is it possible to

due to lyrical content

the person (Superman

references and

influence the brand

(Primary audience)

vs. Clarke Kent).

innuendos)

image positively

• General public

without altering the

(Secondary audience)

People want to relate

very thing (lyrical

to the artist, and for

content) that is

most fans, the only

tarnishing the brand?

access they have to the artist is the music itself (lyrical content,


production, features, etc.), and therefore, inevitably, the music or the art becomes the person or the person becomes the art. The fans and the general public are mostly exposed to his music and therefore, perceptions and ideas formed are based on what is available to them – music (lyrical content). This was revealed through a brand contact inventory audit.

INSIGHTS Inner Beauty. The lyrically creative Lil’ Wayne is bigger than the person (Dwayne Michael Carter) or rather, more exposed.

CONCEPT

EXECUTIONS Through the use of CSR and or CSI initiatives, I will show the inner beauty that Lil’ Wayne possesses, but hasn’t been fully capitalized on. This will ensure that the mismatch between the brand truth and what is perceived is dealt with both effectively and efficiently. Through the use of relevant brand extensions; I will help influence positively on the Lil’ Wayne brand. The PR generated through this brand extension will produce positive momentum that will help elevate the brand image to desired objectives. BRAND EXTENSION “Women L.A.S.T.”

The ‘behind the scenes’ coming to the

WHAT IT IS

fore – (Showcasing what is not often

‘Women’ is a plural

scene) – CSR

pronoun for the female species,

How can we use CSR

but in this context,

as a concept in order

it represents and

to have a positive

encompasses all

impact on the brand

those considered

as whole?

vulnerable in society; children and those who cannot fend for

themselves. L.A.S.T. is

will become extinct

an acronym for “Lil’

as they survive and

Abuse Statistics/Stats

thrive.

Today”. HOW IT’S A VERTICALLY Basically what this

POSITIONED BRAND

means is that, this

EXTENSION

initiative, which will be CSR based,

How this fits vertically

will be proactive in

is that certain

reducing the abuse

percentage of his

(in its broader sense

revenue generated

and with particular

solely from his music

focus on sexual abuse

will go to funding

of both women and

other associated

children) statistics in

charities that are

the United States of

fighting or driving

America (USA).

similar initiatives of reducing or stopping

The ‘Lil’’ in the name

abuse, and also fund

is a play on his name:

‘Women: L.A.S.T.’

Lil’ Wayne, and it also speaks of reducing

As music is what he

the statistics to a ‘little’

is primarily known for,

number as possible.

this CSR initiative will

‘Today’ in the name

therefore form part of

or acronym represents

his brand essence, his

or denotes that the

values, and what he

aim of the initiative is

believes in.

to reduce the plight of women and children

Therefore, visually, in

abuse (in all its forms)

his brand portfolio,

today, as in now, and

‘Women: L.A.S.T.’ will

not tomorrow or next

fall under music as a

week.

sub-brand whilst at the same time, becoming

Also, what the

his CSR initiative

acronym ‘LAST’

that encompasses

symbolizes is that,

or encapsulates his

after all is said and

brand identity.

done, women (and

Lil’ Wayne’s brand

children) will come

awareness is second

out victorious and

to none when

will therefore literally

it comes to the

last, as in, the abuse

category, relative to


VEGA PROJECT 2 BRAND STRATEGY 2013 his competitors (other

Both respective brand

musicians, especially

extensions will feed

hip-hop artists).

off and feed into Li’ Wayne’s brand equity.

In 2008, he won four Grammy Awards, of which his most valuable is for the Best Hip Hop Album, (www.lilwaynehq. com, 2013). That achievement, along with collaborations with hundreds of artists (across various genres – allowing him to tap into different genres outside of hip-hop) has helped exponentially increase his brand awareness, familiarity, association, which will ultimately materialize into brand loyalty, and the proof is in the numbers; his album sales.

This will help propel Lil’ Wayne, both as a brand and as person, as entities (or entity – as you cannot separate the man from the brand) that really care about people, especially women and children who are considered the most vulnerable in society, and also position the brand as not profit driven. This will enable consumers and all related stakeholders to connect and engage with Lil’ Wayne on an emotional level, thus forming sustainable long-term relationships that are bound by loyalty and trust. This will also position him as consumercentric and not as an extroverted overconfident narcissist.

AFTER THIS ASSIGNMENT This assignment was done in April/May in 2013. In October, on the 19th, 2013; I learned of a similar initiative that Lil’ Wayne actually launched. On the 16th of October, Lil’ Wayne partnered up with The Motivational Edge to launch “Indiegogo” campaign. The Motivational Edge is a non-profit after school program that

COMMENTS FROM THE

motivates the youth

BLOG :

towards academic achievement and

“I know Wayne is

increases their self-

always talking about

confidence in life.

pussy and killing

He donated thirty

people’ but if you look

thousand US dollars

deep on the inside of

($30 000).

him, he is such a good person. He truly loves

This initiative has

his fans. The sad thing

already yielded

is that he gets soooo

positive results.

much hate. #Weezy Fan 4 Life” – Alissa on

Results in terms of

Oct 16, 2013 at 3:16

objectives will be

improving on the

pm.

achieved through

brand image, and

synergized brand

making the inner

contact points (both

beauty that is not ‘on

brand and consumer

display’ come to the

generated moments).

fore.

All the brand extension


THE OBSERVANT THINKERNEUR Both my brand

extension and the one initiated by Lil’ Wayne himself, all bring the collaboration, inner beauty/beast and people aspect of the Thinkerneur model to Although that may be a sample of one, it illustrates the power of doing good. Depending on the

not the artist, inside, is a very good person, just that he is misunderstood.

level of loyalty the fans for him; these types of initiatives are able to either reinforce the loyalty and brand equity that already exists or rebuilds it from scratch.

This quote: “…but if you look deep on the inside of him, he is such a good person” beautifully captures the very finding that was established; that the person, and

This is due to the inner beauty not being showcased and only playing second fiddle to the artist – the creative lyricist.

the fore. It is through fully understanding the above that relevant and effective solutions manifested. My brand extension was almost intuitive.


VEGA PROJECT 3 1 INNOVATION CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT & BUSINESS MANAGEMENT 2013 2013

BRAND Live Brief

CHALLENGE To formulate a business idea that fills a gap within a relevant industry or sector.

OBJECTIVE

are always the same)

to meet all branding

the people (the

– although this may

needs.

freelancers) needs,

provide flexibility; it lacks in terms of

RESEARCH

BIG IDEA

diversity expansion (Competition) • No freelancing online agency is

Live Brief

EXECUTIONS

and in understanding

Based on the

relative offerings

advertising solutions

insight and the

and competitive

and executions

gap identified; we

edges), we were able

(Competition)

created a virtual

to identify a viable

• Self promotion is key

brand building and

gap and construct a

(People – freelancers)

communications

business idea that was

organisation called,

unique and relevant.

INSIGHTS

Live Brief. With Live Brief,

economy’ –

provide clients with

Thinkerneur Model

temporary teams/

the best talent that

– People | Trends

groups

the virtual world can

| Competitors |

offer. This gives us the THE GAP

competitive edge of not being limited to

There is no fullservice brand and communication

• Creative freelancers

agency in South

• Brands looking to

Africa offering talent

establish their products

and solutions from a

and services within

global pool and solely

respective markets

dedicated to brand

FINDINGS

substantial income),

to branding and

we will be able to

TARGET MARKET

projects and make

the competition (their

We live in a ‘project

Collaboration

gain experience by working of legitimate

solely dedicated

To create a business model for the business

wants and desires (to

building

POSITIONING

• Traditional agencies are expensive

Live Brief is an online

(Competition)

branding & advertising

• These traditional

solutions agency fully-

agencies offer fixed

staffed with a diverse

talent (creative teams

range of freelancers

human capital, and therefore not limited to a certain type of thinking due to the diversity that we will be at our disposal. GROUP MEMBERS Stephanie Hall Thabile Gumede Bogosi Motshegwa Brigitta Jordaan Thato Kgatlhanye Carlene De Jongh Byunderstanding the trends or norms within the industry,


THE OBSERVANT THINKERNEUR The collaboration aspect of the model is self-explanatory. The success of Live Brief is highly dependent on the collaboration amongst all stakeholders; our clients, freelancers and ourselves as Live Brief.


VEGA PROJECT 4 1 BRAND CREATIVE CHALLENGE DEVELOPMENT 2013 2013


AGENCY NAME Prim & Puppet GROUP MEMBERS Alexis Kalligiannis, Nicolle Shana, Demi Jacobs, Robert Storom, Gregory Wylde, Phelerso Molapo, Nathi Xinwa

BRAND Absa, a member of Barclay’s – Pan Africa Development Graduate Programme (PADGP)

PROBLEM The postgraduate development market is highly competitive and intensively saturated

CHALLENGE / OBJECTIVE

Barclay’s) – how do

the programme, and

we communicate

58% would join if they

under relevant

knew (People)

brands without losing salience?

INSIGHTS

RESEARCH

• If our target audiences don’t know

Thinkerneur Model –

about something,

People | Competitors

they cannot want it

| Inner Beauty/Beast |

(People)

Collaboration | Trends

• Our target

TARGET MARKET • Postgraduate students from Selected part of Africa (selected countries where Barclay’s has

audiences share the same core values and morals, however; we need to communicate to these people, of different cultures, differently (People)

KEY ISSUES

footprint) • Undergraduate

• How can ABSA use

students from the

the most relevant

same parts of Africa

contact points to

(selected countries

create positive brand

where Barclay’s has

experiences, as well

footprint)

as create engaging

FINDINGS

social platforms that will build sustainable relationships with our

• Respective

postgraduates?

competitors own a

•How can ABSA

specific space or

successfully

To position the

theme in the minds of

communicate this

programme

their target audiences

campaign in various

competitively relative

(Competitors – E.g.:

markets without losing

to competitors, and to

Achievers; Innovators,

salience?

ensure that Barclay’s

Entrepreneurs,

is seen as the go-to-

Leaders, etc.)

employer of choice

• Absa lacked

across the African

brand presence

continent.

on campuses

Two different

(Competitors)

brands (Absa and

• 77% hadn’t heard of

BRAND OBJECTIVES • To build a sustainable two-way relationship with postgraduates to ensure ABSA’s PAGDP is top-of-mind. • To build a sustainable two-way relationships that will ensure our target audience become brand believers.

COMM. OBJECTIVES • To ensure that 300 postgraduates with the “African Quotient” apply to the programme by September 2014. • To inform all postgraduates in the top 5 universities about the ABSA PAGDP by October 2014.

POSITIONING To those postgraduates with a blend of intellect, character, and purpose; Absa’s PAGD Programme is designed to support these personalities as they grow and evolve through fulltime employment across


VEGA PROJECT 4 1 BRAND CREATIVE CHALLENGE DEVELOPMENT 2013 2013 a variety of African countries.

BIG IDEA

with African Quotient

MOBISITE

The understanding

is that:

of the competitors

“Africa is no place for

The mobisite was

is inevitable. Finding

the faint-hearted.

established as

a gap and a theme

research showed

(to own) was easy

It is a tough market

that our target

once the competition

with challenges and

audiences were most

AQ = IQ + EQ (

was understood.

obstacles lurking at

making use of the

Inteligence Quotient +

Absa can now own

every twist and turn. In

smart phones and

Emotional Quotient)

the African Quotient

this market you need

research (secondary)

concept. This concept

a certain kind of logic

also showed that

is powerful and has

and drive to make it

phone penetration

legs to carry both

big. You need AQ.

throughout Africa on

African Quotient

THINKENEUR MODEL Collaboration is the first key component of this project. The collaboration of different skills

the programme and

the increase.

the mother brand(s)

It is imperative to note

simultaneously.

that all executions

EXECUTIONS

and expertise was

CAREER DAY

apply for both the Absa and Barclay’s

These are an essential

brands respectively

contact point in

imperative. The

Through the various

– with interpretation

the communication

group comprised of

contact points, we

where relevant.

strategy research

designers, researchers,

will educate our

strategists, finance

target audiences

students and

and illustrate what

copywriters.

the African Quotient

A dedicate website

very minimal, almost

means and why they

for the programme

none-existent when

The idea (model)

(postgraduates)

was created.

compared to its

generation process

should apply for the

The website was

primary competitors.

was highly dependent

Pan African Graduate

a pivotal contact

Therefore, although

on the efficient

Development

point as it allowed

career days are

mechanism of the

Programme.

for not only the

mandatory, the

primary medium

concept conceived

Since the graduate

for registration, but

allows for the

By understanding the

programme offered

it is an information

brand to create

people (model) that

by Absa and Barclay’s

dissemination contact

branded and unique

we were targeting,

is competitively

point. Also, the

communications

we were able to

positioned, as it is

website allows for easy

that will allow target

communicate with

the only programme

access and maximum

audiences to resonate

them efficiently by

that targets students

reach.

with the brands

constructing relevant

from other African

(Absa and Barclay’s)

conversations.

countries. So the idea

respectively.

group dynamics.

findings revealed WEBSITE

that Absa’s presence on campuses was


FREEBIES

that leverages the

personality and

messages to targeted

concept and gives it

therefore perceptions

audiences. As these

These freebies form

legs and allows for the

about it were generic

magazine will be

part of the (career

education of it. These

and industry specific.

sent to those who

day) communication

presentations will be

strategy as research

carried at all identified

The online competition

activities during

revealed freebies

campuses. Individuals

also allows for the

the career days on

attracted students

that have been

primary target

respective campuses.

and they formed a

identified as having

audiences to define

significant incentive

the African Quotient

AQ according to

for participation by

(AQ) will deliver all

their interpretation by

the students.

presentations in

telling stories that show

The Media plan

respective countries

or reveal the AQ within

established was for

and universities.

individuals.

the South African

BANNERS

participate in the

The presentation

MEDIA PLAN

campaign. As the

The Banners were

blueprint provides

created for on-

a template for all

campus display, and

respective universities

All communications,

only be physically

they communicate

across the continent.

competitions and any

carried out within

relevant content will

the borders of South

ONLINE COMPETITION

be shared through

Africa.

; WHAT’S YOUR AQ

social media. This will

STORY?

increase our reach

For the other Africa

and ensure that both

countries, the media

The online competition

brands (Absa and

plan will be similar.

The posters

was created to allow

Barclay’s) become

communicate the

the brands to have

relevant.

Budget:

product’s value

conversations with the

proposition. And they

target audiences and

BROCHURES

The budget that was

are for career faires

the general public.

on different Universities

This gives the brand

The brochures formed

million. The overall

in South Africa and

the opportunity to

as collateral during

amount spent

across the various

engage in two-way

career days. They

accumulated to just

relevant African

conversations. This will

communicate the AQ

under R 1.8 million.

countries.

allow for a relationship

concept and gives

between the brands

more information on

AQ TALKS &

and their target

the postgraduate

PRESENTATION

audiences.

programme.

Findings from the

AQ DEFINED DIRECT

As part of the

secondary and

MAIL MAGAZINE

communication

primary research

strategy, have

revealed that

The AQ Defined

been created as

Absa lacked brand

Direct Mail Magazine

the product’s value proposition. POSTERS & NEWSPAPERS

SOCIAL MEDIA

the campaign can

allocated was R 2

BLUEPRINT

a unique offering

budget was very tight,

allows for targeted


THE BEGINNING. The end of this publication is by no means the end. This has been the first annual inaugural publication of Thinkerneur. You now know what the Thinkerneur is about. I trust that you have enjoyed this issue and that you look forward to the next one in 2014.


FUTURE PLANS During my time at Vega, particularly in 2013, I’ve had the best experience that any student can dream of. I have learned so much and I have also grown as an individual. With that said; I have become independent in my thinking and in terms of setting goals. Below are a few things that I would like to continue to work on and actually execute:

YORAWECHO

THINKERNEUR

THINKERNEUR

THINKERNEUR AS A

SESSIONS

AWARDS

BRAND + BUSINESS

that was inspired by one

I initiated a project called:

Brand Challenge is the

Of course, I will

South Africa’s social issues;

wisdom with magic

reason that I am now at

start a new

which is rape. Yorawecho is

SESSIONS during my time

Vega. If it weren’t for Brand

consultancy

an acronym for: YOu RApe

at Vega (though it never

Challenges, I would never

agency.

WE CHOp. The primary

took off). The purpose of

have been able to study

It’s inevitable.

purpose is to instill a level of

this initiative was to instill

at Vega. While optimists

Watch this space.

accountability and respon-

a sense of confidence

may argue that I could

sibility as many rapists are

amongst all the students

have possibly gotten

There are a lot of things

left to roam the streets with-

through the engagement

to Vega through other

that I look forward to in the

out any real repercussions.

of industry relevant content.

means, I believe that the

future. But in my culture; the

This was to be achieved

way I ended up at Vega is

less revealed about me, the

I had started a blog but

by inviting guest speakers

exactly how it should have

better – It’s a black thing.

nothing really came of it. A

from the industry, and

happened and there are

Facebook page has been

letting them give relevant

no other ways.

set up going forward. You

presentations on issues

will soon see the movement

regarding brand building

on social and mainstream

and beyond.

media.

Going forward, I will

Yorawecho is a movement

continue with this concept. The brighter side of not having actually executed is that I can now fully own it; as you may have realised that these sessions will now be referred to as: Thinkerneur Sessions as opposed to Wisdom with magic SESSIONS.

OWEN KESSEL, OF COURSE From 2014 I will be working for the greatest agency in the world - OwenKessel.


THE THINKERNE INTERVIEW Are you ready to get into the industry? I was ready before I even came to Vega. So after three (3) of Vega, you can imagine my readiness levels.

So you are not afraid of entering the industry and tackling real briefs? No. Fear is the kidnapper of happiness and enjoyment.


EUR What About People who have been doing this for years before you? What about them? Aren’t you feeling a little intimidated? Lol, no, without sounding arrogant, I think that those who have been doing it for a while have an advantage in the form of experience, but experience only teaches you about past events. Yes, experience can assist in predicting the future, but predictions are assumptions. I feel that I have the advantage.

Do you have any competition? No. There is no competition.

What do you mean?

Who are you competing with?

Are you the greatest?

I used to compete with

Uhhmm… competition

Yes. Without hesitation,

the BBM (Brand Building

is different for me. Most

shame or fear. I am the

and Management)

students and people

greatest. And since there

students that finished five

in the industry who do

is only one Thinkerneur in

(5) years ago.

what I do are referred to

the world, at this point, I

I used to compete with

as either brand strategist

am uniquely great.

the BBM students that

or marketers, And I’m

graduated last year.

neither of those, I am

I used to compete with

a Thinkerneur. So, I’m

people who have five

essentially in my own

and more years in brand

league.

strategy development.

Isn’t it arrogant to speak like that? One would interpret

I used to compete with

So at the moment, there

that as arrogance due

anyone and everyone

is no competition. Until

to their propensity to be

who studied what I’ve

the day someone refers

or feel weak. No one

studied and those that

to himself or herself as a

should be intimidated by

are behind me – also

Thinkerneur, I would then

what I just said.

studying what I’ve

engage with them to

studied.

see who is the greatest

When I say that I am

Thinkerneur, but before

the greatest or uniquely

that, there is only one

great, I am merely

of me. I am therefore in

referring to this idea

competition with myself.

or notion of building brands, creating communication, and growing businesses. I am in no way better than any other human being. But when it comes to building brands, I do things better. Greater.


DEDICATIONS As a Thinkerneur; gratitude is a virtue. As mentioned under ‘Future Plans’; I wouldn’t have been at Vega if it weren’t for certain things and people taking place.

This is dedicated to all those that I have encountered along the journey. I may forget a name or a few names. Please do not feel unappreciated or forgotten if you feel that you played a role in my life, but you weren’t mentioned. I am aware, I am a very conscious individual (hence the dedication section) that naming people is quiet dangerous as some may feel that they ought to mentioned but weren’t. Below are the names of people that I would like to say thank you to; whether our interactions (or lack there of) were filled with laughter, smiles, stifled smiles due to awkwardness or anger and bitterness were; I learned from you. Some I managed to teach – I sincerely hope I did. In attempt to avoid being ‘sued’ for not mentioning other peoples’ names; I would firstly like to say Thank You to everyone. If you have helped me in any kind of way; this is dedicated to you. If you have ever believed in me; thank you. Your belief in me fueled me with a sense of a ‘bigger purpose’.

Great thinkers are great listeners. As you read the dedications, you will see what I mean by this.


MOM – At an early age, you taught me how to wash my socks and school uniform, because I knew not a lot (I thought I knew a lot), I percieved that as punishment. I thought that you didn’t love men, but I later realised that you loved me so much that you gave me invaluable lessons. I can now wash and clean myself without failure on a daily basis. I love you mom.

Grand Mother from my mother’s side – I love you. I will visit; I promise. I will bring you a grandson son soon.

Kagiso Seripe – Shout out to you girl. Love you.

Tshepiso Molefe – Shout out to you girl. Love you. All my aunts from my mother’s side – I love you all.

Finally, I am going to work now, I will never ask for transport money again. You can breathe easily now.

DAD

– Thank you for all the life lessons that

you gave me.

You have a funny way of showing your love for me. I think in all my life, you said: “I love you” three or four times – at least the times that I remember. But you showed your love for me everyday. I really appreciate all that you have done for me. I may not say that I love a lot (at all even), but I will show you how much I love you.

Family in Soshanguvhe – Shout out to them (Tebogo, Karabo, Fonah, Lucky)

Family in eThwathwa

Family from my father’s side – Shout to all of you – Nomsa, Mmabatho, Mmaphefo, Neo and shout out to all your kids. Shot out to Malume.

Kekeletso Koena – Shout out to you boy. Thanks for the work you did for me. Your work has not gone to waste. You will see one day. I appreciate your help. Shout out to you.

Frans – Shout out you boy. I appreciate you support boy. You came to my brother’s funeral. That was sweet.

Otsile Zeus – I’m still waiting for that tender boy. Thanks for your support boy. I appreciate that.

Sifiso Hadebe – Shout to you boy. We used to be close back in the

– Shout out to them (Kgari, Nkoko, Junky, Lovey, Ike,

old days. Before they built engine. Remember the

Molefe, Mdala, Melefe and Boss)

tree we used to climb and hang around? Before they built engine? That was cool. Shout out to you boy. All the best with you music career.


DEDICATIONS... Madiba Street

Dumisani Khanyile

– Shout out to my boys from Meadowlands. I miss you

– Shout out you boy. You had my back once. I appreciate

guys. Shout to Thabiso, Thabang, Tony Montana, Mohau,

that boy.

Eugene (May your soul rest in peace), Tshepo Mathibela, Kgampu, and all those I forgot. Shout out you gents. We

Shout out to all my Northview Peeps: Thabo Moloi, Edgar,

should hook up.

Danny, and everyone else. Kelebogile shout out to you

Braamfischerville – Shout out to all my niggas. Muzi, Sjava, Vicks, Tshepo, Tshepo, Skhokho, and everyone else. Shout out to you.

Mrs. Steyn

girl. I don’t see you anymore in the bus. I hope that you good.

Myrtle Adams – You taught me how to write ‘between’ in short = b2. Lol. Shout out to you. I trust that you are still teaching. You

– I remember how, in my first term in grade 8, disappointed

have a wealth of knowledge to share, and I’m glad that I

you were when the top 10 students were mentioned and

became part of your sharing process.

I wasn’t on the list. You assumed that since I was doing great in your English class, I was doing great everywhere.

Avril Plaatjies

Lol, the truth is, I loved your English class, and the rest of

– Shout out to you girl. May ma se kind. You always believe

the subjects, except Biology, were useless. But you always

in me. Always. Thanks.

thought that I was smart. You also believed that I could be better. It was in your English class that I found my passion and career. It was in your class that I knew that I was a #Thinkerneur. At that time, it wasn’t referred to as

Zama Nkwanyana – Hola Boy. One more word from you about Orlando Pirates being the best team, you’ll still be my friend boy.

‘Thinkerneur’, whatever it was referred to as, I knew I was going to be it.

Mrs. Mulena - Biology teacher – You always made me feel like a young biologist. Everything I got into your class, I felt like I was the ish. You encouraged me to be great.

Jabulile Nhlapo

Imagination Lab – Shout out to the class of 2010. I love you all, and I trust that you are all doing great. I can’t mention all of you.

Lucy Mphatswe – You have no idea how you helped me. You were simply making a call, and I tried to ignore the invitation to Imagination Lab, but you insisted. I said to you: “I don’t

– Shell garage. Lol. Shout out to you girl. I want you to be

think that I want a certificate”, and you said: “Please

my personal doctor my friend. I appreciate the personal

come check it out and if you don’t like it, you don’t have

chats we had. You always had my back. You believed in

to do it.” I listened, and now, I work for the best advertising

me. I thank you.

agency in the world. I love you for that.

Jose Zulu

Colin Reddy

– Shout to you Bouliny!! I feel you dawg. You, Jabu and I

(Bow down :D) I’m kidding. You believed in my name and

should hang out. You set it up Bouliny.

me. Thank you for seeing the bigger me. When you said that you loved my name; I knew I had a strong brand identity.


. Musa Ngcobo

My Brand Challenge group2010:

– I will invite you to my wedding. I hope that you are doing

‘Rooted’ – You guys are amazing. You guys didn’t treat

well. Thank you for believing in me.

me like a visitor. I was from Imagination Lab, and you guys

Tumi Dhlamini – When are we starting with that business?

were in your second, third and Honours levels respectively. You guys let me present even though I had no experience, and you trusted me enough to put your Brand Challenge marks on my shoulders.

Dimamzo “Bogossssi, Bogosssi, Bogosssi!!!” She always says that when she sees me. She makes me feel like a king. Colin Reddy started the “Bogosssi, Bogosssi” chant. Lol.

Thank you. I love you all. I trust that you are all doing great within your careers.

Jono – Not a lot of people know this; but Jono, you played a

Nnaniki Malesa - Always instilling confidence in me. Always challenging my mind. It can be intimidating at times, but I love it. Thank you.

Dr. Norah Stephen Clarke – You are one of the great lecturers. I always loved your

huge role in me getting into Vega. Thank you forever. You encouraged me to go for it. All I wanted to do after Imagination Lab was to go work. I was feeling the pressure of bringing something home, and not relying on my parents. But you, Jono, you saw an opportunity. You saw something that I never saw. I did as you advised, and now, 2013 is my final year at Vega and this is my portfolio.

English lessons. You believed in me, always. Thank you.

There are no amounts of ‘thank yous’ that can match my gratitude. You are amazing.

Tebogo Letsaolo

I hope that you do come to Vega graduation 2014 in

– Shout to you man. We are doing that thing soon boy.

Johannesburg.

Believe that. No turning back. Even if it means working 36

Pieter

hours a day.

– Thank you for believing in my idea when I first pitched

Gordon Cook – I hear that you are the one who came up with the idea of inviting the Imagination Lab class of 2010 to Brand Challenges 2010. You have no idea how that idea and decision changed my life. Shout to you and everyone who supported your decision.

Ottoline – Shout to you Ottoline. You believe in me, thank you. I know that you also played a huge role in ensuring that I got the bursary. Thank you.

it to you. Remember that? That Nike Advert? I remember you said that you pitched the idea to Gordon and he loved it. You are the one who taught me that great creative work That was the happiest day of my life in 2010. The advert never materialized, but something bigger and better did. I came to Vega. Now I am showcasing my portfolio and next year, I will be graduating. Thank you. I apologise for not registering for the Copywriting course; I know you were not happy about that and… I missed the opportunity to be the greatest Copywriter. I would have been the greatest copywriter to come out of Vega. But I do not regret registering for the BBBM (BA in Brand Building and Management) course. Thanks Pieter.


DEDICATIONS... Roela

Nicole

– Roela, you may have never taught me in class, but the

– I’m not really sure if I should thank you for deciding to

first time I met you, you taught me humility. You reminded

leave your newborn baby at home to take us for Critical

me that: “One does not need a reason to do good.”

Studies. You love what you do, and I acknowledge that.

Thank you for the lift that you gave me to the Randburg

You only came in 2013, but also believed in me. Your

taxi rank. I remember you said that you had a class, but

words of encouragement and wisdom have not gone

you sacrificed the students’ and your time to make sure

unnoticed or unappreciated. Thank you for believing

that I got to my interview on time. Thank you, Roela. I will

in me. My goal was to make you as comfortable and

forever be appreciative of you and your green Citi Golf.

welcomed as possible. I hope I did that.

I don’t see it anymore these days. If you are thinking of selling it, please sell it to me, it would be a great honour.

All my lecturers at Vega

Bafana – I’m going to make shit bomb elsewhere. You provided some great creative insights in the short space of time

– Whether we spoke about the weather, tests, and

that you were here. Thanks for me making me feel

assignments, it always ended with a smile.

uncomfortable about being Photoshop, InDesign, and

Lerato

Illustrator challenged.

– Hi Lerato!! How are you?!! . Thanks for the occasional lifts

Zongile

to the bus stop. You are a great soul. Unfortunately I never

– I still maintain that you left early. You are one theatrical

got to experience your magic in class. Next time? I hear

lecturer who made Critical Studies more interesting and

that your work is brilliant. I’d love to see it some day.

engaging as possible. You are so enthusiastic; it’s amazing.

Alex – Just when I couldn’t wait to finish with Creative Development, and ecstatic at the news that BBM students

I shall remember our off the record conversations more though. You always gave good advice. Shout out to you. I wish you all the best with your relationship and family.

don’t do Creative Development in 3rd year, I got my

Robbie

first distinction with you ☺. Suddenly, I enjoyed Creative

– Every school, Varsity or college should have a Robbie in

Development so much, that I wanted to carry it into

it. I never knew Economics could be this fun. Lol, Robbie

3rd year. Thank you. You always encouraged me to be

you are one hilarious dude. You helped shape my outlook

more creative. May I please come for an occasional

on politics and the world. Shout out to you. You always

consultation next year? Thank you.

told it like how it is. That was cool.

Shakira

Jackie Storer

– I finally felt the pain of you shutting down my idea for the

– Thank you Jackie for taking us through that thick

first time. Or was it the second time? Lol, unfortunately I

textbook. You made it look easy. But most of all, I’d just like

never experienced your knowledge in class. But thanks for

to thank you for believing in me and always seeing the

helping me with one assignment.

bigger picture. I really appreciate all the conversations we

Kris/Chris – Thanks for helping out with that assignment on Freelancers. Shout out to you.

had. Thank you. Unfortunately you left quickly. I wish you all the best.


. Karen Roos

Karen

– You are a brilliant mind that sees brilliance in me. If I

Head of RNs – former)

could be half the strategist that you are, I will change the

– I met you before I came to Vega. The conversations we

world. But I don’t want to be a brand strategist anymore.

had were great. Thank you. You listened to my problems

I’m a #Thinkerneur now. Thank you. You believe in me so

and you gave good advice. Thank you.

much, if your belief in me were like electricity, it would power up and light up the entire Milk way for the next three decades. You are so kind and calm. Your outlook on

RNs – Shout out to Jennifer Hamilton Brown, Linda, Queeneth,

life always fascinates me. I’m in awe of your knowledge

Carol, Rushka, and the new RNs. You guys always

and wisdom.

encouraged me to go for it and do the best that I can.

Asheeqah

Brand Challenge 2012

– Why didn’t you give me 100% for the Lil’ Wayne

– Shout out to all the members. Shout out to Danny. You

assignment? It was a Lil’ Wayne assignment for music’s

are a darling. It didn’t turn out as I had imagined; but I

sake. Lol, I’m just kidding. I remember when we first got

enjoyed working with all of you. It was in this group that I

you in second year; it was either your way or Jan Smuts.

learned what not to do and what to do for the next Brand

Most students were mad at you. You are one incredible

Challenge.

lecturer. It was unfortunate to see you leave Vega. You always believed in me and that I can always do better. You pushed all of us in the final, so hard that some of tripped over and fell. You always gave sound advice. Thank you for all the outings and guest lectures or speakers that you organised. You didn’t have to; but you loved us and what you did so much that it became like an obligation to do it. Thank you. Thank for believing in me.

Brand Challenge 2013 – I believe we had the best team. I enjoyed working with all of you. You guys were amazing. We had our moments, but overall, I think that we did great in the end. I learned a lot from you guys and learned a lot about you guys. Shout out to all of you. You guys are very smart. All of you. Shout out to Nicolle, Nathi (Multimedia), Rocx, Demi, Greg, Pheletso and Alexis. All the best with your careers and

Michele Venter-Davies

futures guys.

– Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for believing

Samsung 3Star Pow Wow

that I have a great mind. And Nicolle will never forget your comment.

– Shout to Gordon, Gordon’s wife, Vanessa, The Breinstorm team, to Samsung. This was an amazing experience. I

Teressa

made new friends from across the continent. Shout out to

– When you were still at the library, I only came to the

I deserved to be part of the experience. Thank you all. I

library to have a chat. You were always genuinely concerned. You always asked me how things are going. I appreciate that. You always believe in me. Always believed that I can and will do it.

Jennifer and Linda. Shout out everyone who thought that really appreciate all of that. Shout out to Lungile, lol we had fun didn’t we?

Vanessa – I love how you say my name. You make it sound even more cooler. Lol. Thank you for believing in me, always. I appreciate that. Thank you. Even next year, after I’ve left


DEDICATIONS... be all right. A gentle soul that ironically even the Vega, if you ever need anything, please do not hesitate to

tsunami will not shiver.

make contact. I am always more than willing to help.

Zuza – Whenever I think of Lungi I think of Zuza. Shout out to you for the lifts you gave me during the three years at Vega. Thank you for the mind jogging conversations. Shout out to you. Say hi to your mom for me.

Amu – Thanks for the lift that you gave us the other day when the taxis were scarce. You helped out a nigga for real. Shout out to you man. Thank you.

Group work – Shout out to all the people that I’ve worked with on group assignments on any subjects. If I’ve ever been in your group, shout out to you. I remember quiet a few people. Shout to: I don’t want to mention names in case I forget one.

Dream Team – I must say that I’m very lucky to have been part of the ‘Dream Team’. This is by no means an arrogant thinking out loud moment. Our intellectual abilities were not what made us the dream team, because if it were, I definitely wouldn’t be part of the team. As individuals, we quickly realised that group assignments were inevitable at Vega, and therefore needed people that we could trust, rely on and had similar, if not the same work ethic. What made us the dream team in my opinion was the fact that we understood each other, we shared the same drive, the same passion, the same vision with regards to schoolwork and every other thing associated.

Shout out to: Brigs - Shout out to you Brigs. Thank you for believing in me and always trusting that things will always

Thato – Aren’t you an inspiration to all though? #Boss #Yo! #StrugglingBillionaire. Shout out to you for believing in me and for encouraging, not just me, but also everyone else to strive for greatness. Shout out to you. Thabi – I will not stop believing, let alone stop listening to Lil’ Wayne. I appreciate that though, but Lil’ Wayne is good for me. I promise you. Lol, shout out to you Thabi for always believing that I am the best. You do believe that right? :D. Hey Yo, B! Steph - Thank you for entrusting me with yourself. You are such a lovely soul. I appreciate you being there and believing in me as well. I still have that portrait of you. You guys are amazing. I could write a whole book about you guys, but then you will steal my shine. Lol. I love you all. We should start on that business idea we came up with in our sixth project for IBM (Innovation and Business Management). We always strived to be better, to do better, and not better than anyone, but better that we could possibly do. Then as we grew closer and closer and the work we churned was better, all of a sudden, better didn’t cut it anymore. We simply wanted to be great. Our level of thinking had evolved. We wanted to change the way we were taught. We wanted to know why? Why this, why that, why this way, why not that way? We just wanted to know why. That is what made us the dream team. If the marks were good, that was simply a bonus.


. Neo Lebyane – Shout out mu nigga. Thanks for always believing in me dawg. I really appreciate that. I’m going to visit you soon dawg, I promise. All the best with your career ntwana

Khaya Ngcobo – Shout to you man. You are a good man. Thanks for believing in me man. I hope that we can someday work some more on those charity drives we initiated once upon a time on Facebook.

yak’. You must come visit me.

Mmalodi Moche – My Leader, I hope

Lebone Segolidi

that you find this a good read. I hope that you enjoyed

– Shout to you dawg. You always believed in me. Always. I appreciate that. We had good times. I wish you all the best dawg. Even though Danny thought our Creative Development project was weak, we still believe that it was great. Shout out to you boss.

reading this. I know that you have an impeccable taste for literature. I also thank you for believing in me and thinking. Thanks for digging my writing skills. Thank you for encouraging me with positive goals to achieve. Shout out to you.

Kristine Joseph – Thanks sweetheart. You also believed in me. I appreciate

To those who played their parts in my life, but I am NOT

that. You have the most beautiful smile, after my girlfriend

aware of – In my Thinkerneur model, there’s an aspect of

of course. Lol, but seriously though, you have an amazing

it, called ‘collaboration’. As a Thinkerneur, I believe that

smile. All will be good my friend. Shout out to you. Jessica

even when we shine as individuals, there are people,

has amazing legs. Please tell her I said so.

whether explicitly or implicitly so; there are people who

Sheila Mokoena

collaborate (sometimes on your behalf without our knowledge) in order to help us reach our goals.

– Thank you for believing in me. I appreciate every positive word you spoke towards me. I dig that. Thanks. You are a

This shout out goes to those people who helped me, but I

great soul.

didn’t even know it. Thank you.

To All Vega Students – I think that I have spoken or

Mohau Mabaso – Shout to you my friend.

exchanged a comment with almost every student on

No one can replace my late brother, but you a brother

campus; therefore I give a shout out to all of you and all

from another mother. I’m sorry I missed your birthday this

the lecturers. I’m naturally bad with names, so I won’t

year. I feel bad. Happy belated birthday blood. I love

remember all of you by name, but shout out to all of you.

you man. We always speak about positive man-to-man stuff. You always encourage me to do me. To do greater.

To the cleaning staff – Shout out to all of you. You always

I appreciate that man. Our dreams and plans will come

made working on campus a clean experience. Shout to

true.

you for doing all the cleaning. You are not cleaning for me, but I worked in all the spaces that were cleaned by

Meme E-lectrified – You have electrified

you, so shout to you for that. Thank you. And oh, thank you

my life with your presence. You are such a great soul

for warming my lunch at times. I appreciate that.

full of wisdom. Our conversations are always great. I always learn something new whenever we talk. Thank for collaborating on my life and success. I also missed your birthday this year. Am I a bad friend?


DEDICATIONS. Kabelo Motshegwa (My late brother – I

appreciate you taking your time and dedicating some of

love you boy). No amount of innovation, design thinking

it to my portfolio and me. Thanks Lefedi. I appreciate that.

and idea generation will ever bring you back. Yet, no

The photos that you took of me are amazing!

level of amnesia will take away my memories of you and I together. I remember when I used to love the Mini Cooper,

I have met a lot of incredible people in my life. I just

and I would daydream of the days that I would fetch you

want to say thank you to everyone who contributed to

from school. Unfortunately your life was cut short. I miss

producing the #Thinkerneur. I can’t put down everyone’s

you. Please come back for a day to be the best man at

name here, but all your names and memories are

my wedding? Remember when were joked around about

entrenched in my heart and in my mind. Thank you all.

who will bring an ugly wife home? Lol, I think you owe me

Please do not feel bad if your name wasn’t mentioned

boy, because my future wife is beautiful. Lol. Thanks. I love

and you feel that it should have. Thank you.

you. I miss you. If all the above-mentioned people could be in one room, I

I wish that you were here to see me now.

Nathi – Thank you so much for helping me with my portfolio. I really appreciate your help and efforts. Your work ethic is impeccable. I really admire it. I’m not saying that because you helped me with my portfolio, but because I know so. I could never thank you enough. Thank you very much.

Nosi – Thank you for coming to my rescue dear. I really appreciate your help and hard work. You designed my Thinkerneur logo and visual identity. I really appreciate that. I could never thank you enough. Thank you.

Lefedi Radebe – Aww man. What can I say? You are the best photographer man. Look at how you made me look cool. Thank you so much man. I really

am pretty sure that they would get along just fine.


SPECIAL MENTION Thank you to the greatest advertising agency of all time. Thank you for believing in me. You didn’t know me, but you took your hard earned resources and invested in me. You did the right thing. I could never thank you enough. To Vaughan and Felix, From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU. You changed my life for the better.


Nelisiwe Ndaba Will I ever swim in the deepest ocean for you. No! Will I walk from Cape to Cairo for you? Hell no! Do you know why I won’t do those things for you? Because those activities will only prove my physical fitness. And leaving you behind, that would be my weakness. My strength is in every minute spent with you. I love you.


Thinkerneur (Portfolio2013/14)