a much simplified colour palette that enabled practical, costeffective and consistent reproduction of the visual language across a diversity of applications. Many mcel outlets aren’t even permanent structures, let alone have electricity and shop fronts, Harwood says. Yet the brand had to be visible and effective, so we organised brand activation crews, armed with paint and stencils, to enable the sellers to create their own branded outlets. The result is a visible brand presence, without the regulated control of a corporate identity manual. It’s about making a brand work within the challenges of an African environment. Nation Branding The third lesson that HKLM has learned is that there are many branding success stories in Africa and that country branding is on the rise. A number of countries have recognised the value of their own country brands and are looking at investing in brand-building. Says Harwoord: “There could be so many more success stories. We’re going to see much more nation branding from African countries. The approach of 2010, when South Africa will host the FIFA World Cup, economic growth, the increasing appeal of Africa as a tourist destination and growing recognition by the countries themselves of the tangible value of self promotion will see a huge rise in nation branding initiatives. I think South Africa is missing a huge opportunity to brand itself, especially with the 2010 spotlight upon us. Our brand is confused, fragmented and disparate, yet this country has the resources, experience, knowledge and skills to change. Let it not be a massive wasted opportunity.
The Mozambican cellular cellular company mcel, required a transformation of the fragmented brand into a more streamlined, fresh and inspirational one that would radiate energy and sophistication. With a new competitor in the market, a clear differation and unique identity were essential for the survival of the brand.
HKML harmonized the African economic context with the vibrancy of mcel’s world class products and services by gaining insight into Mozambique’s various culturees, languages, buying habits and influences. Monolithic brand architecture was developed, with a colour palette and smile icon that refleted mcel’s proudly Mozambican heritage. The Fun loving spirit of Brazil was introduced to capture the strong South American aspirations that lives in the country.