‘First of its Kind’ brand expo launched in South Africa
Affinity Publishing, which produces the highly regarded Encyclopaedia of Brands & Branding in South Africa, will in 2009 stage the country’s first comprehensive brand exhibition, Brand Xpo.
Under the guidance of an expert advisory board, Brand Xpo will showcase a selection of iconic brands in a manner that will appeal to business, marketing and communications professionals, as well as consumers.
This approach – which is described by Affinity’s Ken Preston as a ‘brandscape’ – is a first for South Africa and is intended to encourage visitors to explore and interact with brands on a variety of different levels.
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He explains: “Brands are everywhere. From boutique stores to garage shops, they’re displayed in vast vehicle showrooms and hidden in petite personal handbags. They’re on your clothes, in your cupboards, on the box and in your face. There is no escaping them. Brands are a mainstay of modern life. And – at Brand Xpo 2009 – they’ll lay themselves bare in the first show of its kind in South Africa.”
Brand Xpo is Affinity Publishing’s brainchild but its advisors include an impressive line-up of marketing exports: André Beyers (André Beyers Marketing), Andrew Human (The Loerie Awards), Andy Rice (Yellowwood Brand Architects), Derek Carstens (First National Bank), Derick de Jongh (UNISA), Gab Mampone (SABC), Gordon Cook (Vega School of Brand Communication), Heidi Brauer (Ipsos Markinor), Jeremy Sampson (Interbrand Sampson), Mike Perry (Perry & Associates), Nicola Kleyn (GIBS), Roger Sinclair (BrandMetrics), Sean McCoy (HKLM), Sizakele Marutlulle (Moonchild) and Thebe Ikalefeng (Brand Leadership).
“This Advisory Board has been tasked with ensuring that Brand Xpo stays true to its promise of delivering a high-quality, interactive and interesting experience befitting global and local participating brands,” Preston points out.
The Advisory Board has already suggested Brand Xpo’s primary audience be segmented into three groups – marketers of today, marketers of the future, and consumers – and that activities and displays be developed to appeal to, and benefit, all three.
The first two groups, marketers of today and marketers of the future, will achieve maximum benefit from the ‘industry days’ that will form the backbone of the exhibition. According to Preston, these are aimed at SMEs, branding agencies, corporates, colleges and universities, all of whom will derive great value through skills transfer sessions and displays, and learning how the various elements of branding are used to build profitable brands.
“For those who lack a background in marketing, the world of brands and branding will be explained through a series of ‘Brand Knowledge Stations’ and ‘Brand Icon Sidings’ using a variety of mediums to communicate different aspects of this intriguing sector,” Preston says.
“These displays will also be viewable on ‘consumer days’, those days that will be set aside to give all us ‘brand junkies’ the opportunity to learn more about our favourite brands face-to-face.”
He adds that, in addition to showcasing brand successes and publicising brand building approaches, from world-class advertising through to vital corporate social investment programmes, the Xpo will also provide participating brands with an unparalleled opportunity to communicate and interact directly with potential employees – who are searching for employer brands of choice.
Brand Xpo will be brought to life at Gallagher Estate in September 2009 by design partner HKLM and organisers Kirkpatrick & Associates. For further information, contact Ken Preston or Samantha van Staden on 011 442-2366.