The diverse and experienced new board of Brand South Africa (formerly known as the International Marketing Council) is united in its determination to promote the country and build its brand in 2010, South Africa’s milestone year, the organisation says in a press release.
The recently appointed new board of Brand South Africa (BSA) is determined to ensure that South Africans buy into and live the brand promise made in the country’s international marketing campaign, in order to achieve national economic growth.
This is the assurance given by BSA board chairperson Anitha Soni, who says the new board will reinvigorate the nation-branding effort to position South Africa as an attractive destination and partner for tourism, trade and investment, and to help the country realise its international relations objectives.
Soni chairs a board of trustees that was appointed to a three-year term in late 2009 and whose composition reflects both the government and BSA’s belief that diversity and expertise is a winning combination.
Soni, the former deputy chairperson of the first Tourism Black Economic Empowerment Charter Council, is a highly accomplished tourism specialist and award-winning businesswoman.
The board is made up of 12 independent members, as well as nine provincial and three government representatives. The members were selected for their business acumen, expertise in areas such as tourism, local economic development, communication, marketing and sport, and their proven contribution to the wellbeing and upliftment of South African society.
Members’ skills mix and vast experience gained in the private and public sectors enhance the board’s ability to take the South African brand promise, Alive with Possibility, to reality.
“The BSA Board of Trustees is honoured to be given an opportunity to make a voluntary contribution to our nation brand,” says Soni “We are committed to fulfilling the organisation’s revised mandate and leveraging our cumulative strengths and expertise effectively.”
Soni says BSA is mandated to build a national brand which positions South Africa as the country to attract tourism, trade and investment as well as to realise its international relations objectives.
“Building South Africa’s reputation in the international arena must be done with the overriding purpose of national economic growth in mind. To market South Africa successfully, and to achieve the growth objective, it is important to establish a link between the brand promise and its fulfilment,” she says.
“This can only be done if two conditions are met - BSA has to reflect the will of the country, and the council must ensure it obtains citizen buy-in on the brand promise. Only if these conditions are fulfilled will we be able to effect performance delivery on a national basis.
“Over the past seven years BSA has done valuable work to engender the necessary alignment. The members of the new board have the know-how and experience to give even greater impetus to this process to the benefit of Brand South Africa. The composition of the board in terms of independent members and provincial representatives will also prove invaluable.”
“Diversity drives results,” says Soni. “Diverse backgrounds and perspectives enrich the work and enhance an organisation’s ability to succeed. It is imperative to entrench such diversity in the leadership structure.
The composition of the Board makes provision for remarkable diversity across a number of factors, ranging from gender to experience in applicable fields.
“President Zuma, in appointing the Board, also recognised the wealth of leadership in our country. A number of the Board members have proven their bona fides by not only surviving as entrepreneurs by holding their own in successful businesses.
“Sandile Zungu is recognised as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and Chichi Maponya heads up one of South Africa’s proud business successes. Lucas Radebe represents the development and leadership of sports and has held football captain positions both locally and internationally.
“Similarly, other board members have made a contribution to the success of our country. We believe that engaging these fresh, young, and vibrant leaders will serve to deliver on, and, sustain South Africa’s brand profile.
“We also want to see this reflected within the executive team at the IMC. Our leadership collateral in the country must be tapped into to progress our country’s growth objectives.
“While there is much diversity and quality leadership amongst the board, there is also a common denominator, and this is the passion the members have for their country.”
The Presidency has welcomed Soni’s appointment as chairperson, saying her extensive experience and passion for South Africa makes her ideal for the position.
“Through her action-orientated approach she has become known for her strategic expertise, her ability to implement and for producing innovative and workable solutions,” says Collins Chabane, minister in the Presidency.
“Ms Soni has contributed substantially to the development of policy, locally and in the Southern African Development Community region. Her work includes developing the tourism White Paper for South Africa, designing and implementing the initial tourism enterprise programme, marketing strategies for SADC countries and the framework for the SADC Univisa programme. She has also developed the Tourism Human Resources Development Plan for the government of Mozambique,” says Chabane.
Soni says the board is firmly focused on optimising South Africa’s investment in two major global event: the 2010 Fifa World Cup and the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January 2010.
“President Zuma has indicated that 2010 marks South Africa’s most important year since 1994,” says Soni. “The World Cup has led to a resurgence of national pride. BSA has locked into this pride and has launched a number of exciting and robust initiatives which will contribute to growing 2010’s brand capital potential. We will continue to mobilise the nation until the final whistle blows.”
Looking beyond the World Cup, BSA will re-launch its campaign with a competitive value proposition which will reflect the recommendations of the Vision 2025 process (a national long-term plan), the values embedded in the Constitution and the DNA of the nation brand.
Mr Collins Chabane, minister in the Presidency, Performance Management and Monitoring
The International Marketing Council of South Africa, later to be known as Brand South Africa, was established in August 2002 to help create a positive and compelling brand image for South Africa. At that time, the world was unsure about what to think of South Africa, with many different messages being sent out by various sources. These did very little to build the country’s brand and it was evident that to attract tourism and investment there was a need to co-ordinate marketing initiatives to make them more effective.
This led to the creation of the IMC, whose main objective is the marketing of South Africa through the Brand South Africa campaign. There are many benefits to having a consolidated brand image, with the most important being that a consistent Brand South Africa message creates strategic advantages in terms of trade and tourism for the country in an increasingly competitive marketplace.