The “holiday” we didn’t see coming: How do you need to change the way you do business?

Part I: Brand development

South Africa has been forced to wrestle with an uncomfortable truth: the world is constantly changing, and you either learn to change with it, or you go under. As we confront a 21-day lockdown, starting on Thursday, 26 March, many other truths will rise to the surface. The only way forward is to prepare yourself as much as possible.

The central message that’s reverberating throughout the web and social media is that companies are doing business as usual.

But what does this mean at a time when it feels like the carpet is being pulled out from under us?

What does this mean if employees are suddenly working away from each other and the resources, structures, and processes that keep them motivated?

What does this mean if many businesses can’t rely on foot traffic and can’t produce products because there aren’t any workers?

This is a tricky puzzle – one that Insignia Advertising can help you solve step for step, so read on to find out how you need to develop your brand in today’s world.

How to develop your brand

There’s no getting around it. You’ll have to change your marketing strategies to keep current customers and to get new ones because you can’t rely on brick-and-mortar shops or branches, face-to-face consulting, or marketing efforts that centre around events, conferences, showrooms, etc. Right now, it’s about survival, and this is the mindset that must inform your investment decisions.

Consider the following changes at the strategic and tactical levels when it comes to brand development:

  1. Cut the long-term campaigns

Reduce your investments in long-term campaigns that require time to build momentum, and rather drive short-term sales and business outcomes as you keep brand-building alive.

  1. Make your brand useful

People are not interested in fluff or luxury right now – they care about what’s useful. Think about the details of being in a lockdown situation and list what people will find useful under these conditions.

  1. Brand visibility is key

In marketing there’s a phenomenon known as “the mere exposure effect” where customers develop a preference for your brand just because they’ve seen it so often. Brand visibility never gets old, and these days it can be done with very little money. For example, Google Ads are a terrific way to keep your brand visible at a low cost because you only pay per click. Or focus on creating high-quality content that will get traction on social media and push people to your website.

  1. Show off your achievements

Leverage your past successes to create future success! If you’ve had high-profile customers who are willing to give you a testimonial, make sure you plaster this all over your site and social media adverts to build brand authority.

  1. Drive solutions for societal issues

Make your brand stand out as a driver for social change. Any company can add  a hashtag to show they support a social cause, but unless your brand can offer tangible solutions to what is going on in society, your brand will be perceived as distastefully riding the lasts social justice wave for gain. If you’re the kind of company that can step in with a solution to what society is suffering from, then make it happen and make people aware of the good you’re doing!

How can Insignia help?

Brand development is one of Insignia’s top services. Insignia can identify where your best short-term sales will come from and how to market these effectively to ensure a steady income stream. As an agency that shapes and develops brands as they evolve, we are also equipped to position your brand as useful during this volatile time, helping you stay relevant. If you can solve for societal challenges, we’ll help you spread awareness of the good you’re doing.

In terms of content creation, we offer everything you need, from engaging copy to eye-catching designs that communicate what your brand is all about. We’ll also infuse your content with the energy of past success by integrating testimonials and positive feedback, showcasing your company’s strengths.

Stay tuned for future blogs that will delve into changes you also need to make to your:

  • Digital marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Internal communications
  • Web & SEO

Get your head in the game and start thinking creatively! And if you need support and guidance to get everything up and running, the Insignia Advertising team is on standby, ready to get going. Contact us on 083 631 5417/ 082 801 0223 or at

Fight or Flight? How to Keep Your Business Going Even Now

If you didn’t understand why people keep saying we live in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous) world, then the recent virus outbreak has surely brought the point home. This shows us that stability and order are fragile features of a fundamentally unstable world.

In South Africa, businesses are bearing the brunt of these changes, calling into question their approach and damage-control strategies as the crisis deepens. From a marketing perspective, companies may view advertising agencies as the extra fat they should trim in these lean times. After all, with the turn towards working remotely and limited in-store shopping options, businesses may think that cutting down on their advertising expenses is the wise approach.

Not so fast.

Yes, retail stores are closing their doors, but there are many crucial reasons for keeping your advertising efforts consistent and on point throughout these developments.

After the Storm

First, there might be a spike in contamination, but eventually the curve will flatten and it will be business as usual. Your business needs to survive until that moment comes, and the best way to ensure consistent traffic and leads is through quality advertising that targets people who are interested in your services now, or will be once things calm down. This is an excellent time to push for greater brand awareness and encourage online shopping with price cuts and specials. No one has to leave their house to buy from your e-commerce site, so focus on making these options even more attractive to entice a steady stream of online shoppers. Even if you don’t have an e-commerce site, you can push your services through telephonic and online communication.

The Power of Digital Advertising

The other reality is that just because some retailers will close their doors, does not mean your audience will close their eyes. Most people encounter and engage with advertising through digital platforms such as websites and social media. And, even more importantly, during this time when people are pretty much staying at home and avoiding social gatherings, their digital devices will become their lifelines in terms entertainment and socialising. This presents your business with a golden opportunity to push your brand and offer services that will keep people busy as they become more bored by the day.

Client & Staff Communications

Another consideration. As the Coronavirus spreads and the world responds, we have no idea what could happen and when. People have become as unpredictable as the virus itself, throwing markets off balance and causing a huge amount of uncertainty from day to day. This means your clients and staff will be confused and concerned as new developments take hold. If you can provide them with communications that keep them informed as events unfold, you’ll win their trust, keeping them engaged with your brand and business long after the virus has come and gone. However, this kind of agility in terms of producing internal and external communications in real time requires a small, responsive team that’s quick on its feet. And this is the advantage of a compact advertising agency such as Insignia Advertising.

Fight, Don’t Flight

So, if your business is considering the flight strategy of pulling back on marketing efforts, we’re here to tell you that this is a big mistake. At this time of economic downturn and great uncertainty, every customer counts. This is the time to fight back by being smarter, more creative, and more committed to reaching your audience where they are.

And if your regular marketing team is not sufficient, Insignia Advertising is here to lend a helping hand in whatever way you may need. We have a complete online studio that’s ready to tackle whatever you can throw their way, come rain or shine.


Get in touch at

#MakeYourMark with Insignia Advertising!


Managing Director of Insignia Advertising

Managing Director of Insignia Advertising

These days, there is a growing trend of big brand companies choosing to partner with small marketing/ advertising agencies. These big brands have learned that, unlike large agencies, small shops don’t operate like their own internal marketing departments. Instead, small shops are nimble, creative and concerned with delivering results for their clients that will earn a referral or the next engagement.

If you’re a marketer considering a smaller marketing agency, here are a few advantages to consider:



Working with a small agency often means that a senior consultant will play an integral role when it’s time to roll up the sleeves and get work done. For our clients, it means you’re not sold on the expertise of a couple of individuals only to discover that the account team is completely PP than the pitch team.



We’re too small to allow dead weight to hide or coast on our teams because it impacts our work and our morale. As we grow, we’re always on the lookout for top-notch professionals to join our team We interview on a regular bases (freelancers, contractors, agency partners) just to have a good bench with a variety of specialized or general B2B marketing skills to draw from when needed. The result? As a client, you’re continually surrounded by an invested team of people that bring a wealth of experience and ideas to the table.



Most marketers already have enough red tape to deal with internally. Approval processes can be very time consuming and the last thing you want is to deal with is a slow-moving, bureaucratic agency. In a smaller, leaner agency, there simply aren’t that many levels of approvals because the levels don’t exist. So we’re able to turnaround projects that have seemingly impossible deadlines, including some that come in at the last minute.



There is usually a lower overhead for smaller, leaner agencies. Thus the cost of doing business with a small agency remains comparatively low.



Smaller agencies tend to have much less turnover because of selective hiring and a tight knit “familiar atmosphere”. Clients benefit from being served by a constant and cohesive account and project team that knows your brand, knows your preferences and knows exactly what to do with your half-filled briefs



Team members at small agencies are already well versed in thinking critically across multiple disciplines. We need to be able to comprehend the big picture in order to provide quality advice, feedback and direction to our client


If your Agency creates more constraints and headaches rather than actually solve the problem at hand then we are right for you. We’re ready to help you create quality, cost-effective work at the quick speed that the marketplace demands.

Make your Mark!

Does your Business have a strong Brand Foundation?


In construction, a strong foundation is built in layers: sand, gravel, steel and concrete.

Your brand foundation is no different. Skimp on any of the ingredients — strategy, messaging, visual identity or people — and your brand is likely to be weak and unstable.

4  Basic Levels for Building Your Foundation

  1. Strategy —  Is the vision, clearly stated, that explains how your business will attract customers and talented employees. How are you different? What powerful need do you fill in the marketplace? Strategy provides answers. A good strategy makes everything else easier.
  2. Messaging — These are the words you use when you write and talk about your company and its services. The ideas and tone they convey should come directly from the strategy. It must be easy to understand, relevant to your potential clients and believable.
  3. Visual Identity — Your visual identity comprises all of the visual components of your brand, including colour, shapes, images, typography, and layout. A brand’s visual tone and attitude should align with the strategy. The visual identity can create a strong emotional reaction. Potential clients will be attracted to your company even if they can’t articulate why.
  4. People — In a professional services company  your people are your product. How they behave has a profound impact on your brand. Selecting the right people is important, but guiding them through all the day-by-day and hour-by-hour decisions they make is the key. A strong brand can help employees understand what is expected of them.

If you looking for a professional Agency to help you build your foundation fill out the form below and let Insignia Advertising help you make your mark!

Make Your Mark








There are a lot of criteria to use in choosing an agency, but agency size should not be one of your decision factors. Remember that bigger isn’t always better and here’s why:


Individualised Attention

Your project will receive a great deal of individualised attention at a small agency.


At larger agencies, it’s common for employees to be responsible for dozens of clients which could result in them displaying little or no personal interest in the client or its marketing efforts, causing staff to complete the bare minimum amount of required work and then move onto the next project.

If employees have too much work on their plate, it prevents them from fully immersing themselves into each of their client’s projects because they are splitting their time between multiple clients competing for their attention.


It is common for smaller agencies to provide each client with personalized attention from every employee because they have fewer clients allowing each employee to become fully focused on every aspect of their client’s needs.

You’ll also be in direct contact with the creative directors, designers and the owners themselves .The small agency depends on it’s clients for it’s own success, therefore the small firm is highly invested in pleasing it’s clients. Their investment in your campaign is essential to not just your success, but also theirs.



Small agencies thrive on creativity. Staff of smaller agencies is expected to be experts at their jobs as well as grow in other directions to benefit each particular account.

With less corporate hierarchy, job definition is blurred as each individual staff is encouraged to reach client based goals rather than focus on defined job role goals.

In contrast, larger agencies tend to have corporate hierarchy, specific job descriptions, ways of doing things, and profit margins goals stemming from a legacy system. Even though all agencies are tasked with finding ways to develop and execute creative ideas, the big firms might face the constraint of a legacy system steeped in quantifying a specific type of deliverable.



In a small agency you have a dedicated team of people that want your success as much as you do.

An agency is about the people that work there, the team that is on your project. You are paying them for their time, talent and creativity. Do they represent you? Do you know them? Chances are you will meet 25-50% of the team in a small agency pitch, whereas you might meet only 1% of the big agency team at their pitch.


Choosing the right agency is kind of like hiring a team of people all at once. If you like the people that came to the pitch, you can be sure they represent the people that will be working on your account if you are going with a small agency. The culture and personality of a small agency can match or mirror your own company.


Quick Turnaround

Despite the resources that a large agency may have, small agencies will do anything to make sure their clients are satisfied, even if it means going the extra mile. Larger agencies sometime have a whole process to get in the work queue; so quick turnarounds are not always feasible.



The more people that work for a company, the bigger the overhead ultimately resulting in higher project quotes than those from the small marketing firm. Smaller agencies provide a better bang for your buck.

If you are looking for a standard marketing execution and normal distribution channels, you might be best choosing any agency that can offer you the price you desire.

If you are looking for a fresh look in your industry, want to stand out from the rest, and risk breaking the norm, consider giving a chance to the smaller firm. The best agency for you is the one that gets you, the one that wants to see you succeed.

Come on Let us help you make your mark!



5 Things Every Small Business Should Know About Branding

Make your mark!

Make your mark!

The whole concept of branding is foreign to many small businesses. They view it as something that only matters in the ivory towers of global corporations.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Branding is all about making your business memorable, and it’s the small business rather than the big one that’s likely to get lost in the shuffle. Here are five core concepts that small business owners should know about branding.

1. Repetition and consistency are paramount. Any parent knows that when you say something once it seldom sinks in. And, parents who send mixed messages confuse the child … and perhaps themselves! The same dynamics apply to branding: the market needs to see the same imagery and the same message again and again and again.

2. Sales reps can undermine your consistency. Even in large organizations, sales reps tend to develop their own way of talking about the company they represent. However, if every rep tells a different story, your customer base will ultimately have many different impressions of what your business does. This may cause customers and prospects to overlook key products and services — and perhaps look for them elsewhere.

3. Branding is more than just a logo. Every business should have a logo, but just as important are a consistent color scheme for the website and brochures, a strong tagline, and a consistent set of talking points for sales and marketing communication. Branding should dive deeper into the details still, in terms of consistent font styles, product/service descriptions, item numbers, and any other data and imagery customers see.

4. Branding is far more than window dressing. Far from it: Effective branding reflects and projects the core values and key differentiators of your business. A strong brand tells customers what you stand for and why they should buy from you. Are you the cheapest? The best quality? The most reliable? The most innovative? Your imagery and messaging must get to the heart of what you do.

5. Branding must be focused. Continuing on the previous point, you must confine your branding to a few critical concepts. No amount of branding expertise can communicate that you’re the cheapest, best quality, most reliable AND the most innovative. The more you dilute your message, the harder it is to remember and the less important it sounds. This is counterintuitive for sales people and small business owners who feel compelled to tell the whole company story every time they have the floor.

6 Reasons To Invest In A Professional Company Logo Design

Having a Corporate Identity that stands out

In today market you have to stand out!

Your company may not need a professionally designed logo. There are countless businesses that operate profitably without one. That said, it’s important to understand when having a unique brand mark is beneficial – and even necessary – and the reasons that make it so.

Here are six reasons to have a professional logo designed for your business. The following factors offer compelling motives that may spur you to invest in a memorable, relevant, and scalable brand mark for your company.

#1 – Stand Out From Your Competitors

If your business is the only one operating within your industry or space, a logo may be unnecessary. Your customers and prospects are probably familiar with your company, and aware of the benefits you offer. But most companies compete with others. Consequently, there is a need to stand out from the crowd, especially when doing so means attracting a larger slice of your market.

A unique logo design helps to project your brand in a way that differentiates you from your competitors. This is valuable whether you’re trying to establish a foothold as a new entrant, or strengthening your position within your space.

#2 – Complement And Support A Long-Term Business

If you’re running a business as a short-term venture in order to earn extra income, a professional brand mark might be excessive. You’re unlikely to rely on customer loyalty or a compelling brand story.

On the other hand, if you’re trying to develop your company to fulfill a long-term goal, invest in a logo. A well-done design will help inspire trust, position your business as an authority, and promote brand recognition in your space.

#3 – Increase Brand Recognition And Memorability

An effective logo helps your target audience to identify your company. The artwork drives memorability and recall. Your customers will think of your business and everything it stands for – both good and bad – when they see it.

For example, consider the retail giant Target. While the company’s name evokes a host of impressions, so, too, does its emblem, the bright red target. Here, the retailer’s logo is as powerful as its name.

#4 – Face-To-Face Interaction With Customers

Do you or your employees interact with customers personally? Do you speak with them face to face? If so, prominently displaying a memorable brand mark on t-shirts, uniforms, ID badges, and even hats, will strengthen your customers’ trust in your business. It also subtly encourages brand awareness, and improves their recall.

#5 – Passive Advertising With Giveaway Items

Giveaway items are an effective strategy for keeping your company’s name in front of your customers and prospects. Coffee mugs, alarm clocks, sticker printing, staplers, and calendars offer lasting value, and are likely to be kept rather than discarded. They passively advertise your business.

By imprinting your corporate logo on these items, you’ll enjoy ongoing exposure to those who have expressed interest in your products. When the need arises, they’ll be more likely to contact you rather than your competitors.

#6 – Establish Your Brand Identity Within A Crowded Market

If you’re entering a market where several other companies compete, carving out a slice of the audience poses a challenge. For most business owners, it’s an uphill battle, and especially so during the startup phase. The more quickly you can establish your brand, the more successfully you’ll foster recognition and awareness. Hence, every advantage is worth considering.

Few tools are as effective as a professionally-designed logo for building and cementing a company’s brand identity. A well-crafted brand mark symbolizes the business behind it. It helps the marketplace identify the company’s products and values. It instills trust, and conveys a sense of authority and superiority.

Does your company need a professional logo? If any of the six reasons above strike a chord, the answer is likely yes. 

Go on Let Insignia help you make your mark!