how to build a brand
Welcome to the first Haas Advertising blog. I thought it would be proper to start with what we call the Haas Collective. Our mantra is collaboration: we’re not afraid to team up. Whether it’s our own project or someone else’s, we love what happens when great minds come together to achieve a common goal.
I started as ECD at Draftfcb South Africa and spent more than 10 years there. What a great agency and what a great bunch of people! The experience I gained in those years was invaluable and I couldn’t have asked for a better environment in which to nurture and develop my leadership skills. But, as with all things, comes change and for me the driver for change was that I wanted my own brand again. Hence the creation of the Haas Coffee Collective and Haas Communication Collective (or Haas Advertising as we’re also known).
I believe building a brand starts from the inside out – from the core: the practice that makes preaching possible. The secret to starting up any venture is to be hands-on. I still get up at 5:30 am every morning to open the café, help set up, do the cash-ups, jump in as waiter, chat to patrons and learn as I go along. The consumer experience is the most important and I believe that the consumer now controls the communication process between him or herself and the brand, hence the importance of social media (as we all know).
Haas Coffee Collective started out as a dream and a “how the fuck are we going to do this?” Thank goodness we found the right partners in the coffee industry, otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to get it off the ground. Hats off to our partners in Robertson, Strictly Coffee.
When it came to the visual branding and collateral elements we decided to be intimately involved in every detail. Logo, cup wraps, menus, crockery, furniture, décor, packaging – it all became part an organic whole that grew around the core
values of quality and playfulness that partner Francois Irvine and I envisioned during many a late night’s passionate planning. In short, we made sure that everything was exactly the way we wanted it.
Our aim is to be the best “coffee & conversation” in the country. Being voted one of the Top 5 Coffee Destinations in the country and then as one of the “TOP 20 REASONS TO BE IN SA” by *Wallpaper Magazine in November 2011 assured us that we were on the right track.
We took a PR approach to our marketing – we had to get maximum return on investment for our bucks. Easier said than done, but with a clever PR concept (and limited budget) we launched Haas to the media and waited for “the snowball effect” to kick in… It paid off handsomely: 18 magazines features, 14 newspaper articles, 2 minutes on prime time TV, 55 blog mentions and hundreds of twitter and facebook mentions and still counting…
This was the role that Haas Communication played in the background to the launch of Haas Coffee Collective. By carefully selecting our media channels and ensuring that we kept the conversation with the consumer open and honest and listened to what they had to say, we could constantly adjust our business model to our consumers’ needs.
We started with the core and now it’s all about developing that into a great SA brand.
– Glynn Venter, March 2012.