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Why bosses must never design logos

The Isaac Newton-inspired logo for Apple, designed by Steve Jobs and one of the founders, Ronald Wayne lasted for just one year until the iconic logo emerged. As brand strategists and designers, one is often faced with The Boss briefing Agency on what he or…

Finding the edge

Apart from living in a disruptive age, we’re in a tight economy and it is imperative to somehow find an edge. Your brand can be that edge. Here are some probing questions to ask about the state of your brand: Is your business growing, declining…

Is your brand answering the right questions?

Companies spend good money on their websites, sales packs, brochures, social media and sales pitches but are often puzzled about why they’re not getting the results that they need. Tell me something I don’t know (but need to know). You could be spending your entire…

Pain, passion and pride

“I was marketing manager of a business bank and having arrived from a corporate banking and asset management environment, now working the B2B sector of mostly small and mid-sized businesses was new to me. It changed my life – a few years later, Sherpa was…

The passion of leaders

We have an enduring passion for brands, taking our clients to leadership positions. Recently, we  helped a large healthcare group to become the most-admired brand in a national, ultra-competitive market for the second year in a row. Or, working with a company in the shipping…

What we love about Link Pharmacy

We were given a rare opportunity to help a company to build its brand and with this, the satisfaction of achieving brand goals. When Link Pharmacy was recognised by consumers as the most-admired independent community pharmacy group for the second year in a row, it…

What we love about UPD

When it comes to being obsessive about client excellence and delivery, Sherpa’s CEO Gary Hendrickse, who has been around a bit, says that it is hard to imagine a company which is more driven than UPD, SA’s leading warehousing and distribution company in the healthcare…

Sherpa loves TBI

Alternative thinking We’ve worked with TBI for over a decade, initially with Ora before it was acquired by TBI. Financial services is one of Sherpa’s prime sectors but getting to know alternative investments was invigorating, especially when one gets a sense of how it augments…

Sherpa loves BHA

Space, ambience and mood. We’ve worked with BHA Lighting’s founder Phil Hammond for almost 10 years. Over the last years we’ve also spent a lot of time with Daniel Hammond, certainly a chip off the old block. BHA Lighting is South Africa’s pre-eminent illumination engineers…

The year of your brand

Have you got it? Most businesses do not have a brand strategy. They probably have a corporate identity manual, marketing plan and sales budget but no brand strategy. The lack of a brand strategy is weird given that brand touches, informs and influences every part…

Sherpa Loves Tilt

Architectural Feature Screens What a cool experience. Slick product. Switched on people. A young company that has grown at a rate and recognised that they have something special. We worked with them on their brand strategy, clearing the path for a website which says it…

Going the extra smile

Salt EB is one of South Africa’s top employee benefit companies with offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg. The employee benefit administration market can be tough as you’re dealing with thousands of queries and claims daily and not all the issues are in your control….

A brand’s best friend

Barno has been around for over 60 years and Sherpa has been involved with them for 12 years or so. Barno counts the elite of South Africa’s brands as clients with sectors including retail and commercial, hospitality and stationary and promotions. Their services range from…

CEO’s, brands and coaching

To help CEO’s elevate their companies to brand status, try a coaching rather than consulting approach. What stops a brand from happening? Sherpa’s CEO and brand strategist Gary Hendrickse believes it’s often the CEO. “It’s not because the CEO doesn’t believe in building a brand….

The rhythm of the brand

Do CEO’s feel it? Some do. But not enough. As a CEO, if you’re not the driver of your brand you’re missing an opportunity to take your company to a place that precious few will ever go. You’re also robbing your employees (and yourself) of…

Charge of the Light Brigade

When sales teams fall. In the Crimean War, British light cavalry led a fatal assault on the Russians and Turks. The result was fairly predictable as they charged against an artillery battery and a well-organised fire line. Overlooking what became known as The Valley of…

Five ways to align your team behind your brand

1. CRAFT A BRAND STRATEGY You need to create a blue print based on how you want customers to experience your company, forming your brand. Forget the normal stuff like such as integrity, reliability, competitive pricing, quality product etc. Well, don’t forget it entirely but…

CEO’s role in building brands

Outside-In, Top-Down (but never sideways). I am not sure whether CEO’s are brand-lazy or whether they just feel that “brand” is something for the Marketing Department to sort out. I’m just happy that Steve Jobs had no such confusion otherwise we would have missed arguably…

The heads of people

The next level. Think of a hundred Ford brands, all with black as the only colour choice for the car. Most of the businesses that we’ve met over the years have not had a brand strategy. Yet, they’d spent a fortune saying the same things…

Make internal communications work

Communicating with employees is always a good thing, right? Well, any communications is better than no communications but done correctly, it does require commitment and investment so it’s best to understand why you’re communicating. For the communications company, the purpose directly influences how we approach…

The perfect sales pitch

Don’t leave that precious sales pitch to chance, put everything into it. The presentation can be a live pitch or a profile document or often, both – either way, it needs to be brilliant. People make a number of mistakes when preparing a sales pitch,…

Sherpa – A breath of fresh air

Since inception 12 years ago, Sherpa has always done things differently. “We have always focused on what keeps business owners awake at night and delivered accordingly. This stems from a background in business and, at the time, having shareholders such as Pointbreak, which offered private…

CEO’s build brands

One of great pleasures in my professional life was working for a smallish bank that shifted from zero to hero (recognised by independent research as the leading business banking brand) within a time of 2 years or so. We didn’t have zillions of Rands to…

Social Media? You can afford it.

If you believe that social media marketing is cheap and cool but not effective for your business, consider getting specialists to help you. Sherpa’s CEO Gary Hendrickse believes that right now is a good time for businesses to invest in social media marketing. “Social media…

6 Reasons for low e-commerce conversion

Sung to the 1976 Dianna Ross song “Do you know where you’re going to”, many e-commerce shoppers could be humming the same tune when visiting your e-commerce site. What are some of the reasons that can cause a low conversion rate on an e-commerce site?…

Internal communications must reach the right people

Looking at internal email campaigns in the workplace, one sees an open rate of about 66% across all industries and a click rate of somewhere between 6% and 10%, with about 21% on mobile devices. “Clients often stress about what they see as a low…

CEO And The Agency Brief

As a marketing manager, make sure that you give yourself and your brand and design agency every chance of success by managing the briefing and sign-off process tightly. Sherpa’s CEO Gary Hendrickse, who has worked on both sides of the fence as agency client and…

Lead like a leader

Sherpa has been helping businesses develop their brands for over 10 years now, packing in all the brand skills that one would normally associate with multi-national brands. “Working on and activating a brand strategy for a business is Sherpa’s premium service and we constantly refine…

When to revitalise your brand

There are a number of reasons to revitalise one’s brand. We often find that many of the factors overlap. 1. Professional When a start-up enters the market, they often do not have budget for professional designers to work on their corporate identity. So the family…

Brands and Day Zero

With uncertainty and some fear sweeping the Western Cape, which brands will stand out as Day Zero looms? Who do we have to thank? People generally make brand choices on the alliances which brands have built over the years. Which brands will identify most closely…

Why must smaller businesses think brand today?

Smaller businesses often don’t think about themselves as brands. They think brands are only for the Google, Nikes and Apples of the world. One misconception is that a brand is a logo. It’s not – it’s about how people experience you, how they associate with…

2018 internal comms trends

For companies serious about building their brands and attracting and retaining top talent, internal communications is way beyond the unfortunate ‘tick box’ approach of many lazy HR departments. Have a look at Discover Global’s internal communications trends for 2018 and make this the year of…

PR trends for 2018

Fantastic to experience the way that PR, and what that meant back in the day, and content marketing have become so intertwined. Great to see that Sherpa has been delivering these PR trends posted by Forbes for some years now. https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnhall/2017/08/06/6-pr-trends-to-check-out-in-2018/3/#34c22fc96b84 Talk to Sherpa about…

2018 marketing trends for small businesses

If small businesses are to be heard or seen in 2018, they’re going to have to really dive in to latest marketing and communications thinking. Social media is going to be ultra-competitive – you’ll need to be brilliant at it. And look for ways to…

Content marketing in 2018

We’ve looked at a number of content marketing trend articles and quite like this one from Mariella Blago Marketing. Easy reading style and it makes a lot of sense. Video? Of course video is going to play a big role in content marketing. We applaud…

Top brand trend 2018

According to the Huffington Post, a top brand trend for 2018 is a shift away from demographic-centric targeting towards lifestyle segmentation. Iconic brands have been pursuing this kind of thinking for decades (that’s why they’re iconic!) but smaller businesses still struggle with the concept or…

Sell your people in 2018

We spend a lot of time pitching products and services, but what about selling your people? As brand strategists, we’re very aware that processes shape brands. A process determines quality, consistency etc. But we also know that people shape processes. Maybe, we need to start…

When people don’t love you

Brand strategy When you can HAPPILY say that not everybody loves you, you’ll know that your brand strategy is working. Many business owners will say that their products can appeal to anybody and everybody. Wrong choice. A brand strategist will tell you that you have…

Link brand stands out

In the Times Sowetan Shopper Survey 2017, Link was the highest rated independent community pharmacy group, falling just behind Dis-Chem and Clicks which ranked second and first respectively in overall rankings. The brand goes back some 30 years but it has been given new meaning….

Internal Communications 2018

Internal Communications 2018. What we’d like to see As we scurry to get the last of the internal communications projects out for 2017, let’s take a look at what we’d like to do more of in 2018. 1 – RELEVANCE We definitely want to see…

What’s with the logo

Deep and distinctive Being a co-operative bank, the MediCoop CFI logo needed to reflect the interaction of bank and its members. Sherpa’s lead designer Claire Yates, as usual, delivered something deep and distinctive. The logo has a number of interesting angles: There’s the M and…

Outsource to Cape Town

Outsource to Cape Town. Sherpa is a brand and design company in Welgemoed, more or less 20km from the centre of Cape Town. With offices straddling the Durbanville wine route, we do prefer more rather than less when it comes to our wine because it…

It’s time to order your year end greetings

Need a simple, sincere Xmas greeting to send to your clients? Or something that’s symbolic, themed or wild? Book your e-card into our studio today! elsa@sherpa.co.za | 021 913 2724

Ten ways to make a graphic designer mad

Graphic designers are generally very cool, chilled people. So here are some things that clients say to make them mad as hell. And for the first time, we reveal the designers unsaid response. GRAPHIC DESIGN NO-NO 1 It just doesn’t grab me. (Are YOU the…

5 step social media plan

It’s good and well that you’re on social media, but take a step back and do some proper planning to become successful. Here’s a simple approach to planning – not much different to the marketing planning that you have been doing for years. 1. ALIGN…

Communicating in times of change

It’s about them, your employees In times of organisational change, it is not about you the manager – it is about them, the employees. When an organisation is going through change which often results in people losing their jobs, management almost seem to communicate based…

When good money turns bad

Winning tips for business Assuming that the Agency is professional, when a campaign is commissioned, how can good intentions and precious budget get dissipated? Here are a couple of traps that clients can fall into when managing creative projects. And then there’s the eloquent approach…

Demystifying Brands

Winning tips for business owners One reason why so many businesses fail to reach their true potential is because they struggle to grasp the concept of a “brand”. So let’s ditch the text books and explain things in a simple way. Until we’re warmed up,…

Providing a decent advertising brief

One would expect that smaller companies are somewhat reticent in providing a decent advertising brief but Sherpa’s Elsa Barnard says that one will be amazed that corporate clients can also be extremely tardy in this regard. Here are some useful tips: Keep it simple and…

Appointing an ad agency

Appointing an advertising agency or design agency seems simple enough but selecting one that’s not right for you can cost you dearly. Eight aspects to consider when appointing an agency: Have a clear understanding of what services you’re looking for. Know what your Marketing budget…

When To Rebrand

A monkey in silk is a monkey no less For many companies, making changes to a logo is a big deal but it is actually a normal part of business evolution. Rebranding however needs to go much deeper than cosmetic changes. When should you think…

Brand strategy and e-commerce

Less is more Creating and building a brand strategy for your e-commerce store is essential. According to Guillamme Thibaux, co-founder of Quanta which offers analytics to maximise conversions, 80% of entrepreneurs starting an e-commerce site fail within the first 18 months. Some of the reasons…

Google 360 view

Sherpa has partnered with Panoman 360 Virtual Tour, a high definition virtual tour to give clients a glimpse into your world and improve your Google rankings. The photographers are Google certified so we can upload your 360 tour on Google Maps which will allow people…

What’s your favourite strapline?

Sherpa’s Gary Hendrickse chooses his 3 all-time favourite straplines. 1. Just do it. It embodies a state of mind. You don’t have to be an athlete to be in shape or take on obstacles. If you really want to do it, just do it. Brilliant!…

Want to grow, create & have fun?

Job description We’re Hiring. You’ll be a junior designer, learning and taking direction from a wonderfully skilled senior designer. Often, Claire will let you run because that’s how you learn. We’re a small business so you’ll most likely not only be designing – you might…

Going bald and paunchy?

Recapture the future. Microsoft is currently going through a path of revival and possibly even a renaissance of sorts. They felt that the competition was starting to define them. Closer to home, is your company moving into middle age funk along with a receding hairline…

Brand belongs to the CEO

Don’t delegate The brand belongs to the Marketing department, right? Wrong! If we believe that a brand is the sum total of the way your company is experienced, who else might be involved in building the brand? Leaving the Marketing department out of it for…

Same old but different

90% of Internet start-up businesses fail According to an article in Fortune.com, 90% of Internet start-up businesses fail early. There has always been a high percentage of start-up businesses, which fail early so what’s new? Sherpa recently formed a partnership with some full-stack developers in…

The Little Guy

Call us romantics if you want, but Sherpa still has a desire to help small businesses. Especially in these times. Maybe you know of a small business out there which can do with some marketing assistance? While social media is not the answer to all…

#PETROLMUSTFALL

With the price of petrol pumping up, isn’t it time to find cheaper ways to meet with clients? Over the last month or so, our strategy to earn foreign currency has started to fall into place. We’ve had frequent ‘meetings’ in London, Moscow and even…

Brand – The Misunderstood Genius

Why are so many businesses paying good marketing money to say exactly the same things as their competitors say? As every Tom, Dick and Harry jostles for space in the online world, how do you get noticed? And in tight economic times, it becomes vital…

Guzzle and Wolf

[guhz-uh l] To eat greedily / to wolf it down / to stuff oneself / to shovel it down We’ve come up with some impressive brand names over the years. Right up there with the best of them must be Guzzle and Wolf, an exciting…

Let’s get brutal

As the digital world streaks ahead at a brutal pace, the gap between Owner (i.e. website owner) and User (i.e. visitor to the website) is growing. Traditionally, the web design and development company sat in the middle. Well, we cannot be neutral any more. In…

The weird thing about services marketing

There are many reasons why services marketing is so tough, amongst others: services are intangible defining quality is difficult the high level of trust and faith needed ironically, many companies in the service industry are more focused on internal processes which make their own lives…

Mobile user experience

What you need to know.

It’s time to order your year end e-cards

Talk to Sherpa now about getting your Year End Greetings to your clients. For R1950 (excl VAT) plus an additional R00.13 per recipient (excl VAT) our creative studio will: Design your e-card, set up, send it to your database, and report on the results (e.g. open rate, bad…

Play Your Hand

What is it that makes you different from the many others in your space? Are you just a me-too? To test this, browse through the websites of companies competing in your space. Jot down how they pitch themselves. Different words, same meaning? Then make a…

Look Around, Look Ahead. Laugh A Lot!

Marketing when business confidence levels are low When business and consumer confidence levels are low, one can either contemplate one’s navel or look around and then look ahead. Given that one’s navel will not inspire the greatness in you, we encourage the latter option. And…

Online businesses you can start tomorrow

Why do they fail? Why do almost 90% of online businesses fail? Sherpa’s CEO Gary Hendrickse believes that too many entrepreneurs think that starting an online business is just a question of putting up a website and doing some Facebook posts. The reality is that…

How many people run by your website?

Brands in websites A couple of years ago, Time magazine estimated that the average large urban American was exposed to 3 000 brands each day. With social media and online usage having grown exponentially since then, how many brands do people run by today? And how…

Putting brand into sales

Brand strategists, UX and UI designers will ensure that your website presents perfectly – a winning combination of differentiating, user experience and user interface design. But when you’re pitching for that dream account, do you get the same level of expertise behind you that your…

What is a Sherpa

Probably about half the people that we meet will ask us where the name Sherpa comes from. For others, the association is immediate and they get a sense of what we’re about. Does it bug us that so many people just don’t get it immediately?…

Back to the mountains

Sherpa’s new website has just gone live. Whereas the previous website conveyed differentiation, the new website opens with a pic of Everest, which is such a strong part of Sherpa’s analogy. “The content of the new website better serves Sherpa’s search engine needs but is…

Way With Words

Sherpa and Way With Words go back a long way, almost 10 years. “Way With Words has always fascinated me, perhaps one of South Africa’s best-kept business secrets – an inspiring example of a South African company making its way in the world. In fact…

Increase the marketing budget

If you view Marketing as ‘spend’, cut the budget right now. If you’re clever and see your budget as an ‘investment’, INCREASE your budget. Let’s be frank, low global growth, low business level confidence, drought and low resource prices coupled with the prospect of being…

Reach the over 60’s in your area

Retired people feeling the squeeze YEI (You’ve Earned It!) was initially a book compiled by Marilyn Hallett which listed companies offering discounts and benefits to pensioners. From a printed book, it soon turned into a fully-fledged online business. For a nominal fee, YEI offers directory…

Brands matter more than ever

Impact on sales, margins and costs. We were talking to Herman Fourie, a qualified Chartered Accountant with his own accounting practise and the CEO of Barno which has survived and thrived over 60 years of economic highs and lows. With the SA growth rate expected…

Brand of Barno-bees

Barno has been a dominant manufacturer in the South African promotions sector for over six decades and shows no sign of slowing down, having recently opened an office in Australia. The essence of the Barno brand is its people. Some years back, Barno empowered its…

Social Media is not cheap

It’s time and skill intensive The days of letting an intern or somebody with some capacity manage your social media strategy – hence creating the impression that social media is “free” – are long gone. Sherpa director Elsa Barnard says that businesses which still believe…

Inspiration Online

Umnqophiso Pre-Primary Ora Fund Managers introduced Sherpa to Umnqophiso Pre-Primary School, which needed a website to profile them online. “Our web designer visited the school in Lwandle – a disadvantaged community near Strand, Helderberg area – and came back to Sherpa with big eyes and…

The Design Menu

How would you like your graphic design? You have three ideals when ordering your design from the menu; fast, cheap and great. You may be tempted to have your cake and eat it too, but when it comes to creative work, achieving all three is…

SHERPA GROWS WINGS

Like many South African companies, Sherpa has its eye on offshore markets. But how is it going? And where is it going? One of Sherpa’s key clients is an offshore account, with PR, website development, SEO and design forming core services over the last 3…

I’M EASY

One of the more obvious marketing trends in 2015 is simply making things easier for customers. As an example, we can look at the Mobile Order & Pay approach from Starbucks, where one places an order and pays ahead and then collect your fresh coffee…

Good Housekeeping

The Importance of a consistent Brand Sherpa is fortunate to be able to deal with clients of all different sizes and from all different types of industries. We often however come across businesses that are unintentionally harming their brand by trying to handle their marketing…

From a book to a business

Four years or so ago, Marilyn Hallett approached Sherpa to help her with her dream. She’d published a book called You’ve Earned It! which listed discounts and benefits from companies available to over 60’s. She needed help in turning a book into a business, which…

Thought Hunters and Farmers were dead?

With the emphasis increasingly on attracting clients through Google and Facebook and with many believing that content marketing is the only solution to retaining customers,  it was refreshing to face a real sales problem recently. A CEO was complaining to me that their new sales…

MAKE YOUR WEBSITE MOBILE FRIENDLY

While making your website mobile friendly is a solid step, having a mobile-friendly website is not a mobile strategy. Google does have a preference for responsive design and this translates into Google putting responsive sites first which in turn, means that responsive websites are likely to enjoy…

I’ll sit through yours if you sit through mine

Is PowerPoint for lousy presenters?  How many have died in a PowerPoint presentation? Your “Death by PowerPoint” stance only lasts until you have to present. Then PowerPoint is cool and they must sit through your presentation because you had to sit through theirs! But PowerPoint…

BUZZ

Sherpa has just launched a complete and fresh approach to internal communications which is capturing a lot of attention. The advent of the app has changed internal communications for the better but Sherpa’s CEO Gary Hendrickse believes that if communicators continue to treat internal communications…

Become a Marketing Machine

Installing a well- executed  brand , a focused marketing plan and a well-organised sales system Sherpa helps businesses to become marketing machines through the completeness yet simplicity of our service. With an emphasis on activation through unleashing our experience, Sherpa builds momentum for businesses. Our…

If it looks boring, then …. ZZZZZ

An organisation’s most expensive asset, and arguably the most effective marketing tool, is its staff. When an organisation thinks of their employees as its first market, it creates employees who feel connected. Internal marketing helps employees understand their value, and the value they create for…

@COST

Sherpa developed the brand strategy, name and logo for the @COST card, an initiative from Durbell Pharmacy which allows you to get all of your prescription medicine at cost price. There are also additional lifestyle benefits, making @COST the most innovative marketing initiative in SA’s…

RESPONSIBLE WEBSITES

Did you know that the number of mobile views for websites will surpass that of desktop views by the end of 2014? Or, that 66% of smartphone and tablet users are frustrated with unresponsive websites and the horrendous load times associated with them? And that…

BRANDS MAKE MONEY

In a recent pitch, Sherpa director Elsa Barnard was describing the first “Sherpa” brand that we developed eight years ago. It was a small account with limited budget. Our client had just acquired a small but distressed business for R 400 000. All she had going for…

The Incredible Barno Story

The new Barno website is all about their story, the essence of their brand and culture. You’ll get a sense of how Herman and his Barno-bees defied the odds and emerged stronger. “SA’s top brands have been clients of Barno for decades, so their products…

Sherpa’s new logo

So why did we change our logo? And what’s the meaning? We briefed our senior designer Wayde some months ago, giving him freedom to deliver something that represented the essence of Sherpa’s brand.   And then we took a step back and measured his creative response…

The Evolution of Logo Design

More is expected now of Logos than has ever been before. The modern Logo has many faces, all of which need to identify with the brand behind it. So what makes a good logo in the modern app-driven era that we are currently in? It…

Principles of great logos

Let’s keep this one simple and to the point. Here are 5 principles to take into account when evaluating a logo. SIMPLE MEMORABLE TIMELESS VERSATILE RELEVANT The sixth principle is one that most designers are too scared to talk to their clients about. Do not…

Hidden meanings in logos

Let’s take a look at the hidden meanings in some of the world’s greatest logos. TOYOTA The three ellipses represent the heart of the customer, the heart of the product and the heart of progress in the technology field.   MOBIL The focus is mostly…

What’s in a Logo?

Over the last few years, we’ve introduced many new or refreshed companies and products to the market, all spearheaded by logos.  We have also just changed Sherpa’s logo. Here’s a few short and interesting thoughts about logos: the hidden meaning behind the world’s top logos…

Thought of the month

HIGHEST DELIVERY AND OPEN RATE OF ANY CHANNEL. We’re talking about rich messaging using everyday email. On average, an employee will send out 15 000 emails per annum. That’s 15 000 brand-building, PR or sales opportunities lost per employee if your emails go out blank…

Shoot us if we buzz these words

I was reading an article by Adam Sherk on the most overused marketing buzzwords. Let’s try to avoid these if we want to be “leaders” or indeed, “unique”. View the Top 100 Overused Words And what happened to “integrated” – isn’t it good enough!? But…

He’d make a messi fullback

Would Lionel Messi, the greatest football striker of all time, be as great if he played in defence? I think he might make a decent fullback but he’s the greatest striker of all time. As a reality check, sit back and think about the marketing…

Tips to improve mailer stats

We can measure and improve your Open, Click Through, Hard and Soft Bounce, Abuse and Unsubscribe Rates of your bulk emails, but these are all influenced by some basic rules. “Communications is a sophisticated game, especially in today’s online environment where detailed reporting stats provide…

What’s in your head?

When it comes to corporate identity design, why is there often such a mismatch between what Agency presents and what’s in your head? It is very frustrating – the Agency has just presented its zillionth design option and it still doesn’t ring your bell. I…

Dipstick

What do your clients associate you with? When they hear your name, what is the spontaneous reaction. We know that brands are created by how customers and the market perceive you. Simple enough concept. But we often get it so wrong. We spend our marketing…

Getting much better BUT.

During the course of the year, Sherpa switched from a local to an international software service provider for bulk mails. Although Sherpa generally absorbed the increased costs for retainer or WAXD clients in 2012, we will look at increasing charges in the new year. “There…

What do they say?

Let’s find out how your clients are managing your brand. Ending the year and going into a new year, maybe it’s time to find out what your clients actually think when your name pops up. What they think is actually your brand. It follows that your clients own…

Braai in the sky

Sherpa gave a presentation on social media in Johannesburg recently, promising no tech-speak or marketing-jargon. The presentation was styled Braai in the Sky! The audience had two things in common. One, all self-made, successful, middle-aged entrepreneurs. Two, mostly a little intimidated by technology. But after what they’d achieved…

Have you earned it?

An almost forgotten area of communications is “earned media”. What is it? How can it work for you? Some people talk about PR or Public Relations, but that is a broad discipline. “Earned media” refers to achieving “free publicity” in the media, be that print…

St Helena. Bean There?

On behalf of the St Helenian government, we invited travel agents and journalists to find out more about opportunities in what’s been called the most extraordinary place on earth. Undiscovered. Raw potential. The promise of something truly unique. You see, currently it takes 5 days…

Nothing traditional about marketing

Although a big chunk of Sherpa’s revenue lies in our interactive or digital services, I am getting a little irritated with egg heads shouting “traditional marketing is dead” because it is just so self-serving and misguided. Frankly, its plain dumb. In my book, there is…

The right stuff

Sherpa was privileged to be part of the launch of a new emergency medical and ambulance service in Port Elizabeth – RELAY EMS – and what a great project this was! Strong brands seize and occupy a gap in the market and RELAY EMS does this…

Employers as customers

Tell someone who cares. Delete. That could well be the response of staff receiving another top-down communication or newsletter from their employers. Information is knocked together and whacked out. And there’s no purpose to the content – just random stuff, one-way perspectives. Delete. Try treating staff like customers…

Easy Peasy. Let’s do this.

QR codes You will have noticed QR or Quick Response Codes on articles in your favourite magazines. What about QR codes on your next brochure? The matrix barcode, initially designed for the automotive industry, has become popular in other applications due to its fast readability…

Being found, followed and favoured

Thread media From Day One, the line between print media and online media was blurred for us. Today, it is non-existent. We call it thread marketing. You simply can’t afford a narrow media focus any more. Ideally, you want social media, YouTube, search engines and yes, traditional media all working for you. Your printed…

New media PR

Your brand and social media Social media has extended PR possibilities for your brand as the pressure mounts to become involved in this media phenomenon. The stats speak volumes – we know that there are over 500 million Facebook users, that every second person is tagging thoughts on Twitter and that LinkedIn profiles are being updated…

Is your sales team breaking through

Maybe there’s more to it There are many similarities between the Charge of the Light Brigade and some sales operations. In the Crimean War the British cavalry – the Light Brigade – went charging (in a brave and orderly fashion) into what became known as…

Let your brand breathe

And start leading, really leading   Frankly, “satisfied customers”, “professional” and “service excellence” have become tickets to the game, all from the tail-end of the industrial revolution. Things have since moved on. And please stop the “mission statement” thing – that’s so internally-driven. People think…

You’ve Earned It

From time to time, Sherpa looks at making its own investments and recently invested in You’ve Earned It or YEI. YEI owner Marilyn Hallett published a book some years ago which listed companies offering benefits or discounts to “baby boomers” or people over 50 years…

Do it with friends

Sherpa has been working with Roger Moult and his ICPA (Independent Community Pharmacist Association) team to launch this organisation and attract members. The ICPA assists independent pharmacies, many of them in rural areas throughout South Africa, to face the challenges presented by the corporate pharmacy…

The burning platform

A good chunk of our clients are reviewing their business models, recognising that things will never be the same. Why is this? Firstly, this recession is a long stretch – time enough for new behaviours to emerge amongst consumers. Combine this with the speed of…

Internal communications

We know that effective internal communications is important. This we know. And the textbook tells us that if we do this right and often enough, we will have: passionate staff improved organisational effectiveness a high – energy working environment boosted productivity brand ambassadors and a whole bunch of…

If your future depended on it…

Work Dynamics, representing Cubiks in South Africa, promoted their competency driven assessment, selection and development software to corporate and mid-sized companies in September. One of the media used was a newsletter, inserted in an eye-catching envelope. The message focused on a key attribute of Cubik’s…

Inward outward

According to a report by the Hay Group published in Fortune magazine, most of the world’s most admired companies know that their success depends on their business being aligned around a common corporate culture. Companies are becoming increasingly aware that sending the right messages to employees is…

Tight briefs

As with most building projects, when constructing a website, the foundations need to be solid. The starting point to a great website is the brief – the tighter the better! Getting a sense of things The account exec of the agency needs to provide the designer…

Getting waxed

I was meeting with an account exec at Barno Plastics, Monique, checking her progress into an important market segment for them. After listening patiently to my promptings, she responded: “Gary, I have that industry waxed”. Everything that had been planned from a sales and marketing…