Two leading design agencies merge
INTERBRAND SAMPSON, South Africa’s second largest branding and design agency, has merged with Veejay Archary’s small but fast-growing business – Black Brand Strategy & Design – to form The Interbrand Sampson Group. Their positioning statements provide an interesting contrast. The mantra of Black is “it isn’t in the business of design but rather in the design of business.’ Interbrand Sampson’s vision is brands have the power to change the world. But they’ll start with Africa, looking to create and manage brands with the power to change the continent.
“The merger adds impetus to our efforts to become the pan-African authority on branding and design,” says group chairman Jeremy Sampson.
With SA as the gateway, the opportunities for local, regional, continental and global companies are immense, says group MD Doug de Villiers. “One of the biggest implications for the future is the need to understand the unique needs of clients and consumers in the different markets and cultures. Our ability to immerse ourselves in the cultures of Africa and identify sound human insights is second to none.”
The group’s directors will be Archary, Sampson, De Villiers, Christopher Koller and Blake Anderson. The group has already worked in almost half of Africa’s 54 countries and with a network of formal offices in Nigeria and Kenya, and associates in another six countries, its positioning is ideal.
Based in Johannesburg – with offices in Cape Town, Accra, Gaborone, Lagos and Nairobi – Interbrand Sampson acts as the hub for Africa. The agency has twice been named “Best Branding and Design Agency” in the AdReview Awards. Interbrand is a subsidiary of the global Omnicom Group, but it has no equity in the South African company.
Black has also spread its tentacles into Africa, with offices in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and Nairobi, Kenya.