The best way to build a brand is not to try – ask Nando’s

The best way to build a brand is not to try – ask Nando’s

The best way to build a brand is not to try – ask Nando’s
A side-view on authentic brand-building through creativity

If you missed the masterclass action at this year’s Loeries Creative Week, fear not – Nando’s is here to fire up your brand game from the comfort of your desk.

This year’s masterclass presented by Deirdre King – General Manager of Brand Experience and Communication at Nando’s South Africa helped creatives get back to the basics of building brand equity in their respective fields. Here’s our takeout from her masterclass.

Don’t try

The best way to build a brand is not to try! Yeah – don’t try. Now if you’re scratching your head thinking WTF – relax! “Don’t try” doesn’t mean don’t work. It means good brand builders know that the magic lies in authenticity, and that brands aren’t built on effort alone.

“Authenticity should translate at every touch point. For example, at Nando’s, that starts with the fact that our chillies are grown in Southern Africa – providing employment to the people of our continent. We taught them to farm, and now we buy back that product from them. So when we say everything starts and ends with Nando’s fire, it’s authentic! Our biggest successes in building the Nando’s brand haven’t been from making the most effort – they’ve come from a place of authenticity and courage.”

Values are not lip service

“We believe that the best brands live by their values and Nando’s has always done so, from being a cheeky start-up (with a founder who’s known for his sense of humour), to a global organisation sharing the heat and creative soul of Southern Africa with the rest of the world.”

It’s clear to see that Nando’s values pivot on growing the contemporary art and design category in South Africa, and these values translate at every touchpoint. Think about their font, it’s unique to Nando’s whilst supporting a local designer like Marks Silimu who created it for them. Nando’s restaurants are uniquely adorned with African design and artworks that support emerging artists and designers. Nando’s values are further evident in their sponsorships of events like the Basha Uhuru Freedom Festival and The Loeries Design category.

Seek to build a brand that empowers others

Nando’s is the largest collector of Southern African art in the world with over 21 000 pieces of art displayed in 1 200 restaurants in 24 countries. “As we immersed ourselves in the world of Southern African art, alongside our desire to make eating at Nando’s a unique experience, we started to realise that our restaurants needed to look and feel different – to feel like Nando’s.”

· Nando’s support local businesses by purchasing fittings, furniture and design for every restaurant.
· The HOT YOUNG DESIGNER competition discovers and develops young talent while the Design Portal exports South African furniture and lighting to the rest of the Nando’s world.
· Afro-Luso music plays in all their restaurants to ensure their Mozambican inspired heritage resonates with their fans, and empowers local musicians.


Leave a Reply