Global Leaders Events in association with Knowledge Partner SAS Institute South Africa this week presented world-renowned marketing genius Scott Bedbury, live in Johannesburg.

Bedbury is the man behind the phenomenally successful marketing campaigns of Nike and Starbucks, among others. After helping these two giants to dramatically expand and substantially increase revenue, Bedbury has returned to consulting and writing, and is the author of A New Brand World: 8 Principles for Achieving Brand Leadership in the 21st Century.
He delivered a full day seminar to delegates, sharing his vast experience within the marketing environment as well as delivering insights on “Brand building and marketing strategy for now to 2010”.
One of the key messages delivered during the day was that “people are the heart of a brand, not product”. Every single employee of an organisation, from switchboard operators to top level management, is an ambassador of the brand, and creating a great brand first and foremost means creating a culture of inspiration within an organisation. In Bedbury’s own words: “Get the best people, and when you get them, keep them. Don’t just manage them, inspire them.”
The 2010 World Cup is a remarkable opportunity for growth, and will present unique challenges for marketers in South Africa. According to Bedbury delivering an effective brand message does not have to mean spending a fortune in advertising, and that in order to set your brand apart from competitors it is necessary to be innovative, and involve every person in an organisation with the creation and maintenance of a brand.
Warren Cowan, Business Development and Marketing Director at SAS Institute SA, concludes: “It is becoming increasingly apparent that innovation is the only way to succeed in today’s highly competitive environment. Whether you are in the consumer or corporate fields, whether you are responsible for marketing anything from pencils to best practices, the message is clear. Be different, be smart, and set yourself apart from your competitors."