SOUTH AFRICA – Beer maker South African Breweries (SAB) has revealed a new logo and slogan as part of a holistic brand repositioning campaign.

The new logo features a gold circle that transitions into a red line, which intersects with a red typeface to form the letters SAB.

The new typeface was designed so that the ‘AB’ pays direct homage to the logo of SAB’s parent company Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBev, reports Engineering News.

“The gold speaks to the liquid that is the very bedrock of our business. We love beer. We’re passionate about beer. The red speaks to the passion that we embody. We are passionate about propelling our country forward. That’s our purpose.

“The transition from gold to red speaks to the magic that happens when our passion meets our purpose,” SAB corporate brand director Sphe Vundla explained at the launch event on November 16 in Johannesburg.

Along with the new logo, a new slogan was also coined for the company: “To a future with more cheers”.

This is the first brand repositioning for the company in more than 20 years, SAB CEO Richard (Boris) Rivett-Carnac told Engineering News, noting that the new brand logo was a visual articulation of the brand’s purpose espoused in the new slogan.

SAB supports more than 250 000 jobs throughout its value chains, with another 40 000 jobs expected to be created over the next year, Rivett-Carnac said.

“We have committed to invest R4.5-billion during the current financial year. I’m proud to say that we can invest more than that this year,” he said, referring to the investment that was revealed in March.

About R650-million will be invested at the SAB Prospecton Brewery, in KwaZulu-Natal, to expand its facilities. This investment would generate 24 000 jobs through the full value chain, Rivett-Carnac said.

A further R270-million will go towards upgrading the SAB Ibhayi Brewery, in the Eastern Cape.

Additionally, Rivett-Carnac noted that significant investment had been committed to bolster the local bottle-making aspect of the business, stating that R2-billion of the R4.5-billion commitment went into buying glass from two key suppliers.

“Our big dream is to contribute meaningfully to the growth of South Africa. We are very optimistic and positive about the future of the country.

“This repositioning is really about that big dream, and speaks to us getting the strategy right so that we can achieve it, which is important. This repositioning is the start of that,” he said.

Brand reposition through optimization, digitization and monetisation

This growth strategy is driven by three central pillars including leading the beer category responsibly, optimising the business, and both digitising and monetising the customer and consumer experience, reports Bizcommunity.

To lead the beer category, Rivett-Carnac believes that SAB should continue to focus on the success of its core brands.

He said this is a proven strategy given the success of core brands like Carling Black Label experienced a 30% increase in revenue in the third quarter of the year.

“Additionally, our premium, super premium and beyond beer portfolios all delivered a double-digit increase in volumes.

“Our core line of products has always been the heart and soul of our business and will no doubt help us lead the category in this new future,” highlighted Rivett-Carnac.

For him, leading the beer category means scaling innovations, and elevating the brand’s Beyond Beer category. Across the world, AB-InBev’s Beyond Beer business grew its revenue by over 10% this quarter.

In South Africa, strong contributors include the likes of Brutal Fruit and Flying Fish, which continued to deliver on double-digit volume growth.

In this repositioning strategy, Rivett-Carnac said the power of dreaming big and creating a future with more cheers lies in communities, and in particular, the township economy.

“For us, it is the liquor stores and taverns are a core part of the reason we do what we do, and we owe it to them to bring them into the economy that will not only help them grow but grow the country.”

With the knowledge that every retailer has a smartphone at hand, SAB intends to continue integrating innovative technology and mobility tools to help give retail businesses competitive advantage.

He said SAB’s digital ordering app BEES South Africa drives this integration and helps liquor retailers and tavern owners streamline their businesses and increase their profit margin.

The abovementioned pillars of SAB’s new strategic repositioning are all underpinned by a strategic intention to intensify efforts to foster a more responsible nation.

SAB intends to be more deliberate in transforming society and the trade into responsible champions of responsibility through the SAB Sharp platform and the Responsible Trading Programme.

Rivett-Carnac said SAB Sharp will enable the brewer to run interventions that can accelerate the curbing of irresponsible consumption.

“This involves focused interventions aimed at encouraging South African communities to actively embrace responsible consumption by targeting drink driving, gender-based violence, binge and underage drinking.”

However, dreaming big to create a future with more cheers is something the SAB CEO admits the company cannot achieve alone.

“From our relationship with our industry, to the bond we share with our government, to our shared purpose with numerous organisations – it is partnerships that we can truly drive our country towards this future,” Rivett-Carnac stated.

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