30 Leading Companies of the Year 2021
Branding is crucial for a brand as it not only leaves a memorable impression on consumers but also distinguishes the company from its competitors. Digital Branding and Digital Marketing are two sides of the same coin, which means they are totally different but always co-exists. Digital Marketing focuses more on promoting your product or services that you provide, while Digital Branding focuses on who you are and what you stand for, with one similarity that is both is done via Digital Platforms.
In contrast to digital marketing, digital branding aims to create connections between consumers and the products or services so that the brand is recognized and established in the digital world. In short, the goal of digital branding is not essentially driving sales but instead enhancing the awareness, image, and popularity of the brand. Digital branding done right can make a company famous and drive customer loyalty. The major advantage of digital marketing is that the audience can be targeted in a cost-effective and measurable way.
Grid Worldwide is a creative company that creates meaning for brands to align all outcomes to a single brand purpose. It is one of the most awarded and successful brand agencies in the African continent. We interviewed Nathan Reddy, the Founder & Chairman of Grid Worldwide, to know more about the company and its services. Here are a few excerpts of the interview:
Q. What is the history behind setting up Grid Worldwide, and how has it developed over the years?
Grid was set up by the end of 2005. Personally, I wanted a company that had my very own philosophy. I was tired of working for a network with so many voices. I wanted an agency to be design lead. Not just graphic but more around design thinking; making something better.
Starting from scratch is very intimidating, but I always wanted to create a culture of something different and not your typical agency model. Over the years, Grid has maintained a very strong, bold culture of understanding a changing world and always being able to adapt and remain ahead.
We kinda like the fact that our competitors can’t really put a finger on exactly what we do. We live in BETA and are willing to experiment with everything to achieve “making something better”. Over the last 15 years, Grid has grown into its own, but the restlessness of the “new” and “how we can improve” is always there.
Q. “Branding is one of the most important aspects of a successful business. It’s the first impression we give to the audience, and it’s what makes us stand out among our competition.” How do you help companies reap profits through your services?
Our approach always starts at the core essence of understanding the real meaning and philosophy of an organization or brand. It’s when you can truly define what an organization stands for; you must then focus all your efforts on bringing that to life in every aspect of the organization. An effective idea must be able to extend beyond advertising or communication. It must integrate and be scalable across multiple platforms and channels.
Q. Do you think fact-based Ads work better or emotional ads?
There is a place for both forms of advertising. Our focus at Grid will always be on creating an emotional connection and resonance with a brand through its meaning.
Share some success stories of the company.
Grid Worldwide is arguably the most awarded and successful brand agency on the African continent. It’s also lead by one of South Africa’s most recognized creative leaders, Nathan Reddy, who himself in 2017 was inducted into the Loeries Hall of Fame as the youngest inductee ever. In 15 years of its existence, Grid has worked on and created some of South Africa’s most recognized and valued brands, including FNB, MTN, Sasol, Liberty, South African Tourism, and Brand SA.
Whilst Grid is a Proudly South African company, it has built a credible global reputation and stature in working on some of the world’s most recognized brands, including Singapore Airlines, Qatar Tourism, Michelin, and Louvre Abu Dhabi.
Q. What are the benefits of your key services?
Key benefits are a strong, experienced leadership team.
We are always invested in our clients’ business. We aim to develop long-standing relationships (and partnerships), delivering impactful creative solutions, and working with a diverse team of talent, experience, and skill.
Q. How can you measure your customer experience?
Measurement of customer experience is a difficult task to quantify as there are so many factors involved. However, a true measure of success for us is when we can see a brand or organization shift in its behavior and intent in terms of its business strategy and vision.
We don’t see a brand as an extension of marketing but rather the inner core of an organization. It’s how this core then influences all aspects of an organization in a way that shifts its culture and behavior over time.
Describe the concept of investment creative
“Investment Creative” is the ability to create a set of distinctive assets and make sure it is fit for purpose across various mediums and platforms. Adding technology and the ability to scale and automate this makes us unique. We then have the ability to pour new content into these templates across various mediums and platforms.
Q. How are you different from your competitors?
Design will always be at the heart of our DNA. Over the years, we have built a solid offering into the market for
being a high-performance creative business that is lead by a senior team who pride themselves on pushing the boundaries, doing the “Brave Iconic thing”, and not just the right thing! Grids work has a feel to it. It must always deliver on being Meaningful, Beautiful, & Iconic.
Grids culture is a huge differentiator in that Grid isn’t just a job; it’s a state of mind, a way of being, a lifestyle. Our talent is diverse, and we don’t celebrate sameness. We celebrate and embrace the diversity and youthfulness of our culture.
Q. What are your core values and attributes for a successful brand?
For us, Culture is the King! Culture is at the core of what a business stands for. It’s built within a set of principles, driven by a set of virtues, and is manifested over time by a series of actions. This we coin “G in Culture.” G (in Culture) is a sense of belonging, of shared values and principles, a platform for self-expression, growth, and development. The core of our culture is a culmination of our philosophy – ‘MakeItMeanSomething.’
Q. Do you have any plans for expansion or partnership? If yes, kindly detail us about the developments.
We have plans for expansion, which include multiple new offerings outside of the Brand space, including a new G (in Culture) clothing range as well as building on some of the properties we have been investing in over the years, including a G in Culture lifestyle platform and Equal Futures, which is a social movement to drive all forms of equality in our country.
However, our primary task at present is to evolve our existing business model and create a business that can withstand any adversity and thrive in a new world that’s faster, agile, more intelligent, and more responsive.
Meet the Founder
Nathan Reddy is the Founder & Chairman of Grid Worldwide. His personal mantra is ‘Make It Mean Something.’ Over a period of 25 years, he has risen to be one of South Africa’s most prominent creative forces. He studied Design at M.L.Sultan college of design. His first job was at FCB, where he stayed for three years, followed by the head of design at TBWA Hunt Lascaris for a further two years before starting the first DDB in South Africa.
In 2006, Nathan started his own venture called GRID WORLDWIDE, where he remains today as Chief Creative Officer and Chairman. In 2016 the South African industry honored Nathan with a lifetime achievement award, the youngest person ever to receive such an award. In his acceptance speech, he said he was just starting.