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So … How did the new IndieContent actually happen? Creative Source, Author of Ideas (and new partner in the business), Nicelle Bresler, tells more about the thinking and people behind this exciting new chapter in our business story.

During the very long lockdown, Marthinus Jansen van Vuuren, IndieContent’s founder, asked me to collaborate with him on a content proposal he was doing for a human-centred design and activation agency. I didn’t realise it at the time, but this was the start of something new for both of us – and IndieContent.

I am admittedly a snob of many sorts, amongst others, branding and strategy. When I was still a through-the-line copywriter at Leo Burnett, getting briefed on a new job included a solid communication strategy.

Someone from the Strat Department would take us through the brand positioning, brand promise, human insight, single-minded proposition and a few other scrumptious building blocks before the creatives started brainstorming.

Later on, in my career, I worked for a fantastic brand agency in Paris (not the one on the Vaal river), and I learned how to think about branding with French flair. What I learned at Leo Burnett and Dragon Rouge became the basic building blocks in my way of working, and it’s where I start before I do any writing.

Something old, something new, something borrowed

Coming from a traditional agency background, I haven’t spent much time with the content or PR people. That’s one of the reasons why working on this project with Marthinus was so cool. His approach was a lot more analytical and more precise than mine. It was also data-driven and measurable.

Where should communication happen?

How often?

Which words are needed?

How much should you spend on expanding the reach?

These are some of the questions he focussed on. I think we were both surprised when we realised what a winning combination our combined skills make. The result was a firm foundation and a fine-tuned plan for future growth. It was a moment of creative synchronicity.

Getting our brand strategy right

We immediately knew our new combined way of working would be incredibly beneficial to SMEs that can’t afford to employ traditional agencies. It would also be a great plugin to medium and small marketing agencies that can’t afford to keep strategists and copywriters on their payroll.

And just like that, IndieContent was set on a new course with an exciting new offer. An offer we believe can contribute to building more robust and resilient brands rooted in a sense of community. But that was just the beginning.

We still had a lot of foundational brand work to do before we were ready to face the world. As part of this process, we had to ask and answer ourselves a few questions that sent us back to the drawing board:

What is our reason for existing and what our role in the world would be?

What is our personality, and how do we want to come across?

What does our brand deliver in terms of product and experience?

Then there was our positioning, differentiators, and key messages – we had a lot of thinking to do. The next two weeks, we strategised and crafted until we felt our strategic foundation was just right.

Around this time South Africa went into level 2 of its infamous lockdown, while the apocalypse went down in the rest of the world.

It takes a village

Our visual brand identity also needed some love, and we called on Elisma du Plessis of Achro Brand Studio to create an image library for our website. She also tweaked our logo and provided the new pieces of brand collateral.

Next, it was our website – Ryan Wallis* at Urban Pxl knew what to do and didn’t waste a second.

Finally, the super talented Martin de Kock of MDKAfrica directed and shot our not-so-corporate video. We hope it puts a smile on your face too:

Martin also shot our pictures.

Just getting to the starting point took a lot more work than we anticipated, but we’re here now, and we’re ready to bring the magic.

Our store is open for business. Don’t forget to explore our website and check out the marketing and brand positioning packages we crafted to help companies launch, or relaunch with solid brand identities and messaging. Also share it with your granny, your cousin, and your uncle in the furniture business.

I’ll leave you with three of our core beliefs when it comes to content marketing:

Feeling connected empowers people and motivates them to act.

We believe content that honours the needs of the community delivers results.

We use creativity to connect and build relationships.

  • The IndieContent team looks forward to receiving voice notes from Urban Pxl, because Ryan is a tonic like no other.

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