One of my first jobs at Holdfast was to develop a new brand identity. It would be a visual starting point for the renovation of a company that has been around for 30 years. Thirty years is a long time and although the brand was well known to some it has been through a period of stagnation in the last decade. There had only ever been one logo upgrade and a formal brand identity / guideline did not exist.
Building a credible brand for your business in today’s age is essential. People don’t just buy products anymore they buy brands. A strong brand gives the consumer a confidence in your business that will promote growth and stability. If you don’t believe me, just think about when Apple releases a new iPhone. Thousands of people around the world will queue for hours to spend their money on a product that they haven’t even seen or held yet.
Although there was an absence of a formal brand identity at Holdfast, the company did have a presence in the market place. Although it had never previously been thought about or planned, the framework of a brand identity was there. It was built on the back of 30 years of products that have been used by thousands of people around South Africa. I’d be willing to bet that if you are a cyclist, surfer, fisherman or paddler you have at some stage used one of their products. It was this long and established legacy that I wanted to build on when creating the new Holdfast identity. The challenge was to create something fresh and new without straying too far from what was familiar.
On top of this we wanted to inject some local flavour and pride into our brand id. Holdfast products are proudly designed and manufactured in Cape Town, South Africa. Many of our employees are adventure sports enthusiasts who love to compete and enjoy the beautiful outdoors that we are so privileged to have access to. Our founder Ian Smith is himself an outdoor sportsman who started the business to fulfil an need to get his windsurfing boards down to the beach in the 1980s. We wanted this love of the South African and in particular the Cape outdoors to come through in our brand ID as well.
Scroll down and have a look at the new brand identity in action. The response to the new branding of Holdfast has been tremendous. We won an award for stand design at the 2014 Cape Argus Cycle Tour Expo, the biggest cycling expo in Africa. There has also been a marked growth in sales since the launch of the new brand identity in March 2014.