Showing our best face – a word from RMI’s CEO

In 2019 and 2020 the RMI embarked on a major rebranding exercise where we launched vibrant new branding for both the RMI and its eight associations. We are proud of our heritage, representing more than 8 000 members nationally and the new identity elevated the status of our brand, both locally and internationally.

It is the one element that makes us distinctively recognisable in the industry, with key stakeholders such as government, insurers, OE manufacturers and warrantee administrators, and most importantly, amongst the motoring public. For decades companies have realised the value of this recognition. One of the first and most famous examples of this type of branding was by Coca-Cola.

In simple terms they wanted customers to be able to identify them from all the other brown, sweet, sparkling drinks available at the time and the rest, well we know is history. Great brands definitely stand the test of time. They may need to be carefully refined, as was the case with ours, but they remain strong and easily identifiable.

Branding has evolved over the years to become much more than just the name or label of a type of product or service. In contemporary marketing, your ‘brand’ is not just the name, it is also what people think about when they see or hear that name. Brand identity today encompasses the whole experience your customers have with your company, product or service. Whether we realise it or not, many of the purchases we make are influenced by brand and design.

At the time we appreciated that our brand change would pose certain challenges and cost implications for members and realised we would need to allow a reasonable time for members to run down stock and rebrand merchandise, transactional documents such as quotes and invoices, buildings and vehicles.

Almost three years later however, we are still not seeing a uniform and consistent application of our new logos across all businesses. You must remember our logo is the most visible part of our identity. It is a guarantee of professionalism and peace of mind and unless we display the correct logo we are creating confusion in the market and diluting the power of our brand. A brand, for any company, is much like a reputation for a person. We earn this reputation through consistency in application and attitude.

We are pleased to share with you that the RMI Board has approved a special project to fund production of RMI branding material to assist members who are struggling with the change. In this regard an in-depth branding workshop was held with all of the Associations’ national directors last month to discuss the roll out and implementation.

This project will provide excellent branding opportunities to the RMI members and help them to transition from the old to the updated new RMI branding, thereby ensuring that the RMI Corporate Image is upheld consistently. It will allow the RMI to provide our members with tangible evidence of the importance of belonging to the RMI. The initiative seeks to create a feeling of cohesion amongst our members and may well serve to introduce more consumers to our members.

A Corporate Identity manual is in place with very clear directives on how the logo should be applied and used in different applications. I would like to encourage members to review this manual. If you don’t already have a copy, you can liaise with the RMI’s Brand and Communications Manager, Danelle van der Merwe who can forward you a copy (danelle.vandermerwe@rmi.org.za)

It is also key that any of your suppliers that are displaying the RMI branding, do so correctly. Every single manifestation of our brand needs to be consistently applied.

I look forward to your support and co-operation and to more of our members appreciating and embracing the change.

RMI’s CEO - Jakkie Olivier