Indaba rebranding embraces Africa

Monday, 26 November, 2012
Doug Carew
Indaba, one of the most successful South African wine brands in the ultra-competitive US market, has undergone a radical rebrand. At the core of the evolution is the return of the brand to its African roots.
“The journey to this new design was long, but we were lucky to have help along the way,” said Robert Bradshaw, President of Cape Classics - the New York based wine importer that produces the Indaba range. “A branding ‘guru’, who is chairman emeritus for a prominent advertising agency, helped us frame Indaba’s identity and illustrate that via the label. Indaba is proudly South African and we set out to design the package around that story.”
Despite Indaba’s US success over the last 15 years, Cape Classics suspected its branding needed a refresh. This thought was confirmed at a gathering of key distributors in New York in 2011.
“With Indaba, which is a cornerstone to our portfolio, the distributors unanimously advised we upgrade the packaging. In their view, essentially what was on the outside of the bottle did not accurately reflect the quality of the wine. To significantly increase market share of Indaba, we had to start from scratch,” said Bradshaw.
The Cape Classics design team was inspired by the natural environment and inspirational people found on the southern tip of the continent, and the new design reflects the rich diversity of the Western Cape’s floral kingdom - “a beautiful place where beautiful things grow”.
“The color choices for each varietal are based on what you see in the Cape - the slightly muted hues, the way the light falls on the mountains, that sun-faded affect caused by the strength of the African sun, were all taken into consideration” said Molly Choi, Marketing and Sales EVP for Cape Classics.
The new brand image also draws on the region’s commitment to sustainability. “Recycling is a social priority in South Africa, with artists and even average citizens using known things in unusual ways. So we chose a paper which has a homemade, craft feel for the labels,” Choi said. “We also chose a somewhat plain craft carton, that’s free of color or varnish, to continue that sense of eco-consciousness.”
Indaba Wines, part of the Cape Classics family since 1996, are produced in the Western Cape in partnership with consulting winemaker Bruwer Raats. The brand is linked to the transformation of the wine industry through an annual scholarship, funded through Indaba wine sales, which is awarded to financially needy and academically deserving students.
“With the quality of the packaging now matching the quality of the wine, we are confident this will give Indaba the boost it needs and enable Cape Classics to further address social change in the wine industry,” said Bradshaw.

Visit for further information.