THE YEAR AHEAD

There are brands, and then there are brands that matter due to their influence on society. In this issue we pay attention to some of the brands that are impacting our reality–both now and in the future.

One such is Amazon. This brand will matter to South Africans even more – and may just dominate the local market – if the global tech company’s plans to build its Africa operations headquarters in the Liesbeek and Black rivers area of Cape Town go ahead.

We’ve put together an A-to-Z guide that seeks to capture the current scope of this powerful company, as well as its ambitions – from the bold (stitching together an end-to-end transportation network), to the whimsical (hair salons), to the unnerving (a project to form private mesh networks that piggyback onto customers’ Ring cameras and Echo devices), as my US colleague puts it.

Another brand that caught our attention is South African Breweries (SAB). We spoke to its brand director, Sphe Vundla, to better understand its impact. Our feature on this SAB brand czar serves as an eye opener, showing what it takes for a corporate brand to move society forward with its investments. We discovered that there’s more behind this African giant.

As a media brand, we too did some introspection as part of preparing this issue, and I’m happy to inform you we are going to up our game. We want you to feel like you’ve enrolled for an MBA, based on the information we will share on these pages, starting with this issue on brands. For this year, we have lined up a series of special editions that will focus on start-ups, leading women and leading founders. This is in addition to our regular issues, with content about productivity, creativity, tech and design.

It’s been two years since we met in person at our inaugural live event. In 2022, we are planning a series of gatherings that will bring us together in a socially distanced fashion.

Finally, some of our readers have asked us to publish something special that they can keep at home for in-depth reading about the Fast Company world. In response to this request, we are contemplating writing an annual, to be on shelves by the end of this year.

We know you have great plans and ideas this year for your business and professional life. You are welcome to share these with us, to inform the Fast Company community in South Africa.

For now, whatever you’ve planned for the year ahead, have fun.

Wesley Diphoko
Editor-in-Chief

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