Marketing & Media trends
SA banner company flying high
Made from high quality, durable elements, these 4,2 meter high, sail-shaped Bowhead banners (manufactured under patent locally), offer marketers exciting new ways of exposing their brands.
Says BTI's chief executive, Ian Brown, "Since we started trading two years ago we have tripled our workforce to number 65 men and women with our production facility in Ndabeni, Cape Town, reporting a production increase of 400% in 18 months. This year, we are anticipating an additional 50% growth."
According to Brown, the demand for high-quality, durable promotional branding material is definitely on the increase, with many companies opting to buy the Bowhead frames for permanent use - only replacing the banners where necessary. In response to these requirements, BTI has replaced its original Bowhead aluminum frames with high-tensile, anodized aluminum frames that incorporate design improvements for long-life and quality appearance. Components are also plastic wrapped and have been made easier to transport via a carrier bag that is further encased in plastic.
A further growth driver lies with the fact that the innovative new indoor/outdoor branded products that are being developed locally is fast gaining popularity over conventional flags and banners. With most overseas countries still using these conventional means for corporate or product branding, this presents South African manufacturers with lucrative new export opportunities.
BTI Branding Solutions has capitalised on this trend by securing a lucrative new export deal with Dutch firm, Faber Pro-Motion recently - a world leader in the flags and banners business. As part of this two-way trade agreement, Faber will be marketing BTI Branding Solutions' products in the USA, Australia and Western Europe, while BTI will market Faber's products in South Africa. BTI is also represented in the Middle Eastern market by Dubai company, TULIP.
Says Brown, "The Farber export deal is a remarkable opportunity for a local company, which enables BTI to tap into massive international markets that are hungry for innovative, effective promotional products. By continuing to benefit from our favourable association with the Proudly South African campaign, which endorses the quality of the products that we manufacture, we are confident of being able to further extend our global footprint."
Further inroads have also been made into the Australian market recently (which is potentially bigger than the South African market) when BTI received its first order down under as a result of the company's own marketing efforts. Very proud of this achievement, Brown says, "Australia is very much an outdoor country in which banners and flags abound. As the first of potentially many more orders, BTI has very definite intentions of expanding our sales of Bowhead into Australia."
"BTI is a perfect example of what a Proudly South African company can achieve," says Martin Feinstein, chief executive of the Proudly South African campaign. "Through their ingenuity, BTI have spotted a gap in the market that are not only providing them with great financial returns, but are also assisting with valuable employment creation. This entrepreneurship is exactly what South Africa needs to create more jobs and economic growth in our country," he concludes.
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