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South African Express 2011 REBRAND 100 > notable

Enterprise Rebrand
Country Base: South Africa
Industry/Sector: Transportation, Travel, Airlines
Below: Before and After Images in Slide Show, Summary, Credits

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Industry Setting
South African Express (SA Express - SAX) found itself in a place as a brand, where it too closely resembled South African Airways (SAA) and a similar smaller regional service airline called SA Airlink.

SA Express has an alignment with SAA but no association with SA Airlink. Consumers were confused as to which airline they were flying with and what to expect. They didn’t know the difference – whether for compliments or criticism. Additionally, SA Express operates smaller aircrafts and as a result not only services major Southern African destinations but also smaller cities – making the airline very convenient for business travelers and far more personal.

Smaller aircrafts to 16 destinations, means convenient, every day flights with fewer passengers, which means quicker check-in, faster baggage retrieval and better cabin service. Without clear brand differentiation, expressing these benefits to customers was impossible. The Brand Identity needed to accomplish 2 roles, firstly to distinguish SAX from SAA, whilst aligning with SAA subtly as a South African airline, but a feeder to SAA.

The new corporate identity was developed to reflect a South African heritage and still maintain an association with SAA (hence South African flag colours).

The new positioning of the brand laid claim to ‘personal class’ – not only because the airline flies to so many Southern African (business) destinations but because it is smaller. The Brand Expression was born ‘We Fly For You’ The same proposition was delivered for SAX’s J.V. (joint venture) partnership airline in Congo, called Congo Express – Nous volons pour vous.


Client: South African Express -

Brand Strategists/Designers: The Brand Leadership Group -
Chief Strategy & Creative Officer: Thebe Ikalafeng
Creative Director: David Minnaar
Brand Activation Director: Sue Rowan
Copywriter: Des Brown
Industrial Designer: Dante Lupini


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