Art is a form of self-expression. In the case of Pantone Reign, art also becomes a pictorial message in instances where words are not the preferred approach of communication. This is a creative agency that has planned, developed and recorded outstanding strategies and memorable events in the four years since its inception, Staff Writer HARRIET NKONJERA met the founder of the company, Zulu, this week
Q: What influenced the decision to start a Creative Agency?
A: From a young age, even before I knew what art was, I have always been intrigued by drawing. As the years progressed, so did my talent and passion and love for the discipline. As for the ability, it is a God-given capacity that I continue to hone to this day. Monetising my abilities was the next logical step.
Q: As a creative agency, what would you say was the most exciting project for your team to work on?
A: Definitely the rebranding of the St. Louis Larger can, or leteitshe, as they call it. The project is a huge success. The main objective of the brief for the rebrand was that the new package should appeal to the younger generation. According to the feedback that we continue to get today, I am proud to say we nailed it. As you may know, the perception surrounding the product before was ‘dull, boring and appealing only to old folks’. I am sure you would agree that it’s a different story today.
Q: What challenges did you face as a new player in the industry four years ago?
A: We have always considered any challenges we come across as opportunities to grow, build or learn, and we continue to apply this to our daily operations. As a new business, however, we were faced with the normal teething problems that come with setting up a company such as sourcing funding. Our market, which is advertising, is very small. So clients obviously have someone already servicing them and therefore penetrating the market is a feat on its own because you have to work extra hard to prove yourself as a worthy contender who can produce quality work. You need to work on your own profile in the business and engage those who can help you get to the next stage. It was important for us to get our first three clients because we could then use that work as a case study and reference point to sell to the next client.
Q: Like most organisations, you take pride in the work you put out. What drives you as a team?
A: Culture is everything for us at Pantone Reign. It is important that each member of the team understands the beliefs, values and behaviours that are in place. Having a clear understanding of who you are, where you are going and how you want to get there makes the journey more enjoyable.
Q: How did the name Pantone Reign come about?
A: ‘Pantone’ is a standard colour matching system; ‘Reign’ means a dominating power or influence. From inception Pantone Reign has set out to dominate the creative space and I believe we are exactly where we should be.
Q: We can’t have a complete conversation without discussing the impact of COVID-19. How has the company been impacted and how have you stayed afloat?
A: COVID-19 has affected businesses a lot. It is very sad. That willingness to create, spend and travel has really diminished for many people because you need to connect physically with other human beings to get the best out of you. We are social creatures. Our backbone during COVID-19 has really been the culture here. Even when we were apart, there was always that strong connection and willingness to create the same quality work. That automatically ignited hope for our clients, and so we never stopped working.
Q: What measures have you put in place to ensure that your clients still get the best from the team during the pandemic?
A: I am a creative leader. I create an environment for the team to express themselves freely. The rest is magic. Fortunately, we get paid for that magic.
Q: You have also done work for some of the more international brands, among them Castle Lite, Budweiser, Coca Cola, Monster Energy, Fanta, Glenfiddich. How was the experience for the organisation?
A: It is always a great feeling to work on new challenges and being tasked to solve problems in our industry. But what is more fulfilling is the vote of confidence because what you bring to the table and your approach will be tested. Your ability to create amazing work that drives sales for organisations as large as Coca Cola is nothing we take for granted. So yes, we look forward to more opportunities that provide a chance to showcase our abilities on an international scale.
Q: What is next for the organisation?
A: At the moment, two things are priority. We are currently working on a few corporate social initiatives that we are launching very soon. We will definitely share that with you. Another priority for us is driving as many local brands as possible with our services for the global market.
Q: What do you want Pantone Reign to be remembered for in the history books?
A: Prioritising people. We will always put people before profits. What services are available to your clients at Pantone Reign? We do and help with ad campaigns, strategies, TV ads, social media management, content creation, web development, radio commercials, and brand development.