BRANDING counts big – when the chips are down.

17 July 2024, Wednesday




Branding is Everything: Richard Branson  






From time to time the media love to have a go at South Africa’s truly great CEO’s – business leaders who are ‘’ heads down’’ building and driving the future of our great nation.

Recently it has been the turn of Aspen CEO Stephen Saad.

It’s at times like these that branding is everything.

Branding counts big

It’s branding that takes companies and individuals to the next level of performance , growth and contribution . Acting as one’s compass in good times – and one’s scaffolding in challenging times .

When the chips are down – it’s BRANDING which comes to the fore and plays a crucial ” game changing” role.

There can be no doubting that Stephen Saad has built a great corporate brand (as well as a great personal brand)

Aspen is  indeed strong on all three of the potent P’s of  BRANDING : namely  Purpose, Priorities and Performance – and it’s a company backed by a strong set of ethical values.

It’s a team that is doing well – to do good.

And it is doing it worldwide in a challenging health care environment – helping to make this a healthier planet – saving lives through what they do.

And it’s leaders with vision who choose not to leave unnecessary margin on the table , as it’s this very margin which allows for re- investment – and the delivery of better and better quality products .

Great visionaries are the great investors in our future .They see the bigger picture.



There can be no better example than South African born businessman Elon Musk – who has a potent personal purpose :

to elevate humanity .

We are indeed fortunate to have many of these great visionaries heading up great companies in South Africa – fiercely loyal to building Brand South Africa .

Stephen Saad fits into that same bracket.

When the media have a go at our greats, it reminds me of the light hearted west coast crayfish joke:

Gaptiep: Watch out! That crayfish is about to escape out the bucket

Elton: Nee wat Gaptiep, moenie worry nie. These are South African crayfish. As soon as he climbs to high, the other crayfish will sommer pull him back down again.

I have huge admiration for SA CEO’s who are doing a great job in building a great nation , as it’s mostly a lonely world at the top  :

Who then is the Sheppard’s Sheppard?

Fortunately,  they  have the vision to know that in good and bad times: Branding is Everything.

They invest where it counts big –   building potent corporate and personal brands.

They bounce back stronger .

Rob Opie is a Brand Expert, Author, Speaker, and Performance Coach to Business Executives, Corporate teams, Sports teams and Individuals.


Find out more about his ” Growing South Africans Great” POWER TALKS in 2017 :

 THE GAME CHANGERS  : GOOD TO GREAT TO GREATER. Taking it to the next level   

Find out more about his recently launched  half day  short course on BRANDING ,


And here’s some more Insight, Innovation and Inspiration for Mahala :

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