John Deere re-energize its brand with a new brand position

Antois van der Westhuizen, MD John Deere Financial Sun-Saharan Africa and Jacques Taylor, MD Sub-Saharan Africa unveil new brand positioning and Nampo revamped stand

John Deere, the world’s largest manufacturer of agricultural equipment today unveiled the brand’s refreshed positioning for its operations spanning Sub-Saharan Africa at NAMPO 2019, a major event in John Deere’s trade show calendar. The launch marks the end of an 8-month brand review, resulting in a new and re-energised look and feel of how the brand is presented to the market.

This new visual identity represents a major step change for John Deere, a first in its more than 60 years history on the continent. It is designed to capture the brand’s African heritage and create a visually engaging imagery to showcase its brand values of emotion, connection and diversity.

The brand will also sport a new tag line in Africa, Believe in Greater.

“Everything starts with a belief, a belief that we can achieve anything, that we can be greater than we are today. Our new tagline embodies the spirit of Africa, our collective spirit of ‘ubuntu’ that makes us unique as Africans. ‘Believe in greater’ does exactly that, it shifts our brand and allows us to be recognised as a truly respected Pan-African brand,” says Stephan Nel, Marketing Manager, John Deere SSA.

The new visual identity will be deployed internally as well as be the cornerstone for the company’s advertising, marketing and corporate communications. The new go-to-market strategy also positions John Deere for further expansion into traditional and non-traditional market segment on the continent that compliments the launch of new products to these markets.

“We believed the time was right to re-energise our brand to reflect our position as the leading manufacturer of farm equipment in Africa and show our continued support to our customers who are on this journey with us,” adds Nel.

“Food evokes powerful emotions and we wanted to create an environment centred around these emotions, putting the farmers, our customer at the heart of the action. Our new advertising is as much linked to land as we are” stated Jacques Taylor, Managing Director, John Deere SSA

Over the past 13 years John Deere has built a significant presence in South Africa through Deere’s “Dealer of Tomorrow” strategy and enjoys a strong brand equity and trust. The new strategic vision will support John Deere’s pan-African intent to build a company that is future fit as well as build a brand that is seen as a leader in driving the green revolution, adds Taylor.

Africa has about 60% of the world’s unused farmlands that can be used for farming. With the global population seemingly not abating and expected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050, Africa is well poised to become the global breadbasket and must rightfully assume its place in the food value chain.

“As food production must increase more than 75% over the next 30 years, most of the gains will have to be achieved by generating higher yields from land that is already being farmed,” says Taylor.

“Achieving these gains will require a green revolution that will combine modern technology and traditional knowledge and be led by big and small farmers harvesting Africa’s land to grow their business, communities and feed the continent as well as the world.”

“Our new visuals speak the same language and signals our clear ambition to keep innovating and extending our pre-eminent position in the sector.”

As farmers continue their efforts to drive better yields through transformative technologies like the Internet of Things on one hand and on the other, embracing exponential improvements in farm equipment, we recognise the need to grow with the market and that new technologies and prospects require us to innovate our brand and narrative to stay fresh and energised in our customer service and offerings.

“Our new visual language carries the warmth of the African sun and the tenacity of its people,” says Nel in conclusion.

“You will see the ubiquitous colour palette of green and yellow but in sharp focus will be our customers and that lends the brand a fresh narrative. We’re adopting a contemporary, more energised look and that truly differentiates us from the rest of the market and decorously positions us at the center of collective power and not just as a product.”