Brand Leadership

Our Story

The Brand Leadership Group was established in 2002 by global African Hall of Fame marketer and branding authority, Thebe Ikalafeng, after a distinguished corporate career that started in brand management at Colgate Palmolive in New York, USA and concluded with a lauded tenure as chief marketing officer for NIKE for Africa in 2002, where he won over 75 industry awards globally.

Ikalafeng brought together acclaimed brand valuation pioneer and author, the late Dr. Roger Sinclair, Professor Emeritus at Wits University, and UK and SA solicitor and intellectual property attorney and author of “The Law of the Brand,” Hans Muhlberg to establish first firm globally to established the first integrated strategy (branding and design), finance (brand valuation) and law (intellectual property law) advisory for decision makers who want to build sustainable brands in Africa.

An opportunity to develop the global sponsorship strategy, policy and legal framework for Standard Bank (2003); the branding of merger of the University of South Africa, Visa and Technikon SA to create the 10th largest mega university in the world, and the development of a brand strategy for Telecom Namibia were among first major local and beyond South Africa assignments that established Brand Leadership as a formidable Africa-focused strategic branding agency.

Build brands
that build

Brand Leadership is an indispensable partner for decision makers invested in Africa who want to build great African brands and global brands in Africa.

Africa has the world’s fastest-growing and youngest populations, and one of the fastest growing economies and High Nett Worth Individuals (HNWI) cluster.

According to the Brand Africa 100 | Africa’s Best Brands survey and ranking of brands over the past 10 years, only 20% of the brands that Africans admire are African. Consequently, the AfFCFTA ratified in 2018 by African Union member states, aims to accelerate intra-Africa trade from 15% to 50% by 2030.

Thus as Africans become wealthier and independent, and the intra-Africa trade growns, Africans will seek world-class brands that not only fulfill their needs, reflect their African distinctiveness, identity and status, and contribute to a prosperous continent.

Our values guide our behaviours, relationships and engagements, and SPEAK louder than our words.



We are better, stronger and can go further together.



We love what we do and reflect it in everything we do.



We know the difference between right and wrong, and strive to be trusted in everything we do.



We take responsibility for our actions and its consequences.



We are caring, compassionate and kind to each other.


Brand Leadership Group’s leadership has been recognized globally for excellence in building brands, strategic communications and intellectual property law across Africa.

Our best awards are when our work helps clients to achieve their goals.

Fin Week, Rebrand Hall of Fame, Ad Focus and Prisa Lifetime Achievement Awards


Brand Leadership’s work is enriched by a network of best-of-breed strategic divisions, partners and agency networks that broaden our reach, impact and resources.


Find our more about ABLA programmes

ABLA is Brand Leadership’s Africa-focused post-graduate academy of Brand Leadership.

It’s aim is to sharpen the leadership capability of individuals and organisations to create meaningful brands that will transform Africa and inspire the world.

ABLA’s hybrid blended learning approach enables it to deliver training solutions conveniently across different environments


Find out more about AIP

Africa Intellectual Property Partners (AIP) is Brand Leadership’s specialist brand protection practice that intersects strategy, creativity and intellectual property law


Find out more about WWP

Brand Leadership and Media Mix have been members of WWP since 2010. WWP is the World’s Network of over 100 Independent Marketing, Communication and Branding Agencies. Our affiliation with WWP strengthens our global capacity and reach to deliver solutions beyond the continent blended with deep local insights.

As part of our commitment to contribute to Africa’s economic transformation agenda, we have established a successful Brand Leadership for Good programme that encompasses mentorship, preferential procurement and skills transfer, and talent development to inspire the next generation of brand builders.