HaveYouHeard Group launches pioneering design studio with international ambition

HaveYouHeard has added in_trepid to its stable of innovative and specialist creative communications businesses.

Billing itself as a pioneering design studio, in_trepid has global ambitions, seeking to partner with clients who recognise that functional excellence is not enough and that the way products are designed, packaged and experienced is what separates them for consumers emotionally.

Leading in_trepid as Creative Partner is Alan Cronje, whose 25 years in the industry culminated in the founding of ‘Intrepid Fox’ with his long-time colleague Gavin Whitfield in 2017. The duo won numerous local and international awards and were subsequently rated in the top 30 agencies in South Africa. No mean feat for a two-man studio.

Founded 14 years ago as a word-of-mouth marketing specialist, HaveYouHeard has grown organically to a full-service integrated communications agency and is now the focal the focal point of a group specialist creative communications businesses.

As a member of this group, in_trepid will be supported operationally by the agency, as well as its Group Managing Director Victoria Gabler and Group Executive Creative Director Dan Berkowitz.

According to Cronje, in_trepid will provide a multi-disciplinary array of design services from brand identity to environmental, digital, product and social design to collateral, packaging, illustration and animation.

The difference it brings to the market in these spaces is in its approach to treating the design process and outputs with the respect they deserve: not providing cookie cutter solutions that restrict outputs and stifle creativity for business’, brands and agencies but as a critical thinking tool that unlocks value and growth.

“As a result of design being bundled into the agency mix, time and budget allocated to the discipline has been slashed. In many cases it’s been relegated to just another service element, usually applied as a ‘finishing touch’,” Cronje said.

“This is a serious misstep by the agencies. Big business places big value on design – Think Apple, Dyson, Nike or Louis Vuitton. The Mckinsey Design Index shows businesses who place value on differentiation through design are able to increase their revenue growth by 32 percentage points and their TRS by 56 percentage points when compared to their competitors over a five-year period.

“It is in_trepid’s mission to bring outstanding design to the front of the brand, product and business development process and unlock the true potential of the marketing and advertising development chain that follows to produce more creative and more valuable work. After all, starting with a great product makes selling it that much easier.”

“We share a common point of view as an agency and couldn’t agree more with Alan,” added Berkowitz, “and that’s why we’re so excited to formally partner with him after almost three years of collaboration previously, during the time he and Gavin built Intrepid Fox.

“Design is often the difference in building a brands presence, long before advertising enters the fray. It can create more visibility, more value, more consideration and more understanding from the outset if deployed with intent, insight and understanding of human needs and behaviour.”

According to Berkowitz, Cronje brings a multidisciplinary skillset to the table, and his ability to constantly evolve and develop his craft has seen him awarded locally and internationally, across a

range of disciplines for both new and established brands. These include Project Trapped (The Loerie Awards), Scouts SA (Global Cristal Awards and The Bookmark Awards), Tranquini (the Drum UK Design Awards) and Sportshosts (New York Festivals Bowery Awards).

“Recently, Alan has delivered particularly strong work for Pura Kids, Devil’s Peak Breweries, Old Mutual AMPD Studios, Empire Premium Sneaker Care products and The Clermont historic pub and grill,” said Gabler.

“Having recently worked for clients in Germany, Ireland and the US Alan has hit the ground running…

and continues to build on his already substantial international reputation. Given the HaveYouHeard group’s geographical spread and distributed networking model, we’re excited to see Alan’s distinctive work continue to flourish locally and abroad and be part of that journey,” she concluded.

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