Brand Communication rooted in authenticity


A mainstream Afrikaans church was one of our first major clients. In that complex, highly emotive environment we learned countless lessons, grew up really fast – and won our first international award for one of the most beautiful, best conceived brands DevCom has ever developed.

The Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk van Afrika (NHKA) conducts social development and charitable work through a network of entities collectively known as “Diakonale Diensorgane”.

In the early 2000s, the church wanted to extend its reach and impact. DevCom was appointed to come up with a brand name and identity that would be acceptable in the conservative Afrikaans church environment, while at the same time present a self-explanatory and inviting image to the external public.

Questionnaires were completed
Meetings, consultations, workshops and presentations.
IABC African Gold Quill Award

During the research we found that while the NHKA’s existing brands were out of touch with the world, the work they were doing was a perfect fit for the causes that corporate funders liked to support. Thus the birth of to care – the NHKA’s chosen main brand for its service organisations.


The church culture was the single biggest challenge in this project. Strategic communication practices were foreign concepts in this environment and 500 years of Reformation history had instilled a cumbersome decision-making culture that involved endless committees, commissions and consultation. In the 18 months we worked with the NHKA, DevCom participated in a total of 117 meetings, consultations, workshops and presentations.

Externally, our success was measured in acceptance, cash and support:

    • to care received funding from the Telkom Charity Cup and became Lafra Productions’ CSI partner and beneficiary of its major Afrikaans music shows.
    • At the end of DevCom’s contract, to care had been approved and were in the first round of due diligence with Jasco Electronics and Wimpy.
    • Partnerships with McCarthy Toyota in Centurion and a number of performing artists had been formed to raise awareness and funds.
    • A database of more than 200 individuals with no ties to the church had been built up within the first three months of to care’s active implementation.

Note: The client subsequently decided to revise the brand.

DevCom and Sappi Limited won an African Gold Quill and a Gold Quill Award of Excellence for the implementation of the Abashintshi Social Mobilisation Project.

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