Catalysing sustainable investment, and agricultural growth

Brief

Matter Of Form were contracted to work on ‘Grow Africa’, a World Economic Forum initiative seeking to accelerate investment in African agriculture, alongside the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP).

Our role was to devise a brand and digital strategy for the organisation, a highly complex process with over 20 different stakeholder typologies.

Process

We kick-started the project by running numerous exploratory workshops with staff across all levels of the Grow Africa team – from junior employees to C-suite. In these sessions, participants were encouraged to confront the issues facing the organisation, and brainstorm ways in which progress could be better achieved.

This provided clear alignment and buy-in reached across all levels of the organisation on everything from brand purpose, positioning and story, to a more simple, prioritised view of audience segments and suitable communication methodologies. Through this co-creative approach, the organisation also managed to unlock several opportunities for digital transformation and innovation – resulting in the world’s first NGO produced online agricultural matchmaking community – primarily focused on bringing farm-based investment opportunities from the depths of Africa to the attention of the world’s most powerful firms.

Change / Result

Our innovative new visual and verbal expression system stood out. The new identity included completely revised logos, colour palettes, typography, iconography and photographic style – all inspired by the organisation’s earthier new brand purpose: To Change the Landscape.

We used ancient Adinkra symbols to depict brand pillars – a West African tradition typically employed to represent powerful concepts and aphorisms, and commonly applied to walls, fabrics and pottery.

MOF also created a new tone-of-voice and messaging structure for the brand. Giving them tools and the frameworks to quickly produce single-minded, on-brand communications to a vast array of different audiences, and through a wide variety of channels and media mixes.

Throughout the process MOF developed a well established working relationship with both the World Economic Forum and the Grow Africa team, subsequently becoming their design and communications agency of record. Over the next two years MOF produced a vast catalogue of collateral for Grow Africa, including everything from complex web development and interactive toolkits, to annual reports, event collateral, and stationery.