Thomas Müller

Unlocking abundance for all with Fjord’s Johannesburg studio

We are pleased to announce the launch of our first design and innovation studio in Africa, Fjord Johannesburg. Headed up by Group Director Marcel Rossouw, the studio marks Fjord’s commitment to deepening its design capabilities in the region to deliver transformative digital experiences in a dynamic and innovative marketplace.

With a rapidly growing middle class and the youngest median continental population in the world (average age of 19.4), the fact that six of the ten fastest-growing economies in the world all sit within Africa may come as little surprise.

The combined ingenuity of its population and the cultural blend of its constituent countries have created a region which is as diverse in character and need as it is rich with opportunity.

Our new Johannesburg studio shares its location with Accenture Interactive, allowing Fjord to fuse its core design strategy DNA with the experience agency’s expertise in marketing, content and commerce. This formula has helped Fjord and Accenture Interactive deliver four years of work in our South African presence to date, for major brands including NedBank and Momentum.

The ‘Smart Exits’ campaign for Momentum helped turn around a high rate of early pension withdrawal and low savings ahead of retirement, winning gold in the Service Design category at the Loeries 2017 and silver in Customer Experience Design at The Bookmarks 2018.

Meanwhile, we have been working with Nedbank, one of South Africa’s largest banks, to create a suite of customer experience-boosting initiatives. We helped them build a tool to serve unbanked demographics via Stokvel – an informal ‘savings club’ arrangement unique to African communities – and to connect with millennial customers via a new kind of marketplace stocked with experiences and products closely aligned to their needs.

We’re witnessing more and more African businesses set out to meet the needs of new and existing audiences by providing fundamental services powered by new technologies. These businesses understand the essential role of design to deliver these advantages and are looking for a partner to create the best possible experience for them.

Our new studio enables us to be that partner, coupling our global design expertise with on-the-ground insight and understanding. We’re inspired and enthused by the scope for design to grow the fortunes of an incredible region, so watch this space for more to come!

Thomas Müller

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