About Me

Dr Thomas Oosthuizen

Brand Strategy Expert

“I believe business value gets created from understanding human problems and finding unique solutions to them.
And that is what I do best.”

Most brand launches don’t work. Consultants talk a good story yet often cannot deliver. My difference? I’ve created many that became leaders, from idea to the business design to support the customer value proposition. Repositioned many successfully. Migrated the markets for many. I don’t only talk, I have done it, many times and in 25 countries, including the UK, US and AMEA.

  • I helped create a brand called OUTsurance who took the short-term insurance industry on. Today extended into Australia, New Zealand and the UK. I started working with them before they even had offices, we designed the entire business around the customer value proposition. Today a business with an annual premium income of GBP500m.  
  • I helped create the first online car retailer in South Africa, McCarthy Call-A-Car. With little resources, careful targeting, supply and demand management. A concept that considered the art and science of marketing. Soon it became market leader in the used car market. Whilst retaining its marketing spend, we doubled its margin through targeting and the management of supply and demand. It became an example for companies in the US and UK to emulate.
  • I helped create e.tv. Today the largest free-to-air television station in SA. It included all decisions, from the brand identity, to its marketing, to the company structure, to its program migration, to its trade campaigns.  
  • I helped create the first online bank in South Africa, 20twenty. Later acquired by Standard Chartered Bank. The user experience dictated all aspects of the brand, down to the naming of staff.
  • I helped create BrightRock, where a novel new business idea started in a living room and where 53% of the company was recently sold for GBP150m after just four years since inception.
  • I helped create MTN into a top ten global telco brand. Drafted its  brand strategy to become the first global brand from Africa and drafted its strategy for being the first global sponsor of the FIFA 2010 World Cup.
  • I helped launch AngloGold on five continents and on the NYSE, taking the first live lion into the exchange!
  • I created the launch strategy for Vodacom, part of Vodafone, the market leader in South Africa.  
  • I helped develop the strategy for Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (“Long Live Ambition”).
  • I helped Sasol Oil create four of the top ten television commercials ever to be produced in South Africa (as measured by Millward Brown).
  • I worked with the merger between MTN and Investcom and the re-branding of the operations in 11 countries in AME.  
  • I created the strategy and ran the campaign to merge Comparex and Business Connexion, then the largest ICT company in Africa.
  • I worked on many global campaigns for Emirates, from brand campaigns to many European campaigns.
  • I trained 850 of the marketing staff or MTN across 22 countries.
  • I helped migrate the Ford brand into hard-to-penetrate segments.
  • I helped design the strategy and name for the Sasol/ Chevron GTL fuel joint venture.  

Recently working in London as Global Consulting Director for Acceleration, exposed me to the latest global thinking in digital technology, with a client base that includes Mazda, T-Mobile, Royal Carribean, Emirates, Standard Bank, HSBC, Zoopla, Barclays, Spotify and United Airlines. This gave me a unique view on the impact of digital technology upon brands. Their opportunities, their competitiveness, their growth and their efficiencies.

Today, you need to think creatively about how to solve consumer problems. Any industry can be disrupted. Only superior thinking can outsmart deep resources. The business must then be designed around the needs of the consumer.

With digital technology, we can with greater ease and lower costs disrupt existing industries, like brands Iike Uber, Tesla and Apple have proven. It is an enormously exciting time.

I can deliver these to clients today, because I already have.

Career Highlights

  • Advertising Man of the Year, The Star daily newspaper, 2001.
  • Author of The Brand Book: How to launch a profitable brand fast, efficiently and effectively, 2013, Stonebridge Books.
  • Extraordinary professor of Business Management, University of Johannesburg.
  • Board member of The Luthuli Museum for the first African Nobel Prize winner.
  • Ph.D. in Integrated Marketing Communications, 1986, University of South Africa.
  • Contributor to three academic textbooks on marketing in Africa, published by Pearson, Oxford University Press & Unisa University Press.
  • External examiner for 18 masters and doctorate degrees in marketing communication, brand design, organisational design and consumer behaviour.
  • Member of the editorial board for marketing and management academic publications for universities in the UK, Australia, SA and the US.

Dr Thomas Oosthuizen is also the author of The Brand Book: how to launch a profitable brand fast, efficiently and effectively (Stonebridge), an invaluable marketer's tool covering challenges faced by most company executives and marketers today.

Clients whom I did work for

In my opinion, Dr Thomas Oosthuizen understands both the art and science of marketing.

Brand Pretorius
Board Member of Barclays Africa, Reunert, Tongaat Hulett, Tata Africa, ex-CEO Toyota SA

Thomas worked with me to launch e.tv from a permission-to-broadcast piece of paper into a national and internationally recognisable and desirable brand within a matter of months.

Jonathan Proctor
CEO Antenna Media Group, Athens

... Thomas fundamentally transformed our consulting practice and deeply impacted the approach and thinking of all the client-facing people at Acceleration.

Stephan Pretorius
Ex-President & Founder, Acceleration