Carol Avenant

Big Biz Experience:   

Old Mutual; Sun International

Small Biz Experience: 

Ceres Beverages; Novare Investments



Carol is a passionate brand builder with more than 20 years’ experience in the marketing and brand strategy environment across multiple industries.

She understands the importance of developing practical solutions that will make a material difference in a business.

Depending on business ambitions, she is able to develop customer-centric solutions that creates tangible value. Given her background, she offers a rare balance between creative thinking and practical implementation across multi-channels.

Carol’s background has included Senior Strategist and Marketing Director positions for the Premier of the Western Cape, Mayor of Cape Town, SARB, Old Mutual, PEP, Media24, Vital Health Foods and Virgin amongst other.

She prides herself on delivering solutions that result in commercial value and increased consumer engagement.


Key Areas of Expertise

  • Brand strategy development that delivers on business ambitions
  • A balance of creative thinking and practical implementation
  • Customer-centric brand, marketing and communication roll-out plans across multi-channels
  • Market segmentation: understanding and identifying the who, why, what, when and with what
  • Innovation and concept development
  • Customised training for brand teams
  • PR management
  • Employee engagement



  • Western Cape Government & City of Cape Town

Objective: Align Western Cape Government and City of Cape Town brand promise to the DA philosophy in order to ensure maximum impact when communicating with stakeholders. The brand needed to resonate and inspire residents, and speak to true partnership between stakeholders. We needed to build on the successes of the past while changing direction from passive service delivery, to active resident-government partnership for mutual success. We needed to build a Government, and a city of opportunity. One that fills its citizens with a culture of optimism because they can feel a sense of progress, every day.

Deliverables: Relooking & restructuring the way the brand and its variations presents itself to the market in a way that is simple, clear and builds equity back into the Western Cape Government / City of Cape Town brand. This included the City's strategic assets such as the Cape Town stadium, MyCiTi, Transport for Cape Town and other key services. This resulted in the highest positive sentiment of the Mayor and organisation in 10 years and digital growth in 1 year of 75% on Facebook, 49% on Twitter, NGO support increase of 917% and media value of R18, 4 million from R10 million investment.


  • SA Mint

To define where they need to focus to win in the future. What they will do differently or better than their competitors, and identifying the few things that will make the biggest difference. Lastly, detail exactly how they will deliver this future state based on the gap and where they are today.

Deliverables: Travel to Chicago to interview the world’s top Mint producers at the World Coin Fair. Extensive insights generation in the category, adjacent categories, competitors, SA Mint and its portfolio (Bullion, Numismatics, Circulation Coins) across channels and by brand. Brand strategy session run with Professor Willie Pietersen form The Practice of Management, Columbia Business School to:
-Create a common approach to thinking and functioning strategically.
-Develop superior insights (“brutal truths”) into the external environment and their own realities.
-Translate these insights into Strategic Choices, comprising
-Their Competitive Focus
-Winning Proposition
-Key Priorities
-Define the roadmap for effective execution and the creation of a unified leadership message.


  • Stanlib

Objective: Unpacking the current state of the brand and the current state of the business to assess how the brand is currently performing and how it is positioned to be able to deliver to 2020 requirements

Deliverables: Through the discovery and insights generation process identified any gaps and outlined key shifts required to achieve their 2020 vision. We developed a brand strategy, (encompassing brand positioning, brand essence and full brand model) which closed any gaps and was a key enabler for Stanlib to succeed. From this we developed a high level go to market plan which outlines the marketing pillars, objectives, messaging matrix (that defined the ideal communication message and tone for each stakeholder group), budget and spend to take the brand to 2020.


  • Virgin Money

Objective: Virgin is known for disrupting industries in a smart way, they needed help in achieving the same sentiment for its struggling offering, Virgin Money.

Deliverables: Define the purpose and strategy of Virgin Money in South Africa in relation to the Virgin global brand. Relook the brand hierarchy of existing products in relation to our future intent and vision. As a lead in the team I helped create a social media strategy and given my experience in PR, I led and created a group PR strategy where we relaunched Virgin Money with Sir Richard Branson (PR value achieved of R2.3 million with investment of R350 000).


  • Old Mutual

Objective: Develop the group brand vision, brand hierarchy recommendations and brand vision for each of their sub-brands. Clean up and develop a clear communication model that captures the most important brand attributes to connect with the right customer clusters as well as the budget focus for each.

Deliverables: Through a robust fact finding mission, we undertook to understand the different types of customers and their met and unmet needs, their decision making process as well as how Old Mutual’s brand architecture influences customers. Based on the findings we identified potential areas for greater clarity and synergy. Also understanding the strategic importance of the segments in supporting Old Mutual’s business strategy, we clearly defined and articulated the roles of the segments / sub-brands in their portfolio. Thereafter we defined a meaningful, relevant and ownable positioning for each of the sub-brands and identified how each sub-brand positioning supports the mother brand promise. Pulling it all together, we created a thorough and robust communication model to express the individual propositions to priority audiences in the market.


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