MonthlyBrands is more than just a business directory where consumers have access to a wide variety of products and services, it is where brands are established and built. MB provides SME companies with the opportunity to build their own consumer base, by making use of the MB consumer base. This in turn enhances the product-experience of consumers by servicing a wide range of their needs and desires. This leads to both customer retention and favourable growth of new businesses. MB is all about giving the client the opportunity to communicate with the customer, whilst building brands through online marketing.
MonthlyBrands is redefining the means of communication with consumers and makes use of online, electronic and social media to relay key messages of companies to their target audience. Brand building is achieved by providing consumers a wide range of choice, information and a new, unique shopping experience.
Who is Graham Butler you asking? I am an Infrastructure Systems Engineer of 16 years who graduated from Peninsula Technikon (now CPUT) in 1996 with a National Diploma in Information Technology.
I started my career with a Leading Clothing Retail Group as a junior engineer and worked myself up the corporate ladder to senior engineer.
After 5 very fruitful years in this Retail Groups IT Division, I moved to a financial services company as a Senior Systems Engineer. Until present I have worked my way up to middle management architectural role in the Groups IT Division.
My IT Infrastructure skills has been honed specifically to Microsoft set of products and more specifically thin computing which for most businesses brings down Total Cost of Ownership.
My knowledge of these sectors I have worked in, is second to none and the business partners I have engaged with, many international, has given me a very clear view of where IT Infrastructure as a whole going over the next ten years. Thus making my knowledge of most businesses sectors well rounded.
MonthlyBrands was developed by my entrepreneurial skills wanting to leave a legacy for not only my children, but also to the rest of South Africa. Together with the rest of the team we developed this business model to assist the small to medium business and if possible large enterprises to realize their full potential in these harsh and competitive economic times.
My personal aspiration is to keep the passion and enjoy MonthlyBrands community of businesses. I believe that work is not work anymore if I enjoy what you are doing.
“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”Herman Cain
So what differentiate one company from another and what makes a really great company? Great marketing and PR. That is what I do and what I am passionate about. Making a company stand out from their competitors and ensure that they are top of mind to consumers. I have been in the marketing pool for just over 10 years and it is really a pool of different waves and depths. Waves and depths which depend on the nature of the companies and what they want to achieve.
Is online marketing an art or a science? It’s a bit of both in that you need research to make the right decisions as to how you want to reach and communicate with your clients and the art lies in the way you do so. This is why I love marketing and communications. It has a lot to do with being able to communicate with people and I tend to think that I do so very well (blush).
Hence MB being such a great fit and a fantastic concept. It’s all about growing great brands and companies.
Draw. Design. Create.
That pretty much sums up what I’ve been doing all my life, whether it be to make some cash or just for fun. Hey, I do other things too but you get the point.
I guess my love for drawing stems from my natural ability to do it. It was always just a part of me growing up. My love for cartoons, as a kid, really helped me hone my skills as I would practice drawing every character I liked (or even disliked). It’s through this that I developed my passion for Animation. A passion that has me drawing cartoon characters to this day. The fun part is that now I can make them move. I dabble in all mediums but can’t seem to shake the desire to sketch with pencils. Almost every design I create starts with a simple sketch or drawing (see what I did there).
What sparked my interest in graphic design was a little project I undertook in my teens. It was a portfolio cover for my sister’s friend. While design is basically a part of drawing, this simple cover taught me the difference between drawing & designing. This, I believe, is when I started developing an eye for design. When working for my father (he owned a shopfitting & exclusive furniture company) I would assist with the design of store layouts, furniture & signage. After his death in 2001, I guess signage & graphic design was a natural progression for me so I started a company which is still going strong. Thanks to monthlybrands, I now find myself designing websites too. I’m still fresh but hey, I’m a fast learner.
Design is made much easier when you’re actually involved in the production process as well. This was the reality at my father’s company and still is at mine. Assisting highly-skilled artisans in those early days gave me a keen eye for detail (a millimetre mattered then and still does). I also manufacture and install the signage I design. I thoroughly enjoy creating works of art whether it be furniture, paintings, sketches, character design, animations or anything that gets the juices flowing…the creative juices that is. Needless to say, I love working with my hands – much to my wife’s delight (Hey, I fix things around the house – getcha mind out the gutter).
Besides the year I spent studying 2D Animation, most of my knowledge was & still is acquired through self-study, learning from others, stealing with my eyes and by consulting my good friend Google. I also believe that I can do anything I set my mind to.
My relationship with monthlybrands started when Graham asked me to assist with a t-shirt design. I guess he liked the design because before I knew it I was sitting in meetings being called Brand Architect. The rest, as they say, is history.
I wonder if I should let them know that I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. Naah, that’ll be my secret for now