dr thomas brand

Dr Thomas Oosthuizen

"He is a superb big picture thinker, has a “no-limits” creative mind and has a fantastic collaborative and engaging manner.” Stephan Pretorius, CTO and EXCO Member, WPP Group

Ideas. Strategy. Brands. Solve problems. Challenge. Insight. Growth. Customers. Results.

I can sincerely say I have never worked for a client where I have not been able to add significant value to their business. A testament to that, is the fact that I worked for the same clients for many years. Together we created new brands to drive growth. Repositioned brands to regenerate their potential. Made marketing campaigns more efficient and achieve greater results. Ensured that we could prove the outcome of campaigns. Thought different about marketing to achieve results with less spend. Created some of the most notable and leading brands of the day. Driven hard objectives, deadlines, and budgets. Created of the most notable marketing campaigns. Done this in more than 35 countries. Ranging from brand management, to social media, to effectiveness measures, to market segmentation and strategy, to major launch drives at the NYSE. I did this for entrepreneurs and large companies.

I love working with teams that want to challenge thinking.

With the entire world of brands changing in the last ten years, it is my passion to be at the forefront to challenge existing thinking.

I love a challenge, no matter how great – my motto always was, if I cannot add value to the business of a client, they do not need to pay me.

Kurt Vonnegut famously said, “every day, let’s do something that scares us”.

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

  • Lead strategist who launched many brands from inception. This gave me the depth of insight and hands-on experience to align business operations and people to brand experience. Enabling alignment across functional silos. Helping design brand touchpoints. This gave me an integrated view of marketing.

  • Led the strategy and marketing for entrepreneurial companies that today all have revenues more than £100m p.a., all now part of larger companies. Just completed the launch of four new food brands that now leads their category combined within just 30 months from launch. Act as the outsourced CMO for the company.

  • Started an agency that within its first three years, became the lead agency to Emirates Airlines (out of 29 agencies across their network). Launched Emirates into Europe.

  • Launched e.tv, today the largest television station in South Africa. To quote Jonathan Proctor, then e.tv CEO and today CEO of Primedia, “Thomas worked with me to launch e.tv from a permission-to-broadcast piece of paper into a national and internationally recognisable desirable brand within a matter of months.”

  • Launched OUTsurance, today the largest short-term insurer in South Africa. Worked with them before they even had offices, across all aspects of their formation, identity, marketing material, policy documents.

  • The agency I ran had a profitability ratio of three times the industry average. Within five years, it was within the Top 5 most considered agencies by clients, against major global rivals. It was built around an agnostic strategic and project approach that enabled client-centricity and transparency.

  • Moved to London for a global role in digital technology brands, trends, data, and AI. This includes how data and technology drive customer-centricity for large companies. It included all aspects of digital transformation for large companies.

  • Completed marketing strategy and brand development work, marketing training and repositioning projects in more than 35 countries for multinational companies. This meant having to compile in-country brand development templates for brands like Emirates and MTN, to be used by their country managers to assess their markets, competition, set strategy, plan, measures and budgets.

  • Was the strategic marketing lead for the launch of BrightRock Life Insurance, underwritten by Swiss Re. 53% of the company was sold to a large insurer for £100m+ within three years. Today the business is ten years old and grew rapidly throughout the COVID period as a successful, challenger brand against large insurers.

  • A strategic partner to the launch of 20twenty online bank to achieve its position as a Standard Chartered Bank Asset. This was only the second online bank globally to launch after Egg (later acquired by Citi).

  • Lead strategy consultant to MTN (the largest telco in Africa and the Middle East) when it became the first African brand to make it into the Top 100 list of global brands (as assessed by Interbrand) and became the first global sponsor of FIFA from Africa. To quote Santie Botha, then CMO of MTN and member of six boards of listed companies today, “We utilised the approach constructed by Thomas over seven years to consolidate and strengthen the positioning of our brand and focus on what the respective opco’s must do to optimise their competitive positions.”

  • The lead strategist and team leader for the global launch of AngloGold Ashanti and their NYSE listing, controlling up to 300 separate projects across five continents. This was a fully integrated internal and external campaign across stakeholders, investors, analysts, global media, and satellite broadcasts to staff. This launch won global awards for its integration.

  • The lead strategist for the team that created the most “liked” television advert of the last 35 years in South Africa, as measured independently by Kantar. This was for Sasol Oil, the largest coal-to-oil company globally and today a leader in gas-to-liquid development.

  • With Sasol, I engaged in experimentation for greater efficiencies in marketing spend and market share growth. We retained market share and brand awareness growth, with less spend than peers and at times with half the budget. I also worked on their Chevron joint venture with GTL technology with is HQ in London.

  • Assisted WPP Acceleration to transform from a digital implementation company to a consultancy.

  • Worked closely with Central Saint Martens, one of the two top global fashion universities, on a strategic project to assess the future of fabrics, retail, technology and sustainability on logistics, customer centricity for major global brands. To quote Dr John O’Reilly, Head of the Masters in Innovation, “Honestly, one of the best sessions we’ve had in my time at UAL: CSM.”

  • Was just elected a member of a top ten fastest growing, according to Adweek, strategic and creative think tank on ideas and problem solving for major global clients.  

  • Working with a training company rolling-out specialist training and software to the global mining industry. Of late, projects on fintech, new investment assessments and medical software. To quote Hernus Vermeulen, Nasdaq listed Mix Telematics, “In my career I have had the privilege to work with one of the greatest strategic minds one can find. Despite his academic accomplishments, Dr Thomas Oosthuizen has the rare ability to read between the lines, understand “street-smarts” and is always up-to-date with the newest advances in whatever field of Marketing you can think of.”


Career roles

11/2019 TO CURRENT

Conceived of and helped develop a portfolio of brands in the food sector. I developed all aspects of the brands, from names, brand architecture, strategy, positioning and marketing material. Assisted two major companies to reposition themselves.
Involved in a global campaign across nine countries.
Driving a program for a company to become fully customer-centric in their operations.

7/2017 – 10/2019

Led strategic projects to grow the asset value of their investments. These were in fintech, food, digital and fashion labels.

9/2014 – 6/2017

The lead consultant on the transformation of the business from a tactical technology company to a digital consultancy, leading twenty marketing technologists and project managers. Principal consultant on the largest client projects in the UK, US, Europe, the UAE, and Africa.

Prior to that own agency, O2 Communications, FCB, ABSA, Colgate.

Clients worked for

Barclays, Daimler Benz, WPP, BAT, Emirates Airlines, Vodafone, InBev, Unilever, New England Journal of Medicine, Zoopla, London Metropolitan Police, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Outsurance, Classic Food Brands, Caesarstone, Ford, Sasol Chevron, Paraxel, United Airlines, Bidvest, Toyota, e.tv, El Tiempo, MTN, Sasol, Betsson Group, Tiger Brands, Famous Food Brands, Metcelerate, ITL Group


UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND: Executive Development Program
MIT SLOAN: Design thinking in product and service Innovation
GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Digital Marketing and Analytics