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Introducing Wonder: A customer experience agency born in the new normal

As of March 2021, South Africa’s marketing landscape has an innovative new player – a CX agency with three significant leaders at the helm.

Industry heavyweights Gareth McPherson (ex-Virgin Active Chief Marketing Officer and both Managing Director and Chief Creative Officer at Publicis Machine for close to eight years) and Helen Ludwig (local ad industry strategy leader and former Managing Director at Saatchi & Saatchi) have joined forces as CEO and Chief Strategy Officer respectively at Wonder, the country’s newest CX-specific agency. Digital maverick Adrian Hewlett is a partner and non-executive chairperson.

A new lens on marketing as we know it

Wonder is founded on the premise that now, more than ever, businesses are increasingly aware that the customer’s journey and their associated experience is the coalface of brand success. ‘Getting the CX right is what modern marketing is about,’ says Ludwig, who together with McPherson has been finessing Wonder’s business principles and launch since December last year.

The pair believe that purpose lies at the heart of business success. ‘It’s impossible to ignore that purpose-driven business creates greater customer preference, better financial performance and a stronger employer brand,’ says McPherson, ‘and it’s the bedrock on which successful CX is built.’

Wonder is digital, data and technology first. ‘Data gives us the insight, technology the vehicle,’ says Ludwig, ‘and content is key to creating meaningful, purpose-driven connections. We follow a very practical, solutions-oriented approach and hold innovation at the core of what we do.’

Cross functional collaboration – Wonder’s Council is key

Critical to their business model is their cross-functional Council. The Council is a radical combination of experts assembled as a powerful foundation for collaboration, innovation and integration.

Members include successful techpreneur Gys Kappers, founder of Wyzetalk; Hollywood and Netfix filmmaker Sunu Gonera; iconic local DJ, music producer and South African TikTok rep Sketchy Bongo; mobile maven and digital sales funnel expert Nicky Allen; SuperSport broadcaster and ex-Springbok Hanyani Shimange; and digital pioneer and groundbreaking eco-retailer, chairman Adrian Hewlett. ‘Each person is a leader in their field, an incredibly creative thinker, has a fascinating perspective on the arena in which they play, and we know they will offer a unique perspective on the task at hand,’ says McPherson.

Right for the times

Wonder and their Council’s combined forces of creative thought and flexible purpose-driven solutions will help businesses win with customers in the new normal, say the dynamic duo. ‘If there’s one thing that this unprecedented era has taught us, it is that despite the digitisation of life on every level, it is people who matter the most – and we know we can help companies connect with them in meaningful, memorable ways that make a difference.’

Client wins have been quick off the mark, with Wonder already running with projects for Unitrans Africa, Granny Goose, Currency Hub, Jet and Sealand.

Wonder’s services run across CX strategy and brand development through to content marketing, UX design, data and technology solutions, PR and influencer campaigns, experiential and activation opportunities and through-the-line communication.


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