international trend institute

Understanding brands,inside and out

There’s more to brands than meets the eye. Beneath the logo, adverts, websites and more, there’s a vital set of beliefs and principles: a core of meaning that everything else is built around.

At ITI, getting to this deep understanding of brands and what makes them tick is fundamental to everything we do. All of our projects start by first uncovering and articulating the things that make a brand what it is, and then communicating this in an authentic way. This gives our clients the clarity and insight they need in an ever-changing world, and ensures that the work we do is sustainable and meaningful.

International Trend Institute

ITI, the International Trend Institute, is a holistic branding agency based in Durban, South Africa. With a combination of considered strategic thinking, global trend knowledge and creative design, we work with clients to define, create and market meaningful brands.

We established our roots in 1996, pioneering the distribution of international trend information in the South African market – hence our name. While we have since grown to encompass a broader offering that includes comprehensive brand development and communication, our roots in trend research still inform the mindset and culture of the company in a very real way.

In 2007, ITI acquired The Dream Room (TDR) a brand communications agency with significant experience in retail. TDR’s association with ITI provides clients with effective and meaningful on-going brand communication and promotional campaign work.

Building Meaningful Brands

We look for the meaning behind the message.

So we always seek to ground our work in deeper insights and understandings about our customers and their world.

We believe that “and” is more powerful than “or”.

So we make use of an approach that combines strategy with creativity, intuition with insight, thinking and feeling.

We know that the brand is just the beginning.

So, with our in-house creative team and broader network of collaborators in fields from architecture to film-making, we are able to help brands express themselves across multiple media and contexts.

Our Campus

The ITI team includes strategic thinkers, writers, trend researchers, art directors and designers, working from our calm, considered offices in the Bellevue Campus. The Campus is an award-winning business development that we conceptualised and brought to life, and connects us to both our immediate community and beyond. It also means that our neighbours include like-minded businesses as well as a popular restaurant, art gallery and shop, all of which contributes to the unique style of work and life here.

Innovation through Insight

We work with a holistic brand development model that encompasses a deep understanding of brands, their world and customers. Depending on our client’s needs, we are able to partner with them on a journey through any or all of the following elements.

Trend Direction

At the core of our business is a focus on understanding the forces that are shaping our world.

Macro Trends
We survey the global landscape and distil the key trends into a Macro overview in the form of our annual Trend Review.

Focussed Trend Research
We conduct sector-specific research to compile trend reports on an individual project basis.

Brand Development

We have a deep understanding of the relationship between brands, customers and their world.

Brand DNAs
A brand’s DNA captures its essence and ensures that all of its expressions are consistent, authentic and meaningful. Through our co-creation process we work with clients to uncover and articulate their DNA, both for new and established brands.

Brand Positioning
We help clients to understand the interface between their customers, their worlds and their business through market and competitor best practice research and customer insights.

Brand Identity and Management
We develop brands’ visual identities (usually, but not always, as the next step of the DNA process) and then ensure their consistent expression through the use of brand management tools and processes.

Brand Experience

Building on our trend and brand work we are able to help clients express themselves across multiple touchpoints.

3D Environment
We bring brands to life in a very real way by defining and then creating the 3D environmental expression of their DNA. This includes projects like store design, customer experience and office design.

Product Development
Combining customer insight, trend knowledge and brand understanding we assist our customers with product strategy, range, assortment and design.

Brand Communication

By truly understanding what makes a brand (and its customers) tick, we are able to craft authentic, relevant brand communication.

Marketing Communication Strategy
Before you know what you want to say, you have to work out where and how to say it. With this in mind we create marketing communication strategies for clients to provide a solid framework for all brand messages.

Focussed Brand Design
Whether in store, in office environments or on products, we help brands to express themselves and develop their own unique visual language and tone of voice.

Communication Campaigns
With all of these other factors in mind, we craft powerful marketing and communication campaigns for our clients to help them reach their target audience and make an impact where it matters most.

Our Clients

Our client mix is varied and we have partnered with brands across a variety of sectors and industries. These include both project-based relationships as well as long-term relationships and retained accounts. Our experience includes work in both local and overseas markets.

* Active within the last 12 months Consumer and Retail Government and Institutional Business and Service Industry
  • B&Q (UK)
  • Boxer
  • City Furniture (USA)
  • Coca-Cola
  • Game *
  • Jet *
  • Jonsson Workwear
  • Land Rover Gear
  • Makro *
  • Miladys *
  • Moses Mabhida Stadium *
  • National Brands
  • Parlore (USA) *
  • Pep
  • Pick ‘n Pay *
  • Plascon *
  • Rainbow
  • Sheet Street *
  • Skrewfix (UK) *
  • Spiga D’oro
  • Steinhoff
  • The Warehouse (NZ)
  • Tiger Brands
  • Unilever
  • Wimpy
  • COP 17
  • Department of Environment and Tourism *
  • Durban City Architects *
  • Mandela House
  • National Dept of Environment and Tourism
  • Royal Bafokeng Nation
  • Ethekwini Energy Dept
  • Ethekwini Municipality Priority Zone
  • Environmental Planning & Climate Protection Dept *
  • Ethekwini Municipality *
  • Green Hub
  • Kearsney College
  • Lebone II - College of the Royal Bafokeng *
  • LIV
  • Kloof Conservancy *
  • Cox Yeats Attorneys *
  • TSA Administration *
  • IUA Business Solutions
  • Ignition Group *
  • Bidvest Financial Services *
  • FirstView Creative Digital Agency *

Now that you’ve found out more about who we are and what we do, the question is this:
how could we help you activate the potential of your brand? Whether you have a clear picture of
what you need done, or just feel like starting the conversation, please contact us.


Block A, 5 Bellevue Road, Kloof, 3610, South Africa +27 (0) 31 717 2600
What we believe

international trend institute

+27 (0) 31 717 2600
enquiries@iti.ac
Block A, 5 Bellevue Road, Kloof, 3610, South Africa
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