Africa's leading brand agency, HKLM, has appointed Lerato Tsimo to the management team of HKLM Connect, the agency's branding and marketing services division.
Tsimo is currently a senior interior designer with the agency. While she will continue in this role on the HKLM team, she will further help to oversee and enhance HKLM’s interior design offering as a member of management. Specifically, the commercial space practices and uses arising from the Covid-19 pandemic warrant increased attention and, as such, these will fall under Tsimo’s renewed focus.
An award-winning corporate and commercial interior designer, Tsimo joined HKLM in 2019. Since then, she has worked on various projects, including those for Anglo American, RMB, Nedbank and Richfield, overseeing everything from the redesign of interior spaces to national signage rollouts.
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Tsimo is passionate about cutting-edge experiential design, and plans to augment this HKLM offering through strengthening the link between her work and the rest of the agency’s work, creating a synergy between how customers experience a brand within a physical space.
“A brand needs to be aligned on every level to clearly convey its purpose. There is little point in having captivating branding communications that move your target audience, but then failing to carry this through to other touchpoints, like the built environment. That is a missed opportunity in customers’ experiences of the brand. I love the idea of bringing a brand to life in the physical space, and helping brands connect with their audiences in a real and authentic way,” says Tsimo, who calls herself a ‘destructive innovator’ for her approach to destroying preconceived perceptions about design and its accessibility by way of ‘pirated innovation’.
As a technically sound and diverse interior designer, Tsimo has a holistic understanding of all phases of the interior design process. Before joining HKLM she founded her own interior design consultancy, leading multidisciplinary corporate and commercial interior design project collaborations. Prior positions included designer at GL Events; space planner at Bidvest Office; interior architect at Dean Jay Architects; and interior design specialist at the Massmart Group. During this time, she worked on projects for Jonsson Workwear, Kaizer Chiefs, Glencore Mining and the South African Presidency.
She lends a progressive approach to HKLM’s experiential services, which include environmental design; signage and way-finding; space planning; workplace audits; retail design; environmental brand audits and corporate interiors.
“I am extremely excited about Lerato joining the HKLM leadership team,” says Zahra Mirza, head of brand consulting at HKLM Connect. “She brings with her a unique combination of architectural expertise, innovative design thinking and strategic project management. I have no doubt this distinctive skillset will help us further elevate HKLM’s experiential offering.”
Catherine Kruger, HKLM creative director, echoes these sentiments. “Lerato brings creativity, passion and excitement to all environmental projects, and we could not be more excited about the future of HKLM with her on our management team.”
For 18 years, HKLM has championed branding in Africa, and this new addition to the management team is set to further advance HKLM’s differentiated proposition of creating purpose-driven and socially conscious brands, adding depth with a growing environmental design offering.