Neil’s passion for creative design, branding and marketing was flared while studying Graphic Design (1982-1984) and Marketing and Sales Management (1984-1986) at Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He established the registered newspaper, 'Probe Magazine', in 1984 and founded 'Smith Group' in 1987; a multi-disciplinary design and marketing company.
Neil’s management leadership, professional aptitude and creative talents in the industry gained rapid momentum, resulting in his election to 'Chairperson of Design South Africa' (DSA) Western Cape 'Body for Professional Designers in SA', where he appeared for eight years.  He has received numerous awards in design excellence, including two International design awards; First prize in the 'First Paper House International Design Competition', in the corporate Identity (branding) category, as well as attaining the best advertising campaign for a Non-Profit Organisation in Africa, EWET (Education with Enterprise Trust).

Social responsibility is a key value and priority for Neil.  He fulfilled a vital role in steering the advisory committees for the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, along with moderating the exams of their final year design students over a period of 10 years.
Neil has also been proactively involved, along with the final year Visual Communication students of Stellenbosch University, in the Cape Town municipality - 'A Second Chance' initiative, creating greater awareness around issues pertaining to street children of Cape Town. Neil was also appointed by Stellenbosch University, in 2009, to lecture final year and post graduate design students on ‘bridging the gap between educational institutions and industry’.
'Neil Smith Strategic Marketing and Associates' was established in 2011 with the chief focus of creating opportunities for entrepreneurs within the small and medium sized business sector, to realise their full potential. Neil and his strategic partner Robert Klynsmith has taken a fresh look at every aspect of the business over the past few months and in doing so sharpened the capacity by including business strategy, a vital key to creating momentum for sustainable growth. Neil has therefor adopted a new company name, being NS Brand Experience, in keeping with the remarkable range of value added services.

NS Brand Experience also enjoys a close working partnership with the First Business Wellness Association, which was formed with the view to offering an all-inclusive holistic and affordable service to small and medium sized businesses through the expertise of experienced professionals in strategy, corporate identity, business management, all facets of financial stewardship, public relations and legal expertise.