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WATCH | How to appeal to the most sustainability-conscious generation

This Sunday Times GenNext event provided valuable marketing ideas from brands that have successfully integrated environmental, social and economic factors into their operations

02 June 2022 - 11:55

There’s a new imperative for businesses and brands: sustainability.

If you’re not looking to mitigate climate change, decarbonise your operations, build a brighter future for generations to come, and leave the planet in better shape than you found it, then it’s time to sit up and take note: having a desirable, aspirational product is no longer enough to win over the purchasing power of today’s children.

We are living in a time where the negative impact of decades of indiscriminate consumer behaviours are being felt on the planet. Now, our younger generations are looking to become less wasteful, more conscious, greener and eco-friendly. For today’s youth, sustainability has become an important touchpoint: if a brand’s purpose is not intertwined with doing good, it will be cancelled.

Younger generations are looking to become less wasteful, more conscious, greener and eco-friendly.
Younger generations are looking to become less wasteful, more conscious, greener and eco-friendly.
Image: Pexels/Cottonbro

On June 15, a Sunday Times GenNext online panel discussion, hosted in partnership with Yellowwood, shone a spotlight on brands that have successfully integrated environmental, social and economic factors into their business operations.

Experts from these brands shared their ideas on successfully tuning into what the youth want, and how younger generations are changing the narrative on purpose-driven marketing.

Moderated by Simphiwe Mthethwa, content maverick at Cliff Central, the panel included:

  • Tshepiso Malele, country head: China (acting) at Brand SA;
  • Lipalesa Morake, senior programmes manager and strategic partnerships at Global Citizen;
  • Leemisa Tsholo, head of asset management at Attacq Limited; and
  • Dillon Khan, VP of Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Paramount International Studios and Creative Services Africa at Paramount Africa.

Watch a recording of the event above.

About Sunday Times GenNext

The Sunday Times GenNext event, now in its 18th year, is the country’s leading annual youth brand preference and consumer behaviour event.

The highly anticipated Sunday Times GenNext 2022 Awards, during which SA’s coolest brands will be announced and celebrated, will be held on September 16 during a hybrid event.

In an interactive showcase on September 15, 300 young people will gather to engage with brands through displays, activations and competitions at the Empire Conference & Events Venue in Parktown, Johannesburg. Should you be interested in showcasing your brand at this event, email Cortney Hoyland at hoylandc@arena.africa

Sunday Times GenNext would not be possible without the brand's valued partners: the Gautrain Management Agency, Brand SA, Pin Pop and Cliff Central.

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