FREE WEBINAR | Are brands doing right by SA’s youth during lockdown?

Catch Financial Mail Redzone in conversation with ‘Sunday Times Gen Next’, HDI Youth Consultancy CEO and Pat onBrands MD on April 24 at 9.30am

22 April 2020 - 12:32
How brands behave now will determine how they're perceived in the post-Covid-19 normal.
How brands behave now will determine how they're perceived in the post-Covid-19 normal.
Image: Unsplash/Dan

If you’ve been keeping an eagle eye on the media lately, you’ll have noticed quite a shift in how advertisers are positioning themselves during the global Covid-19 crisis. Fewer are engaging in hard-sell marketing campaigns (even online), and more are focusing on messaging that feeds the camaraderie of fighting the coronavirus enemy.  

Many businesses will reluctantly accept that most people are cash-strapped at the moment — to greater and lesser degrees, naturally — but overall, this is a time for tightening the purse-strings. The thing is, this period of lockdown is going to be a significant test for brands, because how they behave now will determine how they’re perceived when we transition into a new, post-Covid-19 normal.

Over and above the financial viability of many brands — some of the most ubiquitous and previously profitable ones may not survive this pandemic — now is a true litmus test of what brands really stand for, and how they express the values they say to have woven into their DNA.

This year marks the 16th year that the “Sunday Times Gen Next” survey, conducted by HDI Youth Consultancy, polls SA youths, aged eight to 23, on their brand preferences. For the first time, the survey will be extended to include young professionals aged 25 to 30 years.  

“Sunday Times Gen Next” in partnership with HDI Youth Consultancy is always a telling piece of research, and one that is eagerly anticipated by the marketing community because of the insights it shares. It’s a window into marketing campaigns that are successful in building brand appeal, vs those that are missing the mark. After all, it’s the youth of today who will be the consumers of tomorrow, and marketers are hopefully taking note.

We often hear how important social consciousness is for millennials. They want to associate themselves with organisations, businesses, employers and brands that have a defined purpose that’s not only about profits and keeping shareholders happy. They want to feel that their decisions, no matter how small, collectively contribute to a greater good. 

This is why brands need to consider how they manage their responses to this crisis: do they show admirable character, or will they allow themselves to become disliked and irrelevant?

In a digitised online event, join the Financial Mail Redzone in discussion with “Sunday Times Gen Next”, Bongani Chinkanda (CEO of HDI Youth Consultancy), and young professional Pat Mahlangu (MD of Pat onBrands) to discuss the sentiment of young professionals (aged 25 to 30 years) on how companies should continue to build their brands and honour their values, through sensible and sensitive youth engagement strategies during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Date: Friday, April 24 2020
Time: 9.30am
Cost: Free

Register online here >>>

Partners of the “Sunday Times Gen Next” Conference, Interactive Showcase and Awards ceremony — that are all scheduled to take place in Sandton on August 21 2020 — include headline partners Gautrain Management Agency and Shell, corporate partners Mercedes-Benz and Bounce, and media partner Cliff Central.